Second Life Assignment

Second Life Logo

Despite my initial unfavorable opinion of virtual worlds, such as Second Life, recent articles and comments from my peers had aided in increasing my enthusiasm about this assignment; however, it didn’t take long for me to return to my negative opinion. With my bias opinion likely still present in the back of my mind, my lack of patience for technological obstacles and disgust for video games since my childhood, I’m not surprised by my lack of interest in Second Life. Although I personally did not enjoy the experience, and most certainly went into it guarded and with hesitations, we are all entitled to our own hobbies and if it makes someone else happy, and doesn’t harm others in the process, I have nothing against it for use by others.

I am a relatively outgoing person, so I found going up to strangers and trying to talk to them fairly entertaining, despite the lack of success I had. I was so shocked by the experience in general I had to call my husband into the room to simply witness how bizarre the whole concept was, in my opinion. Whether I wasn’t approaching these individuals with proper virtual world etiquette or I simply seemed weird or uninteresting, I have had more success holding conversations with strangers in the real world. l also must admit, I have a higher level of confidence outside in the real words versus virtual worlds as well. I felt very uncomfortable and insecure while participating in Second Life, and as weird as it sounds, I thought maybe others could sense it.

Although I am a 25 year old female, I chose a male avatar…the least creepiest looking male avatar, in my opinion. Based on the warning we had from our professor about a former student’s experience and my low level of comfortability with the platform and the users, I strategically made this decision to avoid any odd interactions or advances, even if they are just virtual. As you can tell, I obviously was very guarded in this whole process, which may have hindered my ability to enjoy it more. I found the simple task of finding a name that wasn’t taken to be frustrating. I must say though, my husband and I did have quite a good time laughing at the whole concept and approaching individuals.

I, or should I say Kaleaf (my avatar’s name), walked, flew and teleported to various areas. Although I tried to talk to a few people, only one person attempted to converse with me and they spoke Spanish. I did boogie down on the dance floor with another individual but we never sparked a conversation.

I accepted an invite to another land, where I had hoped I would have more success conversing with other virtual individuals. After feeling rejected, overwhelmed and even a little like an outcast, I took more of a light hearted approach to try to end the whole process; however, Second Life doesn’t allow you to drown yourself in the ocean, so I eventually just resorted to logging off.

Advertisements

Facebook Ad Survey Results

 Results for Facebook Users’ Opinions on Facebook Ads Survey

Question One

All of the twenty-three individuals that completed the survey have Facebook accounts. This was not surprising as Facebook was the primary method for participant recruitment. A strong majority (82.61%) of the survey participants view their Facebook newsfeed daily. The remaining participants view their newsfeed multiple times per week.

Question 2

Twenty-two of the twenty-three participants noticed advertisements on their Facebook account. Of those individuals that did notice advertisements on their Facebook, 16 individuals noticed advertisements in both their newsfeed and on the right side bar and 5 individuals noticed advertisements only in their newsfeed.

These type of ads are likely more apparent to most users because they are located in the feed of information they are scrolling through, rather than on the side. Additionally, if a Facebook account holder primarily uses their mobile device for Facebook, they would likely have only seen newsfeed advertisements as there is not a side bar on the Facebook mobile application.

Only one individual noticed advertisements solely in the right side bar.

Question 3

Question 4

According to the responses from question four, only 17 individuals should have answered this question; however 18 responses were collected.

Approximately 56% of the individuals found Facebook advertisements outside of their newsfeed to be “mildly bothersome,” 39% did not find them to be bothersome, and one individual (6%) found them bothersome.

Question 5

According to the responses from question four, only 21 individuals should have answered this question; however only 20 responses were collected.

Forty-five percent of the individuals found Facebook advertisements within their newsfeed to be “mildly bothersome,” 30% found them to be bothersome, 20% didn’t find them bothersome and one individual (5%) enjoyed them.

Question 6

Sixty-one percent of the individuals that participated in question seven (shown below) found Facebook advertisements outside of their newsfeed to be “slightly relevant” to their personal interests, 33% said they were not relevant to their interests and one individual said they were very relevant to their personal interests.

Question 7

Sixty-seven percent of the individuals that participated in question seven found Facebook advertisements inside their newsfeed to be “slightly relevant” to their personal interests, 24% said they were not relevant to their interests and 9.5% said they were very relevant to their personal interests.

Question 8

The majority (55%) of individuals were unaware that they could “unfollow” or block ads, 32% of individuals were aware of this feature and have used it, and 14% were aware of this feature but had not used it.

Question 9

Over half (55%) of the individuals claim to have clicked on a Facebook advertisement because of a level of interest in the product being advertised, 36% of individuals claim not to have clicked on Facebook advertisements and two individuals (9%) could not recall.

Question 10


 

Conclusion

Seventy-five of individuals found advertisements within their Facebook newsfeed bothersome or “mildly bothersome,” however; approximately the same percentage (76%) found the ads to be either very relevant or slightly relevant.

Only 61% of individuals found advertisements outside of their Facebook newsfeed bothersome or “mildly bothersome,” however; approximately 67% of individuals found the ads to be either very relevant or slightly relevant.

While many Facebook users find the ads to be bothersome, if the content is relevant and the ads are being clicked, they may still be relevant to the marketing industry. Many individuals find various marketing tactics to be bothersome, but that doesn’t mean they don’t work. Further research is needed to determine the return on investment (ROI), and thus the effectiveness, of Facebook ads as they pertain to online marketing.


 

Improvements

To improve survey results, a larger population should be surveyed and alternate online survey programs should be considered. In using a basic, free platform, many limitations prohibited me from tailoring the survey to the individual based on answers to previous questions. For example, if someone were to have entered the survey and said they did not have a Facebook account, they should have been exited from the survey. Based on a peer’s survey, it appears other online platforms offer this feature; however, this particular free version did not, thus increasing the possibility for inaccurate results.

Survey Assignment: Facebook Ads

As a professional in the marketing field and a graduate student studying social media, I have chosen to examine Facebook users’ opinions about Facebook advertisements.

Facebook advertising has allowed marketers to target individuals using demographics as well as personal preferences (“likes”). Although Google may have a larger audience to market to, Facebook may be able to target individuals more accurately.

