Tag Archives: Facebook

Case Study: Mona School of Business and Management Report

  • Summary

Mona School of Business and Management has positioned itself as the top graduate business school within the Caribbean. On approaching their annual application period for their Master of Science programmes they launched a campaign using all forms of advertising media (television, radio and print) to effectively get their message across. It’s Pixel Perfect was given the task of using Social Media to compliment the ads. The task was to create awareness of the graduate programmes, it’s application period and encourage individuals to apply.

 

  • Goal

 

To assess if maximum social media results were achieved by It’s Pixel Perfect for Mona School of Business and Management  from December 2013 – January 2014 across three social media platforms and one online marketing technique.

  1. Increase MSBM Facebook page likes by 1000
  2. Increase MSBM Twitter followers
  3. Increase MSBM LinkedIn connections
  4. Maximize Google search engine optimization
  • Context

 

This was a two months campaign for December 2013 – January 2014. For the first month, Facebook was the only social media platform used. Twitter and LinkedIn were incorporated in January. The online marketing technique of Google Ads was used over the two months. This campaign was planned, executed and managed by one representative of the IPP team for the period.

  • Solutions

Overall Assumption:

This campaign will increase MSBM’s followers on social media and also encourage new applicants to apply to their graduate programmes. This noted reliability would result in providing updates that centered around the nature of the institution.

Though IPP was initially hired to manage Facebook, we thought it necessary to include MSBM’s twitter account and LinkedIn account to have maximum social media reach with their desired audience to achieve the targets..

  • Strategy

  1. A posting plan was created to have daily posts for each platform.
  2. Promote the courses offered.
  3. Advertise the application deadline on all platforms.
  4. Google ads.
  5. Paid advertisements on the MSBM Facebook page.
  • Returns

Facebook

  • Followers/ Likes increased by 2, 172.
  • Before the campaign they had 4,819 likes and ended the campaign with 6,991 likes.

fb graph

Twitter

  • Followers increased by 23 persons.
  • Before the campaign they had 95 followers and ended the campaign with 118.

twitter screenshot

LinkedIn

  • Connections increased by 1,094.
  • Before the campaign they had 329 and ended the campaign with 1,423 connections.

linkedin screenshot

Google Ads

  • Compared to it’s competitors, MSBM’s ads remained in the top position for the period. It kept an average of 1.0 on Google’s display network. The number of clicks and impressions kept a steady growth between December 23-31. This showed incremental reach for the time period.

google ad 1

  • The clicks have also been steady and showed growth between January 11-31. This period showed higher clicks and higher impressions.

google ad 2

  • Lessons Learned

  1. Request that the client provides IPP with a list of courses and proper terminologies to be used.
  2. The content that is posted is heavily dependent on the brand and the way the client wants to be perceived.
  3. A LinkedIn personal and business account cannot be merged.

 

Case Study: TVJ Champs Report

Television Jamaica’s Social Media Coverage of ISSA/Grace Kennedy Boys and Girls Championship 2014

  • Quick Summary

 

TVJ wanted to dominate the media coverage of the highly anticipated annual Boys and Girls Champs. Live television broadcast with their on site reporters, in house analysts and radio reporters meant that social media was the only missing link. TVJ realised that they are highly engaged by their followers on their Facebook and Twitter social media platforms and wanted to maximise this presence through live coverage. This case study represents the IPP execution of a live social media campaign in the area of sports. This type of coverage was the first for the IPP team.

 

  • Goal/Problem

 

To assess if maximum social media coverage was achieved by It’s Pixel Perfect for the project ISSA/Grace Kennedy Boys and Girls Championships from March 25-29, 2014 across three social media platforms for Television Jamaica.

  1. Increase TVJ’s followers on Facebook by 2000 persons.
  2. Provide timely and consistent updates across the three social media platforms.
  3. Post live pictures and videos everyday of the event.
  • Context

 

This was a seven-days campaign. The first two days were used for lead up promotion and the remaining five days for live social media blogging executed on site at the National Stadium in Kingston. Each days coverage varied with a minimum coverage of 10 hours and a maximum of 13 hours. Coverage each day included the use of two live bloggers and one photographer.

 

  • Solution

 

Overall Assumption:

This campaign will increase Television Jamaica’s followers on social media and also establish it as a reliable source for real-time track and field event information and other events sponsored by the group. This noted reliability would result in current followers spreading the brand’s praises to others and making a commitment to get results/updates from only TVJ moving forward.

