Category Archives: Social Media

Apps-solutely Fabulous: A Look at Three Beauty Brand Apps

A quick look at three branded apps gives a sense of how three beauty marketers have approached apps.

The mark. brand has a Beauty & Fashion Trend app which is essentially a catalog of their seasonal collections.  While the trend approach gives it some utility, it is telling that half of the ratings the app has received have only been one star—indicating the app has limited long term utility to users.

Revlon’s All Access app has taken a very magazine approach, with a stable of resident Revlon experts that share insights on beauty and fashion.  That makes sense, given that it was developed for Revlon by magazine publisher Conde Nast’s digital team.  The real test of this app strategy will be whether this “soft sell” approach will ultimately drive customer activity– or simply be an expensive exercise in digital custom publishing.

My Beauty Advisor was developed by Proctor & Gamble for the iPhone and Android.  P&G connects users with such major P&G brands like Clairol, Covergirl, Olay and Pantene. It allows users to browse a free magazine, have a beauty consultation and add products to a virtual “beauty bank” that saves information about consumers’ personal choices.  It seems like a fair exchange for P&G and users, with this telling caveat comment from a user: “I really like this app…love that I can browse makeup and add to my beauty bag…like that it has a pic of the product and customer reviews…the only thing I don’t like is that there is only one brand for each category. I’d like to be able to browse other brands as well…would give five stars if they expanded it.”

If you’ve developed a killer app in the beauty space, why not let me know about it for a future update on apps?  I’d love to hear from you at patty@digitalchameleon.net!

Patty Keegan

Digital Chameleon

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“We need an app, ASAP!”

It seems to be the mantra in marketing departments throughout the land these days.  Everyone it seems has suddenly discovered a burning need to have a branded app.  Certainly there is a growing appetite for app.  As of mid 2011, over 15 billion apps had been downloaded, and offerings are plentiful, with an estimated 425,000 apps for the iPhone and 90,000 for the iPad available on the iTunes store.  Looking more specifically at the beauty category, there are 414 iPhone apps on the iTunes Australia store tagged as “beauty” and 179 iPad apps tagged “beauty”.  And that’s not even looking at the potentially bigger Android app marketplace!

App development isn’t cheap.  Aaron Maxwell, a US developer, suggests a good budgeting rule of thumb is to allocate $30k to develop an app from scratch, not to mention updates and upgrades.  Given the cost, it is worth answering two basic questions before diving into the app pool:

1.)   What is my ROI?  Unless I’m charging for my app, how will I determine what my return on investment is?  Will it generate leads?  Create engagement that translates into purchases?  Build my database?  Without a defined ROI, all you have is an orphaned marketing effort.

2.)   Does my app do anything?  Why would someone download it?  The value of an app lies in a combination of immediacy, simplicity and context.  When it is done well, an app creates a real opportunity for engagement with your prospects.  But when it doesn’t, it will be ignored.

 

Patty Keegan

Digital Chameleon

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Digital PR

Don’t forget social media when it comes to your public relations programs. Digital PR can be an important partner in your social media marketing campaign planning.

So what do we know about digital pr? First, it can be used to promote our brand in traditional ways, but can also be used in new areas such as market research. Second, use social media carefully. When it gets used poorly, our brand can be damaged but when we do handle it well, we get rewarded. Finally don’t wait for the crisis to hit before you prepare your social media PR defenses. Have a script and be prepared beforehand or you’ll waste crucial time scrambling to respond.

Patty Keegan
Digital Chameleon

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5 tips to optimising your social media

Optimise your social media whenever you can. Here are five tips to optimising your social media efforts from Rohit Bhargava, noted social media strategist.

They include creating shareable content, always making our content easy to share with others, making sure we reward others for engaging with our brand, getting in front though proactive sharing and, finally, giving our brand fans permission and encouragement when it comes to creating mashups that involve our brand.

Patty Keegan
Digital Chameleon

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Gov’t media inquiry is naive

While incredulously reading about the Independent Media Inquiry into print and online media in Australia, I saw this cartoon (in the AFR), which says it all!


Nice that the government is waking up to “… technological change that is leading to the migration of print media to digital and online platforms.”  Which, by the way, has already happened, and has been happening for 15 years.  While they wring their hands about the lack of financial support for “quality journalism,” the next wave of “technological change” has already taken hold.

Alan Kohler sums it up pretty well in this piece.  Below is a snippet:

…having been one step removed from their customers, publishers are now two steps removed. Far more content is flowing between consumers than from producers to consumers; even if publishers knew and understood their audiences, which they don’t, they can’t compete with their audiences’ friends.”

Patty Keegan

Digital Chameleon

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Developing content for social

Our content strategy should be continually evolving.  We’ll be adding to it and curating it on a regular basis.

Let’s cover some basic principles when it comes to content management.  Tagging and categorising our content will make it easier for our audience to find it and us.  Defining our content purpose and how it connects back to our business strategy is a must.  Conducting content gap analysis over our competitor brand messages helps us better position our brand.  Tying the content back to our brand’s key themes and messages as well as incorporating recommended topics will keep our content fresh and consistent.  In addition, we’ll want to establish guidelines about just who manages our content and the governance issues around it.  Finally, we’ll want to tie our social media content publishing efforts back into our brand’s SEO efforts to provide us with maximum exposure on the search engines.

