Oct 17

A Case of the Mondays – Trunk Monkey

I woke up in a fantastic mood today! The sun was shining! My apartment is clean! I was ready to take on the world this week! 🙂

If you weren’t so lucky, however, maybe Trunk Monkey can help you out! I had completely forgotten about this ad campaign until it came up in a discussion with my family yesterday. If you’ve seen them before, watch them again. They’re still funny! If you haven’t seen them before, you’re in for a treat!

Do you think the ads helped Suburban Auto Group sell more cars?

Oct 10

A Case of the Mondays – Amazing Time Lapse Video

Landscapes: Volume Two from Dustin Farrell on Vimeo.

A stunning video. Take a moment to relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery. Thank you Gizmodo and Chris Warfield for sharing this video by Dustin Farrell.

Oct 03

A Case of the Mondays – Star Wars

One of my favorite movies is Office Space and it’s full of hilarious and fitting quotes like, “Somebody’s got a case of the Mondays!” While I love my job, I think we can all use a bit of humor to help us kick off the week. So I’ll share some of my favorite gems from the interwebs here every Monday. Check them out for a laugh!

Being a child of the 80s, of course I love this video that uses floppy disk drives to recreate the Imperial March from Star Wars! Enjoy!

Happy Monday!

Sep 26

New Beginnings

New Season. New Blog. New Job!

I’ve always loved the start of something new. The first day of school. January 1. A new journal. Beginnings are a fresh start and full of opportunity. Today I’m embarking on a few new beginnings. It’s officially fall in Seattle, so it’s a whole new season. I’m finally launching this blog. And most importantly, I’m starting my new job!

The Blog

I’m embarrassed to say I’ve been working on launching this blog for a few years. There’s been a bit of the “cobbler’s children have no shoes” syndrome at play here. I’ve told my clients many times that they need to have a blog and provide consistent, original content. In fact, I’ve written that content for clients and for the agencies where I’ve worked. I knew I wanted my own website and blog, but clients and my job always take priority. I’ve written the occasional post and have a long list of other posts I’ve wanted to write, but publishing is another story. I wanted my site to be perfect and look amazing, but my design skills are a bit lacking. I let that scare me into not pulling the “publish” trigger.

I got over it.

This site is absolutely a work in progress. My designer friends might cringe when they see it. If they want to give me some tips, I’ll buy them a drink. J But I’m taking the advice I’ve given my clients many times; it doesn’t have to be perfect, just get started. I can modify and adjust as I go. At least I’ve finally started.

The Job

I’m elated to announce that I’m joining the team at Spring Creek Group as account manager, starting today!

I remember when I first learned about Spring Creek Group about two and a half years ago at an SMC Seattle event. At the time I was looking for a job and I heard Spring Creek Group was hiring. At the time there weren’t any openings at my level and I went to work for another agency. But I always kept an eye on Spring Creek Group as they continued to grow and succeed.

It was very important to me to find a company culture that is a fit with my personality and work ethic. I’ve been impressed with the work coming out of Spring Creek Group and I agree with the philosophy and mission of the company. I’m committed to bettering my community and the world around me, and I’m glad that this is something that Spring Creek Group is committed to as well. Not to mention I will get to work with, and learn from, passionate and experienced marketing professionals like Kevin Urie and Clay McDaniel; two intelligent men I greatly respect.

I’m thrilled for this new adventure and I can’t wait to get to work providing exceptional account management to my clients! Stay tuned as I start this new journey and share my experience and views on the ever-changing world of online marketing.

Sep 12

3 Strategies to Increase Engagement on Facebook

This post was first published on the Banyan Branch blog.

With more than 750 million users, every brand wants a piece of the Facebook pie. According to a recentpoll conducted by Mashable, the primary goal of social media is to increase Facebook “Likes.” 35% of the respondents said their main goal of 2011 is trying to find new Facebook fans. There is good reason for companies to focus on Facebook marketing. According to CMB, 51% of Facebook users are more likely to purchase from a brand they “Like” on Facebook. 60% said they are more likely to recommend a brand if they are a Facebook fan.

Some campaigns focus purely on gaining new Facebook fans. But what happens after the promotion? If your brand doesn’t offer opportunities for your fans to interact with your page, often they will leave. This means you must consistently provide value for your audience. It’s important to offer fresh, exclusive and relevant content – or you will lose your fans.

Reasons Fans Give for Unfollowing Brands

fb1 3 Strategies to Increase Engagement on Facebook

Source: ExactTarget 2011

So how do you keep your fans engaged and coming back for more? Here are three easy strategies to gain and engage fans on your Facebook page.

