The BuzzFeed Obama Video Has Cemented 2015 As The Year Of The Social Video

BuzzFeed’s viral social video sensation “Things Everyone Does But No One Talks About… Featuring President Barack Obama” is all the proof you need to see that 2015 is going to be the year of the social video.

BuzzFeed seems to know it, and it looks as if Obama was savvy enough to know BuzzFeed knows it.

It’s easy to understand why Obama did the video. He’s slinging Healthcare.gov signups before the deadline and wanted to reach the biggest audience possible. It says so right in the video description and article subhead. This was a simple call for the Obama Administration considering the reach it was destined to get.

Never mind that it’s obvious clickbait and discount any blowback. Fox News talking head Greta Van Susteran called Obama “tone deaf” and the video “bad taste” when discussing that the video was filmed the same day that it was announced hostage Kayla Mueller was killed while in captivity of terrorist group ISIS.

The same could be said about Van Susteran being tone deaf into how media and politics actually work in 2015. The President does deserve criticism for his timing but the fact is it doesn’t matter what critics think.

To learn why, check out the full article over on Pixable.com.

 

To explore this topic even more, join Chris Anderson, Director of Editorial Content of Pixable, next week during Social Media Week NYC.

Take Command Of Your Data: Understanding Audience Through Social Listening

This post is the second piece in a multi-part series with our partner Brandwatch, in which Will McInnes, CMO of Brandwatch, examines how brands can unlock the power of social data and social listening for business. You can read the first piece here.

 

People may not always say what they mean, but consumers use social media as their proverbial soapbox. Folks on Twitter and Facebook vent and praise brands in an unfiltered and very earnest way. Social media conversations are a gold mine of likes, dislikes, desires, and wants. Not to mention a great way to learn consumer preferences and adjust campaigns and activities accordingly.

So why aren’t more brands tapping into these very public, very insightful conversations?

They can and they should be utilizing the power of social listening and analytics to learn about their customers and audiences. Social listening helps brands do more than find out what people are saying about their products and campaigns, but can actually help tap into the psyche of audiences to better understand what and why customers want what they want.

Here are just a few ways social data can help brands educate themselves on consumer moods, regional preferences, and reactions to product features. And so much more.

 

Where, who, what?!

Some may say that social listening is a violation of privacy. But when consumers publicly pose questions to brands or complain about customer service, they are actively seeking a response. A solution. A conversation.

Brands must be listening and tuned into conversations so they can address customer concerns, embrace candid feedback, adjust marketing campaigns, product updates, and even company culture based on the changing tides of the industry and consumer needs.

Demographics are a great way to break down social data by region, gender, life interests, career, and more to better understand what campaigns might work best for different audience segments.

Imagine seeing which cities and states talk most about your competitors, and being able to identify key pain points that you can then turn around through engagement or strategic promotions? Well, it can be done, all through social listening and analytics.

 

Timing can be everything

What time of day is best to Tweet? Do conversations spike about our new product during a specific month? A specific day of the week?

Timing, as we all know, can be everything. When to launch a campaign, when to announce negative company news, and how often to engage are all questions that community managers and brand communicators need to be ready to answer. And act upon.

Using social listening and analytics to research and determine time-related best practices for social media and campaign activities is a no-brainer. Just like with web analytics, the data paints a clear picture of what methods work best for which activities.

Are your customers most active on social at night? Then hire an evening community manager to answer questions and monitor the conversations.

Do consumers on Twitter talking about your industry (be it automotive, consumer goods, or manufacturing) tend to get angry if a brand doesn’t respond within an hour? Note it, and make sure your customer service reps are poised and at the ready to address all concerns within a specific timeline.

These types of insights are priceless and help your brand make better, data-driven decisions. All of this adds up to a more streamlined brand presence and a high-quality reputation that shows your brand cares enough to listen, before acting or reacting.

 

Preferences, moods, and trends, oh my!

How brands act and react on social media is scrutinized by the advertising and marketing/communications press to no end. It is absolutely vital that brands know what their audiences want to hear from them, how often, and what type of content and personalized responses they need to feel secure.

Social listening can be used to check out “white space conversations” – those discussions, posts, and articles online discussing your industry but that don’t necessarily mention your brand or competitors. This strategy allows brands to tap into trends and discover new influencers in their sector, or identify potential “super users” and brand advocates they may not have otherwise known about.

We live out our lives on social media and brands would be remiss to not place value on conversations happening digitally. Whether we’re disgruntled with the service at the local restaurant chain, thrilled with the latest software update, or yearning for more details on a new ad campaign, we discuss it on social. There’s no use fighting it, it’s a fact.

In this Brandwatch Twitter Happiness Report, our analysts sought out to learn something new about human happiness; how it’s expressed on social, and what trends we could pull from the data. Using social listening and analytics to better understand customers and audiences, helps brands to better understand the psyche of different groups of people and identify trends that can help them improve strategy and campaigns.

