Integrated Marketing Communication Plan: Murphy&Berglund

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The above quote is listed on the law firm of Murphy&Berglund’s website. This statement is more than a simple sentence, but a reflection of the ideals that the law firm represents. Murphy&Berglund was founded by Jodi E. Murphy and Michelle A. Berglund. From the very start of their law firm, they sought to help families above all else. They specialize in family law, guardianship, divorce, bankruptcy and foreclosure, adoption, real-estate, and other numerous legal issues that life has a tendency of surprising us with.  On top of all of their numerous talents, the company has the added advantage of being a female owned business. The target audience for this firm will be everyday people and families that need legal help and advice. With such a wide audience, the possibilities to market Murphy&Berglund are endless. What distinguishes this law firm from others is the friendly, caring nature the brand presents. Along with this they have a extensive knowledge base that gives potential clients a feeling of ease and confidence in their capabilities. This openness is exactly what this company needs to market off of when building their brand. When clients step into the offices of Murphy&Berglund they know that the attorneys at this firm seek to make a difference in the lives of the people they are representing.

To gain a sense of this dual advantage of caring and capable that Murphy&Berglund offers, we need to only watch this welcome video from co-founding Attorney Jodi E. Murphy.

Murphy&Berglund derives their brand identity from their extensive knowledge base and passion to help those in need. From this it is clear that the identity of the law firm has the advantage of already being established. There are many brands that struggle to find their identity. Seeing that Murphy&Berglund already has a steady structure to their brand gives marketers the building blocks we need in order to implement a strong IMC plan. Marketers do not seek to change the identity of a brand, rather they want to bring a brands identity to the forefront.  We need to showcase the Murphy&Berglund identity at every opportunity. For this marketing plan we will be creating a strong website, promoting the company newsletter, starting proper marketing use of social media platforms, participating in live events, and tying it all in with traditional media.

IMC stands for Integrated Marketing Communication. In the growing world of social media successful brands can not simply post an advertisement and expect a response from their audience. For brands to distinguish themselves they need to be visibly engaging themselves across multiple social media platforms. To highlight this importance, the author of Brand Media Strategy writes, “My response is that media planning is focused on reaching as many of the right audience in the right place at the right time and at the right cost as possible, whereas communications planning is less about reaching people than influencing them.” Murphy&Berglund seeks to make a difference in the community that they live. One of the greatest resources available to your firm is implementing a strong IMC campaign. With it you will not only reach the consumers you desire, you will help shape the lives around you. Your firm distinguishes themselves by listening to the needs of the people you serve. IMC is simply promoting a on going conversation Murphy&Berglund began long ago.

Murphy&Berglund has already made a name for themselves as a respected law firm. It is clear everything that your company does is done with respect and integrity. That same innate drive that help found this firm, should be the same drive that showcases it’s many talents. An IMC campaign would get no where if it did not have an honest representation of a brand’s identity. Murphy&Berglund next great step for their business will be letting their voice be heard by their greater community and beyond. By implementing a cohesive IMC plan, this brand will become more effective in what they do. After all, your law firm seeks to help those in need of your legal expertise. In order to help potential clients, your law firm needs to let them know that you are here to listen. Let’s start the conversation by executing an IMC strategy.

Facebook Analytics: Studying the ABC’S of Company XYZ

I have finally made it to my last blog post for the semester! I am high fiving everyone who is reading this post right now. (Pause to give an air high five) All joking aside, I am so excited to finally make it to this point. For my final post I have been asked to analyze the Facebook Analytics of a company that shall go by the code name XYZ company. For those of you that don’t know social media analytics are changing the game for traditional marketing research. By looking at aspects such as the number of page likes, view reach, page views, success of different types of posts, and even the time of day fans view your posts researchers can see how to improve a brand’s social media engagement. Analytics may seem like simple data, but they information we are able to gather helps make brands better.

To give a better understanding of the power of analytics here is a video from this week’s class I found helpful:

Key Findings and Possible Improvements

Can I get a Like?

To start off let’s look at the basics of Facebook analytics and see how many likes XYZ Company has earned.

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As we can see the company has 549 likes as of March 2nd 2016. While these numbers are not small, for a brand we would obviously like to see the amount of likes increase. The best way to this to start off is posting more frequently and on a consistent basis. From there having a set social media strategy to go off of will help increase page likes.

Is that organic?

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Another key note that jumped out at me was the substantial amount of post reach came from paid advertisements from the company. As a marketing manager, I would want the consumers to see posts organically.  There are numerous ways to do this. Not to sound like a broken record, yet I believe an increase in posts will boost organic reach overall. Fresh content, posing questions to viewers, and touching base on current events helps brands gain followers. Provider posts are appropriate (as I discussed in my last blog post) frequency and consistency in posting are key for post reaching consumer’s Facebook feeds. For some other great advice, I recommend checking out this Forbes article.

