HS Insider- a brief synopsis of tomorrow’s community journalism

Company Analysis:

The Los Angeles Times is a paid daily newspaper published in Los Angeles, CA since 1881. It is the largest metropolitan daily newspaper in the country, with a daily readership of 1.4 million, and more than 22 million unique visitors monthly on its website. It accumulates a local weekly audience of 4.1 million combined with print and online.

The Times publishes both a print and digital editions in which divides the targeted audience. For the print edition, it’s geared to the older adults while the online edition is geared toward 18-49 online adults. In November 2014, it launched its High School Insider (HS Insider) initiative. HS Insider is geared towards the high school to young adult audience, (14-21 year olds), and parents and teachers of the high school community.

HS Insider is a hub within the Los Angeles Times Sports site where students are able to write about anything happening in their community. These stories are copy edited by copy editors at the LA Times and then are published on the LA Times. It first started off only as high school sports stories, but eventually expanded to entertainment, lifestyle, news, and trending topics on the web.

Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 6.32.13 PM

Strengths HS Insider has include the Los Angeles Times’ brand attached to it, and the connection to world-renowned journalists. It also gives the power of the student to tell whatever story they want from their community. Opportunities HS Insider has is its potential to expand from 50 high schools it work with across Los Angeles to more schools across Southern California. Also, students could find unique stories in schools and communities that LA Times journalists possibly would not find. 

HS Insider should utilize an integrated multimedia communication (IMC) strategy using various multimedia channels because of its benefits. According to MCC Learning, it requires a lot of effort, but can create competitive advantage, boost sales and profits, and saves money, time and stress. Most importantly, it creates brand awareness and loyalty with consumers in the long run in which could increase traffic in the brand’s website, blog, and social media channels. Not to mention, messages sent to consumers using IMC are more consistent and credible. The benefits to an IMC strategy are endless.

Closing Remarks

The future is bright for the Los Angeles Times’ High School Insider. There’s nothing like this initiative out there. With the integrated marketing communication tools out there, and the free analytics provided with some of those IMC tools, it is able to reach an audience not only in Southern California, but around the world. The analysis and recommendations provided in this IMC plan is a first step in informing an audience ways of the teenager life in different communities in the eyes of a teenager. It’s going to take a while for the initiative to take off, but with the right marketing strategy, patience, and execution, it could become its own journalism brand for readers to read tomorrow’s community journalism.

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Analytics are like a work of art

Analytics are like art. When someone stares at it, they have their own interpretation of what it means. A social media manager could look at analytics for a company’s social media channel and interpret it one way, while another social media manager another way. One social media manager may think the page needs more posts in a day to boost likes, while another social media manager thinks an ad would boost likes. Either way, we all have our own social media strategies.

In this post, I was given analytics for a real company and had to interpret it, and come up with my own strategy to boost its likes on its Facebook page.

Here’s the information I was given:

XYZ Company is a heating and cooling company (HVAC) in Western Massachusetts. They provide installations, maintenance and repair. In addition to its Facebook page, XYZ Company has a website, Twitter account, Yelp and Google+ pages. This is a recently launched small business, so all of its social media channels are being fine-tuned as it’s pretty much a husband/wife team. Facebook is one of the primary ways they are advertising in addition to sending direct mail to a 30 mile radius. They do not have an email database yet.

It’s going to take a lot of work to bring to build this small, unknown brand into a recognizable brand at least in Western Massachusetts.  Not to mention, it’s a HVAC, so there’s only so much you can do. Let’s take a look at its Facebook analytics so far:

Screen Shot 2015-11-15 at 7.04.31 PM

So, what we’re looking at are strictly numbers on its Facebook page. It’s data compiled from a week’s worth page likes, post reach, engagement, and how recent posts are performing. Facebook does a good job providing specific details of type of post, time of when the content was posted, total number of people reached, and how engaging the post was. It provides a fruitful insight for whoever is managing the page what is and isn’t working. If we would to dig deeper into these analytics, we would find some key findings that’ll help us make this page more engaging.

Key Findings

Page likes are steadily increasing, but post reach is down about 40%. Paid post reach has its ups and downs reaching Facebook users, averaging about 500 people.

Screen Shot 2015-11-15 at 7.13.32 PM

Page visits are low, and the external referer has only garnered one visitor.

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Later in the day, around bed time is when most fans of the page are online while Fridays is when majority of them are on followed by Sundays and Wednesdays.

Screen Shot 2015-11-15 at 7.10.30 PM

Majority of the fans of the page are women between the ages of 35-44, while women between the ages of 45-54 are the next popular group of fans. The most popular group of male fans of the page are between the ages of 25-34.

Screen Shot 2015-11-15 at 7.09.36 PM

Most of all fans of the page are from the United States and live in the Massachusetts area. They are also English speakers with a handful of Spanish speakers.

Screen Shot 2015-11-15 at 7.14.42 PM

Where do we begin? How can we improve the numbers?

Recommended improvements

There are improvements here and there in which XYZ Company can use to improve reach and engagement on its Facebook page.

Posts should be posted at the time of day when fans are most active online. The times mentioned in the key findings is probably the best time to post new content because these fans are most likely scrolling on their Facebook newsfeed to see what’s going on.

Not all, but they should experiment in targeting some posts. Facebook has a feature in which users can target certain users who have particular interests. So, the social media manager can target a post to users who have interests in heating, cooling, repair, or anything else like sports, cooking, etc. Can reach to a broader audience who necessarily doesn’t know XYZ Company exists.

