UNT Fest(tivities)

By: Kayla Henson | @kayla_hensonn

 On March 8th 2017, the Union was bumbling with students with their ID’s in hand, as they rushed to grab all the food and prizes that their bags could hold. The normal mundane routine of walking mindlessly from class to class with headphones on was interrupted by a giant Scrappy blow-up and balloons surrounding the building. 

So how do you get a majority of the students to leave their cramped dorms and spend time on campus for longer than their normal class period time? Two words: free stuff. The Union’s ballrooms were lined with dozens of vendor booths giving out free samples of their products to eager students. There were also cupcake parties, live music, silent disco party, laser tag, a private showing of Parks & Rec episodes, and many other activities spread out throughout the day.

To get students even more involved in the fun, there was an incentive to use the hashtag “#UNTUnionFest2017” on Instagram when students post a picture. Next to the art gallery, there was a free booth where students could pick up free polaroid prints of their pictures if they used the hashtag. This resulted in thousands of search results under the hashtag, and many fun memories forever documented in a cute, fun way while also bringing positive attention to the university.

Moral of the story, free incentives and hashtags bring about a unique type of free advertising and are a great tool for networking and putting a positive spotlight on a brand or business.

Snapchat and Brand Engagement

by Josh Wilbanks

image

As a millennial and a person who has engaged with social media a majority of their young life, I have found myself in an odd position about where to post content where it would be most appropriate on which form of social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc). For any company that’s trying to target potential buyers, this is now a crucial aspect in the communication planning process. However, companies such as Facebook and Twitter provide analytics to contribute to understanding post engagements and where exactly views are generating from. Snapchat, an app that is used widely by a younger audience, has emerged as a place to produce “photos and short videos (called “snaps”) [that] self-destruct after being viewed by the recipient.” (Slotnick) For one-on-one interactions, this is the perfect place to send messages without being really held accountable but for a company that is looking to grow a brand, it has more faults than it does gains.
Snapchat is used mostly by a younger crowd which unfortunately means that companies are targeting users who don’t even necessarily have the buying power. By investing in such an app, they are putting their faith in click-through advertisements that disappear after so much amount of time. Snapchat hasn’t evolved to allow data analytics to the level that other social networking platforms due to the fact that you can’t even truly get a clear number of people who are following you, only who has viewed (or click passed) your post within the 24 hour increment. The app isn’t to the level of others as it “is not a forwarding mechanism that can make messages go viral, it may be difficult for emerging brands to be found.” (Slotnick) Viewing a message once isn’t enough to make a likely effect on a buyer and even more when you can’t truly tell the target audience that the brand is capturing.
Snapchat still needs time to evolve as both a brand and social networking company before it can reach the expectations that companies have as users to fully invest their advertising in. However, as an individual user of the app and for its day-to-day use, it is fast entertainment and a quick communication tool.

 

Works Cited

Slotnick, Stacy. “Cold Snap: Should Brands Use Snapchat?” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 07 Mar. 2017. Web. 19 Mar. 2017.

 

 

 

Artists and Friendly Media Growth

By Daniel Portales

It’s no question that the internet is a great tool from which you can get yourself, or even your own business or product to be noticed by a lot of different people. For animators however, it can be a tough business even with the help of social media. For a long time, many independant animators made a living off of uploading their short, 1-3 minute cartoons, which would often get shared on multiple social media platforms, and often got thousands or even millions of views.

 

Even with the long time between uploads, animators could live off the sheer amounts of views gotten from each videos, and would even help get themselves noticed by companies due to all their animations being public and viral in some cases. However, Youtube would eventually change their algorithm on how they paid content creators to be more focused on minutes watched and upload frequency instead of view numbers themselves. Naturally, since animations took a lot of time to make, and uploads would be scarce even with short animations, Youtube became a platform impossible to live off of, and many animators left doing short animations for a living.

However, people still see Youtube as a way to spread their work and advertise their skills as animators. And some people just do it for fun or as a hobby, and because of this horrible change in policy that discouraged animation on Youtube, many successful artists and animators took it upon themselves to help other smaller animators get their work notcied, and would even pay them directly to make animations that they would then upload to their own channels, citing and crediting the authors and helping them get noticed.

This is an especially popular trend with Let’s Players on Youtube that pay animators to make animations to illustrate their commentary in humorous or creative ways. Many artists also try to help get other’s work noticed by telling their followers to draw something in mind with a specific hashtag, and that they’ll retweet art using that’s posted using that hashtag. Such as Arin Hanson asking people to share their cute art for #cutiesaturday.

Social media proves to be a pivotal resource for artists and animators, and shows just how closely knit together artists are.

Is a Target Market Always Necessary?

Samuel Regas

The first thing that you’re taught in any advertising, public relation, or marketing class is that you have to decide on your target market before you can create your campaign. I know that over my college career, I’ve certainly had this drilled into my head. However I’ve always questioned the necessity of the target market in every campaign.

As any student of any section of marketing can tell you, the target market is type of consumer which is targeted by your advertising or PR campaign. This usually includes a description of their demographic information, such as age, gender, race, location, and so on, as well as what’s known as psychographic information. This includes the hobbies, interests, and identity of the consumer. It’s clear to see how the decision of the target audience can affect the campaign and even the product itself. For example, Dr Pepper TEN is a nearly identical product to Diet Dr Pepper, however, it is deemed as the “manly” alternative to the dainty diet soda. The commercials promoting Dr Pepper TEN were made to look like scenes out of a Bruce Willis action movie and were usually played during televised sporting events with the tagline “It’s Not for Women”. This is clearly meant to hit the target audience of middle-aged dr-pepper-10-facebookmacho manly men who love sports and action movies. While some criticize Dr Pepper TEN (and it’s competitor Coke Zero) for being patronizing and obvious, the target audience clearly makes sense and had an effect on the campaign.

Now consider the Oreo “Dunk in the Dark” social media spot. With the Super Bowl always ranking among the most-watched television events every year, a wide variety of target markets watch it. So when the lights went out in the middle of the game in 2013, Oreo saw its chance and posted an image on Twitter which showcased an Oreo on a mostly dark Oreobackground with the tagline “you can still dunk in the dark”. The image went viral and is even showcased in multiple advertising textbooks. This ad, however, has no real target market. Not only is Oreo a product that can be purchased by (almost) anybody, the only prerequisite to being a target to the ad is having watched to Super Bowl or having at least heard about what happened. Since Oreo is such an agreeable product that has no relationship to demographics, it makes sense that Oreo didn’t need to define a age or gender, or try to relate the product with a specific hobby.

This to me is proof that great ads don’t necessarily need a specific target audience to be successful. The necessity of target audiences should be decided on a product-by-product basis.

South by Social Media

By: Connor Gray

I’ve never really considered Spring Break to be a time to actually go somewhere. Usually I just head back home for the week because I don’t deserve a nice trip somewhere. This year that completely changed thanks to my job with the Denton Convention and Visitors Bureau. My grand-boss’s decision this year was to bring me along with some of my co-workers to South by Southwest for the Interactive portion of the festival. For those that don’t know South by Southwest (usually SXSW) is a conference/festival consisting of three different tracks of interactive, film, and music. While each section provides different opportunities per pass, my interactive pass allowed me to go to career building workshosp with extreme professionals in my field alongside information on areas that I knew nothing about.

Here are some of the highlights of some of SXSW sessions that I’ve been to so far as far as social media is concerned:

Levi Strauss and the Internet of Things:

On an advertising level, this was an amazing opportunity. The session consisted of Ivan Poupyrev, a technical program lead at Google, and Paul Dillinger, a vice president of Levi Straus & Company. They primarily focused on a new line of clothing that they partnered together to work on that not only paired with your phone but to the Internet automatically. A person could actually swipe a pad on their pants or a press a button on their jacket to send a tweet. It was amazing and while the technology may not be immediately taken advantage of, it’s definitely a new component to the fashion market. What’s more is that I thought it was crazy that of all companies, Levi’s and Google partnered up.

Atlas Obscura Author:

Ella Morton, author of the hit blog and travel book, spoke on how people have utilized their website with social media to promote hidden places on the map. I’m an avid fan of her book and it was cool to see how different platforms lended to the submission to the actual travel spots.

New York Times Editor (with Vox Reporter):

The executive editor of the New York times sat with Jim Rutenberg to address the current state of the news paper medium. He discuses how Donald Trump and social media reactions made “news great again” While a lot of the discussion focused on politics, I pulled a lot of information on how to create content that is actually memorable on a website and how to share that to specific platforms.

 

Snapchat for Business:

Interestingly enough this was one of the only sessions that involved Snapchat at all, but it was still extremely valuable. Companies are having an increasingly difficult time trying to utilize Snapchat like their other platforms. People are not necessarily more hesitant to use it, but the businesses don’t necessarily know how to use them efficiently. Not unlike other platforms, the panelists emphasize the need for constant content growing out to build an organic relationship with their viewers.

Brand Booths:

Nearly every company of prominence has sent out a major brand ambassador to run an event here, and social has played a major component to that in general. Esurance has been giving mass giveaways but the only way to find them is through their Snapchat story. Budlight and Canvas both generated personalized gifs of yourself to tweet out with their logos slathered all over them. Nat Geo let you Twitter DM a selfie that would then be drawn by a robot on a chalkboard that utilized Einstein formulas on the actual selfie. The list could go on forever because most of these brands’ driving motivation was to get you to follow them on their platforms and interact with them.

The Biden Cancer Foundation:

This was definitely at the top of my list. I waited hours in the morning and afternoon to not only get a wristband to go, but to actually get a good seat. This man is a personal hero of mine and brought up some essential points about cancer research that even included social media in its own way. One major point he looked at was how badly the access to information there was for both patients and researchers alike. Researchers had a very difficult time pulling secondary research in this field. With Biden’s foundation, they’ve been working digital cloud servers like Amazon and Silicone valley innovators to generate website and social networks to change the culture of the cancer treatment system in America. This speech was intense, powerful and managed to matter to just about any field of study, including social media.

Overall, the conference was an amazing opportunity that has affected my life in more ways than one. Social media proves to be a vital contributing to the festival. Whether it was the hashtags and Snapcodes plastering every inch of venues or a panel based on generating communities on Twitter.

 

Oh also, I shook Biden’s hand.

 

Sources:

 

  1. (2017, March 12). The Urgency of Now: Launching the Biden Cancer Initiative – SXSW 2017. Retrieved March 13, 2017, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IykG7_zHXoo

 

Soper, T. (2017, March 12). New York Times editor explains how Donald Trump made journalism great again. Retrieved March 13, 2017, from http://www.geekwire.com/2017/new-york-times-editor-explains-donald-trump-made-journalism-great/

 

SXSW Schedule Overview | SXSW Conference & Festivals. (n.d.). Retrieved March 13, 2017, from https://www.sxsw.com/schedule/

Why did I buy that?

By: Amanda Castillo | @_mandymichelle

Have you even been scrolling through your social media and then had the sudden urge to buy something you just saw?

shopping
What I look like after going to Sephora after looking at their social media via The Guardian

Yeah, haha, me neither…

but really, based on a study, “Social media works well with most groups but especially with millennials. The Deloitte report found that 47 percent of millennials are influenced in their purchases by social media, compared to 19 percent for all other age groups.” Wow, 47% of millenials, that’s a huge opportunity for brands on social media and that’s not all. “The Deloitte report noted that consumers who use social media during their shopping process are four times more likely to spend more on purchases than those who do not. It goes even further. The report states that shoppers are 29 percent more likely to make a purchase the same day when using social media to help shop before or during a trip to the store.”

What does this mean for brands?

“Recent research shows that the role of social media on marketing decisions is startling, meaning it is time companies started putting more emphasis on their social media strategy.” Brands can’t afford to overlook social media as a marketing tool, even if they have a “boring business” or one they don’t think will translate to social media well. Maybe they just haven’t found the right platform or need help thinking outside of the box, but as social media becomes bigger, the more they are losing those opportunities, and consequently, consumer loyalty and money.

Why is that exactly?

Social media exposes you to more items/services that you may otherwise not know about.” Sometimes the answer is simply that people are unaware of your product or service, social media can help bridge the gap between your business and possible consumers.

Another reason this is true is because of word of mouth. Social media is where we can find and review products/services/business for all the world to see and it is seen as more trustworthy than ads put out by the business themselves. “Social media encourages trust. As people make those connections, they build up trust. They are more likely to believe in what their online peers say and recommend.”

Pro tip for businesses

Get your brand/business/organization on social media. Spend time on it, be proud of it, resonate, relate, and build a community with possible consumers and watch those sales grow!

social media3
Do yourself and your brand/organization/business a favor and get your message out via social media.

References:

Ahmed, Masroor. “Is Social Media the Biggest Influencer of Buying Decisions?” Social Media Today. N.p., 31 May 2015. Web. 10 Mar. 2017. <http://www.socialmediatoday.com/marketing/masroor/2015-05-28/social-media-biggest-influencer-buying-decisions&gt;.

Roesler, Peter. “How Social Media Influences Consumer Buying Decisions.” The Business Journals. N.p., 19 May 2015. Web. 10 Mar. 2017. <http://www.bizjournals.com/bizjournals/how-to/marketing/2015/05/how-social-media-influences-consumer-buying.html&gt;.

SocialNewsDaily. “How Social Media Affects Your Shopping Habits.” Social News Daily. N.p., 06 Nov. 2014. Web. 10 Mar. 2017. <http://socialnewsdaily.com/44988/how-social-media-affects-your-shopping-habits/&gt;.

 

A More Social Industry

By: Evan Haras

As companies start to play with social media accounts and figure out how to properly use them we are starting to see well thought out campaigns that sell. The automotive industry does a good job at this. Many people use social media accounts to express what they like to do in their free time. There is a belief that a car reflects its owner which allows for companies to market even without advertisements eventually scrolling through your feed and seeing your friend’s new car. In 2014 the CMO council report had recorded that 38% of consumers would use Facebook the next time they are looking to purchase a vehicle. Many automotive companies have found the best way to sell a vehicle is to show the consumer the whole thing. They want to see the motor and engine the new technology and how the vehicle drives. Some companies are lucky enough to have a strong enough brand name for example BMW has 18.5 million likes on Facebook but never post anything interactive. They average 2,500 shares a post showing that many people would love to have that symbol on what they’re driving. A good automotive campaign should tell a story that viewers can relate to as well as engage followers. Another way that companies keep customers engaged is by creating a hashtag for a vehicle. Possibly an action shot of a jeep climbing tough terrain showing how much further your car can go than a normal one. The biggest and I think the most important thing for automotive companies and great ways that they use social media is allow for questions and give timely answers and tips to help customers in need. It allows for the company to become more humanized showing people that post problems on their page that their voice will be heard and people love great customer service.

Sources: Hendricks, D. (2015, April 09). A Look At How Car Brands Are Effectively Using Social Media. Retrieved March 12, 2017, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/drewhendricks/2015/04/09/a-look-at-how-car-brands-are-effectively-using-social-media/#4de0f0317a09

Claridge, P. (n.d.). 4 Social Media Strategies The Auto Industry Used During CES. Retrieved March 12, 2017, from http://blog.unmetric.com/social-media-strategies-used-by-auto-brands-during-ces-2016