Category: Advertising

New Things Coming to Facebook in 2013

New Things Coming to Facebook in 2013

During my Social Media Marketing class the other night, we talked about the new innovations coming to Facebook. The first being the concept design and the other being Graph Search.

For those who haven’t seen it yet, here’s the link to what Facebook’s layout concept is. Of course, this is a work in progress and the final layout probably won’t look like this or it will have some similar features. It reminds me a lot of Windows 8 and the Metro UI. It’s very clean and sleek. I think this kind of look would benefit business/branded pages because it’ll almost look like another website, and could even pass off as a micro site. Although, from watching the video, it seems like there are multiple pages and I have no idea how you’re going to get to all of them. Maybe by swiping? Or they’ll have different tabs for you to click on that will take you to those desired pages. I know they have the sidebar that takes you to the About Me page so maybe all of the pages like your Wall, Photos, Likes, etc will be listed there as well. The video doesn’t make it very clear where they’re actually clicking to reach these pages so I can only guess it’s through that sidebar. The cool thing is how they have the pop-up window whenever you click on photos. I think it really matches their entire thematic look and feel with the right color schemes and everything.

The one thing I don’t understand is why they’re moving things around in the beginning of the video. Maybe they’re allowing us the ability to feature certain parts of our wall as a collage and we can organize it? Otherwise, it just doesn’t make sense to start moving things around especially if Facebook is still trying to incorporate “Timeline”. Making things out of order in time doesn’t make sense. Other than that part, I think the rest of it looks pretty cool. We also saw what the New MySpace looked like as well and it seems the two social media platforms are following in each others’ footsteps because it doesn’t look much different. Take a look for yourself here: The New MySpace

Facebook is already in the midst of launching this new feature, Graph Search. It’s currently on beta and there is a waiting list involved in order to try it out. This is essentially a search engine within Facebook. You can now get more technical in your searches by inputting things like “People who like surfing” or “Places my friends have visited” and you’ll be given a list of Facebook users who have an interest in surfing and they’ll also list the names and places your friends have traveled to. It’s definitely going to take social media to an even more social level which I think is pretty awesome. You can even get real specific by saying “People who like surfing and are my friends”. That would narrow down the search to an even smaller selection of people.

On the advertising side of things, I think this will definitely help brands target specific audiences. Let’s say we’re Tide (since I’ve done Tide in my blog before), you’d probably want to find people who are athletic because you know that your brand has the power to get rid of tough stains like grass and dirt. By simply searching “People who play sports”, you’d be given a large group of people who could be your potential audience. This would definitely help with advertising on Facebook and make targeting better.

Job Shadowing at Casanova Pendrill

Job Shadowing at Casanova Pendrill

I had the opportunity today to job shadow at Casanova Pendrill, an ad agency with a focus on Hispanic communications. Because of my interest in digital and the internet, I was able to job shadow for with the digital media team. Meeting with the Digital Media Supervisor, Randy, we walked through the basics like the 3 most common banner sizes (728×90, 300×250, and 160×600) and how they are able to track their sales (in the case of it being a retail client).

It was pretty cool to learn how important cookies are to advertisers. Cookies are important because it tracks your activity online. So if you click on a banner ad and it takes you to the retail’s site and you browse, your cookies follow you. But if you happen to close out without buying anything, we are able to retarget users by giving them an ad for the retailer they clicked on earlier but the image would show a shoe that you looked at and give you an incentive, like $10 off your purchase. Of course, if you clear you cookies and cashe, then the data gathered is lost, otherwise cookies are only live for 30 days.

Randy emphasized that there is a lot of research that has to be done before anything even happens (of course research is very important, especially when dealing with clients and money, you can’t go wasting!). So we walked through planning the plan which is essentially figuring out WHO you’re targeting and what they’re like. I got to see Simmons and comScore data which was pretty cool. In my Media Planning class, we looked at MRI, but it was nice to see other types of data sites’ interface and how they work. Simmons is much more user-friendly than MRI since you’re able select exactly what elements you want to include as demographic and psychographic information based on your targeted audience. It was great to get a refresher on vertical and horizontal % and how it provides relevant data. And comScore tracks traffic reported by sites so you can see based on your targeted audience, which sites or publishers you want to use to place your ads.

