Rebel Creative Marketing Concepts

What is Snapchat and How to Use it for Social Media

In PR and marketing, we are bombarded with options when it comes to how we can utilize apps for social media purposes for our clients. In addition to the staples like Twitter and Facebook, we have Foursquare, Pinterest, Vine, Tumblr…and now SNAPCHAT!

 

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Unlike other photo sharing apps out there, Snapchat has one special feature that sets it apart: after an allotted period of time (anywhere from 1 to 10 seconds) the photos disappear! Seconds after opening “snaps,” users can no longer access them and the images are deleted from the company’s servers. The company has shown huge growth since it was started in September of 2011. Some current stats: in June of 2013, its users sent 200 million photos per day. Two years after the app was launched, users were sending each other 350 million photos per day! As far as social commentary, Evan Siegel, one of the company’s cofounders, blogged that “we’re building a photo app that doesn’t conform to unrealistic notions of beauty or perfection, but rather creates a space to be funny, honest or whatever else you might feel like at the moment you take and share a Snap.”

While many people may view Snapchat as a more sophisticated option for sexting (I mean, come on, the pictures DISAPPEAR after a few seconds), some companies have been able to harness the power of Snapchat for legitimate, and CREATIVE, marketing. Here are some companies that are using Snapchat for their fans!

- MTV UK: Nothing can be en vogue until MTV jumps on the bandwagon! They used the app to promote the sixth season of Geordie Shore, the British version of Jersey Shore (who knew such a thing existed?!). The network sent snaps to fans to hype of the sixth season of the show, including exclusive interviews and sneak peeks of episodes.

- 16 Handles: This New York City based frozen yogurt company enticed fans to engage with the brand by encouraging users to snap a picture of themselves at one of their stores. In return, they would receive a snap with a New Year’s promotional coupon for 16%, 50% or 100% off.

- Acura: This is an example of how a brand encouraged users to add them to receive future snaps from Acura. The luxury division of the Honda Motor Company introduced its new NSX Prototype in a six-second clip to the first 100 people who added the brand on Snapchat.

- Rebecca Minkoff: In September 2013, clothing brand Rebecca Minkoff debuted her Spring 2014 collection, seconds before it hit the runway

In this Albany marketing firm’s opinion, it would seem that the most successful use of Snapchat so far is uses for specific promotions, as opposed to on-going, daily interaction with fans, which makes sense. Do you think your clients could benefit from an app like Snapchat? We’d like to hear from you, leave your thoughts in our comments section!

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Posted in Marketing Using Social Media, Social Media, Technology | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment



It’s Not About the Boobs

If you think all the chitter chatter and vitriol about Giselle’s breastfeeding photo on Instagram is about her breastfeeding, you are missing the point. She’s feeding her kid. And frankly if La Leche wants to convince new moms to breastfeed, they should use that snapshot as their sole marketing strategy. If women think nursing looks like that, they’ll be breastfeeding their kids on the way to football practice.

I have no problem with women breastfeeding wherever they want. If they don’t want to cover up who cares. I nursed three children and yes they got hungry in front of other people. Personally, I chose to use a cover but that’s because well, my breasts didn’t exactly look like Giselle’s. But physiologically, that’s what boobs are for, so it doesn’t really matter what they look like, for all intensive purposes it’s how they function. So all this nonsense about her covering up is just that—nonsense.

However, Giselle unapologetically exposed while breastfeeding wasn’t the offensive part of the photograph. It was the caption below: #multitasking. Really? So she’s nursing and what, breathing? I mean her eyes aren’t even open so you can’t even count blinking. What I see is a pretty, pretentious supermodel nursing her baby while an entire staff nurses her. I’m actually surprised she doesn’t have someone next to her brushing her teeth.

It’s her job you say? Yeah, I get it. She’s a supermodel. So I guess we can’t fault her for capitalizing off hitting the genetic lottery. But she can be faulted for being so consumed with narcissism that she manipulates something as natural and pure as breastfeeding and muddies it up in a culturally and morally flawed world. Was her point to demonstrate her versatility to transform from Victoria Secret Angel to Mother Earth? Was it to promote breastfeeding? Was it to align herself with us simpletons by showcasing a physiological function? I’m pretty sure she poops too but I doubt we’ll ever see an Instagram of that. My point is I can’t imagine what the photo’s purpose was except for Giselle to position herself for a record number of “likes” in the social media universe and the focus of conversations heard ‘round the mommy and me world.

A few years ago the mother of two made some outrageous comment about how there should be a law requiring all women to breastfeed at least 6 months. Well if I had a team giving me a manicure, curling my thick sun kissed locks and applying make up to my flawless skin—then yes! Show me where I can sign the petition to Congress! But the truth is, nursing isn’t like this. Neither is parenting. Most reasonable people, and even most reasonable members of the Hollywood club would tell you so. But there are a few, like the Brazilian Beauty, who contribute to a culture marinated in unrealistic physical expectations, disingenuous happiness and dangerous materialism.

