4 Social Media Platforms to Watch in 2012

When the Pinterest phenomenon began, I was personally caught off guard. Even with all the marketing blogs I follow, I did not hear of the new popular social media platform. After reading and writing about the new addicting platform, I became curious about what else could be on the horizon.

Everyday new social media platforms are created, and the creators believe it will be the next “Big Thing”. However, not every idea can be the next Facebook or Pinterest. I do not think I will be able to predict the next craze, but there are four social media platforms that I think look promising and very interesting.

Get Glue

GetGlue is a social network that allows users to check-in to and share what they are watching, listening to, and reading. By checking into TV shows or movies, users GetGue Logocan receive recommendations, exclusive stickers, discounts, and other rewards. There are already over two million users signed-up for this new platform.

While I understand the check-ins, recommendations, and discounts, I do not understand the stickers. Users who earn stickers can have them mailed to them. Though, I do not know how many users actually want physical stickers. I am curious to see how this platform will grow, whether or not it will stay independent, or if it will become part of a bigger platform like Facebook.


Kickstarter is the world’s largest funding platform for creative projects. Users all over the worldKickStarter Logo can pledge money to music, film, art, technology, design, food, and publishing projects. In order to fund a project, users must reach their goal amount by a set date. For those who pledge money, funds are not withdrawn until the project reaches its target amount by the set date. Those looking to invest in a project can search by project type and location. Therefore, you can help locals trying to get a project going. Each project includes a description and details on what donors will receive in return for pledging money.

An example of a local New Orleans project that was successfully funded through KickStarter was the New Orleans Film Society presents “Movies to Geaux” project. Those who pledged money received great things in return. If a donor pledged $20 or more, they received a New Orleans Film Festival t-shirt and a ‘thank you’ on the NOFS website. The benefit a donor receives depends on how much they pledge. For this project, if a donor pledge $55 or more they received a new Moviegoer membership and a ‘thank you’ on the NOFS website.


Storenvy is a social marketplace for indie sellers. I would compare this platform to the other popular online marketplace Etsy. Store Envy LogoOn the website, it state that “Storenvy is doing to e-commerce what Tumblr has done for blogging”.

Storenvy has several advantages that other free e-commerce sites, such as Etsy or EBay, do not offer. Some of the Storenvy features for sellers are:

  • An individual URL that you can use on business cards and other business items. (example –  http://mystore.storenvy.com)
  • Customizable store layouts that are easy to use and can be altered with or without CSS & HTML knowledge.
  • A store profile on the Storenvy marketplace, which displays products in search results.
  • Allows customers to follow your store.
  • Store promotions with a Facebook “Like” button and postings of new products to your Facebook wall automatically.
  • Store admin panel to track orders, inventory, and traffic statistics. As well as, the ability to set up discount codes, add up to 5 images for every product (you can add unlimited products), and manage your SSL certificate and payments.

Storenvy also gives shoppers a social experience:

  • Letting them find out who is following their favorite stores.
  • Comment on and join conversations about products.
  • Like the store on Facebook.


Tout is a video sharing platform that allows users to share 15-second video status updates in real time across many different platforms. Videos can be shared on Tout.com,Tout Logo Twitter, Facebook, SMS, and sent to email contacts. This platform is already popular with celebrities and news outlets, such as USA Today, ESPN, and CBS.

Users can also follow other users to get real time updates on new video status updates and see who else follows them. Most videos are classified by a hashtag to make searching and sharing easier. If a user likes a video, they can “ReTout” it. ReTouting is the same as retweeting a tweet to followers. To create a more social atmosphere, users can reply to (comment) on videos to join conversations with other users watching the same video.

9 Social Media Marketing Tips From the Pros

The Social Media Examiner recently posted a great article about the 9 best Social Media Marketing Tips:

  1. Draw attention to your custom tabs in the new Faccbook timeline – they share great applications to create custom tabs, such as: Lujure and ShortStack.
  2. Add the LinkedIn company follow button to your site
  3. Use Bufferapp to manage your social media marketing – I really like the Buffer app for managing your Twitter account because it spaces out the tweets nicely, but I did have trouble using it for Facebook because the share option did not appear in my posts.
  4. Get YouTube subscribers just by asking
  5. Create a Facebook plan you can stick with – don’t plan to post 5 times a day if you can’t keep up with it. It is better to post once every day than a bunch every 4 days.
  6. Be consistent
  7. Prepare now for tough ROI questions
  8. Focus on dollars
  9. Fix the appearance of your links on Facebook – links with pictures have a higher share rate than those without!