Though IPP was only given a specific target for Facebook, the company thought it necessary to include TVJ’s twitter account and create an Instagram account to have maximum social media coverage.

  • Strategy/Tactics

  1. Start the promotion two days before the actual event on Facebook
  2. Paid advertisements on Facebook page
  3. Provide ongoing concise and accurate information/updates for every event on the track and the field via Facebook
  4. Link the Facebook account to twitter
  5. Create an Instagram account
  6. Have a photographer on the track at all times to capture the events up close
  7. Use mobile devices instead of laptops
  8. Post pictures with Facebook posts on the final day of the championships, to give the followers visual content and an eye at the stadium.
  • Return

Facebook

  • Followers/ Likes increased by 2,997.
  • Through the use of paid advertisements, there was a reach of over 40,000 persons each day over the period.

 

Twitter

 

  • Followers increased by 636 followers.

photo (1)

 

Instagram

  • The coverage ended with 121 picture posts and 314 followers.

instagram 1

  • Reviews

tvj twitter 1 tvj twitter 2

instagram

  • Lessons Learned

  1. Large outdoor events for long hours require additional human resource by the IPP team.
  2. The IPP team must be equipped with additional resources
  3. Ensure that the company (person who contracted IPP) delivers on demands necessary to the completion of the assignment (example: accreditation, press passes) so as to limit the need for improvisation.

Gleaner vs Observer: Who’s Better On Social Media?

Jamaicannewspapers-page-pic

Nine months ago, we measured the social media presence of Jamaica’s top newspapers – The Jamaica Gleaner and Jamaica Observer – to see which company was doing the better job. Jamaica Gleaner had won the social media brands war over Observer last July.

Read more

In this issue, we have updated our statistics and will re-assess the brands. Will Jamaica Gleaner retain their win? Let’s find out.

Facebook

Company

April 23, 2014 July 17, 2013

Increase (%)

Jamaica Gleaner 150, 158 likes25,934 talking about this 28, 583 likes10, 992 talking about this 425.3 % likes135.9% talking about this
Jamaica Observer 106, 300 likes14, 600 talking about this 13, 080 likes1597 talking about this 712.7% likes814.2% talking about this

Jamaica Gleaner continues to have more likes and persons talking about their page than Jamaica Observer. However, over the period Jamaica Observer had a much greater increase in numbers than that of Jamaica Gleaner. Observer had a 713% increase in likes compared to Gleaner’s 425%. There was an 814% increase in persons talking about Jamaica Observer compared to the 136% increase in persons talking about Jamaica Gleaner.

As noticed last July, regular updates are made on The Gleaner’s Facebook page, with trending news stories being dominant. Posts continue to be paired with visuals which is a recommended technique used to keep fans engaged. Generally, fans seem pleased with the Gleaner’s offerings on the page.

gleaner 1
Photo posted on April 23, 2014 received 206 likes, 47 shares, 21 comments

 

 

The persisting problem from last year, of mostly sharing the links of stories from their website, continues to prevail on Observer’s facebook page. Again, there are virtually no likes/comments/shares on these posts. They should notice the stark difference when they make posts with engaging and captioned photos.

Observer - fb
(left) Shared post from website had 7 likes, 2 shares, 0 comments; (right) Captioned photo post had 327 likes, 34 shares, 13 comments

Twitter

Company

April 23, 2014 July 17, 2013

Increase (%)

Jamaica Gleaner 103, 820 followers 75,889 followers 36.8%
Jamaica Observer 97, 247 followers 71, 213 followers 36.6%

Both The Gleaner and Observer continue to show that they use the same strategy, of posting links to their news articles, not quite 24/7 but very very very regularly, on this social media platform. They had an equal increase of followers by 37% over the period.

It can be noted that The Gleaner uses hashtags for almost every post, which is a twitter technique used to engage, manage and track conversations with followers. Yesterday’s featured Gleaner hashtags were: #GleanerTop5, #GLNRjainvite, #GLNRbudget, GLNRSuperMom, #GLNR180, #GlobalJamaica.

gleaner- twitter
Embedding videos is also a technique used by Gleaner on twitter

Observer on the other hand, isn’t much of a hashtag user on twitter, but they have linked their Instagram account to twitter, which facilitates the sharing of photos across both platforms. This allows their followers to get pictorial updates with some of their posts.

observer - twitter

Youtube

Company April 23, 2014 July 17, 2013 Increase
Jamaica Gleaner 12, 966 subscribers

11, 602, 126 views

7, 628 subscribers

8,443,022 views

70%

37.4%

Jamaica Observer 7,269 subscribers

8, 883, 888 views

4,535 subscribers

7,112,946 views

60.3%

24.9%

Jamaica Gleaner continues to dominate Youtube, with increases of 70% in subscribers and 37% in views, when compared to Observer’s 60% and 25% respectively.

