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Archive for the ‘Community Management’ Category

One Week with Kik: A look at the Fast-Growing Messaging App

In Community Management, engagement, Messaging, Mobile App, Social media on August 30, 2015 at 8:27 pm

An article in the Silicon Valley Business Journal last week cited Facebook as still the No. 1 used Social Media, but with stagnant growth. The same article mentioned the expedited adoption of the start-up messaging app, Kik. Being mentioned in conjunction with the some of the most downloaded and used social apps is enough to force you pay attention to Kik, but if you need more, consider it’s 240 million users between the age of 13-24 and the 9 million of those users who have voluntarily opted in to chat with brands.

What’s Kik? : At first download, it doesn’t look that different from other messaging apps such as Viber or Facebook Messenger. But after I started “chatting” a bit it started to remind me of AOL messenger and chatting with automated bots in the fifth grade. It’s organization structure is set up in such a way that you can chat with:

  1. Your Friends: Like when you create a new account on any mobile app, Kik scans your phone and finds friends on Kik. As I am just out of that 18-24 range, I only had one friend who seemed to be already active on the app. Like Viber, friends seem to use Kik to text internationally and my friend who was on it said: “The notification noise is super satisfying.” (Hey, it never hurts to have a nice interface and few homey add ons).
  2. Topical Groups: Since I had no friends to chat with, but still wanted to get a clearer picture of how the app is being used, I did some searching for who else I could chat with. It seems in clumps of up to 50 or more, you can chat with complete strangers or anyone who is interested in a certain topic. I posted in the “Hobbits” group to see what would happen. There was immediate response from other users but I wouldn’t qualify the conversations as very valuable. Like the chatrooms of the early 90’s, most of the responses were unrelated and all over the place.
  3. Brands (Partners): Perhaps the reason that Kik is appealing is it’s brand value proposition. If the app is already being heavily utilized to chat with friends, why not open up the opportunity to brands as well? KIk’s website claims that 190 million messages have been exchanged with promoted chat accounts. In a way, this is a step up from a Twitter or Facebook exchange with a brand as it feels more personal and your question isn’t out there for the world to see. BUT it doesn’t seem like there are any actual humans on the other side of the conversation. Some of the biggest brands utilizing the app include MTV, Buzzfeed, WWF & Reddit. Their branded micro sites within the Kik app seem pretty cool. Just another place to share their content and as always, meeting users and potential customers where they already are. I started to have some conversations with these brands and wasn’t exactly thrilled with what I found.

Some Branded Conversations:

It certainly felt like chatting with a bot on AOL all of those years ago. Or maybe Siri, who is programmed to say what you want to hear. The best conversation I had was with WWF, who utilized the computer back and forth to ask trivia questions and further their cause: (and link to their landing page)

Convo with WWF on KIk

Convo with WWF on KIk

Chatting with Buzzfeed was fun too. For someone who already loves Buzzfeed’s content and can often spend a significant amount of time scrolling through the site before deciding what to read, Kik can serve as a content guide, suggesting articles and making it a more interactive reading experience.

The conversation with MTV, though seemed very one-sided. When I began chatting with them, it was clear the goal for them was to promote the VMA’s. They had an awesome micro-hub set up on Kik with all of the VMA content, which again I think highlights the potential for Kik as a distribution platform. But not so much for a conversation:

Chat with MTV on Kik

Chat with MTV on Kik

The conversation couldn’t answer the most logical question someone chatting might have: When are the VMA’s?

Let’s talk about that $50 million in funding: Whether your conversation with a brand was rewarding or not, people are using Kik. Tech Crunch reported last week that the app had raised $50 million from the biggest internet company in China with the goal of becoming the “WeChat of the West. Read more on that here.  

So, should I as a brand care about Kik? 

Looking at the evaluation and adoption rate of the app as well as the number of competitors, messaging apps don’t seem to be going anywhere. Along with more Video Sharing platforms, they might just be the two fastest growing areas in Social Media in 2016. On one hand the personal chance to chat with a customer is immensely valuable, but as with the MTV example, the system may need ironed out. (Unless you are using strictly as distribution). And like any social network, it’s only as valuable as the network itself, if it continues to grow and if your target market is using it.