Although Facebook advertising may seem like a great tool for marketers, how do Facebook users feel about this tactic? As you may have noticed, Facebook not only shows advertisements on the right side of your screen, as shown here (Hootsuite & Bounty), but it also shows sponsored advertisements within your news feed.

Facebook ad - Right

Sample of Facebook ad as shown outside of news feed, on right side of screen

Facebook ad in feed

Sample of Facebook ad shown within news feed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While these advertisements may seem annoying to Facebook users, Facebook also gives us the option to hide ads from a specific company and even take a survey to make your News Feed “better.” Whether the ads are annoying or not may be irrelevant to marketers if they produce a return on investment.

Although I was personally annoyed by some of these ads initially, in particular those that appeared in my feed as opposed to the right hand side of the screen, I also grew to appreciate their surprising level of accuracy in regards to my interests.  From a user experience perspective I can see how these advertisements can be annoying; however, from a marketing perspective I can also see how extremely powerful they can be. Being torn between these two opinions, I find myself wondering what other users think and whether or not having a marketing background affects their opinion.

The following are the instructions for our Research Methods in Mass Communication surveys assignment: Identify one service, register for the free trial and explore how you might use one of these programs to answer a research question you may be considering. Create a short survey and distribute to your friends on social media. Explain the purpose of the survey and what you hope to better understand.

I have chosen to use Survey Monkey, a free online survey software & questionnaire tool, to further investigate Facebook users opinions pertaining to Facebook advertisements. While I don’t believe a “short” survey will provide conclusive evidence regarding this matter, I do hope to achieve a better understanding of users opinions by collecting evidence from a larger sample size than just myself.

While I will be administering the survey formally on Facebook, it can also be found here.

NOTE: Initially this survey was designed to have a “weed-out” question asking individuals if they have a Facebook account and if they did not the survey would end. However, this feature is only available through the paid version of Survey Monkey. For this reason, I have included the question; however, it is the only required question. In the event the individual does not have a Facebook account, they are instructed to answer just the first question and select “Done” to complete the survey. Additionally, the unpaid version of Survey Monkey limits surveys to 10 questions.

Results will be provided publicly the week following the administration of the survey.

Nike, Women and SEO

Nike

9, 4, 6 and 3….these are the number of Nike shorts, Nike capris, Nike dri-fit shirts/tanks, and Nike sneakers I have in my closet. If I’m not at work or working on school work, you can often find me at the gym, running or doing yoga.

Due to my love for fitness and my obsession with Nike (that I didn’t even know I had until counting my apparel), I have chosen to research keywords associated women’s athletic apparel  for our search engine optimization (SEO) keyword assignment.

I have chosen the 10 words listed below, and have searched them using Google as my search engine. Listed with each keyword search phrase is where they fell in the results, as well as some details regarding the title, meta description/tag, and URL.


1) womens running shoes

Appears second under organic search results with “womens-running-shoes” in the URL and “Women’s Running Shoes” in the title tag and twice in the meta tag.

womens running shoes

2) womens athletic shorts

Appears third in the organic search results with “womens-shorts-clothing” in the URL, “Women’s Shorts” in the title tag and “Women’s Running Shorts” twice in the meta tag.

3) womens running capris

Appears second in organic search results with “womens-capris-clothing” in the URL, “Women’s Capris” in the title tag, and “Women’s Running Capris” once in the meta tag.

4) dri fit womens tops

The search for “dri fit womens tops” is unique in that (1) Nike participates in paid advertising for this search query and (2) many other retailers use Nike’s name for their organic and paid searches (i.e. Kohl’s, Eastbay, Zappos, Lady Foot Locker, Dick’s Sporting Goods).

The organic search result for Nike.com appears second with the title “Nike Dri-FIT Knit Short-Sleeve Women’s Running Shirt” and “dri-fit-knit-short-sleeve-running-shirt” in the URL that directs to one product in particular, rather than a variety of dri-fit tops.

The paid advertisement for Nike uses the title tag “Nike Dri-Fit Top” and appears third with the following meta description “Find the Perfect Fit on Sports Tops Online at the official Nike site” directing users to the  following URL containing sports bras, but displaying the www.nike.com/ URL in the advertisement.

dri fit womens tops

5) sports bras

For the term “sports bras” Nike appears lower on the organic search results (sixth), with the title tag “Nike Store. Women’s Sports Bras” and “Women’s Sports Bras” listed only once in the meta description. The URL includes “womens-sports-bras-clothing.”

sports bras

6) workout clothing for women

For the search query “workout clothing for women” Nike appears fifth in the organic listings, with the below shown title tag (in purple) and meta description (in black text below the link) and a URL containing the words “womens-training.”

workout clothing for women

7) womens running gear

For this search, Nike appears first in the organic listings with the below show title tag (in blue) and meta description (black text below link), and a URL that leads to a page of products filtered by “Women” and “Running” and contains “womens-running” in the URL.

womens running gear

8) womens sneakers

Appears third in organic search results with “womens-shoes” in the URL, “Women’s Shoes” in the title tag, and “Women’s shoes, running and training shoes” once in the meta tag.

9) athletic apparel for women

For the particular term, Nike does not appear anywhere on the first page when searched on Google, or even the second, third or fourth page! Nike appears as the fourth listing on the FIFTH page with the following title (in blue text) and meta tag (in black text below the link) shown below, with a URL that directs to the Nike store, ironically not even to the women’s section.

athletic apparel for women

Interestingly, the first organic result that appears on the first page, Dick’s Sporting Goods, uses “Nike” in their meta description.

10) dri fit tanks for women

Somewhat surprisingly, Nike appears as the fourth organic listing on the second page for the search query “dri fit tanks for women,” for which the URL contains “womens-tanks-clothing.”

dri fit tanks for women

Just to see if the dri-fit was what was effecting the search, since it was not included in the tags, I also searched “womens exercise tanks,” for which Nike at least appeared on the first page, but as the second to last organic listing.

