Social Community Management Tips: Tried. Tested. Shared.

Community Management

Post by @itsmeltuvell What’s the ULTIMATE goal for brands and social marketers? If you didn’t answer that with “a loyal, engaged community,” you might be missing out on a huge opportunity through your community management strategy. We’ve had our head in the game for 5 years (or 35 if you agree that social years are like dog years), so here are a few of our tried, tested, and true tips for rocking social community management.

1. Stay relevant. If you’re still marketing to your followers on Myspace, then we got problems. Building brand advocates and influencer’s starts with taking advantage of the conversations that are already happening online. There are so many opportunities & platforms to jump into conversations and engage with your audience using social – they’re talking to you, and you need to be where they are.

2. Get creative. Here’s an example of excellent listening and engaging that proves a little goes a long way. Don’t be afraid to get creative with how you interact and engage with your audience and let your personality shine through.

Screen Shot 2014-07-15 at 3.11.05 PM 3. Don’t “set it and forget it.” Social never sleeps, and a recent study shows that 53% of users who tweet at a brand expect a response within one hour. If you schedule your posts in advance, that doesn’t exempt you from keeping your finger on the pulse and monitoring the conversation. It’s still moving, even if you’re not.

4. Read before engaging. One mistaken hit of the favorite button could land you in hot water. Although someone might tweet that you’ve made a “Top 10 List,” it could be a list of the top 10 worst brands ever in existence. Do you really want to be favoring that type of content?

5. Address the negative head-on. If you delete or hide a negative comment, it looks like you have something to hide, and likely someone will call you out, creating a bigger issue. Lean into the discomfort and own it. Your audience will appreciate you more for it.

6. Make sure to acknowledge the positive, too. A simple “thank you” goes a long way in the social world.

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7. Remember the “Golden Rule” (of social media, that is). Not familiar? Let’s review: delivering value when, where, and how your audience wants to receive it. Know your target audience so you can provide them your unique value offering with each post.

8. Be human. Getting too technical or being overly salesy can turn your audience off because it comes across as impersonal. Like we always say: Humans > Logos.

Have more tips to add to this list? Share them with us on Twitter.

World Cup Brand-Off

Post by @AlanaGolob

The World Cup may not begin until Thursday, but the showdown to win over football (soccer) fans around the world is well underway. The competition is fierce and brands are pushing the boundaries this year by essentially creating high production short films for their commercial spots. It’s not a surprise that brands are going all out, given that more than 3.2 billion people watched the live coverage of the 2010 World Cup, which was a 32% increase from 2006. It’s been entertaining, to say the least, to witness the heated competition between brands as they fight for viewership. Here’s a snapshot of the brand front-runners thus far. Although their products appear throughout each video, you forget you’re watching a commercial because you’re drawn to the compelling content – something each of these brands did so brilliantly.

Nike: “Last Game” 

With no surprise Nike came out of the gate strong in May with their “Winner Stays” video featuring Renaldo. Well, they are back and even stronger with their new five minute completely animated film, “The Last Game” that is already approaching 1 million YouTube views in the first 24-hrs.

Beats by Dre: “The Game Before The Game”

One of the most impressive campaigns (with more than 7.2 million views) I’ve ever seen is the campaign by Beats. It was visually stunning with Rio as the backdrop, included cameos from celebs/personalities, like Serena Williams and Nicki Minaj and beautifully showcased different pre-game rituals from people around the world. Well done, Beats, and thank you for the goosebumps.

Adidas: “House Match” 

“House Match” took the more humorous (and shorter) approach featuring current and past stars including, David Beckham who match-up against each other in Beckham’s home – which includes the destruction of his stocked trophy case. The video has already accrued more than 10 million views on YouTube since it was published on June 6th.

How do all these campaigns translate to social? It’s simple. Social has been the driving force for these campaigns leading up to the World Cup. With ad buys, athlete support, media coverage, and most importantly, outstanding content – these campaigns are making a huge splash amongst soccer and non-soccer fans.

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Here’s a quick glance at World Cup conversation volume thus far and how it continues to increase as we approach the end of the week.

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If you haven’t watched the new #WorldCup on Twitter video published by Twitter, I would recommend it. “Love every second.”

