Tag Archives: Katie

Social Series: The Social Success of Fashion’s Night Out

Source: mooshoes.com via raven on Pinterest

 

Designers, editors, celebrities, and fashionistas from all over the globe will be joining together tonight for the fashion extravaganza that is Fashion’s Night Out. The one night event was created in 2009 by Vogue’s Editor in Chief, Anna Wintour as a way to “restore consumer confidence” during the recession. This year FNO turns 4 and the fashion industry is pulling out all the stops. This of course, includes going social.

Before I plunge like the necklines on Alexander Wang’s new Spring collection into the many ways Fashion’s Night Out will incorporate social media into the big night, let me first tell you why social media has been so vital to the fashion world since its debut. Many believe it’s because fashion is all about telling a story and social media creates a better, more interactive, more engaging way to tell that story. Stacey Bendet of Alice+Olivia looks at social media as creating the world of your brand. Ari Goldberg, CEO of Stylecaster goes as far to say that “Brands that do not engage using social media will not be here in ten years to talk about it!” Quite a bold statement. Bold, but predictably true. It’s evident that brands are not taking the addition of social media into their marketing mix very lightly as we can see with designers such as Calvin Klein. The well-known brand increased its advertising budget for interactive and online media from just 1% in 2009 to 23% in 2012.

This being the fourth year for FNO, the core-team of organizers behind it wanted to expand the impact of the night, and what better way to engage with people all over the world and with all different interests than through social media? But how exactly is Fashion’s Night Out going to use the socialsphere to tell their story tonight? To start out, fashionistas can join the conversation by following the event at #FNO on Twitter and by liking the Fashion’s Night Out page on Facebook. By following the event, fans will get exclusive info on different offerings and sweepstakes, as well as the scoop on where to find celebrity designers throughout the night. Then of course there’s Pinterest, every designer’s social dreamscape, where you’ll be sure to come across fabulous contests like the one Milly NY is hosting: to participate each entry must create their own Pinterest board showcasing what they believe embodies the lifestyle of a true “Milly Girl.” And for the winners, tickets to the Milly Spring 2013 show. And while you are out and about during Fashion’s Night Out, you can tag your instagram photos to #FNO for a chance to have your pics featured on FNO live.

The main strategy behind FNO is to engage with customers and retailers, and thanks to social platforms, Fashion’s Night Out will succeed in “putting the fun back in shopping.”

Are you looking to grow your brand and increase engagement? Find out how social media can work for your brand, right here.

- Katie Cohen, Junior Copywriter

 

Social Series: Facebook Gets a Rewrite

 

Does anyone ever use the Facebook app from their iPhone or iPad? It’s slower, it doesn’t look the same; it almost seems archaic when compared to other mobile apps. Knowing that the future of Facebook depends on having a strong mobile presence, the social network dominators went to work and last Thursday released a new version of Facebook for iOS.

By looking at the cover of things, the average Facebook user won’t notice a difference, but when one takes a look inside one can see the pages have been completely rewritten. The change: Facebook for iOS is no longer wrapped in HTML mobile web view, it’s written in Objective C, the iOS’s native codebase.

So what the heck does all the mean? Basically it means the the Facebook mobile app now loads faster, is easier to navigate, doesn’t pause when trying to load more news items, news feeds and notifications can be viewed in real time, and the likes and comments appear more seamlessly. Oh, and for all you avid iPaders, the Facebook timeline is now working. So it will look and feel more normal.

I can see the future and I see that Facebook is definitely going to be a part of it. Grab your phone or tablet and check out the new version for yourself right here.

- Katie Cohen, Junior Copywriter

Social Series: The Best Apps for Back-to-School

 

A long, long time ago when I was just a young schoolgirl, we searched for books using an archaic library system (The Dewey Decimal!) and used things called encyclopedias to do research reports and the word “application” meant a form you filled out to apply for something. In my later years (circa the 7th grade) the invention of cell phones took off and me and every other kid on the block had a sweet Nokia brick. These cellular devices were good for talking and texting (if you knew how) and that was about it. You couldn’t even access the internet from these things – Crazy I know. Nothing about cell phones fit into learning and were therefore usually banned from most classrooms. “I don’t want to hear or see it, and if I do, then it’s mine,” was the familiar speech given by all teachers.