 

The future of data analytics

Brands are beginning to recognize that more investments need to be made in data analytics and they seem to be doubling down on budgets, according to data from a Duke University survey of CMO’s cited in this AdWeek article. They reported this week that brands will allot 11.7 percent of their marketing budgets for analytics by 2018, up from 6.4 percent currently.

Social is here to stay. Social listening and analytics are necessary equipment in the marketers toolbox. Brands need to embrace the power of social media, and listen carefully to what their customers, dissenters, and the general public is saying. Understanding needs and wants is paramount to giving the people what they want.

Let them be heard.

 

What new possibilities are there now that a business is social?  To learn more, join Will McInnes at Social Media Week New York on Thursday February 26, where we learn how to strategically use social listening for business.

Social Media Week New York begins on February 23. For the full event schedule and how you can join us, visit here.

Karma’s CEO Steven Van Wel On The Future Of Mobile Connectivity

In 2015, SMW will explore the power and potential of human connectivity through its global theme “Upwardly Mobile”.

  • Today there are almost 3 billion people connected to each other through the Internet, Social Media and Mobile Technology.
  • A billion new mobile subscribers were added in the last 4 year.
  • By 2022 the total number of connected humans will increase to 6 billion.

Through Upwardly Mobile we want to ask the fundamental question: how can humans achieve more in a connected world?  In this piece, we spoke to Steven van Wel, Co-Founder and CEO of Karma, to find out how our ubiquitous connectivity will change the ways we live, work and create.

1. How will smart devices seamlessly connect our daily lives and help to change our habits?

It all comes down to taking away friction. That’s the biggest thing. We have to make a lot of choices and face a lot of barriers to reach connectivity. What can we do as technology companies to make this a seamless process? As a user you want to focus on the things you want to do, not the things you have to do. The less we interrupt users with complexity, the more they can accomplish.

2. How will our ability to connect, share and exchange information with many more human beings positively impact our connection to humanity?

I have no idea! Our job isn’t to define what humanity is. WiFi alone, or internet connectivity alone will not change humanity. We just want to let people do whatever the hell they want, and stay out of their way so great things can be accomplished. We love humanity, but our technology sort of needs to be humanity agnostic. We’re facilitating a connection, and when we try to do more than that we get in the way.

3. What opportunities are available to entrepreneurs to build products and services for 6 billion connected citizens?

I think what’s hugely important is educating people about what they can do with the internet. It’s not just posting on Facebook. Online schools like Khan Academy and Codecademy are incredible examples, because they expand that horizon. The internet isn’t limited to just the services that have been invented, but to the services and applications and use cases that *can* be invented. That’s why we’re entrepreneurs, and whenever we can show people how they can invent new uses for the internet, we’re expanding what the internet can be for all of us.

4. How will our ease in communications, no longer limited by time or distance, allow for improved collaboration?

Karma as a company is present in eight or nine different locations: New York, Asia, Europe. As a company, location is not a restricting factor anymore. One of the big advantages is that we can work around the clock without working 24/7. If we come up with something at the end of day in New York, people are working on that feature in Europe overnight. When we wake up, we pick up where they left off. It creates a continuous stream of work. It allows us to iterate better, with a continuously fresh set of eyes. Which ultimately allows us to innovate more.

 

On Wednesday February 25, join Karma‘s CEO and Cofounder Steven van Wel and Social Media Week Executive Director Toby Daniels for a discussion exploring what the future mobile connectivity, advances in WiFi innovation and what it all means, for you, your business and for our globally connected society.

 

About Karma

Karma is the simplest way to get online. The pocket sized device seamlessly connects you to the internet and data is pay as you go–that means no expiration dates, no contracts, no subscriptions. Stay connected by preordering Karma.

Three Tips to Build Community And Grow #BrandLove

Three Tips to Build Community and Grow #BrandLove

It costs 6 to 7 times more to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one, according to Bain and Co. Pause and let that sink in for a moment. Your customer relationships are crucial, not only to driving consistent revenue for your business and saving you money, but also in creating a lovable brand. The trick is creating a unique experience for your customers, so they become truly invested in your business and will advocate on your behalf.

To find out more, we spoke to Jeanette Gibson, VP Community & Customer Experience at Hootsuite. Here, she shares 3 steps you can use to build #brandlove around your business:

1. Get to know your customers

Learn your customer care-abouts and pain points. The first step is to take a step back and listen. Luckily, social media allows us to listen in on relevant conversations in a scalable manner. This allows you to narrow in on the key interests, communication styles, and issues of your customers.Here at Hootsuite, we use geo-targeted searches to learn more about our customers in different regions. From here we’ll add our key customers to Twitter Lists so that we can seamlessly engage, share, and retweet their content.