Any avid Kik users out there? Is it how you chat with Friends in far away lands or would you like to have the chance to click to buy and converse with brands?

 

Goosebumps has been #Unlocked– How the movie involved fans in it’s trailer release

In Community Management, engagement, Social media, social tv on July 13, 2015 at 12:49 am

This is not Slappy writing this blog post on my computer, just for the record.

Photo

Or maybe it is….

But before Slappy and his crew of monsters hit the screen on Oct. 16, I’m still hoping to see more adorable Twitter banter and living dummy antics.

The Trailer Release 

Goosebumps released the trailer for the upcoming movie last week and although I must admit it was less thrilling and featured fewer of the book series’ iconic monsters than I had hoped for, it still caught my eye. The coolest part of the trailer was likely how it was “unlocked.”

With social streams crowding and attention spans shortening, brands are continuously fighting for ways to engage and entertain. Goosebumps did just that by utilizing fan input to release their trailer. While in honest the campaign was “faux” user generated content, Fans were just asked to tweet “#UnlockGoosebumps, not create anything, the implication was that if enough fans did NOT tweet, then the trailer would not go live.

Would the trailer really have not been revealed? Of course not. But with this movie’s target audience of high-schoolers and reminiscent 90’s kids, fans (including myself) took to social media with fervor hoping to see the trailer as soon as possible.

The campaign was smart– a great way to build up anticipation and cause users on social media to take a level of ownership and responsibility for the trailer release.

The Twitter Content 

But the best part was the Twitter exchange between long-time loved ventriloquist dummy Slappy and creator RL Stine.

Selfishly, I loved the conversation because Slappy has been a favorite character of mine since about the second grade. But it was smart, interesting content too. The Twitter account set forth the idea that Slappy wanted you to #UnlockGoosebumps, so now it’s not just another nameless brand begging you to hashtag something. It’s now a “real?” and recognizable character.  Even more, Stine does not want whatever this is to be unleashed. This additional element makes the exchange cute and is reminiscent of the wit and child’s play found in the novels themselves.

The Outcome

Slappy gets his way and the trailer is unleashed.

Now you’ve done it! The Goosebumps creatures have been released! Want to see more Slappy? Just click share…

Posted by Goosebumps Movie on Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Look for more great content from Goosebumps as there’s still plenty of time before the flick hits theaters.

And 111 days until Halloween…but who’s counting?

Using Social Media + #HootSuite for Conferences and Events

In Community Management, Live Tweet, Social media, Sports Media on July 15, 2014 at 12:13 am

If you find yourself in a university setting or traveling to a conference, it’s likely you’ll end up in a situation with a guest speaker, some important insights you wish you could remember and a hash tag on a flier or program.

As a student or professional, it is often about how to make the most out of those precious 45 minutes with an industry expert or interesting speaker. Social preparation before the event, live tweeting and documentation during, and a reach out and thank you afterwards can be the key to engaging, remembering and creating long-term contact after events.

Prior to the event:

1. Find and follow the speakers on twitter. More than likely, your speaker or they organization they represent will have a social presence.  By getting an idea of the types of content they post and conversation they engage in, you can begin the background research process and have context for the topics they may discuss.

Seat Conference has begun making a list of attendees here.

2. Reach out ahead of time. Considering tweeting or reaching out to those involved with the conference or event ahead of time. Even a casual mention can show your enthusiasm for the topic and make the visitor or speaker feel welcome.  Creating pre-event social buzz can remind and build enthusiasm for an upcoming event. This can be a good thing no matter if it is happening on your campus, at your organization or at a travel location or event center.

2. Reach out ahead of time. Considering tweeting or reaching out to those involved with the conference or event ahead of time. Even a casual mention can show your enthusiasm for the topic and make the visitor or speaker feel welcome.  Creating pre-event social buzz can remind and build enthusiasm for an upcoming event. This can be a good thing no matter if it is happening on your campus, at your organization or at a travel location or event center.

3. Set up a tab or concentrated streams in HootSuite. I have a tab within my HootSuite dashboard titled “events.” In this tab I have a stream of my sent tweets, a stream of my mentions, and a stream with the hash tag for whichever event I am currently attending. It’s also a good idea to set up a stream following mentions of the speaker or event venue to keep an eye on the conversation that is going on around you. From this home plate you can engage with other visitors to the event and create conversation around what is being discussed at the event. This can be a great way to keep up changes to itinerary or news in the days leading up to the event.

