Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 5-10-15

A mobile #SundayMusings w/ Shore Branding! (Photo credit: ZDNet.com)

A mobile #SundayMusings w/ Shore Branding!
(Photo credit: ZDNet.com)

We are focusing our efforts on mobile in this week’s #SundayMusings.  With the recent announcement from Google (Mobilegeddon) and its impact on web sites and search results, it feels like a good time to keep an eye on all things mobile.

#1 – “How to Ace the Google Mobile-Friendly Test & Score 100%” – via Moz.com

Premise: Google has begun to further roll out its mobile-friendliness rankings within its search algorithms.  This write-up focuses on the mobile test itself by Google, but also includes links to several other Mobilegeddon write-ups that were put on Moz.com.

Google’s mobile checking Chrome extension will rate your site and provide feedback on areas that may need improvement.  The write-up also goes into the five components of the mobile score and quickly what each represents.  The team at Moz wound up doing their own test across 4K sites to see who did well and who scored poorly on the new algorithm.

Thoughts: What caught my eye on this article vs. the many, many others regarding Mobilegeddon was the willingness to put together real-life examples from around the web and quantifying those results.  A well deserved “kudos” to the team at Moz that went through this effort!

Have you tested your site’s mobile ranking?

#2 – “Google’s Mobile-Friendly Algorithm A Week Later: Was It Really Mobilegeddon” via SearchEngineLand.com

Premise: After all of the uproar, did the change in Google’s algorithm drive significant change in mobile search results?  According to this write-up and the coinciding mining, the answer is ‘not really’.  Tracking results from others around the web (links included within the story, including the work done by Moz) the author finds that while changes have been seen, they are not as significant as “feared”.

Thoughts: Similar to many stories seen on the news these days, Mobilegeddon was ramped up as a colossal event that would shake the world to its core (OK, maybe that is even a bit much), only to find that the changes in search results have been impacted, but not turned upside down.

#3 – “Notes From A Mobilized Marketer – It Isn’t The Young That Value The Smartphone The Most” via JeffHasen.com

Premise: Jeff cites research from Pew Research Center that states that the older you are, the more you value your smartphone.  The vast majority (82%) of those 65+ in age say their phones give them freedom.  That’s just one of a dozen or so headlines from the past few weeks included in this “musings”-like write-up.

Thoughts: While I tend to agree that as I get older, my phone becomes more prevalent, I don’t know if I think that is because I’m getting older as much as it is the fact that my phone is getting better.  What are your thoughts on this?

What really caught my attention here is actually the news that Meerkat jumped ahead of Periscope and was first to launch its app on Android devices, while Periscope remains an Apple-only product.  If I didn’t love Twitter and Vine so much, I would make a much bigger deal out of this, but come on Periscope … we’re waiting!

We’re going to move away from more news articles this week and embed a few items of interest.  First, take a look at the SlideShare below on Wearable technology and its role in mobile:

Next, I found this YouTube video (on DigitalTrends.com) and thought how true (and sad) this is in our everyday lives:

Tweet of the Week:

Have you seen this story yet?  A woman was in a hostage situation in Florida and placed an order to her local Pizza Hut with the emergency message for help.  Truly amazing that she was able to get this through, the employees were smart enough to act on it, and the situation didn’t escalate.  It’s a crazy world we live in these days.

That’s it for this weekend’s #SundayMusings.  Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there!

 

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 3-29-15

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding - St. Patrick's Day Edition (Photo credit: ILoveShelling.com)

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – St. Patrick’s Day Edition
(Photo credit: ILoveShelling.com)

Today’s #SundayMusings with Shore Branding is going green … for St. Patrick’s Day branding news!  Here are the top branding and/or digital marketing stories that caught my attention over the past few weeks revolving around the luck of the Irish and St. Patrick’s Day.

#1 – “Liam Neeson Narrates This Gorgeous Tourism Ad for Ireland Timed to St. Patrick’s Day” – via AdWeek.com

Premise: A 60 second ad to help promote visiting Ireland with Liam Neeson as the voiceover.  The ad itself also carries the #GoGreen4PatricksDay.