University of Florida Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CEI), Master of Science in Entrepreneurship (MSE)

Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CEI) at the University of Florida

Master of Science in Entrepreneurship (MSE)

The Master of Science in Entrepreneurship (MSE) program through the University of Florida is one of the nation’s premier graduate entrepreneurship experiences. The program is not parallel to typical business programs. The stimulating, experiential curriculum is designed with the entrepreneur in mind, and is intended to inspire, fund and launch the students’ ventures. The program is designed to be completed in one year, and consists of 36-credits. As of Spring of 2015, there will be an online option available, and according to Program Director, Laura Johnson, the timeline for completion is capable of being made flexible.

Target Audience: This integrated marketing campaign is intended to recruit applicants for the Spring 2016 semester. The target audience for the program includes undergraduate majors “from Finance to Fine Arts”. While no work experience is required, it is of the belief that having more seasoned individuals with a 2-5 year professional background may be most beneficial to the program as a whole and the peers within it. While the MSE program is launching an online component for the Spring 2015 semester that does not require students to step foot on campus, it is my personal belief as a Gainesville resident, and after performing further research, that our city provides a unique environment to facilitate the success of entrepreneurial ideas/ventures. For this reason, as well as others that will be covered in more detail throughout the following sections, I have chosen to market to young professional, college graduates in the local (Gainesville) market.

Strengths: The MSE program was awarded #1 National Model Graduate Entrepreneurship program in 2013 by the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship. In 2012,  the program was awarded the Excellence in Specialty Entrepreneurship Education by the Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers. In addition to the programs accreditations, the Academic Director of the Entrepreneurship Program, Dr. Michael Morris, is a leader within the entrepreneurial education industry and has been an asset to the program since joining in August of 2013.

Opportunities: The support from the Gainesville community to facilitate growth of the entrepreneurial movement within the university and the city as a whole is exceptionally optimistic, and provides positive opportunities for program growth and success.


 

Why use an IMC strategy?

Grooveshark,  Feathr, MonkeyWish…all are startup companies that incubated right here in Gainesville. What’s one thing all these companies have in common? They’re all tech related, in fact many entrepreneurial concepts involve technological advancements of some form. Entrepreneurial candidates for the MSE program can be found on social media, which is why an IMC plan including platforms such as Facebook and Twitter is essential to the program’s growth.

Integrated marketing and social media use is about building relationships. Not only can these platforms be used to find candidates, but also maintain relationships with alumni and build online relationships that enhance search engine optimization. As these companies grow to become more successful and increase their presence on the internet, the MSE program should leverage these relationships by including features about these Gainesville entrepreneurial success stories congratulating them on social media.

According to an Entrepreneur.com article written by Toren, “a solid marketing plan is key for any successful entrepreneur’s product.” Toren expands upon various social media marketing tools, within his article such as Hootsuite, $99Social (“created by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs”) and Hubspot.

Even the greatest entrepreneurial ideas require marketing of some form. Many of which rely on social media. In a sense, the MSE program as a whole is rather innovative itself. What better way to market than on the same platform your potential candidates, program graduates, and target market of entrepreneurs are located.

While IMC plans can incorporate more traditional forms of marketing, the approach for the MSE program will primarily entail social media and internet, simply because of the target market’s use of these platforms. The messaging is to remain consistent across across all platforms. The goals for the IMC campaign are as follows:

  • Build a larger online presence through connections with successful Gainesville startup companies that have a significant social following.
  • Engage with local entrepreneurial geared programs and community organizations.
  • Strengthen recruitment, and thus increase enrollment, by creating a buzz about the program locally and online.

Seeing as the opportunity for the program is geared toward the city of Gainesville and its supportive environment, social engagement with local organizations is essential for building relationships online and within the community.


 

Conclusion

While I understand there is a limited amount of financial resources and staff to maintain the various social media accounts for the MSE program, I would recommend exploring social media management platforms, such as Hootsuite, that allow you to post on multiple platforms and schedule posts in advance. This would make repurposing Facebook content for Twitter easier, and would make posting to the two additional recommended platforms, Google+ and LinkedIn, easier as well.

In addition to creating Google+ and LinkedIn profiles, I would also recommend using email marketing, not only as a follow-up for the career showcase event, but for a more regular means of communication with potential program candidates, current students and alumni. All email campaigns should be mobile responsive, as all platforms should be (i.e. website, blog, etc.).

The CEI/MSE blog could improve drastically from an SEO standpoint. Tags and categories should be utilized and content should include entrepreneurial tips, success stories about Gainesville startups (as shown scrolling on the bottom of the MSE website), appropriate guest blogs, Gainesville news relevant to city’s support of innovation. In fact I would recommend setting up Google alerts for Gainesville start-up companies, in addition to following them online to receive the most up to date information.

Increasing engagement begins with listing. Below are some Gainesville organizations I would recommend finding on social media, following, engaging and sharing content. This relationship will likely become reciprocal, and they too will also share your content and help create a buzz about the MSE program.


 

Resource

Toren, A. (April 18, 2014). “3 Social Media Marketing Plans for Every Startup Budget.” Retrieved from http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/232798

 

Analyzing Facebook & Email Analytics for Company ABC (In Your Words 12)

*Please note, this blog post is strictly for educational purposes. 

Company Background

Company ABC is a health-oriented entity in the Central Florida area. In addition to a Facebook page, they also  send out a bi-weekly e-newsletter and have accounts on Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube. 


Facebook Analytics for Company ABC (April 28, 2013 – May 25, 2013)

(*However some information provided about individuals posts is outside of this timeframe.)

ABC FB Overview

As of May 25, 2013 company ABC has 880 Facebook likes and almost a 40% increase in weekly total reach. Facebook “reach” is the terminology used indicating the number of people who have seen your posts. 

ABC FB Reach Demographics

The demographics of the individuals reached by company ABC’s Facebook are predominantly female (60.3%) and mostly between the ages of 25-34, followed by 35-44 years of age. The breakdown of the primary male and female demographics groups is as follow:

Gender Age Percentage of Reach
Female 25-34 28.6%
Female 35-44 13.5%
Male 25-34 13.5%
Male 35-44 9.7%

*Females 25-44 make up 42.1% of the company’s reach, and males age 25-44 make up 23.2%

The strong majority of the individuals reached by company ABC are English speaking (5,027), followed by Spanish speaking (428). Given that the company is located in the Central Florida area, it is not surprising that Orlando (1,634), Celebration (252) and Kissimmee (243) are the three cities with the highest reach.