Rise of the Mobile Devices

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One aspect that I noticed about XYZ company is that the majority of their page views came from people on their mobile devices. This is not surprising news for people who are aware of the growing smart phone take over. Some people talk about a zombie uprising, when they should really be talking about the mobile uprising. Findings like this are one of the reasons Mobile-Optimization is becoming so important for social media marketers. In an article we read this week in class Jayson DeMers from Forbes writes, “Google announced to the world that mobile and desktop traffic were on relatively equal footing. Starting now, and continuing into 2016, this shift will continue, eventually making mobile traffic by far the more important, with desktop fading into obscurity over the next 5 years.” From this standpoint, XYZ company needs to make mobile friendly content a priority. While it is important to make content aesthetically pleasing and user friendly across all types of devices, creating content that specifically targets mobile users will increase their marketing potential.

A View on March Madness

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From the data presented to me, I see that their is a huge spike in views right along March first. While investigating I see that the reason for this comes from a post promoting a March Madness deal. Posting promotional events like this are easy ways for the company to gain followers. Keeping the companies budget in mind, I think that having at least five promotional discounts a year will help the company’s social media presence as well as gain customers. Along with weekly posts, promotional seasonal campaigns can now be a primary focus for the company.

IMC and Future Campaigns

Overall integration of other social media channels will increase consumer engagement. It doesn’t matter what a company is marketing, people love companies that add a personal touch to everything they do. Like I have mentioned in posts before, XYZ needs to make their website their home base for their company brand. Facebook, Twitter, Yelp Page, and Google+ page should all center back to their website.   For their social channels, Facebook and Twitter are both great platforms to gain engagement from their costumers. This is the place I would recommend the company show a bit more personality.

To start off, I recommend making a post on both their Twitter and Facebook channels at least once a week. Post do not have to relate back to company XYZ necessarily. They do, however, have to be a reflection of the established brand. Cohesiveness throughout all to their social media channels will communicate their ideals to their consumers. This could mean anything from posting a funny cat video or showing support to our veterans. Social media is about the subtle presence of a brand.  By creating a more constant presence on their social channels it reaches the consumer on an organic level.

On that note, being that they are a small company that was started by a husband and wife, XZY company should have an endless supply of personal touches they can add to their marketing campaign. A great starting point would be to have a company newsletter that they would send out on a monthly basis. Sharing photos of their family and company updates shows consumers that you relate to them on a human level. Touches like these spark brand loyalty. Sharing this Newsletter on their social media platforms further promotes IMC efforts.

Learning from Analytics

Analytics in the marketing world are nothing to shy away from. It may not be fun to see that your company is not getting as many likes or reaching the consumers your desire. At the same time, looking at the cold hard facts can be a refreshing view on how to improve your brand. Seeing clear data that shows where a brand could stand to make improvements helps identify guidelines to work off of. The world of social media can often times be hard to decipher. Analytics sheds a light on the otherwise dark haze in the realm of social media.

 

 

Customer Reviews: Postive vs Negative

Our focus this week in the course was on reputation management. Social media gives brands the ability to have direct engagement to their consumers. As the world of social media marketing has progressed we have seen the downside of such immediate interaction. As we have discussed previously, traditional media add the advantage of being able to hide criticism of their brand with relative ease. One of the greatest challenges for people in social media is that criticisms for companies are readily seen by the world. A negative tweet, poor review, and angry Facebook post can sometimes mean devastation for a company. As professionals in social media, we should never assume a brand is without faults. Instances of bad PR will inevitably happen in our field. While we should try our best to prevent such moments, we need to be prepared for how we should respond when they do occur.

I think the issues surrounding this are best described in a quote I loved from this week’s lecture.

“Your online identity is determined not only by what you post, but also by what others post about you—whether it is a mention in a blog post, a photo tag, or a reply to a public status update.” ~Google

When it comes to social media, people believe in a brands outside perception. Company identity can shift in public perception at the drop of a hat. One great way for myself, and others in my field, to be prepared is to look at real life examples. With this in mind, for this week’s blog assignment I was asked to create a personal response to reviews left for hotels on TripAdvisor.com. Hotels and the hospitality industry in general, are highly dependent on good customer reviews. Timely response for post of these post are a must Whether customer comments are positive or negative, I would recommend responding as quickly as possible. Using what I have learned from this week, I will base my responses around this. I want to preference that this is a “Sample Post” that is to be used for academic purposes solely.

Round One: Hyatt Regency in Orlando, Florida

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My Response:

We are so glad that your enjoyed your stay at The Hyatt Regency in Orlando, Florida. Here at the Hyatt we pride ourselves in making our customers feel at home. Hearing that your family was able to relax under our care makes everything we do worth well. We do apologize for the debris you found momentarily in our pool. We take great care in keeping all three of our tropical-style swimming pools clean on a daily basis. Florida is known as the Sunshine State, but tropical storms are sometimes unavoidable. The Spa is a perfect place to hide away for a day. Next time you visit I recommend our Orlando Spa Getaway Package! Every parent deserves some me time and at the Hyatt you will get just that. We would love to see your again!

Round Two: The Hilton  Fort Lauderdale Marina

Fort Lauderdale Hilton Marina.

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My Response:

I apologize for the inconveniences you experienced during your stay at our hotel. I want you to know that Hilton seeks to provide the utmost of care and hospitality to our guests. If you could please send us a message with more information about your stay, we will try our best to sort out this situation. Everyone at the Hilton is here to listen to our guests. I also hope that you had a blast at your ten-year reunion! I have mine coming up next year as well.