On YouTube The Gleaner is the clear leader here with almost double the amount of subscribers and over 1 million more views than the Observer. Both brands use the medium to give subscribers and viewers short snippets of current news stories.

Gleaner is able to be more visible on youtube with regular updates from featured playlists like: The Gleaner Minute, Jamaica Now, Erica’s Edge, Corporate Coffee, Parliament Report.

gleaner- youtube

Observer doesn’t have a dedicated web series or make regular posts. This is noted in the below screenshots,a comparison of last year and this year. Nothing has changed in the uploaded videos for these sections.

Screenshot from 2013 blog post
Screenshot of youtube page from 2013 blog post
Screenshot of current youtube page
Screenshot of current youtube page

Instagram

Company

April 23, 2014 July 17, 2013

Increase (%)

Jamaica Gleaner 2649 followers 292 followers 807.2%
Jamaica Observer 3629 followers 28 followers 12,860.7%

On Instagram The Gleaner now has less followers and is less active on the mobile photo sharing site than The Observer. Observer has over four times more posts than Gleaner, with a 12,861% increase in followers compared to last year. Gleaner increased their followers by a mere 807%.

Last year, Gleaner clearly outbranded Observer. But this year, the race is to the finish line. While Observer is the clear leader in Instagram and Gleaner is the clear winner on Youtube, we have a tie for Twitter. So the deciding factor is the Facebook platform. Should Observer be declared the winner of Facebook for their superseding increases, or should Gleaner get the win for consistently being more engaging in their posts (getting more overall likes, comments and shares) and still maintaining more followers and persons talking about the page?

This is a really difficult one. I think we need more time to declare who was “out-branded” on social media. Ok fine, we’ll choose a winner ………..

In the war of brands on social media between print media companies The Jamaica Gleaner and The Jamaica Observer,  the better brand for a second time is The Jamaica Gleaner. A facebook fan page is for engagement, and Gleaner is clearly dominating. Furthermore Observer created their facebook page long before the Gleaner and therefore should not be caught in this dilemma.

Congratulations to The Jamaica Gleaner on having the stronger overall social media presence to date, and Happy Birthday #GLNR180.

 

Disclaimer

Statistics used for this post were retrieved from the social media platforms on April 23, 2014 between 7:00-7:05pm.

Do you ‘rant’ or ‘rave’ on Facebook?

                   There are three general types of Facebook users:                           Ranters, Ravers, Non-users

Who are you “like” on facebook?

To the Ranters:                                                                                             Facebook isn’t your psychologist’s office. You are not permitted to give every extensive detailed secondly account of your life from birth until now. Neither are you permitted to brag, boast, criticize and self-promote in every post.

To the Ravers:                                                                                                   Facebook isn’t twitter. You are not permitted to write posts on every minutely change in your favourite tv show, football match, restaurant/work experiences, change in feelings, or every funny joke you hear.

To the Non-Users:                                                                                        Facebook isn’t a holiday. You are not permitted to visit it once a year, to dust off your profile photo by changing it, give a general ‘thank you’ for birthday/anniversary posts, or continue to tell your friends ‘stranger!! we should catch up soon’

Whether you realise it or not, facebook is the brand you build for yourself as you are the sole controller of the content (information that is posted and viewed by others). Your facebook page is heavily dependent on this content and the time in which the post is made. Being “liked” on facebook will result in your posts being engaged by either likes, shares, tags, comments or posts on your timeline by others. However, before you can be “liked” it is important to know how to post fresh, interesting content and when to post them.