Thoughts: What better way to start a St. Patrick’s Day #SundayMusings than a visual trip to Ireland?  Fantastic ad with iconic landmarks from around the world, plus the natural beauty of Ireland itself.

The hashtag probably could use a little work though.  Throwing in the “St” probably would have helped make it a little easier for others to remember / use the right phrase.

#2 – “A Diageo Reminder: ‘Guinness Is Good For You’ Beyond St. Patrick’s Day Too” via brandchannel.com

Premise: WSJ reports that four times as many pints of Guinness are consumed on St. Patrick’s Day vs. your normal day.  Guinness has been struggling to increase or even maintain sales in the US – largely thanks to the growing craft beer movement.

The brand is doing its part to promote its corporate citizenship and “green” initiatives.  The write-up includes a number of tweets circling around these programs and the promotion of Guinness Blonde, the latest brand extension from the brewing company.

Thoughts: Guinness is my #1 beer of choice, but I can’t help to think about the brand extensions they have launched here in the US and how they simply have not taken off.  Black Lager and now Blonde have no appeal to me under the Guinness name.  All I want to see is the original, no matter how much weight the Guinness name carries.

#3 – “Bud Light’s St. Patrick’s Day tweet has users seeing red instead of green” via mashable.com

Premise: To celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, Bud Light tried to leverage/hijack the holiday and threw in its #UpForWhatever hashtag into a tweet.  Said tweet however had of five women in it and insinuated that it was OK for you to pinch others (read: women).

Thoughts: This went over about as well as you would suspect.  Bud Light deleted the tweet, issued an apology and tried to move on as quickly as possible.  Damage done.

Seriously though, did someone really think the hashtag campaign #UpForWhatever wasn’t going to eventually lead to some level of trouble?  Whether it was from the company itself (check) or the hashtag being hijacked (check), it was bound to happen sooner rather than later.  You can read some of the replies from Twitter users within the link above.

#4 – “How To Get Lucky With Content Marketing” via uberflip.com

Premise: A catchy slideshow on content marketing from uberflip on setting goals that provides several recommendations on how to leverage content marketing and measure the results from those efforts.  The strongest recommendations however – talking to your current customers and putting that to good use, and focusing on growth metrics (vs. engagement metrics).

Thoughts: While it was put together to drive you to their free ebook, I loved the St. Patrick’s Day theme throughout the slideshow.  Visually appealing, easy to read and flip through, and I didn’t feel inundated with “sales” materials throughout each slide.  I may have to check out this ebook …

Tweet of the Week:

Rather than give you one tweet, we decided to go with a slew of them from brands and companies focusing in on St. Patrick’s Day!  Hope you enjoy …

That’s it for this week’s St. Patrick’s Day branding-inspired #SundayMusings.  What brands caught your attention with their holiday efforts?

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 3-15-15

Branding and Digital Marketing

Branding and Digital Marketing

Welcome to the latest #SundayMusings with Shore Branding!  This week’s stories highlight the latest and greatest news as we head into 2015’s SXSW conference in Austin, Texas.  Are you traveling to SXSW this year?  If so, let us know what you think.  Below are the news stories that caught my attention …

#1 – “New Fitness Brand Radius Keeps SXSW 2015 ‘in shape’” – via MobileMarketingWatch.com

Premise: Fitness and wearables will play a large role in this year’s edition of SXSW in Austin and Radius will be looking to lead the way.  Radius, from NBCUniversal, works with RadiusFitness.com on personalized workouts for desktops and mobile devices.  The brand will be hosting and promoting itself throughout the festival.

Thoughts: Through sponsorship and branding at charging stations and through hosting across the festival, Radius is just one of a large number of brands looking to capitalize on SXSW’s popularity.  The brand is going to have to break out the big guns if it is going to want to break through the clutter at the event.

That said, it does make perfect sense for a brand that focuses on one of the hottest of hot topics – wearables – tries to make its mark at SXSW this year.