Tags, tags, and hashtags! Tagging other Facebook accounts, along with the use of hashtags helps SEO, especially for small businesses. Even if a Facebook user doesn’t like XYZ Company’s page, but if a page they liked is mentioned in the post, there’s the chance they’ll see that post on their newsfeed because it was mentioned in post.

Hashtags are important when a user is searching for a certain keyword or trending topic. They can search for that certain hashtag and the post with that hashtag will appear in the search results. It also helps your rank when it comes to Google search results.

They could also include videos of how-to’s or other videos of making sure if your A/C or heater is working. Videos boost page views.

Help from other channels

As we know that the company has a website, Twitter, Yelp and Google+ pages, the possibilities of boosting page likes and views are endless.

Cross promotion. It’s the first thing I think of when you want to garner people to something or somewhere. XYZ Company can simply link its Facebook page on its website with a Facebook icon on top and bottom of the pages, tweet out to followers about the page, and have the link to the page on its about page in its Yelp and Google+ pages. What’s neat about this strategy is that it’s easy, free, and Facebook Insights can track which external referer is bringing in more traffic so the social media manager can focus on pushing that referer more to promote the page.

It never hurts too to share content posted on Facebook to the Google+ page and vice versa.

Future campaigns and posts

Even though it’s a HVAC, they could still be creative with their future campaigns. When the winter or summer seasons start approaching, they could create posts asking users if they know if their heater or A/C are ready for their perspective seasons. They can even create videos informing users how to check if their heater or A/C needs a fix or not. Hopefully, users can share the video to their friends in which creates awareness of the brand.

The company could also throw in a free check up if the user tags them in a post, photo of their heater, or have at least five friends like the page. They can even advertise this promotion with direct mailing.

Posts giving tips in how to converse energy when using the heater or A/C would be good ones for users to share with friends too.

The analytics also showed that the company has a fair share of Spanish-speaking users. To create more engagement and another following base, a couple of Spanish posts and videos would be good. This will create a diverse fanbase for the company, and more following.

One more thing to add, since it already distributes direct mail in a 30-mile radius, why not include its Facebook page icon, and other social media channels in that postcard/flyer it sends? Brings awareness to those who may bot be social media savvy, but possibly someone else in the household might and see it.

You cannot go wrong with what you come with when interpreting social media analytics. It’s all about creating awareness of your brand to an audience. Think you can think of another way to boost this company’s numbers?

Maintaining your reputation as the brand

We’ve all stayed in hotels and had either positive, negative or neutral experiences. We hope that all our hotel experiences are positive ones, but how do we know we’ll get guaranteed that positive experience? In today’s Internet world, we have websites such as TripAdvisor, to help us decide guide toward that positive experience with reviews by vacationers worldwide for hotels worldwide.

These reviews do impact a vacation goers’ decision on where to stay when they vacation. If a reviewer writes a bad review on a recent hotel they stayed in, how should the PR manager or social manager respond to that review? How about a positive review? Should they ignore it completely? It’s all about maintaining your reputation as the brand.

Below are two sample posts, one positive and negative, from past reviews for two different hotels. For academic purposes, I will play the role of the PR/social media manager in responding to the two reviews below:

Hyatt Regency Orlando

Hyatt-example2015

Hi Travelwith3kiddos,

Thank you for choosing Hyatt Regency Orlando as part of your vacationing experience! At Hyatt Regency hotels and resorts, everything is right here, under our roof. We strive to make your vacation a memorable and relaxing experience.

Regarding your room view, we apologized if it wasn’t what you wanted. We try to make your stay more personal with everything from extra pillows and hangers to a crib or coffeepot waiting upon arrival. Let us know upon checking in if you want a pool view and we will try our best to accommodate that request.

We’re glad you and your family enjoyed the amenities we offer. Even though the pool wasn’t in the best condition, we see you took advantaged of the other amenities. It wouldn’t hurt next time to ask for five more minutes of that massage 😉

We hope you didn’t have to wait too long! The Fiorenzo is a popular place to dine for dinner. Next time, you should check out Urban Tide next time, which offers Florida seafood and coastal cuisine on the menu.

Our shuttle services are glad to ensure your travel from the hotel to the theme parks are safe and smooth. If the price was a bit too much for your budget, there is a direct public bus that departs from the hotel to Sea World for only $4.50 round trip. Just hop onto the Lynx no. 8 bus route heading on International Drive. It’s only a 20-minute bus ride.

Thank you again for choosing Hyatt Regency Orlando as your primary stay during your vacation. Our amenities and location makes it a prime location for all ages and families to enjoy what Orlando has to offer. We love to read and hear feedback from all our guest to improve their stay.

If you have an additional comments, please reach out our direct line: (407) 284-1234, or stop by the front desk and ask for Eduardo.

-Eduardo

###

Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina

Hilton-example-2015

Hi LUV2TRAVELWITHHUBBY,

We apologize your 10-year high school reunion at the Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina did not live up to your expectations. We want to ensure your next reunion is an authentic and contemporary experience in which makes Hilton the global leader in hospitality.