Also by no surprise, the demographics of the individual “Talking About” company ABC coincide with the demographics of the individuals reached. Females age 25-34 are talking about company ABC most, followed by females age 35-44, males age 25-34 then males 35-44 years of age. These individuals are also primarily English speaking and in the Central Florida area (Orlando, Celebration and Kissimmee, respectively).

Talking about this - Demographics and How While the actual details of the content posted during this timeframe are not viewable, some general information can be deduced from the information provided.

ABC FB Posts

The first post received the highest level of virality. Given that the content of the post was geared toward a national observance, National Cancer Survivors, it is not surprising that this topic was considered more viral than the others. Not only was it an observance acknowledged by an entire nation, but also a topic that affects many – whether it be yourself, a family member or friend. While the reach of this post was relatively low in comparison to others, there were 7 engaged users and 6 people were talking about it. Other posts to take note of include “Join in some…” (5/28/13) and “Join us tomorrow morning in the…” (5/19/13). The post on May 28th reached 428 people, had 18 engaged users and 5 people “Talking about this.” The second post has a larger reach of 509 and an increased number of people “Talking about this” (10), but less engaged users (13). Of the eight posts for which data was provided, these were the three most significant.

How you reached people (no paid)

It would appear there were no paid posts during the time frame under review. Given that the individual post details are from May 27, 2013 – June 2, 2013 and the insights information is from April 28, 2013 – May 25, 2014, it is difficult to determine a definite correlation between posts and traffic. Also with limited information on each post, further analysis is also somewhat undeterminable (i.e. what was the exact wording of the full post, what was linked to, what images were used, etc.). However, what we do see is a spike on May 21, 2013, which is when the bi-weekly e-newsletter was sent out.

Visits to your page

*Note: The stats from this email are further evaluated below.


Email

The email statistics provided by Bronto are shown below. Given that we do not know the content of the email and if there was a call to action to generate revenue, this portion of the information cannot be further evaluated.

Email stats 

There were a total of 2,624 emails sent out for the May 21, 2013 campaign, 2,606 were deliverable and 661 were opened, making the open rate 25.4%.

According to MailChimp, the average open rate for a health and fitness related email campaign is 24.27%, thus making company ABC’s open rate slightly above average. Even more impressive, MailChimp claims the average click rate for health and fitness campaigns is 3.64% and the average soft bounce is 0.83%.

Company ABC’s click rate was far more impressive at 10.9%, and their soft bounce rate was better than average at 0.2%. Overall the email campaign statistics appear to be better than average. 


Improvements, Other Channels & Future Campaigns

In the future, I would continue to utilize posts similar to “Join in some…” (5/28/13) and “Join us tomorrow morning in the…” (5/19/13) posts, as they appeared to receive the most level of engagement.

I would also highly recommend targeting your content to the most dominant demographic – females between the ages of 25-44. This may include female related health-oriented posts, observances of awareness days more geared toward women (i.e. Breast Cancer, etc). Given that a strong portion of this age group of women are likely also mothers, health related tips for pregnant women and young children may also be worth exploring.

While I do think company ABC should also utilize their other social media channels, such as Twitter and YouTube, I believe they would receive the most positive results from the utilization of their Pinterest account given the demographics of their audience and the dominant amount of female Pinterest users.

Although Google+ may not seem like the most active platform for company ABC’s target market, I would still recommend, at the very least, completing an account.  Since the company already has a YouTube account (which is owned by Google), it would be wise to complete a profile on Google+ because of how these two platforms are increasingly being integrated into one another. Additionally, it is wise to be on Google+ for search engine optimization purposes.

In addition to utilizing Twitter as a teaser for Facebook posts and YouTube as a platform for expansion on popular posts, it is also critical that all of these channels are integrated. Not only should each platform contain a link to the other platforms but they should also have a consistent look, messaging and tone. In addition to linking the various social media accounts, they should also include an email sign up on their social media pages, and include links to their social media pages within their enewsletters. This will allow them to grow their social media followers and email list.

In Your Words 11

*This blog post is a  “sample post” as part of an assignment, and is strictly for educational purposes. The responses below are note on behalf of the Hilton or Hyatt hotel corporations.

Per the course lecture regarding reputation management, neither of the below review posts contain derogatory language, swearing, etc. and although some complaints are more in the hotel management’s control than others, a response is most definitely necessary and in the best interest of the hotel in regards to reputation management.

Both reviews mention areas in which improvements may be made, the Hilton review in particular includes a laundry list of items. Rather than address each individual complaint, and potentially open the the door for back and forth banter, we have instead provided an apology (as some items certainly deemed necessary), and have attempted to move the more negative review commentary offline.

While we will offer Luv2TravelWithHubby some form of compensation if she chooses to give us the opportunity by staying at our property again, we have chosen not to directly advertise this online through our response, as we feel it somewhat encourages negative reviews in hopes of receiving a freebie.

Additionally, following the negative Hilton review, we are considering running some form of giveaway promotion for online reviews to encourage more posts and push this review to the bottom more quickly.


Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina

Hilton

Dear Luv2TravelWithHubby,

I would like to express my sincerest apologies for your less than satisfactory stay at our hotel. While it sounds as if your time with us could have been much improved, I would like to thank you for choosing to stay at the Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina, and hope you enjoyed catching up with your former classmates.

Your concerns have been brought to the attention of our Senior Manager, John Doe, who will be reaching out to you via the email address you provided at check-in. If you would prefer, you are also more than welcome to contact him directly by phone at (954)463-4000, as we would like to compensate you for your less that satisfactory stay.

We take pride in our Florida Residents “It Pays to Get Away” program and it is of utmost importance to our property management to keep our Floridians satisfied. We hope if you should choose to visit us again after speaking with John, that you don’t in fact pitch a tent, but rather take full advantage of our properties amenities and enjoy intracoastal views from an upgraded room and while dining at Nanking.

