Monthly Archives: September 2014

5 Ways Women Use Mobile While Shopping

By Shell Feis 

We all love our phones. On average, we glance at them over 150 times a day and utilize them for everything from looking up movie times to catching up with our moms.

Recently, there’s been an increase in mobile use while shopping among women, and for good reason. The entire shopping experience, from start to finish, can be made easier by mobile devices. Here are five of the main ways that women are using mobile while shopping:

1. Making Lists: Whether using a simple app like Notepad or something with more bells & whistles like Evernote, making a list on a mobile device is extremely efficient. Rather than trying to remember everything you need to buy when you’re headed to the store, you can keep a running list of everything as you think of it or run out of it. Since most women are never far from their phone, it’s perfect for eliminating all of those sticky notes with just one or two items scribbled on it.

2. Saving Money: Clipping coupons is an age-old way to save a few bucks, but many women simply don’t have time to cut them out, sort and organize them. Mobile coupons are a paperless way to save money, which means they save a lot of time (and trees).

3. Comparing Products: When making big or important purchases, we always want the best. Women often use their phones to look up reviews on products that appeal to them in-store. Some in-store price tags include a QR code that when scanned, brings you to the product’s page on the retailer’s website for quick access. There are also independent apps that can scan a barcode to compare prices between retailers in order to find better deals.

4. Checking Inventory: Many stores provide opportunities to look up a particular item and see which store near you has it in stock. This is helpful when a product is displayed somewhere unexpected or if the item is in fact sold out so you don’t waste precious time looking for it.

5. Getting Advice: Sometimes, an outfit appears to look better (or worse, for that matter) in the dressing room. Snapping a quick photo and texting it to a friend for their opinion is the adult version of hitting the mall with your girlfriends. It doesn’t just work with outfits- posting an electronic you’re eyeing or a home decor item you like on social networks and asking for opinions is becoming commonplace and is a terrific way to prevent buyer’s remorse.

How do you use your mobile device when shopping? Let us know in the comments below!


The Social Side of Football Season

Fall means one thing, football season. Both the college and professional football leagues are now in full swing, enveloping football fanatics across the country. But watching your favorite football teams on Saturdays and Sundays no longer consists of attending the game at the stadium or sitting in front of a television. The rise in social media amongst teams, players, coaches, reporters and fans has turned mobile devices and tablets into second screens for the ultimate fan experience all week long.

College athletics have really embraced social media to further develop their respective fan bases. As a majority of their fans are now heavily present on social media platforms, teams and athletic departments at top athletic universities have discovered the need to engage fans on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Vine and even Snapchat. Fans can turn to these platforms to get intimate interaction with their teams by obtaining exclusive, behind-the-scenes information, news, photos, and videos directly from the source rather than wait on journalists and news articles from an outside journalist. Teams are creating new content each and every day and utilizing creative teams to enhance this content with photos, videos, infographics, Gifs, and other imagery to get fans prepared for gameday.


LSU Football Facebook Page – Alabama Football Twitter Handle – Oregon Ducks YouTube Account

As an alumnus of the University of Michigan, I follow the Wolverine’s football team and athletic department on a variety of social platforms. They utilize these platforms amazingly well, providing exclusive access to the team, including photos and videos of practice and games on Twitter and Instagram, contests and exclusive ticket sales on Facebook, and even the release of a new alternate jersey on Snapchat. The team even had the school’s fan motto “Go Blue” painted as a hashtag on the football field at Michigan Stadium, a trend that is become popular across the country at many schools, including Mississippi State University and the University of Arkansas.


The University of Purdue is even hosting a “Social Media Game” on September 27th, where the team will feature student photos on the helmet. That’s right, the giant “P” helmet logo will be a picture collage of student season ticket holders.

This season, the USA Today launched the College Football Fan Index, where fans can see which college football programs truly have the ultimate fanbase. This in-depth ranking is calculated from monitoring social media activity, conversation, and photo & video sharing across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. It also utilizes weekly, online polling of different themes asking which college programs have the best tailgates, traditions, stadiums and other relevant questions about the best college football experiences.