Skip ahead a few years to the present where cell phones and other mobile devices are not only allowed in classrooms and lecture halls but are being praised by teachers and professors as invaluable learning tools. As we embark on another exciting school year, I would like to share with you my favorite apps for students of all ages.

Let’s start off at the beginning with preschool to elementary school students. During these early years, children are developing vital learning skills like reading and writing and it is so vital to their future education that they master these skills at this young age. To help the little pupils excel, the appstore offers great apps like Read Comprehension, which helps build your child’s reading comprehension skills with a variety of topics to read about, from the Solar System to Sportmanship, they’ve got it all. The app also provides follow-up questions to challenge your child’s comprehension skills. Another great app, Super Why, allows kiddos to dive into interactive literacy games feet first. With characters like Alpha Pig, Princess Presto and Wonder Red, learning will be a ball. Super Why covers all your literary bases, with the alphabet, rhyming, spelling, writing, and reading. I also suggest nurturing your child’s creativity with apps that let their imagination soar like Princess Fairy Tale Maker and Monster Physics.

Jumping ahead to the teenage years, here are a few apps that will make high school a breeze. Is your child a bit stressed about taking one of the most important tests of their lives: the SAT? Fear not, check out the SAT Vocab – Mind Snacks app and put that SAT in check. And to help your high schooler steer through those tougher courses, download apps like iMathematics, Vernier Video Physics; and Shakespeare – which comes equipped with everything from Hamlet to A Midsummer’s Night Dream, and 39 other plays, 154 sonnets and six poems. Some apps can even save you money, like the PocketCas Lite app which turns your phone into a serious graphing calculator for FREE (a $139 value).

Moving onto the college years, where kids are trying to juggle a full load of demanding classes, internships, part-time jobs and a social life in their free time. The biggest issue for these young adults is just trying to keep up with it all. With apps like gFlash and Evernote, students will be able to keep up with their intense and busy study schedules. gFlash allows users to create and edit their own set of flashcards. With no limits on the number of cards they can create and features like reverse Q&A and support for multiple choice questions, this app is sure to put the flashcard business to shame. And with college come research projects, lots of research projects, that’s where the app Evernote steps in. This amazing app allows students to take notes, record audio, and even stores documents. Did I mention it also syncs between all capable devices? With these simple to use apps, your students will be on top of their college game.

And I even have something for you adults who love to continue learning, and discovering new things every day. To enrich your lives with new knowledge that will set you apart from the rest, check out my two favorite learning apps: TED and Stitcher Radio. The TED app is compiled of the well-known TED talks which present seminars from the most fascinating people from all aspects of the professional world. And Stitcher Radio is a streaming app that features podcasts from NPR and WSJ.

So sorry Pink Floyd, we DO need an education and from early childhood to mature adulthood, these innovative apps are a great resources for getting one. Learn on my friends, learn on.

- Katie Cohen, Junior Copywriter

Social Series: Take a Bite Out of Shark Week

 

Feeling like something is missing now that the Olympics games are over in London? Well, cheer up mate – Shark Week is here. Yes, just the perfect dose of high jumping, jaw biting action to cure your post-Olympic blues. Not only is it another epic week of catching out-of-this-world footage and hearing amazing survivor stories, but it is also the 25th Anniversary of the Discovery Channel phenomenon. And to celebrate Shark Week has gone digital, from totally sweet 3-D apps to interactive social convos – you’ll be in a media feeding frenzy for the next week.