Now you’re better equipped to serve your customer community. Your customers are talking about you on social media, whether you choose to take advantage of this or not is up to you.

2. Flex your personality

Once you’ve learned more about your customers, you need to equip yourself with an ongoing engagement model with your audience. This is different for every business. At Hootsuite, we maintain a 24/7 engagement model where we’re interacting with our community all day every day. After all, social never sleeps.

Take your business’s personality into account with every customer interaction. Are you a fun-loving and casual business or more professional? Whichever you are, consistency is crucial.

Context is also important. Are you talking to a long term, loyal client, or a new somewhat sceptic customer. Consider using slight shifts in the tone of your messaging and always tailor it to your audience.

3. Create culture around engagement or ‘Create an Engaging Environment’

There’s a time and a place for different mediums for engagement. However, when it comes to building a loyal community around your business, it’s important to provide a mixture of online and offline experiences.

At Hootsuite, we use a combination of channels and resources to interact with our audience. This includes private communities for different customer groups (for example, our 850+ Hootsuite Ambassadors). You may not require a private community, but find other ways to surprise and delight them.

Offer specialized programs for your regular participants. Exclusivity is key here! You want to create scarcity and demand for these programs, or else they don’t work. Consider building in ways to uplevel their reputations. Finally, you need to reward these community members both online and offline. At Hootsuite we do everything from offering LinkedIn recommendations to our Ambassadors, to meeting our customers in real life at Hootups or other events. When you take a digital relationship offline, you completely shift the connection and garner immediate brand equity.

 

Learn more at Hootsuite’s #Brandlove Masterclass during Social Media Week in New York City, hosted by Hootsuite’s Jeanette Gibson, VP, Community and Customer Experience and Dr. William Ward Director, Education Strategy. Join the conversation with #HootSMW.

Date: Tues Feb 24

Time: 1:00 – 2:00pm EST

Location: Highline Stages – Innovate Stage

 

 

New York’s YOTEL Unites Tech Community With Hospitality Groove

Yotel is not your typical hotel. It takes inspiration from luxury, airline travel with a touch of Japanese influence, and mixes that all up to create a small yet sophisticated cabin west of Times Square. We sat down with Jo Berrington, YOTEL’s Marketing Director, to learn what Yotel is doing in social, technology, entertainment, and guest services. Here’s what we discussed:

1. ARE GUESTS REQUESTING A CERTAIN TYPE OF TECHNOLOGY THAT THE INDUSTRY IS EXPLORING

Of course guests are looking forward to upgrades in technology, but only those that make sense to save them time or money. They don’t want to be experimented on – particularly in our airport hotels, guests have traveled for miles on planes or are in transit and they just want simple technology that works. We are in the process of developing a new mobile app that will give guests the option to check-in and receive their key by simply showing the self-service check-in kiosk a barcode. Our check-in will be down to less than 30 seconds – a huge plus for busy, time poor, exhausted travelers!

2. HOW IS YOTEL IMPLEMENTING TECHNOLOGY INTO THE GUEST EXPERIENCE?

The goal for YOTEL was to revolutionize the hotel industry by providing a new kind of hotel experience. We’ve incorporated technology into the experience, from the minute guests arrive with the ability to check in through self-serve airline-style kiosks to storing their luggage with YOBOT – our robot luggage storage system. YOTEL’s rooms called ‘cabins’ are uncompromisingly designed and include motorized, moving beds to save space; heated towel racks; air conditioning and lighting activated by motion sensors as well as techno wall with flat screen TV, multi power points and iPod connectivity. Whether our guests are visiting NYC on business or leisure, they appreciate our complimentary super strength Wi-Fi that’s available throughout all the cabins and public spaces.

3. WHAT CAN WE EXPECT FROM THE FUTURE OF THE HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY?

Our new app gives guests the option to socially chat – if they are staying at the hotel as part of a group, they will be given the option to opt into chatting with other group members to arrange meetings, drinks, social events, etc. Our app will also be the hub for guests finding out about the local area – i.e. where they can find a 24/7 juice bar. Eventually later this year, or early next, guests will be able to ask our Mission Control crew questions directly from the app – the same time they will be able to ask for an extra towel or a linen change.

4. HOTELS ARE KNOWN FOR “SURPRISING AND DELIGHTING” GUESTS. HAVE ANY GREAT STORIES TO SHARE AROUND THIS TREND?

We certainly had a big one in 2014. Due to renovations on ‘FOUR’ (our artful, expansive fourth-floor space that includes four bars, a restaurant, lounge areas, and the largest hotel terrace in New York City), a temporary 30-foot wall was installed across from our front desk (“Mission Control”) to block out construction noise and prevent guest dissatisfaction. To transform the wall from a potential annoyance to something fun, we turned the wall into a wall built of LEGO® bricks, allowing our guests to let out their inner child during their stay. Between January and March 2014, guests were encouraged to “play for a future stay” (our campaign tagline) at YOTEL New York by entering their LEGO® wall creations into a social media photo contest. Photos tagged with #MyLegoMasterpiece on Twitter & Instagram would be entered to win free stays, including a three-night stay in our First King Cabin (which comes with an outdoor terrace and hot tub).