Posting fresh content requires the user to be a combination of a ranter, raver, and non-user.                                                                                   1. Know which topics to criticize and stir up meaningful, non-ignorant and non-arrogant discussions and comments                               2. Be able to use appropriate images, videos and links that are relevant and appealing                                                                                               3. Know the right time to make posts and when not to make any posts at all

Here are 4 totally do-able tips to improve your facebook page and get those “likes”:

1. Post valuable, fresh, interesting content
  • Share views on topical issues as well as on new issues you’d like to bring attention to. This allows your friends to know that you are up-to-date on current issues and also allows you to become a ‘guru’ in certain topics if your posts are generally focused on a specific area

  • Popular areas for posting: sports, news/current affairs, education, technology and social media

  • Allow the saying “quality over quantity” to guide you. Too often people justify ignorance and discrimination with freedom of expression. You have any freedom so long as it does not impede that of another. With this platform you are connected to people from many different backgrounds, don’t purposely put yourself out there to get attacked for your ignorance.

2. Use media
  • High resolution images, videos and links are more engaging and appealing to others than just posts with text. It gives vision to words spoken as people are able to get a feel of what is trying to be described.

  • An infographic with a quote or a joke is much more appealing than merely writing the quote as if it were a status update on your phone.

  • Share your moments in a creatively named album rather than simply saying ‘I went to the beach with friends’

3. Respond to comments
  • If you want to be engaged by your followers you must allow them to leave comments and you should also be willing to respond to those comments in a polite manner. Disagreements are healthy as there are many sides to a story and varying opinions about an issue. Be polite and think of it as a round-table discussion, not a debate or court case – you’re not trying to find a winner.

4. Know the ‘time’ to make posts
  • To get more views you must share your content at prime times. Ranting or raving at 3am – 6am when everyone is sleeping or out on the town, 9am – 12pm/ 2pm – 5pm when things are hectic and people are busy at work or exactly at 7pm when people are watching news are not conducive to your posts to be fully engaged.

In your quest to get those ‘likes’ on the facebook that you ‘like’ to use, improving the content of your page (posts, comments, timeliness of posts) has to be the thing you would like and want to do. The focus can’t be on how to get more popular but rather to communicate the your brand (your life) in a more interesting way, without looking desperate.

Through our blog series “Be the MVP” we have been teaching you about content marketing. Apply it here. Aim to use content marketing and not social media marketing. You are not trying to sell people something directly. Rather you are sharing yourself in creative ways, that will attract persons to you in the long run. Combine your ranting, raving and (yes even your) non-use to make those engaging facebook posts.


 

 

How Restaurants Can Use Social Media To Boosts Business

By Renee Gauntlett

One industry that will never fade away is the food industry. The competition there is the most intense and as a result, marketing and promotions are extremely important to set your brand apart. I’ve said it many times and in many ways that social media is an easy-to-use marketing platform, so why wouldn’t restaurants use it too to help boost business?

Your main purpose of using social media is to interact with existing customers as well as to attract new customers. In doing so, restaurants should promote their products and prove themselves to be better than their competitors. The most popular social media networks for restaurants include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. Here are a few tips on how to make the best of your social media marketing efforts.

 

Offer Specials and Discounts

From time to time, restaurants offer special deals and discount on meals. You can use social media to promote these specials.

Screen Shot 2013-08-06 at 8.53.57 PM

 

Promote Menu Items

Restaurants can post the entire menu, the daily specials or just the most popular items. It would be best to post photos of these items which will generate responses from your fans. These photos could also feature real customers enjoying the meal. Take the photos yourself or have your fans submit them.

Screen Shot 2013-08-06 at 8.56.49 PM

 

Here is where social proof comes into play… if a certain amount of fans ‘LIKE’ or leave positive comments on a menu items, chances are many more of your fans may be more willing to come in and try it.

 

Use Employees as Brand Ambassadors

Your very own employees can be your best brand ambassadors. People can be very critical of where their food comes from and if an employee doesn’t eat there or at least enjoy working there, its a big turnoff for potential customers. So use your best employees to help promote your restaurant. Remember, using real people as representatives will add personality to your brand.

Screen Shot 2013-08-06 at 8.46.47 PM

Encourage Fan Reviews

Though it may be scary at times to ask for reviews because you might not always get the feedback you hope for, but its something to consider when using social media. Ask questions about your restaurant and embrace the responses. Some responses could even help you improve your business.

Give Peaks of Behind-the-scenes Activities

As I said, people can be picky about their food. Post photos or short videos of the behind-the-scenes processes of food preparation to let fans see that you have a family of employees who take care and pride in preparing and serving their food. many customers will be very happy to see these.

Starbucks

 

Monitor Your Reputation Against Your Competitors

Restaurants can use social media to keep an eye out for any warning signs for problems that may arise in business. These problems may arise in the form of reputation or your competition. Once you know your rank, you will know the next step to take to boost your business.