With shows like Sharkzilla and Air Jaws: Apocolypse Reloaded, you don’t want to miss any of the action. To help you stay afloat, The Discovery Channel has put together the Shark Week Plus app. This live feed will take you behind the scenes and comes packed with incredible shark facts, quizzes, polls, and photos. From tooth to fin, the Shark Week Plus app has you covered. So sink your teeth into 24/7 Shark Week indulgence by going to discovery.com right now and download the app.

To further bait you in, The Discovery Channel is also offering the Ultimate Sharks app. This outrageous app gives the viewer insights into the science of shark behavior. From 3-D interactive sharks that you can control with your fingertips – make them swim, hunt, and attack prey to tales of real life encounters in Attack Stories.

And for you serious Shark Week enthusiasts, you can take a bite out of the conversation with Facebook and Twitter. With over 11 million Facebook friends and the already viral #sharkweek hashtag, you can guarantee some juicy discussions. Some of my personal favorite tweets so far are: “ #sharkweek drinking game,” and, “they should have a reality show called #sharkweek meets The Jersey Shore.” Also, while on Facebook you can play along with Shark Week Bingo live as you watch the interactive episodes.

So I think it’s safe to say that The Discovery Channel won’t be jumping the shark anytime soon with the way they made this Shark Week bigger and better and more exciting than ever before. Happy shark watching to all.

- Katie Cohen, Junior Copywriter

I am Man (or Woman), Hear Me Roar

 

The other day I was on the phone with my mom and she was going on and on about the problems she is having with her new mattress. She told me how she and my dad had picked out a great mattress from one of those home shopping channels, we’ll call it CVQ for now, but when it was delivered she noticed the mattress had two defective box springs. Right away, my mother picked up the phone and called CVQ to talk to customer service, but they told her she would have to call the mattress company, then the mattress company told her she would have to call the delivery company. Long story short, my mom was given the ol’ run around and nothing was getting accomplished. After telling me all this, I recommended that she post her complaint on CVQ’s Facebook wall. I explained that posting something for their 1 million fans to see might help you get the kind of customer service that they pride themselves on. We, as consumers want our needs (and complaints) heard and social media acts as our megaphone. No more having to call and wait on the phone, or take the time to write a complaint letter. Things have changed. The ball is in the consumer’s court.

I guess the most expected question to this new form of complaining would be, does it work? Does it create change? Does reading your post compel the brand to follow up and do whatever it takes to turn you into a happy, loyal customer? Well in my parent’s case, yes CVQ delivered her new mattress within the week – hassle free. And as a manager of social communities I have experienced this new voice-of-the-consumer revolution first hand and I would say yes, using social media as a vehicle for the consumer to get the attention of the brand does work. When a complaint or unsatisfactory review is posted on one of my brand’s pages, I take action, immediately. I call the brand and let them know what was said and they tell me how to address it, which is usually by first, giving our most sincere apologies and then offering them some sort of deal or offer to bring them back to the brand.

Back in April of this year, a survey was done where 2,000 UK resident were polled about their use of social media. The results showed that 65 percent of these people believed social media was a better way to communicate with companies. In other words, social media has finally allowed for 2-way communication between consumer and brand or company. I myself experienced this sense of empowerment just the other day. I had unsuccessfully tried to return a pair of shoes that did not fit and after feeling unsatisfied that I would have to keep a pair of shoes that I would never wear and couldn’t do anything about it, I turned to social media. I went on to this shoe brand’s page and posted my issue. Within the hour I had been contacted with an address of where to send the shoes and the receipt and a promise that the money spent on the shoes would be back in my bank account within three days. Mission accomplished: shoes returned, money back and smile on my face. Thanks Facebook.

A fellow consumer, Peter Davis agrees that Twitter and Facebook are a great tool for means of venting our issues with brands and services. Mr. Davis complained on Twitter after he bought a computer online only for a microwave to be delivered to his Brighton home.

“This was preferable to calling their customer services line and being put on hold for inordinate length of time listening to pulsating dance music,” he says.

