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Week 10: Extreme Promotional Materials – Social Media Plan

Social media has given people and their businesses an advantage they would have never thought possible years ago. Making connections, relationships, and business ventures much easier through Twitter, Facebook, and other social networking sites of the like. In this day and age, it would almost be foolish to not have your business take part in social media. There’s more to it than that, however… One must know how to approach social networking – they must have a plan so they can understand the causes, the ramifications, and the results they will later see from their usage.

How and Why

Extreme Promotional Materials would benefit greatly from generating a social media plan because they are all about promotion. They use their business to promote schools, teams, even other businesses; therefore the use of promotion on Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, etc. is a valuable opportunity of which to take advantage. This business would require knowledge on how they wish to be seen by the social media audience: the tone they wish to portray, the information they want to release, how they would communicate feedback, comment, questions, etc. It is very important for a brand like Extreme Promotional Materials to develop a social media plan because it would not only help them promote themselves, but also who they are promoting – thus achieving loyal customers.

Missions, Visions, Goals

Extreme Promotional Materials is a brand that is all about promotion. Just like any other business, their main goal is to achieve returning customers; to create a name for themselves that shows the public how reliable and customer-friendly they are. They hope to one day be the biggest business in their respective field; just as MacDonald’s for fast food, and American Eagle for clothing. They believe social media tools will help carry them along towards accomplishing their goals by getting their name into the public and showing their demographic what they have to offer.

Key Messages

Extreme Promotional Materials wants their audience to know that they provide fast, effective service. If you need a jersey with your school’s logo by a certain date, they will do everything within their power to ensure you have the perfect product as soon as you need it. They’re dedicated to customer service and through social media, they plan to convey their devotion and understanding by answering tweets, Facebook comments, and other methods of social communication. They plan to use their Facebook page as a gallery functionality, showing their customers what they’re offering in terms of products and services.

Target Audiences

While this business typically serves schools and league teams, they are always looking to expand their outreach. They don’t cater to a specific group, however, as most of their customers seem to be teams of some sort, their social media plan must follow that demographic. If they are trying to reach to schools, Twitter would be a useful tool, as most schools are now expanding their curriculum to take Twitter into consideration. This means more students will be effectively using Twitter.

As of the past few years, different businesses have been getting into Twitter as well. This means businesses that require the promotion service that Extreme Promotional Materials has to offer will know of their products through promotion via tweeting/retweeting, Facebook ads, Youtube clips, etc. A social media plan in this instance will greatly benefit this business because it will expand their publicity quicker than basic word-of-mouth.

Social Media Tools

Twitter (demo: businesses, students)

– Basic updates on what the company is doing

– Twitpics of recent products and cool merchandise

– A method to communicate with customers and briefly answer questions.

Facebook (demo: businesses, students)

– A place to really try and sell products; showing galleries of what the company offers its customers.

– Allows users to give helpful feedback on certain products

– Contests and games to win prizes,

– A method to communicate with customers to answer their questions to a greater extent.

Youtube – As used by a single person representing  Extreme Promotional Materials (demo: students, teenagers)

– Advertise products in a more creative fashion

– Personal blog to update audience and create one-on-one conversation with customers

– Allows users to give feedback via video comments and create video replies that help customers expand on their feedback

Social Media Engagement Strategy

On Twitter, the outreach will be mostly towards students and people on league teams. Those customers require logo’d equipment and will go to Extreme Promotional Materials when they need a certain product. With this knowledge, the tone will have to be lighthearted, to keep them entertained. Posting frequency will be a few posts ever few hours, as to not bombard them with useless updates, but at the same time make sure they are aware of new products and deals when they become available. This will help accomplish their goals by keeping updated with customers and accepting helpful feedback in real-time, never missing a moment’s time.

Through Facebook, the outreach will be broad – as Facebook has now reached out to a demographic of many different age groups and people. It will be a general tool used to promote products, services, contests, and deals as they happen. Posting frequency will be once or twice a day to keep a steady rate on updates, and a new post when an exciting deal becomes available. This will achieve the company’s goal in customer satisfaction by showing their audience everything they should know about their company, without any hidden ulterior motives.

On Youtube, there will be one or two people creating a personal vlog that will keep a steady update rate in order to draw attention to advertising. The vlog will keep a positive, upbeat tone to attract more customers, and keep original customers coming back to update themselves on what is happening in Extreme Promotional Materials. This will achieve their goal in customer satisfaction by keeping up with one-on-one communication, giving the customer a rewarding and genuine feeling that the representatives of the company truly care about their customers.

All in all, a social media plan is crucial in any business’ all-over plan of success. With social media being a current phenomenon, it would only make sense for every business to take part. By creating a social media plan, a business is able to know what to do, when to do it, and how to do it. They can be one step ahead of the game at all times, without missing a beat. Using networks such as Twitter, Facebook, and Youtube (among the most popular and with the largest demographics), every step a business takes counts greatly in the larger picture, therefore knowing what move you’re going to make next is absolutely critical.

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Week 9: Three Easy Steps – Improve your digital footprint!

Around my twelfth year of life, I discovered the internet. Downloading, chatrooms, games, you name it. The biggest social media names I lunged myself into were Facebook and Youtube, among other small ones such as Habbo, MyYearbook, etc. After realizing how fun having an online personality was, I started creating more accounts for different sites. Some sites I never even used (such as Ficly, Uinvue, svpply). Looking back, I’d say I signed up for all those accounts just to have my name pop up on the google search. I thought that was beyond cool. I never really considered the implications until now.

That’s not to say I wasn’t aware of safety on the internet; privacy settings weren’t always a big deal to me up until I reached high school and my french teacher started following me on Twitter. He’s a pretty genuine guy, and he was definitely one of my favorite people – so I didn’t want him to think I was careless and foolish when it came to internet privacy. I refrained from tweeting obscene things, with the occasional f-bomb here and there. Rarely anything questionable. There was one tweet about a Filipino family, however…

No matter, I knew it was time to start stepping up my game; keeping my mind clean and my tweets cleaner. During the summer after high school, my friends would always say really obscene things. Things I can’t even bare to repeat. I would always say “Man, I wish I could tweet that!” to which they’d reply, “Why can’t you?” and my answer always being “because Mr. Patterson is still following me on Twitter.” They always said that I’m not in high school anymore, it doesn’t matter what I say because no one can get me in trouble. In a sense, I almost believed that… until I reached this course. What we’ve been talking about has really opened my eyes, even more so, to helping me realize how prevalent I am on social media. Those years of signing up for random accounts has finally given me an end result. Now I’ve got to go back and pick up the mess I made.

I understand that being widespread all over the internet can be a bad thing, but I think it really helps get your name out as well. As for me, I’ve definitely put myself out there; Twitter being my most popular search result. My first step in improving my “digital footprint” would be to finally delete all those null social media accounts. They’re not hurting me, but they’re also not helping me. At all. I feel like they’re completely redundant; by deactivating unused accounts, it would be me more incentive to focus on the big ones that I use, like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Youtube, and StumbleUpon. I think this step would be effective in the sense that when someone of important and relevance to me searches my name on google, the results that come up aren’t a bunch of accounts with my name, my pictures, and nothing else. If you’re going to put yourself out there, you should really put yourself out there.

Second step: clean yourself up! If I’m going to be putting my mainly-used social networks where everyone can get at them, keep it classy! There are few things worse in this world than unfortunate Facebook posts. It’s a small step, but a useful one. Always mediate not only what you’re putting on, but what you’re friends are saying too. Just the other day, one of my old friends thought she was being funny and nostalgic by posting a quote from a movie we had watched together in grade 8. The quote (extremely offensive and distasteful, even more so in context) was funny when I was 13. I thought it was hilarious, but now I just think it’s immature and rude. People change, as should your facebook etiquette. You can’t always control what is posted, but you can choose if it shows up on your profile. So naturally, I deleted her post… I feel kind of mean, though. I didn’t tell her and now she probably thinks I hate her.

My last, and seemingly most important step is knowing what to post, when to post. Have you ever found yourself in a fit of rage, sitting at your keyboard thinking about all the interesting things you could subtweet about someone? (Subtweet being the latest in Twitter lingo). It’s interesting how little people care about who’s listening when they’re angry or upset; it’s almost as if rage knows no bounds. So while I’m sitting at the computer thinking “if I tweet this, and she sees it, she’ll know I’m angry and I’ll feel better about the situation”. All I have to say to that is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V3y3QoFnqZc. You think your subtweet is necessary and clever, but I can bet you anything it’s not as great as you think. And it’s definitely not doing you any favors. So, my biggest thing I need to work on is keeping the same general mindset when putting my thoughts into the twittersphere. I may not have that great of a filter when it comes to speaking in person, but I believe I can improve my habits a bit better when everything isn’t so real-time.

As a whole, online branding is important. Letting people know who you are before they even meet you. People can’t get to know you in a social media environment if every site they look up doesn’t have anything past your sign up information – my advice, if you’re not using it, delete it! Go back later if you feel it’s of higher relevance to your life. With the sites that you are using, don’t let them be contaminated with the unfortunate postings of the “old friend who is stuck in grade 8”. You’re growing up, you’re maturing, let your online profile follow. Meanwhile, make sure you’re posting the right thing. While it looks bad on you for people to see inappropriate posts of friends, it’s worse coming from you. There’s a time and place for your raw, unfiltered rants about how much of a “douche bag Jimi is”, unfortunately… Twitter is not the place. Brand on, my friends.

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Week 7: Business + Social Media = Fun.

I find the most effective way to really create something interesting for the consumer is to think like the consumer. I believe the lines “from a business perspective” and “from a customer perspective” should go hand-in-hand. Almost like a “by the people, for the people”. So if I were to create a tactic to promote my business using social media, I would want to put myself in the customer’s shoes.

First off, I would stay away from Facebook in the long run. That’s not to say I wouldn’t create a page for my business, but I wouldn’t want to use it as thoroughly as I would other social media sites – simply because I find Facebook too busy. From my own perspective, I look at my newsfeed on Facebook and I see all these ads for other businesses and products and I just do not care. Those ads don’t affect me, or at least they don’t affect me consciously. I just feel like spending time and money on Facebook would be somewhat of a waste.