These are just some very basic ways that restaurants can use social media to help boost business. Feel free to add your own spin and techniques to this list. As I always say, creativity is NECESSARY when using social media. Learn about your audience and give them what they want to see and hear.

Scotia Bank Jamaica vs NCB Jamaica: Who’s better on social media?

A lot of people may think that banks don’t need to have social media profiles. With the rise of mobile and online banking, banks such as Scotia Bank Jamaica and NCB Jamaica are utilizing Social Media. While they aren’t the only banks using social media, let’s see who does social media better between the two biggest names in Jamaican banking.

 

Facebook

With 45,754 Likes, Scotia Bank Group Jamaica post frequently including pictures, texts, and links to their website. They also utilize the advertising feature that Facebook offers which helps them to get more likes. They receive quite a few comments from their fans. However, their responses to these comments (though excellent) are few and far apart.

Scotia FB Page

 

With 15,589 Likes, NCB Jamaica Limited has a lot of ground to cover in the Number of Likes Category. However, their page has a personality that captures information inside NCB and outside in the world around them. One of their recent posts spoke about Emancipation Day. Their posts include text only, photos & links to their website. They receive quite a few comments under their posts & on their page, most of which they respond to. They also feature a lot of giveaways which help to get new fans & keep current fans involved.

NCB FB Page

 

Twitter

Having 4,592 followers @ScotiabankJM  respond to all tweets they are mentioned in. They actively engage and assist the followers through their tweets. They tweet frequently and consistently often including links to products and photos of posters. They also show followers the 2 ladies that manage the page which gives them a sense of familiarity allowing them to match a tweet to a face.
However, they don’t seem to feature anything other than answering customer questions. There are very few tweets that are not replies (and we all know we only see replies to people we follow) which can make their page seem inactive.

Scotia Twitter

 

Having 5,235 @ncbja has an active twitter page. Tweets are frequent and consistent. They linked their Facebook page to their Twitter account so most of their tweets are actually forwarded Facebook posts. This helps to keep major messages uniform across all platforms in addition to getting twitter followers to Like their Facebook page. . They RT & respond to tweets they are mentioned in which shows that actually keep track of their Twitter account. However, while it’s good to link your Facebook and Twitter accounts, you should have posts that are Twitter-exclusive

NCB Twitter

 

YouTube

With 299 videos and 76 subscribers, the Scotiabank Jamaica YouTube channel features videos of commercials, special projects, sponsored events, corporate seminars & every other thing they can possibly video. Their YouTube efforts are commendable. However, there is very little integration of these videos into their other social media pages such as Facebook and Twitter. Additionally there is no easy to find link to their Facebook and Twitter pages on their YouTube Channel page.

Scotia YouTube

 

With 42 videos and 34 subscribers, the NCB Jamaica YouTube channel includes commercials, videos showing internal company changes, & videos of competition winners.  They also integrated their other social media account directly into their channel’s banner.  However, their YouTube account is not frequently active with their last activity being 5 months ago, w think it’s time for a new video NCB.

NCB Youtube

 

Neither brands are on Instagram or Vine

 

CONCLUSION:

In terms of overall followers Scotia Bank Jamaica has the edge over NCB Jamaica by a clear margin. In terms of Facebook it would have to be a tie because NCB has the better online personality & is better at interacting with fans but their 15,000+ fans are no match for Scotia Bank’s 45,000+ fans. In terms of Twitter Scotia Bank wins. Scotia responds to mentions which is a big thing to twitter followers (who WILL unfollow you if you don’t reply to them) and their personality is felt (especially with them telling us who we’re talking to). NCB’s Twitter account was too robotic, especially because of the lack of supplementary tweets to add to the Facebook-post-turned-tweets. In terms of YouTube, while both Scotia & NCB have very few subscribers, Scotia Bank wins hands down. They have more views and are FAR more active (come on NCB… “Last Active 5 Months Ago” ???).

That means that overall Scotia Bank Jamaica does social media better when compared to NCB Jamaica.

However, to be quite honest both Scotia and NCB have a far way to go in terms of efforts.

Scotia:

Stop relying on the fact that you have a lot of customers. You need to be more hungry for fans, followers, subscribers. Integrate all your social media pages and give them all equal attention. Respond to comments on Facebook frequently and consistently (not just when you see or you feel like it). Tell the 2 ladies managing your Twitter page their doing a great job, but they need to find ways to get more followers (which I know is easier said than done).  Invest in your videos a bit more. Better quality. Better editing. YouTube could be what makes Scotia unique among all other banks capitalize on that.