Publishing Schedule

In order to keep your Facebook fans coming back, you have to make sure you constantly have fresh, valuable content. It’s a good idea to create a publishing schedule to plan what you will post. You can establish a routine with weekly events like Monday giveaways or “Trivia Tuesday.” Zappos does a “Fan of the Week” campaign that not only encourages fans to come back, but also thanks their fans.

fb2 3 Strategies to Increase Engagement on Facebook

Also with a publishing schedule, you can plan for upcoming events, seasons, holidays and other milestones. Be sure to add any holidays, conferences or events on your calendar that fit your brand and your audience. For example, if your target audience is mostly families with children, you can do a back-to-school promotion.

When you plan your publishing schedule, be sure to mix up the type of content you share. Not everything needs to be a wall post or status update. You could ask your fans questions using the Facebook ‘Ask Question’ feature, post new photos or videos, or provide new games or activities. Cranium has a custom tab where they provide fun videos and games for fans. Don’t forget to make it sharable! The more fun, interesting or helpful the content, the more likely it is that your fans will share your content.

fb3 3 Strategies to Increase Engagement on Facebook

Contests & Giveaways

fb4 3 Strategies to Increase Engagement on Facebook

Everybody likes getting free stuff, right? Of course! Holding contests on your Facebook page is a popular way to get your fans engaged. When Clairol used Facebook to promote their new product ‘Nice n Easy Color Blend Foam,’ they gave away 100,000 packets over 4 days. The promotion gained Clairol 235,000 new Facebook fans.

One of the best strategies in a contest is to make it more personal for the fans. Asking fans to submit content they have created themselves makes a contest more social and engaging. Corona Light had a successful campaign last year when they invited Facebook fans to upload their photo to a 40-foot tall digital billboard at Times Square. Corona posted images of the billboard on Facebook for participants to share with their friends. Fans will share their entry with their friends, especially if there is a voting element.

Custom Tabs

 fb5 3 Strategies to Increase Engagement on Facebook

When people visit your Facebook page, they should get a branded experience. Non-fans should see a custom landing page that encourages the user to “Like” the page. It is even more effective if the landing page tells potential fans exactly what they will get out of liking the page. Once they have liked the page, fans will see a different page with exclusive content. Numerous studies have shown one of the top reasons people like a page is to gain access to exclusive content and deals.

After you get the fans, custom tabs are a great way to keep them involved and engaged. Custom tabs can have applications, games, activities, quizzes or exclusive content for fans. Take a look at your publishing schedule and plan out a few custom tabs to go along with your marketing campaigns. Remember that fans want to feel like they are getting VIP access to your brand by being a fan, so give them something they can’t find elsewhere.

 fb6 3 Strategies to Increase Engagement on Facebook

Engaging your audience on Facebook isn’t some magic recipe. It is about consistently offering value to your audience and interacting in a human way. Fans want access to exclusive deals, promotions, information, content and advice. Give them a reason to keep coming back, and they will!

What are some of your favorite brands on Facebook? What do they do that you find most engaging?

Sep 08

3 Ways to Attract More Twitter Followers for your Brand

This post was first published on the Banyan Branch blog.

For brands, amassing Twitter followers is one of the first goals to which metrics and benchmarks are set. The social media platform has passed 300 million users and has 9.2 new profiles being registered every second, according to Twopcharts. Also, according to the New York Times, people are more inclined to make a purchase from a business that has answered their question on Twitter. In fact, a study byChadwick Martin Bailey found that 79% of consumers are more likely to recommend the brands they follow on Twitter. 67% of respondents are more likely to buy from the brands they follow on Twitter.

TWFO1 3 Ways to Attract More Twitter Followers for your Brand

Given all this information, it is easy to understand why marketers are looking for ways to gain more Twitter followers. The most important way to gain and keep followers is by consistently offering valuable, interesting, and original content. If you are already doing that with your brand’s Twitter account, here are three suggestions for how to grow your audience further.

Get Philanthropic

One way for your company to gain more exposure, find new followers AND do good for a worthy cause is to participate in a ‘social good’ campaign. You could participate in an existing campaign or create your own. The campaign could raise awareness and funds for a particular charity, or even have followers suggest a deserving charity. For example, last year USA Today ran the #AmericaWants campaign. Twitter users suggested their favorite charity with the #AmericaWants hashtag. The charity with the most tweets received an ad in the newspaper.