Reflection

For the positive response, I was able to highlight more details about The Hyatt Regency. I noticed that the customer enjoyed the spa and pointed out that the hotel offers a spa package that would fit her needs perfectly. Responses like this turn regular customers into loyal brand customers. The negative response, as you would guess, was a bit more tricky. In class, I learned that going into detail about the issues in an online forum is not the best response. As a result, I kept my comment short and brief. I suggested the customer reach out to us in private, so that we can address any issues they had. I wanted them to know that The Hilton was listening and taking note of their complaints. At the end I thought it was best to redirect the comment on a positive note by mentioning their ten-year reunion. Speaking to customers on a personal level, can help alleviate any tension they may have felt previously.

Whether the response is negative or positive, engaging with your customers online shows that you care about their voice. Whatever brand you are representing customer opinions shape how your business is run. Brand Identity is shaped and remolded by the court of public opinion. The best way to manage your brand’s perception is staying on top of customer comments. These comments are seen by millions of people. Showing that you are listening and engaging with your audience shows that your brand cares. Brands that care, are brands that stay relevant in today’s market place.

WPPI Live in Vegas

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In this week’s assignment we were asked to follow a live event for the Wedding&Portrait Photography Expo. The event was a week long affair happening between March 3rd through March 10th in Las Vegas. The description on their website states, “The WPPI Wedding & Portrait Photography Conference+Expo is the premier industry event for photographers and filmmakers specializing in the creative and business aspects of wedding and portrait photography and filmmaking.” At the WPPI Expo around thirteen thousand wedding photographers and filmmakers came together to learn about different techniques, network, and grow their business.

As our class focuses on different aspects surrounding IMC and Social Media, the purpose of the event was not our main focus for learning. What we wanted to learn was how organizations promote events using social media channels in real time. It of course helped that photography is an interesting topic and seeing event promotion for a topic I love was awesome! As social media marketers, learning how to promote live events is such an advantage. Throughout this week, I followed how the event unfolded via social media. As this post is for educational purposes, I divided this post into questions I was given to analyze their use of IMC and other social media channels. Here we go!

What channels are they using – which seem to gain the most response?

The main social media channels WPPI has on their website are Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram. For the event itself there seems to be an even amount of engagement between their Facebook and Twitter. Using the hashtag #wppi2016 I saw several posts about the expo on their Instagram. Their Youtube, however, was last posted on in 2013. This seems a shame considering that some of the workshops are for filmmaking. I can think of no better channel than Youtube to showcase this aspect of their event.

How are they using social media channels prior to the show, during, and after?

Prior to the show they posted on multiple channels information on  booths, workshops, and speakers that would be at the event. A lot of their earlier promotion I saw on Facebook. They also created a sign up button on their Facebook page. I think that is a great way to promote events prior to them occurring.

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During the event we saw saw more direct interaction involving day to day activities. They posted frequently throughout everyday of the event. I would often check my Facebook page and see a new post from WPPI.

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They also had a fun run they posted about that same day. I think the amount that they posted highlighted all that was happening during the event. In doing so, they showcased how fun the event was for participants.

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On Twitter I noticed posts happening more frequently. During the award show I saw post after post promoting winners.

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After the event they reflected on everything that happened during the event. This is when I noticed another example of IMC with links to the WPPI blog posted on all their channels. For example there is this about guest speaker Sue Bryce.

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I also saw them tying back to events that happened earlier in the week, such as their fun run. Screen Shot 2016-03-13 at 10.29.55 AM.png

 

What type of content are they posting? 

One of their strategies for posting included promoting workshops happening during the event, events surrounding the expo in Vegas, booths at the expo, and guest speakers. Having a wide range of promotion content is something  I think that WPPI excelled at.

They directly speak to their audience in a fun and engaging way. Look at this one post from Twitter highlighting the event in Las Vegas.

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They also frequently posted about booths at the expo throughout both Twitter and Facebook. Check out this post from Facebook. Screen Shot 2016-03-13 at 2.17.38 PM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They added a hashtag for the event as well. #wppi2016 was posted frequently posted on their social channels. This allowed guests at the expo to have a more interaction with each other at the event. This post from Instagram is a perfect example.

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How are sponsors being promoted?

Sponsors are being promoted through multiple social media channels. A talent when posting about sponsors is integrating them into your social channels while still being on brand. The last thing that you want to do is make your audience feel like they are hearing a sales pitch. Most of their posts about sponsors at the WPPI Expo flowed well with their over all campaign. I think the fact that all of their sponsors were pertinent to the event helped them.

This post about Chimera on their Twitter page is a perfect example of seamless sponsor integration.

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Then there is this other one for HoneyBook on their Facebook page.

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Is branding consistent? 

Following this mindset on how sponsorship post need to be “on brand” let’s consider what the WPPI social media campaign is about. In order for branding to be consistent we need to see a similar aesthetic and language style throughout each social media channel. This can be tricky at times as channels have their own strengths and weaknesses. Facebook, as I have prefaced, was a major channel for engaging their audience. I thought they they had a more formal approach to this channel.

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On Twitter they had more a playful banter to their posts.  I liked this one tweet below in particular.

