Archive for February, 2010

JetBlue and Whole Foods on Twitter

February 28, 2010 1 comment

For next class we are going to talk about Twitter. We were asked to observe a specific brand on Twitter and via the Dashboard we created a couple of weeks ago. So, for this assignment I chose to follow JetBlue and Whole Foods.

With more than one and a half million followers, Jet Blue is using Twitter to communicate with customers about travel problems for example this weekend the conversation was mainly about weather cancellations and press releases announcements to give people the information they needed.

Moreover, JetBlue customers are engaged with the brand and want to help JetBlue deliver a better product for them. As I joined the conversation, I could see people knew they were being listened, helped and talked through specific questions or issues.

On the other hand Whole Foods, the largest retailer of natural and organic food in the US, has nearly one million eight thousand followers on Twitter. Whole Foods has official tweeters throughout its organization depending on their specialty. It manages localized information tailored to individual stores or cities. It also uses its account for news, updates, special events and customer feedback.

Topical Tweets

@WFMCheese – global cheese specialist, Cathy Strange.

@WFMWineGuys – wine & beer experts, Doug & Geof.

@WholeRecipes – automated recipe feed.

Whole Foods has a Facebook fan page and a blog that uses to promote its editorial content. It uses these media to expand what it is posted on Twitter like longer posts, photos, and videos. It also has an iPhone app which is called Whole Foods Market Recipe which is a recipe application. It also has a store locator. After finding the nearest store, it takes you out to the page for that store. From there, that page links out to the Facebook account and the Twitter account as well.

With almost 10,000 tweets in two days, we can say that Whole Foods’ customers are responding and I believe that the reason of its success is the content they provide to their followers.


Twitter Case Study: Tasti D-lite

February 27, 2010 Leave a comment

As many brands that are not sure how Twitter actually works and how to use it to benefit their businesses, they first start by analyzing what people are saying about their products, brands and competitors. This was the case of Tasti D-lite, the popular frozen chain from New York. After having some idea of what was going on, BJ Emerson, director of technology information, decided to jump into the conversation and participate. Emerson hoped to “engage customers on their terms, be relevant and have fun.” Also, he advised “a three “m” approach to getting started on Twitter – monitor, then mingle, then measure.”
Twitter allows Tasti D-lite to interact with their customers on their terms, thus creating relationships and also generating customer insights that might ultimately lead to sales. In fact, in addition to create relationships and loyal customers, companies want to translate those accomplishments into more sales, continue to grow and be ahead of their competitors.

Tasti D-lite Twitter campaigns

Tasti D-lite launched a rewards program called TastiRewards in which consumers can get extra rewards by connecting their accounts to Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare. By sharing their Tasti D-lite experience with friends and followers, they can earn extra rewards for a free Tasti D-Lite dessert.


Tasti D-lite often tweets Twitter-exclusive coupons for customers to print out and redeem at their favorite tasti location. They are also thinking to introduce paperless mobile coupon options and Twitter accounts for individual stores.

This video revealed the location of a hidden $50 TreatCard. This announcement was promoted on Twitter and the winner found the card within 7 minutes of posting the link to the video.

I think the key here is to not publish sales messaging, quite the opposite it is to think creatively about how you can add value for your followers.

Viral video marketing

February 20, 2010 2 comments

Nowadays, companies are starting to use viral video marketing more often to promote their brands. Many of them are using videos to attract their audiences and to get their message out because people are willing to embrace creative approaches on the social video Web. 

According to Mashable  some of “The top 10 Most Innovative Viral Video Ads of 2009” are:

1. Advertiser: Inspired Bicycles

2. Advertiser: Schweppes, “Signs”

3. Advertiser: Volkswagen, “Piano Stairs”

4. Advertiser: Boone Oakley,

5. Advertiser: Samsung, YouTube HD Camera Trick Challenge

The use of video is an effective medium for marketing because of its engagement potential. I believe that the videos shown above worked mainly because of their content, and also it is important that companies know their target audience and know how to tell a story.

The viral video phenomenon

February 19, 2010 Leave a comment

Let’s start with a brief definition of what a “viral video” is.  A viral video is a video that becomes popular when people start sharing it through the Internet, usually using social media sites such as YouTube, Facebook, MySpace, Digg, among others.

Viral videos not only provide important information about a brand or a product/service but they also give much humor to people. Businesses can leverage on this to entertain, capture the desired audience, and ultimately generate exponential views and brad engagement. Furthermore, in this economy marketers are seeking new methods to reach audiences in the most cost-effective approach.  So viral video is an effective marketing technique companies should consider.