#2 – “Four Major Brand Activations To Look Forward To At SXSW 2015” via IPGLab.com

Premise: As we begin the SXSW conference, several brands have already made big news heading into the event.  McDonald’s has been in the news for the past few weeks for its forthcoming efforts to win more among millennials.  Twitter and PayPal will be ramping up their efforts, while Lyft (and Uber) look to continue their upward trend in popularity and usage.

Thoughts: It has been an up and down few weeks for McDonald’s as they take the stage (if you will) at SXSW.  It looks like the food chain has succumb to pressure and will pay bands to perform.  I’m not sure “I’m lovin’ it” (…) when I see they have named their WiFi stations “Fry-Fi” stations.

Lyft and Uber are in an interesting battle in Austin over the next week or so as they both look to continue moving forward with their services.  Lyft is taking it up a notch by providing rides in more upper profile vehicles.

#3 – “Marketers Bet On Clever Hashtag Campaigns to Stand Out at SXSW” via AdWeek.com

Premise: Brands have to find a way to break through the clutter at SXSW and several brands are launching hashtag campaigns to try and do so.  Poncho, a startup in mobile weather, is partnering with Resqwater (“an anti-hangover drink”) and has created the #askponcho hashtag to help those in Austin with drinks, sunglasses, umbrellas, and more.

Thoughts: Great idea above by Poncho to work with another company to create a unique way to breakthrough the clutter.

I’m not sure I can say the same about the last example provided in the link above.  A food-photo strike inspired by people’s food insecurity?  Where are we going in the US?!  While they are linking to an Instagram feed and have created a microsite for the campaign, I really can’t get behind this one at all.  Sorry.

#4 – “Is your brand ready for SXSW 2015?” via Ketchum.com

Premise: SXSW is know for Food, Technology, Branding, and more.  Ketchum’s team is prepared based on past experiences and will be keeping you up to date on what’s working at SXSW 2015.

Thoughts: Before we get too far ahead and into the 2015 edition of SXSW, Ketchum takes a look back at what has worked in the past and provides a few key numbers that helps explain the size, scope, and potential importance of your branding efforts at SXSW.

Tweet of the Week:

Seven tips … well, five plus two promotional efforts from Simply Measured … for those heading to Austin Texas for this year’s SXSW event.  Loved the acronym “ABC … Always Be Charging” and the tip to leverage Evernote’s ability to help make your life that much easier – by keeping your receipts in one place for an expense report vs. having 50 paper receipts stuffed in your wallet or bag.

That’s it for this week’s #SundayMusings and #SXSW news.  What are you most looking forward to at this year’s SXSW?  Let me know in the comments below.

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 3-1-15

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding - The Valentine's Day Edition! (Photo credit: blog.templatemonster.com)

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – The Valentine’s Day Edition!
(Photo credit: blog.templatemonster.com)

 

We are closing out February with a Valentine’s Day #SundayMusings – taking one last look at the branding and digital marketing news from brands and companies as they relate to Valentine’s Day.  Here are the holiday stories that caught my eye heading into and through the month.

#1 – “Love Across the Twittersphere” – via blog.twitter.com

Premise: The Twitter blog dives into some Twitter Analytics and how “love” is spread across the network.  Sweden comes out on top as the most “in love” country around the globe.  Twitter also takes a look at some of the most commonly used hashtags across the calendar year.

Thoughts: The Twitter blog is a great bookmark to see the latest and greatest from the site.  It hits on current and relevant news, holidays, sporting events and more.  I’m not sure what level of humor vs. sadness I find in the hashtags across the span of a calendar year.  (OK, it’s funny)

#2 – “Microsoft’s Valentine’s Advice: Break Up With Siri and Start Seeing Cortana” via AdWeek.com

Premise: Microsoft continues to heavily promote its Cortana personal assistant and take on Apple’s Siri, continuing this direct messaging for Valentine’s Day with two new ads.

Thoughts: Microsoft is very likely waging a war that it can’t win.  As it continues to be one step behind – if not more – its role in Tech continues to be playing from behind and adjusting to go head to head against Apple and/or Google.

While Microsoft continues to dominate the workplace – with a very solid product suite – the company continues to trip all over itself outside of this niche/space.  Cortana isn’t going to win Microsoft a ton of share.  Please innovate!

