Starbucks Using Strategic Communication

You wake up and snooze your alarm. After the 5th snooze you finally roll out of bed to get coffee. Coffee is huge around the world. The industry grows exponentially despite the rise of energy drinks. One of the better known coffee brewers, Starbucks, recently launched their “Race Together” campaign. The campaign has received mixed reviews.

Starbucks is known for trying to promote more than just their coffee. CEO Howard Schultz has already made it openly known that the company is pro marriage equality. This is all part of Starbucks’ branding strategy. They have real prominence in the community and try to contribute to the conversations on controversial subjects. The new #racetogether campaign again shows society where Starbucks stands on another controversial issue, racial equality.

This campaign stirred the pot and had its expected minor repercussions. Some people felt Starbucks had no place to speak on such an issue. Despite what some are saying the campaign was still a success. Starbucks understands the 5 W’s better than a lot of companies. They know their target demographic. They know that their loyal customers also share their views on equality and aren’t afraid to contribute to the conversations. This campaign was successful because Starbucks was strategic in communicating their message.

In order for a campaign to thrive you must focus on the message. The ultimate goal of a campaign is to communicate. That’s exactly what they did with strategic implementation of their equality message through the Social Media Trinity. Through Twitter and Facebook Starbucks communicated right to their loyal target demographic. In speaking to the appropriate audience they seized the opportunity at hand and engaged that audience with the brand. Like all campaigns, Starbucks’ #racetogether aimed for a ROI and is indirectly trying to increase revenue by engaging people with their brand. The real goal of the campaign was to manage the company reputation.

Starbucks was successful in branding the company once again. The campaign was a success because, at the end of the day, the loyal Starbucks coffee drinker was engaged with the brand and understood what Starbucks stands for. With strategic communication through Twitter and Facebook this would have not been possible. If they used inappropriate social networks they would have only communicated their controversial message to an uninterested and angry audience. The “Race Together” campaign may seem like a failure because some lashed out, but it ultimately effectively communicated what the brand stands for. Sounds like social media success to me.

Advertisements

Not Being Strategic With Social Media is Time Wasted

Businesses have come to realize that the development and implementation of social media plans can help them target their desired audience. Having a clear vision and audience for your social media plan will produce specific results. In order to engage this audience, businesses must be strategic with their efforts. Being strategic means the company is developing clear objectives. Using the SMART strategy ensures that the objectives are specific, measureable, attainable, relevant, and timely.

It’s important to have a plan in place. Your social media plan is a road map for your organization to follow to achieve their business goals. Planning out social media efforts prevents haphazard. Haphazard is wasted time on meaningless actions that contribute little vale to the organizations goals and the objects set out in the social media plan. Planning ensures that efforts focus on your organizations key message. This differs from just using social media on behalf of an organization. When you’re representing an organization, you want to be professional. Being static is different. It’s not only professional, but it has a specific message that is aimed to achieve an outcome you’ve planned out. It’s more than having a presence. It’s presenting information to have a specific audience accept their call to action.

An example of example of an organization being strategic with social media efforts is Ben and Jerry’s City Churned campaign.  http://www.360i.com/work/ben-jerrys-city-churned/ – This link shows a video from the campaign and gives some insight to the strategic planning model used. They targeted specific audiences in select cities with the objective to cultivate a deeper relationship with fans of their ice cream. They empowered their audience by creating a unique flavor for each city. Participants voted using foursquare and Instagram creating a buzz in the social media world. This campaign was more than just representing Ben and Jerry’s. It was a strategic plan to use social media to target an audience and create buzz around their new flavors. Without a strategic plan this campaign would not have been successful. This goes to show that being strategic with social media efforts with help organizations be profitable. Without a plan, social media isn’t communicating effectively.

How to Cook a Redfish

Have you noticed McDonalds promoting their Filet-O-Fish? Or BK’s Big Fish sandwich? That’s because it’s the Lenten season, the 40 days leading up to Easter, for many Christian denominations. During these 40 days those who practice their faith normally don’t eat meat on Fridays. Advertisers recognize this as prime time to promote their “delicious” sandwiches. If you’ve moved past your greasy fast food fish days then get ready; Here is a how to cook fish.

Central Florida offers arguably the best redfishing in the state. You can blacken all kinds of fish but we’ll keep it local and talk about how to blacken redfish.

Step 1: Heat the pan

Heat a pan over medium heat. It’s ideal to use a cast iron pan because they hold intense amount of heat which is needed to char the crust. You can use stainless steel but avoid non-stick pans. Set pan on burner, without any non-stick cooking spray, and allow it to heat for 10-15 minutes.

014

Step 2: Melt some butter

While your iron pan is heating up, melt a generous amount of butter on separate pan.