This is a great article with great recommendations from the pros that use these tools everyday. Check it out! 9 Social Media Marketing Tips From the Pros | Social Media Examiner.

Hunger Games Social Media Strategy Breakdown

The promotion of the upcoming Hunger Games movie is a great example of a multidimensional online campaign incorporating an interactive website and social media. Fans are not located on just one social media platform, so it is important to develop a multi-platform strategy. The strategy should also include ways to drive traffic across platforms and ultimately to the main website. The online promotion of the Hunger Games movie has successfully integrated multiple platforms, driven traffic across platforms and to the website, built a community, and created an on-going conversation about the movie. Below is a breakdown of the four social media platforms incorporated, how each was used, and how they connect to each other.


A Facebook page has been created for each of the 12 fictional districts of Panem. Each page includes the following:

  • Information on the tributes selected from each district
  • Possible opening ceremony costume designs for the tributes
  • Information on the district

Check out the District 12 Facebook page here!


An online Capitol fashion and culture magazine was created using the social media platform Tumblr. The online magazine is called Capitol Couture and is meant to be a realistic representation of what a Capitol fashion and culture magazine would be. It includes pictures of the extravagant shoes, clothes, and hairstyles that would be all the rage in the Capitol. Hunger Games Tumblr Capitol CoutureArticles about different characters such as Effie Trinket, Cinna, and President Snow, as well as articles predicting what the tributes will be wearing in the opening ceremony cover the pages of the site. The writing has both a superficial and light-hearted tone, just as you would expect from a fashion news source in the Capitol of Panem. As expected, all the articles are pro-Capitol and make sure to portray life in the Capitol as fabulous. All the authors write as if they are actual Capitol citizens, and as if the games have not yet happened. There are even articles on how to throw a “capitol style” party to watch the opening ceremony. The content writing is perfect at creating a realistic world. This is exactly what one would expect to find Katniss’ prep team, Octavia, Venia, and Flavius, to be reading as they wait for the tributes to arrive in the Capitol. As this is a multidimensional social media strategy, the Capitol.PN Twitter feed has been incorporated into the page to drive cross platform traffic.


Twitter campaign is probably the most complex component of the social media strategy. Twelve Twitter users have been assigned as the twelve district recruiters and tweet daily about Hunger Game topics and news. Twitter fans can follow each of the twelve district representatives, as well as the main District Discussion RatesCapitol account @TheCapitolPN.

The list of district representatives can be found here.

Hashtags have also been assigned to help fans follow the Hunger Games on twitter:

  • #District1PN (corresponding hashtags for each district)
  • #HungerGames12
  • #HungerGames24 (Tweets including this hashtag are displayed in a “Panem Citizens Discussion” feed on the Capitol.PN Network website)
  • #LookYourBest

Twitter followers can also check out the Capitol.PN Network website to see a chart depicting the current discussion rate of each district. The discussion rate is based on the usage of each districts’ hashtag (example: #District12PN). I think that this strategy is more complex than that of the other platforms because there are 13 Twitter handles and multiple hashtags to monitor, in addition to it being a 24/7 real time feed.


There are two official YouTube Sub-Channels for the Hunger Games: Capitol TV Productions and the District Citizens Reel. Capitol TV Productions includes all the official videos of the movie, including the official trailers and scenes. The page even states, “These videos have been officHunger Games YouTube Channel CapitolTVially sanctioned by the Capitol for the consumption of District citizens”. The District Citizens Reel includes only user-created videos that are related to the Hunger Games and include the tag “CapitolTV”. The District Citizens Reel gives the illusion that the videos were created and uploaded by the citizens in the twelve districts of Panem. They have created a great balance between the Official/Propaganda tone of the Capitol channel and the authenticity of the Districts channel. Each channel also connects users to the each of the twelve district Facebook pages and the Capitol.pn Network website. Keeping with the basic purpose of social media, to create a conversation, a question is included below the videos for users to comment on. I really like the idea of posing a question instead of just asking for comments. Sometimes it is difficult to decide what to include in a comment, but a question opens up the conversation.

Hunger Games Website Strategy

Like many others, I have read and fallen in love with the Hunger Games trilogy. Upon finishing the last book, and with the knowledge of the upcoming movie, I decided to check out the movie’s website to watch the trailer. As I dug deeper, I found much more than just a website full of information about a movie. I found a multidimensional online campaign incorporating an interactive website and social media. The Hunger Games online marketing campaign has not only promoted the movie; it has created a world in which it feels like the country of Panem actually exists. In this post, I want to break down the official Hunger Games websites that serve as the core of their online marketing strategy.