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Highlights and Missing Pieces

The highlights and missteps  for the event are two sides of the same coin.On  one side, I now have crazy Instagram goals from this assignment. Seeing the work of photographers set the bar high for my future Instagram posts. Just by stalking their Instagram page, I felt inspired by the photographs they posted. Loved this multiple photo post they have. It really demonstrates the power  of photography.

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On the other side, as much as I loved the photography I thought that they didn’t showcase all the amazing photographs they had at their disposal. The phrase, “a photograph says a thousand words,” might be a cliche, but some cliches are there for a reason. Photographs grab our attention like no other medium. For WPPI to not take advantage of this as much a they could have, shows little insight. The entire event was centered around the art of photography, yet I hardly saw the work of photographers showcased enough through multiple social media channels. Having a photography contest on social media during the event would be one way to get more involvement from the photographers there. They also highlight the portfolio of the particular photographers who won. I saw these photographers and industry leads holding their awards, yet I had no real clue what they were being awarded for. One idea would be to have A Photographer of the Day posted on all of their channels. Along with this idea, I saw some Instagramers tagging photos during the event. This is amazing work that they are displaying, yet it posts like these were not as frequent as I would like to see them.

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At the end of the day, I loved seeing social media in action. Studying live events give aspiring social media marketers something to reference in how these events work in the industry. The WPPI expo was a fun first introduction to this process.

 

Disney Epcot: a hypothetical social media plan.

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In this week’s assignment we were asked to plan the hypothetical posts for Disney’s Epcot social media pages. Like most people out there, I am a huge Disney fan and love the overall brand. I have only been to Disney World once, but being a fan of travel Epcot was especially exciting for me to visit.

This post just focuses on Disney Epcot’s Facebook and Twitter channels for the month of April, 2016. As I have been learning in my class, one of the most important things for a social media planner is understanding the brand that you are working with. For those of you that are unaware, Disney Epcot was established in 1982. When I went to their website I fell in love with the idea behind Epcot. They describe it here in saying, “Explore exciting attractions, enchanting international pavilions, award-winning fireworks and seasonal special events. Celebrating the human spirit, Epcot has 2 distinct realms: Future World, which features technological innovations, and World Showcase, which shares with Guests the culture and cuisine of 11 countries: Mexico, Norway, China, Germany, Italy, the United States, Japan, Morocco, France, United Kingdom and Canada.”  If you ever want to learn about the history of company, Disney has a fascinating one. If you want a more in depth perspective, check out this video about Epcot on Walt Disney’s ABC television show.

In order to research for this assignment, the first thing that I did was look up events on Disney Epcot’s Calendar. It won’t surprise you to hear that Disney has everyday planned down to the hour. This continuity is great for a social media planner, but it can make things difficult to keep things fresh.

This month our goal is to drive our guests to the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival, as well as promoting new and upcoming attractions.

Friday, April 1:

FB: This April 1st give yourself a nice surprise by visiting Disney Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival. #Epcot2016 #flowers #aprilfools

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Twitter: #Don’t be a fool this April 1st and come visit our Disney Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival! #Epcot2016 #flowers #aprilfools

Saturday, April 2:

FB: It’s a Whole New World here at Disney Epcot. See Jasmine and Aladdin at our Moroccan Marketplace today! #Epcot2016 #worldshowcase

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 Twitter: We can show you the world at Disney Epcot World Showcase. Meet Jasmine and Aladdin in Morocco. #Epcot2016 #worldshowcase

Sunday, April 3:

FB: You say you want a revolution?  Well then bang you head to the very best of British rock music at Disney Epcot. #Epot2016 #britishrock

Twitter: People are talkin bout their generation! #Epcot2016 #britishrock

Monday, April 4:

FB: The future is now at Epcot. Discover how Walt Disney’s desire to shape a better tomorrow led to the creation of Epcot on this 4-hour walking tour. #Epcot2016 #futureisnow #imagineering

Twitter: Lets imagine the future together! #Epcot2016 #futureisnow #imagineering

Tuesday, April 5:

FB: Dig deeper into the magic of nature by signing up for a guided tour—pick from Gardens of the World, English Tea Garden and Behind the Seeds. #Epcot2016 #gardens #flowers

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Twitter: Have a green thumb? Take a tour of Gardens of the World! #Epcot2016 #gardens #flowers

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Wednesday, April 6:

FB: Be a princess for a day by dining at the Akershus Royal Banquet Hall! Experience a royal feast with your favorite Disney characters. #Epcot2016 #food #disneyprincess

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Twitter: Do you know a princess? Bring your little princess to Disney Epcot’s Akerhus Royal Banquet Hall! #Epcot2016 #food #disneyprincess #storybookmoment

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Thursday, April 7:

FB: Just because it is spring doesn’t mean we can’t see Frozen. At Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival you can see Elsa and Anna in full bloom at the Norway Pavilion. #Epcot2016 #frozen

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Twitter: Spring is in the air and even snow queen are getting in on the fun. #Epcot2016 #flowers #frozen

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Friday, April 8:

FB: Baymax wants to give you a hug at the Epcot Character Spot! You can now explore Hiro’s workshop from Pixar’s Big Hero 6. #Epcot2016 #bighero6

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Twitter: Are you satisfied with your care? #Epcot2016 #bighero66d22ee72d2666d3018cec9f53591cb43

Saturday, April 9:

FB: Dance the night away with our legendary musical guest, The Guess Who,  at the Garden Rocks Concert Series at Epcot.

