Assignment #12 – Social Media Monitoring Assignment Blog Post

I enjoyed putting together the final presentation for our Social Media Monitoring Assignment. I thought it was a great way to wrap up everything we had learned about Social Media in the Internet Marketing course. I couldn’t believe how comprehensive, thorough, and detailed Radian6 is; it’s a great tool for marketers to be able to track their brand’s reputation, word of mouth, online presence, customer feedback, and customer satisfaction – all in one place! As great as Radian6 was, I thought the free tools were great in their own respect. Tweetfeel and Twendz are similar to Radian6 at a very simplified level because you can see how many negative and positive tweets are being posted about your brand. I think they are fantastic tools for companies who don’t have the budget available to invest in several hundred dollars monthly towards tracking their brand on social media. Especially when some people don’t realize the ROI associated with social media. As always, I think that Google did a good job developing Google Insights for Search; knowing where your customers are from is important for marketers so that they can connect with their audience more effectively. The only drawback to these tools is that they can take words out of context sometimes, and can take a post that’s positive and categorize it as negative. Maybe in time, the logarithms will become so advanced, to the point where there will be less of these mix ups.

When looking at Pizza Hut versus Domino’s, what surprised me the most was how much Domino’s was lacking in their social media presence. They had a really bland twitter and face book page that seemed “whitewashed”, they had hardly any interesting content, and the page seemed unfinished. Pizza Hut, who must have already realized the potential of social media, really stepped it up with their Facebook. It covers the 4 c’s that we had gone over in class very well, and was both interesting and engaging. It was also interesting to see that Facebook Fans seemed to leave positive feedback on their page more frequently than negative; it was just the opposite on Twitter. Twitter seemed to be Pizza Hut’s outlet for doing damage control, most of their tweets were RT’s apologizing for the bad service a customer had received and letting the customer know they would be following up with them.

Overall, I learned a lot through this project, it was nice to be able to get a feel for social media monitoring tools and applications. This assignment was very relevant, because social media will undoubtedly impact our future careers as marketers.

Assignment #11 – Digital Ethics and Privacy

I think that privacy online is a very important topic to cover, especially with all the advances in technology that allow companies to tracker users’ online habits. Before this assignment, I knew that Amazon.com  and other e-retailers tracked my buying and browsing habits in order to suggest products that I might like to purchase, but I never realized that Comcast.net would track my online activity. This is slightly unnerving considering Comcast has my personal account information and email. While it would be illegal and unethical for them to look at this information, it makes me realize how easy it would be for a hacker to be able to access it. In the future, I am going to be more hesitant with providing my personal information and where (wi-fi networks) that I access my personal accounts on.

I didn’t realize the extent to which companies track and share my data. It’s strange that Comcast, Yahoo, and Weather Channel all track data, this makes me wonder what exactly they are tracking since I don’t purchase products through these sites.

I waited two days before looking at the Collusion and this is what I saw:

 

 

I didn’t think that I would have so many companies tracking me. Especially Doubleclick.net, a company had tracked me through multiple websites. I was curious, so I Googled the company and it turns out it is “Doubleclick by Google”, which would explain why they were tracking me through several different sites. If I learned one thing during this assignment, it was that everything I do online is being tracked.

Assignment #10 – Social Media Strategy

 

The brand whose social media strategy I decided to critique is Reese’s since I had previously liked them on Facebook.

 

1. Currently, the brand engages their audience by uploading photos their fans send them. Such photos include one of a squirrel who is climbing a tree with a Reese’s in its mouth, a Reese’s birthday cake made by Amanda M., and a pyramid made out of Reese’s miniatures.  The brand also posts screen shots of Tweets along with shout outs to that Twitter user, which would undoubtedly encourage more people to interact with Reese’s; knowing that their tweet or picture might be shown on the brand’s social media site. Reese’s also has or had (it is unclear when it the sweepstakes ends)the opportunity for a person to win a trip to the 2013 NCAA Men’s Final Four as well as Reese’s candy for life by entering in a drawing. This is because Reese’s sponsors a college All-Star basketball game (they also interact with their users by asking them who they think will win certain March Madness games). Lastly, the brand also posts pictures and status updates promoting the brand. They do this pretty often, and I’m surprised to see the overwhelmingly positive response they receive – thousands of people like these statuses and hundreds of people comment on them. Considering a brand is only supposed to post about brand-relative content around 10% of the time, I would say that Reese’s is the exception. Most likely because of the personality essence they give to the brand. Posts like “True or False: Eating one REESE’S Peanut Butter Cup always makes me want the second one.” or “Caution: Eating REESE’S Peanut Butter Cups has been known to promote new levels of awesomeness. This is your warning.” make the brand very personable, likeable, and relatable.