We are surprised your room was not ready when you checked, and the furniture was subpar. We will have a plumber check out the water heater to see if it broke during your stay.  We guarantee our rooms feature a soothing palette of neutral sand tones, cool greens and soft blues. Rooms also include, floor-to-ceiling glass windows to enhance the organic design, providing each room with spectacular views and a luminous, airy feel. Each room includes a flat-screen television, luxurious bed linens and high-quality bath amenities.

We will look into why room service did not tend your room, and the efficiency of handing your requests. It could have been a busy time of the day when you requested extra towels, but it’s still unacceptable that you had to call twice.

We hope you are well after your parking experience. We understand the Florida heat can be unbearable, therefore, we do offer covered parking at the same cost so you and your vehicle can stay cool in the heat. We also provide valet parking at an additional cost if you feel it’s best during your stay. All parking allow in and out privileges.

That’s unfortunate the pool was not well-kept during your stay. We strive to ensure the hotel is equipped and well-kept with all the facilities to make your stay refreshing. There’s a beach only one mile away from the hotel where you could still stay cool during the Florida heat. We’re also just two miles away from snorkeling and water skiing!

Did you check out our other amenities? We offer a fitness room, jogging track, sight-seeing tours, and walking track to make your stay a memorable one. We also offer an array of delightful dining experiences all day.

We would like to know more about your latest stay and how we can do a better job next time. Please contact our direct number: (954) 463-4000 or stop by at the check-in desk and ask for Eduardo.

As the global leader in hospitality, we have lots to share with our guests and strive their stay is memorable and relaxing.

-Eduardo

###

According to Antony Young in Brand Media Strategy, there are millions of web users who are not just listening to friends; they’re relying on total strangers to help them make brand choices (84). Just think about how many people use sites such as TripAdvisor to make decisions on brand choices? Therefore, it’s important for brands to have a PR manager or social media manager to make sure the customer is satisfied with the brand. Even if they enjoyed your brand, it never hurts to give them a nice shout-out to make them feel important.

As the brand, you will never win the argument against the customer.

The role of a social media specialist for Disney’s Epcot

This week in my graduate course, I learned with my fellow Gators how integrated multimedia communication works hand in hand when planning a business plan.  To demonstrate if I grasped what was taught in the lecture and readings, I was given the task to plan Walt Disney World‘s Epcot‘s social media outreach for the month of December if I were the actual social media specialist.

Below you will see my goal, and planned Facebook and Twitter/Instagram posts for each day for the month of December. The images attached to each day is the image I would use for that specific post. See if you can catch onto something while going through each day:

December Goal:

To drive guests to Epcot for the holidays during “Holidays at Walt Disney Resort,” and make it a memorable experience by promoting Epcot-only events.

Tuesday, December 1

Facebook: Are you ready to spend your holidays around the world? #EpcotHolidays2015 http://bit.ly/Mabi2y

Epcot

Twitter: Spend your holidays around the world this Christmas & New Years at Epcot! #EpcotHolidays2015 http://bit.ly/Mabi2y

Wednesday, December 2

Facebook: This holiday, witness the stirring Candlelight Processional, a retelling of the Christmas story brought to life by a 50-piece live orchestra, choir and celebrity narrator #EpcotHolidays2015 http://bit.ly/1o2krL7

Candlelight processional

Twitter: Spend your holidays at Epcot with these events only during the holiday season! #EpcotHolidays2015 http://bit.ly/1o2krL7

Thursday, December 3

Facebook: Discover how Epcot becomes even more magical for the holidays on this illuminating tour #EpcotHolidays2015 http://bit.ly/1klc25j

Holday D Lights

Instagram post: Just how does Epcot become even more magical during the holidays? Reserve a spot in Disney’s Holiday D-Lights tour and learn more how illuminating Epcot becomes during the holidays #EpcotHolidays2015 http://bit.ly/1klc25j

NOTE: Same picture above will be used in this post.

Friday, December 4

Facebook: Still need a getaway for the holidays? Walt Disney World’s Epcot offers many countries in one visit. Did we forget the weather is nice? #EpcotHolidays2015 http://bit.ly/Mabi2y

Chinese Epcot

Twitter: Swim with dolphins! At Epcot, our Dolphins in Depth offers dolphin interaction all year! #EpcotHolidays2015 http://bit.ly/1hUIWUr

Saturday, December 5

Facebook: Snorkel with over 6,000 sea creatures, including sea turtles, angelfish, eagle rays and sharks in our massive aquarium at Epcot this holiday! #EpcotHolidays2015 http://bit.ly/1kzMwG6

Snorkel

Instagram: Visit Epcot this Christmas holiday to witness one of Walt Disney World’s holiday traditions, the Candlelight Processional. Here’s a preview of the 50-piece orchestra and mass choir telling the story of Christmas. #EpcotHolidays2015 http://bit.ly/1o2krL7

NOTE: 15-second video of the Candlelight Processional will be recorded and included in post.

Sunday, December 6

Facebook: Happy first day of Hanukkah! Have you consider spending one of the next eight days at Epcot? #EpcotHolidays2015 http://bit.ly/Mabi2y

Epcot 2

Twitter: Happy first day of Hanukkah! Make the next eight days memorable with a visit to Epcot! #EpcotHolidays2015 http://bit.ly/Mabi2y

Monday, December 7

Facebook: Today we remember the events of Pearl Harbor 74 years ago. Epcot lights will be dimmed to remember those who served our country #PearlHarborRemembranceDay

Epcot 3

Twitter: Epcot lights will be dimmed to remember those who served our country 74 years ago #PearlHarborRemembranceDay

NOTE: Same photo will be used above.