If you are looking for a winning ad this Valentine’s Day, look no further than this gem found on AdFreak:

#3 – “14 Ways to Romance Your Audience With Content Marketing” via HeidiCohen.com

Premise: Heidi Cohen shows us fourteen ways in which romance is critical to your content marketing success.  Across these fourteen steps you will find a quick blurb on each one, along with examples of success from across the web.

Thoughts: My favorite ‘tip’ here is #12 – “Spotlight your customers”.  I love when big brands do this, it brings them to life and typically provides a ‘feel good’ story.  Perhaps the hardest one for me is #4 – “Skip the words”.  While the main idea here is actually to use pictures and video, I’m actually talking about limiting the number of words to get the point across.  What tip do you find to be the hardest to cover off on for yourself?

#4 – “Branding Love: Who Owns Valentine’s Day?” via BladeCreativeBranding.com

Premise: According to a report from the National Retail Federation, approximately $19 billion was to be spent in the US this Valentine’s Day.  Breaking that down a bit, there is $2.1 billion spent on flowers, $2 billion on clothing, and $1.7 billion on chocolate/candy.  Within each of these categories – along with gift cards – the author takes a look at the brand leaders within each.

Thoughts: No surprise at all that Victoria’s Secret would lead the clothing category.  1-800-Flowers has done such a great job of turning themselves into a powerhouse in the online floral market.  Their loyalty program is one of the better ones that I am a member of.  In fact, they received my vote in the poll at the bottom of the write-up.

Tweet of the Week:

Save our “Tweet of the Week” for next Valentine’s Day in case you are looking for an idea on a good hashtag campaign.  #FeelTheLove of your next campaign!

That wraps up our Valentine’s Day #SundayMusings.  Did any brand catch your attention with their holiday messaging?  Let me know in the comments below.

 

Pin of the Month – Super Bowl Ads

Super Bowl Advertising by the numbers. Infographic by Engagor

Super Bowl Advertising by the numbers. Infographic by Engagor

Our February “Pin of the Month” wraps up our NFL and Super Bowl coverage this month.  Building off of our Super Bowl Ad Review, our “Pin of the Month” summarizes the overall impact of Super Bowl ads and which brands got the most out of their investment.  The infographic above was created by engagor who measures social customer experiences and engagement.

The numbers from engagor aren’t too surprising, albeit incredibly impressive for the NFL and its Super Bowl ads.  Almost two million mentions of Super Bowl ads on Twitter and Facebook – however, note the discrepancy in percentages between the two sites, with Twitter claiming the vast majority of references.

So what brands won and lost during the Super Bowl?  McDonald’s and T-Mobile won according to engagor, while Nationwide was largely panned for its (disgusting) ad.

Here are a few other items that caught my eye from the infographic:

  • The dominance of mobile over desktop – continuing to display the shift to mobile in our behavior.
  • Campaign hashtags were all the rage – but only a couple of brands specifically hit the top of the list – Doritos, Nationwide, and the new Jurassic Park movie.
  • Glued to the television, I largely stayed off of social media during the game and had no idea that McDonald’s was essentially live tweeting and commenting on other brand’s ads.  Great idea from their social media team.

What brands caught your attention during the Super Bowl?  What ads did you particularly like or dislike?

For those unfamiliar with our “Pin of the Month”, every month we post one of the better infographics, pictures, etc. that we find on our Pinterest page and (over-) analyzing it in our “Pin of the Month”.  If you have an infographic that you would like to promote here on Shore Branding, just let us know.

 

Pin of the Month – Social Media

January's "Pin of the Month" on Social Media Pin originally from ticsyformacion.com

January’s “Pin of the Month” on Social Media
Pin originally from ticsyformacion.com

Happy 2015 everyone and welcome to another year of our “Pin of the Month” here on ShoreBranding.com.  January’s “Pin of the Month” takes a look at several key social media numbers and statistics across several of the key players in social media.  The infographic itself was found on Pinterest and originated from this article.