We then moved onto RFPs (request for proposals). This was completely new material for me. Using the publishers listed on comScore, the agency would send them the RFP which includes a template that is very similar to a creative brief. It goes over briefly what the objective is, who are audience is, the insight (research), target demographic market, creative assets wanted for this account, etc. The agency would then send a form that’s blank except for certain headers like site name, CPM, SOV, etc. The publishers would then fill it out with the appropriate information and send it back to Casanova Pendrill with it filled out with what they are willing to offer per impression based on the budget. Of course, negotiations can be made, especially for publishers who want to charge large amounts when the team could simply get it cheaper with someone else. If they are unwilling to lower their price, then they wouldn’t be included in the campaign. The RFPs go through multiple edits until the team is able to choose a plan and set amount of publishers they want to use and with the final chart, it’ll list the team’s projections for the client based on the budget.

Then, Randy showed me the final step, making the recommendations to the client through a presentation. He is a strong believer in delivering a presentation that is pleasing to look at for the client and easy to understand. Which is very true as we learned in school. This is where the team would break down the entire campaign to the client with all the charts and reasons why they chose the publishers that they did and what did the client get out of it (usually it’s that they saved some money because it didn’t cost as much as projected). Randy also explained how you don’t necessarily have to pay for the impression but rather by people who actually engage (or interact), completely watch the ad video to completion, etc especially if it’s cheaper and more cost effective.

Lastly, we talked about insertion orders that are sent to each publisher that gets used in the campaign. This tells the publishers that the agency wants these spaces and that they need to reserve their inventory for them. It makes both sides accountable and leaves a paper trail to back it all up.

This was a really great experience to have. I got to see how a real agency works and how they work through making sure everything gets done for the client. It’s very different from doing school work where it’s all hypothetical. This is the real deal, where a simple mistake actually means something. It was also great to see how a campaign starts and ends. We do school projects that are similar to this, but they tend to be more limited because we don’t have the resources like access to comScore, Nielsen, etc. I would totally recommend anyone to go job shadow because you get to see, learn and experience things that are very different from school. It can also definitely help when you land a job especially when you don’t have any real agency experience.

Logo Redesigns

Logo Redesigns

eBay new logoToday, eBay announced that in the fall, their transparent, colorful logo will be redesigned. This new logo is simpler, cleaner but still keeps the same colorful look. This comes from eBay wanting to shift their company away from being an online marketplace for auctions and collectables to full price, buy-it now merchandise. By changing the structure of their website, which has been what eBay became known for, puts them in competition with Amazon. Whether or not this switch will be a good thing for eBay, only time will tell. However, the new logo design is definitely a positive. It’s simple and crisp and it’s what a lot of companies are doing, and it works. It will be interesting to see what the public thinks about this new logo redesign. In the past, some consumers have gotten upset over companies changing their logos, like with Gap. However, I don’t think there’s anything too shockingly different with eBay’s new logo that consumers would be upset over it.

Gap logosToday, USA Today also announced that they’ll be going through a redesign. But instead of just a logo redesign, they want to revamp their website and reposition themselves as a news brand rather than a newspaper brand. USA Today’s website will become more modern: more images and colors. In terms of their logo, the globe is still present, except this time, it’s just filled with blue. I’m not 100% sure if I like this new logo. The old (present) logo seems more unifying to me, whereas the new one just doesn’t do it for me. What’s do you think?

USA Today logosReferences:

Behind the Scenes Content

Behind the Scenes Content

With the emergence of social media, brands have been searching for new ways to connect with their loyal fans. One way brands have done it is by revealing behind the scenes content. These behind the scenes content could include photos of employees working, photos of events the brand participated in, videos of how a product is made, interviews with brand creators, or just everyday photos that represent who the brand is.

Seeing the different ways that a brand can show their personality and identity impacts their fans’ attitudes towards them. Behind the scenes contents creates brand transparency as fans and consumers are able to look at what goes on behind their brand. It’s a way for brands to engage on a personal level with their fans. This also makes consumers trust the brand more because they see the brand as something more than just a corporate identity. People may think that brands like Microsoft or Sony are filled with stuffy employees who do not do anything but work behind cubicles, coming up with ideas. But by showing some behind the scenes content, brands are showing that their employees are like anyone else and that they care about them, and this could be done by simply sharing photos of the company’s annual Halloween costume contest.

Fans and consumers react favorably to behind the scenes materials because the brand now seems like a person, a close friend. The brands share who they are and hopefully their identity matches their fans’ perceived identity of themselves and of the brand. Another reason why fans are impacted by behind the scenes is because it’s intimate. Brands are revealing parts of themselves that they may not have otherwise done if they didn’t have a social media outlet, where they can openly communicate with their fans. Brand could also create brand identity through their behind the scenes content that could affect fans’ responses. For example, Zappos’s Facebook fanpage features videos of their employees doing silly things and having fun company events like their Halloween parties. This coincides with what customers already perceived Zappos as – a laid back work environment, care for their employees, and having one of the best customer services out there. They have carried that image with them into their Facebook with their behind the scenes contents which consumers notice. This, in turn, leads to good customer-brand relationship.

Indirect Advertising Censorship in Korea

Indirect Advertising Censorship in Korea

I enjoy Asian music, mainly Korean pop music, therefore I follow a bit of Korean culture. I have noticed that as I watch some of their shows, there’s a lot of censorship. Whenever an actor/actress wears a shirt that displays a logo, or there’s a sign in the background of the scene they’re in, it is often times blurred out or there’s a sticker put over the image because in Korea, indirect advertising is not allowed. In my opinion, blurred images draws more attention to the object. I find myself zoning into the blurred images, curious as to what it actually is. Another example that I see often is the logo to cellphones are often blurred. I don’t think this is that effective because everyone knows that if it is a candy bar style phone with a full keyboard beneath the screen, that it is a Blackberry. Cellphones are very distinct in their shape and design so to cover the brand name or logo doesn’t do much, the viewers would still know what phone they’re using. However, I suppose it works in the sense that they aren’t outwardly shouting that they are advertising the phone to viewers, even if it draws viewers’ attention. This doesn’t just apply to television though, it also goes into the music industry. If the lyrics mention any type of brand name, they often do not pass through the standards of broadcast (this includes TV and radio) and therefore is rejected and not aired. For example, singer Se7en’s song Money Can’t Buy You Love” and boyband SHINee’s song “Love Still Goes On” were banned from MBC (one of Korea’s broadcast stations) because Se7en mentioned Guess and Gucci, while SHINee mentioned Facebook.

The thing about the censorship though is that it looks as though it ruins production value. It probably doesn’t and it probably saves these directors and staff money by not showing the product, but sometimes it just looks cheap. Especially since they go out of their way to blur out almost everything. Most, if not all, dramas are filled on location, so there’s going to be a lot of brand named stores, which all get blurred out. So it just looks a bit distracting when you’re focusing on the two characters, and in the background, there’s blurred out signs.

For us in America, this seems a bit odd. We’re used to seeing everything we’re meant to see. Product placement is natural for us and we see it in movies and TV shows without a problem. It’s often a quick shot or a quick screen pan over the product, so it’s not like the product placement ruins the production value of the movie or show. There’s even times where people might not even notice it because it’s so subtle. And in the music industry, we’re allowed to mention brand names, stores, etc without a problem.

I have to say though, it seems that Korea may be becoming a bit more lenient on the censorship, based on the recent drama I watched, Rooftop Prince. I don’t know if other shows are doing this, but they actually showed the characters use the Samsung Galaxy Note and it’s features. They literally zoomed in on the character’s movements, when they used the drawing feature of the Note and viewers actually got to watch them use a product. It was the first time I’ve actually seen product placement in a drama. And it was quite nice to see that maybe Korea is changing it’s policy just a bit, but it may be too early to tell because I haven’t seen any others that have followed this example.

I read this website Korean Sociological Image #32: Censorship & Indirect Advertising where the author, James Turnbull, shares point of view on this subject. He even mentions what the laws regarding product placement is, and it’s quite interesting. He also provides other examples with video links. His blog is definitely worth looking at if you’re interested in anything about Korean gender issues, advertising, and pop culture. (Disclaimer: there may be inappropriate/shocking posts. Read at your own discretion!)

Brands and Facebook Timeline

Brands and Facebook Timeline

On March 30, 2012, all brand pages were switched over to Facebook’s new interface, Timeline. The Facebook Timeline comes with a couple of new features. The big thing that Facebook pushed was the “history” or “timeline” feature where it accumulates information on the user or brand throughout the years until birth, as well as all the content that was posted since the user or brand started Facebook. There’s also the ability to pin a post to the top of the page for a week. Another aspect of Timeline is their cover images. Cover images are a large feature of Timeline because it’s supposed to represent who the user or brand is. When creating a post, users have the option to use larger images, which is great for getting consumers’ attention. Likes are now listed on the top right of the page and all the apps are above it in a large thumbnail format. Sadly, users can only show four apps at a time while the rest are hidden under an arrow drop down menu. This would be a disadvantage for brands who are promoting more than one thing at a time because they wouldn’t have the space to show everything. Timeline also states milestones each month and overall. This is great for brands to be able to see their reach. There’s also the ability to send direct private messages to users, only if they have contacted the brand first, which is a new way to do customer service. Lastly, there’s a toolbar at the top of the page that all have drop down menus. The “Timeline” tab shows all the apps and the “Highlights” tab allows users to control what types of posts they want to see on the page.

All of these features will help brands engage with their fans, but there are some that are very effective. Seeing the brand’s history helps build trust because fans will see the longevity of the brand. They understand that the brand has been around for a long time time and that they were able to survive in such competitive markets and bad economies. Fans can see how their brand had evolved over the years to be where they are today. Another effective feature is being able to see only the brand’s content. Consumers are more than likely uninterested in other consumers’ comments, especially since most of them fall under the lines of “I love your brand”. To be able to see what they want to see, their favorite brand, it keeps the page clean and consumers are more likely to stay of the page without the additional noise and clutter. Of course, if consumers would like to see everything, they do have the option to do so by clicking on the “Highlights” tab at the top. The flexibility of how consumers can “manage” what they see makes them more engaged because they are given the choice to see what they want to see. Cover images are an effective way for brands to make additional branding efforts or promotions. They can put promotional codes or hashtags from their integrated marketing campaigns into the cover image. This would work well because it’s the largest image that consumers see when they first go to the brand’s fanpage. If the cover image is designed in such a way that it’s appealing, consumers’ eyes would be drawn to look at it. The use of pins and large images are also good tools to use to bring awareness to photos and news. Brands can pin one post that they think would generate the most traffic in terms of likes, shares, and comments.

For H&M’s Facebook fanpage, I would recommend changing their cover image whenever a new campaign starts. It’s best to keep it fresh and not use the same cover image for too long, because frequent consumers will then turn away from what the cover image is depicting if they’ve already seen it so many times. If there’s a new fashion line coming out, the photo should be representative of it. And if they’re doing a promotion on Twitter, for example, #SummerContest, it could be added into the cover image in an artistic way. This is a great way to promote across multiple channels, especially since the cover image is the first thing consumers see. H&M should also continue to “like” pages that illustrate what their brand stands for, who the brand is, and what they believe their fans are like. For example, any affiliates or collaborators that they work with should be liked because it builds brand relationships and could also build trust with consumers if H&M likes something that they also like. There’s an advantage to using the pinning option on Timeline as well. H&M should use it to pin the latest trends, promote an event or promotional campaign, or specific articles of clothing. Since it’s always the first post, consumers are more likely to look at it and engage with it, so choosing the right post to pin is important. Lastly, H&M should use the large images feature for photo albums, fashion trends, and/or behind the scenes content to drive engagement and attention to those specific posts. For example, a company blogger can attend events and post photos from the event that are large and eye catching, then link the post to the actual blog to drive traffic on both ends. However, H&M has to understand not to clutter their profile with too many large images. Going overboard could turn users’ attention away because it all looks the same. There should be a variety of things to look at, with different sized posts. Use smaller image posts to reiterate a previously larger image post, that way the page is just filled with the same content, that would surely turn consumers away from the page. For example, if there’s two posts about the summer contest, make one large image and make the other posts smaller. After a week, reposting the summer contest as a large image would be okay because those smaller posts are no longer on the same page. Having too many large image posts is also a problem because it takes longer to load additional posts under the “see more recent stories” tab. Consumers are not keen on load times, so minimizing the amount of time a page has to load is important to understand, thus limiting large image posts is a must, since more content can be added onto one page at a time. However, there’s also a negative to using small image posts. H&M has to be smart about how they make their content because there’s the chance that these small image posts could get lost in a group of large images. They should plan their content accordingly so that it’s easy on the user to navigate and read their page.

Interactive Flash Games on Youtube and Gamification

Interactive Flash Games on Youtube and Gamification

With technology constantly evolving, there are so many new and inventive ideas being created. Youtube has started a new trend of interactive flash games that are played directly on the website. Although flash games aren’t anything new, it is new to the Youtube format and it’s a new way for companies to further advertise their brands. The characteristic of an interactive flash game is giving users the ability to completely control their environment. They are able to move and click on objects in order to reach the game’s overall goal. Aside from just utilizing flash, these interactive Youtube games are using gamification. Brands use gamification to engage and interact with their consumers by providing them with some sort of reward or give out points. You can share your scores with your friends and challenge them to beat your score. For example, a company can make an interactive Youtube racing game to see whose product is better both advertising the brand and their products’ functionality, along with keeping their consumers engaged in the product. As they participate, they may be able to enter a contest or just have bragging rights as the “leader” of the game.

zyrtec parks unleashed

There are several case studies that exemplify the use of interactive Flash games on Youtube along with gamification. The first case is Zyrtec, the allergy medicine. They created a simple interactive game on Youtube called “Parks Unleashed”. It’s much more than just clicking buttons in order to see something happen; instead it’s much more immersive and acts like a platform game, except it’s all done on Youtube. The game starts out at a park and the user has to interact with different dogs in order to reach the ultimate goal of finding the loot they stole. In order to find the loot, users have to gather clues and build their inventory as they journey through the park. When users are given clues by dogs in the park, they can move on by dragging the screen around with their mouse to access different areas of the park to find more clues. After they follow the first clue, they meet human characters to interact with where they give the user more clues and the user can “ask” predetermined questions based on the clues that were collected previously. When users meet the human characters, it’s filmed in first person, so it feels as though the user is truly there asking questions and the characters answer back. If users pick the correct path, they move onto the next level where they had to register if they wanted to be eligible to win the prize. Users who are successful in finding the lost goods have the chance of winning a Samsung Galaxy Tablet. According to JWT, the advertising agency behind the game, said they saw a 40% increase in registrations. As users play the game, they continue to collect clues, gather inventory items, play games along the way to gain points and unlock bragging rights, all the while finding where the loot was stashed. The game has also be integrated into Facebook so users can post the badges they’ve collected on their profiles. This interactive Youtube game is a good example of gamification because it goes beyond just mundane button pushing. They’re actually trying to engage users and challenge their interests in advancing further into the game. It becomes an addicting and entertaining game for consumers, as well as a great branding tool.

Here’s the link to play: Zyrtec’s Parks Unleashed

nexus contraption

Another example of interactive Youtube games and gamificiation is Google’s Nexus Contraption game. Again, this game is played on a Youtube channel. When Samsung launched their Galaxy Nexus S smartphone, they wanted to promote it in a different way. So, they created the Nexus Contraption, a puzzle game that allows users to see how quickly they can build their own Nexus smartphone by guiding some Google apps through the various puzzles. The game itself is very simple – get the Google apps from one side of the screen to the red funnel on the other side by using the provided tools such as rubber bands, fans, and magnets. As users progress through the levels, the puzzles get harder. The time it takes for users to solve a puzzle are also counted and tallied at the end of the puzzle, where you can compare your time with your friends and others. The game is designed to be fun and entertaining as well as interactive, thus making the consumer more inclined to know more about the Galaxy Nexus. On the game interface, there’s a “Learn More” button where players can read about the features and specs on the Nexus. They even allow users to purchase the phone from stores such as Amazon and Best Buy by simply clicking the “Buy Now” button.

Here’s the link to play: Google’s Nexus Contraption

Many consumers don’t want to be bombarded with advertising, which is why this Google Nexus S game is a great use of advertising because it’s subtle. Consumers can enjoy the game while still understanding that Google is trying to sell them the Nexus phone through the name being shown on the header and when players complete a course, the phone appears and users see the app go into the phone, displaying its contents. The same can go for the Zyrtec game. They have the Zyretc logo placed around the game and in game. It’s all about being immersive and giving the consumer an experience. They’re giving consumers the ability to play a game that directly relates to their brand, and if consumers are enjoying themselves, they’ll more than likely want to learn more about what the brand is. Interactive Flash Youtube games are a unique platform that is only going to grow bigger, in my opinion. It embraces the idea of interactivity and giving the control to the consumer. Consumers are immersing themselves into a branded game, whether they realize it or not, and they’re allowing themselves to engage with the product being advertised. And since millions of people go onto Youtube a day, there’s opportunity for many more of these interactive games and for more engagement and awareness about these brands.

Hypothetically, my client is Tide, and I’m creating an interactive Flash Youtube game that also utilizes gamification. My idea for Tide is to create a game called Hamper Toss. The premise of the game is that articles of clothing will be dropping from the top of the screen. Each article has a different sort of stain. For example, gym shorts could be dropping down with dirt stains, and the user would have to pick up the hamper with the correct Tide product label, such as Tide Febreze Sport. If the user puts the clothing in the wrong hamper or misses an article of clothing, they lose some of their point score. If users continue to pick the correct hamper without mistakes, they are awarded bonus points such as multipliers. In order to finish a level, the hamper needs to be full. In the earlier stages, there may only be three hampers, but as the game moves on, there will be more and the clothing drops at a faster rate in order to give the game a challenge. Once a level has been completed, the clothing will be put into a washer machine, and there will be a quick description on the Tide product being used. There will also be a button that allows users to learn more about the product and how it helps clean those specific stains out of clothes. The game will tally the player’s score where they can submit it to be put on the “leader’s board” if it’s high enough. This makes the game competitive and hopefully consumers would continue to come back to play because they had fun and they want to improve their score, all while learning more about the product. Tide can also offer special offer coupons for their products for winners who beat the game under certain conditions, like getting 50,000 points in 1 minute, that way there’s also an incentive aside from just bragging rights. I believe that this is a good example of utilizing interactive Youtube games and gamification because it encompasses all the necessary characteristics – an engaging and challenging game that goes beyond just simple embedding of links as well as offering some sort of reward or points to its players.

Advertising on Facebook: Now and the Future

Advertising on Facebook: Now and the Future

Facebook is a perfect place for businesses to advertise. With many consumers spending time online nowadays, especially on social media networks, what better way to get noticed than to engage with your consumers where they spend most of their time?

Advertising on Facebook allows your businesses to reach the right people at the right time. It allows for your business to connect with your consumers directly because they are showing interest in the product you produce by “liking”, commenting, sharing, answering polls, and participating in any sweepstakes or contests available on your business’s fan page. Creating ads on Facebook can be set up quickly and is easy to do and is cost-effective. There are many ways to manage your budget – by cost per click (CPC), by clicks per impression (CPM), by a daily budget, or by bidding on a price.

Facebook is incredible in the sense that it creates positive return-on-investment (ROI) for your business. By creating fan pages or events, your ad message can be referred to users who share it with their friends. It’s also a good opportunity to advertise on Facebook because your brand or business can reach over 800 million potential customers. You are even able to target your consumers based on their location, age, and interests that they share to the public.

When your business creates their ads, you can use it to build awareness, drive sales, and grow your fan base. By creating pages, it allows you to connect with potential customers and hopefully it’ll direct traffic to your page. As a business with a fan page, you should constantly talk to your customers whenever they post comments or share exclusive information to them. By doing so, consumers would be more likely to return to your page for additional material or even better, share it with their friends and their friend’s friends. This chain reaction would get your page more attention and it could potentially lead to a sale. Consumers respond positively when their favorite brand shows interest and are willing to answer their questions. It builds more brand loyalty and they can tell their friends that your business/brand has good customer service. It is also easier to track the number of impressions you make than on traditional media. Also, being transparent allows you to share your business with your consumers, by showing them the inner workings of your work with behind the scenes videos, blogs, etc. It also lets you own up to any mistakes or success that you’ve made.

Tide Facebook Fanpage

As stated earlier, having ads on Facebook allow you to target the right people. You can select criteria based on the consumers you’re trying to reach by what they’re interested in. You can target them by:

  • Location
  • Language
  • Education
  • Work
  • Age & gender
  • Birthday
  • Relationship status
  • Likes & interests
  • Friends of Connections
  • Connections

The last two, Friends of Connections and Connections, are fairly new to Facebook. Friends of Connections allows you to target friends of users who are already fans of your page or app. Connections allows for your business to target your ad to current fans with promotional offers in order to gain customer loyalty.

Having a Facebook fan page opens a lot of opportunities like expanding your reach by telling in-store customers to “like” your page, putting a “like” button on your website, run Sponsored Stories and Facebook Ads, and set up check-in deals to offer incentive. You can also utilize social context which is influences consumers’ interests and buying decisions. Social context highlights a user’s friends’ connection with a brand/business, which can be placed alongside their ads. Sponsored Stories is basically word of mouth. Whenever one of your users “likes” your page, interacts with your app, or checks-in to one of your locations, it will show up on their friends’ News Feeds. Using Sponsored Stories is a good advertising format because your consumers’ friends are most likely to enjoy the same things they do and so it increases your business’s awareness and can increase consumer engagement on your page. There are also Sponsored Ads that are also placed on the right side of the users’ News Feed. The ads are synched with any information the users place on their info section of their profile.

sponsored storysponsored ads

When you create an ad, for example, Calphalon pots and pans, you can target based on precise interests or by broad category targeting. A precise interest is as previously stated – targeting your audience by the information they share on their profiles. If you use a “#” in front of any word, it allows you to target any user whose interests are closely related to the word we use, for example, “cooking” will also target “cooking tips”, “cooking and eating”, etc. If you don’t use the “#”, it will only target the word “cooking”. Broad category targeting, on the other hand, targets groups of people who share similar interests related to “cooking”.

Brand awareness and stimulating a purchase is also a plus to Facebook advertising. By being on Facebook, your brand/business is more transparent and open to consumers because there are so many users online and on Facebook that you can build brand awareness. Also, users feel engaged when they can communicate with their favorite brand and that too stimulates brand awareness and loyalty. Advertising on Facebook can also help push consumers to make a purchase. When you post deals, discounts, sales, and other promotions, it gives consumers the incentive to buy a product before the promotions end.

Facebook also had their own analytics platform which allows you to track and optimize the performance of your campaigns in real time. This is a great strength for Facebook because brands and businesses can gain valuable insight on which ads were displayed and which were clicked on. By having this, you can adjust your campaign in order to receive maximum results.