Twitter: Guess who is coming to Disney Epcot? #Epcot2016 #rock&roll #theguesswho

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Sunday, April 10:

FB: Happy National Sibling Day! We can’t wait for you to meet our two favorite sisters, Elsa and Anna, when our Frozen Ever After exhibit opens! #Epcot2016 #Frozen #nationalsiblingday

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Twitter: Happy National Sibling Day! Bring your sibling to Disney’s Epcot! #Epcot2016 #nationalsiblingday

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Monday, April 11:

FB: Feel like an adventure down a rabbit hole? Stroll an English garden and spend some time with Alice in the United Kingdom showcase in Epcot. #Epcot2016 #wonderland

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Twitter: Have a wonderful day with Alice when tells you of her adventures in Wonderland. #Epcot2016 #wonderland

 Tuesday, April 12:

FB: There is nothing like outdoor dining on a warm, spring day. During our Flower and Garden festival enjoy outdoor kitchens with gourmet food from around the world. These marketplaces dishes will be available as snack credits. For more info check out our Disney Dining Plan.

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 Twitter: Yummy food awaits you at our outdoor kitchens. #Epcot2016 #foodie

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Wednesday, April 13:

FB: A dream is a wish your heart makes at the Disney Epcot Flower and Garden Festival. Come see Cinderella and Prince Charming at the France Pavillion. #Epcot2016 #cinderella

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 Twitter: You have to come before the clock strikes midnight to see our Cinderella topiaries. #Epcot2016 #cinderella #flowers

 Thursday, April 14:

FB: We have had some amazing Flower and Garden Festival pavilions at past events. Look at our Fantasia Topiary from the year 2000. Talk about Throw Back Thursdays. #Epcot2016 #gardens #tbt

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Twitter: Fantasia will always bee the ultimate flower fest. #Epcot2016 #flowers #tbt

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FB: Before you awaken your dark side at the Star Wars Half Marathon, check out Epcot’s own millennium falcon by taking a tour at Spaceship Earth. #Epcot2016 #starwars #starwarshalfmarathon

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 Twitter: Come explore galaxies far, far away at Epcot’s Mission: Space. #Epcot2016 #forceawkens #starwarshalfmarathon

Friday, April 15:

FB: The inaugural Star Wars Half Marathon weekend kicks off at Disney’s Epcot today. May the force be with you! #Epcot2016 ##starwarshalfmarathon

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Twitter: “Uuuuuuur Ahhhhrrrr Uhrrr Ahhhrrr.” –Chewbaca #Epcot2016 ##starwarshalfmarathon

Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend Makes Its Intergalactic Arrival at Disneyland Resort in 2015

Saturday, April 16:

FB: Will you fight for the light or the dark side? Decide your alliance at The Ultimate Darth Vader Challenge that starts right here at Epcot. Runners who run both the 10k on Saturday and the half-marathon on Sunday will receive Dark Side Challenge Finisher Medal. May the force be with you! #Epcot2016 #darksidechallenge

 

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Twitter: “You don’t know the power of the dark side.” –Darth Vader #Epcot2016 #darksidechallenge

Sunday, April 17:

FB: Face the Galactic Empire’s Sith, Darth Vader at Epcot today. The force and the magic of Disney can not be contained today. Experiences surprises, on course entertainment, and a finale of intergalactic proportions. #Epcot2016 #starwarshalfmarathoncnrgqqjuyaamitj

 Twitter: “Do or Do not. There is no try.”- Yoda #Epcot2016 #starwarshalfmarathon

 

Monday, April 18:

FB: Bring your children to the Music Garden Melodies Playground. The interactive garden has chimes, drums, and xylophones all amongst an amazing outdoor playground. You can also see the Fab Five topiary featuring Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Pluto, and Donald. #Epcot2016 #flowers #music

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Twitter: Play with Mickey in his musical garden! #Epcot2016 #mickeymouse #garden

Tuesday, April 19:

FB: Mushu would love to meet our Bromeliad Dragon at the China pavilion at Epcot. Come see all of our pavilions to see all the beauty of the Garden and Flower Festival. You can meet Mulan there as well! #Epcot2016 #Garden #Flower

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Twitter: The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of all.-Mulan #Epcot2016 #Garden #Flower

Wednesday, April 20:

FB: Race with Lightning McQueen at Cactus Road Rally during Epcot’s Garden and Flower Festival. #Epcot2016 #Garden #Testtrack

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 Twitter: Don’t get caught in Cactus Road Rally. Those needles are sharp! #Epcot2016 #Garden #Testtrack

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Thursday, April 21:

 FB: Have a romantic date night touring Disney Epcot’s illuminated Gardens. You will see all of Disney’s great love stories in full bloom under the light of the moon. #Epcot2016 #gardens #flowers

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 Twitter: Stop and smell the roses by touring our illuminated gardens. #Epcot2016 #gardens #flowers

Friday, April 22:

FB: Go on a weekend shopping spree at the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival. Mechandise is located around the World Showcase as well as at the Festival Center. To get a look at all of the fun and unique merchandise offered take a look at the video below.