So what exactly are we looking at here?  As we enter 2015, the numbers across the more popular social media networks continue to amaze.  With numbers and figures from multiple sources, let’s dive into some of the facts seen in the above infographic, specifically those that caught my attention:

  • Facebook’s log-in page is now available on over one million web sites.  That’s amazing!
  • 91% of Fortune 100 companies use LinkedIn to search out job candidates.
  • I’m not sure how they got to the fact that eBay is the “most engaging” brand on Twitter.  (Your thoughts on the most engaging brands on the site?)
  • 1 billion Google+ accounts … but only 359 million of them are “monthly active users”.

What platform are you planning to focus on in 2015?  With the continued growth of social media in branding efforts, have you set goals for each?

For those unfamiliar with our “Pin of the Month”, every month we post one of the better infographics, pictures, etc. that we find on our Pinterest page and (over-) analyzing it in our “Pin of the Month”.  If you have an infographic that you would like to promote here on Shore Branding, just let us know.

 

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 1/4/15

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding - Happy New Year / 2015! (Credit: wallpaperput.com)

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – Happy New Year / 2015!
(Credit: wallpaperput.com)

 

Happy new year everyone and welcome to the first #SundayMusings of 2015!  I hope everyone had a great, safe holiday season and that you are ready to make 2015 bigger and better!  Why not start with the top stories that caught my eye in branding and digital marketing as they relate to entering the new year?  Done and done …

#1 – “The Top 7 Content Marketing Trends That Will Dominate 2015” – via Forbes.com

Premise: “Content marketing” continues to grow.  The author has spent time in the past putting together predictions and outcomes of content marketing (links within the article).  Now he takes a look at how content marketing will shift/progress into the new year.

Thoughts: A few of the highlighted trends caught my eye, specifically #2 – “Content marketing will become inextricably linked with social media marketing” and #5 – “The reputation of guest blogging as a content marketing strategy will be repaired”.

It is hard to argue with #2, as this trend continues to grow seemingly month to month.  However, #5 is an item that is important here on ShoreBranding.com.  We have openly embraced guest posts in the past, but willingness to do so weakened in the second half of 2014.  Again, if you are interested in being a guest writer here on the site, please just let me know via our Contact page (or reach out via email / social media).

#2 – “Hey, TV Guys! Facebook’s NFL Deal Means Facebook Is Getting Serious About Video” via recode.net

Premise: Facebook has signed a deal with the NFL to put clips in its ads.  The deal suggests that Facebook is going in the right direction when it comes to online video and how it continues to grow.  For example, your profile and/or posts tell Facebook that you are a fan of a particular team.  With this deal, Facebook will be able to target you with relevant ads or clips of said team.

Thoughts: The NFL continues to surge ahead of the other US sports leagues when it comes to transitioning to online platforms.  Working with Facebook (and Twitter) is now commonplace for the NFL.

Note that there are similar discussions between Facebook and the NBA in order to get a deal in place.  It feels like my Facebook feed is in for an overhaul in the coming months.

#3 – “2015 Social Media Predictions: 10 Forecasts You Need” via HeidiCohen.com

Premise: Aside from the 10 tips/forecasts, the article links to several other “Tips”-related articles when thinking about putting together or revitalizing your social media efforts.  The write-up predicts what is next for the big players in the social space – Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, and more.

Thoughts: A few items caught my attention quickly.  First, similar to the article above, it seems like a foregone conclusion that Facebook is going to be deeply cutting into YouTube’s online video space.  Second, it is said to see what Heidi predicts for Twitter … as the company continues to focus on revenue and meeting Wall Street’s demands, it will start to lose steam and interest with users.  I’m not sure I see that happening … yet.  However, I do agree that Vine’s popularity has become much more niche than mainstream.  The final item that I wanted to point out is the reference to the importance of Google+ to businesses.

#4 – “The 7 Top Social Media Trends That Will Impact Your Marketing In 2015” via JeffBullas.com

Premise: Jeff Bullas provides his own take on what 2015 will look like in social media.  These focus items include continued growth in mobile, vlogging, and social wallets.  With each, Bullas provides context as to why and/or how each will continue to rise as we enter 2015.