 

2. Reese’s meets all of the consumer motivations: create, control, compete, and connect. By allowing users to send in pictures of Reese’s-related things and in turn the brand posting this content to the page, Reese’s meets the create and control consumer motivations. As mentioned previously, Reese’s offers fans a chance to win a trip to the 2013 NCAA Men’s Final Four as well as Reese’s candy for life by entering in a drawing which would appeal to the motivation to compete (note: I am under the assumption that you DO NOT have to like Reese’s on Facebook in order to enter the sweepstakes because it is through the website and not Facebook). The fourth motivation, connect, has been met simply because Reese’s fans feel like they can converse with the brand as demonstrated by the positive response on Facebook; 9.1 million likes, hundreds or even thousands of likes and comments on status updates and posted pictures, and even Reese’s tendency to repost tweets and upload pictures that are sent to them from fans.

 

3. I think that Reese’s should measure the likes on their pictures and status updates and the number of comments each receives. When comparing this to future posts, they will be able to recognize a pattern of posts that really works well in engaging their target audience effectively.

 

4. So far, I think that Reese’s does a wonderful job with their social media campaign. To further increase engagement, they could create a contest exclusively for their Facebook and Twitter plans where these individuals would be able to create the next Reese’s product (ex: a Reese’s with a pretzel inside or a Reese’s with a chocolate-peanut butter filling, etc.) This way, Reese’s would be able to target just their social media audience and reward them for being followers of the brand. This strategy would meet the compete and connect aspect of consumer motivations because the followers would be competing for their idea to win the contest and they would be connecting with the brand. I think that Reese’s should keep track of how many new followers they get during the time of this contest and compare it to the average number of new followers during a non-contest time to see how many new followers have been reached thanks to that contest. Reese’s should also keep track of any significant changes in the number of interactions (likes, comments, picture postings, etc.) to see if contests significant boost the number of followers and activity on their page, and will help them determine if they want to offer more in the future.

Assignment #9 – Google Analytics

Part 1

Audience Overview:

1. 1,422 visits

2. Average time spent on the site: 2 minutes 13 seconds

3. 60.83% new visitors & 39.17% returning vistors

Audience Demographics – Location:

1. United States, Canada, and United Kingdom

Traffic Sources Overview:

1.  41.63% of traffic comes from referrals

2.  15.23% of traffic comes from searching “interactive marketing”

Part 2

1. From January 1 to March 1, 2012 there were 929 unique visitors. From January 1 to March 1, 2011 there were 465 unique  visitors.

2. In range 1: thursday, February 2, 2012 had the most site visits with 65.  In range 2: Tuesday Febrauary 22, 2011 had the most site visits with 49.

Assignment #8 – Website Analysis

1)      Finding the Interactive Marketing Homepage is fairly easy. The only hard part for me personally was to find the course requirements because they are listed under the “Curriculum” whereas I thought they would be listed under course requirements.

Here the breadcrumbs I used to find the course requirements: 

Degrees/Programs> Bachelor of Science in Marketing> Interactive Marketing (Learn more)> Curriculum

 

Navigation

   
Current location within the site is shown clearly

1

The current location isn’t shown to the visitor. The only way they know which page they are on is because the title of that page is the same as the link in the navigator bar.
Link to the site’s main page is clearly identified

9

The site’s main page is titled “Home” and is the first link in the navigation tool bar. However, maybe this being bolded would help those who aren’t efficient at using the internet find the homepage easily.
Major/important parts of the site are directly accessible from the main page

7

The main page includes the navigation bar, which makes the important parts of the site easily accessible. I think the College of Business site could include a “Quick links” section on the actual homepage to improve accessibility.
Site map is provided for large, complex site

3

No sitemap provided, however the site isn’t too complex so I don’t think it is absolutely essential to have one.
Easy-to-use search function is provided, as needed

10

Search toolbar is on every page, allowing the user to find everything easily.