Tuesday, December 8

Facebook: Can you decide if a brownie from Mexico is better than a brownie from Italy? Come try brownies from 11 countries on National Brownie Day at Epcot! #NationalBrownieDay #EpcotHolidays2015 http://bit.ly/1GHrtPP

Food

Twitter: Try brownies from 11 countries today only at Epcot. We have plenty of milk! #NationalBrownieDay #EpcotHolidays2015 http://bit.ly/1GHrtPP

Wednesday, December 9

Facebook: Happy holidays from China! Happy holidays from Italy! Happy holidays from France! Come by Epcot on National Christmas Card Day to send holiday greetings to loved ones from 11 countries! #NationalChristmasCardDay #EpcotHolidays2015 http://bit.ly/Mabi2y

Mexico

Twitter: Send a Christmas Card today from anywhere around the world at Epcot! #NationalChristmasCardDay #EpcotHolidays2015 http://bit.ly/Mabi2y

Thursday, December 10

Facebook: Ring in the season as World Showcase comes alive with holiday traditions from around the globe only at Epcot! Now open, Holidays Around the World at Epcot! #EpcotHolidays2015 http://bit.ly/1RzqvoT

Holidays around

Instagram: Now open for the holidays, Holidays Around the World only at Epcot! Ring in the season as World Showcase comes alive with holiday traditions from around the globe! #EpcotHolidays2015 http://bit.ly/1RzqvoT

NOTE: Same photo above will be used in post.

Friday, December 11

Facebook: Where’s the only place during the holidays you can swim with dolphins, explore 11 countries, and listen the Christmas Story told by a 50-piece orchestra and mass choir? Only at Disney Epcot! There’s still time to book and make this holiday a memorable one! #EpcotHolidays2015 http://bit.ly/Mabi2y

Nemo

Twitter: The weekend is almost here! Why not make it a getaway around the world at Epcot? #EpcotHolidays2015 http://bit.ly/Mabi2y

Saturday, December 12

Facebook: There’s still time to spend your holidays around the world! #EpcotHolidays2015 http://bit.ly/Mabi2y

Mulan

Instagram: How will you spend your holidays this year? #EpcotHolidays2015 http://bit.ly/Mabi2y

NOTE: Use same photo above for this post.

Sunday, December 13

Facebook: The only place this holiday where you can eat gelato from Italy on National Ice Cream Day? Only at Disney Epcot! #NationalIceCreamDay #EpcotHolidays2015 http://bit.ly/1Q0KNdA

Gelato

Twitter: Craving gelato today? Only at Epcot you can get your gelato fix on! #NationalIceCreamDay #EpcotHolidays2015 http://bit.ly/1Q0KNdA

Monday, December 14

Facebook: This holiday, explore the future of agriculture and get up-close and personal with the critters of The Land Pavilion at Epcot’s Behind the Seeds #EpcotHolidays2015 http://bit.ly/1p5XOFZ

Behind the seeds

Twitter: This holiday, see, do, learn, grow! Visit Epcot’s Behind the Seeds to see future agriculture #EpcotHolidays2015 http://bit.ly/1p5XOFZ

Tuesday, December 15

Facebook: Visit Epcot this Christmas holiday to witness one of Walt Disney World’s holiday traditions, the Candlelight Processional. Here’s a preview of the 50-piece orchestra and mass choir telling the story of Christmas #EpcotHolidays2015 http://bit.ly/1o2krL7

NOTE: Short video from the procession will be uploaded in post.

Twitter: Discover how Epcot becomes even more magical for the holidays in Epcot on this illuminating tour #EpcotHolidays2015 http://bit.ly/1klc25j

Wednesday, December 16

Facebook: Get an in-depth look at how Walt Disney World Resort parks and hotels get dressed up for this very special time of year in Epcot’s Yuletide Fantasy #EpcotHolidays2015 http://bit.ly/1s0a6P5

Yuletide

Twitter: Ring in the season with Epcot as holiday traditions from around the globe come alive! #EpcotHolidays2015 http://bit.ly/1RzqvoT

Thursday, December 17

Facebook: This holiday, discover how Walt Disney’s desire to shape a better tomorrow led to the creation of Epcot in “The UnDISCOVERed Future World” #EpcotHolidays2015 http://bit.ly/1826qqx

Future World

Instagram: Discover how Epcot becomes even more magical for the holidays in Epcot on Disney’s Holiday D-Lights illuminating tour #EpcotHolidays2015 http://bit.ly/1klc25j

D Lights 2

Friday, December 18

Facebook: It’s one week before the big day! How are you spending your holidays? #EpcotHolidays2015 http://bit.ly/Mabi2y

Morroco

Twitter: 7 days before the St. Nick comes to town. Where will you be this holiday? #EpcotHolidays2015 http://bit.ly/Mabi2y

NOTE: Use photo from 12/6 Facebook post in tweet.

Saturday, December 19

Facebook: Just how does Epcot become even more magical during the holidays? Reserve a spot in Disney’s Holiday D-Lights tour and learn more how illuminating Epcot becomes during the holidays #EpcotHolidays2015 http://bit.ly/1klc25j

NOTE: Use photo from 12/17 Instagram post.