Thoughts: We have spent a good amount of time talking about the continued rise of mobile, so this shouldn’t be a surprise.  The first statistic in Bullas’ “Paid amplification” trend is mind-numbing – the organic reach on Facebook is terribly low.  That is reason enough to reconsider your Facebook strategy and effort.

“Social shopping” and “Social wallets” have started to rise in 2014 and brands / retailers are beginning to see the power of social sharing for consumers.  Social wallets and cards have started to pop up.

Are you using a social card yet?  I literally just signed up for one last week and am waiting for it to arrive.  If so, what do you think?

#5 – “What Does your 2015 Twitter Strategy Look Like?” via MediaBistro.com

Premise: The change of the calendar year affords you the opportunity to evaluate and establish your social media strategy, with the focus of this article on Twitter.  This strategy should include goal setting, execution, and measurement.  From there you will want to reevaluate your plan to see what is and is not working and go from there.

Thoughts: For the first time, I spent a little money in 2014 to help build our SaveThanksgiving.net following on Twitter.  We gained ~100 followers from those efforts and it is likely something that I’ll re-establish in the latter stages of 2015.

Do you have a strategy that is specific for each social media site that you are on?  How did you perform in 2014 relative to your goals?

Tweet of the Week:

Hopefully, you take #5 above to heart and don’t fall into the trap of our ‘Tweet of the Week’.  The good ole marketing / Twitter fails of 2014.  I can’t even pick one of these five as the worst … they are all … just … painful.  Do yourself a favor and make sure you don’t land on this list in 2015.  Please.

Again, happy new year to all of our readers and subscribers!  I hope you make 2015 great!

Brand in Focus – Bolthouse Farms

Bolthouse Farms Logo (Bolthouse.com)

Bolthouse Farms Logo (Bolthouse.com)

This quarter’s “Brand in Focus” takes a look at the branding and digital marketing efforts of Bolthouse Farms.  The company’s web page promotes their Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages.  Noticeably missing from the links at the top for me, is the brand’s Vine page as that is how Bolthouse Farms originally caught my attention.

Visit Bolthouse.com to see the latest and greatest from Bolthouse Farms!

Visit Bolthouse.com to see the latest and greatest from Bolthouse Farms!

Bolthouse Farms’ web site is appealing to the eye, presenting a colorful display that draws your eyes to particular areas of the landing page.  Links at the top direct you to the company’s blog, information about the company itself and its products, and a store locator for where you will be able to purchase Bolthouse Farms’ products.  As you will quickly notice on the home page, Bolthouse Farms has committed itself to social media, as under the rotating images are updates across their Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages.

Let’s dive into each one of these pages …

Facebook:

With over 450,000 Likes, the Bolthouse Farms Facebook page is the company’s leading social media page in terms of total audience.  Once a day, the owner of the Facebook page drops in an update for their followers.  With each update you will typically see somewhere between 100-250 “Likes” and at least a handful of comments.

The latter really caught my eye as Bolthouse Farms is responsive to the comments that are put on their page.  Rather than deleting negative comments/feedback, the page owners address the customers’ concerns and personalizes the message.  Below you will see the team address a false concern about their products.  Not only does it clear the air, you can see that others on the page now know the truth about Bolthouse Farms’ products and state they are willing to buy their products once again.

Address customer concerns openly on your Facebook page, just like this example from Bolthouse Farms

Address customer concerns openly on your Facebook page, just like this example from Bolthouse Farms

Every post has a colorful image to go with it, but you will also find the occasional, short video as well.  These short videos help change things up on the page and, to me at least, help build that engagement between the brand and its customers/followers.

The final item that caught my attention was Bolthouse Farms’ events that they carry over on Twitter.  The company sets up Facebook Events to invite people over to their “Twitter Party” and promotes the hashtags to use for each.

Facebook Events are a good way to draw people over to your Twitter Party

Facebook Events are a good way to draw people over to your Twitter Party

Twitter:

Again, the first thing you notice on the Bolthouse Farms’ Twitter landing page is the vibrant colors and banner image at the top of the page.  What I really like about their efforts on Twitter are the RT’s they send out to their entire audience.  If a customer mentions Bolthouse in their own feed, the owner of the Twitter page is likely to RT that message.  These efforts bring a little extra engagement with the audience.

