Mass Social Strategy’s Offerings

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state of the selfie

State of the Selfie is a research project of mine I’m extremely excited about. This project teases the selfie out of the smartphone and brings it into the real world via a one-on-one exchange with a stranger—a person on the Amtrak train or someone in the city. State of the Selfie intercepts the phone and a person’s digital archive or feed to discover the story behind the selfie in the real world.

See the images and read more here.

State of the Selfie Social Media Announcement Card Robin Dicker

Joan of the Internet. Yes to all this.

People with self-respect exhibit a certain toughness, a kind of moral nerve; they display what was once called character…Character—the willingness to accept responsibility for one’s own life—is the source from which self-respect springs.” Joan Didion, Slouching Towards Bethlehem

Celene-Campagin-667x1024

This past week fierce novelist, essayist, journalist, and screenwriter Joan Didion was photographed by Jürgen Teller and named the face of Céline, a French ready-to-wear and leather goods luxury brand.

I work with many Millennials, and SHOCKINGLY found that none of them knew who Joan Didion was.  Yet another reason to bring to the fore faces of women who have come before them. Yes, in a clothing campaign. It’s taking up space with an image of an older woman, looking fierce, glam, and strong. Another girl said, “oh, I just thought that was some old lady.” Ok: beyond concerning. But even the insertion of her image, of this hag (not), it opens up a conversation. Who is this some old lady? It’s shocking that it’s shocking that we don’t see more of this. Just like seeing Alyssa Milano pregnant on Project Runway All Stars feels like some freaking revolution. We just don’t see this, and we should. The old, the pregnant. Oh, that what which we’ll become. Over time. 

At age 80, Joan Didion emits her usual tough-as-nails cool in the campaign image. The quote above is from her seminal essay “Self-respect: Its Source, Its Power,” first published in Vogue in 1961, and later republished in her 1968 collection, Slouching Towards Bethlehem.

A wry observer of the everyday, never self-indulgent. Fearless. The epitome of self-respect in every phase of her life…a writer whose uncanny observations mapped 60’s zeitgeist from the Vietnam War to the Women’s Movement, to what it means to be a writer and a woman, to the death of first her husband, and then her child.

Warrior. F- yes if it was market research that brought one of my personal heroines into the Tumblr-verse. Because it’s glam, it has the possibility of first seducing, and then bringing a new reader to her wry text. 

Further reading: 

Bustle

The Atlantic

These 2 articles question the Joan/Céline collab.

The Awl 

NY Mag

The Sweet Case for #Selfies at #Graduation + Happiness In General

PicCollageAh, graduation is over – congratulations to all of the 2014 graduates across our country! Here is a lovely quote from Shonda Rhimes’ Dartmouth Commencement speech this year that went viral:

“Be brave. Be amazing. Be worthy, and every single time you get a chance, stand up in front of people. Let them see you.”-Shonda Rhimes

The results of the #SOU2104 #Selfie Graduation initiative were awesome. Truly, pictures do tell a thousand words. Elation, authenticity, and that particular coolness that simply comes with a pair of sunglasses, a graduation hat tassle (must be an official word for that), and a strong sense of graduate pride and accomplishment were evident in the photos.

Documenting graduation via selfies was a way to involve students in celebrating their accomplishment in graduating and the initiative creates a visual record on Instagram of college completion.

sou selfie 7

This topic of – letting them see you – is quite apropos in light of this year’s  controversy surrounding taking selfies at graduations. From Bryant University to the University of South Florida – many college campuses banned selfies at graduation.

I encouraged top leadership at SOU to consider the counter. Let us encourage this millennial gesture.A pitch is always in order, which is part of what I enjoy about working as a social media marketer. 

sou selfie 5  image(1)

The whole idea of letting them see you defines social media. Social media is all about us as the viewer witnessing the author’s participation. In life. In clothes. At a show. On vacation. Cooking. At Graduation.

UCG with strategic hashtags is streamlining the content towards particular marketing goals.

And, sure, you can hire a photographer for a job – but there’s nothing like a UCG initiative to obtain images mediated not from an outside party, but from your own demographic.