With the 2014 FIFA World Cup™ just days away, I look forward to what each of these brands have in-store for football fans around the world.

An Open Letter to the Twitter Mute Button

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Are you there, Twitter? It’s me, @chelseahartling.

Have I told you lately that you’re one of my favorite social platforms? I mean, I loved you before hardly anyone even knew about you, and besides Facebook you’re the longest social relationship I’ve ever been in.  You’ve given me an outlet to use my voice, and you constantly give me fast access to current events and up to the minute information on what’s happening all over the entire globe. In a generation where social media is the great equalizer, there’s no one like you.

My recent affinity for you comes in the form of your new Mute button. I think it’s brilliant. We all have friends or family that we follow on Twitter who annoy the living daylight out of us – but what can you do? You can’t unfollow your brother for tweeting too much about his love for a sports team you disdain. You can’t tell your best friend to shut up because her relentless tweets with cryptic Marilyn Monroe quotes overlaid on top of sunset pictures are driving you up a wall. You just have to take a deep breath and silently scroll past these posts without making a scene in order to preserve friendship and family ties. It’s a hard knock life for a Twitter addict.

But then you come to the rescue with a Mute button. Finally, a solution for all those people who constantly post deep and cheesy song lyrics, traumatically ruin TV finales, or #OnlySpeakInHashtags, without having to cut ties or offend people you actually enjoy in real life. It just seems so logical to me.

Some people wonder how the Mute button might affect brands. How will they continue to quantify reach if they get muted, or worse, not even know how many people have muted them? As long as you’re continuing to implement the golden rule of social media (providing value when, where, and how your audience wants to receive it) you shouldn’t have anything to worry about. Of course, promoted tweets won’t be affected by the Mute button, so brands will continue to have to pull out their wallets if they want to ensure their most important content is being seen – but that’s becoming a norm across most platforms that we’re just going to have to come to terms with (looking at you, Facebook). #MakeItRain

The feature is still brand new, but I’m excited to see the potential of how it progresses. Maybe one day we’ll have the option to Mute for just a set amount of time (how great would it be to mute those people who live tweet TV shows or sports games you have to watch on a delay, just for one day?). Hopefully some day soon we’ll also have access to some analytics around this so brands and community managers can transform their content strategies to provide even more value to their followers. We’re only just scratching the surface with this update, and I truly believe it has the potential to change and redefine the space as we know it. Exciting!

In short, dear Twitter, props to you for having the guts to give the people what they want: a useful feature that will encourage others to use their online voices for good. #Winning.

Jump high-five,
@Chelseahartling

PS. Check out Amy Jo Martin’s recent interview with Fox News TV on how brands can avoid being muted, here.

A Google Game-Changer

Post by @AlanaGolob

GoogleHangout

Over the past couple of years technology has continued to shape how students process information and learn about new subject matters. It’s even impacted our business model with the evolution of our online education platform, Digital Royalty University, which has allowed us to scale our content to brands and individuals around the world.

Today marks the 21st anniversary of “Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day” – but today, it was much different than the previous 20 years. For the first-time ever, Google partnered with Forbes and a variety of companies to take the experience online. Using Google Hangouts, Google delivered 18-virtual field trips for students around the country to “visit” inspiring workplaces. Field trips included a session from the NASDAQ floor to an inside look at the career of a filmmaker. Our partners from the Chicago White Sox (Nicole Saunches) and LPGA (Tina Barnes-Budd) were amongst the participants in a session on a career in sports marketing.

These virtual field trips bridged the barriers for students who may never have the opportunity to visit the inside of a Bulls locker room or travel to the LPGA Corporate Headquarters in Daytona. Students were able to ask these experts questions and gain valuable insight and inspiration for their future careers. Classrooms outside of the main participants could also tune-in and ask questions through the Q&A feature within the Hangout. It was really special to see the students get excited about participating. Not to mention, the professionals loved it just as much as the students. Equal value exchange.

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Imagine if this technology existed when we were in school? Would you have been inspired to explore another profession? Today made me even more excited to see where technology takes us and shapes the future of education. Thank you, Google for inspiring us all.

 

 

Help My Mom!

