Teenagers do stupid things sometimes. This is not a revolutionary thing to say, and it is not unique to today’s teens. It’s just a fact of life. The teenage years are a time to find boundaries by pushing them, and that often involves saying or doing something ridiculous. As a mom, I’m all too familiar with this fact.
Think about the dumbest thing you did in your teenage years. Remember that time your friends convinced you to break the rules, or when raging hormones drove you to say something uncharacteristically offensive. What if your current bosses, clients, friends, and family could see it all?
In a world where social media is king, that’s exactly the type of future today’s kids face. Every thought becomes a tweet. Every dumb action becomes a video on YouTube. And it all stays in the public record forever.
Sure, you can press the delete button, but it is nearly impossible to truly erase anything from the Internet. Consider this: the Library of Congress records of every single tweet that is sent, even the ones that are deleted. Anyone interested in reading any of the hundreds of billions of tweets can easily access them.
That’s just one of the many ways what we post online stays public forever. Screenshots, cache copies, and search engines designed specifically to find deleted posts all ensure that no online content ever truly disappears. So what does that mean for today’s youth?
In short, it means that everything they do has the potential to follow them around for the rest of their lives. Although they may change, grow, and mature as they transition into adulthood, prospective employers will be able to judge them based on who they were as teens. This issue has already caused trouble for many young people.
A recent survey found that 1 in 10 young people were rejected for a job because of something they posted on social media. As these communication platforms become more pervasive and easily accessible, it’s reasonable to expect that these numbers may continue to rise. This is an alarming thought to any parent.
What teens post online could also affect their college prospects. Scott Fitch, the basketball coach at Fairport High School, realized this about three years ago when one of his players lost the chance at a college scholarship. When the concerned coach asked why, he was told that one of the student’s tweets did not represent the university.
The tweet in question was not criminal or drug-related in any way. It was just a teen using foul language and not thinking before posting. Since then, Fitch has dedicated himself to teaching students and parents about social media. As Brandon Chambers, an assistant men’s basketball coach at Marymount (Virginia) University, wisely tweeted, “Never let a 140 character tweet cost you a $140,000 scholarship.”
So what can parents do to help their children create smart social media habits? Education is the key to success here. First, teach yourself everything you can about social media. Know which platforms your children are using, and understand how each of them work.
Then, educate your children about the dangers of social media. Teach them to value privacy. Help them understand that how they present themselves today will affect who they become. Most importantly, make it an ongoing conversation.
There is no doubt that social media is changing the way children and teens will experience the world. In many ways, it can be daunting for parents to raise kids in such an environment. However, with knowledge and open communication, we can all navigate these choppy waters and sail into a bright future.
byLeslie Duncan Blake | posted March 4, 2015 | in Social Media
Although the benefits of social media marketing are widely understood, many business owners and executives are understandably overwhelmed by the idea. There seems to be a new social media app popping up every week. Each one has its own set of rules, written or not. It’s easy to find yourself wondering how you can find time in your busy schedule to update each platform regularly. However, there’s no reason to fret.
Not every business needs to use every social media site. For example, someone who sells handmade items might use Pinterest and Facebook, but skip on Twitter and LinkedIn. On the other hand, a company that focuses on business-to-business marketing might focus on LinkedIn and leave Pinterest alone. To help you decide which social media outlets are right for your business, we’ve broken down a few of the big ones:
This is the big kahuna, the bad mamma-jamma, the King Kong of social media. After all, 30 million small business owners have Facebook pages. While the market is saturated, your competitors are almost certainly on Facebook.
Consumers expect to find any business they want to on Facebook. For this reason, it is recommended that most businesses invest resources into creating and maintaining a page.
When you create a Facebook fan page, you are able to see the exact demographics of the page’s fans. You know their locations, ages and genders. You also see when they are online, how your fans compare to Facebook overall, and many other incredible insights. This allows you to tailor posts to the people who like your page.
Twitter gets its quirky name from a word meaning, “a short, inconsequential burst of information.” With its 140-character limit, the social media outlet has lived up to that definition. Twitter is the best way to get easily digestible tidbits of information directly to consumers.
Due to its direct and savvy style, Twitter has become a must-have for celebrities and brands that wish to foster a deeper connection with their fans. When used correctly, Twitter will allow a brand’s followers to feel as though they have direct access to the brand. This gives followers a sense of loyalty that is invaluable to your business.
288 million people around the world use Twitter at least once per month. From those accounts, 500 million Tweets are sent each day. As far as ages go, Twitter is more spread out than many people assume. Although 55% of people with active accounts are under 50 years of age, more than 30 million people are between 50 and 64 years. 80% of people who use Twitter do so on their mobile device. This is important to keep in mind when posting links.
It’s all about the images with this Facebook-owned platform. While it’s known for hosting pictures of food, Instagram has become so much more. You can find memes, inspirational quotes, tips and recipes right alongside the copious amount of selfies. It’s particularly great for any company that produces something tangible and visually compelling.
Instagram has about 200 million active users, half of which access the app at least once per day. This huge percentage of daily users shows the dedication Instagram fans have for their beloved social media platform. The age demographic for Instagram is quite young, with 74 million users between 18 and 29 years of age.