Twitter: Free the gnomes by buying all the Disney gardening merchandise here! #Epcot2016 #Garden #freethegnomes

FB: Celebrate Earth Day at the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival. Our friends are waiting for you! #Epcot2016 #EarthDay

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Twitter: Why not celebrate Earth day by taking our Behind the Seeds Tour? #Epcot2016 #Earthday

Saturday, April 23:

FB: At Disney Epcot we love to the history and ingenuity of earth. What better way to celebrate this than with fireworks? Spend time with us on your Saturday night and see this amazing spectacle of lights. Our Reflections of Earth is a one of a kind experience. Get your fast pass to the show here.

 Twitter: Storytelling and Fireworks makes for epic Saturday nights.  #Epcot2016 #fireworks

 

Sunday, April 24:

FB: Be our Guest at the Chefs de France located in the French Showcase. After having a lovely afternoon with Belle, top your evening off with cuisine that is simply Bon Appetit. Who says you have to be in Paris to experience fine dining? #Epcot2016 #foodieles-chefs-de-france

Twitter: Be our Guest at Chefs de France. #Epcot2016 #foodie

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Monday, April 25:

FB: Start your Monday off with a fun scavenger hunt! You and your little ones can print off this map and explore all the topiaries featured at the Flower and Garden Festival here at Epcot. #Epcot2016 #explore

 Twitter: I spy with my little eye…Find out at the Flower and Garden Festival! #Epcot2016 #explorea49c18ac85af5502735ef5c059417bdb

Tuesday, April 26:

FB: Want to travel the world? Destinations untold await you here at the Epcot World Showcase. Mulan, Belle, Cinderella, Snow White, Aladdin, and so many more of our Disney characters can’t wait to meet you. #Epcot2016 #worldshowcase

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Twitter: Disney is truly an international community. #Epcot2016 #worldshowcase

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Wednesday, April 27:

FB: Have you ever wanted to time Travel? You can today be going to see the Sbandieratori Di Sansepolcro at Epcot. This is a flag throwing extravaganza that dates back to the Italian Renaissance. #Epcot2016 #worldshowcase #italy

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Twitter: This is not your average game of capture the flag. #Epcot2016 #worldshowcase #italymaxresdefault1

Thursday, April 28:

FB: It’s just not a garden without a few butterflies fluttering around. That’s why the Flower and Garden Festival has their very own butterfly garden. Butterflies On the Go allows visitors to see butterflies of ten different species. If you stand really still they might even land on you! #Epcot2016 #butterflies #flowers

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Twitter: Fly with Tinker Bell and her butterfly friends at Epcot! #Epcot2016 #butterflies #flowers

Saturday, April 29:

FB: We have some freshly picked music for you at Garden Rocks Concert Series. Tonight come see our new musical act, Georgia Satellite. Get your grove on during the Flower and Garden Festival at Disney Epcot. #Epcot2016 #music #garden

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Twitter: Nobody knows music and dancing like Disney. See are Garden Rocks Concert Series to prove it. #Epcot2016 #music #garden

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Sunday, April 30:

FB: Floating Gardens are another unique feature found at the Flower and Garden Festival at Epcot. They have over 225 mini gardens that float around in the water.

Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

Twitter: Bring your true love and see the floating gardens at Epcot. #Epcot2016 #flowers

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And we are out…

I would like to reiterate that this is my hypothetical social media plan for Disney Epcot. Excuse me while I take this call from Disney corporate haha.

All joking aside, this was quite a learning experience for me. Making a social media plan for an entire month is a challenge. Keeping content fresh, lively, and engaged is key for any social media planner. Even if the month is entirely strategized, we may have to go off book depending on what is happening that current day.

 

Learnist: A Learner’s Social Network

When I taught kindergarten I was constantly searching for new ideas and projects for my students. My go to resource was typically Pinterest’s, but pins for educators often lacked in-depth guidelines that teachers need to create lesson plans. That is when another teacher recommended the social network Learnist. This social network was created for people with a special interest in education. Learnist is for teachers, students, and anyone who is passionate about learning.

Learnist is a lot like Pinterest in the fact that it allows people to share resources on what they call Learnboards in order to design featured lessons. When describing themselves on their about page they talk about having a learner first mentality. They say here, “Our goal is to make the undertaking of learning a fun and engaging social activity. Everything we do is focused on improving the process of learning new things with the help of our peers.” They view learning as a social pursuit, so it only makes sense for there to be a social network devoted to it.

 

Features

Learnist allows users to share videos, podcasts, images, blogs, and lesson plans through their social network. Their greatest feature is that all of this information is presented in a visually pleasing platform that is easy for people to understand. Content is listed under specific categories. Let’s assume that we are interested in learning about art. All you need to do is click on the Art&Design category and it will connect you to featured lessons.

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If we click on the Learnboard titled Learning How to Sketch we can see guide by guide lessons that take you through the basics of becoming a master sketch artist. We can see that 3,650 members have saved this Learnboard as well. This allows us to connect with people who have similar interests in learning.

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The Learnboard creature has even designed her lesson for users of various skill levels. She connects us to unique articles and youtube instruction videos that help us learn how to become better sketch artist. Now I can finally perfect my part time hobby, full time obsession of drawing Johnny Depp fan art.