As you can see this idea of VIP treatment is spreading and I can’t speak for all brands, but for myself, my parents, Mr. Davis, and all the brands I represent, social media can bring a brand and it’s consumer much closer.

- Katie Cohen, Junior Copywriter

The Tools Needed To Break Through and Reach Your Audience

 

When you think of cruises what’s the first thing that comes to mind? For me, the first thing that comes to mind is senior citizens. Well, senior citizens and Spam, but mostly seniors. You know… you hear about those retired couples talking about the ten cruises they took last year, and how they can’t wait for their next “adventure.” Maybe it’s all the food, maybe it’s all the bingo – who knows, but these cruise lines definitely have a loyal fan base. So you can imagine how surprised I was to hear on the radio the other day, that one of the major cruise lines is steering towards another audience: hipsters. Hearing this reminded me of how important it is to #1: know your audience and #2: remember loyalty is a two-way street.

I know, you’re probably still trying to wrap your head around hipsters and cruises. It’s like trying to market skinny jeans to seniors or something – total ew. Well it’s really happening. One of the largest indie festivals in the world, Coachella is teaming up with none other than Carnival Cruise lines to bring to you the S.S. Coachella (no this is not a joke), a “musical voyage.” After all the bad publicity Carnival has gotten in the past couple of years, from the stranded with Spam incident to boat collisions to the capsizing of the Costa Concordia, I suppose the S.S. Coachella seems like a way to regain their proud title of queen of the high seas. However, since the announcement, the comments have seemed to suggest otherwise. Comments such as, “BREAKING: Somali Pirates Deem Coachella Cruise Ship ‘Too Obnoxious to Seize,” and, “SS Coachella, talk about cashing in,” from Twitter.

At Pocketstop, we obsess over organizing human behavior and using that data to create fanatical loyalty between the brand and their audience. By getting to know their audience, where they hang out and what they like to do, the brand connects with their consumers on their level, and in a way that is safe and comfortable to them. That way brands are not forcing themselves on consumers who are not interested, but instead targeting the right audiences: Audiences that are interested and have the potential of being loyal. And, once the trust and loyalty is there it is important for the brand to nurture that loyalty. Just as in any relationship, loyalty is a two way street. Once you land the sweet and cute boyfriend you can’t go off and start flirting with other guys and expect him to stick around, can you?

- Katie Cohen, Junior Copywriter

Superhero Mania

 

Do you have a secret shrine of comic books hidden under your bed or in your closet, all in mint condition, and they can only be touched with special gloves? Do you flee to San Diego every summer for the nerd fest that is Comic Con? Are you wearing a spandex suit under your clothes right now? Well Superfan, welcome to comic book heaven and the Summer of Superheroes.

Crawling along the ceiling, cruising in their batmobile and blasting alien threats with repulsor ray shots from the palm of their heads – the super characters from the pages of comic books are coming alive on the big screen, once again. Superheroes have proven their ability to draw crowds to the movies, but nothing like what we are seeing this summer. According to ticket sales, these summer blockbusters are living up to the hype, bringing in over $1.4 billion worldwide to the box offices. Oh, and that number comes just a week after The Amazing Spiderman hit theatres and a week before the release of The Dark Knight Rises. It’s official: we’re obsessed.

From magazine covers to news headlines to late night tv interviews – everyone is talking about Superheroes. What’s causing this obsession? Have we all just turned into a bunch of comic book nerds? Manohla Dargis of the NY Times says the “allure of comic book movies is obvious, because, among other attractions, they tap into deeply rooted national myths, including that of American Eden (Superman’s Smallville); the Western hero (who’s separate from the world and also its savior)and American exceptionalism.” Or maybe its the cape, spandex, and boots that draws people? Whatever it is, it’s working.

Well of course Pocketstop wanted to get in on the Superhero action, and it was just convenient that two of our clients are two of our favorite movie theatres. To add to the hype and anticipation of a Super summer at the movies, Pocketstop wanted to create an engaging way for Superhero movie fans (of all ages) to have fun and perhaps even win something. We couldn’t think of a better way to than to launch a Facebook photo contest in which kids (again, of all ages) could show off their Super Superhero looks. Yep, tights, briefs, cape – the whole get up.

