Future Implications

Hi!

Today I wanted to share some thoughts with you of brands that are going forward on social media. In the past few years, marketing using social media has significantly grown. At the beginning, Facebook was just a website for college students to find their friends and chat with them. Now every big brand has a Facebook page and uses it to advertise its products and services. It is also a new and innovative way of connecting with customers in a way that was impossible just ten years ago. There are so many ways a company can promote itself on social media; there is Facebook and Twitter, Pinterest, the whole blogosphere and Instagram. Let me give you some examples:

  1. Starbucks is one of the best known brands serving coffee all around the world. Starbucks frequently creates social media events (such as “Tweet a coffee”) and provides giveaways and responds to their customers on Facebook. Some companies think that just having a Facebook page will be enough to advertise their products and services. However, if the company will just post and won’t listen to their customers or engage them, they might lose interest really fast.

 A cup of Starbucks coffee sits on a table in a cafe in central Hong Kong

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  1. Another brand that uses social media well is Popchips. Popchips is a brand created by Keith Belling who wanted to create a healthier alternative to fried and greasy potato chips. What Popchips does well is posting and speaking to their fans in a fun, casual way. Even though they can joke around, they are still very professional. Popchips also engages with their customers, answers their comments and engages in outdoor activities (where you can win Popchips as well!)

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  1. Even though it is not a health related brand, I would still like to mention Domino’s Pizza to you. What they recently came up with is an app you can order a pizza using your phone or tablet. This is really interesting, since there are many apps that allow you to order your food from many different restaurants; however Domino’s came up with its own app. It will definitely attract more customers, since the app has amazing reviews. Any other healthy restaurants could pick up this idea and make take-out ordering even simpler and easier for the customers.

Do you know any other companies that are doing well on social media? Any new companies that perhaps just entered the market and you can see them grow?

References and some additional readings:

20 Companies You Should Be Following On Social Media

Popchips

About us – Popchips

Android Domino’s Pizza USA

Viral Marketing Initiatives.

Hi!

In today’s blog post I would like to share with you what I think are the top five characteristics of a viral campaign. First, let’s establish what viral marketing is – it is a form of promoting ones website through the word of mouth. One person would read the initial information and share it with their friends and their friends would share it with their friends. So, let’s get started!

  1. A viral campaign should be interesting and tell a story. If something is not interesting or trending, then it is more likely that people will not be willing to share it. One example can be the Dove campaign for real beauty. It shows videos and images of real women, without any re-touching or Photoshop. Dove also released a video on YouTube entitled Dove Evolution which had been viewed by 17 million people. It shows how any woman can be transformed into a “perfect beauty” just by using Photoshop. It sends a message to the fans that anyone is beautiful in their own way.

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  1. A viral campaign should evoke emotion. Sharing controversial and debatable content will make it more likely for people to share with others. The reason of going viral is that when you share interesting information, more people will share it and it can bring more people to your website.
  2. A viral campaign should be new and original. For example; Lay’s, one of the best known potato chips company, has a viral campaign called “Do us a flavor”. They ask their fans to submit a new flavor of potato chips they would like to see in stores. Then three people with the best flavors are chosen and fans can sample and vote for the best flavor. The winner with most votes receives a cash prize and their flavor will stay on the market
  3. A viral campaign should be written in a casual and funny way. Try to personalize your post so many people can relate to it and find it amusing. A post written like an encyclopedia page will not be shared by many people.
  4. Try to engage your audience. A good example can be the ALS ice bucket challenge. People were supposed to dump ice cold water on themselves and then nominate their friends in their Facebook posts to do the same to increase ALS awareness. It also divided society – some thought it is a great idea and some thought it is really ridiculous and does not really change anything. It is also a good example of a campaign that evoked emotion.

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What do you think are some of the best viral marketing initiatives? I can’t wait to hear your opinions!

What Is Viral Marketing: Key Principles And Strategies.

Lay’s. 

Dove evolution.

6 characteristics of viral posts .

Differentiation

Hi! In today’s blog post I would like to differentiate two well-known organic companies and how they use social media.


Kashi

Kashi is an American brand offering organic, whole grain foods. According to its main website (you can check it out here) the company name originated from the term “Kashruth” which stands for pure foods and “Kushi” – the American founder of American macrobiotics.

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 As for working with social media, Kashi is doing a great job. On the bottom of the main website you can see that Kashi is on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and even YouTube. On its Facebook page which has over 700 000 followers, Kashi posts recipes including their products, gives description of why a specific product (such as a granola bar) is nutritious and what spices will be beneficial to your health. Kashi announces that it is partnering with Feeding America and customers can make donations from their main website. I believe that it sends a very positive message to the community when a brand that sells food helps other families in need. Kashi also does a good job with communicating with their customers. For example, on their Facebook page you can see posts where Kashi asks their customers about their favorite flavor of the new granola bars. It had also offered their customers to have a live Twitter chat with a registered dietitian who can answer all their questions which are related to a healthy diet.


Organic Valley

Organic Valley is a company that started in 1988 in Wisconsin by a couple of farmers. The company is selling organic products only.

