Three Big Brands Using Social

Social marketing is here to stay and it’s only going to get bigger.

Why?

People use social media for many reasons but in my opinion, the common denominator is a connection. The world is crazy, busy, always going but it feels good to say something or have an opinion that someone else can relate to or add to somewhere out there. The brands I’m going to talk about understand this idea but each one also has its own approach based on its purpose.

1.) Pfizer “Get Old” #LetsGetOld

No one likes to think of getting old. But why? In my opinion, we’re scared to talk about it. Ignoring or shying away from situations doesn’t make things better but instead it makes you anxious for what’s to come.

Pfizer, a pharmaceutical company, came along and started the conversation in a non-intrusive manner. Not only did Pfizer get people of all ages talking about getting old but it worked with other leading organizations, like National Alliance for Caregiving Association, Men’s Health Network, Society for Women’s Health Research and more to help add to the conversation.

Pfizer isn’t pushing its products but instead becoming an authoritative voice (or thought leader) in the “aging” space. Sure, there’s AARP and other organizations dedicated to the more mature, but Pfizer included everyone in this campaign, used multiple touch points and lightened the mood around aging. Some examples of what people were saying range from “I want to stay healthy for my two daughters”, “I plan to get old with joy, strength and vigor” or “I want to get old having fun.”

Originally started by SS+K (Shepardson, Stern & Kaminsky) agency with an integrated approach. Current AOR: Edelman continues with its PR efforts.

Platforms: Twitter, Facebook

2.) Lowe’s “Fix in Six” #LowesFixInSix

Who hasn’t been picking up or cleaning when you thought to yourself, “Ugh, there’s got to be a better way to do this!”

Lowe’s, a retail home improvement store, showed us how we can turn every day items into problem solvers through video. BBDO worked with Lowe’s to create Vines (six second videos) and with the promotional hashtag #LowesFixInSix.

Some of my favorite tips include using a hair dryer to get rid of stickers on purchased items, lemon juice to get rust stains off knives or pillow cases to house your sheet sets.

Again, the company isn’t dominantly pushing its product but hopes to come to the top of your mind next time you think of doing some home improvement. And hey, if you need some home improvement materials why not head to Lowe’s? It’s a non-forced entry into our every day lives and it’s helpful information. Win win.

Agency: BBDO and Meagan Cignoli

Platforms: Twitter, Facebook, Vine

3.) Dunkin’ Donuts

Dunkin’ Donuts is a brand that is just doing it right all around. I remember my senior year in my Social Media in Strategic Communication class, we organized ourselves in groups to work on a final project. Each group chose a brand and created a mock social plan. While our group chose CPG (consumer product goods) and certainly noticed Dunkin’ Donuts in this space, we went with one of its competitors for two reasons: we wanted to show through our research that we acknowledged an area of weakness, had a solution and gave examples of execution. Plus we like a challenge.

I wanted to tell that brief story because Dunkin’ Donuts has the reigns of their social engagement from Facebook, Twitter, Vine, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram and counting. What makes them stand out is the fun nature of its engagement.

Dunkin’ Donuts uses campaigns like any other brand would, such as #MyDunkin, but the personal or thoughtful posts of people sharing stories or experiences around Dunkin’ Donuts continues with or without these campaigns. Pictures of products, videos of recipes, and personal stories are just some of the ways the brand draws you in and gets you to take notice.

So there you have some of the top brands I’ve been noticing in social media. Remember to have fun with it!

iTunes vs. Google’s Music Store

It is safe to say that we all enjoy music in one way or another.  How we listen to it and where we get it varies from person to person.  The options are endless: Frostwire, BitTorren, Shareaza, iTunes, Rhapsody, Jamendo, CDs, (if you’re into that sort of thing) and now, Google’s Android Market.

I am an iTunes user through and through because of its ease and seamless stream between my other iGadgets.  With that being said, it is nice to have options and Google is giving us just that.  Instead of a free song or two updated once a week, Google has a free song of the day.  If you are a user of Google +, once you buy a song from their store, you can send it to a friend and let them listen to the entire song once for free.  I like that a lot because even though you can now listen to more than 30 seconds of a song on iTunes, you can’t preview the entire song.  Who knows if I’m about to purchase an instrumental song with just 45 seconds of vocals that are played during my preview of the song?  I wouldn’t iTunes.  But I would through Google.  Though as you would expect, the prices are comparable.  Nothing new there.

In fact, if you were to check out Google’s music store versus iTunes, you won’t see much of a difference.  There are books, movies, bios on artists, top songs and other options that you can find in both online stores and of course we can’t forget the apps; the apps that we play in class during lectures.  Cough, cough, fruit ninja.  There are roughly 30% free apps on iTunes though Google wins this battle, offering about 70% free apps.  Free is always good.

Apple is more recognizable in music and I am one of those die-hard Apple consumers but Google has got me thinking about giving them a chance.  I have already downloaded a few free songs just to play around with it and so far, so good.  I thought it would be difficult to play Google music on my MacBook or on my iPhone but with a click, I was able to play it on both devices.  Google opens up a webpage where your music is stored so it doesn’t bog down your memory.

The only downside I have encountered so far is that there is far less music than on iTunes for purchase.  I’m glad I was able to purchase “Heart of Gold” by Neil Young on iTunes because it was nowhere to be found on Google’s Android Market.  Their website also takes some getting used to, maybe because “I’m a Mac” but it still user-friendly.  I feel like I’m cheating on iTunes but I’m just giving it a try.  It doesn’t mean I’m going to leave you iTunes but I like knowing there are options like Google’s Android Market out there.

In today’s economy, it’s clear to see that the consumer is the one with the power and Google is trying to give us what Apple is not – more options.  So my question to Apple is, are you listening?