Wanna get in on the Superhero Summer fun? Come on, let that spandex breathe and check out the Superhero photo contest.

- Katie Cohen, Junior Copywriter

Pinterest Makes Your DIY Dreams Come True

Looks like my rain dance finally paid off…and the rain gods aren’t letting up anytime soon. So until the clouds clear and mr. sun comes back out to play, you’re probably going to be stuck inside. I know, I know, you want to be outside drinking margaritas on the patio or taking a dip in the pool – but I have just the right cure for those rainy day blues: DIY projects!

For those of you who have not jumped on the DIY train after watching Nate Berkus work his magic on a 10×10 New York City apartment or experts on the DIY Network turn baskets into bookshelves, you may be asking why DIY? Below are my top five reasons to get out there, put the hammer to the nail and DIY:

1. Saving money. When a gallon of milk cost $3, why spend money when you don’t have to?

2. Family togetherness. Make a fun day of it with the family and create something you all can treasure for years to come.

3. Sustainability. Go green.

4. Great one-of-a-kind gifts. DIY gifts are more personal, they show you put time and effort into creating something just for them.

5. And, last my personal favorite: unleashing your creativity!


Before getting started on your amazing DIY project, you probably want to spend some time flipping through magazines and gathering inspiration, right? Wait…magazines? So 2010. Hello Pinterest. Yes, everyone’s favorite virtual pinboard is the one stop site to go for anything DIY.

Maybe you’ve been wanting to rearrange your living room or make better use of that blank wall in the den. Or, perhaps all your room needs is a bit of color. Whatever the design problem may be, you’re guaranteed to find the solution on the millions of DIY boards created by your fellow pin pals. I recommend checking out these 10 DIY experts on Pinterest for inspiration before you finally tackle that project (you know the one you’ve been putting off for a rainy day). Happy upcycling!

- Katie Cohen, Junior Copywriter

Summer Social Media De-Stress

You can’t sleep, you can’t eat, and omg is that a zit popping up? You appear to be experiencing all the systems of stress, but where is this stress coming from? You’re well rested, works going great, the boyfriend is great, rent’s paid… so what could it be?!

The culprit: Your smartphone, i.e. your new virtual social life. That little hand held-device that is supposed to make your life easier is now causing you to totally wig out. The posting, the commenting, the constant urge to check your wall and change your status. Do you have enough pictures up? Who’s in a relationship, who’s breaking up? AHH, you can’t take it anymore.

A recent study out of the University of Worcester gives light to the cause of this added stress. According to the university’s psychologist, Richard Baldingonce, once an individual starts to use his or her smartphone, the workload management benefits are displaced by the pressure to keep up with their new virtual social life. It’s like highschool all over again. The pressures to keep up appearances, be accepted, be a part of the conversation… who has time for all that pettiness?

To take a further look into this sudden increase in stress among seemingly happy, easy-going individuals we look to a recent survey done by ad agency JWT.  After surveying young adults between the ages of 19-26, they discovered that more than half of the people surveyed were concerned over the growing amount of time spent in maintaining their social media accounts. Respondents of the survey complained that the stress of trying to keep up with the virtual social lives was having a negative impact on their work and studies. Has social media led us to the point where we are so obsessed with our online appearances that we are losing sleep over it?

“We found that the reason young people need breaks is because of their social media responsibilities, but that’s exactly what they do when they’re on a break,” said Lydia Daly, JWT planning director. “It’s a vicious circle.”

So how do we get a hold of ourselves and enjoy life once again, outside of this vicious online social circle? Here are four simple steps to help you get back to living life again, your real life.