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Or if sketching the chiseled beauty of Johnny Depp  isn’t up your alley, you can always search for a topic that interests you. As many of you know, I am currently pursuing my master’s degree. I am constantly reading articles, blogs, and books on how to become more viable in the workforce. What’s great about Learnist is that it connects learning materials for me. I especially loved the Learnboard on Emporing Women as Entrepreneurs. The creature linked articles and videos to the board from Forbes, Huffington Post, Business Insider, Youtube, and Linked in that all pertain to female entrepreneurs.

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On each article I am then able to share this to other major social media channels. Just look at the links that are located on the left side of the article. From the Learnboard for Women Entrepreneurs an article from Oprah.com was posted.

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They have links to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Linkedin, and Google+. Now all of my social network followers will be able to know I am living my best life, just like Oprah told me to. All joking aside, from a user perspective it makes the learning process easier and more effective. Sure, I would have been able to find all of this material by searching on my own, but this site is connecting me to all of this at once in an easy to use format. Their incorporation of IMC strategies just further enables me to share these in my own personal social network.

Opportunity for Proximity Marketing

Being that Learnist is a social networking site for all things education, the opportunities for location based marketing are endless. I learned from this article in Adweek, that the best proximity marketing techniques involve geolocation based beacons and coupons. Companies are able to send coupons, discount alerts, and news letters to members near their location.

Sponsors for Learnist are all connected to education or communication in some way. Learnist states they are backed by Atlas Venture, Benchmark Capital, Discovery Communications, Inc., GSV Capital, Integral Capital Partners, and New Schools Ventures. If you check out a few of the links I have provided you can see that these partners are what we call “big deals” in the education community. Discovery in particular invested $20 million dollars into the social channel. These companies are based around the world, but often sponsor education events and programs. Learnist could send alerts and coupons through geolocation when members are near sponsors associated with the site.

Along with this, I think that a great next step for Learnist would be to sponsor live learning events and programs. Members of Learnist can go to events to learn new desired skills such as DIY Terrariums, Survival Courses, or Latte Art. The list of possibilities for them is endless. People can check in with Facebook checkin or Sqaurespace under Learnist. They would promote the network and further strengthen member loyalty.

Can Learnest Standout from the Crowd?

As I have said Learnist is an amazing resource for educators. Their format is simple and precise, making the learning process all the more enjoyable. At the same time, I do not believe that people outside of education have really heard about it. They have promoted the site by having celebrities, authors, and well know entrepreneurs create their own Learnboards. Don’t get me wrong, these are great starting points for the company. Plenty of people know about Learnist as a result, yet compared to other social networks their user numbers are nothing to brag about. In order for the company to stand the test of time, they need to increase their brand awareness by getting their name out into the real world. Live sponsored events could do just that for them. After all, education is meant to be implemented in the real world and not just the online community that Learnist devotes itself too. By self-actualizing their philosophy and bringing their lesson plans into a real world setting they will bring the Learnist brand to the next level.

 

SnapChat: The Ghost of Social Media

 

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“History, Stephen said, is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake.” James Joyce, Ulysses

When you first click on the SnapChat App, an icon of a white ghosts appears. For modern viewers this may evoke memories of a certain friendly ghosts, yet this ghostly image embodies so much more. Social media has brought so many great things to modern day society. Every moment of our lives can now be documented into the eons of history. Alongside this, we can no longer erase our stupid mistakes, follies, and all the aspects that make us human as easily. That was until the photo sharing app, Snapchat came into the picture.

SnapChat was founded by two Stanford graduates Evan Spiegal and Bobby Murphy in 2011. Their dream was to allow people to share funny and sometimes embarrassing photos on an app that would disappear in a few seconds. That way these photos wouldn’t come back and haunt their users later on like the ghost of social media past.

Features

Snapchat’s most outstanding feature was there from the very beginning. Snaps are photos or videos that will disappear after ten second.  People are able to put captions in front of their photos. They are limited to a thirty one character limit, but that doesn’t make the captions any less insightful or entertaining.

From there, in 2013 Snapchat updated to include their “Story” feature. This allowed for a collection of snaps to form a longer narrative creating a story. Check out this list of funny Snapchat stories here for an example. My favorite was this “trilogy.”

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You are able to share stories, snaps, and chat with friends on the app. If a friend were to take a screen shot of a photo you sent the app would alert you.

While Snapchat offers some filters, it separates itself from other photo sharing sites because Snaps are meant to be un-retouched moments. The new release of selfie filters are more playful than attractive. They have options like heart eyes and puking rainbow, nothing that is meant to enhance a person’s appearance. If we look at the other major photo sharing site, Instagram, it’s entire format is set up to for users to gain as many likes as possible. With Snapchat, the filter façade is less apparent. People are allowed to simply be themselves.

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Snapchat is a place meant to embody how a person is feeling in the present moment. Speaking to this thought the Snapchat blog wrote, “Permanent social media encourages an understanding of the present as documentable. Conversely, temporary social media is anti-nostalgia, letting the present be good enough right where it is.” Snapchat offers a a rebellion against perfection that other social media sites appear to dictate.