During the event:

1. Utilize those tabs! Open up HootSuite on your iPhone, iPad, desktop or whatever other electronic device you choose to use during the event. Keep an eye on the tabs you set up. Be sure to tweet quotes from the event if allowed (with proper attribution of course!) and engage with the speaker and fellow audience members. Many events even use these social streams for questions so keep up with what’s being asked and considering meaningful inquiries of your own.

Post-event:

1. Gratitude and further connections.  Follow up with people that you engaged with during the conference or speaking event. This could mean tweeting out a thanks or DM-ing to keep the conversation going. Be sure to follow them and allow them to be incorporated into your usual HootSuite streams if they were particularly relevant or interesting!

 

2. Keep in touch. Minutes, days, or even a week after the event you may be surprised to see what types of connections you make. If you receive a response from the event be sure to answer and catch up with the connections you’ve made. Building a network of power sharers who contribute regular meaningful content can be an ideal way to get the most out of your social experience.

Have any tips on how you’ve kept in contact with speakers or networked with professionals at industry conferences? No matter what the topic of the conference or speaker, backchannels of engagement can be a manuscript of the event and a way to personally interact in a crowded setting. I’d love to hear your thoughts, feel free to tweet at @adelynlee!

 

 

Visions of Social Media with InVision app

In case studies, Community Management, Social media on August 9, 2013 at 6:06 pm

While preparing for job interviews, I came across InVisionapp.com. Hoping to communicate mock-ups of what social media presences could look like, I tried a couple of mockup approaches and began to realize the value of visual, sharable mock ups in social media planning and strategy. After signing up for the service, I was fortunate enough to have been contacted by designer Ryan Duffy and participated in a short call giving feedback on InVision and also learning how to better use it while providing InVision with some basic new user feedback. For one, I have to commend a company willing to take the time and discuss their product with nobody users like me, its the sign of someone who will go far to be willing to take time, listen and reality check! But the experience also showed me the value of such a product in the social space. So without further ado…

InVision makes mock ups, tweeking and sharing easy. See more at http://www.invisionapp.com/tour

InVision makes mock ups, tweeking and sharing easy. See more at http://www.invisionapp.com/tour

6 Reasons you should use an app like InVIsion in strategic SM Planning:

  1. A Good Social Presence is a planned one.  This shouldn’t come as a surprise, but I believe social media is part of a organization’s larger communication goals. Planning just content creation and evaluating target audiences isn’t enough. The design of a page and frequency of occurrence of types of posts (such as video interviews or scoreboards in the NHL space) is crucial in knowing when and what content to post. This can change often for say, preseason, post-season, featuring a player approach and mocking up what a team or company’s social media would look like in various situations is an important part of planning. It gets people all on the same page as well as helps the Social Media Coordinator or manager laser focus their approach.
  2. Various Departments have their hands in social. Everyone from the casual user to the frequent engager will be able to tell when your social media or organizational digital communications aren’t cohesive. Often many hands from marketing to sales have input and touch points with digital and social voices and collaboration can mean the difference. One thing I liked about InVision is the ability to quick share a design via email or link. In turn different departments can comment, change and communicate from any device (even mobile app!) and stay on the same page literally and figuratively.
  3. Archiving and Portfolio. In case social changes frequently or the person running it changes over, it may be useful to have a backlog of say Facebook cover photos and types of typical content. Creating mock ups ahead of time allow anyone in the content creation, measurement or social engagement roles to see the thought process behind various campaigns or redesigns.
  4. Analytical Tweeking. So I know I already mentioned tweeking, but a huge part of successful social is looking at the numbers. Anything from HootSuite to Google Analytics can help you discern almost hourly what type of content is working and what isn’t. A shareable, comment-able, quick mockup tool like InVision will allow for quick modifications to create the best possible twitter page or best possible Facebook design. Responding in real time can be huge for social, say for example, your team just made the playoffs unexpectedly or your company just won a huge award. This is something you’ll want to highlight on your social. Put together a quick mock-up of what the cover photo and type of content for an upcoming campaign highlighting that success and reaching for fan/user engagement will look like and blast off a link to your co-workers or superiors. Quick approval and comments can allow you to put it into action fast with a croudsourced, agreed upon approach.
  5. Responsive Web design, Consistency. With the introduction of a cover photo type box in Facebook, Twitter and Google +, the question is posed: Should all platforms look similar or does each have a different goal? The answer to this will be different for each department, company, organization, etc. but having a slideshow of mock ups can help you get to the answer. HootSuite for example has a large number of social presences from @HootCampus, which I’ve been involved with, to twitter accounts dedicated to each country in which it operates. I think they are the perfect example of consistency in the way that Owly changes and their design looks so similar across the board that you can immediately identify that it is them. I don’t know how their design or planning team approaches or operates at all, but if I were in a position at a company or organization attempting to achieve similar consistency, a mock up tool like InVision would be a huge help.
  6.  Collaborate, Preview, Post. Processes that are consistent and multi-person are more and more common in social strategy. Using mock-ups can allow interns or anyone to submit an approach and allow that idea to grow and be perfected before launching.