Brands do very well on Instagram. The top 50 brands have an average of 1.5 million followers each. The brand with the most followers is The Ellen Show, which adds nearly 300,000 followers each month. The combination of humor and community interaction is likely what makes this account so successful.
Pinterest is a small, but mighty force in the social media world. From home improvement and crafting, to fitness and fashion, users can search for posts by topics. Then, users pin posts to their own boards to look at later. One user may have plenty of boards – one for wedding planning, one for healthy recipes, one for unhealthy recipes, and another for DIY crafts. The possibilities are endless.
Pinterest is overwhelmingly female, with most of its 70 million users identifying as such. Most of the site’s users are parents, too. Interestingly, 28% of users make over $100,000 per year. Clearly, Pinterest has demographics that can be valuable to many brands. While, yes, 70 million users is small potatoes compared to some of the others on this list, don’t write off Pinterest just yet.
If you are an online retailer or blogger whose target demographic is women under 50, it’s worth considering. For businesses on Pinterest, referral traffic percentages are on the rise. That means more users are going from the Pinterest page to the website than ever before.
LinkedIn means business. It allows users to have an online resume, search for jobs, and network with colleagues. It is often underutilized by businesses looking to use social media to drive sales. Due to its business-oriented nature, this social platform is best used for B2B marketing.
LinkedIn has the oldest and most wealthy users. Over one-third of the 300 million LinkedIn users are over the age of 50. Also, over 60% of users make at least $75,000 per year. If this sounds like your demographic, do not pass on LinkedIn.
In order to make the best decision possible, you’ll need a firm grasp on what each social platform is about. Then, analyze the demographics and compare them to your target audience. If you need help with social media marketing or any other branding efforts, feel free to contact Duncan/Day Advertising. As a full-service agency, we are more than willing to assist you in your efforts.
Every year, millions of Americans tune in to watch the glitz, glamour and gold of the Oscars. They watch stars draped in luxurious gowns parade down the red carpet. They listen to acceptance speeches, laugh with the host, and squeal at the sight of the hottest new actors. However, what the audience doesn’t see is the boatloads of cash being spent by advertisers and moviemakers to create this special night.
Because live events often escape the stronghold of digital recording services like TiVo, they make the perfect hosts for big time advertisements. Some of the largest companies in the world spend millions of dollars to grab 30 seconds of screen time that will not get the fast-forward treatment. In fact, for the 2015 Oscars, a 30-second commercial spot cost $1.95 million. For a 3-hour telecast, that should put about $100 million into ABC’s pockets. This number marks an estimated 8% increase over the previous year.
Armed with an engaging commercial, advertisers can be sure that is a solid investment. With live, widely watched television events like the Oscars, social media buzz is all but guaranteed. Brands that make funny, intelligent, and entertaining ads know that they can get in on this buzz. If it’s good enough, the commercial will even go viral. That’s as good as Oscar gold.
Advertisers aren’t the only people making it rain at the Academy Awards. Movie studios spend millions of dollars vying for a Best Picture win. Part of this expense is mailing DVD screeners to each of the thousands of academy members. When they add marketing materials, pay for everyone involved in the campaign, and other expenses, winning Best Picture can cost a pretty penny.
As we see with Oscar advertising, Best Picture campaigns can be well worth the investment. Best Picture winners can expect to see around a 15% increase in sales after the big night. That may not seem like much, but when you consider the scale of movie budgets, that can mean up to $15 million.
Big bucks and Hollywood are inextricably linked. Never is that more clear than when you look at the money behind the little gold statue. As it turns out, all that glitters really is gold.
Let this sink in for a moment: before cell phones, we never had to ask where anyone was. If we were talking to someone, we knew the answer to that question. It’s obvious that rapidly evolving technology has fundamentally changed the way we communicate with one another. Like everything else, press releases have adjusted to accommodate new technology.
A bygone era
Before the widespread use of the Internet, press releases were simply text documents that were faxed to media outlets. If the information was interesting enough, it got a mention in the next day’s paper or on the nightly news. This was an elegantly simple process compared to what the public relations world faces today.
Now, many young people in the work force haven’t ever successfully used a fax machine. Instead, press releases are distributed via email, Facebook, Twitter, and company blogs. This means that news outlets and consumers are receiving press releases at the same time.
The new face of press releases
Instead of cutting out the middleman, marketing professionals have invited consumers to the party. Essentially, the most loyal consumers can act as media outlets as well. They read the press release, like it, and share it with their social network. The number of potential mouthpieces for the company has grown exponentially and nobody has to listen to those annoying fax machine noises. Winning!
To further complicated things, press releases now consist of much more than text. Because it is all web-based, it has become the norm to include photos, videos and links with the release. This makes the content more engaging and gives reporters a starting point for their research.
Of course, it can’t be all sunshine and roses. There are some unique challenges that companies may face when distributing press releases. For example, media outlets have come to expect quicker, more engaging content. While the fax machine was annoying at times, text was easy enough to write. Now, they expect professional graphics, videos and websites.
