Wal-Mart’s Social Guidelines

29 Apr

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Wal-Mart’s social media policy could be easily searched via Google; however they seem to call it their guidelines, and provide many different category of guidelines underneath. They first are telling their customers about their Twitter and Facebook engagement and what they should expect out of them online and what Wal-Mart expects from their followers. It then follows with what guidelines are expected from the Wal-Mart associates and what they need to follow. Finally it concludes with a few guidelines for participants of some of their promotional sponsored associates and a Mom Program. The guidelines are under their homepage and also give viewers the option to share and tweet it out, so it shows how open they are about their guidelines and want their employees and the followers to know exactly what is expected.
With their guidelines, I really like that not only do they tell their employees what is expected of them on social media, like:

  1. Know the rules
  2. Remember that we have a dedicated FB team tasked with responding to customer inquiries or criticisms
  3. And consider using company established channels for job-specific issues.
  4. And for managers: be familiar with the Social Media Management Guidelines (which can only be accessed via login/password).

But Wal-Mart also tells their customers what it is they should expect to see on Twitter and what to expect on and what they expect of their customers on Facebook! On Twitter they give a list of all official Wal-Mart Twitters, so people are not asking questions to faux accounts. They also tell the customers on Twitter that they will try and respond to as many relevant questions as possible. On Facebook their guidelines seem a little bolder, (they are literally bolded). They ask that their followers to be polite, don’t break the law, stay relevant and “keep it real.” I find these Facebook guidelines to be a little strange to put in an official document, and that they are telling their what is expected from them.
If I was Wal-Mart I would make less of an emphasis of these Facebook guidelines by first un-bolding them. I do not see why those ones are much more important than the guidelines for the employees of Wal-Mart. I think it is too much for a large corporation like Wal-Mart to make rules for their followers. They should make more of an emphasis on what is expected of their employees. These are the people who are representing the company, and should be accounted for what they are doing online.
Wal-Mart’s social media policy has a good start, but could definitely use some editing. The main point should be the associate’s guidelines, and make that first and bolded, while making the Twitter and Facebook expectations on the bottom and less of a focus. On the other hand, I think what is expected from the employees is pretty well laid out. They expected their employees to know the rules of the information policy, on what is confidential information and should not be posted on social media. They want their employees to know that social media platforms are not the place to talk about their job. If there seems to be a problem, they should speak with their manager, not the corporate Twitter account. And lastly, they do not want their employees answering questions on Facebook/Twitter. That is the duty of the social media manager, and will be taken care of through them. Overall I think it is very much important to put a policy in place. While telling employees verbally what is expect from them could be quicker, guidelines/rules are much more definite and expected when written down, universally for all of the employees. This way, no one can argue any which way because it can easy be sent to all employees. This is a must for any company that wants to keep all employees on the same level and keep communication strong.

The King of Milwaukee Burgers, Bacon and Social Media

26 Apr

burgerEvery city has their burger places, and for a locally owned burger place, sometimes it may be difficult to develop a strong presence on social media, however our candidate here prides itself on the three B’s, burgers, beer and bacon. AJ Bombers located in Milwaukee finally got to wear the title of best cheeseburger in Milwaukee when Travel Channel’s Food Wars crowned them the winner, when they defeated town rival Sobelman’s. Since then, not only have they been sending out burgers and beer like crazy, they have been sending out posts and raking up followers. For AJ Bombers they have a very simple tactics that for some reason just works for them, it’s just being relevant, humorous and engaging.

For AJ Bombers they have over 15,000 likes on Facebook (beating Sobelman’s again with their only 14,000 likes) which seems to continue to grow with their tactics on Facebook and the awesome food they keep preparing.  It appears they update their Facebook about once per day during the weekdays, however when Thursday night comes along, they increase their push out rate to about two to three per day. This is a great plan for them because people seem to become more active on social media later in the week, and they want their followers to notice them more on the weekend when people are off of work and ready to go out to dinner or grab a drink.funny

As I said before, AJ Bombers is doing so well on social media because of their being relevant to what is going on in Milwaukee. They have posted about the Buck’s game and receive a few comments, and about 80 likes. Their posts may not always be specifically about their brand name, but they are getting their followers to notice their name and maybe think about coming in to watch the Buck’s game. Additionally they are funny. Many of their posts are a little strange, but it seems to work for the brand. A recent Facebook post was about “Fifty Plates of Bacon.” Although this post doesn’t say anything about the brand name, bacon is their prized possession, so it works for them to make their followers think of AJ’s. This post alone received almost 100 likes and about 60 share. When their followers share this post, their name is still attached to it. This is giving them a much larger range of people to reach. So AJ Bombers should be applauded for their humorous posts because they are reaching a larger audience. other commentLastly AJ Bombers engages with their followers. This is important to do because it makes a follower feel like AJ Bombers recognizes them and is willing to help or respond to something they had a comment about.  Although on Facebook they do not have many complaints or even questions, AJ Bombers still goes out of their way to tell their followers thank you, which can go a long way.