Aside from the RT’s, you will typically see one tweet per day from the Bolthouse Farms account itself.  Occasionally you will find a Twitter chat with others on a pertinent/relevant topic like the one here from 12/17 that brings in the #holidayveggies hashtag (or similar):

Bolthouse Farms' Twitter Chats like with the #HolidayVeggies hashtag also help engage with their audience

Bolthouse Farms’ Twitter Chats like with the #HolidayVeggies hashtag also help engage with their audience

Bolthouse Farms has over 13.6K followers on Twitter (at the time of this writing), which is significantly less than their Facebook audience.  I’m actually a little surprised at the gap between the two given that efforts are consistent between the two platforms.  You will find ~10 Favorites and/or RT’s for each message the page sends out to its audience.  Something feels off on the “ROI” on their Twitter efforts but I can’t put my finger on it.

Instagram:

In fact, Bolthouse Farms sees a larger audience on their Instagram page (16.3K followers) vs. Twitter and engagement levels are much stronger.  With the visual appeal that the brand brings to the table across social media, maybe it isn’t too surprising to see the stronger level of engagement on the more visually-driven Instagram.

The fan base’s level of engagement on Instagram is solid as well – as you will typically see ~200 Instagram “Likes” on their daily update on the site, along with at least a handful of comments per update.

Bolthouse Farms' Instagram page continues to build strong engagement with its followers

Bolthouse Farms’ Instagram page continues to build strong engagement with its followers

Instagram is (or at least feels like) a perfect compliment for Bolthouse Farms’ SM strategy given how eye-catching the majority of their updates are.

Vine:

Vine took social media by storm when it was officially launched at the beginning of 2013 under the Twitter umbrella and one of the brands winning on Vine was most certainly Bolthouse Farms.  However, the site’s momentum has slowed down over the course of 2014 and the company is no exception, as this is the last Vine that Bolthouse Farms has posted … back on 1/15/14

I certainly don’t blame the company for shifting its social media focus away from Vine.  However, it was doing a great job on the site.  As mentioned at the beginning, Vine was actually the platform that put my attention on Bolthouse.  It was a nice point of difference for the brand but there is likely data that suggested it wasn’t worth the efforts it was making (at least that is my hypothesis).

Overall Summary:

If there is one point of difference for Bolthouse Farms vs. other food/grocery brands that come to mind, it is certainly the visual appeal.  Its efforts across platforms leverage this across banner images on their profile pages and daily updates to their respective audiences.  Instagram is a perfect platform for the company to work with and the efforts seem to show.

Where do you think Bolthouse Farms is strong across social media?  Where do you see room for improvement?

Let us know in the Comments section below.

Happy 2015 everyone!

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 11-23-14

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding - Thanksgiving Edition (Photo Credit: GlowRockport.wordpress.com)

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – Thanksgiving Edition
(Photo Credit: GlowRockport.wordpress.com)

This week’s #SundayMusings is near and dear to our heart as we focus on the Thanksgiving holiday and Thanksgiving branding efforts made around the country.  For those that don’t already know, we have set up SaveThanksgiving.net in an effort to keep the holiday alive and with our respective friends and family; not at the mall and shopping for holiday sales.  That is what “Black Friday” and beyond is for.  Without going on any further of a tangent, here are the top stories that caught our eyes over the past couple of weeks related to Thanksgiving.

#1 – “How Your Favorite Thanksgiving Brands Got Their Names” – via mascola.com

Premise: Interested in learning how brands that are likely around your Thanksgiving table got their names?  The Mascola Group puts together a list of six brands that are commonly used for Thanksgiving meals and tells their story of how each came to be.

Thoughts: There aren’t any off the wall names or stories behind the names here among the six.  However, and it is potentially sad to admit this, I had no idea that Ore-Ida got its name being located in Oregon and next to Idaho (potatoes).  You really can learn something new every day.