Patty Keegan

Digital Chameleon

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Keeping up with social media

This social media counter, created by Gary Hayes, is intended to show how active, dynamic, and ever changing the social web is.

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Skin Deep – A YouTube Tutorial

This post is from my monthly Beauty Directory column

YouTube is your brand’s television broadcast network— but are you tuned in?  Do you have a channel set up?  More importantly, do you know if—and how—your fans are tuning in to it?

Let’s have a look at Clinique’s YouTube channel to get some perspective on how one brand is using YouTube to reach out to its customer base.  Clinique launched it’s YouTube channel in 2005 and currently has sixty one videos on YouTube, with views per video ranging from 515,264 (“Repairwear Laser Focus Wrinkle and UV Damage Corrector”) to 817 (“Acne Solutions Clear Skin Solution”).  Clinique’s video strategy is to present “real” users to present advice on how to apply their solutions in very informal and “homey” environments.

How successful is Clinique’s approach?  As a public relations channel, it seems fairly successful.  Clinique used YouTube as part of its communication strategy when promoting the “Fresh Faces” touched down across multiple U.S. universities in late 2010, having touched down in Colorado, Kansas, California, Texas, Missouri, South Carolina, Massachusetts, Ohio and Virginia.  The uploaded videos feature on-location profiles of how university-aged women were exposed to Clinique’s products as part of a nationwide tour.   In total, it was an effective (and fairly low-cost way) to generate an additional 50,000+ video views of the tour.

Another part of the Clinique approach to managing their YouTube channel is their “Clinique Insiders” series, which feature ‘typical’ reviewers producing their videos in kitchens and bedrooms, as opposed to professional studios.  These videos (with a couple exceptions we’ll cover shortly) attract anywhere, depending on the product, from 1,000 to 25,000 views.  Raw view numbers don’t tell the whole story however.  Another metric to look at is the “Like” and “Dislike” count for each video.  These tend to vary, with extremely favourable “Like” ratios on some videos to very negative “Dislike” counts. Like many cosmetics marketers, Clinique’s social media channels provide a channel for both promoters AND detractors, all with different and varying motivations (some being political and social cause driven).  Some very positive signs that Clinique is managing it’s YouTube channel effectively are the in-channel responses Clinique makes to various comment complaints (see example).

Now let’s look at the most viewed video Clinique has uploaded.  The biggest by far is “Repairwear Laser Focus Wrinkle and UV Damage Corrector” video with 515,000+ views.  While most Clinique videos received far less views, this one earned significant attention (the next biggest earned 100,000 views).  A dive into the stats should give us more perspective on why.  Clicking on the stats button (found to the right of the total views number underneath the video box in the screen), we find that almost half a million views were generated by a link from an ad!

It is an important reminder that while YouTube (and social media in general) offers marketers a powerful organic platform to promote brands, advertising is what is driving most of the views in this instance—even on a “free” social media platform.   It is a useful lesson to consider – social media is just one part of the marketing challenge!

Have a look at Digital Chameleon’s Social Media Platforms course for more on YouTube.

Patty Keegan

Digital Chameleon

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social media influence and sentiment metrics

Social media brings a couple of new metrics to online marketing – influence and sentiment. It’s crucial for marketers to know who their social media influencers are. This is a challenge for marketers since the opinions of a relatively unknown individual thought leader can be more powerful than a celebrity in terms of how their comments or actions affect a brand.

Sentiment brings with it even more nuance. We can now “listen in” on a vast number of conversations, and the numbers of conversations and people involved are only one aspect of it. In order to discern what people are really saying and thinking, we need to be able to understand the “tone” of the conversations.

Common social media metrics include number of comments and shares, along with the number of readers/followers/fans/likes, etc. These are the numbers that start to determine influence. But it’s not so simple. If one tweeter is only followed by a few people, but those followers retweet everything that tweeter says, and their tweets are then seen by thousands of other tweeters, then that aggregation of posts, comments, followers, and retweeters can help marketers determine who the influencers are.

You want to be able to track the impact of your social marketing efforts and refine your activities based on the social data. Social media measurement is vital for benchmarking and tracking your success over time. It helps you compare your activity with that of your competitors, analyse the vast numbers of tweets and blog posts and comments, start to understand what all that data means, and then turn your insights into actions.

Patty Keegan

Digital Chameleon

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Social media success metrics

As with any campaign, the metrics that you choose to measure should align with your campaign objectives.  Forrester suggests that marketers fail because they tend to focus on the metrics that are most easily available, as opposed to those that best correspond to their objectives.

So start with clear goals.  Be clear why you’re planning a social media program.  Is it for customer service, marketing or PR, product support or development, sales, grassroots marketing?  Market research? Will it help your SEO efforts by building inbound links? Once you decide on why you’re involved with social media you want to concentrate on the metrics that matter most.  You don’t want to waste time looking at measurements that show how well your influencer program is going when what you wanted to do was improve customer service.

Some examples of metrics that tie back to the specific goals of a social media program include: engagement, traffic, viral analysis, influencer tracking, and sentiment.  If you want to generate sales, you might be looking at driving engagement – getting people to spend time understanding your offering. In this case you’d want to track your conversion and not focus on things like number of links or retweets.   Businesses where grass roots or word of mouth marketing are drivers should understand what is going viral for their brand and why.

For more on success metrics, see Digital Chameleon’s Social Media Campaign Measurement course.

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