Plus, you’ll always get a swift turn around time – such as in real-time – on photos taken by and from your own demographic. That sure makes me happy!

sou selfie 3 small#SOU2014 #Selfies

The pitch:

  • Now is a time to leverage anything positive – let our students know we celebrate them!
  • Let us also have our students do positive word of mouth marketing for SOU – by documenting their experience and take selfies at graduation. 
  • Prospective students – millennials and their younger friends – all use the hashtag #selfie. They search for #selfies. If we encourage the hash #selfie in combination with the hash #SOU2014 and #SOUashland – this expands our reach on social media, e.g. we reaches new markets.
  • Posting banners on-site raise awareness around this initiative and is a pro-active step to make crystal clear what University expectations are on the appropriate spaces students can celebrate their success via selfie photos among friends and family but NOT on stage or while getting their traditional SOU portrait taken by a hired photographer
  • The secondary goal with the signage and banners is to create visuals that do not detract from the overall Commencement, but simply meet the goal of succinct eduction on the appropriate spaces students can celebrate their success via selfie photos among friends and family.

Outcomes:

  • Engagement on the FB Album was positive, but to be expected did not receive as much engagement as Instagram. I uploaded all of the selfies to Instagram (regrammed them) some pics reaching more than 40 likes!🙂
  • Upon reporting the outcomes to top leadership today, I was thrilled to get extremely positive feedback. Hot tip: words like “phenomenal” and “great work” mean good things in the workplace.
  • And most importantly, you can see from the happy comments below and on many of the pics on IG that students thought it was cool that their school regrammed their selfies. Cuz it was.


PicCollage2

Conception:

  • Research #selfie #graduation on iconosquare and IG
  • Pull graphics for inspiration and brainstorming session with Graphic Designer
  • Greg had the idea of adding “we did it” as opposed to “i did it” to the banner – which was a genius idea!

collage selfie brainstorm

Final banner outcome:
Selfie Banner 4-BLOG 2014-JUN 17

Strategic Storytelling – Social Media 8 Month Report – Southern Oregon University

Last week I presented 8 months of social media work I’ve directed and collaborated on for SOU.

It was a blast going over all that’s been set in place: introduced social media best practices, created a thematic content calendar, collaborated on and conceptualized UGC initiatves and content, trained staff on how to run their own giveaways/contests, and even guest taught 5 classes (massive thanks to all SOU faculty for reaching out and inviting me to share).

As my slide says, Social Media is Collaborative. The work I presented is reflective of the collaborations I had with key members of the Marketing Team, SOU faculty, students, and staff.

As I was presenting, it felt rewarding to acknowledge and celebrate the talents of our team members,  give them a space for their work to shine, and speak to the outstanding work we’ve done to connect with the SOU demos and underscore attraction and retention. Go team!

The Making of #LovingSOU

Tracking the visual snaps and language your demo crafts on social = rich source material and inspiration for ways to conceptualize a social media campaign.

Here’s how SOU’s latest Preview Weekend Instagram Contest was conceptualized.

1. I search #SOUAshland, #SOU on twitter and insta often. “Searching often” is a very “soft” term. I’d say in truth, I obsessively track our demo. Kidding. Nope, not kidding at all.

2. I saw that many students are both snapping pics of their Acceptance Letters…and of course taking pics of their experience on Preview Day, and writing a bit about their experience. I take grabs of these posts to share with my department and other departments to keep them in the loop on the conversation on social.

3. The work I do with the Graphic Designer and Marketing Assistant is collaborative and open. I shared this snap with my Graphic Design collaborator, and he noted, “someone wrote, ‘Loving SOU.'”

social preview weekend crcl (1)

Well, it just so turns out that SOU’s Preview Weekend begun on Valentine’s Day and ended the day after. Perfect. I decided to move on this and named the contest #LovingSOU Preview Weekend Instagram Contest.

4. I’m obsessed with theburninghouse.com. And I thought it would be great to do a giveaway where we took a photograph of SOU and Valentine’s Day related items…pulling from Gen Y visual culture, and illustrating what items 1 randomly selected winner would receive.

We teamed up with the Admissions Associate Director and Admissions Counselor and went to the bookstore to pick the items as a team.  Each of us brought items to the table with the goal of reflecting different types of students in the objects to be shown in the promo graphic: from the athletic or sporty (water bottle, sweatshirt, cap) to the hipster (plaid scarf, sunglasses), and (hopefully) everything in-between.

The object I think truly captures the “spirit” of this campaign, is the journal with the text, “There is no set path, just follow your heart!” that the Admissions Counselor picked out. I also ran to a store off campus and found Hershes kisses, glittery sparkle hearts and leopard print socks with hearts on them. But of course.