015

Step 3: Dredge the fish in butter

Put your fillets into the pan of butter. Be sure they get a healthy coat on both sides. Shake off the excess and place them on a separate plate for seasoning.IMG_6236

Step 4: Season the fish

Keep it easy and buy a premixed spice specifically for blackening. Several spices are made specifically for blackening redfish. These spices have some kick to them so use an appropriate amount for your desired amount of spiciness.
IMG_6237

Step 5: Cook em’

Before placing your fish onto you hot iron skillet, be sure you have some sort of ventilation going. Turn on the fans and perhaps open a window because the blackening process creates some smoke and even flames sometimes. Place the seasoned fillet on the pan. After 1-2 minutes flip the fish with a spatula and let the other side cook for another 1-2 minutes. Both sides should have a blackened crust.

IMG_6238

IMG_6239

Step 6: Eat the fish!

If you didn’t burn down your house then congratulations. You’ve successfully blacken fish. Enjoy that spicy fillet of goodness. You’ve earned it.

Understanding the Importance of Viral Content on Social Media

Microblogging has been adopted by companies big and small as a marketing tactic. People who handle the PR of these companies understand how crucial a social media presence has become. Marketing teams try to create content that will benefit their followers, and in turn benefit the company. Sharing or tweeting useful resources, insightful ideas, and helpful relevant tips keep followers satisfied and establishes a sense of integrity for the companies’ microblog. Tweeting relevant content, more than just mundane everyday occurrences, is a good way to make your microblog look professional but in order to really bring your microblog to the next level you want to put content out that will go viral.

What makes content go viral? Is there a secret formula that makes everybody want to share/retweet it? Should I always involve a video of cats riding bicycles in my post?

The truth is there is no guarantee that any content you post will take social media by storm and go viral. You can get a feel for what’s entertaining and trending, like cats riding bicycles, but when evaluating your content later it might fall short of what your company defines as viral. Larger companies may want over 100 thousand shares. A smaller company might consider 20 thousand as a success. Either way when creating the content you can’t guarantee it will blow up across social media.

http://www.digitalbuzzblog.com/infographic-how-does-content-go-viral-tips/ – This infographic helps understand viral content marketing. This infographics gives several “reasons we share” content that make it viral and worthy of being shared. Simply put we share content that is entertaining, unbelievable, has tremendous emotional appeal, is truly valuable to us, or it makes us stop and think.  A great example of viral content is “memes.” Memes spread like wildfire, for better or worse. Memes are often critical of a subject and turn into some bad PR.

Target had a meme created about one of their cashiers and found a way to spin it into some free microadvertising. A picture was taken of a cashier named Alex and the photo went viral. People thought that Alex was super dreamy and the memes started to hit social media. Target recognized how viral this content was and created the hashtag #AlexfromTarget. Even though this content wasn’t super beneficial to Targets followers it was entertaining. Target found an effective way to be part of the social media conversation.

Being part of the conversation really is the entire idea behind creating viral content. Marketing teams are on their toes waiting to see what the social media finds worthy of sharing. It’s being aware and prepared that allows companies to board the train that is viral content before it’s too late.

Revolution of Business Communication

It takes two to tango. It also takes two to conduct business. You need a business/corporation and a consumer, and this relationship is very delicate. Good business should be mutually beneficial for both parties.  In order for both parties to conduct business and build this delicate relationship a lot of important communication is involved. With the arrival of the internet and social media over the last 10 years this communication has been revolutionized.

Businesses date back to before books were even around. Something like one caveman selling a hide or fruit to another, real primitive. Now business has obviously evolved, and so has the means by which we do it. We recognize this fundamental shift and understand the only way to conduct business is to interact with your customer. Social media has created a platform where communication professionals can reach their audience and other interested parties. Getting a message out to consumers is a challenge marketing teams have always faced. The web and social media have made relaying these messages much easier. Consumers are involved in the web, social media specifically, more than you might think. According to Social Media by Regina Luttrell, people spend more time on social media than any other category of sites. A statistic like this emphasizes the importance for a business’s social media presence. People want to connect with companies. People need to communicate with their favorite brands and social media is the platform they desire. Communication professionals are not a luxury in today’s economic world, but a necessity to conduct good business.

Having a social media presence means that you are going to be there for consumers. You’re there to listen to concerns and participate in conversation, further developing their relationship with your brand. Having this presence is crucial for sales. You’re not too in their face, but you’re also there for when the consumer is ready to buy. Social media can be used in so many ways when it comes to communication with consumers. Customer service is one of the most of the most utilized means of social media.  Things like Qlogs, question blogs, are there for consumers to contact business with questions they have about products or services. Corporate blogs are another good example. They can be set up for the public to view and often discuss sales, marketing, branding, and PR. Business heavily depend on communication professionals to respond to consumers through several social medias and represent their company in a positive light.

Communication professionals also have used social media to communicate internally or business to business. Blogs, emails, and other social medias make communicating to employees and other corporations effective. Time is money; social media has given companies more time and in turn more money.

It takes an idea to revolutionize a country. It took social media to revolutionize the web and how businesses communicate with consumers