Just as college teams have weekly rankings, so do their associated social media pages. On their athletics website, the University of Auburn ranks the Top 25 followed official pages, feeds and social media channels for the overall sports programs and their football specific handles. On Facebook Michigan, LSU and Alabama have the top 3 followed football team pages. On Twitter, Michigan, Alabama and LSU have the top 3 most followed football specific handles.

On the University of Tennessee’s athletics website, you can even see the Top 25 most followed college football coaches on Twitter.

While most of the action takes place on the field, the college football landscape is changing, as much of the conversation moves away from traditional newspaper, television programming and radio talk shows and onto various social media platforms. Teams and athletic departments are finding new, unique ways to engage students and fans to reward loyalty and enhance the fan experience amongst a new generation of fans.

The Hype About Hyperlapse

Hyperlapse technology isn’t new or advanced. The interface is simple and leaves little to be desired. However, Instagram’s new app topped the iTunes charts once it announced the release of Hyperlapse on August 26, 2014.

So what is Hyperlapse? This app is a completely separate entity, owned by Instagram, that allows users to record up to 180 seconds and shows the recording at hyper speed. The user interface is just about as easy as taking a video on your phone. You create a video, then you have the opportunity to increase the speed- anywhere from 1x to 12x. From there, users have the option to upload the video to Facebook or Instagram (notably, Twitter and Vine are not available.) The video also saves to your photos, so you could even upload the video to your Zanga account if you wanted (but that would be some serious desperation.)

Hyperlapse is not without it’s flaws, though. The app is currently only available in iOS, however it is rumored to be in droid stores soon. The interface, however easy, is deprived of some essential tools. You cannot edit the recording, other than the pace of the video. There isn’t a storage bank of your saved videos. You can’t add filters, create special effects, or even add sound within the app. Here’s also the question of why executives released this tool as a separate app, rather than an addition to Instagram. Right on the cusp of social frustration of the Facebook Messenger App (and the all-but forced download by Facebook users,) Instagram took a risk in creating Hyperlapse as a new app rather than including it into their current app. If only Instagram account holders could use it, surely the number of users would increase. However, Instagram created a completely new app. What does that mean to you and your brand? It’s easily accessible. You don’t have to have an Instagram account to create one and you can share it however you choose. And, essentially, you can repurpose these videos for other medias.

Regardless, brands and marketers alike are making efforts to capitalize with Hyperlapse incorporated in their strategy. There are a few things to consider before using Hyperlapse to promote your business:

  1. Start with a plan

Just like you wouldn’t create a commercial without a script, it is ill advised to publish a hyperlapse video that hasn’t been planned out. A simple idea can be executed to it’s full potential if you spend extra time on the front end.

  1. Be mindful of limitations

Too much movement during the recording can be distracting. Too quick of speed can make viewers dizzy or nauseous. Users also have to consider that Hyperlapse only films in 4:3 aspect ratio, where some apps- namely Instagram and Vine- publish square images and videos.

  1. Get creative

In order to make your Hyperlapse video great, you have to work through the obvious limitations. Consider editing and adding sound through a secondary app and spending additional time to revise before publishing.

Perhaps the most important question is how long will Hyperlapse be relevant? It’s difficult to determine the lifespan of an app, as we all saw when Flappy Birds reached its height of downloads and then its discontinuation all within the same month. With Instagram and Facebook backing this new app, it might be around for awhile. But just how long does your brand have to utilize this app to reach a tech-savvy generation?

What do you think about Hyperlapse?

For Brands, Social Customer Service is a Must

With social media and smartphones on the rise, a new kind of customer service has developed.  Consumers are no longer reaching out via phone, they are voicing their questions and concerns by using social media.  With the promptness that social brings, consumers want answers on social, instantly.  Research conducted by Lithium Technologies says that 53% of users who tweet at a brand expect a response within the hour. The percentage increases to 72% for those with a complaint.

While some brands are quick at providing a response, they might not be quick enough. According to Brickfish, 80% of companies believe they provide superior customer service on social media, while 92% of consumers disagree.  Brands might want to re-evaluate their social plan to make sure they are keeping up with the consumers wants.