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We love our moms and we know you do too. BUT, don’t you sometimes wish you could put your mom’s social media usage on timeout? Us too. We’ve seen everything from accidental Facebook shares, to tweets that should be @replies. Hashtags? Don’t even bother! So, in honor of Mother’s Day and to show how much we care about all the wonderful mothers in our lives, Digital Royalty University is offering a helping hand through our “Help My Mom!” campaign.

We’re awarding three lucky moms a personal online session with a Digital Royalty University instructor to help them get their social media presence dialed in. Additionally, we will be selecting 30 additional moms to participate in an upcoming Digital Royalty University live social communications webinar and thanks to our friends at FlowerShop.com, those 30 mom’s will also receive a $30 gift voucher to FlowerShop.com.

So, how can you nominate your mom? Use our hashtag, #RoyalHelp on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram and include an example, a quick sentence, or if you’re really brave, a screenshot of a funny social media blunder your mom has made or you can nominate through the following form:

Whether it’s to help with understanding the difference between a public tweet or an @Reply, how to use Google Hangouts or FaceTime, or just some best practices on what to post and what not to post on Facebook (emphasis on what NOT to post), your mom will go through the same social communication training exercises that we’ve put Digital Royalty University graduates through for the past five years. Included with the one-on-one session is a Team Renegades toolkit: a Digital Royalty t-shirt, an autographed copy of The New York Times Bestseller Renegades Write The Rulescomplimentary access to the suite of our online social communication classes and a $100 gift voucher for a flower arrangement from FlowerShop.com. 

Incase you’re looking for some examples of social media blunders, here’s a few for you:

Help My Mom Learn Social Media

The winners will be selected and announced on Thursday, May 8. Lastly, we’re hooking you all up with a 50%-off promotion code for our Digital Royalty University classes and a $15 gift voucher to FlowerShop.com so that you can give the gift of education (and pretty flowers) to your mom this Mother’s Day. Use the code “HelpMyMom” at checkout on Digital Royalty University and FlowerShop.com to redeem. Offer expires on May 11.

Together we can turn your mom from a social newbie into a social rockstar.

#RoyalHelp 

#HudsonRules and So Does Social Media

Post by @AlanaGolob

Last week I witnessed first hand the true force of social media when people come together for a single cause. I was in Vegas at the dR corporate headquarters and received a call from my husband in Scottsdale telling me that Hudson got out of the house and his collar wasn’t on. Being miles away, I felt extremely helpless and feared the worst as my husband and my friend searched the entire neighborhood for hours looking for Hudson.

Fortunate for me I work with an incredible team of people who dropped everything they were doing to help me track down Hudson using the best tool at our disposal, the internet. Thanks to Amy Jo’s suggestion, I started posting photos of Hudson on my personal accounts as well as the Digital Royalty accounts – encouraging people to help spread the word. Amy Jo took to Twitter using the hashtag #FindHudson, while tweeting every Arizona shelter, news station, anchor, oh – and even encouraging Arizona Cardinals pro football star, Larry Fitzgerald, to help us spread the word. This is a perfect example of how influence can be scaled for good.

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I was completely humbled by the overwhelming support of past co-workers, old high school friends and hundreds of complete strangers on each social channel. People genuinely wanted to help find Hudson and I couldn’t be more grateful of their support.

Below is a graph to illustrate the social impact. On the day Hudson went missing there was a significant spike in online conversation. More than 70% of the total conversation surrounded keywords associated with Hudson and the highest amount of mentions originated from Arizona and Nevada.

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While my co-worker/friend, Erinn Ray, searched the internet to find the most useful resources to find lost pets, she came across the site, Lost Dogs Arizona and joined. Within minutes they posted a Facebook post on their page with a photo of Hudson. Then a complete stranger (thank you, Susan!) stumbled across the post of Hudson, searched Craigslist and found a lost/found ad with an exact description of Hudson. As I boarded my flight home to Phoenix, I received a call from Susan telling me about the listing and giving me a phone number to contact the people who had Hudson the whole day. (Helpful tip for pet owners, always look on Craigslist first to see if anyone found your pet. Who would have thought?! Not me.) 