The winners were determined after the deconstruction of the wall, and opening of our new restaurant, East & West, mid-March. Guest participation was exceptionally strong. The wall served as on-property entertainment, and generated campaign media coverage in more than 25 online publications that collectively receive 26.8 million unique monthly visitors. Online publications included The New York Times, CNN, Condé Nast Traveler, HotelsMag.com, Art Nerd New York, Examiner.com, NewYork.com, News.com.au, and more. Our on-property FourSquare check-ins increased 2.6% during the campaign period, our microsite received over 8.5k unique visitors, and the hashtag generated just under 300 submissions.

5. DOES YOTEL USE SOCIAL AND DATA ANALYTICS?

YOTEL is an Enterprise client with the social media platform HootSuite. We utilize HootSuite custom reports for each of our platforms, giving us insights as to how each channel is performing as a whole, and also on a more detailed post-level. One great feature that we utilize within HootSuite is the stream for keyword & search queries on Twitter. This allows us to monitor conversations in real-time (and jump into them!), and to see what people are saying about the brand, our competition, and trending topics. The data we collect from HootSuite is analyzed internally and used to assist in our content strategy, posting habits, and targeting methods. We also heavily rely on Google Analytics to track direct & assisted bookings produced from social media.

Thanks to YOTEL for joining SMW NYC this year as our hotel partner. They have offered conference attendees a special rate to stay at YOTEL during Social Media Week!

Jo Berrington. Marketing Director, YOTEL, spent the first part of her career with British Airways in sales support, event management and corporate account management roles. Jo originally trained in design, photography and printing in Leeds and then whilst with BA studied Marketing with the Chartered Institute and the London Business school before taking up regional marketing role with them. In 2000 Jo then joined the iconic London Eye for its opening and launch as Head of Marketing and PR managing brand strategy, communications, design, product development, pricing and distribution strategy, digital, website and sponsorship. In 2006 Jo left BA to join the founding team of YOTEL and is responsible for brand strategy and identity, culture and innovation, external and internal communication and content through digital and social.

Connect: It’s Cultural

You’re a social butterfly, ingesting and digesting social media like a steady diet only your digital nutritionist would prescribe.

Do you feel cultural? Is your appetite for diversity being fed?

The problem with current trends in social is that they cycle you around and around with the same puppy pics, the same marriage announcements, and the all-too familiar selfie. What you lack is that cultural satisfaction of what’s trending in Mumbai or Zimbabwe, Great Britain or Nigeria and not what’s happening in the news, but what’s happening with the teenagers and working class people in these nations… how do they feel and think?

lettrs (yes, no “e” and a lowercase “l”) is that missing app that gives you a cultural fix not washed away in news. You read, you write, and you engage with people that have absolutely nothing in common with you except the fact that you’re both confused humans rambling around this universe.

Fun right?

Our Explore section releases a stream of letters written for the world to engage. You can customize your words with themes, stamps, fonts and even a signature or doodle, (depending on your art skills), then send it out publicly to have that message sit side-by-side with hundreds of thousands of users from 174 different countries, writing in 80 different languages. If you don’t recognize the language of the letter next to you, translate it. lettrs has a built-in feature so that your exploration isn’t halted by a language unfamiliar to you.

Through lettrs you can share your message on all major social networks including WhatsApp and global SMS/text.

For those that would rather stay one-on-one, you can write back and forth with pen pals and never share any letters publicly. You have complete control over where your message lives and who sees it.

Being social is all too easy these days, but satisfying your cultural itch is a little tougher. lettrs is a social investment that you define. The cultural differences of minds around the world are tied to the same need—a connection.

Go find it.

ABOUT lettrs

lettrs is a platform to organize the world’s letters. Designed by lovers of the written word, lettrs is the place that facilitates, inspires, and slows the world’s lasting communications. Being part of a community that encourages people to “take time to write,” people use lettrs to convert significant moments into words of rich timeless letters. Download lettrs for iOS, Android, and Amazon.

The 6 Types Of People Who Tweet About The Weather

This post was penned by our partner Poncho the weather cat as a piece of a multi-part series. Poncho is a new weather service that delivers customizable weather forecasts daily via email and text message, helping you plan everything from your commute to your outfit.

 

If the #Blizzardof2015 taught us anything it’s that people love talking about the weather. Every time there’s an extreme weather extravaganza (#weathervaganza? make it happen, Twitter), the Internet lights up like a disco ball at a high-powered rave. Is it going to rain? I love the rain! No, the rain sucks! Why is it snowing? Is it the end times? Why are weatherpeople so full of lies?!