Architectural and visual clarity

   
Site is organized from the user’s perspective

10

I think the site is very organized and the layout makes sense. This is probably one of the reasons NIU chose not to have “Quick Links” section and other sections that might take up a lot of space.
Site is easily scannable for organization and meaning

9

The site is easily scannable. Including titles, subtitles, and clickable links allows the visitor to understand the meaning of the page and to realize how to get to a different page if needed.
Site design and layout is straightforward and concise

10

Overall, a very good site. My only major suggestion is to have the current location within the site being shown clearly (maybe in red or italicized).
White space is sufficient; pages are not too dense

10

The college of business site balances the information on the pages with pictures, links, and enough white space.
Unnecessary animation is avoided

10

There is hardly any animation. There are only a few videos on the site where they are relevant.
Colors used for visited and unvisited links are easily seen and understood

1

There are no colors for visited or unvisited links.

 

Assignment #7 – Guest Speaker 1

I thoroughly enjoyed the Mobile Marketing Presentation on Wednesday, March 7th by the two guest speakers from LeapFrog Online. Not only was it was a great way to end the school day before Spring Break, but to also reaffirm concepts that we have been talking about in Internet Marketing. It’s also neat to actually see, or ‘hear’ the day-to-day real-life applications of concepts you learn about in a class so that it becomes more relevant and you can actually “connect the dots”. It’s also impressive that two guys who are young and have graduated pretty recently are in charge of the paid advertising and are allowed to travel to campuses to give their presentation.

Of the presented material, what I found most interesting was the augmented reality glasses that turn your surroundings into a real-life Monopoly board. It’s crazy to think that wearing a pair of glasses will allow your scenery to become interactive and have the capability to be digitally manipulated. I was still wondering how much a pair of augmented reality glasses would cost and if they required a monthly service plan (I’m betting so, because anything that involves high-tech data with be expensive!) and when I can expect them at my local AT&T. I decided to dig a little deeper and found out that these glasses are expected to be out by the end of 2012. The estimated price of these glasses ranges from $250 to $600. It is unknown whether these glasses will need their own data plan, or will be able to use smartphone connectivity. The article “Google Augmented Reality Glasses Expected by Year’s End” by Daniel Ionescu from PC World can be found here. Regardless, I might have to wait until the “Google Augmented Reality Glasses 2.0” version comes out, that way the first version is a little less pricey.

Another key concept that was reinforced by the presenters is how important it is for companies to invest time, energy and other resources into providing consumers with mobile websites and or mobile applications. With mobile being such a big trend that shows no sign of slowing, it only makes sense for companies who want to survive in this economy to spend the money to provide customers with these capabilities so that they don’t get “left in the dust” by other companies who realize and are capitalizing on these platforms. At my current internship, I work for a small company that provides rewards programs for financial institutions (among other things), and we are in the process of creating, developing, and testing a mobile app where account holders can browse and order their selected reward. In my opinion, the company might not exactly be placing this task on the list of highly import things to achieve in the near future. It has been in the works for several months now (that I know of), and there is no indication of a due or launch date. Considering some of our competitors already offer apps, and others have them in the works, and based on the presentation, I think it would be in the best interest if this became a top priority for our web developers.  

Overall, it was a great presentation full of great information, and I’m looking forward to future presentations.

Assignment #6 – Paid Search (Adwords)

My ad:

2. There are 2 keywords that I would bid on for this ad, “Recycled Handbags”. I think this is essential for Ecoist because a single keyword like “Handbags” or “Recycled” would generate many buyers, but the kind that probably aren’t specifically interested in buying handbags made from recycled materials. This would also be beneficial because, according to our class slides, keywords are best when 2-3 words long.

3.  a. According to the Google AdWords Keyword Tool, the competition for the keyword “Recycled Handbags” is high.

b. The monthly global search volume is 14,800 and the monthly local search volume is 8,100.

c. There are a lot other keyword suggestions including: recycled bags, eco friendly bags, recycled fashion, recycled material handbag, and many more.

d. The estimated average CPC of my keyword is $0.67, the number of daily clicks is 4.19, and the estimated daily cost is $2.80.

4. a. Ecoist.com is currently bidding on 127 keywords.

b. The keyword that I chose, “Recycled Handbags”, wasn’t reported in their top ten; it was reported as number 12, which means that keyword probably offers a lower ROI than other, more specific keywords such as “candy wrapper clutch” which is in position 1 on the PPC overview.

c. I think that the PPC overview on the KeywordSpy offers great information for Ecoist.com. From here, it can be concluded that keywords that are more specific like “gum wrapper purses”, “wrapper handbags”, etc. are all in a better standing on AdWords (to be seen by potential customers) since they are in a position that is 5 or less. “Recycled Handbags”, however, is in position 12, so the Ecoist team might want to decide to use the “budget” for this keyword towards something that will be more effective such as “candy wrapper purses” since “Recycled Handbags” has a high competition level. The KeywordSpy also offers interesting statistics such as the average ad position and average cost per click which offers the marketing team even more insight on the company’s overall performance on AdWords.

Assignment #5 – Search Engine Optimization

View The Daily, an Ecoist purse

The keyword or phrase I would focus on from the existing page is ” Handfolded, recycled Dove® Chocolate wrappers”. However, if I was writting the keywords or phrase I would have it be ‘Eco-friendly, handfolded recycled chocolate wrappers purse”. I think this contains more of the popularly searched words and would result in better chances of being viewed by a potential customer.

 

Title: The Daily – A Fashionable Recycled Material Purse

H1 Header:  The Daily – The Perfect Purse for any Eco-friendly Chocolate Lover

The Daily Copy: Made from recycled Dove Chodcolate wrappers, The Daily is a classic handbag with a stylish twist. A long shoulder strap makes this bag a practical accessory for everyday wear. Help the environment and your wardrobe with this handbag.

  • Made from hand folded Dove Chocolate wrappers
  • Sturdy, water resisant, wipeable material
  • Magnetic snap closure
  • Comfortable padded handle
  • 15″ L x 12″ H x 6″ W

 

ALT text for image: Eco-friendly handmade handbag

URL: http://ecoist.com/pc/viewPrd.asp?idproduct=5161&idcategory=171

Meta description tag: <META NAME=”Eco-friendly handmade recycled chocolate wrapper handbag.”>

 

Ways to increase links to your page:

  • Submit press releases to various news stations and newspapers while including a link to your website that they will hopefully reference if your press release gets published
  • Request links to your page on websites with similar or related content
  • Have employees (or fans of the website) link to the page, while this won’t get you “big” links, it is better than nothing

 

Assignment #4 – Online Advertising/Photoshop 2

Ad 1/A

HouseA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2/B

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The design of the two ads communicates the assignment objective because the heading relates to the house image, there is a call to action, and the logo is included at the bottom. The purpose of A/B testing is to change one variable of the ad such as the copy, font, image, background, etc. to see which version, A or B gets more traffic and a higher response rate. I would use the two ads interchangeably to see which ad was clicked on more, thus having more impact on viewers. The changed variable in this ad is the copy heading “Help your neighbors” versus “Neighbors helping neighbors” (note: the border around the ads is 3 pixels on both ads, however it appears differently on WordPress). The landing page for the ads is Loaves&Fishes’ “Donate” page, so that people who clicked on the page would be able to easily see how amd when they could donate. Two possible methods that Loaves&Fishes could use to track the effectiveness of the ads are to track and compare the click through rate of each ad and to track which ad, if any, people who actually donated food at Loaves&Fishes saw that encouraged them to donate. The donation attendant could simply ask the people who are donating which ad they saw (show them a picture of each), and record their answers on a sheet, basically performing a simple market research experiment. The original image was provided by derekmswanson.