February 26, 2012 § Leave a comment
TV and Twitter tend to coincide. Whether it’s during the Superbowl, the Grammys or the newest episode of The Bachelor people are tweeting while watching. This also means it’s very likely that people are voicing their opinions via Twitter during the presidential debates.
According to TechCrunch, South Carolina tested this theory with their Republican debate by having viewers tweet the candidate’s name and #dodge or #answer in regards to how well the candidate answered his or her questions. Participants were asked to tweet during breaks and after the debate. The results were displayed in a graph showing how well the public believed the candidates answered their debate questions. The only problem? Fox didn’t show the candidates the results in real time because, “influencers and technologists might be overrepresented.”
If you’re not going to show the candidates what people are saying in real time, then what’s the point of creating a real time, online conversation about the debate? If I thought candidates were “dodging” questions, I would want to give them a chance to backpedal and fully answer the question.
So, what if our tweets were broadcast in real time to the candidates during the presidential debate? Obviously there would need to be someone monitoring the chat or chaos would ensue, but that would at least answer some of our key questions. At minimum, the candidates would know when the people watching the debate believe they are not fully answering the questions presented. Real time opinions broadcast to the candidates might even improve the transparency of this year’s presidential election. Food for thought.
Photo Credit: http://techcrunch.com/2012/02/15/flock-the-vote/
February 20, 2012 § Leave a comment
There are so many tips and tools that anyone can use to build their own app. But how many apps do you know of that you downloaded then immediately deleted because, lets be honest, they sucked. And why do they suck?
Unless it’s the technology itself, it probably sucked because it wasn’t created with a plan. When creating an app, you can’t just say, “well, our competitor xyz has one that works for them, we must need one too.” Any app you create needs a strategic plan, just like anything else in advertising, public relations and marketing.
One thing you should be sure of: Do you really need an app? Check out these next few questions to see if you do.
First thing to ask yourself: Why are you building the app? If the app doesn’t solve a problem, then you’re just wasting time and money that would be better suited elsewhere. Your app should identify a problem and solve it. Take Gasbuddy for example: If you don’t know where to find cheap gas Gasbuddy solves the problem by finding the cheapest gas in your area.
Secondly, who is going to use the app? Although it is quite possible that those outside your target demographic may utilize the app, it’s important to have a general idea of the kind of person you’re gearing your app towards.
Where are people going to use the app? If the app is Gasbuddy, people will probably be using it while behind the wheel. Is it a cooking app? If so, it’ll most likely be used in the grocery store and at home in the kitchen. Knowing the “where” can help gauge how simple the app should be to use, and the amount of extras to throw in.
What is the value of the app? Figure out why someone would want to download your app in the first place. Is it for productivity? Travel? Entertainment? Figure out the value, and go from there. If the app isn’t valuable to people, then no one is going to download it, and if no one is downloading your app then you’ve just wasted a lot of time and money creating it.
If you’ve gone through these questions and still think creating an app is a good idea, ask yourself how you can make the app more meaningful. Make people care about it, and make it a part of your target audience’s everyday life. If your app isn’t better than your competitors, then why should people choose to download your app instead of a different one?
Bottom line: If you’re going to build an app, think about it first. Do you really need it? Or would that money be better spent on something else?
February 17, 2012 § Leave a comment
The power of social media strikes again! The pit-bull advocates’ community is in an uproar in response to McDonald’s newest radio spot, which states that petting a stray pit-bull is riskier than eating the company’s new Chicken McBites.
Rachele Lizarraga, a pit-bull advocate and social media coordinator for a pit-bull rescue started the “Pit Bulls against McDonald’s” facebook page. The page, which currently has 13,722 likes with over 2,750 people talking about it, generated a lot of buzz around the insensitive ad. The page features memes created by pit-bull owners, with images of their harmless pooches and slogans railing against McDonald’s and their radio ad. In addition to the facebook page, Lizarraga created an online petition to pull the ad.
According to AdAge, it only took McDonald’s two days to pull the ad and make a public apology, stating, “The ad was insensitive in its mention of pit bulls. We apologize. As soon as we learned of it, we tracked the source and had the local markets pull the ad immediately. We’ll do a better job next time. It’s never our intent to offend anyone with how we communicate news about McDonald’s.
AdAge brings up a great point—why would you associate your chicken nuggets with risk? Even if McDonalds is saying their chicken nuggets are safer then petting a stray pit-bull, isn’t associating your food with risk a poor advertising strategy? With the current general consensus that McDonald’s food is bad for us, why would the company take that perception a step further by associating their food with other “risky” behaviors? That sounds like a pretty half-baked advertising strategy if you ask me, even without the public backlash from pit-bull advocates.
February 10, 2012 § Leave a comment
For those who haven’t heard about Pinterest, it’s a bookmarking site that allows its users to bookmark links and images that they find interesting. Once you bookmark or “pin” an image, it’s then placed on a virtual bulletin board of your choice. Although the social networking site is about 2 years old, its popularity has increased dramatically in the last few months. According to Compete, between Sept 2011 and Dec 2011, Pinterest had a 429% increase in new members. And who is taking advantage of this? Businesses, of course.
As people “pin” that cute dress at Macy’s or the new necklace at Tiffany’s, those retailers are attracting more traffic to their sites. Between July and December, “same-store referral traffic from Pininterst to five specialty apparel retailers rose 389%.” Although it is definitely driving more traffic to retail sites, it still falls below referral numbers for facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Yahoo; search engines still bring the most traffic to retail sites.
Although Pininterest is driving traffic to many sites like Nordstroms, West Elm and ModCloth, that doesn’t mean the site will work well for all businesses. You never want to jump into a social media site without a strategy, and if you need help creating one please refer to my previous post, What is a Social Media Strategy, Anyway, for some step by step tips.