Archive for the ‘Social media’ 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.


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?

Sports Teams, Social Media Personalities Unite for #OneNationOneTeam

In Social media, social tv, Sports Media on June 9, 2015 at 2:03 am

With a 3-1 victory over Australia on Monday night, the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team started off the World Cup with a big win. But not just on the field– on social media as well. Under the hashtag #OneNationOneTeam, teams from MLB, NHL, NFL, MLS and more showed their support on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

With more than 57,200 posts on Instagram with #OneNationOneTeam during their first match-up, support for the US Women’s Team came from rivaling teams, different conferences, different leagues, presidential hopefuls and more.

South Florida:

Across the USA:

Even Airlines:

The NFL:

And USA Hockey

“Though she be but little, she is fierce,” Life in the #Moocspeare

In multimedia, Social media on May 25, 2015 at 4:27 pm

"Though she be but little, she is fierce."

Yesterday I wrapped up my work for the “Shakespeare in Community” MOOC on Coursera. The massive open online course lasted four weeks, focusing on one Shakespeare play per week. The course was taught through videos, forums, an interactive Facebook group and a Twitter discussion hashtag (#moocspeare). Shakespeare in community caught my eye because I love both Shakespeare (brit lit really) and social media and was excited to see how the two could meld together. Headed by Jesse Stommel of the University of Wisconson-Madison, the community aspect did not disappoint. The faculty of the course encouraged wordles, tweets, blog posts, YouTube videos and all sorts of user-generated social media content to keep the course in action.

I studied Shakespeare in college and high school, but never quite like this. It’s no secret that I’m some one who lives for digital/social media and online community building. As a brand or organization, attempts to get your consumers or fans to create user generated content can sometimes fail or require a lot of explanation and effort. This course was able to reach more than 37,583 accounts on Twitter with 89,108 impressions (via TweetReach). The @HackShakespeare handle on Twitter,which served as an instructor and content source tweeted 108 times about the four-week course and gained 858 followers. The active Facebook group had new discussions posted everyday and currently sits at 1,181 active members. And that’s all just the social media part of the course, all external from the videos on YouTube and the forums on Coursera.

All of this makes a pretty good argument for this type of learning. This type of social media interaction for coursework and online distance learning is a great base and the reach of this four week course is impressive. Check out more on the course and it’s intention and reach from Jesse Stommel in “The Course Hath No Bottom: the 20,000 person seminar.” 

My personal experience in the course was awesome. I was able to re-read two plays that I read years ago and read two new ones for the first time. My life can be pretty busy when work is in-season and this course came at the perfect time for me to take a little brain break and focus on the literature and the University of Wisconsin- Madison was able to build an active online community in such a short period of time.

When I first moved to Florida, my best friend back home knew that I liked Shakespeare. She sent me a picture that read: “Though she be but little, she is fierce.” I knew that it was from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, but having never read the play, I didn’t know the context. In this course, A Midsummer Night’s Dream was my favorite play that the community read and explored. I learned a lot about a picture that had been hanging in my house but also about the fantastical elements of that play.

Two of the questions that the course asks students to explore in the final reflection are ‘Why do we need Shakespeare ?’ and ‘Why do we need the humanities?’ I think my answer to that is, we need the humanities to learn about ourselves. They help us to live an examined life and see the world around us. I’m not sure that we NEED Shakespeare, but his works seem to be the absolute best fit for the study of humanities. All of his plays hold relatable for the past, present and future and help paint a portrait of human nature. Interestingly enough, I think this course was particularly special because it helped the study of human nature, as Shakespeare is intended to do, but also showed the behavior of modern humanity. Social Media, digital media and online communities are a staple of 2015 living in the USA. Shakespeare yet again shows that his content is translatable for every generation into tweets, YouTube clips and more.

” If we shadows have offended,
Think but this, and all is mended,
That you have but slumber’d here
While these visions did appear.
And this weak and idle theme,
No more yielding but a dream,
Gentles, do not reprehend:
if you pardon, we will mend:
And, as I am an honest Puck,
If we have unearned luck
Now to ‘scape the serpent’s tongue,
We will make amends ere long;
Else the Puck a liar call;
So, good night unto you all.
Give me your hands, if we be friends,
And Robin shall restore amends.” (V, i. 440-455)

FACEBOOK is Down? Here’s what happened next

In Live Tweet, Social media, social tv on August 1, 2014 at 4:52 pm

So much a normal part of the social, digital life, many of us check Facebook several times a day. If content marketing is your job, you probably invest even more than that watching your demographics, feeding the beast and strategizing ways to drive web traffic, communicate your brand and more.

And so what happens when all of a sudden–it’s not there?

Well first, Buzzfeed is sad:

and then, 45,000 tweets:

Some find creative ways to describe the situation:

Or direct traffic to other outlets:

But, it looks like for the digital and social world, one thing is universally true:

Most people headed straight to Twitter. Admittedly, I checked just how far the outage spread by searching “Facebook down” in my HootSuite stream.

It looks like Facebook is back now, but here’s a few quick observations:

1. The fact that everyone jumped to Twitter suggests that digital is a HABIT, regardless of the platform. The Chatter continued, just somewhere else.

2. Mistakes in real-time social do not go unnoticed. Tweets at Facebook happened faster than blinks. The world reacts quickly when something goes wrong.

3. Back up your content. Have a plan and a schedule where demographic information and other data is stored.

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.


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!



Brands celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.

In case studies, multimedia, On the look out, Social media on March 17, 2014 at 9:28 pm

Some people may argue that St. Patrick’s Day is a made up American holiday, and others will argue that everyone is just a little bit Irish today. No matter which way you look at it, it’s a conversation and a holiday that your brand can’t ignore. showed that some variation of the holiday was trending across North America on Monday:

Screen Shot 2014-03-17 at 5.50.06 PM

Here’s some awesome “Green” activations I noticed today:

Food Brands


Fashion Brands


A ‘Green’ Excuse for a sale:

Some brands took organic approaches and others (like Arby’s) boosted their efforts a bit. Marketers and SoMe mavens—Which would you go with? How into this holiday does your brand need to be in order to make ad spend worth it?

How Food Brands are harvesting success from trending topics

In case studies, Social media on December 6, 2013 at 11:11 pm

The Tweets are alive, echoing trends from everywhere…

Social listening is key to growing any social media following. One common recommendation to a start up or organization with their eyes set on exponential growth is to focus on trending topics, use current hashtags and join common conversations.  I’ll shout out the obvious, worn out examples: Oreo, College Game Day, Stores jumping in with sales and responses ala natural disasters (ex: Urban Outfitter’s  Sandy Sale via Business Insider)

Many would recommend this to a start up or in growth of social media, when done correctly, small businesses can capitalize on trends in their community, sponsors can utilize buzz from their partnering sports teams or concerts/events. But is it possible for a brand to go too far? To try too hard to jump into a conversation or force their content into relevancy?

So many monumental events happened on Twitter this week that trended in the U.S., internationally, etc. Things like #CyberMonday, #RIPPaulWalker (Pause while I cry) #RIPNelsonMandela, #HobbitPremiere, #SoundofMusic, #WorldCup probably sound familiar no matter where you are reading this from. And I’m assuming that was the reasoning behind DiGiorno’s cheesy Sound of Music Remarks.

See LA Times recap for more context.

Also see AdWeek’s praise of the coverage.


It paid off too,they trended in Austin and spent most of today retweeting articles and praise for their efforts. The post social media action of recapping and responding was almost as important as the choice to tune in in the first place. Well Played, DiGiorno’s.

My first look at this was YIKES TRYING TOO HARD. Which led me to examine, what is too hard? How do you measure success? I think a verdict on if this was proper content or not comes down to what the goals are. With a brand like DiGiorno, I’m assuming the goals of social media are to increase awareness and eventually sell pizzas.

While it does seem a littleeeeee forced, I think no harm was done. They showed themselves to be aware of trends, relevant, and willing to have a little fun.

If their goals were to appear fun and raise awareness, then they can call this successful. More serious brands could not risk it, and different success metrics would not deem it so.

An honorable mention also has to go to Moe’s for one of the most epic, subtle Lord of the Rings References:

They didn’t hashtag Hobbits or Hobbit Premiere, but to us Ringers, this casual shoutout to our next week’s main event did not go unappreciated.

Moe’s and DiGiorno’s display different approaches and different goals of utilizing trending topics. DiGiorno’s hashtagged a lot, getting the recognition and joining the conversation. Moe’s was on the other end of the spectrum. I’m sure they didn’t cash in on direct clicks of people searching for and talking about the Hobbit, but it was a loyalty builder for those already invested. Sort of, if it should happen to fall on the right ears, it works. Otherwise, it’s a timely piece of content creation.

I’m sure we will continue to see brands cash in on trending topics and jump in on convos, they would be foolish not too. But how much is too much? and is there a risk involved with being overkill?


UPDATE: The morning after I published this, SpaghettiO’s may have illustrated what too far looks like with their attempt to join/commemorate Pearl Harbor:

Three reasons Sir Ian is my favorite #SocialCeleb

In case studies, Social media on October 8, 2013 at 1:21 am

When most people think of celebrities, I’d venture a guess that the image they conjure is a young starlett tweeting about shoes before she ends up in the headlines. But all types of famous people from athletes to authors to politicians are taking to social media.  You don’t need me to tell you about the dangers and fine lines such personalities must walk with their every move under scrutiny and eternal fame lying in wait for the scandal or mistake.