One industry that is seen to be slow at social customer service is Supermarkets.  Getting in-touch with social could really help this industry gain excellent customer loyalty.  Social Media Today used their Twitter Performance Tracker to look at how 21 North American supermarkets use Twitter as a customer service channel.  The average response time spent on Twitter was 5 hours and 10 minutes.  This is definitely not meeting the customer’s expectations.

One supermarket that is quick at responding is Mariano’s Market.  They had the fastest response time of 29 minutes and 17 seconds.  If a customer is tweeting in store, the likelihood of them still being there within 30 minutes is high.  This gives customers a chance to tweet out any questions they might have.  It could also open opportunities for supermarkets to help customers find recipes with certain ingredients that they are buying in store.

Here is an example of a customer complaining about his store experience. He tweeted at 10:37PM and received a response back at 10:50PM. Though I do not know the outcome, Mariano’s might have saved a customer from becoming un-loyal due to their fast response time and willingness to help.

Here is an example of a customer asking about a new location opening. Within 13 minutes, Mariano’s had responded by providing an answer and then engaging with the consumer.  This is what can drive a consumer to become loyal, and I am guessing that person, along with the nine people who favorited the tweet, will be at the opening.

Consumers want to feel connected to everything and everyone.  By reaching out to someone on social, it can help create that bond between the consumer and the retailer or brand.  According to BrickFish 71% of consumers who receive a quick and effective response are more likely to recommend that brand to others and 50% are more likely to buy from a brand they can contact on social media.

It’s time to stop just posting on social media and to start engaging.  Make people aware of your presence, and give the best social customer service possible! Start now and beat out your competitors.

Do you have a favorite brand or supermarket that has excellence social customer service? Or as a marketer, do you have a marketing tactic that has helped your social customer service? If so, please let us know in the comment box!

The Rise of the Halloween Shopper

Boo!  It’s no secret that Americans are passionate about holidays, and Halloween is no exception. As the second-highest grossing commercial holiday after Christmas, U.S. consumers go all out on Halloween, spending billions of dollars on everything from costumes and candy to greeting cards and party supplies. To avoid digging a grave for missing this holiday, marketers should be targeting shoppers early through social media efforts. From the infographic below, learn just how early consumers start their spooky shopping, how they’ll be spending the haunted holiday and more. Check out  this infographic, The Rise of The Halloween Shopper. 

 Halloween Infographic

Amy Callahan to host BAA Social Media Webinar on September 30th

Today’s shoppers can experience the moment of truth anywhere they can interact with brands-which now happens on a daily basis via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, a website, anywhere they can get Wi-Fi or a cell phone signal. Thanks to social media, brands can build loyalty and trust with these daily interactions. A shopper’s path-to-purchase isn’t just a trip to the store and a decision to buy while standing at the shelf anymore. But how can brands use social content to harness the power of influencers to win over shoppers before they even get to the store? Amy Callahan, Collective Bias’ Co-Founder and Chief Client Officer, shares the details in a webinar, scheduled for September 30th.

The webinar will discuss understanding the implications of social media on traditional marketing, the 5 C’s of the social path-to-purchase, and how brands and retailers use social to drive awareness, loyalty, traffic and sales.  Register for How Social Media Impacts Traditional Shopper Marketing and learn the power of social content.


Twitter Impressions Were Fraud: Part 1

Written by Spencer Sonaty and Brent Snyder

Twitter Impressions Are Were Fraud: Part 1

Have you ever wondered how many followers you gained from a well performing tweet, or which content improves your engagement rate? Honing the art of using metrics to shape your Twitter strategy should be a constant pursuit. This has been problematic for some time, though, for two main reasons: access to quality social data is very expensive, and measuring impressions as a base for performance has become fraught with pitfalls in recent years.

Twitter now provides accurate metrics to aid in the transparency of how tweets perform, so every Twitter user can gain insights about the content they are posting and the engagement it garners.

In today’s social environment engagement is a topline metric, but engagement is impossible without first generating impressions. Low engagement rates (engagements / impressions) have become the norm, but mainly due to a lack of data surrounding impressions. Impressions have previously been calculated as the number of people who could potentially see a tweet: (total followers x frequency). With the new dashboard on Twitter, impressions are reported as the number of times users were actually served a tweet; a combination of both a user’s followers, and non-followers who also found the tweet via search.