#2 – “Brand of the Day: No, Costco Won’t Be Open on Thanksgiving, and Here’s Why” via AdWeek.com

Premise: Costco won’t be open on Thanksgiving Day, with a spokesperson for the retailer saying, “Our employees work especially hard during the holiday season, and we simply believe they deserve the opportunity to spend Thanksgiving with their families. Nothing more complicated than that”.

Thoughts: You knew we were going to go here quickly, right?  Costco is one of a slowly decreasing number of retailers that remain closed on Thanksgiving Day and will continue to win my business because of this stance.  The creep of Black Friday into Thanksgiving Day makes my stomach turn.  You can find a list of retailers that won’t be opening their doors on Thanksgiving here or simply right here …

#SaveThanksgiving - Visit SaveThanksgiving.net for more info

#SaveThanksgiving – Visit SaveThanksgiving.net for more info

#3 – “7 Brilliant Brand Tactics for Thanksgiving + Inspiring Examples” via LeanBranding.com

Premise: A compilation of seven ideas that leverage the Thanksgiving holiday to spark conversation and conversion to brands.  From offering a holiday gift and hosting a meetup, Wix receives a lot of attention in the write-up, pulling out the stops around the holiday in past years.

Thoughts: Terrific examples are provided throughout the article and for each tip on how to leverage the holiday to build a little buzz for your brand.  My favorites – “Share some humor” and “Support a cause”.  I’m absolutely grabbing those memes that were created by IMPACT.  I also remember seeing a lot of support from Zynga two years ago around their holiday fundraising campaign but never saw the final numbers from their efforts ($13 million raised).  Impressive!

#4 – “Five Thanksgiving Inspired Brand Building Tips” via BrandMill.com

Premise: A quick and easy read on five tips that will help your brand distinguish itself this holiday season.  The underlying theme behind all of this – breaking out the word Thanksgiving into two parts, “thanks” and “giving”.  Show your customers and/or partners that you care about them and go the extra mile to win their support.

Thoughts: One additional piece that caught my here (as well as in the story above) revolves around giving back to a cause and the brands that take the time to set up some type of fundraising effort for those less fortunate.  Why? …

We’ve done exactly the same thing and set up an online food drive with Feeding America this year.  We’re calling it our #SaveThanksgiving food drive.  If you have the resources, please consider donating to help others who struggle to get by.

#5 – “Black Friday Creep and the Thanksgiving Day Grinch: 2014 Edition” via BrandChannel.com

Premise: The continuing battle of if or when retailers will open their doors on Thanksgiving Day takes another step forward in 2014.  A number of retailers, including Macy’s, have announced extended hours on Thanksgiving vs. prior years.  This has led to an outcry from employees, online petitions, and even protests.

Thoughts: Does opening your doors on Thanksgiving Day really make that much of a difference to your bottom line?  Do you really need to be open on the holiday itself?  As linked in the write-up, this piece in TIME says it could actually harm your brand.

What actually gets me the most perplexed is the example of Macy’s provided in the story.  Macy’s hosts the NYC Thanksgiving Day Parade?!  How are their leaders not in tune with what the holiday is and means to thousands around the country?  It feels counterintuitive to be the sponsor of the holiday parade and continue to open your stores earlier and earlier on the holiday.

Finally, here is one example of an online petition to fight against store hours on the holiday from Radio Shack employees, who has since trimmed their hours but will still open on Thanksgiving.  The team over at TackBackThanksgiving.org has been updating their Facebook page consistently over the past few weeks on their planned events to help #SaveThanksgiving.

Tweet of the Week:

Shameless plug?  Perhaps.  Meaningful?  Absolutely.  Our #SaveThanksgiving efforts continue to roll on Twitter and Pinterest.  Take a look through, follow, share, etc. and help #SaveThanksgiving.

For those that may be able to, we have set up an online food drive through Feeding America for donations.  You can read more about the efforts here or visit the online food drive page directly.

That wraps up this week’s holiday edition of #SundayMusings.  For those of you in the US, please enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday!  (Please do not run out at 9am to go shopping Thanksgiving morning … #SaveThanksgiving!!)