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Thankfully this story had a very happy ending thanks to the internet and the kindness of each person who played a helpful role. All of us at Digital Royalty had a bit of an “ah-ha” moment from this experience and were further reassured of why we’re in the business that we are in. Social communication is a scalable, unstoppable force without limits when we work together to combine our influence for a good cause. If we can find a lost dog using social media, just think if we used that influence to help find missing children? Food for thought.

My key takeaway from this experience is first and foremost that there are still tons of really, really great people in the world. Secondly, the internet can be a beautiful thing when it’s used to help people. And lastly, it sometimes pays to be that obnoxious dog owner that constantly posts photos of their dog on the internet…#HudsonRules. Hey, even dogs need personal branding (wink-wink).

A big THANK YOU to everyone was involved and supported. Watch the news segment on 12 News by anchor, Bryan West. If you’re a pet owner, there’s some helpful tips about how to use social media to find a lost pet.

 

Humanization Leads to a Hole in One

Post by @AlanaGolob

When brands lead their social media strategy with humanization, it often leads to successful results. The LPGA has made a commitment to humanize the players of the Tour through on-going Digital Royalty University education, regular communication meetings with select players and their willingness to take risks within the social space. And their efforts aren’t going unnoticed (read espnW article). The LPGA used last weeks Founders Cup Tournament as the perfect opportunity to go big and give fans exclusive access into the tournament and exposing the players through the following social event activations:

 

 

1.) Google+ Hangout with Jessica Korda:  The LPGA hosted their first-ever Google+ Hangout with superstar golfer, Jessica Korda live from the Founders Cup. The Hangout was hosted by the LPGA’s Chief Communication Officer, Kraig Kann, alongside Stanford Golfer (and our Royal Intern), Danielle Frasier and golf blogger Neil Schuster. Fans had exclusive access to Jessica for 45-minutes to ask questions through Twitter and the Google Hangout Q&A feature directly on the Hangout. Watch the full Hangout, here. Big hit.

LPGA Instagram Takeover

2.) Instagram Takeover:  Instagram takeovers are a great way to give a look into the average day of someones life through photos and videos. LPGA golfer, Danielle Kang took the “keys to the castle” of the LPGA Instagram account and gave fans a sneak peak into her life, which even included a round of golf with Bruce Jenner and her recovery session off the course.

Side note: Keep an eye on our Digital Royalty Instagram account, as we plan to do #dRRoyalTakeovers on a regular basis to give you a look into what we’re up to.

LPGA golfie

3.) #LPGAGolfie:  Taking the selfie to the next level, the LPGA is using GoPro’s to capture a unique perspective from each of the tournaments by placing a GoPro in the bottom of a golf hole. These #LPGAGolfies are captured by using the timer setting on the GoPro combined with the wifi feature on the camera that connects to the iPhone app. Pretty rad, right? We think so.

To help further inspire the game of golf, GoPros are also being used to give fans an up-close vantage point to players swings and putts on the course. Here’s a look at golfer Karrie Webb teeing off.

4.) #LPGAMeetUp:  The LPGA hosted their second player meet-up with Azahara Munoz at the Founders Cup. Fans were able to find out the location and the time of the #LPGAMeetUp by following the LPGA social media accounts. The first fans to arrive had a chance to win SkyBox tickets to the tournament, as well as meet Azahara. When fans are able to meet their favorite players all because of social media, it’s a beautiful thing and they instantly rise the fan ladder.

LPGA Meetup

Interested in learning more about event activation strategies? Give our Digital Royalty University class, “The Art of Event Activations” a spin. It will walk you through how to develop your own storytelling strategy and execute social media stunts.

The Voice of the People

Post by @AlanaGolob

The strength of social media is that it gives everyone and anyone the platform to have a voice and make it heard. It’s scalable, it’s impressionable and it’s impactful. Social media doesn’t discriminate, you don’t have to be a celebrity or a congressman to be heard. We all have the ability to own our voice if we chose to do so.

For those of you not aware of the recent controversy in Arizona, the SB 1062 Bill was proposed that would have allowed individuals/business owners to refuse to serve customers based on religious grounds, i.e. the right to discriminate based on sexual preference or marriage views.