We would like to thank you for your feedback and always welcome constructive criticism, as it is one of the best ways to improve our property.

Sincerely,

Jane Doe, Social Media Manager of the Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina


 

Hyatt Regency Orlando

Hyatt

Dear Travelwith3kiddos

Thank you for choosing to stay at the Hyatt Regency Orlando. We are thrilled to hear you previously had a positive business trip experience and decided to return and take advantage of our Family Fun Hotel Package. It sounds as if you have your hands full with “three kiddos” – we’re so glad you were able to take some time to relax at the spa. We pride ourselves in our staff and the level of service, and are delighted to hear you were satisfied with our staff, both at check in and at Florenzo Italian Steakhouse. It sounds as if your family experienced one of our infamous Florida storms – its great to know the children were able to still enjoy the pool despite the weather.

Thank you for recommending the Hyatt Regency in Orlando. We hope to see you and your family again next summer.

Sincerely,

Jane Doe, Social Media Manager of the Hyatt Regency Orlando

Cosmoprof North America Trade Show (In Your Words 10)

Cosmoprof North America is a business-to-business trade show for beauty industry professionals. The event is not open to the general public. The attendee target market includes distributors, manufacturers and buyers for professional and retail stores.  

Cosmoprof has profiles on the  following social media channels:

Facebook

Twitter (@cosmoproflv)

LinkedIn

Pinterest

Instagram

YouTube

Of the channels listed, Twitter appeared to be the most active, with numerous posts throughout the event, many of which included the following hashtags: #cosmoprof2014, #CPNA2014, #cosmoprofna, as well as hashtags for booth numbers, which appears to be common practice for trade show social media promotion.

#CPNA2014 and #Boothnumber

Prior to the event, there were a limited amount of Tweets sent to promote the event. There were two Instagram posts prior to the event showing where registration takes place and advertising the interactive area at the trade show.

Instagram Registration

 

Pre-event FB Post BeatE PanelThe Cosmprof Instagram account had 40 posts total from July 11th promoting the event, through July 16th, following the event. While many of the post during the event included exhibitor booths and products, the post-event posts seemed irrelevant to the event.  The Cosmoprof Facebook page had only 8 posts during the event, and one prior to the event promoting their Beaut-E Zone panel.The Beaut-E Zone concept was an interesting touch, in that it aided in the creation of content, but pointed back to the panelists’ social media accounts (i.e. blog, YouTube, etc.) rather than Cosmoprofs.

 

 

Cosmoprof Pinterest

Cosmoprof’s Pinterest account has only 7 boards and is relatively inactive, especially given the target market (the beauty industry). While there is a Discover Beauty 2014 board that has some beauty products on it, they were posted almost 4 weeks ago. Their YouTube account is also relatively inactive with only two videos, one of which is labeled CPNA 2014 Event Highlights but was posted prior to the trade show and contains content from the 2013 event. While they have a LinkedIn account, it is private, so I am unsure to what extent it is used for the event.

Overall, there was not an extensive amount of pre-event social media content, and it is evident that Twitter was by far their social media channel of choice during the event. While they did use hashtags for the event, they could have increase awareness of them prior to the event and encouraged vendors to set up an account well in advance. It appears they used hashtags for many of the exhibitor company names, rather than Twitter handles, which I can only assume is because they do not currently have an account. As the hashtags caught on, you saw more and more retweets from the Cosmoprof Twitter account. Upon the conclusion of the event there were many goodbyes using the previously mentioned hashtags, and the event date for next year was also released.

Next year's date retweeted

It is not surprising that Twitter gained the most attention throughout the trade show. Social media channels that offer real-time updates seem more conducive for live events. Also, for an event tailored more to industry professionals, maybe exposure on other platforms is not as critical, as they are more interested in building relationships. While Instagram and Pinterest would seem to be a good demographic for this industry (i.e. young females), the images posted are less appealing as they are more about the trade show than the products accessible to the public. Given that this is a business-to-business event (not business-to-consumer), this may be why Twitter is more fitting.

Cosmoprofs social media presence included a limited amount of resources for exhibitors, and could have included more tweets with photos throughout the show. While there were a few pre-event social posts, and one showing the location of registration, there were not many, and there were none promoting Las Vegas. Even their website has few resources about Vegas; however, it does include more than enough information about the trade show event.

Interactive Technology areaOn their website, and in a limited amount of social media post (some of which were mentioned above), there is reference to some intriguing concepts conducive to the beauty industry and  internet marketing. The trade show included an Interactive area, which provided event attendees with the opportunity to utilize analysis tools to better understand their online presence. There was also a “Beauty Gone Viral: The YouTube Influencers” event, which included a five person panel of beauty experts that discussed YouTube as a growing media channel in their industry and how video plays a massive role in communication for beauty brands.

Beauty Gone Viral YouTube Panel

Digital Mobile App OpportunitiesNot only did Cosmoprof provide internet marketing educational resources/events, but they also included   Digital Mobile App Marketing Opportunities for exhibitors/sponsors which included mobile showrooms, promoted posts, push notifications and sponsorships for the exhibitors.

Cosmoprof also integrated “Print Buzz” and Press Releases in the the marketing mix to share what has been said about the Cosmoprof North America show. Also on their website is the option to subscribe to the Cosmoprof newsletter, which is a great way to integrate their marketing efforts and maintain contact following the event.

Screen Shot 2014-07-16 at 8.15.55 AM

Cosmoprof has a relatively consistent look, with the green Cosmoprof logo on all platforms; however, the resolution could be improved on a few. They also feature a woman in a blue whimsical dress on some channels, but a more dated green background (that matches their logo) on their less active channels.

Facebook Profile

Cosmoprof on Facebook

YouTube Channel

Cosmoprof on YouTube

Overall, this appears to be a very extensive event. Some of the highlights that stood out to me, and were previously mentioned, were the implementation of a Beaut-E Zone panel, designed to help create social buzz, as well as the resources for beauty business owners (i.e. the interactive area and panel of YouTube speakers).