Target audience

No one will argue the dominance of Facebook on social media. At the same time, once your grandmother starts to send you friend requests it begins to lose the cool factor it once had. Since the dawn of time young adults have wanted a place to call their own, a place that was defiantly different from the establishment. Teens were rallying for a new social media outlet. Snapchat answered that rebel yell. Teens are currently the largest audience of Snapchat with 40% of USTeens using the app. Along with that, 36% of Americans between the age of 30 to 18 have a Snapchat. For a more in-depth look at this I recommend reading this article from the Observer.

It also helps that the app is mobile friendly. It is reported that American’s spend an average five hours a day on their cell phones. With so much time on mobile devices marketers need to have their social channels adaptable for social media. If we picture the average Snapchat user, I see an image of a teenager hiding their phone underneath their desk in math class. Snapchat markets off of these moments of boredom to gain the attention of the smart phone generation.

Growth

It is clear that young people are heading to Snapchat in droves, as a result brands need to get on the app or face missing out on a great marketing opportunity. This infographic shows some of the numbers behind that.

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Since it’s beginning, Snapchat has grown at an extremely fast rate. It is slowly starting to compete with the social media pillar, Facebook, as a social sharing site. Fortune writes, “Snapchat users view, in aggregate, more than 7 billion videos through the ephemeral photo and video sharing app per day, a source close to the matter confirmed with Fortune. Between June and Nov. last year, Snapchat’s video traffic more than tripled to 6 billion per day.” To give a better sense of that data Facebook is said to have 8 billion videos viewed in a day. Considering that Facebook was established in 2004, the fact that Snapchat is catching up to them at such an extreme speed is quite impressive.

Integration with Social Channels

Snapchat established themselves with all the heavy hitters in social media: Instagram, Facebook, Youtube, and Twitter. While they seem to be on every major social media site, they only post consistently on Twitter and Instagram. I think this is largely because Snapchat is easily marketed under these formats. Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat share the connection of instantaneous social media. Snapchat works best in markets that are meant for the here and now. Snapchat is not about taking time out to edit photos and thinking of the best quote that embodies your breakfast burrito. Snapchat is about making funny faces, writing stupid captions, and pressing send with no second guessing.

Companies that Snap

 Like with most new social media channels, companies have struggled on how to implement Snapchat for marketing purposes. Ten seconds is a small window to make a dent in the minds of consumers, but as some studies have suggested the human brain loses concentration after about eight seconds. That leaves an extra two whole seconds to play with! Brands have that have taken advantage of Snap chat, use it as a way to maintain a connection with their consumers. The apps overall message lends towards a more causal affair.

Free People uses their Snaps to give behind the scene looks at the company as well as speak to fans directly.

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The story feature has also led to more creative campaigns. Taco Bell came out with a Snapchat story not too long ago. Check it out below.

 

University of Florida has even got on the SnapChat bandwagon. They posted this Snapchat Story for their Gator Outreach Program.

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Snapchat is an amazing tool to engage viewers and showcase all of the cool things your company is doing. To learn how to Snapchat like a professional, I really loved this article from Forbes. Professionals looking to market through Snapchat need to remember that it is not meant to be presented in a traditional format. Keep content fun, entertaining, but also appropriate.

People that Snap

 Basically if you are a celebrity or brand that depends on younger consumers, it is imperative that you get a SnapChat.

Ed Sheeran, Calvin Harris, Ariana Grande, Rihanna, and the infamous Justin Bieber  are all well known celebrities that have gotten in on the Snapchat game. There are many more of them, but the ones listed above are very popular with the Snapchat demographic. In order for celebrities like them to stay intone with their fans, they have to know what their fans are doing. Today’s celebrities live in a culture that is dependent on the perfect, photo shopped lifestyle. Snapchat offers them a break from this. For celebrities Snapchat allows them to connect on a more intimate level with their fans. They are able to stay on brand, yet there is less of velvet rope separating them through Snapchat.

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Why SnapChat?

One of the greatest parts of the tech era, is that new technologies arise when  problems surface.  The ongoing need for perfection that came with permanent social media, resulted in a generation that was always pausing to take the perfect photo or write the wittiest post. Snapchat offered an outlet away from this. On the app, people no longer had to be perfect. They simply had to be human.

Within integrated marketing communication they talk about making purposeful connections with the consumer. The fact of the matter is that consumers are not simply percentages on an info-graph or profit margins waiting to be grabbed. Consumers are everyday people like you and I. In a continually media driven society, they want marketers to notice who they are as individuals. One way to do that is to meet them in a place where they can be themselves, albeit a self that can puke rainbows. To understand people we need to see beyond the filters and perfectly shot poses. Snapchat offers marketer that chance to start a dialogue with the people they want to reach.

Snapchat Prezi

If you would like to learn more about Snapchat, feel free to clink on the link to my Prezi presentation here: Snapchat Prezi

 

Citations

Hackett, Robert. “Snapchat’s Video Traffic is Catching up with Facebook.” January 12, 2016.

Solomon, Brian. “How To Use Snapchat: a Small Business Guide.” August 15, 2015.

Vaynerchuk,Gary.  “The Snap Generation: A Guide to Snapchat’s History.” January 29, 2016.

Team Snapchat. “Snapchat Blog”