What did the people do when they heard about the new bill? They turned to the internet to express their opinions on the bill. Floods of tweets and Facebook posts poured in and people updated their avatars with statements expressing support for equality. I think we can all agree that Arizona took a slight PR hit this week.

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#SB1062, “Jan Brewer” and “Arizona” were all trending on Twitter and Facebook for most of the afternoon. There are more than 63,000 posts including the hashtag #SB1062. 

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Amongst those posts included official statements from the MLB and the NFL even went as far as to threaten to pull the Super Bowl out of Arizona next year.

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Influencer and regular activist, Sophia Bush rallied her more than 1.5 million combined followers on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to help spread the message of equality.
Screen Shot 2014-02-26 at 6.19.51 PMCorporate America also stood up to Arizona lawmakers and joined the fight against the bill via statements including Apple, Delta, Petsmart and others – which also sparked conversation on Twitter and was covered on several major media outlets.

Gov. Jan Brewer also turned to Twitter to share the outcome of the bill minutes after she publicly announced the veto through a televised press conference.

Screen Shot 2014-02-26 at 6.34.25 PMWhen the veto was announced, what did the people do again? They turned to social media and this time around their posts had a slightly different sentiment.

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We’ve seen this time and time again with social communication channels. When controversy arises, people turn to the internet to express their opinions, whether to spark a revolution in Egypt or lobby to bring back their favorite latte.

What does this new way of communicating suggest? That perhaps the government should evolve it’s procedures and practices. Yes, I realize it’s not a new concept to suggest that the government is operating with an outdated model – but what if the government turned to the internet (the people) to crowdsource bills and collect votes vs. the senate? It seems to be an effective practice for the people and brands around the world that are turning to the social space to improve their value offering and build lasting relationships.

Power to the people!

 

 

Simple ways to maximize your LinkedIn presence

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If the world of social media were an elementary school, LinkedIn would be one of the most misunderstood kids on the social media jungle gym.

LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network but yet many people don’t scratch the surface on it’s potential. As one of the most powerful search engines for online personal branding, LinkedIn provides a great way to bring your professional network to life.

Megan Porteous shares a few easy ways to maximize your LinkedIn presence below.

1) Connect promptly while your new contact still remember you

Don’t wait for more than 24 hours before connecting with someone on LinkedIn you’ve had contact with (this goes for both in-person or email correspondence). That way, your name and/or face are still fresh in their memory and they are more likely to click “accept”. In addition, make sure your LinkedIn profile picture shows your face clearly (no glasses or hats) so you’re easily recognizable.

2) Set a connection goal

LinkedIn counts a user’s connections exactly up until the 500 mark. After 500, the number of connections a user has is displayed by 500+. That could mean 501 contacts, or it could mean 1,500 contacts. Set a realistic contact goal for yourself, eventually aiming to reach the 500+ mark. Dedicate some time to growing your LinkedIn community. Go through your Facebook friends and add them to LinkedIn. Add former colleagues, classmates, professors, and industry partners. Add anyone who you stop and hello to while walking down the street. 

3) Connect with care

Your LinkedIn network is only as valuable as the strength of your connections.  For some professionals—like recruiters or salespeople—it is advantageous to connect generously. But for most people, it’s best to be a little choosey on your LinkedIn connections. If you have a bunch of LinkedIn connections with people you have never met before, there is no value in those connections down the road.

For example, say you want to connect with someone at MTV. You see that there is one person at MTV who you have a 2nd connection with. The 2nd connection could be an old co-worker who you had a great relationship with. You simply message your former co-worker asking for an introduction and viola, connection made! If you had a network filled with connections that you didn’t actually know, you wouldn’t be able to maximize your connections.

If you want to connect with someone and think it might be a stretch, be sure to personalize the message you send with the invite to explain why you want to connect—and why this person should want to connect with you (think equal value exchange).

4) Update your LinkedIn status regularly 

Each time your brand releases a new blog post, you should update your LinkedIn status with a link to the new post, regardless if you wrote it or one of your teammates wrote it. This helps drive traffic to your brand’s website and it also allows your name to show up on your connection’s LinkedIn timeline on a regular basis, keeping you top of mind and further legitimizing your professional presence.