All in all, I think I’ll be using Mock Up platforms and mock up sharing more especially in my consulting ventures to get opinions and visually convey to clients. I think it’s an important tool and an awesome way to spark conversation about expertly planned and executed Facebook, Twitter and any other digital presence pages.

Is anyone else using these tools? I’d love to hear how and why!

The Powers of promoting #Local

In Community Management, Social media, Sports Media on July 17, 2013 at 8:40 pm

Passing through the Syracuse airport about a month ago, a friend of mine began discussing how she liked airports that showed local flavor. Syracuse recently installed local coffee chain, Cafe Kubal  which gives you a Syracuse, NY flavor when coming and going. Event venues, festivals, malls etc. seem to be utilizing local more and more. The Consol Energy Center in my hometown offers the Pittsburgh infamous Primanti Brothers sandwiches and local Nakama Sushi to hockey fans and concert attendees. I think that this trend of having local flavor not only improves the experience, but can play a huge role in social media as well. From strategic partnerships to pulling in more volumes to your event choosing and promoting local is the right way to go.

Local Community Management

The Walden Galleria in Buffalo has a localized LUSH page for their specific store allowing them to do promotions and manage a community of frequent customers.

The Walden Galleria in Buffalo has a localized LUSH page for their specific store allowing them to do promotions and manage a community of frequent customers.

Many global companies nurture local twitter accounts, hashtags, and Facebook pages providing targeted content and scaleable one on one communications with frequenters of a particular store. LUSH Cosmetics is a favorite company of mine with an innovative social presence. I’ve watched them bounce back from social crises gracefully on their international main account based out of Vancouver,B.C. and also am an avid watcher of a number of local community and store pages. I think managing pages like these have many perks not the least of which being a chance to better get to know the customers at one specific store and in turn laser focus your advertising content or even store merchandise.

The Power of Promoting local on main social channels:

Because isn’t it all about fan experience or customer experience anyways?

  1. Unique flavor provides competitive advantages: Whether the name of your game is to pull in an entirely new fan base or continuously please a faithful one, promoting and playing up a local business or food provider can be a game changer. Tweet about that local product or craft that will be on display at your event.
  2. Leave an impression with visitors and passersby: A sunny summer Sunday morning in Pittsburgh can hold many visitors who made the trip to watch their team take on the Pittsburgh Pirates. I saw many New York Mets fans wondering around Station Square yesterday as the teams completed their weekend series. And this is by no means uncommon for any town with pro sports. Incorporating sharability such as badge for your local in-house food vendor, or even an instagrammable photo opp or hashtag can allow visitors to have a memorable social interaction with your event AND that local experience. This can translate to WOM excitement or even just building a loyalty that they will want to return to your city or your event.
  3. Strategic Partnerships, mutually beneficial sponsorships: While it’s clear that corporate partnerships and new business relationships are crucial to the success of any large scale venue, revealing and utilizing these partnerships in the social space can bring new success. Sponsoring or promoting a special of a vendor on a main team’s account is an example of mutually beneficial content creation.