One item I feel as if they could improve upon themselves, is the use of videos. While there were two videos posted on their Facebook page during the event, they were not included on their YouTube page, which could use a facelift (no pun intended) and some more video uploads. With a panel of speakers strictly tailored to YouTube, Cosmoprof clearly knows the importance of video but has yet to implement it themselves. Additionally,  while their site is very informative and has a lot of information, it’s a bit busy. I would think they may be able to benefit from an exhibitor log-in that keeps track of any important dates, information, check-in’s, locations, etc. for each individual vendor. Lastly, their website includes a photo gallery, but they are of images from the prior year, rather than a live feed of 2014 images. In closing, while they may be slow to update some items such as their photos and YouTube channel, only two days after the event they started their countdown on the website for next year.

Website 2015 dates

In Your Words 9 Assignment: Magic Kingdom

Please note, this is blog post is for academic purposes. Disney has no involvement with this content and it is entirely hypothetical.

The posts for the month of August detailed below are tailored primarily to a target market of mothers with children age 14 and younger. #MagicalMomMonday has been implemented to raise awareness about the Disney Parks Moms Panel as a resource for planning your family’s next trip. Seeing as this particular content is geared toward mothers, information about resources, planning, hotels and discount has also been included. Additionally, posts about current events and some of the most iconic attractions are shared for those individuals that are currently at the park, and to remind those who aren’t what they are missing. To mix things up a little and bring followers back to their youth, we have also utilized the Throwback Thursday trend to reminisce about childhood Disney memories. To encourage user generated content, a hypothetical #SundaySelfie contest has been created. Social media followers are asked to post their selfies for a chance to win free admission to Magic Kingdom.

Goals for the Month of August

  • Increase awareness of trip planning resources and discounts to promote booking your next trip.
  • Raise awareness about the Disney Parks Moms Panel and increase engagement with the mom demographic (age 25-40, female with children) on social media.
  • Take social media followers back to their youth with #TBT memories to remind them of their magical experience(s) as a child.
  • Encourage user generated content with #SundaySelfie (hypothetical giveaway contest).

*Note regarding photo usage for posts. If a photo is posted after both a Facebook and Twitter post, it is intended to be used for both. If a photo is only shown after Facebook, it is not to be used for the Twitter post. If there is a link included in a Facebook post and no image, one of the auto-generate images Facebook pulls from the page the link directs users to will be used.

Friday, August 1:

Facebook: Happy August Facebook fans! There’s still a little bit of summertime left to plan your trip to Magic Kingdom!

Twitter: Happy August! There’s still a little bit of summertime left to plan your #summer trip to Magic Kingdom

Magic Kingdom

Saturday, August 2:

Late morning/Early afternoon

Facebook: Don’t forget to download the My Disney Experience Mobile app for your next trip! Features help you easily navigate your way through the park, find character greeting locations and times, browse restaurants and more! http://bit.ly/1paPPrz

 

My Disney Experience Mobile App

Twitter: Download the My #Disney Experience app to help plan your next trip and navigate through the park! http://bit.ly/1paPPrz

Late afternoon/Early evening post:

Facebook: Witness Cinderella’s castle magically transform after being sprinkled with Tinker Bell’s pixie dust! Celebrate the Magic at 9:45pm or 10:35pm

Twitter: Witness Cinderella’s castle’s magical transformation at 9:45 or 10:35 this evening

Cinderella's Castle

Sunday, August 3:

Facebook: It’s Selfie Sunday! Post your Disney themed selfie and you will be entered to win free admission to Magic Kingdom  (Include shortened link to contest rules – this link will also generate image on Facebook.)

Twitter: #SundaySelfie Tweet your #Disney themed selfie for a chance to win free admission to Magic Kingdom. Find out more here  (Include shortened link to contest rules.)

Monday, August 4:

Facebook: It’s Magical Mom Monday! Planning a trip to Magic Kingdom? Find answers to your questions from the Disney Parks Moms Panel http://bit.ly/1tAGiw8

Disney Parks Moms Panel

Twitter:#MagicalMomMonday Planning a trip to Magic Kingdom? Find answers to your questions from the #DisneySMMoms http://bit.ly/1tAGiw8

Tuesday, August 5:

Facebook: Florida residents – Don’t miss this opportunity to save up to 35% on lodging for stays through August 14th http://bit.ly/U7RVdQ

Twitter: #Florida residents save up to 35% on lodging for stays through August 14th http://bit.ly/U7RVdQ #summersavings

Wednesday, August 6:

Facebook: No trip to the Magic Kingdom is complete without a visit to the iconic Cinderella’s castle where fairytales come true

Twitter: A must see at Disney’s Magic Kingdom – Cinderella’s  iconic castle

Cinderella's Castle

Thursday, August 7:

Facebook: Throwback Thursday! We’re reminiscing about the classic Magic Kingdom rides like Dumbo the Flying Elephant! What’s your favorite ride from childhood?

Twitter: Remember riding Dumbo the Flying Elephant as a child? Share with us your favorite childhood #Disney ride #TBT

Dumbo Ride

Friday, August 8:

Facebook: The Main Street Electrical Parade is scheduled for 9:00pm and 11:00pm this evening. Enjoy a display lighted floats and dancing Disney characters!

Twitter: Lighted floats and dancing Disney characters march down Main Street this evening at 9pm and 11pm

Evening Street Parade

Saturday, August 9:

Facebook: You don’t want to miss the Disney Festival of Fantasy parade as it makes its way through Magic Kingdom this afternoon at 3:00pm http://bit.ly/1iaX7q4 (Image generated by Facebook from link)

Twitter: Don’t miss the Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade at 3:00pm as it makes its way through Magic Kingdom http://bit.ly/1iaX7q4

Sunday, August 10:

Facebook: It’s Selfie Sunday! Post your Disney themed selfie and you could win free admission to Magic Kingdom! <First name> was last weeks Sunday Selfie winner! (Include last week’s winning selfie & shortened link to contest rules.)

Twitter: Tweet your #Disney themed selfie and you could win free admission to Magic Kingdom! <First name> was last weeks #SundaySelfie winner (Include image of last weeks winner with instructions detailed below photo.)

