Category: Social Media

Ah yes, it’s that season again. You know the one. The season that only comes every four years and brings with it such a hullabaloo that no one can escape the blaring images of multi-colored rings, panoramic venue shots, and tearful athletes. Social media has been buzzing about amazing feats of human endurance for the last week and a half. These successes are so amazing you might even call them Olympic.

 

Oh wait. You can’t.

 

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is extra committed to keeping their intellectual property to themselves and official sponsors this year. Essentially the IOC and the 11 sponsor companies own the rights to wishing athletes luck on social media, mentioning the city the games are held in, the year the games are held in, the year or the city the next two games will be held in, and adding “lympic” to the end of other words to make them sound like they have something to do with the games.

Despite the IOC “loosening” their restrictions on rules for advertising during many events that are happening in a certain South American country, it’s still a big challenge for many brands to get their campaigns on the podium.

For example, if your brand sponsored an athlete but not the Big Event itself, you could fill out waivers (which had to include your campaign plans) to the U.S Olympic Committee by the end of January 2016. This would have allowed your brand to use generic sports advertising without getting sued!

That being said, you still weren’t allowed to use certain trademarked images or phrases like what year the event happens, the name of a certain Brazilian city, or even the periodic element Au. Oh, your brand also can’t even retweet content created by an official sponsor. The IOC was clearly very generous with these “looser” terms.

Although these restrictions have led to some wonderfully creative ads, and some even better newscasts, some are questioning how these trademark laws restrict businesses’ speech and saying the USOC has overstepped the authority these laws give them. Many brands (especially small businesses) are simply asking to be allowed to retweet content or congratulate their local athletes.

All of this begs an important question: can the games be owned? Of course sponsorships are a huge part of any athletic event; for the longest time I thought Real Madrid was actually called Fly Emirates. However, with an international event the size of the Games, is it ethical to ban brands from joining the conversation entirely? The playing field is inherently uneven. A sponsorship can cost over $200 million—cash that a small business just doesn’t have. Businesses of all sizes though have the same pride in our country and athletes. Shouldn’t they be allowed to celebrate too? The spirit of the games is about opening borders and joining together in sport—not instituting petty barriers over who owns words.

If you haven’t heard about Pokémon Go, you’ve either been wearing blinders for the last week or you’re lying to yourself. The augmented-reality app based around the beloved Pokémon characters already has more users than the ever-infamous dating app, Tinder (it’s good to see people have their priorities straight). Even more impressive, however, is that the number of trainers looking to “catch ’em all” is about to overtake the number of daily active users on Twitter.

Trainers are going all in, too. You may have noticed that Snapchat’s newest universal geotag gives you the option to log the number of miles snappers have traveled in their quest to be the very best there ever was. True to its name, Pokémon Go has people going.

Thanks Wazee Super Club!

Thanks Wazee Super Club!

If you have had your blinders on, let me fill you in….

Players move through their real world to find one of two places: a Pokéstop to refresh on Pokéballs, potions, and other items or to gyms where they can battle Pokémon to gain control of the location for their team (go Valor!) Both of these locations are typically places of note around your respective city. Even some of our own clients have found themselves to be Pokéstops!

Already, businesses have realized something revolutionary: these gyms and Pokéstops are absurdly efficient at luring in customers. Literally.

In the game, items called lures can be purchased using in-game currency (each one costs about 99 cents) and are essentially upgrades to increase the number of Pokémon in the vicinity for a half an hour at a time. Lures are public and show up on the app’s map so everyone can see and take advantage of them. Look at it this way, for $5 anyone can instantly make hundreds of Pokémon Go users aware of their establishment. That’s minimal spending for two-and-a-half hours with hordes of trainers looking to park it somewhere and catch Pokémon. Restaurants and coffee shops especially are capitalizing on this opportunity. At the time of this writing someone has put a lure on the Pokéstop at the restaurant right across from our office.