NCB:

Your efforts are excellent. However, when it comes to social media, the turtle doesn’t win the race.  Your strategies are excellent but the fans won’t come to you, you need to go to them.

5 Business Benefits of Blogging

By Glenford Scott – GSCOTTY.COM 

Now I know you’re busing trying to get new leads through knocking on doors and making a bazillion phone calls daily, hitting the pavement and building your brand. Well there’s an easier way that includes a smaller phone bill and equal amount of time, it’s called blogging. Blogging is a low cost marketing tool that brands can use to build their brand’s reputation online and off as an authority and industry thought leader, checkout a few benefits of business blogging below to see what I’m talking about.

images (4)

Build a Community

Blogging allows you to directly communicate with your customers and potential customers in a very intimate way that a Facebook or Twitter account won’t allow,Today, brands have become worried about managing their reputation online. If you are facing any kind of negative press, you can counter it with the help of a blog. give consumer an inside look into the ups and downs of your company as well as provide them with valuable content that they can apply in the future to build your community.

 

Position yourself as an Authority

When you’re blogging for your business the key thing to do is to write articles relating directly to your industry and really give valuable information to people that will make them consider you to be a thought leader, eg – if your a social media marketing company you can do a blog on “business benefits of social media” (like we did ^__^). As I said doing this consistently will position you as a thought leader in your industry and keep you top of mind to potential customers.

 

Market Research

Your blog can play as a form of market research as you’ll have analytics available to you that will let you know what your readers are gravitating towards the most and while learning what your readership is most interested in, you can develop new products and services or adapt existing ones to that interest. You can also improve the effectiveness of your marketing messages, knowing what your readers like to view and share the most.

 

Boosts Traffic To Website

Having a blog gives you the chance to have fresh content on your website all the time. Search engines like Google and Bing love websites with regularly updated content. Consistent updating of content would bring search engine spiders to your website frequently, resulting in an increased number of crawls. If you are wise with the selection of keywords, blogging can bring a huge amount of traffic to your website and also if you are consistent with promoting your blog across the different social networks you’ll have a fury of traffic in due time.

 

Low Cost Marketing

In essence blogging is a low-cost, high-return tool that can handle marketing and public relations, raise the company profile and build the brand. There is always a trade off though, low cost means plenty time and strategy has to go into your blogging/content marketing efforts for it to flourish properly.

Below are a few stats taken from Hubspot 2013 Inbound Marketing Report on Business Blogging

  • 62% of marketers surveyed will blog in 2013.

  • 82% of marketers who blog daily acquired a customer using their blog, as opposed to 57% of marketers who blog monthly — which, by itself, is still an impressive result.

  • 79% of companies that have a blog report a positive ROI for inbound marketing this year.

  • Blogs produced a new customer for 43% of marketers last year.

  • Just 20% of companies without a blog reported ROI from inbound marketing in 2013.

  • Blogging has enjoyed strong annual budget growth — 23% of marketers invested in blogs for 2013, a 9% increase from 2012.

  • 9% of companies employ a full-time blogger.

  • 43% of marketers generated a customer via their blog this year, and blogging requires roughly 9% of marketers’ total full-time staff dedications and 7% of their total budget.

  • Blogs produce low-cost leads for 24% of the marketing community.

  • While blogs require roughly 9% of marketers’ total full-time staff dedications, they also demand just 7% of marketers’ total budget outlay this year.

  • 43% of marketers generated a customer via their blog with less than 10% of total time allocation.

The Social Psychology of Social Commerce

By Glenford Scott – GSCOTTY.COM 

To many social commerce is merely e-commerce with some Facebook plug-ins on the website (Facebook being “social” and e-commerce being well “commerce”) , but it goes much deeper than that. It goes deep into the mystical land of human social psychology.

Social_commerce_wordle

The importance of social psychology can not be overstated. This branch of psychology deals with how people think about influence and how individuals relate to one another. In Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and every other network, the social economy within each is defined by how people earn and spend social capital. Based on the commerce of actions, words, and intentions (or actions, reactions, and transactions), individuals contribute to their stature not only within each network, but among those to whom they’re connected. The same is true for organizations. You earn the relationships and the resulting stature that you deserve.