There are a couple types of people who come tweeting out of the woodwork whenever it rains, snows, or is windier than expected. Here are some of them.

  1. The Worrier

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The Worrier takes the news seriously and may or may not have elbowed someone in the grocery store for the last can of Campbell’s chicken corn chowder. They’re prepared, though some people might say overly so.

  1. The Joker

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The complete opposite of The Worrier, these folks are more interested in memes than storm preparation. The Joker’s Twitter account is full of wisecracks about Chinese takeout, pictures of vodka, and Frozen Photoshops of varying quality.

 

  1. The Denier

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The Denier is too cool for earmuffs. These tweeters are contrarians who would wear a pair of shorts just to prove that a polar vortex isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. What results is basically a weird humblebrag that is for some reason weather-related.

 

  1. The Anti-Denier

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The Anti-Denier is pretty much just sick of hearing the Denier’s posturing and cooler-than-thou attitude, to be honest.

 

  1. The FOMOs

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The FOMOs are afraid of, well, missing out. These are people in sunny parts of the country who have never had to shovel a driveway before.

 

  1. The Optimist

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Finally, like during all other Internet events, there are those who try to stay positive. You can count on the Optimist for tweets about how beautiful the snow is or reminders to be thankful toward city workers.

 

It always starts the same: Tweets about how cold/rainy/snowy/hot/etc. it is provoke other tweets about how it’s not THAT cold/rainy/snowy/hot/etc. A cold front of complaints swirls together with excitement about being part of a “historic” storm. Memes emerge and then recede into the atmosphere. This is your brain on Twitter, and this is Twitter on #weather — and everyone on Twitter has an opinion and is trying to find like-minded communities where they can commiserate, complain, and celebrate.

These collective weather experiences almost mimic the natural phenomena they’re commenting on. Unlike weather patterns, though, these types of social behavior are more predictable.

 

About Poncho

Poncho is your best weather buddy. Every morning he’ll send you a sassy text or email telling you what’s up with the day. Frizzy hair? Bad allergies? Rainy days to train delays, Poncho’s got you covered. Sign up here for personalized weather reports every morning, tailored to your routine, delivered by email or text message.

 

Take Command Of Your Data: Social Media Command Centers

This post is the first of a multi-part series with our partner Brandwatch, in which Will McInnes, CMO of Brandwatch, examines how brands can unlock the power of social data and social listening for business.

It’s not a secret: major businesses and agencies around the world heavily rely on social listening to inform and shape business strategy. Whether it’s in marketing and PR, customer service and crisis communications, or the merging of multiple data sources, social media command centers are the most sophisticated way to make the most out of social data.

Visuals are quickly becoming the go-to mode of communications in society from both an individual and professional perspective. Think about the last time you used an emoji, checked out an infographic, or absorbed data through an interactive map. It only makes sense that social data visualizations are a key part of taking command of social activities.

I know you’re wondering – “that’s all fine and good, but give me the details!” – and that’s just what I’m going to do.

There are very specific uses for social media command centers and innovative technologies are launching every day to help brands and agencies become the master of their social data.

Let’s take a look at some of them and how they can benefit your business.

Mission Control

First and foremost, a social media command center provides a central hub for one or all social-driven business needs and activities. It is the pulse of what’s being said about your brand, how your customers are discussing the industry and your competitors, and a treasure trove of potential conversations and influencers to tap for campaigns.

Brands can strategically streamline social activities by having a social command center live within their communications team. The best way to make the most out of engageable opportunities is to be in a position to see visualizations of social data in real-time up on the big screen – a social media command center platform.

The big-screen collaborative environment around social engagement promotes a much more unified voice in a company’s social outreach so when community managers reach out to customers, influencers, or media on social they are innately more synced up by simply being in the same place, looking at the same data.

Critical Conversations

Phone and email no longer remain the primary methods of customer service. And don’t even bring up brick and mortar customer service solutions. Consumers take to Twitter first and foremost to discuss concerns, issues, and praise products and brands.

It only makes sense that the social media command center is a natural home for customer service teams. Utilizing command centers for customer service keeps reps primed to provide constructive and helpful feedback to negative comments, and assist customers and answer questions in real-time with a human voice.

The visual elements in a social media command center make it easy to see and understand customer complaints online and prioritizes high importance issues with ease.

Reactive engagement at scale means that there must be strong systems in place to categorize and effectively eliminate the actual customer service issues from the noise and chatter that are less actionable – command centers can help provide that system.

Monitor and Neutralize Crises

Those that are all too familiar with a public relations crisis know that identifying and appropriately responding to crises early and smartly is essential to coming out the better end of it and avoiding the moniker “the next BP.”

