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SOCIAL MEDIA SPOTLIGHT: SHEETZ
CRACKING THE MILLENNIAL CODE

Millennials aren’t a fad — they’re the future, and if your brand isn’t engaging them, then you might be destined to go the way of the dinosaur. In terms of reaching Millennials, social media is certainly the way in, but what’s the right way to do it? Just having a Facebook page certainly doesn’t cut it, and just because you tweet doesn’t mean your target is listening.

So what’s the answer?

Well, it’s a collection of things, and it’s different for everybody. The challenge is in understanding a target that’s smart, ever-changing and willing to listen if you’re giving them something worth listening to — otherwise they’re on to whatever’s next.

East Coast C-Store Sheetz is doing some really fun, but strategic things in terms of social media. At first glance, it might seem a little buttoned-down, but it’s buttoned-down with purpose. Check it out:

MAY THE MEME BE WITH YOU
Millennials move fast. If you can’t say what you got to say in the flash of a screen, then you might get TLDR’d (Too Long, Didn’t Read). All the reason to learn how to speak Meme. From message boards to text messages, Memes have caught on like wild-fire, especially with Millennials. Memes say a lot in a short visual experience, and they’re easily tied to real life situations, casual conversations, or simply what’s going on the world.

Sheetz uses Memes to join a pre-existing pop culture conversation. Posted from Facebook and Twitter, they’re able to connect with millions through the inclusion of popular hashtags that target movies, TV Shows, and other relevant subject matter.

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CELEBRATE WITH FOOD
Social media makes it really easy to celebrate holidays, and to share those sentiments with others. Sheetz is no stranger to seasonal calendar events, and regularly invites their audience to take part in the fun with relevant food items. This is a big hit with Millennials because it communicates a message through their medium of choice and syncs up with the way they graze throughout the day.

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ASSEMBLE AN ARMY
Sheetz has its fair share of loyal fans, better known as Sheetz Freaks. But it’s not just a label, it’s a way to target brand ambassadors. Millennials want to stay connected with the brands they love, and through #SheetFreaks they’re able to stay in touch, share content, and maintain open dialogue with their favorite brand.

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Written by: Immediate Consumption

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SOCIAL MEDIA SPOTLIGHT: SNAPCHAT

WHAT IS IT?
According to the internets, Snapchat is a photo messaging application that enables users to take photos, record videos, add text and drawings, then share that content as Snaps to a controlled list of people. Okay, cool. But here’s where things get tricky…

Users are able to set a time limit for how long recipients can view each Snap—typically from 1 to 10 seconds.

Once viewed, they disappear.

Snapchat also offers a Story feature, which allows users to share content for 24 hours. These pics and videos can be viewed over and over, but once time expires, so does the Story.

WHAT’S THE POINT OF THAT?
One of the brains behind Snapchat, Evan Spiegel, said Snapchat is intended to counteract the trend of users being compelled to manage an idealized online identity of themselves, adding, “It’s taken all of the fun out of communicating.”

Essentially, Snapchat takes the whole court reporter dynamic out of the equation. It lets users communicate in a way that lives only in the present, and requires greater attention from recipients—otherwise they might miss the message.

Ultimately, it more closely portrays an actual conversation, just with rich and engaging user-generated content.

WHO USES IT?
Lots of people. Snapchat has close to 30 million monthly users, with nearly 16.5 million using the app daily. The core demographic consists of users between the ages of 13 and 23, with a growing user base of 40-plus.

WHAT ARE THEY DOING WITH IT?
Lots of stuff. Sharing jokes. Telling secrets. Spreading rumors. Flirting. Making each other laugh, sing, cry… people are using Snapchat to communicate in a casual way that’s engaging and immediate. Often times it’s a catalyst for a bigger conversation that takes place in real life. Maybe it’s just an idea that’s shared to get things going. And it’s always done so without the burdening need to be curated.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR MY BRAND?
Simply put, Snapchat lets people and brands communicate in a way that’s more real. Users only opt in to receive Snaps and Stories from brands they like, that way users aren’t bogged down with marketing messages they don’t want to hear. It’s a great avenue for brands to engage brand ambassadors, and really take part in the immediacy of how our respective targets communicate.