While some celebrities use an agent or PR staff to tweet for them, most go at it on their own. Sir Ian’s Facebook claims to be “Maintained by Sir Ian’s official webmaster, Keith Stern.” But I think it so accurately represents what I would imagine his personality to be. And his Twitter, nothing he posts passes without being awesome.

Back in 2009, I told people I liked Twitter because of it’s ability to allow the world to feel a little bit smaller, to allow for personal interaction with one’s favorite brands and celebrities.  This is a dynamic I think we’ve started to take for granted. I don’t know where I would be without my daily update from everyone’s favorite wizard, Ian McKellen.  Yes, I’m a fangirl, but also I think there are a lot elements from Sir Ian’s social that all other personalities could incorporate for success.

Three Reasons Sir Ian is the best celebrity to enjoy on Social Media: 

  1. His status updates have prompted this Buzzfeed about Friendship that brings tears to everyone’s eyes:

why it’s awesome: It’s real, it’s memorable, it’s communicative of his personality without being dramatic of flashy. It just is who he is.

2. This photo:

From Sir Ian on Facebook

From Sir Ian on Facebook

Why it’s good: Well I mean look at it. Its Gandalf, preparing for battle.  But really, its behind the scenes. It’s an eerie behind the scenes moment for all fans of the movie. Preparing for a memorable, epic scene. This is what winning looks like in behind the scenes content. Celebrities who have access to share developmental moments or day in the life content show their fans something they can’t get elsewhere.

3.  He shares content from his own projects.

Not enough celebrities really take advantage of Twitter as a promotional platform. You see many famous personas who just use it for personal communications and conversations and the occasional travel pic, but I think Sir Ian has found the right balance of promotion and content that make it an interesting account to follow. He almost breaks news about the Hobbit and covers it the way an entertainment account would.

#NationalCoffeeDay– How brands bridged tangible & online

In On the look out, Social media on September 29, 2013 at 5:34 pm

It’s trending in Miami and tons of brands are jumping in on it. National Coffee Day is a holiday I can certainly get behind, but some brands (especially large coffee chains) are utilizing the traffic brought about by the hashtag and the digital push for the holiday that seems to be bringing people tangibly into their stores.

The results of a standard Twitter search for #NationalCoffeeDay.

The results of a standard Twitter search for #NationalCoffeeDay.

Halloween (32 DAYS!) is an example of a standard holiday most people are familiar with and celebrate. While brands and stores often search for tie ins for more traditional holidays, the digital age has opened up the opportunity for fabricated holidays to achieve widespread recognition.

National Coffee Day is Sept. 29, everyone knew that right? Of course not. Without seeing the trend on Twitter, I’d place a bet that 85% of people on Twitter never even thought that was a thing.

The All Alabama blog published a quick brief this morning stating that national coffee day has “No history, No tradition” but you are able to cash in on it.  Positioned by most media as a chance to snag a free cup of coffee, National Coffee Day is just another example of the ability of Social Media to drive and even create commerce.

Brewin’ up hype

@Caribou_Coffee above mentions that you can get a free cup of coffee “in honor of” the holiday. A holiday you didn’t even know existed until you read that tweet, but now you are determined to celebrate.  Trust me, if I lived in a state with the ‘Bou I’d be there so fast. Although I’d probably get an apple blast. And therein lies another benefit. Called to the store because of a free promotion, this hashtag channels the power of traditional coupons expecting customers to come into the store for one offer with chances being they’ll go for other things as well.

Because of the viral nature of hashtags, Brands can create immediate calls to action. Similar to the way the Macy’s Three Day sale traditionally has created newspaper ads compelling people to purchase immediately, creating a sense of urgency, National Coffee Day creates a social media urgency. An artificial rush is created, and most of all, it’s fun.

When doing consulting (which I do very little of but still some), I advise small companies or beginning brands to join in on large conversations. For example hashtagging the game and jumping on conversations around College Football in Syracuse are one way small businesses in Syracuse, NY can get digitally noticed. The same principal applies here as companies jump in on the conversation and gain attention, followers and business because of it.

Get it while it’s hot– Other brands benefit from the snowball

PBS is one of the top tweets that comes up in a search. Though certainly not an authority on coffee, they are an authority on history and on public ongoings, their choice to jump into the hashtag with information was a wise one.

But I think the most brilliant thing about National Coffee Day is the ease of which a digital hashtag and hype can translate to getting people tangibly into stores. Sitting in Barnes and Noble right now, I haven’t picked up any free coffee yet. But it’s such a simple call to action to provide the urgency: “ITS TODAY ONLY.”

Moreover, I love observing the power that social media has to not only create and push a non-holiday but to drive loyalty and build brand connections by taking this concept of celebrating the ordinary and creating offers around digital buzz.

Anyone getting some free coffee today? Spy any creative ways brands are cashing in on the hashtagged occasion?


Also this happened: