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In my job I’m bombarded by a massive amount of questions surrounding social media for marketing, and oddly enough, I tend to always refer to it as a “the social media bubble”. As I’m sure most of you remember, the dot-com bubble in the late nineties, which had a greater impact on the stock market than anything,is often referred to as a negative, and is exactly how I see the current state of social media for marketing. Now don’t get me wrong, I LOVE social media for marketing, but only if it’s done correctly and the unfortunate reality is that the vast majority of marketing folks simply don’t know what they DON’T know. That makes them evil marketing vilans right? Wrong…it just means that we have a lot more work to do than we thought. Education is everything, and proper quantifiable results in social media programs is a must, and you wouldn’t believe the reports I’ve seen that are incorrect, it will just make us look bad when senior management gets wiser….hence bubble, and they will.

I’m a DATA marketer at heart, which is odd coming from a design background, meaning that I think with a different side of the brain than my stereotype creative counterparts, but I’ve accepted that, and use that to my advantage. Like an accountant, numbers don’t lie, but the number one mistake in social media marketing is the focus and obsession on REACH metrics. Instead, they should be focusing on the sales that are generated by the people they REACH with social media. Well, I’m pretty sure I lost a lot of you with that one. Yes, you can argue, “What about Brand awareness” “What about connecting with our fan base” . Well those are all valid points and  can usually satisfy a quarterly review report and sell the program, I get it. Although, the real questions that Marketers are having to answer in the board room are much harder to answer, “What’s sales have been generated?” “What’s the retention of our followers, vs customers that are not followers?”. Man, those are harder questions, and if we are to survive this “bubble” we better get smarter about how we analyze our social media programs. This is something I’m still trying to figure out for myself, but I can guarantee you is something that I work at every day.

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Have you ever had a friend or relative that posts ridiculous comments on facebook? How about someone that posts waaaaaaay too many photos about stuff that you could care less about? Well, the simple answer is YES, we all do. In a day and age where we need to get our information quickly, these irrelevant facebook posts require too much of our attention and are cluttering up our social-sphere.

We all know the simple solution to this is to simply “Unfriend” them, but this approach hurts people’s feelings and believe me, you don’t want to explain to your brother at the Thanksgiving table why you unfriended his wife (no offense Brandi, this is just hypothetical)

So the better solution is to “Unsubscribe” from them, this basically means that you will not see their posts anymore in your facebook feed, and the best part is that they will not know that you did this, which makes it the perfect way to get rid of those annoying posts all while maintaining your cherished friendships.

Follow these 3 simple steps below.

Effective Branding in Experiential and Event Marketing…

It takes some pretty awesome companies to pull off effective branding in an event marketing or experiential marketing program. Often times the only way to brand is with “KEY MESSAGING” or “Talking Points”. Our principle and CEO, Clare Wynne, suggests that if you can take the company’s logo and color scheme OUT of the event and consumers can still figure out which brand is represented just based on the atmosphere and vibe that your Brand Experts have created, then you have successfully “Branded” the event. This is not easily accomplished without properly defining your Brand and training your team, in detail, about your Brand Platform.

Consider this…companies like Coca-Cola, Nike, and Hershey’s have done an outstanding job at branding, these same companies are also some of the best Experiential Marketers on the planet. I’m not talking about their logo from a branding standpoint, but from their core traits as define with their Brand Platforms. Let me explain: Coca-Cola = Happiness (brilliant idea btw), Nike = Empowering, Hershey = Chocolate makes you happy. These core Brand Platforms help each company decide and strategize on where they need to be. Do you think it’s coincidence that Coca-Cola sponsors events and locations that truly bring people happiness? That Nike organizes Guerilla training events for marathons in order to empower and motivate consumers on their upcoming run? Or that Hershey has a mega-store in Time Square where tourists can experience the wonders of Chocolate? These are perfect examples of how Brands are strategically choosing sponsorships and events in order to strengthen their Brand Platform and align themselves, in consumers eyes, with exactly how they want people to experience and interact with their brand.

I often times like to imagine what other Brands would do if they took an Experiential approach to marketing based on their brand platform. Wouldn’t it be cool if a company like Chipotle, whose Brand Platform is based around good quality food that is not going to kill you (well maybe not that last part) took over hospital cafeterias across the nation and educated consumers about the importance of choosing the right place to eat “Fast food doesn’t have to be bad for you, have a Chipotle burrito!”. It’s always fun to consider what companies can do to drive sales and increase their brand awareness. Something to always consider is, you must always make sure that the foundation of your company (your Brand) doesn’t get lost in the process. Branding is like building a foundation for everything else to be built upon. A strong Brand foundation will insure that your beautifully, well crafted, house of bricks doesn’t come tumbling down. Through proper planning, training, and staffing, your most valuable asset, YOUR BRAND, can be right at home doing what it does best…driving your brand.

*Design is an argument.