1.  Take time to disconnect
Walk away. Just put the phone down and walk away. Go for a run, take a cooking class, talk to a friend (in person), or check out the documentary you’ve been wanting to see. Yes, try one of those wonderfully stimulating activities you use to partake in before smartphones and social media took your life. Listen to Prince, and party like it’s 1999 – for at least an hour or so.

2.  Breathe
Breath in, breath out. You know that involuntary movement we never pay much attention to. Did you know that by simply taking control of your breaths, you can release built up stress? Sign up for a yoga class, buy a yoga dvd, or simply try this simple breathing  exercise. Breath in slowly, counting to 5, and then breathe out counting to 5. Keep going. Feeling like a new you already? As you continue this slow controlled breathing exercise, your nervous system relaxes, reducing stress and inducing relaxation. Slow and deep breaths help to calm and quiet the mind. Namaste.

3.   Eat these 7 foods
By changing your diet a little bit, you can radically reduce your stress. Try out these 7 proven de-stresser foods.

  • bananas
  • salmon
  • broccoli
  • sugar
  • black tea
  • whole grains
  • chicken breast

So the next time you start stressing over the new pic you posted that is getting no likes, put down the phone, grab a banana and relax.

4.    Get up.
Detach yourself from all your mobile devices for 15 minutes and get up and move. Yep, that’s it – shake what your mama gave you. Moving around and being active causes serotonin to be released into your brain. After 15 minutes of dancing around your living room you’ll have forgotten all about that wall post Bobby Sue wrote about you. Don’t believe me? Try it out for yourself.

All you have to do it follow this easy advice and I promise you’ll be back to your lovely pre-Facebook days in no time.

- Katie Cohen, Jr. Copywriter

Mobile Commerce: Shop ‘Till You Drop Your Phone

So you’ve got a party to go to next weekend, and of course you want to get a new outfit. But like most of us you work every weekday until the clock strikes 5, so the only time you can run to the mall is after work or on the weekend. You’d almost rather go to the party in last year’s dress than face the night and weekend crowds at the mall. What if I told you that you could find the dress of your dreams and pay for it all from the palm of your hand? Welcome to 2012 and the more convenient, consumer friendly future of shopping: mobile commerce.

For those of you who may have been sailing around the world the past year and aren’t familiar with the term “mobile commerce,” allow me to catch you up. Mobile commerce is simply a way to shop online through your mobile device. Customers are now able to not only get information on a product through their phone, but go ahead and actually make the purchase right from their all in one device. To make the payment process even simpler, many companies now offer mobile credit card apps so that you can securely store your credit card number on the app and not have to bother manually typing in your information for each mobile purchase.

Over the past year, mobile commerce has made quite a splash in the market place. To help explain the steep rise in mobile commerce, let’s take a look at some statistics courtesy of Mashable.com. Out of the 7.0 billion human beings roaming this great Earth, 5.9 billion are owners of mobile phones; and 77% of those 5.9 billion use their mobile device to conduct online searches. And one out of every ten of those searches leads to the searcher taking some sort of action; such as a purchase or a store visit. Online shopping became so popular overnight because of the amazing convenience that it provided all of us. Mobile commerce has brought a whole new meaning to the concept of convenience.

What does the ability of making purchases from your mobile device mean for retailers? It means that they now have even more time and opportunity to entice you to spend your money; and you better believe they are making the most of it. The main objective for retailers using the mobile space is to make it easy and convenient for their customers to look up a product, read about it and finally purchase it all in one transaction. To ensure this process goes as planned, retailers should:

  • Direct users right to their mobile sites when they search them from their mobile device
  • Offer incentives to users of their mobile commerce such as free shipping on purchases over $100
  • Advertise your retailers mobile app from your mobile site
  • Keep the layout clean and easy to navigate
  • Take pointers from Saks and their mobile site, like their click to call option, allowing users to easily connect with customer service
  • And, last but not least, the most important tactic to apply to a retailer’s mobile site is a call to action for an opt in to set up SMS communications

- Katie Cohen, Creative Services Coordinator