Another way to get involved with a cause is to encourage Twitter users to spread the word. This worked well for Ben & Jerry’s earlier this year. The company created an application that put unused Twitter characters to use by adding a message about World Fair Trade Day. The site was simple for users; they typed their message as they normally would, and the World Fair Trade Day message would auto-populate and decrease depending on how many characters were available.

twfo2 3 Ways to Attract More Twitter Followers for your Brand

A ‘social good’ campaign can be a fantastic way to connect with new followers who care about the same issues. It is also a great way to give back to the community and worthy charities. A word of caution, the campaign must be sincere and fit with your company’s values. Otherwise, this can backfire and turn into a PR nightmare. 

Get Chatty

If your company is already using hashtags, you know they can be a great way for people with similar interests to find your Twitter account. Hashtags also allow people to follow a stream of conversation happening at a particular event, like a conference. Sometimes the conversations take place completely online. Twitter chats are becoming increasingly more popular, and they’re a great way to meet new people, engage with others and gain followers.

There are currently more than 500 established Twitter chats listed on the editable Google Doc started by @TwChat. Usually, chats are held for one hour once a week. They always happen at the same time and day. Be sure to check the list for topics of interest to your brand. It might make more sense for your brand to join and existing chat, instead of creating a new one.

However, if you find that there isn’t a chat out there that fits your needs, you can establish your own chat. Before you start a new chat, be clear about your purpose and your goals. For some companies, it might just be to grow brand awareness or show thought leadership. Your chat should be related to a topic of interested that is related to you brand. #u30pro, a chat for young professionals started by David Spinks, grew from seven people and about 150 tweets to about 150 people and more than 1,200 tweets. If your chat is consistent and fosters interesting discussion, you will grow an audience. 

Get Promoted

Last year Twitter launched Promoted Accounts, Promoted Tweets and Promoted Trends as part of its monetization model. These ad services have been refined and tested over the last several months, and many brands are finding great success with promotion.

Promoted Tweets show up in Twitter search results, as well as Google, HootSuite and TweetDeck. Promoted Tweets are priced on a cost-per-engagement model, so each time a user retweets, favorites, or clicks on the Promoted Tweet it will cost the company. On average, Promoted Tweets yield engagement rates between 3-10%. Considering the typical click-through rate for advertising is 0.1%, Promoted Tweets are hugely successful.

Appbackr ran a successful Promoted Tweets campaign targeted at Twitter users ages 20-26 who were looking for information about the LSAT and law school. In six weeks, appbackr increased traffic to its site from Twitter by 94% and increased it followers 140%.

twfo3 3 Ways to Attract More Twitter Followers for your Brand

Promoted Accounts appear in the “Who to Follow” column on Twitter. The ads target users based on the content they are tweeting and who they already follow. Companies pay per follow with Promoted Accounts.

Companies including Amtrak, Red Mango and McDonald’s Canada have found great success with Promoted Accounts. Amtrak doubled its Twitter followers in two months, and eight thousand of the new followers have been tracked to the Promoted Accounts ad placement. Red Mango went from 11,000 to 29,000 followers in one month of using Promoted Accounts. McDonald’s Canada targeted users via specific keywords and hashtags. The account, @McD_Canada, gained 9,501 new followers and drew 14,200 profile views.

twfo4 3 Ways to Attract More Twitter Followers for your Brand

If you are looking to grow your Twitter audience, consider using Promoted Tweets or a Promoted Account campaign. Promoted Tweets work best when used along with an event or specific campaign. Promoted accounts can be used alone and work best for long term growth.

Which strategies are best to help you gain more Twitter followers will depend on your brand and your budget. The important thing to remember is your marketing goals and brand voice. If you gain a lot of followers, but in a way that is not authentic to your brand, they won’t stick around. Make sure when you design your campaigns to grow your audience, you also plan for how you continue to engage your followers and keep them around.

What do you think is the best way to get more Twitter followers?

May 26

Gleeks are More Social than You

This post was first published on the Banyan Branch blog

Since the pilot episode first aired on May 19, 2009, FOX’s dramedy phenomenon Glee has united the show’s fans, better known as Gleeks. Something about reliving the drama of high school, set to remakes of classic songs and the latest hits, seems to strike a chord with thousands of viewers. Gleeks have been known to host viewing parties and even take to the streets for a Glee flash mob. But what’s a Gleek to do if she’s watching alone from the comfort of her own couch? Well, if you’re a fan of Glee, you’re never alone!