How can a social command center help in a moment of crisis for your brand, industry, or global events? Live-streaming social content on a consumable display means that more employees can watch, pinpoint, and handle public complaints or issues before they become larger and more unmanageable.

The ability for PR or social teams to triage messages from social media command center screens to executive offices means having a more organized system for handling crises. In many instances, having that preparation is key in protecting the brand’s image.

Carpe Diem – Real-Time Opps

Social media has given rise to a host of real-time marketing strategies that have never existed before. Oreo is the seminal example (yes, you can dunk in the dark). Snickers also took a real bite out of World Cup social conversations thanks to some lightning-fast social reactivity.

Brands no longer have to wait to understand how the public is receiving their campaign – now they can keep track of the response as it unfolds online.

Considering how quickly online communities can develop strong opinions (both good, but more often bad news travel faster), staying aware of those views and being agile to the rapidly shifting online temperature can amplify a campaign’s success. Or perpetuate its failure.

With command centers, brands can instantly curate social discussions to prioritize mentions from key influencers, collaborate with the larger team and other departments on social platform replies, and compare performance against competitors.

Real-time information translates to real-time reactions.

In a time where waiting too long to respond can make or break your brand’s reputation, mitigating real-time opportunities on social media has become a “must-have” and not just a “nice-to-have.”

Competitive Edge

Competition is fierce, in any industry. Social media makes it that much harder to stay ahead of the curve, with brands fighting to be the fastest, the best, the most creative, and the most relatable.

Businesses can use the command center to track their brand’s performance against their competitors. Essentially, social media command center displays can act as a KPI board that employees can use as a primary indication of the company’s social performance.

The ability to visualize competitive benchmarks over the course of a day, week, month or year helps employees recognize the business’s social development over time and the key inflection points that cause spikes or lulls in social chatter.

Impress Everyone

Social media command centers are a visually appealing way to bring awareness of a brand’s online presence to life.

It’s a straightforward way to quickly give a snapshot of how a brand itself, or its products, is faring in online conversations for stakeholders, customers, and of course employees. Not to mention it’s a really nice visualization when guests are visiting an office.

Visualizations of any kind of data equate to sophistication, high-tech, and innovation, and by investing in a social command center a brand is making a bold statement about the way their business functions. They are investing in social.

So much of what we do as a society happens online – shopping, dating, connecting, and reconnecting along with so much more – that it only makes sense to give social media the importance and screens it deserves.

Command centers act as an excellent way to bring social media into the limelight, internally, and is a great way to drive transparency, high-level industry conversations, and even promote company culture. Social media posts are an unadulterated, unsolicited straight line into the consumer mindset. Command centers give employees a link back to the ground where customers’ everyday thoughts and opinions are driving businesses and praising or challenging brands every day.

If it’s not obvious, it should be that a brand’s online presence has an effect on everyone in the business. Understanding how each employee plays a role in shaping that online image is important.

Small Steps Equal Leaps and Bounds

It’s vital for brands to use social listening to help the various departments in your business. It’s not just social media community managers or PR managers who can benefit from being plugged into the social conversation about your brand and industry. Everyone can benefit.

Product development teams take consumer feedback and can integrate it into product updates and gain valuable insights for new features. Customer service reps can address equipment failures or in-person issues with lightning speed and agility. CEOs can knowledgeably showcase the latest competitive rankings based on news mentions or online conversations.

The social visualization possibilities are endless.

Taking command of your social data means taking it a step further by investing in social command centers. The first step is evaluating your enterprise needs to determine your departmental and business strategies and how much of that is driven by social media and online conversations. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a discipline in your business that doesn’t benefit from being tapped into the central vein that is social.

 

What new possibilities are there now that a business is social?  To learn more, join Will McInnes at Social Media Week New York on Thursday February 26, where we learn how to strategically use social listening for business.

Social Media Week New York begins on February 23. For the full event schedule and how you can join us, visit here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 Questions With Dream Hotels’ Rachel Feit

The Dream Hotels brand is growing – physically, culturally, and technologically. From in-room entertainment to guest services, Dream Hotels’ Digital Marketing Manager, Rachel Feit, sat down with us to share some of the exciting developments and stories of Dream Hotels in New York.

1. HOW HAS TECHNOLOGY’S ROLE IN DREAM HOTELS EVOLVED OVER TIME?

“The Dream Hotels brand is rapidly evolving, and so is our digital presence. Technology has enabled us to build our digital reputation and has changed the way we market to our guests. We recently revealed a new website, which is video-optimized; now, we have the capability to stream exclusive hotel footage and provide guests with the “Dream” experience even before they arrive. Social media has also played an especially big part of our plans to grow the Dream Hotels brand. As we prepare to enter new markets like Dallas and Los Angeles, we are using social media to introduce the brand to the surrounding communities and establish our brand presence.”