Twitter: Still need a getaway for the holidays? Epcot offers many. Did we forget the weather is nice? #EpcotHolidays2015 http://bit.ly/Mabi2y

Sunday, December 20

Facebook: Five more days until gifts under the tree are unwrapped! Add something from somewhere around the world at Epcot #EpcotHolidays2015 http://bit.ly/1GWrQpi

Shopping

Twitter: Still need a last-minute gift under the tree? Check out some international treats from Epcot! #EpcotHolidays2015 http://bit.ly/1GWrQpi

Monday, December 21

Facebook: Swim with dolphins this Christmas! At Epcot, our Dolphins in Depth exhibit offers an enlightening and truly intimate dolphin experience year round! Spaces are limited each day #EpcotHolidays2015 http://bit.ly/1hUIWUr

Dolphins

Twitter: Snorkel with over 6,000 sea creatures in our massive aquarium at Epcot this Christmas! #EpcotHolidays2015 http://bit.ly/1kzMwG6

Tuesday, December 22

Facebook: Make this holiday an underwater adventure with Epcot’s DiveQuest. It’s a scuba experience with guaranteed calm seas, no current, unlimited visibility, and incredible marine life and coral #EpcotHolidays2015 http://bit.ly/1GHrzXv

DiveQuest

Twitter: There’s still time to spend your holidays around the world! Make it a memorable one #EpcotHolidays2015 http://bit.ly/Mabi2y

Wednesday, December 23

Facebook: Just two more days until the guy in the red coat comes to town! How about giving a pastry from each country in Epcot? He might leave you a little extra under the tree #EpcotHolidays2015 http://bit.ly/1Q0KNdA

Dessert

Instagram: This Christmas, why not give the gift of the world to someone special on a fascinating 5-hour walking tour at Epcot and experience the architecture, culture and people of 11 countries! http://bit.ly/1GHrFyo

Tour

Thursday, December 24

Facebook: Ring in Christmas tonight with the World Showcase as holiday traditions from around the globe come alive to celebrate the arrival of Christmas! #EpcotHolidays2015 http://bit.ly/1RzqvoT

Holidays around the world

Twitter: Do your Christmas plans involve a magical one around the world? #EpcotHolidays2015 http://bit.ly/Mabi2y

NOTE: Use same image from above in tweet.

Friday, December 25

Facebook (Post 1): Merry Christmas from around the world! #EpcotHolidays2015

Lagoon

Facebook (Post 2): Spend your Christmas around the world at Epcot with fine dining, adventures, and memories! #EpcotHoliday2015 http://bit.ly/Mabi2y

NOTE: Any picture from week one posts are fine for second Facebook post.

Twitter (Tweet 1): Merry Christmas from countries around the world! #EpcotHolidays2015 

NOTE: Use same picture from first Facebook post above.

(Tweet 2): Spend your Christmas around the world at Epcot with fine dining, adventures, and memories! #EpcotHoliday2015 http://bit.ly/Mabi2y

Saturday, December 26

Facebook: Happy first day of Kwanzaa! Stop by Epcot to learn more about the traditions of this week-long African-Heritage celebration. #EpcotHolidays2015 http://bit.ly/1RzqvoT

NOTE: Use photo of candle mantle used during celebration. Will shoot week of 12/20.

Instagram: Happy first day of Kwanzaa! Stop by Epcot to learn more about the traditions of this week-long African-Heritage celebration. #EpcotHolidays2015 http://bit.ly/1RzqvoT

NOTE: Animated GIF of the first candle lit. Will be made week of 12/20

Sunday, December 27

Facebook: Make the last days of 2015 a magical adventure at Epcot! Spend it under the sea, in space or countries around the world #EpcotHolidays2015 http://bit.ly/Mabi2y

Epcot 4

Twitter: Only five days left in 2015! Why not make it an Epcot adventure you’ll never forget? #EpcotHolidays2015 http://bit.ly/Mabi2y

Monday, December 28

Facebook: Need a New Years resolution? How about helping take part in taking care of our planet? At Epcot’s “Behind the Seeds” exhibit, you interact with amazing plants, insects and fish, and even see alligators on this fun yet educational walking tour #EpcotHolidays2015 http://bit.ly/1p5XOFZ

Seeds

Twitter: Before the year ends, see how Epcot gets dressed up for the holidays in Yuletide Fantasy #EpcotHolidays2015 http://bit.ly/1s0a6P5

Tuesday, December 29

Facebook: Explore Epcot’s fine food and dining. The 11 countries have a special dish to share for the arrival of 2016 #EpcotHolidays2015 http://bit.ly/1Q0KNdA

Dining

Twitter: Add one last adventure before 2015 ends! Learn more what Epcot can add to your holiday adventure! #EpcotHolidays2015 http://bit.ly/Mabi2y

Wednesday, December 30

Facebook: Ring in the New Year around the world at Epcot! View a spectacular fireworks show as we welcome 2016 #EpcotHolidays2015 http://bit.ly/1KRTUp1

NYE

Instagram: Ring in the New Year around the world at Epcot! View a spectacular fireworks show as we welcome 2016 #EpcotHolidays2015 http://bit.ly/1KRTUp1

NOTE: Use same image above.

Thursday, December 31

Facebook: Thank you all who visited Epcot during 2015! It was a magical, memorable year. Here’s to many more memories in 2016! #EpcotHolidays2015

NOTE: Photo album will be created week of December 20 to be posted on this date

Twitter: Ring in the New Year around the world at Epcot! View a spectacular fireworks show to welcome 2016 #EpcotHolidays2015 http://bit.ly/1KRTUp1

###

There you have it. My December plan to attract visitors to Epcot this December. Not sure if you caught on, but it took a lot of creativity and visuals. I am not the best when it comes down to both,  but it showed I could do it.