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From the main Organic Valley website (you can check it out here) you can see that Organic Valley uses Facebook and Twitter, so it is not as active as Kashi. However, the main website of the company is very informative and easy to use. You can find what products Organic Valley sells, what the story behind Organic Valley is and its mission statement. Its Facebook page has over 300 000 followers. Just as Kashi, Organic Valley gets involved with various charitable organizations (through its Facebook page, you can get a “No Farms, No Food” bumper sticker, supporting the American Farmland Trust).  Everything the brand posts is strongly linked to healthy, organic food, which gives customers a feeling that the brand is serious about its goals (practice environmental awareness and cooperative principles in all aspects of production, handling, marketing and operations (organicvalley.coop)). Similarly to Kashi, Organic Valley posts recipes and asks their followers what kind of their products they like best. Remember how a while ago I posted that a company should try to tweet at least a few time a day? Organic Valley tweets at least a few times per day posting delicious recipes and farming news!


I strongly encourage all of you to take a look at at how those two amazing companies use Social Media!

https://www.facebook.com/OrganicValley

https://twitter.com/OrganicValley

https://www.kashi.com/

https://www.facebook.com/kashi

https://twitter.com/KashiFoods

Best practices for blogging and tweeting!

Whether you blog and tweet because it is your hobby or because your job requires you to do so, you must follow some simple steps in order to be successful. As I mentioned in a previous blog post, working with social media is definitely not an easy task!

However, there are some tips I would love to share with you (and you might also find them very useful!)

Blogging

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When you blog, try to involve other people in it, especially if you are in a healthcare industry. For example, if you write a post about a recent finding about diabetes, try to find an expert and ask for his opinion. If you write about the recent hot topic that gluten allergy might not actually exist, find a nutritionist and an allergist and ask for their opinions. It shows the readers that you are taking the topic seriously and rely on many different sources.

In your free time, write down on a sheet of paper what topics you would like to cover in the future. Such planning will help you when you feel like your mind is blank!

Try to post at least once a week and be consistent, otherwise people will not come back to read your blog. Try to make every post easy to read, use images and videos instead of writing very long paragraphs. Your readers may not understand medical terminology – try to make it easier for them and use examples.

You can promote your blog by sharing direct links to it on your social media page or website.

Participating in discussions on your blog is also very important – try to respond to most of the comments. It shows your readers that what they have to say matters to you.

*You can check out a blog created by Florida Hospital and see how they blog: https://www.floridahospital.com/blog*

Twitter

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Using Twitter is very popular at this moment. According to Tao of Twitter (by Mark W. Schaefer, it is a great books and there are many great examples on how to use Twitter!) there are a few ways to tweet successfully. First of all, you should find interesting people, follow them and hope that they will follow you back. Try to tweet even if you do not have many followers yet, it will show people that you are active and they will come back for more. You should try to tweet at least three times a day and retweet (share) somebody else’s tweets from time to time. For example if American Medical Association (@AmerMedicalAssn) shares in interesting journal of a new finding, share it with other people! Be helpful and thank someone if they share your tweets. The Red Cross (@RedCross) uses Twitter in order to update their fans of what they are doing at this moment. Health Affairs (@Health_Affairs) shares news related to the healthcare industry on a daily basis. You are even Twitter accounts where you can find some Fitness Motivation on a bad day (@Mydreamphysique)!


You can find some more information about blogging on these websites (I found them very useful when I wrote this blog post):

6 Tips for a Successful Healthcare Blog. (n.d.). MARKETING YOUR HOSPITAL. Retrieved from http://marketingyourhospital.com/2013/05/28/6-tips-for-a-successful-healthcare-blog/

Healthcare Blogging 101: How A Blog Can Help You Engage Online. (n.d.). Symplur Healthcare Blogging 101 How A Blog Can Help You Engage And Be Found Online Comments. Retrieved from http://www.symplur.com/blog/healthcare-blogging-101/

Social media threats and opportunities

Let’s be honest…using social media is not an easy task. It takes a lot of courage, patience and time. Even if your brand is not using social media at this moment, I am sure your fans are online talking about you! By 2010, 79% of Americans and 69% of Europeans were online. Wouldn’t it be great if you could control it and talk to those customers? They all use your products; they can make suggestions and make you improve. There is always a risk of somebody writing negative reviews about you, but why not change the threat into an opportunity? Let me tell you how taking the brand social could benefit your industry and even help others deal with everyday problems. As an example I will use a community site beinggirl.com and CarePages.

Beinggirl.com is a community site that promotes female hygiene products, but it includes forums where girls can talk about anything. They can share their experiences, their doubts, embarrassing moments or funny life stories. Female hygiene products are hard to promote – they are very personal and younger girls usually feel awkward talking about it. Teenagers are also more secretive, but on the forums they can speak their mind freely and talk to others without being judged. There is also a psychologist that can answer the girls’ questions. The forums are closely monitored, for the girls’ safety. By creating such communities, you can talk to your customers and use very subtle promotion methods, which work! It creates a strong bond between the customer and the brand.