While this clarified view of impressions is monumental, Twitter also breaks out several different types of engagement, including: favorites, detail expands, user profile clicks, replies and retweets. In addition to these metrics, users can see impressions by hour, followers’ locations, gender and popular interests.

Reporting on actual impressions and distinct engagement types will result in more accurate reporting, and better understanding, of engagement rates. This level of insight is vitally important, as users will be able to learn what types of content to use, and when to use it, to better grow followership and engagement overall.

Check out part 2 next week to read how Twitter could be changing the digital ad landscape forever.

The Latino Market- The Untapped Super Shopper [INFOGRAPHIC]

With the collective buying power expected to reach $1.5 trillion by 2015,  the  U.S. Latino market is in high demand and marketers need to start pushing their marketing dollars towards them.  Latinas in families are seen as the primary decision makers in the household.  They are creating the shopping lists, cooking meals, taking care of their children, paying the bills, and so much more. While they are holding their family together, they are relying on social media to express their voice and to look for advice.

Hispanics are influencers and they are influenced by others. From the infographic below, you can see that…

  • Hispanics shop together and trust their family and friends opinions.

  • Hispanics use social media when shopping.

  • It is important for Hispanic families to sit down together for meals.

It is time we learn about this untapped super shopper and address this growing market. 


What Does the Apple Announcement Mean for Marketers?

The tech world has been more excited about yesterday’s Apple announcement than for anything I’ve seen in several years.  What has become a slightly boring consumer affair in recent years was upended this year with not only the return of the Steve Jobs’ trademark line “One More Thing . . .” but also a new digital payments system.

applepayWhile what Apple does is of interest to most people in the US, it’s typically difficult to tie it to how it impacts our bottom line in the business world.  Mobile in general is huge, and the App Economy is alive and well with almost any business with an eye toward mobile having an App these days.  So what does this new mobile payment system mean for business?

In theory, it’s a new touch point with customers, and at best, it’s a highly secure and engaging way for customers to buy things from you.  In their demo, they showed an easy purchase from a Target App.  With this technology, marketers may be on the precipice to finally finishing the puzzle of consumer behavior from initial point of influence to in-store purchase in brick-and-mortar retail.  What is left in the air is how this attaches to individual identity.  Doubtless, security will be a concern with this payment technology, and they’ve clearly thought out the best way to make this as secure as possible, implementing not only Touch ID but a unique secure element in each phone.  However, tying that transaction to a person’s online identity is a gold mine for marketers – one that Apple surely has a plan to monetize, even if it’s only for their own advertising platform.

Apple also introduced the Apple Watch.  It may seem as though this is a geeky tech toy, but this wearable opens up an entirely new world for interacting with your online audience either via Social Media, or your own custom app.

We will certainly be hearing from a lot of brands and businesses in the coming months leading up to the Apple Watch release date about how they plan to build apps for this watch, but any business whose customers can benefit from real-time short-form pieces of information stands to benefit.  Consider the examples in the keynote:

  • BMW will display a map showing you how to get back to your car
  • Honeywell will allow you to control the temperature in your home
  • Pinterest will remind you when you’re near a pin

There are many more opportunities for businesses to use this new wearable as a communication tool.  Imagine being a gas station and delivering real-time price updates to people who are on a trip.  Perhaps a food company could send you recipe instructions, or a bank could update you when your account drops below a certain amount, or a restaurant could alert you when your call-in order is ready.  There are many useful, and not so useful, implications to this new wearable device.  No doubt the early adopter brands are already thinking of ways to work with the watch and the new payment system, Apple Pay.

What should you do to get ready?  I would start paying attention to the content available for my products wherever they are sold.  Although Pinterest was mentioned as a launch partner with the Apple Watch, and will give you location-based messaging, Foursquare will be in on this opportunity really quickly as well.  To prepare, start looking at your location-based brand content on Foursquare, Yelp, Pinterest, Google, and any other places that make sense.  It may be that this new wearable is not only a revolution in wearable technology, but in social and location-based awareness.