5) Build relationship between people

Jamie Ginsberg, a friend of Digital Royalty and a LinkedIn wizard, can’t stress this point enough. Building relationships between people is a lost art form. See someone looking for an opportunity? Connect them with someone who may be hiring. This LinkedIn good karma will come back around when you are trying to connect with someone. This is the initiative that separates the rookies from the all-stars.

6) Prep for meetings and find common ground

Before a meeting or a conference call, do a quick LinkedIn search of the people who will be meeting with. This will allow you to find some common ground and/or learn about their background and roles within the company. Maybe you will discover that you went to the same school, maybe you see that the person likes hiking because they are a member of “Executives who hike” group. Who knows what you’ll find but personal connections can make those awkward conference calls a lot less painful!

 7) Maximize travel

Whenever traveling, both professionally and personally, update your LinkedIn status with a short bit on where you are going, WHY you making the trip and asking if people in the area would like to meet up for a coffee. You can also search your connections by city. For example, if you were traveling to Denver, you could search to see which connections lived in or near Denver. You could then message or email the ones who you’d like to meet up with because it’s important to not only reach out to someone when you need something. We all know that every good connection needs a little bit of work to keep it a good connection!

8) Engage with LinkedIn timeline

Each time you log in to LinkedIn, go through your timeline and at the very least, LIKE a connection’s post. If possible, make a comment on a connection’s post. The way the LinkedIn algorithm is set up, each time you comment or LIKE a post, you show up in your connection’s time line (keeping you top of mind!). Jamie calls this the 2-minute drill: two minutes of daily maintenance is better than logging in 1x per week.

Instagrammers: The New Generation of Bloggers

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Post by @AlanaGolob

Remember MTV’s reality show The Hills? Yep, I admittedly have seen every single episode. For those of you who aren’t approaching your “30-something” birthday in a few days, it was a hit show where the main character Lauren Conrad “LC” had an internship with Teen Vogue. Smart move by Teen Vogue back in 2007 to amplify their reach/awareness and attract the teen audience that watched the show (or twenty-somethings like myself). Well, Teen Vogue strikes again with an innovating partnership to target teen fans and provide added value for the publication’s advertisers.

Just recently, Teen Vogue announced their new Instalist campaign that has selected 10 “bloggers” and influential younger personalities who are given a $1,500 prize package which includes a shopping spree featuring their top advertisers, DKNY, 7 For All Mankind among others. They will be asked to host events and participate in a live Instagram fashion show on Feb. 19. The sponsorship also includes digital and print components.

There’s also an open application to become the next member of the Instalist on the Teen Vogue website. According to their official rules, the Instagrammer will be selected based on the following criteria: “Instagram feed social influence and engagement (20%), creativity of photos (30%), sense of style (20%), appropriateness for Teen Vogue’s fashion look and aesthetic (20%) and quality of the photo (10%).”

The key components that make this campaign brilliant are the following:

  • Expanded reach: The combined and total reach of all the personalities extended exceeds 1.6 million Instagram followers, which is nearly double the current reach of the Teen Vogue account. By leveraging the influence of these Instagrammers Teen Vogue has nearly doubled their reach and have expanded into other audiences.
  • Added value to advertisers: Each Instagrammer will be given a shopping spree which will include the clothing items of their advertisers. This is a win-win for Teen Vogue and for the brands advertising. They are able to organically integrate their product and reach a new audience (times 10), beyond a traditional ad buy.
  • Unique experience for teens: These teens are given the opportunity to make a statement for themselves both online and print through Teen Vogues promotion. See how personal online brands are important, even for teens? That’s why we created a dRU Parent/Teen class. It looks as if one of the featured Instagrammers has knocked her personal brand out of the park with more than 400,000 followers at 14.
  • Data acquisition: By opening up the submission process to anyone who wants to apply that is over the age of 13, they are also acquiring new email addresses which leads to more subscriptions. #Winning.
  • Cross-promotional campaign: The Instagrammer photos won’t solely live on Instagram, they will be promoted on the Teen Vogue website, in print and digital campaigns throughout the year. Keeping Teen Vogue’s content fresh and organic.

Nice work on seeing an opportunity and capitalizing, Teen Vogue. Excited to see how this plays out for the publication.