Not every company has the resources to staff an entire department just for producing this content. Luckily, Duncan/Day is here to help. If you need a hand in navigating the world of press releases, give us a call.
We saw a lot of brilliant marketing campaigns in 2014, but these were some of the ones that stood out to us as members of the industry in their scope and influence.
Over the last year, the internet and social media continued to play increasingly larger roles in driving these campaigns. We saw the importance of sparking conversation and encouraging viewer engagement to promote a product, service, or cause. These factors will continue to change the face of advertising in the coming year and beyond.
1. The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge
You know what’s up, and you might have even tackled the Ice Bucket Challenge yourself.
This campaign picked up extra momentum with each video and comment shared on social media, and was an international phenomenon by the time it reached several high-profile celebrities and tastemakers. Over just a few months, the Ice Bucket Challenge managed to raise over $100 million and brought awareness to a relatively obscure disease.
Great marketing for a great cause – what more could you ask for?
2. Share a Coke
This was simple and brilliant: Coca-Cola started printing names on their products that you could either pick up for a friend or drink for yourself. Some of the names were ridiculous (I’m still not sure if “Share a Coke with Sharkeisha” was a photoshop or not) but that only added to the viral nature of this campaign.
I don’t even drink soda and I picked up a couple of bottles for friends that do, simply because they had their names on it. Philosopher Slavoj Žižek might say something about the ideologies behind the commoditization of love and friendship, but hey: free coke.
Pretty soon, you’re bringing a 12-pack to a party that says “DUDE” and “GRILLMASTER” on it and bam, you’re the most popular guy there. Cue montage: neon shutter shades, Hawaiian shirts, Lil Jon taking over the aux cable… This campaign turned down for nothing.
3. Taylor Swift
Musicians tried really hard to market their albums in 2014: Nipsey Hussle sold his mixtape for $100. Thom Yorke of Radiohead released his new work independently on BitTorrent. Wu-Tang did… a bunch of things, and U2 chose the “blunt force” approach and just forced its album onto your iTunes. But none of these campaigns were as successful as the brand of Taylor Swift, whose latest release 1989 is basically the best selling album of the last decade.
How’d she manage to sell so well in the post-CD age? There are a ton of lessons here for us in her monster of an marketing campaign, stuff that we can all learn from moving forward into the new year:
Swift has rebranded to stay relevant with her fans. Her evolution from pop-country to straight pop is basically the culmination of the 80’s/90’s worship that’s been boiling over the past couple of years across all music genres. She’s also increasing her credibility as an artist by aligning herself with more “serious” musicians like Lorde and Kendrick Lamar, and even started becoming more outspoken about feminist causes.
Swift has a massive social media presence across multiple platforms. Her Tumblr and Instagram are particular highlights; each picture is carefully crafted to blur the lines between professional photo shoot and “quick selfie lol.” Her fan interaction game is also seriously on point:
But deeper than surface level, her marketing team is incredibly shrewd. The image of Taylor Swift everywhere: in commercials, fashion shows, magazines, gossip rags, billboards, big-budget commercials, and even pizza boxes. She recently took a stand against making her music available on Spotify, which actually increased demand for her newest album.
She maintains two “faces:” one of the celebrity, and the other of the person – but both have been carefully manufactured for maximum exposure. Between her huge commercial presence, carefully maintained public persona, and excellent music, Tay Sway has basically written the Art of War for marketing in 2014 and it’s incredible to watch.
Just admit that you love that one song and get on with your life, dude.
Honorable Mention: The Whole Thing Surrounding The Interview
The hullabaloo surrounding the release of The Interview was a comedy of totally unexpected coincidences that may have actually made a better movie than The Interview itself turned out to be.
Despite ads for the film being pulled from television and major theaters outright refusing to show the movie, the film has almost made back its $44 million budget and has become Sony’s highest-grossing online release. This highlights the power of organic marketing’s ability to inspire public conversation promoting your product, and the importance of just rolling with the punches even during a disastrous PR fiasco.
The TL;DR: Sony’s databases were hacked and threatening messages were left on its servers by a group calling themselves the “Guardians of Peace.” An anonymous comment suggested that North Korea may have been behind the whole thing as a response to the production of The Interview, a bro-comedy movie about James Franco and Seth Rogen assassinating Kim Jong-Un.
Fearing the worst, major movie theater chains initially refused to screen the movie on Christmas Day, and have still yet to release it in early January. But this only added to the movie’s notoriety, and sparked conversations about the value of art in the face of censorship, Internet security, and the threat of cyberterrorism.
Independent movie theaters still insisted that they’d release The Interview on Christmas, but when that move was blocked by Sony, the Alamo Drafthouse announced that it would screen the brilliantly topical Team America: World Police in its place. This tactic brought a lot of attention to the theater itself – kind of like trickle-down advertising – and also went viral online.
It literally took a televised statement from President Obama for Sony to allow indie theaters to release The Interview in time for December 25th. The added international publicity also gave the studio an opportunity to try out a same-day digital release of the film on YouTube and Google Play, the first major picture of its kind to ever do so.