So there are in total 6 pieces that put together the puzzle of social commerce that makes it such an intriguing industry. These 6 pieces are 6 heuristic shopping traits that humans follow when making purchases. A social commerce website plays on these 6 traits to induce a shopper to make a purchase. They are as follows.

1. Social Proof (Follow The Crowd)

When a customer is about to make a purchase, they might be in a bit of a jam in deciding what to buy. At this point of indecision they’ll naturally jump into social-proof mode and will end up wanting to buy what they see others buying.

The Classic Experiment: The 42nd Street Experiment (1969). A single passerby was asked to stop in 42nd Street NYC and gaze skyward for 60 seconds. Other passersbys walked past, ignoring him. But when15 passersby were asked to do the same thing, 40% of people on the busy street also stopped to look up, almost bringing 42nd Street to a complete a halt within a minute.

To influence decisions: wish lists, popularity lists, social sharing, reviews, and social recommendations become paramount.

2. Authority (Follow the Authority)

If a doctor says eating something will kill you, your not gonna eat it. As humans we usually depend on an authority figure to guide us in making decisions. With specialist knowledge, experience and expertise, they save us time and energy thinking things through. Marketers play on this with commercials saying things like “9 out of 10 doctors approve” etc

The Classic Experiment: The Shockbox Experiments (1961). A majority (61-66%) of people recruited to participate in memory tests gave each other increasingly severe electric shocks up to and including a “fatal” 450V dose as part of the test, if asked to do so by an authority figure – a distinguished looking experimental scientist (participants receiving the shock were stooges, there was no real shock).

To Influence decisions: referral Programs, user forums, affiliate programs etc

3. Scarcity (Scarce stuff is Good Stuff)

A function of supply and demand, greater value is assigned to the resources that are, or perceived to be, less available (diamonds, oil, classic luxury cars, new pair of Air Yeezy’s). Driven by the fear of loss our minds are hardwired to value scarce resources; we instinctively assign more value to opportunities as they become less available – part out of fear of potential loss (this is known as psychological reactance).

The Classic Experiment: The Cookie Jar Experiments (1975). Participants were asked to rate chocolate chip cookies. Experimenters put 10 cookies in one jar and two of the same cookies in another jar. The cookies from the two-cookie jar received far higher ratings, even though the cookies were exactly the same. (Also of note; ‘Romeo and Juliet Effect’ research that shows teen lovers who are restricted/prevented from seeing each other value their relationship more; and the Plexiglass Experiments that proves toddlers prefer toys that are made unavailable to them (by a plexiglass barrier)).

To Influence Decisions: Deal feeds, group-buy, timers, limited-offers etc

4. Liking (Follow those you like)

Ever bought a shirt because you saw your favourite artist wearing it? white glove anyone?. We have a natural inclination to emulate and agree with people we like, admire or find attractive, partly because it builds social bonds and trust (saying yes is a form of social grooming – the human equivalent to animals picking fleas from each other). There’s an old saying in business, people do business with people they like. And, nothing is truer than that statement in social media.

The Classic Experiment: Nixon/Kennedy Debate (1960). Radio listeners and television viewers were asked to rate the performance of two presidential candidates in a live broadcast debate. Radio listeners rated Nixon’s performance higher, but television viewers did the opposite – overwhelmingly handing the debate to Kennedy. The difference? Kennedy came across visually more likeable, more attractive and fresh-faced. Nixon, on the other hand was looking haggard (just coming from a hospital visit), unshaven and sweaty. (Also of note; research showing physical attractiveness (closely linked to liking) influences things as wide ranging as our salary and our likelihood to be found guilty in court (less attractive people twice as likely to be found guilty)).

To Influence Decisions: Reviews, Referral programs, ask-your-network, user forums, news feeds

5. Consistency (Be Consistent)

When faced with uncertainty, consumers tend not to take risks. Rather, they prefer to stay consistent with beliefs or past behavior. When these do not line up in the decision making cycle, consumers tend to feel cognitive dissonance or true psychological discomfort.

The Classic Experiment: The Big Billboard (1966). Experimenters, posing as members of the “Community Committee for Traffic Safety”, knocked on the doors of residents in an affluent residential area in Palo Alto, California, asking if they could put up a huge “Drive Carefully” billboard on their front lawn, completely obscuring their view. Not surprisingly, the vast majority (83%) refused outright, except for one group of residents, 76% of whom agreed. What this group had in common was that two weeks prior, they had been contacted and asked if they’d put a small “Be a Safe Driver” car sticker on their cars – virtually all had agreed. Once the residents had made a public commitment to a small request, they felt the need to be consistent with the large request, and accepted the big billboard.