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Although AJ Bombers does not have a campaign running or have much of a point when posting on Facebook, they are good at getting their followers attention and I think that is important. Whether it is posting something funny, or showing a picture of their Friday fish fry during lent, AJ Bombers takes the simple wants of followers and gives them exactly what they want.

How Taco Bell is Making Their Customers Go “Loco” on Twitter

12 Apr

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Most people remember when Taco Bell’s Dorito Tacos launched about two years ago, and how everyone had to get their fingers dirty on them. Taco Bell has recently launched round two of Dorito Tacos with the new Dorito Cool Ranch shell. And today these flavorful shells have ultimately saved Taco Bell . Taco Bell’s current campaign is promoting their newest shell flavor, Cool Ranch. The new taco is their profile picture on Twitter, but also what appears to be a fan-generated background picture including fans enjoying the new taco and their self-established hashtag #coolranchdlt .

When looking at other “Mexican” fast food restaurants, such as Qdoba or Chipotle, Taco Bell has a much stronger presence on Twitter because of the content they put out and the interaction they have on Twitter. When comparing specifically to Chipotle, they have 140,000 tweets, yet only 175,000 followers on Twitter. Taco Bell on the other hand has only 22,000 tweets, but almost 415,000 fans.  When comparing the reasoning, it is because Taco Bell puts out much more valuable content that fans actually enjoy viewing. Chipotle tweeted a picture of a tin foiled covered burrito, just asking “what is your burrito?” Although there is a picture with it, it is a blank picture with a boring question. No follower is going to tweet all of the ingredients they put in their burrito, and nothing about that makes someone want to go get Chipotle. On the other hand Taco Bell put out an edited image that shows what the product actually looks like, and tells their followers this new product will be back in May. This gives customers something to look forward to, while also being able to see their product first hand. With this single image, it received almost 2,000 retweets, showing many more people about a new product coming out and also 1,400 favorites. Additionally Taco Bell responded to some of their followers in a humorous way: tacebooo bell

As the visual aspect works very well for Taco Bell and that is what much of their content is, another reason their Twitter is so strong, is the interaction in the Twitterverse. Not only do they retweet many followers’ tweets that mention Taco Bell, they are also using the “trends” in a creative way. For example, one of the trending hashtags used by Taco Bell was “#WhyBeInARelationshipIf you’re in love with Taco Bell?” TAcobellFor me this shows that Taco Bell is staying engaged with what is going on online, and are keeping up with the “trends.” This tweet alone received over 3,000 retweets, 1,000 favorites and various replies, on specifically stating, “I want soft tacos now pls.” Even a tweet that does not show a product or really talks about the company is receiving high involvement. Taco Bell seems to really striving on being funny, and are able to do so easily because the liking it is getting from their followers!

The Taco Bell brand is so successful with their social media truly because of their visual material, staying up with the trends and being funny! These social media aspects are much apparent when viewing Taco Bell’s social media compared to Chipotle. It is important to stand out in the market today, and if Taco Bell keeps up with what they are doing, and keep launching new Dorito Taco flavors, I think they will do just fine.

The Three Basics of Socal Media

4 Apr

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I think there are many considerations as to what exactly goes into a company’s social strategy, however I find that a good solid start can begin with three things: audience, material and the why?

The audience may seem like an obvious thing to plan for when development begins, however if the company does not know who they are talking to they can completely miss a new trend or conversation that audience is having. Knowing that the company’s audience is teens and young adults, it was probably a good idea to know what “the Harlem Shake” was or who Justin Bieber is. First if your audience is constantly talking about these things, it may be important to somehow link it to one of your posts. On the other hand, if your target audience is senior citizens, more than likely they were unaware of what this new Harlem Shake fad was and ask if you said “Justin Beaver.”

This example can also go for the content. You want to make sure what this company is posting about is something relevant to not only the company, but also the audience. It would be a waste of a post that should only be updated a few times a day to ask what is everyone is doing, or if they like chocolate? None of these things will  truly get a followers’ attention, give any valuable information to them or make an opinion. They should use their limited posts enriched with useful information and a visual or link!

Lastly, probably most important would be the why? Any company can push out information online to their followers, but why the posts that are relevant will truly get that  brand loyalty with the customer and keep them coming back!

The Good of Social Business

22 Mar

Social Media Logotype Background

When hearing “social business” I think about a company that is social with their clients and customers. In this decade, the easiest and probably cheapest way is through social media and the different platforms provided. Companies are able to update their consumers on social media within minutes, especially with how frequent users are on the different medias. Some may think sending an email does the trick, but many of times that is sent to spam and never read or customers automatically delete, which was a huge waste. Now with social media, yes people can never follow the company and scroll past it in their news feed, but if they do follow the company, they probably have a better chance of reading a 140 character post compared to a full email.