Monday, August 11:

Facebook: Magical Mom Monday! Meet the moms behind the Disney Parks Moms Panel http://bit.ly/1jCuuFn

Twitter:#MagicalMomMonday Meet the moms behind the Disney Parks Moms Panel http://bit.ly/1jCuuFn #DisneySMMoms

Tuesday, August 12:

Facebook: Magic Kingdom offers Summer Savings! Get a FREE additional day on each ticket when you buy 6 or more 4-day or longer Magic Your Way tickets – use them immediately or save them for a later date! http://bit.ly/1f3RLIu

Twitter: Purchase 6 or more tickets by August 17th and you can save #summersavings http://bit.ly/1f3RLIu

Wednesday, August 13:

Facebook: MagicBands allow you to enter parks, check in at FastPass+ entrances, unlock your hotel room and more! Learn how you can unlock the magic http://bit.ly/MXzzsC

MagicBand

Twitter: Unlock the magic with your MagicBand! Here’s how they work http://bit.ly/MXzzsC

Thursday, August 14:

Facebook: The iconic “It’s a small world” song takes many of us back to a childhood visit to Magic Kingdom. Share your Throwback Thursday Disney memory with us!

It's A Small World

Twitter: The iconic “It’s a small world” song takes many of us back in time. Share your favorite #TBT #Disney memory with us

Friday, August 15:

Facebook: Start your weekend visit to the Magical Kingdom with a guided scavenger hunt that the whole family can enjoy http://bit.ly/1r71Tu3

Twitter: Disney’s Family Magic Tour at the Magic Kingdom will take you and your family on an unforgettable adventure http://bit.ly/1r71Tu3

Saturday, August 16:

Facebook: Be Our Guest at Beast’s enchanted castle for lunch or dinner – Reservations accepted. Check availability online http://bit.ly/19088bR

Eat at Beast's Castle

Twitter: Be Our Guest at Beast’s enchanted castle for lunch or dinner – Reservations accepted. Check availability online http://bit.ly/19088bR

Sunday, August 17:

Facebook: Check out Mickey’s Sunday Selfie in front of Magic Kingdom! Share your Disney themed selfie for a chance to win free admission to Magic Kingdom! (Shortened link to contest instructions where a photo of Mickey’s selfie is featured as image header. Mickey’s image will serve as link preview image generated by Facebook.)

Twitter: Check out Mickey’s #SundaySelfie! Share your #Disney themed selfie for a chance to win free admission to Magic Kingdom (Shortened link to contest instructions where Mickey’s photo is featured as image header.)

Monday, August 18:

Facebook: Ask the Disney Parks Moms Panel questions you have about your next trip to Magic Kingdom. Moms helping moms on this Magical Mom Monday! http://bit.ly/W7ZouR

Twitter: Ask the Disney Parks Moms Panel questions you about your next trip to Magic Kingdom#MagicalMomMonday #DisneySMMoms http://bit.ly/W7ZouR

Tuesday, August 19:

Facebook: With Memory Maker, your whole family can be in the picture! Save $50 when you buy in advance! http://bit.ly/1cQ5bbT

Memory Maker

Twitter: With Memory Maker, your whole family can be in the picture! Save $50 when you buy in advance! #magicalmemories http://bit.ly/1cQ5bbT

Wednesday, August 20:

Facebook: Planning a trip to the Magic Kingdom? My Disney Experience makes it easy to manage your plans http://bit.ly/1a4hHRV

My Disney Experience

Twitter: Planning a trip to the Magic Kingdom? My #Disney Experience makes it easy to manage your plans http://bit.ly/1a4hHRV

Thursday, August 21:

Facebook: Do you have a Throwback Thursday photo with Mickey Mouse ears on? We want to see it!

Twitter: Have an old photo tucked away of you wearing Mickey Mouse ears? We want to see it #TBThursday

Mickey Ears

Friday, August 22:

Facebook: Beat the summer heat with a trip to the ice cream parlor on Main Street, U.S.A. at the Magic Kingdom

Twitter: One way to beat #summer heat – A trip the the #icecream parlor

Ice Cream Parlor

Saturday, August 23:

Facebook: Twinkling floats light up the lagoon this evening. For times and locations to see the Electrical Water Pageant visit http://bit.ly/1dXN7Ku

Water Parade

Twitter: Twinkling floats light up the lagoon. Times & locations: http://bit.ly/1dXN7Ku

Sunday, August 24:

Facebook: Last weeks Sunday Selfie winner was <First Name>! Post your Disney themed selfie and you could win free admission to Magic Kingdom! (Include shortened link to the updated contest page with most recent winners and rules. Link will include photo of last week’s winner.)

Twitter: <First name> was last weeks #SundaySelfie winner! Tweet your #Disney themed selfie for a chance to win free admission to Magic Kingdom! (Include shortened link to the updated contest page with most recent winners and rules.)

Monday, August 25:

Facebook: It’s another Magical Mom Monday and we want to hear from you! What’s your #1 tip for other moms visiting Magic Kingdom with their children for the first time?

Twitter: Us #MagicalMoms have to stick together. What’s your #1 tip for a mother traveling to Magic Kingdom with her children for the first time

Tuesday, August 26:

Facebook: Looking for lodging to complete your stay and rest your head – Here’s a list of resorts at the Magic Kingdom http://bit.ly/1wgbm07

Twitter: No trip to the Magic Kingdom is complete without a stay in one of our many magical resorts http://bit.ly/1wgbm07

Wednesday, August 27:

Facebook: Happy Hump Day! Have you made your Labor Day weekend plans yet? How about a trip to the Magic Kingdom to for a ride on Aladdin’s Magic Carpet and more!

Twitter: Happy #HumpDay Have you made your #LaborDay weekend plans yet? How about a trip to Magic Kingdom

Aladdin's Magic Carpet

Thursday, August 28:

Facebook: Thunder Mountain, Splash Mountain, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, Country Bear Jamboree…what was your favorite ride or attraction as a child? Share your Throwback Thursday favorites!

Country Bear Jamboree

Twitter: #TBT What was your favorite ride or attraction as a child? Splash Mountain? Thunder Mountain? Mr.Toad’s Wild Ride? Country Bear Jamboree?