Do you think I left anything out?

Fly on the wall for the 2015 Live Design International Trade Show

The Live Design International (LDI) Trade Show is the leading trade show and conference for live design professionals from all around the world. According to its website, now at its 28th year, the trade show hosts over 10,000 attendees working in theatre, concerts, clubs, theme parks, and houses of worship and a wide range of international live and broadcast venues. Attendees from more than 88 countries come to LDI to see the latest gear in action, refresh their knowledge, and replenish their creativity. More than 350 companies exhibit, providing live demos and the opportunity for face-to-face discussions about the cutting edge gear they debut exclusively to LDI attendees. LDI is committed to providing the best education and networking for professionals who use entertainment technology.

LDI logo

For the purpose of this class, I will be evaluating LDI’s integrated marketing communications (IMC) in this post to get a better understanding of how IMC works in during a live event.

A lot goes on during a trade show as big as LDI’s. Especially going for its 28th year, they must cater attendees’ needs each year to have them come back and increase attendance. Also, LDI must adapt to its marketing communications to today’s technology in order to look fresh, and stay in the game with other trade shows. Let’s take a look how LDI did this year’s trade show.

Prior, during, and after show, LDI did a fair job with two of its social channels listed on the site, including its mobile app. LDI mainly used Facebook, Twitter, and the mobile app for pre-show reminders, booth news, promotions, and product announcements. These posts, tweets, and messages included pictures, mentions, and hashtags.

Screen Shot 2015-10-22 at 1.00.14 AM

Screen Shot 2015-10-22 at 1.00.33 AM

IMG_2121

The one channel that seemed to get the most interaction from users was its Facebook. Even though more updates came from its Twitter account, the Facebook posts garnered likes, mentions, and shares. The Twitter account did get a couple of favorites, and retweets, but not as much interaction as the Facebook.

Facebook:

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Twitter:

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I want to say it could be the demographic of the attendees were more of the older crowd who are mostly Facebook users versus the younger crowd who are Twitter users. I could not tell if the mobile app had interaction.

The content posted were a robust, variety information about the trade show, and Las Vegas. The pre-show posts included early bird registration, some key guests, photo albums on Facebook on the setup, and teases of potential products to be revealed. During the show, I saw posts, tweets, videos, and notifications from the app which included product reveals, award winners, recaps of some of the guest panels, promotions, and contests. Lots of photos were used during the show to give viewers a look of what they’re missing. There was one thank you tweet to conclude the show and on the last day some last-minute panel posts on Facebook. I liked how on the mobile app, there was a notification sent announcing the conclusion of the event with the dates for next year’s show.

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The hashtagging and mentions were heavily used on Twitter. Every tweet used #LDI2015 and used mentions when necessary. There were a few retweets from attendees and guest speakers. The mobile app sent out a few notifications highlighting some booths for attendees to check out and reminders. Facebook did not really used hashtags nor tagged others, but did provide content from the day.

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Sponsors were promoted via banner ads on the show’s main website. Anyone visiting on the site can see these banner ads on the top, and on the sides in certain pages. Attendees could see a list of all the sponsors on the app, in a special tab. Some key partnerships such as Mandalay Bay and Cirque du Soleil were mentioned in tweets and Facebook posts. These two particular partnerships were promotions attendees could take advantage from.

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Other examples from IMC that LDI used for the show were LinkedIn, YouTube, Vimeo, and RSS feeds. LinkedIn is used for attendees to learn more about LDI, and see the people involved with the company and who made the show possible. Its YouTube and Vimeo accounts are used to recap previous shows, therefore attendees can get a glimpse of what they signed up for. The RSS feeds are used for attendees to never miss an update from the show.

Looking at all the tweets, Facebook posts, and the notifications I received on my mobile, it looked like the brand was consistent with it was trying to market. The pictures used, guest speakers, promotions, and the use of the hashtags felt as if I were observing a “techy,” lighting show. If you recall from what this trade show is all about, it fits the exact description. The layout and design of the mobile app felt as if I were browsing on the website as well. Major kudos for its consistency before and throughout the show.

Besides the use of its photography during the show that stood out, I think the mobile app was well designed, and its strongest trait throughout the show. If attendees downloaded the app, they would be able to create their own schedule during the show, view which speakers or events are at which booths, see every announcement, and be notified about special events, giveaways, and promotions if they enabled notifications. It took about midweek for the notifications on the mobile app to come in, but they were useful and informative. There’s also a map of the entire exhibit, and a special barcode to register on their mobile for their badge. It’s basically everything from the show packed onto the mobile.

One important thing to note about the app is that they also had the option for Spanish speakers to receive messages in Spanish! Big plus in expanding its audience.

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The only social media effort missing was a special e-newsletter for just the trade show. LDI does have an email newsletter anyone can sign up for, but only on its main site. I can understand if it’s a strategy for directing traffic to LDI’s main site, but how about those like myself who just want to hear news about the show? Or, make it even easier and have the sign-up link on the trade show page too. Makes it easier for anyone to search for it rather clicking page after page.