I shared this visual template with the Graphic Designer and he snapped a few photos, laying out the items. He took a few photos with his feet in them, and I thought this was something to keep, it’s a cool way to innovate upon the uber clean look of theburninghouse.com. Feet-in-the-frame was an “accident” that in my mind truly makes this image unique. It brings the viewer into the frame and adds quirk.

Loving SOU Card 2250x

5. The contest was announced at Preview Weekend. Prospective students were asked to follow SOU on twitter and instagram AND tag each photo with #lovingSOU, #SOUAshland and #PreviewWeekend.

Tagging #PreviewWeekend was essential, as prospective students who may not know about SOU may come upon the promo graphic on insta from the tags students make of the photos they take. New students may also learn about the contest via the promo graphic and messaging that includes the hash, #PreviewWeekend.

loving sou tweet with graphic and t BG

6. We received 131 photo submissions. A great number, considering the total number of Preview Weekend student attendees was close to 140 students.

7. Our winner’s photo was randomly selected and she then received her fab items. True love!

lovingsou2

loving sou winner instagram

Burning House BFF + Sophie Calle Badass

  • Objects as pointers to a person.
  • Objects as portraits.
  • I’m in love with Burning House. Forever BFF.

burning house example copy

  • Sophie Calle nailed it years ago in The Hotel, Room 47, 1981
  • “On Monday, February 16, 1981, I was hired as a temporary chambermaid for three weeks in a Venetian hotel. I was assigned twelve bedrooms on the fourth floor. In the course of my cleaning duties, I examined the personal belongings of the hotel guests and observed through details lives which remained unknown to me. On Friday, March 6, the job came to an end.” – Sophie Calle

sophie calle the hotel copy

  • Here’s the start of a photo series I’ve conceptualized for SOU. What would this image look like for the Theatre Dept, the Art Dept, the Anthropology Lab? Stay tuned…
  • Many brands are up on this  Burning House troupe. For me, it never gets old. Portraits are my thing.

burning house copy

8 #HESM Content Creation Ideas

  • Your #1 priority as a content creator is to identify the wants and aspirations of your demographic, and give them content that speaks to that.
  • Why? The likes, shares, and comments on your content get on the radar of your friend’s friends.
  • We create gorgeous looking content not only because it looks cool…but because it has been proven that a 37% increase in engagement is experienced when Facebook posts include photographs. This is consistent with research by Dan Zarrella of Hubspot (stats from Heidicohen), and tweets with pictures are shared three times more often.
8 higher ed text card - bottom cropped
Below are 8 Higher Ed Social Media Content Creation Ideas I’ve executed for my current client, Southern Oregon University. I conceptualized the cards and initiatives and provided copy and examples. SOU’s in-house graphic designer determined the font and design of each card. The final bits of content have arrived through a collaborative process.
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  • The tagline of Southern Oregon University is: Outstanding People, Place, and Programs. I used these pillars to structure SOU’s social media content calendar and determine the content to create and post to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
  • I emailed faculty members and asked them to provide a quote about their field of study and working with students at SOU. I linked to their department’s FB page and/or information about the professor’s most recent accomplishment.
quote card jackie instagram
quote card kevin FB
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preview day count down card instagram share your visit
preview day count don card
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  • Here I used an image one of our student interns took in Lithia Park (to celebrate Place) and pulled a quote about learning.
  • There was no CTA; sometimes just wishing people a happy weekend and letting a quote card speak for itself resonates best.
aspirational quote
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  • When you release a video, it’s essential that you have a plan in place. The You Tube manager posted the new SOU “About” video  to You Tube during Winter Break. As many students might not see the video over break, my plan to extend the life of the video by pulling video stills to create text cards and create social property backgrounds (Facebook and Twitter) became even more essential in extending the life of this asset.
  • I asked the editor to export 18 video stills out of his editing timeline by providing screen grabs with the TRT. On the first day back from Winter Break, I posted this Facebook cover photo collage created by SOU’s graphic designer.
  • Text was added to the FB cover photo to direct students to the video.
sou anthem video FB cover
anthem video cover photo post
  • I paired the image below to reflect the student’s lifestyle options at SOU…yoga and coffee are as important as Calculus 101, yes? Additionally, my goal was to build awareness about yoga on campus…and nurture the relationship SOU has with a great coffee shop across the street, Case Coffee by tagging them in the post.
  • I added the copy “SOU Salutations” to the card – pointing to both yoga and the greetings we exchange when seeing good friends for coffee.
sou salutations instagram
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  • Asking students to identify locations on campus is a fun way to engage this demographic.
  • Identifying parts of campus inspires “new ways of seeing” and experiencing the day-to-day.
  • The first example below is an Instagram video.
close ups sculpture
grid stairway
campus close ups
campus close ups floor
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  • Posting a simple photo CTA celebrates the people and place that make SOU outstanding, and creates a feeling of inclusion. This bear was really popular! 

ugc bear

ucg thats so sou instagram
ugc student on mountain
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  • #tbt is a great way to celebrate the history of SOU as an institution, and the history of the area.
sou visitors of note
 
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  • Infographics are statistics in pictures. Beautiful and educational – created by SOU graphic designer. 
sou infographic 1
sou infographic 12

6 Steps to a Successful UGC Instagram + Facebook Giveaway

sou giveaway post  copy 2

For my most recent client, Southern Oregon University, I created a UGC initiative on Instagram during the first 2 weeks of school. It was the perfect time to leverage excitement around a new school year. 

The intellectual and creative capital of the faculty and the students make SOU a vital place. The ask was for the most important people on campus to document the amazing experience of a new school year AND determine the winners.

After an Instagram submission period of 2 weeks, we curated 5 images, and gave the community one week to vote for the finalists on both Instagram and Facebook. The combined community votes on both platforms determined the 2 winners. 

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Goals:

– Create awareness around a new Instagram account and increase engagement on Facebook

– Generate school spirit by celebrating current students and faculty as media-makers and connect-in to school nostalgia by engaging parents and alumni.  Engage all populations – current students, parents, faculty, alumni, and prospective students.

– Use a unified handle @souashland and hashtag #SOUAshland and require students to tag photos #SOUAshland in order to enter the giveaway to establish brand recognition and reach. There had been some confusion before I came on board for what the University twitter handle was (multiple accounts had been created). My solution was much inspired by this post from Social Media Examiner. 

Outcomes: 

1. The Facebook announcement of the 5 SOU YOU Giveaway finalists received 14,912 impressions and received the highest virality (Likes, Comments, and Shares) in the history of the Facebook page. Students asking their friends to vote for + share their image to gain more votes was a key component in impression number.

finalists announced cropped

2. A sense of participating in one’s community was achieved. When one’s agency is celebrated (I document my life, this is my view from here) and sense of place is celebrated (My school is awesome), retention is a likely outcome.

I received some great feedback from students when I taught a 2 hour class fall term on Social Promotions in the SOU Business School:

  • Over 3/4 of the students in class participated in the giveaway – around 30 students in class
  • One student said that participating in the giveaway made her feel a part of a community
  • Another student said she made new connections and friends because while participating in the giveaway on Instagram, she found fellow students on Instagram

SOU instagram grab of all grid

2

Pulled from both FB and Sprout Social analytics and one-to-one conversations:

– Current students and prospective students – On Instagram
– Parents, alumni, current students and prospective students – On Facebook

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Remix the giveaway announcement graphic in one to two ways, but keep it recognizable (each week we’d swap out an instagram image in the the announcement card).  Be mindful to not flood the feed with your promotion. Post once a week to encourage participation and keep your promotion messaging consistent.

sou you insta

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Back Scratching

Leverage the influence of a few key people, or as Malcolm Gladwell would say, find your Connectors, Mavens and Salesmen. And be sure to give them love along the way.

The incredible thing about being on a University campus is you have built-in brand evangelists: students, parents, faculty, alumni, and even prospective students.

The SOU Instagram Giveaway CTA was for people from our community to share their photos. It made sense to ask a few visible brand evangelists on campus to lead the way, and set the tone:

– Ask a student with a popular on-campus blog to blog about the giveawaytwiter SOU YOu chazlyn thanks

– Ask a student and faculty member active on Instagram to share a few of their own Instagram images for us to use in the promotional announcement graphic – and include their handle on the image

– Publicly thank both of them for providing their images to support the giveaway by tagging them on FB/ twitter and linking to their social properties. Back scratching. This is the SM code, key etiquette.

– Send an ask email to all faculty to share the Facebook announcement post. Succinctly ask them to support and let them know how supporting you provides clear benefits to them. See 15 shares below.

announcement-cardSend The Ask Email: A note on engaging influencers/ brand evangelists

Sending an ask email is a very standard aspect of running an successful social media promotion. The goal is to educate and seduce the email recipient into taking action on your behalf in order to spread your messaging.

Perhaps not so much for this initiative as faculty as already positioned as brand evangelists, but if you’re emailing – see my post Listen, Love, and Leverage – you really want to lead with seduction. Use language to connect-in to your demo. Complement them, let them know how awesome they are, and how much you’re like them too.

This was how I got The Recessionista, a blogger with over 12,000 followers that is courted by many top fashion brands, to promote a Shoptopia Giveaway. We also had a phone call. I cannot underscore the value of face to face, voice to voice, Skype to Skype, in this digital world. Voice and facetime (in the flesh) still matters.

Before you send the ask email, my recco as I established in this blog post, is to RT and tweet to these influencers before sending them the ask email or DM them.

Work hard at sending them love, and mean it! Be innovative with your language! This hard work and authenticity really gives context and builds rapport. Which is key. Be real about it, and be on your game, please.

It’s helpful to provide pre-crafted tweets as illustrated here in my portfolio; this is something I’ve done with all blogger outreach initiatives I’ve conceptualized and managed. This keeps the giveaway/ promotion messaging streamlined. But you must say something in your copy that acknowledges that the blogger knows their community best. No-one likes it when you put words in their mouth.

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Brand the 5 finalist images and cross-promote. Direct traffic from the FB post to Instagram and Instagram to FB. Tweet and link to both platforms.
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Celebrate and enjoy the amazing images your community shares with you! Make a post of the winners receiving their prizes, a great way to put a big cherry on the pie.

winners announced

sou you winners FB

Stats:

  • Opened Instagram account on 9/3. By the end of the giveaway, on 10/24, our follower number = 252. From 9/27-10/22 we gained 223 Instagram followers because of the giveaway
  • We had over 286 photo submissions on Instagram
  • Over 950 people voted on their favorite image on FB and twitter
  • One finalist’s image was shared to 26 other FB pages, on Instagram this image was voted for 230 times.

Here’s a cheat sheet for you:

6 steps final

Social Media is An Act of Celebration: Building on Sinek’s Why (+ Analytics Don’t Lie)

I’ve been asked to teach a one day social media promotions class in the SOU Business School so it’s a perfect time to do a series of blog posts on Promotions in Social Media. I moved from LA to my new town, leaving a social media teaching offer behind me, and it’s cool that I”m again in the University context. It’s a good place to be.

Whether a personal Facebook page or a brand’s Facebook page, whether a tweet or an instagram photo, I see every post on social media as an act of celebration. 

Celebrating what? Celebrating the person we’d like to be…our aspirational self.

What we post on social media says something about us. Our posts say, I want you to believe this about me.

I’m celebrating what I want you to believe about me.

Here’s a post of myself – highly curated – who says who I am. Here, I share a post that says who I am. Here, I RT a tweet because I am that. 

I am an awesome photographer with amazing friends. I am creative, sexy, and innovative. I am healthy, loving, and smart. I am forward thinking and the 99%. I have this information I’m going to share with you all because I’m that cool/ funny/ smart. I am, I am, I am. And I was here. Boom. 

Social media is in essence celebrating a performative self. It is a total construction. That’s why we’re all so addicted. It’s fantasy and reality rolled into one. And we have total control of the message.

As a marketer, this is part of defining who your demographic is.

Yes, what does your demographic believe?

And most importantly, who do they want to be?

Make a collage. Pull quotes. Make it real. Ask them questions on FB to be sure you are right. Assume nothing. Your community will ultimately tell you if you’re on. When your content resonates on social media, your community will like, comment, share, heart, RT, and reply. It’s call and response. The responsibiltiy is all yours to be true to your audience and your analytics do not lie.

Simon Sinek asks every marketer to start with why. 

The golden circle

Why: As a brand, what’s your purpose, what’s your cause, what’s your belief? Why does your organization exist? Why do you get out of bed in the morning and why should anyone care? What do you believe?

“People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. The goal is not to sell to people who need what you have, the goal is to do business with people who believe what you believe.”

I put this in the context of celebration.

We celebrate the type of person who….

We celebrate ways of living that include…

We celebrate different aspects of ….

Let this drive your messaging and the content you create.

Let celebration to be the neon thread that moves through the How and the What that you do.