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CarePages is a blogging system which was designed for hospital patients. They can post updates about how their feeling and their treatment process on a blog and share it with their friends and families. CarePages was created for patients, so they can deal with their hospital experience better. Instead making phone calls and writing text messages to their loved ones (which can be a burden, it takes time and the patient has to re-live the whole process), they write it all down in a blog post. It is also possible for the family and friends to post comments and write down their wishes. Patients often complain that doctors are too formal and do not understand their psychological needs. Patients can use CarePages as their online diary and get social support.

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As you can see, taking the brand social can be hard and overwhelming, but if your intentions are good and you play it right, it will create many opportunities. Using communities you can create a very strong brand loyalty which would not be available by just using traditional marketing tools. Social media gets people together.

 

*This blog post was based on an amazing book: Groundswell, winning in a wold transformed by social technologies by Cherlene Li and Josh Bernoff. I recommend you this book if you would like to learn more about social media and read some interesting case studies!*

Let’s go mobile!

So, if you are starting your journey with fitness and clean eating, you may be wondering…how could a mobile app help me reach my goals? How can I measure how far I have gone since the start? How can I stay motivated? The truth is that there are so many free mobile apps that can help you! I will share a few of them with you in this post!


Nike+ Running is a fitness app with 5,000,000+ downloads. It is an app that measures the distance you run, your pace, time and calorie burn. You can connect Nike+ Running to your Facebook account and share your achievements with your friends. It keeps a record of your activities and helps you stay motivated as you see your progress. Maybe today you ran a bit further or you ran your fastest one mile, share it on Facebook and inspire others!

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Calorie Counter – MyFitnessPal  is diet app with 10,000,000+ downloads. Calorie Counter includes a database of over 3,000,000 different foods. While you purchase a product, you do not have to manually enter the information into the app. It includes a bar code scanner and the app will find the product and nutrition information. You can also enter a whole recipe and it will give you the nutritional contents.

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Diet Point is another diet app and it includes a collection of different types of diets and it even has a meal reminder! The app also provides you with a complete grocery list, which is extremely convenient. It includes a body mass index calculator and it estimates how much weight you will lose after each diet.

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My Tracks by Google is an app with more than 10,000,000 downloads! It is similar to Nike+ Running, but it also records the speed and distance not only when you run, but also ride a bike, walk or do other outdoor exercises. You can share your tracks with your friends and also see their tracks; you can also share your achievements on social media platforms such as Facebook, Google+ or Twitter. It even includes a Bluetooth heart rate monitor and you do not need any additional equipment, how convenient is that?

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Glucose Buddy: Diabetes Log by Azumio is an app that can help you keep track of your glucose levels. Users can enter the foods they ate, activities, blood pressure and weight. Glucose Buddy will also remind you to test your blood sugar level. It is a great way to keep you on track, you do not need to carry your calendar everywhere with you. You just need your phone!

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Do you use any health related mobile apps?

 

*I got all the app descriptions from Google Play Store for Android*

Social Media Current State

Today the best known social media platform is Facebook. We all know somebody who has profile on Facebook and uses it on an everyday basis. As I mentioned in the previous post, 98% of 18-24 year olds use a social media and there are a total of 1.4 billion Facebook users online! What would be a better way of sharing health information and new findings if not post it on Facebook? As for right now there are a lot of fan pages related to health and fitness.


One of them, Everyday Health (https://www.facebook.com/everydayhealth) has 478 000 fans and what I really like about their page is that you can easily access its Pinterest and Instagram profiles, thanks to the links provided on their home page. It is very important to make your other profiles to be accessed easily by your fans. That way more will follow and share the information with their friends.

Another fan page called Discovery Fit and Health (https://www.facebook.com/DiscoveryHealth) has 244 000 fans and it also shares health information such as how to pick healthier items in a store when we feel overwhelmed (who would not feel overwhelmed having such a big choice, right?). They also post information on foods that appear to be healthy but in fact it they are not. These are all problems we all can relate to and it is important to teach people how and what to eat when we are surrounded with so many unhealthy food choices that will cause weight gain, increase of cholesterol, mood swings or even a heart attack.

There is one more fan page called Health and Fitness (https://www.facebook.com/healthandfitnesstoday) and it has 59 766 fans and they do not just post healthy recipes and workouts, but also motivation images (which all of us need on a bad day!) and humorous posts related to cooking and fitness. It makes people want to participate in conversations, exchange successful stories and share doubts. When somebody just starts to eat clean and exercise, it may be tough. It is important to get support and never give up.

WHO (World’s Health Organization) also has a Facebook fan page (https://www.facebook.com/WHO) with 750 000 fans. They post new medical research findings, information about antibiotics and even how to wash your hands right. Thanks to Facebook, WHO can have conversation with younger people and educate them using their social media site.


What is great about the health related fan pages on Facebook is that they can be created by any one of us. We start sharing recipes, doubts and motivate each other and people will follow and create a fantastic community of people who have a goal in life – be healthy and fit!

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