It takes a lot of preparation, creativity, and time to plan your brand’s IMC and unleashing it at big events such as LDI’s 2015 Trade Show. For such a big, yearly trade show, it did a good job using its social channels, but it can do better. 2016 should present a bigger challenge for its IMC efforts with social channels such as Instagram, Snapchat, and Periscope on the rise.

Chat Sports — a community where sports fanatics unite

Chat sports is a social networking website for sports fans to know the latest news and rumors on their favorite teams. The website also lets fans be contributors to the website, and debate with other fans. There is also a mobile app that enables fans to get the latest news on their favorite teams, and live scores.

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If the name doesn’t already give it away, Chat Sports falls within the sports industry in social networking. Its target audience is simply sports fans. But if you want to go deeper, you can find sports gurus, sports debaters, the passionate fan, and the up-and-coming sports writers who want to polish or get their writing portfolio started.

How the website works is that it combines editorial content with social networking for fans of several sports. It grabs content from around the web, which include ESPN, Bleacher Report, Yahoo! Sports, etc., and meshes it with content from its own feature writers. That’s where the news part comes from. Members who have an account with the site can use the site’s social platform to debate on popular topics and reveal which team they’re die-hard fans for. A social networking site such as this one is important because it gives the audience control. The audience controls what news on which teams, scores, stories to debate on and view, and for the writers, what to write about. It gives the website an overall fan community. What I mean is that the site was created for the fans and the fans contribute to it.

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At first glancing at this social networking site as a big sports fan myself, I was not feeling it. But, when I started to read about its features, reading what contributors are writing about, and toying with the app, it has serious potential to compete with other sports-related websites and apps alone. I think what makes it stand apart from the rest is the ability for sports fanatics to be able to write for the site on their favorite sports teams. This creates this social-networking community where fans can view what other fans are writing about on their favorite teams, debate, share, and possibly reach out for employment opportunities. Gives everyone a voice. The website can serve as a hub where employers can reach out to those fans whose writing and passion can lead them to future employment.

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Its mobile app has so much potential if the website were to expand its proximity marketing strategy. The app already alerts fans the latest news, scores, and what their friends are reading, but how about other features such as merchandise, or tickets to the game? With the app letting users customize their favorite teams, why not incorporate a feature when a fan’s favorite team is coming to town, a notification could be sent alerting the fan, and directing them to purchase tickets? What if the a fan’s favorite team won the Super Bowl? Or the World Series? The app can send a message congratulating the fan’s team on winning the title and informing them that championship merchandise is on sell for purchase.

Another way it can utilize proximity marketing and bring in traffic to the site, is encouraging members to converse with one another on their favorite teams using the app. It can be presented as a challenge calling out which fans from what team are the biggest fans. Teams with the most mentions in the comment sections, or page views, those fans having that team with the top stats are rewarded with coupons for merchandise, tickets, sports bar, etc.

Check-in feature could be implemented as well. Fans can check into sports venues before and during a game. The user with the most check ins are crowned the biggest sports fan of that team and can be rewarded too.

Statistics from JiWire have proven that these tactics work. It was reported that 53% of consumers are willing to share their current location to receive more relevant advertising while 57% of consumers are more likely to engage with location-based advertising. 62% of consumers share local deals with friends, and 63% of consumers feel a coupon is the most valuable form of mobile marketing.

The only drawback with its proximity marketing is that the mobile app is only available for iPhone users at the moment. The website does say an app for Android users is coming soon.

I can see email faring well in its integrated marketing communications efforts. The site could send out a daily, weekly, or monthly newsletter on the latest news, scores, and what other users are saying about a user’s favorite team. Of course, these newsletters would have to be customized which teams the user selected when they signed up to the social networking site. If that’s too much work and money, then a simple newsletter on the most popular stories, topics users are talking about, and scores would suffice.

Newsletters too can play an important role in maintaining the users too. According to Chron, newsletters are cost-effective medium for building relationships and maintaining regular contact with customers and prospects. They also build awareness about your brand, explain your expertise in your service, promote new services and products, maintain your contacts, and increase the coverage of your targeted audience. The benefit is letting the audience know you’re still there.

Chat Sports already does well across its other social channels: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. It uses hashtags, videos (tons), and pictures to engage users and bump up the SEO.

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Chat Sports is a social networking community where sports fanatics should check out. Whether it be reading the latest rumors on teams, debating with another fan, or finding a hub to build your sports portfolio, there’s something for every sports fan to do. It continues to grow and add features. It takes social networking to the next level in the sports industry.

Periscope – explore the world in real time through someone else’s eyes

What it is

Periscope is a social networking live, video-streaming service app for smart phones. It allows users have other users view their live stream videos publicly or privately. Viewers can send “hearts” to the broadcaster by tapping on the mobile screen as a form of appreciation. The broadcaster can receive up to 500 hearts per session and users can log out and back in to give more hearts. The maximum number of users one can follow is 8,000. The broadcaster and viewers are able to block users. When a user is blocked, they are added to a blocked list, and booted from the live stream. There is a “People” tab where users can view which other users have received the most hearts under the “Most Loved List.” Of course this list changes from time to time. Recently, the app added the ability for users to broadcast list in landscape view. Scopes disappear after 24 hours.