What makes a video go viral?

According to Alex Lee, the most important thing is the video itself. You have to ask yourself: Is this video any good? Would you send it to your friends? It has to be some very compelling content to entice their interest and to encourage viewers to share it. Then comes the PR strategy that could utilize blog posts, press releases, Twitter links and Facebook updates to try to spread the word and up the viewing counts.

A couple of examples of “viral videos” that I liked.

“Let it shine” by Honda

JK Wedding Entrance Dance

A company could have an incredible video and it could “go viral” without a PR strategy. On the other hand, a company could have the best PR tactics but without enticing content the PR strategy would not work at all.

Target’s Facebook Campaign

February 15, 2010 1 comment

Target, the American retailing company already gives 5% of its income which is over $ 3 million each week to support charities in the US since 1946. Following one of the main aspects of its mission, Community Giving, Target developed the “Bullseye Gives” Facebook campaign. Target asked people to visit, vote and decide how ten national charities would receive a portion of the $ 3 million. So Facebook users had the option to select among ten charities they would like to see funds allocated to. 

According to inner architect blog, “Target’s latest social media campaign utilized Facebook to crowdsource, build their brand, create cause marketing exposure, engage with their audience, and mold their public perception one Facebook fan at a time.” 

With this campaign Target gained brand recognition, engaged with its audience and got new followers. Part of Target’s mission is to give back to the community and with this campaign they improve their image and gave their audience the option to participate by letting them choose and vote for their favorite charity. When a person voted for a charity the branded message with Target’s logo appeared on his/her wall and this gave the possibility that his/her friends became fans of the Target Facebook page. Moreover, it was a participatory,  informative campaign with a humanitarian message focused on the charities and not on Target’s actions. Nevertheless, Target benefited the brand by adding new fans who are now part Target’s social network.


Become a fan

February 14, 2010 1 comment

Nowadays, Facebook is becoming mainstream. Almost everyone has a Facebook page even my mom has one. And companies are not the exception either. Companies are seeing Facebook as a way to communicate, engage with its audience and ultimatly driving sales.
Last year Razorfish, a digital marketing company, developed its third annual FEED survey of 1,000 “connected consumers”. The survey focused on online consumer behavior. Some of the results: “40% of respondents “friended brands on Facebook “, while 25% of respondents said they follow brands on Twitter. They also found that consumers follow brands on Twitter and Facebook mainly for deals and promotions. “On Facebook or MySpace, 37% said that access to exclusive deals or offers was their main reason for friending brands.”

Furthermore, 40% of respondents have “friended” a brand on Facebook. Taking into account these statistics it is important that companies realize the role that Facebook is playing nowadays and that Facebook is not only for young people to network it is a way to engage consumers and build communities. According to these results if a company wants brand recognition on the Web, there is a good possibility that Facebook is the right place to be.



I am a fan of a couple of products through my Facebook page. Often I find people being reluctant to become a fan. Either they have to be friends of someone that works for the company or they are extremly loyal to that brand/product.  At the end of the day people do not have time to follow lots of brands. Do we?

Are you a fan?



Social media strategy: IKEA

February 8, 2010 1 comment

We hear a lot how companies are embracing social media to communicate and engage with their costumers. As I was looking for a brand that uses social media I found IKEA.

IKEA has developed several channels to communicate with customers online and build its brand:

  • Live support chat: a customer support chat is available 24 hours through the website within the US.
  • Online catalog: the PDF document allows people to circle items and zoom in to get a better view.  Also, readers can send and print specific pages to themselves or friends.
  • Virtual planner: people can download a program to their desktops and plan an entire room virtually from bedrooms to kitchens and even offices.
  • Facebook: IKEA has a Facebook page that is frequently updated with photos from IKEA and fans.
  • Website: IKEA fans have created, a site that is not affiliated with IKEA in any way. The website was created to give more IKEA information than is available on the internet. Ikeafans has also an account on Twitter.

When IKEA opened a new store in Malmo, Sweden they announced it via Facebook. They decided to create an account for the store manager at the Malmo store. Over a two-week period, employees from IKEA started to upload showroom images to his Facebook photo album. People had the opportunity to use the “tagging” feature to locate items in the pictures and put their name on it. The first person to tag an object got to take it home. This campaign genereated buzz through out Facebook and users started including links and images in their own profiles and across news feeds. IKEA managed to promote its new store via its customers who were eager to spread the word.

This video describes the campaign in detail: