Social Media and Gaming

“Gamers are loners.”, “Gaming is not social.”, “Everything was better in the past.”
In the old days, when kids went to the arcade, they went with friends. These days, kids lock themselves in their rooms alone with their gaming device. That isn’t social, or is it?

Sony and Microsoft don’t agree with these statements. Their latest products, respectively the Playstation 4 and Xbox One, have social media integrated. They blend the online and offline world. For example, when a friend finds a legendary item while playing ‘single player’, the position of this item appears on your single player map too.
While playing a videogame you can also stream your gameplay live. This way your friends can watch you play and via their headsets they can interact with you. There’s even the possibility to aid your friend while using your tablet or phone. (Hunt 2013)

You could say console gamers are finally catching up with PC gamers on the social aspect. Failbetter Games, for example, is pulling people in socially long before Sony and Microsoft did. Failbetter creates unique interactive stories, like Fallen London, “which could be best described as a sort of choose your own adventure story in which you play alongside Facebook and Twitter friends, asking them for help”. (Harper 2013)

Moreover, the crowd-funding website Kickstarter lets both big and small game developers fund their game ideas. This really changes the gaming industry, because fans spread the word themselves via Twitter instead of the developer marketing their games via traditional media. (Harper 2013)

There are countless communities where people spread their love for gaming. People interacting, collaborating and sharing. Building new relationships, maintaining them, even ending some.
It’s like people are all around you, but are they really? Is it the same as having a real person standing next to you, breathing? What is the difference? Do you think people are less social because of these changes in gaming that are supposed to make it more social?

References:
– Hunt, T. (2013) ‘5 Ways Video Game Companies are Leveraging Social Media’. Visited on 4 November 2015 via https://www.socialmediaexplorer.com/media-journalism/5-ways-video-game-companies-are-leveraging-social-media/.
– Harper, E. (2013) ‘Insiders Explain How Social Media and Video Games Are Merging’. Visited on 4 November 2015 via http://sproutsocial.com/insights/social-media-video-games/.

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I guess you’ve all come across these ads on the internet. Some of you may have clicked on them. Lately, these kind of ‘ads’ are disappearing. Those were/are all scams to get your personal and financial data or infiltrate your computer with viruses. Other (real) advertising banners have also become less and less effective, amongst other things thanks to these scams. What can we do to make online advertising effective again?

From a jaw-dropping 50-90% Click Through Rate to a poor 0.1% CTR (MacDonald 2015). You could say banner ads are not an effective way to promote your product, service or company. There’s also a term describing the phenomenon where website visitors consciously or subconsciously ignore banner-like information. This is called banner blindness (Nielsen 2007). Yet, there are some ways to improve your (banner) advertising.

Media rich engagement ads are ‘voluntary’ ads. In other words, they expand and play, once you hover above these interactive ads more than two seconds. Beware, consumers may also develop banner blindness to these engagement ads.
Banner blindness does not extend to audio, thus Podcasts are another effective alternative to traditional banners. For example, Spotify uses audio advertising like this. However, hearing the same voice and text over and over again, can be very annoying for consumers.

The opposite of Sponsored Posts and a very effective kind of advertising posts is User Generated Content. In short, consumers themselves post about you on their social networks creating a ‘buzz’. Be careful though: this ‘buzz’ can also be a negative one.
The idea behind Content Marketing is not creating ads that look like content, but actually creating content. “Don’t sell anything, just be useful.” Take a look at CMO.com, Adobe’s initiative (MacDonald 2015).

Another great way to increase advertising effectiveness is not to improve these banners, but rather on how to replace these ineffective (banner) ads. The answer to this problem is: using apps.
Starbucks does a tremendous job by using their app to involve consumers. ‘For Mobile Devices, Think Apps, Not Ads’ (Gupta 2013) discusses some tips to increase this consumer involvement:
– Add convenience
– Offer unique value
– Provide social value
– Offer incentives
– Entertain

The Starbucks app does more than just advertise its products. If you’re interested, you can read more about it in the article.

Do you know other new, creative ways to advertise? Let me know in the comment section below!

References:
– Gupta, S. (2013) ‘For mobile devices, think apps, not ads’, Harvard Business Review 91(3) 71-75.
– MacDonald, M. (2015) ‘Better than Banner Ads: Smart ways to spend your ad dollars in 2015’ via http://www.tintup.com/blog/better-than-banner-ads-smart-ways-spend-ad-dollars-2015-muriel-macdonald/ on September 23, 2015.
– Nielsen, J. (2007) ‘Banner Blindness: Old and New Findings’ via http://www.nngroup.com/articles/banner-blindness-old-and-new-findings/ on September 23, 2015.

Social Media Tactics Backfiring in the 2016 Presidential Race

Already, this presidential race has proven to be dominated by which candidate can utilize social media the best. Because of all of the press coverings of candidate Donald Trump, many young voters, particularly millennials, have been paying close attention to this presidential race. This is great for voter turnout, and I expect it to be the highest ever. However, candidates are forced to reach out to this younger generation of voters through social media to seem relatable and to humanize themselves. Currently 16% of registered voters follow candidates on social media, which is up 10% from 2010. Hilary Clinton has been one of the most active candidates on social media, reaching more than four million Twitter followers, getting more than one million Facebook Likes, and creating accounts on Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, and Spotify (Brousell, 2015).

gop_socialmedia(1)

As beneficial as social media can be to a candidate’s platform, a mishap can be fatal to their hope for being elected president. Bill Jasso, a PR professor at Syracuse University, says that “the problem with immediacy is that it offers you an opportunity but also a big danger. When there is that break in continuity or consistency, it can be fatally damaging to a candidate” (Brousell, 2015).

Many candidates have experienced mistakes in their social media strategies this year already, such as New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. He attempted a to launch his candidacy with a Twitter campaign using #TellingItLikeItIs. This quickly became a tool for people against Christie to reveal scandals about his administration (Flynn, 2015).

Donald Trump has experienced far more social media mishaps than any other candidate thus far, with numerous offensive tweets. In July, Donald Trump tweeted a picture of an American Flag with his picture and some others on it, with the hashtag #MakeAmericaGreatAgain. On the bottom line of the flag, there was a picture of Nazi soldiers! This tweet quickly got deleted, and Trump blamed the mistake on an intern (Donovan, 2015). He also tweeted something on 9/11/2015 which was very offensive to many American citizens, and he quickly deleted that as well.

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Another social media strategy that backfired against Trump was his #AskTrump campaign. The goal of this was to encourage voters to ask him questions about his campaign so that he could then answer on a live feed. As the rest of the world could have expected, users asked him about his highly publicized negative moments, such as his rude comments about Megyn Kelly and Rosie O’Donnell, his calls for Obama to release his birth certificate, and controversial aspects of his personal life. During the live feed, he avoided all of these questions.(Marcin, 2015).

Screen Shot 2015-10-18 at 6.37.06 PM

Jason DeMers, a contributor on Forbes.com, wrote an article recently called 5 Fatal Mistakes That Will Kill Your Social Media Marketing Campaign. Although this article is directed towards businesses pursuing social media advertising, I think it can apply for political candidates as well. Fatal mistake #1, according to DeMers, is posting offensive material. This mistake is made very often by candidates! Mistake #2 is misinterpreting a trend. Candidates need to make sure that they are aware of all current trends so they avoid misinterpreting something or accidentally offending groups of people. Mistake #3 is paying for shortcuts, i.e. followers. Candidates do not just need high follower counts, they need for their followers to interact positively with them. Fatal mistake #4 is ignoring feedback, and #5 is going silent. These days, candidates should be posting multiple times a day on various platforms to keep their supporters (and their opponents) engaged (DeMers 2015).

References

Brousell, L. (27 Aug 2015). Why social media could swing the 2016 presidential election. CIO. Retrieved from http://www.cio.com/article/2976083/social-networking/why-social-media-could-swing-the-2016-presidential-election.html

DeMers, J. (8 Oct 2015). 5 Fatal Mistakes That Will Kill Your Social Media Marketing Campaign. Forbes. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/jaysondemers/2015/10/08/5-fatal-mistakes-that-will-kill-your-social-media-marketing-campaign/

Donovan, L. (15 Jul 2015). Donald Trump’s Social Media Intern Makes Huge Mistake, Shows Why Hiring a Social Media Professional is Crucial. Business 2 Community. Retrieved from http://www.business2community.com/social-media/donald-trumps-social-media-intern-makes-huge-mistake-shows-hiring-social-media-professional-crucial-01276364#GwhqUAEAXMpjBzEz.97

Flynn, K. (1 Jul 2015). Christie, Jindal Twitter Hashtag Fails Show Presidential Campaigns Still Struggle with Social Like It’s 2008. International Business Times. Retrieved from http://www.ibtimes.com/christie-jindal-twitter-hashtag-fails-show-presidential-campaigns-still-struggle-1992349

Marcin, T. (21 Sept 2015). #AskTrump Hashtag Backfires: Donald Trump Twitter Headquarters Visit Prompts Social Media Backlash. International Business Times. Retrieved from http://www.ibtimes.com/asktrump-hashtag-backfires-donald-trump-twitter-headquarters-visit-prompts-social-2106932

Pewdiepie

I guess you’ve all heard of the YouTube celebrity Felix Kjellberg A.K.A. Pewdiepie. If not, he is the most subscribed YouTuber with an astounding 40 million subscribers, mostly playing ‘indie’ or unpopular videogames while live commentating the event. In 2015, his annual income is estimated to be 4 million dollars a year and his net worth is estimated around 16 million dollars. And he’s only 25 years old! (Net Worth 2015)
Where does all this money come from?

First, let me freshen up your memory by explaining the phenomenon called ‘Social Commerce’. “Simply defined, social commerce is the fusion of social media with e-commerce or basically the concept of word-of-mouth applied to e-commerce.” (Marsden 2010)
So, in the case of Pewdiepie’s channel there are some signs of social commerce. For example, every month Pewds gets a package containing several collector items which are all related by theme, like ‘Villains’. He unboxes the items on screen and comments on them. At the end of the video he advises people to also buy these ‘Loot Crates’. The video below is one of the examples of this word-of-mouth on his channel.

Another important way companies gain a lot of awareness is when Pewdiepie plays their game. Then, the so-called Oprah effect comes into force. The Oprah effect is the effect that an appearance on a famous show can have on a small business. (Investopedia 2015) Because Pewdiepie nearly has 10 billion views, a recommendation can have a significant influence on the game developers.

Not a lot of people know that Pewdiepie actually is signed under Maker Studios, a company owned by Walt Disney, which produces videos for channels on YouTube. (Maker Studios 2015) The funny thing is, Pewdiepie says in his videos that he never gets paid to promote the videogames he plays. (YouTube 2015)

Is he telling the truth? Or is he lying and exploiting all of his subscribers? That making money is his main motive?
What do you guys think?

References:
– Investopedia (2015) Oprah Effect http://www.investopedia.com/terms/o/oprah-effect.asp
– Maker Studios (2015) Makers http://www.makerstudios.com/makers
– Marsden, P. (2010) Social Commerce: Monetizing Social Media, Hamburg: Syzygy.
– Net Worth (2015) Pewdiepie http://www.the-net-worth.com/2015/05/pewdiepie/
– YouTube (2015) Pewdiepie https://www.youtube.com/user/PewDiePie/

A Traditional Burger or just a Pizza? How do we attract more customers :) ?

Around 25 percent of the catering in the Netherlands doesn’t use social media. In 2015 that’s a large percentage and even 50 percent of the 75 percent does not use social media properly. During the years the use of social media has become more and more important, it’s not only an advertisement tool but you need to create a bond with your customers through social media.

You have a lot of platforms which can be used to to express your restaurant. The first one is WhatsApp, which is forgotten by a lot of restaurants. We don’t want you to stalk your customers, but use WhatsApp to make reservations and even for feedback from your customers. It’s quicker and easier than email or phone calls.

The next one is Facebook, which is a popular one among the restaurant. A lot of them use it to give information about the opening hours and address. Thereby they also post contests to win free lunches or make advertisements about a new product. At the moment a lot of restaurant are glad when they have a a lot of likes, but they forget that comments and shares attract more attention. Create contests where for example people need to tag each other, this will put your company in the spotlights and eventually you restaurant will be showed at the newsfeed of a lot of people.

Besides the traditional sharing and liking on Facebook, the upcoming social media as Instagram and Snapchat are also of great value to the restaurant. Pictures say more than words, that’s the rule where restaurants should live by. Create beautiful pictures of food en drinks and show them to the world. People like colourful pictures, inspiration and passion behind the images. It will create more value to your restaurant. Snapchat can be used to give daily customers a look behind the scenes. Customers love transpiration en thereby they will promote your restaurant more and more off- and online.

Besides the connection with customers it’s also important to be active at social media platforms such as LinkedIn. Expand your network and show what you can offer for other companies, such as lunches. Several companies will try this out and if it goes good, than they will promote it to other companies and your network will expand which will have a positive influence on your image.

With all the social media platforms it’s important you keep your information up to date and you keep interacting with your customers. Good interaction with customers will result in loyalty and free offline marketing and good reviews will attract new customers in the future. The customers should become a fan of your restaurant and thereby it’s important to attract more publicity. One of the ways to attract publicity is by taking part in a contest. An example is ‘The Bogue Gouden Burger Spatel’, which is hold every year in Rotterdam. This contest is about which restaurant has the best burger in town.

You can find more interesting subjects about food and quotes on ‘Foodporno’ and ‘Motivationquotes.co’

IF YOU LOVE BURGERS AND LOVE ROTTERDAM, CHECK THIS VIDEO ABOUT THE BEST BURGER OF 2014 ! ! ! 🙂

(2015, Starboost, http://www.starboost.nl/2015/07/28/toekomst-van-social-media-in-de-horeca/)

(http://www.aandacht4all.nl/de-online-marketing-trends-voor-2015-voor-horeca-ondernemers/)

Road to Brand Evangelism

Since the beginning of social media brands gradually found their way to their customers. This can be done through advertisements and/or creating their own channels and pages on Twitter, Facebook or any other social media application. We all realize that the traditional marketing approach differs from the social media approach and we probably all know a couple of examples from our Facebook News Feed proving that point. We can’t imagine a social media world without digital marketing or advertising. Or can you?

Nowadays more and more people find advertisements annoying and therefore are finding alternatives for the services they normally make use of. Two great examples of this are Spotify and Netflix. People that normally would listen to the radio now prefer Spotify, which is ad free if you buy Spotify Premium. People that always watched their favourite series on TV nowadays use Netflix. And how do people get rid of most of the advertisements on the computer? They have an ad blocker installed.

So how does this ad blocker affect advertisements? I assumed it would have a negative impact for the marketer as those people won’t be aware of the brand and therefore can’t get engaged with the brand. Instead, according to Ben Kunz it possibly is the best thing that ever happened to the ad industry. Now people have ad blockers installed, the marketer knows this person is not interested in advertisements. Therefore the marketer does not need to pay for those that block advertisements on their computer. This will result in higher returns on investments.

Brands have three main social media objectives: brand awareness, brand engagement and word of mouth marketing. In the first stage awareness is created before you are able to get engaged with a brand. And normally you are engaged with a brand before you will start talking about it with friends, assuming it is in a positive way. In case a brand succeeds in reaching these objectives there will be brand evangelism. This means that you are trying to convince your friends and family to buy products from that specific brand.

A great example of this is KLM Surprise. When you tweeted on the airport you were going to take a KLM flight, KLM Surprise would contact you and get you a personal gift. Therefore they were going through all your information on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or anything else they could find to surprise you. And because people were on the airport and had to wait for a long time, they could use this time to share their surprise with all their friends. This helped KLM succeeding with these earlier named three objectives.

On their road to brand evangelism KLM made some huge steps with KLM Surprise as this campaign became very well known. Now you are thinking of brand evangelism, do you reckon you are guilty of it? Are there certain brands that absolutely stand out for you? And did you advice people you know to buy their products?

Sources

Hoffman, D. L., and Fodor, M. 2010. Can you measure the ROI of your social media marketing? MIT Sloan Management Review 52(1) 41-49.
Weinberg, B. D., and Pehlivan, E. 2011. Social spending: Managing the social media mix. Business Horizons 54(3) 275–282.
Gupta, S. 2013. For mobile devices, think apps, not ads. Harvard Business Review 91(3) 71-75.
Kunz, B. (2015) Ad blocking may save digital marketing from itself’, http://digiday.com/agencies/ad-blocking-may-save-digital-marketing/, 16 September 2015.
Low, K. (2014) ‘The Importance of User Experience for Digital Marketing: 5 Key Tips’, http://www.clickz.com/clickz/column/2380064/the-importance-of-user-experience-for-digital-marketing-5-key-tips, 16 September 2015.

Digital marketing trends 2015: did it come true?

Earlier this year, I ran into a blog post on a website. This post was all about online and digital marketing and what the trends for 2015 would be. Of course, a big advantage of digital advertising is the possibility to share on social media platforms, which increases attention. It is thus very important for contemporary companies to follow these trends, so that they are not competed out of the market by competitors who do use these new techniques. I would like to discuss this article and kindly ask you, my readers, did these trends come true this year? Or do you think these trends are going to be more important next year?

Hereby, a selection of the most important advertising trends and some interesting examples.

1. Transparency
Companies have to give their customers a ‘realtime peek’ into their businesses, to give people a relevant experience. A great example of transparency is a ‘’behind the scenes’’ movie, hereby an example of a Vistaprint movie.

2. Realtime marketing becomes local
Because of social media, consumers are more volatile than ever. For companies, it is important to be able to make use of certain events right away, instead of planning marketing actions months before. More and more tools make realtime marketing possible, such as this cool asset sharing tool:

3. Human advertising
Review marketing becomes human advertising, consumers determine the message of a company. Instead of collecting reviews, companies are given the ability to respond directly to customer recommendations. Companies can reach their public any time, based on the newest review posts. See this video of Rivvur:

4. E-mail marketing
A lot of consumers would definitely say that e-mail marketing is not a good way of advertising, because they find this really annoying. Marketers believe otherwise, because the one-on-one contact with consumers is valuable. With the help of new tools and smart customer data, customer behavior can be used to send targeted e-mails.

For me, transparent companies are very interesting. I like to see something from within the company and I’ve seen this a lot in 2015. I’m very interested in your opinions and maybe some additions. I haven’t mentioned all the trends, but I think the upper mentioned trends are the most important.

http://www.marketingfacts.nl/berichten/de-10-trends-voor-online-en-digital-marketing-in-2015

http://www.forbes.com/sites/avidan/2014/11/09/11-marketing-trends-to-%20watch-for-in-2015/

http://www.saydaily.com/2014/11/trends-in-digital-media-2015