To Influence Decisions: social gaming/gamification

6. Reciprocity (Repay Favors)

Perhaps the greatest asset in social capital is that of benevolence. It’s easy to get caught up in a cycle of paying it backward, where we expect to be paid or rewarded for our goods, services, or actions.  As human beings, we have an innate desire to repay favors to maintain a balance of social fairness whether or not those favors were invited.Now you know why you feel bad when you receive a fancy gift from someone on Christmas when you didn’t buy them anything.

The Classic Experiment: The Coke & The Raffle Ticket (1971). Experimenters posing as art students joined group museum art tours and found they could sell significantly more student raffle tickets at the end of the tour to other members of the tour, if during the tour they did (unsolicited) favours to tour members – such as buying them a Coke. Tour members felt the need to reciprocate the favour, even though they had not asked for the Coke in the first place.

To Influence Decisions: Deal feeds, group-buy, referral programs

How Businesses Can Use Vine

By Laurelle Taylor

So your business has Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, & Instagram accounts and you recently started Vining…. How can your businesses use Vine? The trick to Vine is to do what people are doing, get people to do what you are doing (start a trend), incorporate humor, lose all formalities and have fun. The challenge is to do it in 6 seconds. If you want your company’s Vine account to be successful you must find away to merge these things with brand promotion…in 6 seconds. Here are a few ways for your business to use Vine.

how-to-use-twitter-vine-for-business

  1. Product Promotion: Build a hype around your product. You can try things like making them talk, testimonials, demonstrate cool uses & use products to tell a story. Whatever you decide to do, do it different, make it funny & have fun. For example: if your company is launching “Purple” then you could make a Vine showing “Blue” and “Red” falling in love and having baby “Purple”.

  2. Behind the Scenes: Your company can use Vine as a 6 second back stage pass to what goes on behind the Brand/Product/Face of your company. Show them what happens at work that’s unique and cool about your company. So if you have a chocolate fountain during meetings you might want to do a video called “Chocolate Wasted Meetings” and show staff discussing finances while using the fountain. If you put a lot of planning into something you can show them. You could also have a behind the scenes mini-series on Vine. There’s a lot happening at work, surely you can find 6 seconds of awesomeness.

  3. Sneak Peek: Use Vine as a teaser for new products. Just like when a party is coming up there are ads on the radio so why shouldn’t you do the same with your products. So if you launching a ‘new & improved’ bottle then you can do multiple 6 second teaser videos showing parts of the bottles. Take your followers through the entire journey to the launch of your product. You can even include them in decisions about the product by showing options in videos and asking them to like the one they like the most.

  4. Meet the Staff: Use Vine to allow customers to get to know your staff members. Introduce them to the person responsible for the way how your product label looks (graphic designer). Introduce them to the company photographer. Show them the individuality of your staff members… in 6 seconds.

  5. Show Company Persona- Use Vine to show the personality of your company. If you’re company is a hippie all your videos should have some sort of a hippie element. If your company is tech-y then feature a lot of tech things as props. If your company is all about doing it big then all of your videos need to be over-the-top and dramatic.

  6. Participate in Vine Trends: This will help to boost your followers and views and show that your company is not solely about the brand. Let loose a little and join the fun.

  7. Vine Challenges: You can start your own Vine competition for your followers to compete for a prize. This will increase your followers, views and traffic to your Vine (and Twitter account). You can use this as free promotions of your brand and products.

There are a lot of businesses already using Vine and it’s working in their favor. Every company on social media, especially Vine, is viewed as part of the in-crowd and cool. Stay with the times and sign your company up on Vine.

When Vining Remember:

  • Plan Ahead: Think about what exactly you want to do in your, 6 seconds.

  • It’s OK to Stage Your Vines: You can stage your videos. There’s nothing wrong with it. Most highly followed Vine accounts feature staged videos. Some of the behind the scenes videos and meet the staff videos can be slightly staged.

  • Nothing is Perfect: It’s OK to make mistakes… Vines should be fun and you should have fun making the videos.

  • Don’t Force Humor: Not every Vine post has to be hilarious. So don’t be cheesy. Consult with multiple staff members to find out if an idea is funny.

  • Have Fun!