Thanks to social media, people are watching like they never have before. As the popularity for social media sites (like Twitter and Facebook) and location-based services (like Foursquare) continues to increase, television studios are trying to capitalize on this trend to make the TV watching experience more social. According to LostRemote, Fox is the most engaging network based on interaction and mentions on Facebook, Twitter and other social sites. And one of the most engaged shows in the Fox family is Glee. In fact, according to TV Guide, Glee is the fourth most social show this season.

Last night was the season finale of Glee, and of course fans wanted to talk about what they thought would happen, which song they liked best, and most importantly, who would win Nationals! These Gleeks took to Facebook, Twitter and other social sites in record numbers! Yesterday alone, there were 29,498 mentions of Glee online.

graph Gleeks are More Social than You

The peak of the conversation was at 6pm PT, just as the episode was starting on the East coast and a few hours before the West coast airing. Glee and Fox encouraged interaction during the show with a few special promotions.


tweet Gleeks are More Social than You

Viewers of Glee can see the hashtag “#glee” on the screen during the episode so they know exactly how to follow the conversation. For the season finale, there were 8,789 tweets with the #glee hashtag in just one day. But that is only a fraction of the 19,006 tweets that mentioned Glee that didn’t use the official hashtag.

Another example of a hashtag used last night was #BrittanyOnGlee. Women’s Health Magazine did a promotion with Heather Morris where she shared commentary during the show from @womenshealthmag with the #BrittanyOnGlee hashtag. Between original tweets and retweets, there were 679 tweets in the #BrittanyOnGlee conversation.

Check-in Sites

getglue Gleeks are More Social than You

Location-based services like Foursquare and Gowalla are great for checking in around town, but now there are applications so you can check-in to and chat about your favorite TV shows. Glee encourages fans to engage on sites, like GetGlue, by offering special rewards like the New York episode sticker. Thanks to this promotion and the posting on Facebook encouraging people to check-in, Glee was ranked the 2nd most popular show this week.

Gleeks can also check in on other apps including IntoNowTunerfishMisoYap.TV and Philo.

On Twitter, Facebook, GetGlue and beyond, Gleeks and other avid TV show fans are connecting all over the world thanks to social media. Now that Glee’s out for summer, will other networks follow in Fox’s footsteps and beef up their social tie-ins?

Jul 17

The Viral Campaign Your Viral Campaign Could Smell Like

This post was first published on the Sterling Communications blog

Four Tips To Old Spice Up Your Brand 

I know I’m not the only one that has been obsessed with the “Old Spice Guy” videos this week. Everyone, at least within the social media bubble, is buzzing about this creative and hilarious viral campaign.

And I’m not the first person to write about the videos. In fact, there have been some insightful and comical posts on the topic. Marshall Kirkpatrick at ReadWriteWeb gave us a behind-the-scenes view into how Wieden + Kennedy pulled off this campaign, andBrenna Ehrlich at Mashable offered some compelling statistics resulting from the videos this week. If you want to see the best of the best, check out Jay Hathaway’s post on Urlesque listing the top ten videos.

So what do I have to bring to the conversation? Any company that is paying attention is probably asking their PR, marketing or advertising department right now, “how can we get in on this?” First let me say, no copycats please! While videos of the Geiko gecko in his bathroom wearing a towel or the Brawny guy sending flowers to Tina Fey might be funny for a moment, it takes away one of the best parts of this campaign – ORIGINALITY!

However, I’d like to offer four key takeaways from this campaign for brands that want to create their own viral campaign.

1. Be creative!
Like I said, originality is a big part of the success here. When I first saw the TV ads I thought they were a bit weird, but I was glued to them. I talked with my friends and colleagues about them. I don’t talk about ads that are just like every other ad out there. If you want people to notice, take a risk! Get creative and try something new!

2. Get Personal!
It’s been said before, social media is a more personal experience than a traditional communication style. People want to connect with other people, not a stuffy corporate company. Brands like Starbucks andComcast get this. They represent large corporations, while at the same time show personality and authenticity. The Old Spice ads are absolutely personal! Even though none of the videos were directed toward me, they were still entertaining.

3. Act Fast!
Social media communications go at light speed. For example, if I waited a week to post this it would be old news. To be successful in digital communications, you should always be listening and paying attention. There is no time to send a tweet through four different departments for approval. The conversation, and your brand’s opportunity to engage, will pass you by if you get caught up in red tape.

4. Work Together!
The Old Spice commercials were so much more than a dude in the bathroom. An entire crew of people worked behind the scenes to pull this off; monitoring, writing, filming and editing. The best social media campaigns are a mix of technology, creativity and communication. Bring together various teams and specialists in your company for the right blend. Instead of the technical group fighting marketing, work together to create results everyone can be proud of!