As a forum for customer service, I think social media is a great place for companies to use the outlets. Many of times people with service questions have small/quick ones, but are  required to go through an operator for their call to be transfer to the appropriate place, and then wait on hold for 10 minutes to ask a simple question. If companies were able to have a customer service twitter or even, if ambitious, have a customer service twitter for each department, so the customer knows the correct person, with knowledge in that area is answering their question.

As a marketing tool, I think social media is a great quick, easy and cheap way for a company to get a product or service out. However the social media managers need to make sure they are going to achieve the most revenue when doing so. For example, their most important posts need to be in the evening, when most people are using social media. Also the managers should make sure they include a visual, and include the link for the visual in between text.  According to Dennis Jenders it is said that links get more clicks when there is text surrounding the link. As a marketing tool, social media is a great platform, but it needs to be utilized at its best potential.

For any business being on social media more than likely will not harm the company, unless they post obscene or explicit material. However, social media will only be truly useful if the business is using it properly. I think the idea of a social business is the best way for a company to draw in new customers and keep their existing customers to come back.

Target on Top of Department Store Social Media

17 Feb

Target

Target, the luxury department store, has made themselves stand out when compared to other powerhouse department stores, specifically Wal-Mart. When comparing Target’s 500,000 followers compared to the big retailer Wal-Mart’s 300,000 it is evident through their Twitter feeds what makes Target the leader in social media.

Three things that Target has done immensely well on Twitter are:

  • Showing a reflective voice that coincides with the brand (kind of spunky, yet professional)
  • Providing an intriguing lead followed by a purposeful link
  •  And suggestions about some of their products

For any brand it is important to have the social media’s voice to correlate with the company, as Abi Naumann said, social media is “the face of the company.” If the social media’s voice does not match with the brand it may cause some consumer dissonance and turn followers off.

Not only do links provide more knowledge to the consumer, but they also increase engagement for the brand, which is the major motive of having social media attendance. By providing the links, they also can redirect their consumers to their Target website which, for the popular trend of online shopping, is hard to pass.Target1

Finally, it would not be a brand’s social media page if they did not highlight the products Target offers, which all brand’s should be doing. Using social media is a quick and simple way for many online users to see a brand’s products instantly. It also will entice consumers to fall into their desires and purchase the product! target2

Overall, Target has used their social media presence to bond with their audience and provide them with useful information and suggested items to purchase. Target has shown that a strong social media presence can help beat out their biggest competition online and hopefully one day in sales.

Audi’s Bravery v. Mercedes Benz’s Blackout

8 Feb

Superbowl 47 has come and gone, and with any team, but the Packer playing, I’m really not interested in the game play. However being a communications student, I strictly focus on the best part of the Superbowl, the commercials.

With companies paying millions of dollars for 30 second spots, they are all pulling out the big guns to make USA Today’s top 5 on  the Ad Meter. Although the advertisement is the most essential part of the campaign, the buzz about the commercial starts on Twitter.

audiprom-1Audi, the car brand, started the Twitter conversation about two weeks before the official airing of their ad at the Superbowl with a tweet asking followers to choose the ending of their “Prom” commercial. Additionally they started using the hashtag #braverywins and had retweets and responses to their followers using the hashtag.

When Audi launched their advertisement “Prom,” in the first half of the game and the #braverywins in the commercial it created about 5,000 conversations on Twitter, however most of the conversations Audi had with their followers spent more time on the advertisement and brand, instead of the hashtag trend they were trying to push.

As the second half approached, and Beyoncé finished rocking out during halftime, the Mercedes-Benz Superdome went under a blackout. Of course this was sort of a joking matter, and because a competitor of Audi sponsored the superdome, it seemed like an appropriate time for Audi to poke a little fun at  the competitor’s company.

Audi retweeted, “Did Mercedes-Benz not pay the electric bill? #superbowl.” This does not strategically help Audi into selling more cars, but having the Audi  brand be aware of their competition and be able to make a little humor to other brands makes Audi have a better representation on Twitter. Capture

On the other hand,  they tweeted whether or not the Mercedes Benz Superdome was in need of LED lights or not? This tweet still shows the awareness of the Superbowl’s situation, and that their competition is involved with this incident because of their sponsorship. By tweeting about a specific feature that Audi offers, helps advertise their cars, while still discussing their Superbowl.

With the Superbowl being one of the biggest advertising days for most brands, they will start campaigning and creating buzz, just as Audi did weeks in advance. Although Audi’s hashtag did not create as much talk as they had wished, many people still enjoyed the commercial as a whole, made top 10, and that definitely created conversations. In addition, I think the blackout worked to Audi’s advantage by having the superdome sponsored by their competitor Mercedes Benz. The blackout created a little joking conversation that created an overall well done Superbowl campaign for Audi.