A new advertising format that Facebook could implement is monitoring the number of times a specific user “likes” and comments on your fan page or mentions your brand/business in a post. The more times they participate, they move up a “social ladder” and gain new titles such as “fan”, “obsessed”, “super fan”, etc. The higher their title, you can offer them incentives based on their title status. These titles would also be placed onto their user profile, under a section called “certifications” which would include the brand logo, so that their friends can see that they’re, for example, a “super fan” of Target. Social check-in sites like Yelp and Foursquare have already proven that the social aspect of showing appreciation for a product can be very successful, and by incentivizing the process it can lead to greater returns.

By utilizing this new advertising format, you can garner more traffic to your page because your consumers see a reason to return, the incentives of “leveling up” and gaining new titles. Some of the rewards could be discounts, coupons, prizes, gift cards, or invitations to exclusive events. In order to make sure that the incentives reach the right consumer, your brand/business would have to “gift” them to the consumer.

new facebook format

In a hypothetical campaign for Target, they would be able to implement this new format by posting relevant material on their page. For example, they could put in their status update, “Target is celebrating Easter Sunday!” and include a behind the scenes video of their employees enjoying Easter together. As a consumer, you “liked” the post and commented with a video of your family celebrating Easter. Each “like” and comment is worth one point and in this situation, those were your 100th “like” and comment, which makes you an “official obsessed fan of Target”. As Target uses the Facebook analytics platform, they understand that you are now an obsessed fan and so they make another post on their profile stating “Congratulations Tiffany! We appreciate your love for Target and would love to reward you with a $10 gift card!” Once this is posted, Target would have to “gift” the $10 gift card, which can be a promotional code or printable voucher, to Tiffany and she would also have Target’s photo on her profile page that says she’s an obsessed fan of Target with a number below telling her how many more comments and “likes” she has to give to receive another reward.

By posting that publically on their profile, it makes consumers feel as though they have a relationship with the brand, in this case, Target, because Target acknowledged their consumers. This creates transparency as well as builds brand loyalty because consumers feel special.


United States. Securities and Exchange Commission. Facebook, Inc. . Washington D.C. , 2012. Web.

Who is the Brand?

Who is the Brand?

When a celebrity attaches their name onto a product does it make the product any more desirable to consumers? Yes, it does. This is true because consumers want to be like their favorite celebrities. Consumers always want to have something associated with people they aspire to, which could be their favorite celebrities, because it builds a connection between the two – it makes them feel closer to the celebrity. It also is a representation of status and that is why a product with a celebrity’s name on it is more desirable. Most of these products are very expensive and to have the money to buy them, for example, JLO glasses, illustrates the consumers’ fortune and class in society.

The product itself may cost a lot of money, but it may not be worth its price. A lot of the time these “designer” products are very similar to other products and cheaper brands. Also, there is the possibility that celebrities did not do much in terms of making their product – they could just sign off on the product and its concept without actually doing hands-on work. Having a “designer” tag may offer more value because it may take more money to make that product than those of cheaper brands and products. This makes the “designer” product cost more money and in turn, makes it feel more valuable to the consumers. However, most of the cost comes from the cost of production, materials, and labor that goes into making the product. But consumers do not seem to mind, because to them, it still is a representation of status to be able to afford a product like Louis Vuitton.

However, there are some celebrities who actually make their brand name products cheaper and more accessible to the general public. For example, the Kardashians sell their line, Kardashian Kollection, at Sears. Their brand offers clothes, jewelry, handbags, accessories, and home and bath products. Their handbags, while still technically “expensive” ($20 – $40+), do not compare to Louis Vuitton’s $3,600 handbag. I do believe that there are still people who would be willing to buy the Kardashian Kollection because they look up to the Kardashians.

Because of all of this, I believe that the individual is actually the brand and not the product. Celebrities work hard to make a name for themselves and that pays off when they create their own line of products. Consumers do not buy just the product; they buy for who it represents. If they bought for the product, then they would be comfortable buying cheaper and similar products. If they buy because of the name attached to the brand, then they are essentially buying the celebrity and what the celebrity has to offer. It is ironic though, because consumers want to be like a celebrity so they buy these “brand named” products, however, do the celebrities who attach their name onto a product even use it?