Even just yesterday I found myself at a new happy hour place simply because they were right on a lure site. Realistically I never would have given the place a second glance had it not been for the pretty falling petals on my app’s map. Not only was it an amazing happy hour but I also caught a Pidgeot!

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Instagram @sandwichbowl_lawrenceks

If your business isn’t on or near a Pokéstop, there are still ways to capitalize on the craze. Some places are going so far as to offer a discount to trainers from their favorite team whether it’s Instinct, Mystic, or Valor.

 

Fortunately this craze, and the opportunities it presents, is just getting started. The game creates a unique hybrid of virtual and in-person chances to get creative and goofy and interact with people who could easily become lifetime customers.

 

What is your brand doing to take advantage of the Pokécraze?

As we’re all aware by now, Facebook released it’s five reaction buttons last month. Now, in addition to the like button, you can express your feelings via love, haha, wow, sad or angry reactions. The debut of these reaction buttons was Facebook’s answer to the demanded DISLIKE buttons which involved too much risk in presenting such a negative approach to posts. The happy medium? Give people more options to “communicate” how a specific post makes them feel.

When it comes to social media marketing, what do these reaction buttons mean for your business?

Embrace the engagement. Engagement is always a struggle when it comes to social so by giving people a way to react to something that is more than just a “like” we’ll be able to move the needle a bit more and have a better understanding of what consumers are looking for and wanting to see in social content. Let’s say your website is down and you’re trying to communicate that it’ll be up back soon and running. As a result, this post has a majority of angry or sad reactions and although less ideal than a “like” or a “love” – it’s likely to cut the negative clutter in your comment section since consumers now have a simplified way of expressing their opinion.

Use reactions to your advantage. The reaction buttons also allow brands and their social media managers to get a better feel (pun intended) on how customers are consuming the content and provides another platform for interaction and engagement with your audience. Insights are currently pulling the reactions for reporting tools. Use this platform to your advantage by using your social audience as a virtual focus group. Test a new tagline or share a product in the development stage and watch the reactions roll in. Just be prepared for all possible reactions and use them to your advantage to learn from and better your approach.

Knowledge is (advertising) power. Aside from giving us more actions to show how we feel, the reaction buttons will likely be used for data for advertisers on the social site. The more data the platform can use about how you “feel” about something, the more information they have to figure out what to feed you up in sponsored posts.

The profile picture of your social channels is the most valuable advertising space for your brand. Are you using it correctly?

Here are a few DOs and DON’Ts to make sure that you’re taking full advantage of this coveted space:

1. DO – Use your logo as your profile picture. The profile picture sits next to every post, tweet, comment, like…everything that you do on your social channels. Make sure you maximize the exposure of your brand.

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2. DO – Make sure the logo you use is legible in the static state. Typical profile picture size is 160px x 160px. Even better, make sure it’s legible at the thumbnail size of 42px x 42px.  If you have a logo that is really long, stack it. If it can’t be stacked, focus on the key elements of the logo. This will provide a clean look throughout.

A photo posted by Scream Agency (@screamagency) on

3. DO – Use color. Use the color version of your logo. Have fun with the background color and be aware of the white border. It will always be there.

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4. DON’T be scared to change your logo if it’s not working. A brand refresh is healthy and can work wonders for a brand. Look at the LA Clippers re-brand.

#LoveWins

A photo posted by LA Clippers (@laclippers) on

5. DON’T put everything and the kitchen sink on your profile picture. URLs, addresses, phone numbers, etc. These items should live on your page and potentially in the comment of your profile picture. People on these social networks still want to feel like they are interaction with your brand organically.

6. DO – Let your logo breathe in the box. Make sure there is a border around your logo that makes sense in the space. Images that are too close to the edges seem to be swished in the frame.

7. DO – Change your cover, banner and background images frequently. This will make the use feel as though they are getting an updated experience from your brand every month that they visit your site.

8. DO – Have fun with it. Why not?

If you have questions give us a call. We can help. 303-893-8608

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