It may not be a perfect formula for success, but if you keep these things in mind it might be your viral campaign everyone is talking about next!

What do you think made the Old Spice campaign successful? Did you think it was successful? Let me know your thoughts in the comments, I’d love to hear more opinions!

Apr 05

Be Visible, Be Smart! 5 Things to Do Before Your First Job in PR

Last weekend I had the opportunity to speak at the Puget Sound PRSA Jumpstart event along with Mallory Thompson, Hill & Knowlton. I was excited to impart some of the knowledge I have learned over the last few years as I’ve made my career switch to public relations.

Often your classroom experience doesn’t prepare you for the day-to-day realities of your first job. Since Mallory and I are still early in our careers, we can remember what we thought before we began and offer real world experience to the future PR pros.

We wanted to keep our information manageable and memorable, so we identified five things new professionals should know or do before they begin a career in PR.

Our “5 Things to Do Before Your First Job in PR” were simple:
  1. Know PR 
  2. Manage Your Digital Life
  3. Write
  4. Read
  5. Get Out There and Meet People

When we looked at the overall theme we decided, “Be Visible, Be Smart” captured much of what we wanted to say. Our biggest suggestion to aspiring PR pros is to get involved in the industry. Meet people at networking events. Read blogs by established professionals. Write as much as possible to improve your skills and gain exposure.

I certainly don’t claim to know everything about the PR industry, but I have learned a thing or two in my time. I hope that what Mallory and I shared will help those new to the industry excel in their first PR job!

Here’s our presentation: Be visible, be smart!
What tips would you share with a professional just starting in public relations?

Apr 02

Fresh Ideas from Social Fresh Portland

This post was first published on the Sterling Communications blog

I was lucky enough to win a ticket to the Social Fresh conference in Portland on March 29. This conference is different than many I’ve attended previously as it features people working in the trenches and highlights what they do in social media day to day. Sure, there was the higher level thinking and big picture conversation, but I also walked away with ideas of things to implement right away to improve my social media engagement. I could give you my six pages of notes, but instead I’ll give you the main points that stood out for me.

Pick the Right Tool

Hi, my name is Karianne and I’m a Twitter addict. There. I admit it. That said, Twitter does not equal social media! Heck, Twitter shouldn’t even be the biggest part of your social media campaign. Facebook, YouTube and especially blogs should all be part of your social media plan.

According to Nielsen, social networks and blogs are now the 4th most popular online activity, even higher than email. So obviously, having a social media presence is a must these days. But there are so many different services out there, how do you manage it all? Each different service can reach a different audience, or your audience in a different way. Peter Shankman suggested you ask your customers and see how they would like you to connect with them. Also, he had a fantastic point to embrace the concept, not the brand. Twitter, Facebook, YouTube could all disappear tomorrow, so build your social media plan around the concepts, not the hot thing of the moment.

Business Blogging Basics

Blogs were so 2000s and no one cares about them any more, right? Nope, not true. Sure, the blogs that read like your junior high diary might be a bit outdated, but blogging is still a very effective tool for businesses. It is an easy way to engage with your audience, establish your business as an industry leader, release company news and increase brand awareness.

Mike Volpe of Hubspot, Andrew Sinkov of Evernote and Kristy Bolsinger of RealNetworks had some terrific advice for corporate blogging. First off, they let us know it is easier than you think. You don’t have to start from scratch, use what you have. For example, the emails between your customers and customer service department can be repurposed to be blog posts.

Also, the blogging responsibilities don’t have to fall on just one employee’s shoulders. You can have many authors so the blog will have different styles and perspectives. All of the various voices will blend together to represent your overall company voice. Finding authors can be easy if you use fame as a motivator, or you can even write it into employee’s job description so they know blogging is expected. One employee can oversee the blog to be sure posts are done and edited.

No matter how many authors you have on your blog, it is paramount that you allow comments. Without comments, it is just a static Web site. Comments will allow engagement and interaction with your audience. Sure, they may not love everything. Just handle negative comments with class and professionalism.

Finally, use your blog to motivate your audience. What do you want them to do? Buy your product? Download a white paper? Let the readers know what they should do with a call to action at the end. My call to action for you, go start a blog for your business!

These were the key points I walked away with, but (in the vain of Reading Rainbow) don’t take my word for it, here are the reviews from some other attendees and speakers:

SoFresh and SoCleanClean: Social Fresh 2010 by Kristy Bolsinger

Social Fresh Portland Purely #sofresh by Sarah Kay Hoffman

Key Learnings from Social Fresh Portland by Eric Berto

» Newer posts