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History

Periscope was developed by Kayvon Beykpour and Joe Bernstein. They both came up with the idea in 2013, while traveling abroad. Beykpour was in Istanbul during the protests at Taksim Square, and he wanted to see what was happening, so he turned to Twitter. Even though he could read what was going on there, he could not see what was going on. In February 2014, they both started working on developing Periscope, but first named it “Bounty.” Pre-funding, they had no traction nor beta, just mockups and a vision for what they wanted to build. In April 2014, they raised $1.5 million from Founder Collective, Scott Belsky, Maveron, Google Ventures, Menlo Ventures, Bessemer, Stanford – StartX and Sam Shank. Before it launched, the app was acquired by Twitter in January 2015.

Periscope finally launched on March 26, 2015. By August 12, 2015, it had surpassed 10 million accounts, just four months after its launch.

Target audience

Statistics from Social Media Today show majority of the 10 million users who are on Periscope are between the ages of 18-34, mostly male. Ages 35-49 also have shown a keen interest of using the app as well. These users use the app mostly to share their live events with friends and family, but also socializing with them at the same time, and sharing thoughts too. The reason why these users are interested in this app because it’s free, it’s an easy way to share live events in real time, a new way to view what’s going on with the world, interest in tech innovations, and good way to keep tabs on friends and family. 

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Even though Periscope does not have the number of users that other social apps have, it’s still new and going through new upgrades in hopes to gain more users.

Growth:

Periscope has seen a steady increase of daily users since its inception in March. Within its first two weeks, it grew to 300,000 daily users and stayed around that number until a growth boom in late May/early summer. It hit its millionth daily user in mid June, and surpassed its two-millionth user by the beginning of August.

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The same can be said for time watched per day in hours. The average hours of live broadcasts watched per day now is about 43 hours a day.

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How it works

There are two roles when using Periscope, broadcaster and viewer. Broadcaster broadcasts the live video while the viewer watches the live video.

Broadcaster:

When a user logs in, they will see four tabs. They will choose the third tab called “broadcast booth.” Users must enable their camera of course to broadcast the live video, but have the option to enable their microphone and location before starting their broadcast. After, they will be taken to the broadcast screen where they can name the broadcast, make it public or private, and connect it to the user’s Twitter account so a tweet can be sent informing followers that that user is broadcasting a live broadcast on Periscope. When the user is ready, they hit the red “Start Broadcast” button to begin the love broadcast!

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When the broadcaster is done with the live broadcast, the broadcast is sent to their phone’s camera roll, where they can publish or share it online. They will also see statistics from the live broadcast, which include retention percentage, total viewers, time watched, hearts received and duration of the broadcast. 

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A detailed step-by-step guide is available below!

Viewer:

For a user to view a live broadcast, they can simply watch a live broadcast from anyone they follow, or someone else’s whose broadcast is public. They simply choose from either the first two tabs and choose the broadcast they want to see. During the broadcast, the viewer can add a comment by entering into the “Say something” field at the bottom, give hearts out by touching the right side of the screen, or go to the broadcaster’s info page by clicking on the small person on the bottom right. On that page, viewers can decide to follow the broadcaster, if they haven’t yet, see their location, hide the chat as they watch their broadcast, and share the broadcast via Twitter. Viewer can also scroll down to view some broadcast analytics.

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If there’s too many users watching one live broadcast, only those who arrived early can make comments and view it.

Twitter

Periscope was acquired by Twitter in January, but was announced just right after its rival Meerkat was a hit at its launched during South by Southwest 2015. With this acquisition, users can connect their Twitter account to Periscope, so all their information on Twitter is transferred to Periscope. User doesn’t have to fill in their bio, choose a bio picture, and all that jazz because of the transfer. Users can also find followers from Twitter who have a Periscope account as well. Periscope will also send out an automatic tweet from the user’s Twitter account when they start a live broadcast as well.

Built for mobile

Periscope was built for the mobile. Therefore, users can broadcast anywhere, anytime. When it first launched, users could only broadcast portrait, but recent developments now allow users to broadcast landscape.

Who uses it?

Brands that are using the app to broadcast live events, behind-the-scenes footage, Q&A’s include:

GE – used drones equipped with Periscope on guided tours through remote facilities as a part of #Droneweek.

Taco Bell – hosted a mock press conference about its new breakfast menu item and the associated “Breakfast Defector Day.”

Nissan – streamed the unveiling of its 2016 Maxima model at the New York auto show, which helped the automaker build buzz and extend its reach.

Target – drew attention to its Lilly Pulitzer line in a push that fueled such a huge consumer demand that 90% of the collection sold out in a few days.

JCPenny – “Celebrity Takeover” with Eva Longoria in its first Periscope stream in April, who introduced fans to her new JCPenney bedding collection and answered their questions from an exclusive launch event held in Los Angeles.

Red Bull – lived streamed during “Miami Music Week.”

Spotify– posted behind-the-scenes video with Conor O’Brien from the Villagers. It received a few hundred live viewers and has been replayed a few hundred times more.

Adidas – gave fans a chance to watch soccer star James Rodriguez sign his contact extension with the company.

Mountain Dew  – used it as a way to engage and reward their Twitter followers.

Try your own live broadcast

Think you’re ready to start your own live broadcast using Periscope? Before you do, I’ve created this step-by-step guide to get you started on your first (if you haven’t tried yet) Periscope live broadcast!

See the guide here.

Periscope is new to this game of the evolving social media. It’s taking citizen journalism, video viewing, and social media to another level. As new updates are implemented and more people are creating accounts, it’s becoming a game changer in this social media game.