2. HOW DOES DREAM INTERACT WITH GUESTS VIA SOCIAL MEDIA?

“Through social media, we give our fans and followers access both on and off property. To celebrate Dream Midtown’s recent renovation, we offered our social media fans exclusive discounts on brand-new rooms and amenities. Social media serves as an extension of Dream Hotels’ incredible guest service as my team and I are in constant communication with people online. We are adding value by interacting not only with hotel guests on Twitter but the larger community of anyone looking to come to NYC, people who just booked their travel, people looking for a hotel/things to do, etc. The appreciation and positive feedback that we’ve received from fans recently about our social media customer service has been incredible.”

3. WHAT ARE SOME NEW PLATFORMS DREAM HAS UTILIZED?

“We recently launched a Snapchat profile to share exclusive, realtime, behind-the-scenes content with guests. Ultimately, we are on the lookout for which platforms and technologies are going to help us create the best guest experience, from online booking to check-out. We also started a blog called “Dream Confidential” to bring guests and travelers an exclusive taste of the Dream Hotels brand and NYC culture, from restaurant openings and museum exhibits to theater showings and nightlife parties. The blog and our social media presence combine to digitally amplify all of our creative efforts, including music partnerships, event activations and on-site art installations.”

4. MOST HOTEL GUESTS ARE TECH SAVVY, SO WHAT CAN THEY EXPECT IN THEIR ROOM?

“We believe that technology adds value to the guest experience, so we’re constantly integrating new apps and partners wherever we can. The Dream Downtown has exclusive in-room VEVO streaming channels and media connectivity hubs so guests can easily hook up all of their devices. At our newly renovated Dream Midtown property, all rooms come equipped with Smart TVs. We believe that technology adds value to the guest experience, so we’re constantly integrating new apps and partners wherever we can.

Dream Downtown recently unveiled the “GuestHouse,” it’s state-of-the-art two-story luxury penthouse. The suite features everything from a spacious garden terrace and a glass-bottom Jacuzzi to a Savant climate and entertainment home automation system. Guests can control the entire room from their smartphones.
Dream Midtown also just underwent a huge structural renovation and with that has come a ton of technological (and cultural) enhancements. All rooms are now equipped with Smart TVs, free downloads of the New York Times app and we’re launching a “Dream TV” series that will feature exclusive content curated by the hotel.”

5. WHAT ROLE DOES COLLABORATION PLAY IN DREAM HOTELS AND THE HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY?

“For Dream Hotels and the entire hospitality industry, collaboration is creating a more dynamic opportunity for event marketing. We recently partnered with Alex+Ani jewelry and Bliss spa on a Valentine’s Day sweepstakes where fans could win a weekend for two in New York City. For Dream Hotels and the entire hospitality industry, collaboration is creating a more dynamic opportunity for event marketing. Over the past few years we’ve activated at SXSW, Art Basel and Sundance with big music and media partners including AM Only and The Kills. We’re utilizing all of our channels to promote these partnerships, get the word out about the events – and ultimately get influencers to attend. Collaborating with brands allows us to interject the Dream Hotels brand into relevant cultural happenings.”

Thank you to Rachel and Dream Hotels for joining Social Media Week NYC as the Official Hotel Sponsor. Attendees traveling to New York for the conference can take advantage of a special Social Media Week offer for booking rooms.

Session Preview: CEO Of Crowdtap Explains What It Means To Be A People-Powered Brand

In our day-to-day lives, we’re faced with countless reasons for wanting to engage with brands and businesses. Of course, we have customer service questions, but we also want to tell brands when they’re doing something right – and what’s more, we want to share our own ideas about how the brands we love can evolve and grow with us as consumers. After all, it’s our experiences with brands as consumers that shape the very definitions of those brands.

Sometimes simple social interactions cannot achieve these engagements effectively, and at scale, and that’s where Crowdtap comes in. Billed as the People-Powered Marketing Platform, Crowdtap helps marketers place real consumers at the heart of their marketing – from consumer insights and innovation to content creation and media distribution.

At #SMWNYC, Crowdtap CEO Sean Foster will explain what it means to be a people-powered brand, and offer up tangible examples of brand marketers who are leveraging the consumer voice across the entire marketing lifecycle. We recently caught up with Sean to get a sneak preview of his much-anticipated session:

What’s the state of brand-consumer relationships today?

The relationship between brands and consumers is broken. Most Millennials say they do not trust traditional advertising at all – yet marketers are still talking at their audiences, pushing messaging on them in disruptive ways. But it’s not all doom and gloom. Media-savvy consumers are passionate about the brands they love. In fact, nearly half of Millennials today believe that brands “play an essential role in their lives.”

Put simply, consumers want to be heard. They want a seat at the table – so much so that they are investing their own money to co-develop new products via platforms like Quirky and Kickstarter. The brands of the future are those that are putting people at the heart of it all – and that’s the definition of People-Powered Marketing in its simplest form.