Hunger Games Website Design & Strategy

As with other movies, a general Hunger Games movie website was created that features the movie trailer, photos, posts, countdown, and more.


Digging deeper into the site, I noticed that they had created an online world around the idea of a real country called Panem. A separate site connected to the main Hunger Games movie website called the Capitol.PN network was created.


Hunger Games Capitol Network Site

Upon entering the Capitol Network Hunger Games website, I noticed that I did not recognize the top-level domain. My first thought was “what in the world is .pn?” After doing a quick Google search, I discovered the top-level domain.pn stands for the Pitcairn Islands. This domain is only used in a hand full of other URLs, including ESPN and Groupon.

So why was this uncommon domain picked? It actually seems like a VERY smart choice. They are creating a world in which it seems that this website is the official website of the Hunger Games (not the book but the actual games) created by the Capitol of Panem. This may seem like a very miniscule change, but this was actually a highly significant decision because the URL is on all promotional materials, both online and offline.

Upon entering the Capital.PN Network, users must register as citizens of Panem. Registration can be completed by using your Facebook or Twitter account. After registering, each “citizen” is assigned to a district (this will be pivotal to the social media strategy).

Sections within the Capitol Network site include

  • Opening Ceremonies – This section includes information on how to watch the live broadcast of the red carpet premier.
  • Reserve seats – Where you can purchase tickets to the movie.
  • District Tributes– where you can view the profile of each tribute along, which includes specific QR code for more information. This information would be beneficial in Panem for betting purposes. A live feed of Capitol updates is also located in this section.
  • Capitol TV – This section features only the official trailers for the movie, or in relation to the book, these are the Capitol sanctioned videos.

Here is the Citizen of Panem ID card I was issued during registration:

It is the small details make this online marketing strategy that make it intriguing. For Example:

  • On the Reserve Seats page, there are several mentions  “Attendance is Mandatory”
  • The Capitol Updates feed on the District Tributes page makes sure to mention “Your Trusted Source for News”
  • The Capitol TV page refers to the trailers as Official Capitol TV Productions.

Though small, each of these things helps to create a more real and concrete world.

Both the design and layout of the site do an exceptionally good job of portraying the culture and control of the Capitol. Almost the entire site is designed using shades of gray, which may represent the cold control the Capitol holds over the districts. The only other color included in the design is gold, which may represent the power and importance of the Capitol. The style of the layout is highly formal and technical; it reminds me of what I imagine a website that a secret organization used would look like. I think that the design and layout of the Capitol.PN Network site does a perfect job of portraying the control and unemotional rule of the Capitol over the fictional country of Panem.

Check out my other post just about the use of social media for the promotion of the Hunger Games movie. I breakdown how using multiple platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Youtube) helped to drive site traffic, build a community around the movie, and sustain a conversation. Hunger Games Social Media Strategy Breakdown

What do you think of the Hunger Games website?

Check out my other  information on website strategy and design:

Banana Republic In Flight Fashion Show

Banana Republic is doing an amazing job of promoting their new Mad Men collection. Their newest promotional effort was spontaneous, innovative, and buzz worthy.

During a Virgin America flight from New York to Los Angeles, Banana Republic held a spontaneous fashion show right in the middle of the airplane. Using the aisle as the runway, they featured the new styles from their Mad Men collection for both men and women. They combined the video of the event with the tagline “Add a little glamour to your flying” and posted it YouTube, where it became a viral sensation. This event was perfect, down to the fact that they coordinated having five popular bloggers on the flight. The bloggers were under the assumption that they were attending a fashion show for the Mad Men collection in Los Angeles and were caught by surprise as well.

Customers no longer respond to traditional advertising and marketing efforts. It is more important now than ever to find a way to create buzz about your brand and shock your customers. Make Them Remember Your Brand!

Growing Offline Business Using Online Tools

Social media has several purposes:

  1. Creating Conversations
  2. Building Brand Awareness
  3. Build a Community
  4. Educate
  5. Reach New Audiences
  6. Understand Your Current Audience
  7. Create a More Personal Brand
  8. Interact Directly with Customers
  9. Display Credibility
  10. Promote Your Company

The list could go on and on, on why social media is beneficial to your brand. With any marketing attempt, there must be a goal (such as selling more of a products). Online marketing efforts are very successful at creating online “followers” into offline customers, including:

  • social media
  • online ads
  • geographic based platforms

How Online Marketing Drives Offline Success Infographic

The infographic below from KISSmetrics breaks down how influential online marketing is for increasing sales and reaching conversion rate goals. Here are a few of the facts that stood out:

  • 53% of people on Twitter suggest companies and or products in their tweets with 48% delivering on their intention to buy
  • 75% of small businesses have a company page on a social networking site
  • 20% of searches on Google are location specific (are you using the right keywords for your SEO? Check out my blog on choosing the right keywords to increase your Google rankings here)
  • On average, 1155 people purchase a group deal on Groupon DAILY
  • The best banner ad size and location are 300×250 and the top right corner

How Online Marketing Drives Offline Success


Navigating the New Company Facebook Timeline Pages

The internet has been buzzing this week about company (fan) pages on Facebook switching to the timeline format.