Friday, August 29:

Facebook: Enjoy a spectacular display of fireworks narrated by Disney characters this evening at 10:00pm at the Magic Kingdom

Twitter: Enjoy spectacular fireworks narrated by your favorite #Disney characters tonight at 10pm

Firework spectacular at Magic Kingdom

Saturday, August 30:

Facebook (Poll) – Question: What’s your favorite Magic Kingdom whimsical Land? Answer selections: Adventureland, Frontierland, Liberty Square, Fantasyland, Tomorrowland, Main Street USA.

Twitter: Visit Magic Kingdom’s 6 lands – Adventureland, Frontierland, Liberty Square, Fantasyland, Tomorrowland, Main Street USA. Tweet us your fav!

Sunday, August 31:

AM/Early Afternoon Post

Facebook: Submit your Disney themed Sunday Selfie today and you could win free admission to Magic Kingdom for Labor Day! (Include shortened link to contest rules.)

Twitter: Submit your #Disney themed #SundaySelfie today and you could win free admission to Magic Kingdom for #LaborDay (Include shortened link to contest rules.)

PM Post

Facebook: Begin your Labor Day at the Magic Kingdom with a magical welcome! Opening ceremony occurs tomorrow at 8:40am!

Twitter: Begin your #LaborDay at the Magic Kingdom with a magical welcome! Ceremony begins at 8:40am tomorrow.

Opening Ceremonies

In Your Words 8

Industry-Related Social Network: Insurance

As mentioned in lecture and in the assigned article, Industry-Specific Social Networking: Fad or Future?, LinkedFA.com is a social network for financial and insurance professionals. As Marketing Coordinator for an insurance agency, and a licensed Customer Representative, I have selected this particular industry-related social network to review.

Note: Upon further research for this assignment, it is apparent that what was LinkedFA is now FA Today.

FA Today

About FA Today

FA Today is an online community primarily for Independent Financial Advisors (IFAs, also known as FAs – Financial Advisors) that tailors news, content, learning resources and tools customized for each individual IFA. FA Today was created to provide IFAs and other related industry professionals, such as those in the insurance industry, a centralized community compliant with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). FA Today’s intent is to provide resources, save time and increase relevancy and effectiveness.

It is critical for financial advisors to stay up to date on regulations and financial products, as well as other trends and business practices, in order to create a thriving career. Based on users’ profiles, FA today delvers content in a collaborative management platform. FA today aggregates over 100 industry related sources, including media, respected industry blogs, financial institution content and other related sources. Members’ ability to comment, vote and rate material allows for an interactive environment.

FA Today is unique in that it validates all members through their industry licenses. According to the FINRA regulations, a social network profile that includes an advisor’s professional affiliation is treated as advertising, meaning that it is subject to a regulatory compliance review prior to publication (Carr, June 2011).


 Review of FA Today

Based on my personal user experience I would rank FA Today poorly. Not only had I never heard of the network, but neither had my superior, who I would classify as a relatively techy guy that is in tune with industry news and resources. While setting up a profile to attempt to learn more about the network, I found the experience to be anything but user friendly and wasn’t even able to update some of my generic profile information. Additionally, it has been days since I notified support about this issue and I have heard anything back.

While researching about the platform, many articles dated back to 2010-2012. While it appears there may have been some buzz about the social platform at that time, there doesn’t appear to be much hype about it currently. Although the platform sets itself apart by validating professionals based on their license number, it doesn’t facilitate what’s most important to their industry – relationship building. While I am not a financial advisor, and cannot attest to the regulations imposed upon them, I believe the uncertainty about FA Today’s audience is particularly confusing.


 Who can use FA Today?

According to the article LinkedFA responds, in which the CEO was interviewed, Linked FA/FA Today was designed to provide “a more collaborative and frequent method for financial advisors to communicate with their current clients that is more private and secure than sites like Facebook and LinkedIn. Network building can be achieved by inviting prospects and via referrals (Janowski, 2010).”

Let’s pause for a moment – I’m already confused. As previously stated, and reported on the FA Today website (image show below), users must be validated through their professional licenses.

FA Today - Validation

How would my prospects create an account, and more importantly WHY? There appears to be no incentive for prospects and referral sources to create accounts.


 In my opinion, FA Today is not a strong platform for social networking.

While FA Today may be beneficial for receiving the most up to date customized information, it is not conducive for relationship building.

Given the advertising regulations previously stated, I would find it highly unlikely that FA Today would be authorized to use proximity marketing. If anything, it may be possible that other FA’s can utilize it to connect with one another; however I am unsure how beneficial that would be to them. Additionally, I do not believe there is allowance for integration with other social platforms, as this was the whole reason behind creating LinkedFA.


What’s the alternative?

The challenge for investment firms is to find ways of allowing their networks of local representatives to participate in social media without violating the rules of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). For example, if an advisor accepts an endorsement on his LinkedIn profile that could be considered a violation of a law. (Carr, May 2011)

In an industry built strongly on relationships, financial advisors’ ability to leverage the power of social media to build and maintain relationships legally is invaluable. While I don’t believe FA Today is the answer, I do think Socialware, and other similar software systems may be getting closer.

Socialware

Due to the unique nature of this industry and the regulations imposed upon it, the answer may not be a separate social platform, but a software that allows for the use of today’s most popular platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn….afterall, that’s where all the people are.

Socialware has become a trusted technology partner, serving over 160 of the leading businesses in the United States. Socialware provides the most advanced industry software and services for companies to securely and compliantly market through social media, and to generate business through relationships with customers and prospects on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.


Resources

Carr, D. May 2, 2011. Helping Financial Advisors With Social Media Compliance Hazards. Retrieved from http://www.networkcomputing.com/networking/helping-financial-advisors-with-social-media-compliance-hazards/d/d-id/1097491

Carr, D. June 1, 2011. LinkedFA Offers Social Network For Financial Advisors. Retrieved from http://www.informationweek.com/enterprise/linkedfa-offers-social-network-for-financial-advisors/d/d-id/1098062

Janowski, D. April 16, 2010. LinkedFA responds. Retreived from http://www.investmentnews.com/article/20100416/BLOG02/100419901