What’s the difference between crowdsourcing and People-Powered Marketing?

People-Powered Marketing replaces the linear model of engaging consumers with an iterative cycle that elevates the consumer voice across all stages of marketing and product development. Crowdsourcing is a piece of that, but does not represent the complete scope of what’s possible for marketers today. At Crowdtap, we’re evangelizing a model in which consumers are involved at ALL stages of the marketing lifecycle. Beyond crowdsourcing (co-creation), this might involve giving product feedback, validating creative and creating content around their own experiences with brands. It’s an iterative, ongoing process versus a one-off campaign.

What can marketers do to help their brands become more People-Powered?

Becoming more consumer-centric is as much of a mindset shift as it is an operational shift. Marketers have to have the desire to make the leap, and understand that brands are no longer defined by executives in board rooms, separate from the consumers who experience them on a daily basis. They should not only realize, but appreciate, that their customers are increasingly calling the shots – and know how to balance consumer needs with business objectives. From an operational standpoint, managing ongoing conversations with consumers is not achievable at scale without the tools to make those engagements seamless and actionable for marketers. Our platform makes it easy for marketers to engage in two-way conversations with consumers that result in agile consumer insights and powerful word of mouth.

For more insights into marketing’s people-powered future, catch Sean’s session at the #SMWNYC Campus Headquarters (Highline Stages) on Friday, Feb. 27 at 10:45 a.m.

About Crowdtap:

Crowdtap, the People-Powered Marketing Platform, is a new operating system for brands powered by the people who love them. Our platform makes it easy for brands to put consumers at the heart of their marketing to drive product ideation, inform marketing strategy and create authentic content that fuels earned media.

In 2014, Crowdtap was named one of the 100 Most Promising Companies in America by Forbes and the No. 54 fastest-growing private company in the Inc. 500 List. The company has been ranked as the No. 3 Best Place to Work in New York by Crain’s, and the No. 6 Best Tech Company to Work For by Mashable.

With a growing community of passionate members, Crowdtap works with leading brands including General Mills, Heineken, Kraft Foods, P&G, Verizon, Walmart and Yum Brands.

Visit corp.crowdtap.com for more information.

Social Snow: The #BlizzardOf2015 And Who To Follow For The Best Forecasts

This post was penned by our partner Poncho the weather cat as a piece of a multi-part series. Poncho is a new weather service that delivers customizable weather forecasts daily via email and text message, helping you plan everything from your commute to your outfit.

Remember the great #Blizzardof2015? The one De Blasio shut down the subways for? The one we were told by many a weather forecaster (myself included) would blanket us in over two feet of snow?

If it’s still a distant memory, let me remind you really quick:

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That one! Juno, they called it. We all worried, work was cancelled for most of us, and toilet paper flew off the shelves faster than you could say, “Did you hear about this blizzard?”

 But of course, just because you’re a blizzard doesn’t mean you can please everybody.

 As usual with these types of things, the blizzard turned out to be weaker than the hype. Which is great! That is what you want! Unless you are one of these folks, who were equally unimpressed by the blizzard hype AND seemingly disappointed over not having to dig themselves out of their homes:

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The consequences of a bite-sized winter storm in lieu of an all-you-can-weather blizzard buffet was clear. The entire experience left people with an overall feeling of, “Holy inaccurate forecast, Batman!” People were no longer asking whether or not kale is a survival staple but rather whom to trust during the next serious weather event — and even contrite weathermen couldn’t stop people from doubting.

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Who do we look to when we need answers about whether we should plan to have the next day off? Social media is, of course, a huge part of the answer. Even sources that were wrong about how much snow we would get were still useful in relaying government notices and in-case-of-emergency information. What became crazy clear, though, was that not all social media is created equal. Some accounts hyped up the fear factor, describing the storm as some kind of Frozen meets Michael Bay affair. Others were more interested in presenting the facts, or actually answering the question of why the storm was so overhyped in certain areas. As always with the Internet, it’s a matter of curating reliable sources.

So who to follow in future times of need? Follow my bff Eric Holthaus, “America’s weather predicting boyfriend” and meteorologist at Slate. Follow the Capitol Weather Gang and The Weather Channel, for weather updates both enthusiastically specific and corporately broad. Follow the department of transportation, your friends, your local bodega if you’re lucky enough to have a bodega you can tweet at. Follow me, for local weather updates with a bit of sass! But don’t follow anyone outside your city, lest you become disappointed by how much snow they get in comparison (cough, Boston).

About Poncho

Poncho is your best weather buddy. Every morning he’ll send you a sassy text or email telling you what’s up with the day. Frizzy hair? Bad allergies? Rainy days to train delays, Poncho’s got you covered. Sign up here for personalized weather reports every morning, tailored to your routine, delivered by email or text message.