Parenthood isn’t easy and it certainly isn’t pure bliss. And unlike Giselle’s Instagram picture multi-tasking is not getting a makeover while you’re breastfeeding your child; it’s not holding a Starbucks latte in one hand and your child’s in the other as you stroll out of Whole Foods in matching J Brand jeans and Gucci flats. Children are not accessories and they are not perfect. Neither are their parents, contrary to what Giselle would like us to believe even on her mere three hours of sleep. (As if most parents are getting 8 to 10 a night.) And by the way with that kind of “beauty team” around me, I’m pretty sure I could go an entire week without shuteye. Which brings me to a quick side note about the infuriating caption that states: ”what would I do without my beauty team?” Hmm…seems pretty logical that if she’s giving a shout out to her team shouldn’t the photograph be of them? Of course we all know it isn’t about them, it’s about her. And with that kind of blinding ego, I’m not quite sure the breastfeeding isn’t about her either. Look at me! Look at what I’m doing for my child! Look it what a great parent I am!

A photo can’t capture the most important parts of parenting. Those are far less glamorous. In fact at times they are even hard to stomach. I don’t see many Instagram or Facebook posts of a mother up at 2 in the morning doing a 3rd load of laundry because her 2 year old was throwing up all night. I rarely see YouTube videos of a couple in the ER with their five week old baby who has a fever being told they will be staying there for at least two weeks until the baby has several rounds of intravenous antibiotics. I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen “selfies” of a couple crunching numbers at the kitchen table trying to figure out how they are going to budget this month’s groceries and still give their kids a Christmas.

In the same respect, I believe the most wonderful, enlightening and rewarding parts of parenthood cannot be captured in a staged photograph. Sometimes, it’s because at that particular moment you don’t have a camera or iPhone near you; and sometimes it’s because it takes days, weeks or even years to recognize the moments that mean the most. And more often than not, the best parts of parenting—are meant to be absorbed, not shared. And even if you have the mindset to take the picture of that lovely moment, chances are YOU are probably not in it.

Any parent knows the picture of Giselle is not multi-tasking, it’s not even parenting. It’s an imaginary world where people we don’t know anything about are made out to be someone we all want to be. A world where you get pregnant on demand, grow a cute little belly and four weeks post-partum, you’re carrying around that cute little baby with your perfect, cute little body. Where you have the luxury to breastfeed with complete ease, without interruption and the endless support of a staff to handle all the other things life requires. There are so many mothers who carry the burden of crippling self-criticism; and at least some of it can be blamed on false advertising. There is an undeniable pressure for parents, particularly women, to maintain this indestructible sense of bliss. And if they don’t, if they feel worn out or beat up or frustrated at the end of the day or for days on end, there must be something wrong. But there is nothing wrong it’s just hard. It’s really, really hard. It’s hard to take care of your children, yourself, your and the rest of your family and still look and feel good doing it. It’s hard to control your temper with toddlers who can’t control theirs. It’s impossible to exercise the kind of politically correct, B.S. progressive parenting we are all fed by self-described “experts” who imply that any form of traditional parenting (like using the word “no”) is borderline barbaric. And formula? Poison. Non-organic food?…Good luck when your daughter goes all Giselle on you at the age of 10.

For some, the images we see of Hollywood parents making it all look so Camelot may be a welcome escape for people and that’s OK. Just as long as they realize it’s an escape—not an aspiration.

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Is Facebook Going Extinct?

Ok, well, extinct might be a bit of a stretch, but interest in the popular social media website is waning according to the top officials at Facebook. David Ebersman, Facebook’s chief financial officer, stated that Facebook has noticed “a decrease in daily users, specifically among younger teens,” during a quarterly earnings call. It was reported that teenagers, ages 13-14, were having far less activity on the site than usual.

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How could this happen?  How could our go-to social network fall into such a state? Well, we have written extensively on our blog (here, here, here, etc.) about Facebook missteps that have happened along the way that may have irritated users, but what could be driving them to leave the site all together?

Young people are finally starting to grasp the notion that social media is forever. One misshapen tweet or flippant post could have serious ramifications in major areas of their life. All it takes is one screenshot to bring you down. In the past 3 weeks I have seen multiple articles in the New York Times and other tech websites about college admission officers scrutinizing potential students’ social media practices and, in some extreme cases, revoking their admissions. “Students’ social media and digital footprint can sometimes play a role in the admissions process,” says Christine Brown, the executive director of K-12 and college prep programs at Kaplan Test Prep. “It’s something that is becoming more ubiquitous and less looked down upon.” Today, CBS News reported that a teenage girl in Florida tweeted “2 drunk 2 care” hours before she was involved in a deadly car accident that killed two people. On her profile she identified herself as a “pot princess.”