So, you have built your company’s social media strategy based on how people find and share information using the old page format, but do you really need to change how you use Facebook just because the page looks different? Very simple answer….YES!

Whole New Layout

The first (and most obvious) note is that the whole layout of the page has changed. The top of the page is now occupied by your profile picture and a cover picture. Do not under-estimate the power of the cover photo. While you can use your company logo for your profile picture, I recommend using a unique photo that represents the company culture for the cover photo. This will help create more of a personal connection with customers.

The majority of the page is composed of two columns, which represent a passage of time for your company. My favorite feature of the timeline page layout is that you can mark posts as “Company Milestones” and create an interactive real-time timeline of your company’s history: from the day it was founded to today. The timeline of company milestones will also help your customers understand and relate to your company, by understanding where it came from and will be going in the future.

Goodbye Landing Pages

There is one feature that am not a big fan of (and it may take some getting used to), it is that you can no longer set a default landing page. Since the tab pages are gone, (the ones that used to be listed under the profile picture) you are not able to choose what content visitors see first when they go to your page. For example on McDonald’s page, (still in the old format) they could direct all visitors to the “Latest” page first.  Where a new product would be featured, instead of to the default “wall” page. See example below:McDonalds Facebook Page

In comparison, the Wendy’s new timeline page always features the top two messages. Because of this change, it will be more pertinent than ever to monitor what the top posts are, as they are the first thing visitors will see (other than the cover photo). See image below. There is a great feature that can help with this. It is the “pin”feature, which allows you to “pin” a post, or mark it is important, so that it will appear at the top of your timeline.

Wendy's Facebook Page Timeline Format

Pick Your Top Three

While you can not direct visitors to a particular landing page, the tab pages and application pages will still exist. But know that they will be more difficult access. As you can see above in the Wendy’s timeline, links to the tab pages (photos, likes, WendyThreads, Wear the beef) are now shown in between the cover photo and the timeline. But, instead of listing all the different pages, only the 4 pages can be featured at one time. Also, the photo link/feature can not be removed so you can only change out the other three items. It will be more important than ever to understand what your page visitors value most in order to promote the correct pages and apps.

Changing the Conversation

In the past, if a customer wanted to communicate with a company over Facebook they would have to leave a comment on a post (or post a message on the wall if it was allowed). But now, customers can send direct messages to a company.

I really like this feature because I don’t think everyone is always comfortable stating their opinion in a public arena (especially when their name is on it) and they often prefer more personal interactions with companies (aka one of the purposes of social media). I also like this feature because it may decrease possible negative comments from appearing on the public timeline.

What do you think?

This is a big change, which will take some navigating. It will be a learning time for marketers and companies alike. Please leave a comment below letting me know what you think about the new timeline format for company pages and what your favorite ones are so far. I personally really like the New York Times page (below). They use a great personal cover photo and their timeline goes all the way back to the 1850’s!!! New York Times Facebook Timeline Page

Social Media Marketing By the Numbers

Via Scoop.itBeing Your Brand

You can not argue with the cold hard numbers on the power of social media marketing (well you could, but it would be a losing battle). This infographic from Mashable shows the power of social media marketing in regards to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and location based services (such as FourSquare) strictly through numbers.

So what can a strong social media campaign do for your brand? Well for Old Spice, one month after they launched their “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” social media campaign they saw HUGE jumps in their followers/fans:

  • 60% increase in Facebook Fans (approx. 650,000 new fans)
  • 2700% increase in Twitter followers
  • Doubled YouTube subscribers

I would definitely classify the Old Spice campaign as more than successful!

In addition, this infographic breaks down the success of the Katy Perry Purr, EA Games Bulletstorm, Free the Children, Nie Widen Bohren, and Under Armour social media campaigns. How can you deny the power of social media when there are over 4 billion “things” shared on Facebook each day and almost 400 million Foursquare check ins during 2010 alone.
Via pinterest.com