I would definitely use Twitter. Maybe that’s slightly bias because of my incredible love for Twitter – but it’s my business, my rules. I feel as though Twitter is much more direct, it’s just a couple of sentences to update you quickly and to the point. Sweet and simple. I feel like it’s much easier to interact with your followers when using Twitter, and that really makes a difference when gathering customers. In all reality, I would only want to use Twitter to interact and talk to our customers because it is the most effective, and easiest way to do so. Occasional updates and simple conversation seems to be what Twitter is best for.

A good example of this is D&Q (yes, I’m bringing it up again) and how they said “Tom will tell 19 egg jokes if 19 more people follow us today”, and proceeded with “As oeuf I didn’t have plenty to do already.” and “Omelet you in on a little secret, I only have two egg jokes.” which I found hilarious… After a while, I saw this:

I was laughing every tweet I saw… and it worked! They got their followers.

Other than using Twitter to interact easily with followers, a really good method of promoting your business would definitely be Youtube. There’s no way around it – it’s popular, it’s interactive, it’s easy to use. It’s so much fun when you know what you’re doing, there’s no denying the potency of Youtube. When I say interactive, I’m referring to the cool mazes that some Youtube users set up for their fans. For example, WheezyWaiter (one of my favorite Youtubers) created this interactive game through his videos, as a lot of popular Youtubers do.

He creates a story and let’s the viewer choose what happens in the story through a series of links posted on the video itself. Each link is connected to a different video that he has recorded which has a different outcome each time. I find it’s ideas like these that really get the viewer involved and help generate more fans.

I feel as though ideas like this would be very useful for a business, to show its customers how they are interested in entertaining them, and not just taking their money. This could be a really interesting approach to attracting people to your products. If it were me creating the video, I would create a storyline that depicts the customer trying to pick out one of our products, and give links to a handful of different ones – each link would bring them to a video generated by us showing how happy they would be if they purchased said product. How cool… someone should actually do that.

All in all, I definitely believe that Twitter and Youtube would be my top picks if I were the means behind promoting a business. They interact with their fans/customers/followers, they make it fun and amusing so you’re not just getting “BUY THIS THING” shoved in your face all the time, and they’re user friendly – making life much simpler for everyone. It just seems like a no-brainer to me… As a consumer, I want to see that the business I am giving my money to is able to have fun with their work. What’s more fun than games and jokes? Nothing. That’s what.

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Week 6: Pawsitive advertisement

When I think of pet stores, I think of walking into a building and seeing bags upon bags of animal food, chew toys, ropes, fish tanks, everything that a pet-owner needs to care properly for their little friend. I also imagine a back room with windows so customers could look in and see the small cats and dogs jumping around, excited to see a new person. When I think of this fictional store, Pet Pawsitive, I believe it to be nothing different than my original thoughts.

The back room is filled with cages with cats and dogs, taking their well-deserved afternoon naps. None of these animals are for sale, but simply being cared for and trained by professionals. The shelves are filled with organic animal foods, shampoos, and treats to ensure the owners that their pets are being properly fed. No one has to worry about leaving their pet there because of such high appraisals from higher-end pet stores. This is truly the ideal place to bring your animals.

To visually promote this business, you must consider all the factors that are involved with getting the attention of the common customer. You must attack all senses – smell, touch, sight, sound. Given the fact that this is an online video promotion, we’ll have to work with what we’re given… meaning no smelling, or touching… I don’t think we’re that technologically advanced. It only makes sense to keep your audience in mind – who are you trying to sell to? What do they want to see? Well, as a consumer myself, I like to see happy animals. I want to see professionals doing their job right, and having a good time doing it. If I see a video where my dog is jumping around and having the time of his life, I will definitely take that business into consideration. Let’s just take a glance at this video:

When I saw this video, I could not stop laughing. It made me really appreciate how much thought and effort went into making it. It was especially the lady that said “You know I can’t run in heels, Chevaun, come back!” Too funny. I would probably make a video exactly like this one. Something the consumer can relate to, laugh at, and enjoy watching. Make it super playful, with bright colors and happy music… Giving them the information they need – hours of operation, activities, programs offered, all while keeping it light-hearted and fun. I also think it’d be a pretty neat idea to show behind-the-scenes clips of trying to make the commercial – just to show how difficult it is to work with animals sometimes. I believe that would really help the audience connect with the business because every pet owner knows how tedious and repetitive you need to be when training your pet.

When promoting your business, you always need to keep the consumer in mind. Chances are, if you’re a pet-owner, you like to have fun, because that’s what pets are – they’re fun. So it only makes sense to create something that gives them the equally pleasant feeling of happiness that they feel when they’re playing with their pet. You want to connect with them on an emotional level and show them that you’re not alone in caring for your pet. For business like Pet Pawsitive, I believe it is crucial to connect with your audience and show them how you know exactly what it’s like to deal with animals, and how well you work with them.

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