While much of the above can be explained by good old fashion teenage naïveté, it could help explain teens decreased use of social media. Who wants to leave a digital trail when it could have such serious consequences? The downtick of Facebook use could mean big changes for those of us in the marketing world. Personally, I have noticed friends increasing their use of other social networks (Twitter, Instagram, Vine, etc.) and have found myself using Instagram more and more.  However, it would be hard to imagine a world where Facebook could become completely irrelevant. Facebook was the innovator that many social media sites model themselves after and seem to be the gold standard. Will something one day surpass Facebook? Only time will tell!

 

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Posted in Facebook, Marketing Using Social Media, Social Media, Twitter | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment



When Promoted Tweets GO BAD!

We all see those promoted tweets when they pop up in our Twitter feeds. Usually it’s touting a new product/service you need to try or is encouraging you to follow a new brand you may be interested in. This month, British Airways found out the hard way how a promoted tweet can go bad when a disgruntled customer used the service to complain about the airline.

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An example of a promoted tweet.

The incident that prompted the tweet was a customer service issue his parents experienced on a flight from Chicago to Paris over the weekend when their luggage was lost  Fed up with the way British Airways was handling the issue, businessman Hasan Syed decided to complain about it in a very creative way: he paid to have a tweet promoted criticizing the airline. The promoted tweet bought by Mr Syed read: “Don’t fly @BritishAirways. Their customer service is horrendous.”

While promoted tweets are generally bought by advertisers who want to reach a wider audience, this paid-for-tweet by Syed got a lot of attention. When purchasing the tweet, Syed chose to targeted New York and UK markets. Six hours after the tweet when live, it was seen by thousands of Twitter users, re-tweeted and even picked up by the news website Mashable.

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After it was picked up by Mashable, it took an additional four hours for British Airways to pick up on the tweet: “Sorry for the delay in responding, our twitter feed is open 09:00-17:00 GMT. Please DM [direct message] your baggage ref and we’ll look into this,” the airline explained.

The idea that the ad platform of large corporations can be hijacked by members of the public is an interesting trend, thinks Shashank Nigam, chief executive of aviation consultancy SimpliFlying.  ”The implications are tremendous for the future of airline customer service, especially on social media,” he said in his blog. “These tools are easy to use and brand detractors have the same access to them as corporations. I’d guess that this cost less than a thousand dollars to buy and Mr Syed targeted it smartly,” Mr Nigam told the BBC. “Airlines are going to have to start having 24/7 customer services and maybe they need to train up call centre reps to respond to messages on Facebook and Twitter.”

It appears that Syed’s investment was a wise one! “We would like to apologise to the customer for the inconvenience caused. We have been in contact with the customer and the bag is due to be delivered today,” British Airways told the BBC.

If you were British Airways, how would you handle this tweet?

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The New iPhone 5S: Gold, Finger Scans and Other Rumors!

The ladies of this Albany marketing firm can’t live without our iPhones! We are all Apple people, so the iPhone has become an on-the-go extension of running services for our clients. Unlike when Zuckerberg announces new “change” and “improvements,” we wait with baited breath for any iPhone rumors we can get our hands on! Our ears perked up when rumors of a new iPhone 5S release began swirling on the internet. What can we expect? What new features will make our lives easier? We went to a leading tech website to do our part to spread some iPhone news to the masses. Here are some of the changes you may see on the new iPhone:

  • New color iPhone: GOLD! We were a little surprised to see Apple deviating from their standard black and white, but we are waiting to see how it looks. It could get a little gaudy…

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  • A fingerprint scanner: Yup, you hear us right. Rumors are circling that the newest iPhone will include a fingerprint scanner for security purposes, identification and payments. Wild, right?

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  • The iPhone 5C: There is speculation that there will also be a lower-cost iPhone released at the same time the 5S is released. What’s the difference between the two models? John Gruber explains that “beyond speed and price, color seems likely to be a key differentiator. It’s entirely possible that Apple decided to keep the focus on white and black (again, silver and slate) for the high-end model, while choosing more playful colors for the lower end. But some people, bored of black and white, may have opted for the 5C simply to add some color to their iLives. So the gold iPhone 5S (with a white front plate, one would assume) would seem to be a decent compromise in that scenario. Also, of course, a gold option may serve to placate some of those who feel an iPhone 5S isn’t enough of an upgrade from the iPhone 5 simply because it largely looks the same.”
  • Better Processor and Camera: With any new iPhone, the 5S will undoubtedly have a better processor to make it go faster, as well as a better camera. We also read that it will have a better flash for taking better photos in low-light conditions.

What changes would you like to see with the new iPhone 5S launch?

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