SO, SHOULD MY BRAND BE ON SNAPCHAT?
The answer to that question lies in another question: Is your target on Snapchat? If so, then Snapchat might be something to look into. Brands like Taco Bell, ESPN, and even major movie releases have used Snapchat in their marketing messages.

WHAT’S THE RIGHT WAY FOR YOUR BRAND TO USE SNAPCHAT?
Well, how well do you know your target? Start by putting yourself in their shoes and try to understand what types of things they’d want to hear from you. Brand communication through Snapchat is relatively new, so defining that territory will require a bit of creativity—but that’s a good thing! Just keep it simple, and always keep your target in mind.

Now get to Snappin’!

 

Written by: Immediate Consumption

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NEW YEAR, NEW GIZMOS — CHECK OUT OUR FAVS FROM CES 2015

This year’s Consumer Electronic Show teed up its fair share of electro wonderment. From 4K OLED TVs to Bluetooth speakers that levitate in the air, the sea of techno advancements the show had to offer blew our collective team away, leaving many of us with the question, “when and where can I buy that thing?!

Here are just a few favorites some of us guys might be purchasing in the not so distant future:

THE POCKET PRINTER BY ZUTA LABS
Winner of the “Best of Innovation” Award at CES, the Pocket Printer captivated audiences throughout the entire show, wheeling itself across printer paper and filling the page with pics and text, all from a mobile phone.

THE PHILIPS FIDELIO B5 BLUETOOTH SOUND BAR
It’s surround sound without the 10-speaker setup. Just pop off the ends, place them throughout the room and let the magic of Bluetooth connect you to real audio magic.

POLAROID CUBE
Little. Cubed. Affordable. At $99, it’s a more practical action video device that fits an everyday lifestyle, and your pocketbook.

 

Written by: Immediate Consumption

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BACK IN FRONT — WAWA OPENS THEIR KITCHEN FOR ALL

The C-Store category has long been a place for on-the-go pre-packaged ready-to-eat foods, bags of chips, and other items you choose out of convenience rather than freshness, healthiness, or appetite appeal. But things are changing in the way we eat, and C-Stores are listening.

For example, Wawa’s new line of larger stores in Florida is putting fast-casual, fresh offerings front and center — literally. Wawa is attracting new customers all across the sunshine state with an open-air kitchen concept that is a central focal point within the new footprint.

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Not only has this effort changed shopper mindsets, it’s connected with the younger, millennial target that tends to eat on the go throughout the day rather than at traditional meal times. Ultimately, bringing the kitchen from the back of the store to a central location has paid off big for the East Coast C-Store, who opened its 50th location in Florida this year.

 

Written by: Immediate Consumption

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7-Eleven is the world’s largest convenience store chain, in both the physical and the digital world. With over 51,000 Twitter followers, they have almost as many people reading their tweets as they have store locations.

And while they undoubtedly need to make a good impression in-store, their social media is of equal importance. Considering that 7-Eleven sells 2,300 fresh sandwiches every hour, 1 million cups of coffee every day, and 100 million hot dogs every year … Well, it looks like their strategy is working.

So why is 7-Eleven’s Twitter presence so strong? It seems they truly understand what consumers are looking for when they click the “Follow” button for a brand.

According to a 2013 Nielsen Twitter Consumer Survey, 55 percent of people who follow brands on Twitter do so simply because they like the brand. 7-Eleven understands that their followers can’t like only the 7-Eleven products, but also the distinct 7-Eleven personality.

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This next tweet works because it shows that 7-Eleven is in touch with what their followers like — in this case, the recently popular “Hot Dogs or Legs” meme. Thirty-four percent of consumers follow brands because they tweet interesting/entertaining content. That 7-Eleven can incorporate popular culture with a reminder to buy a $1 hot dog is a plus.

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Others — 27 percent — want to be able to engage with the brand and provide feedback, and replying in a way that aligns with the brand personality is essential.

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An additional 38 percent want to participate in contests through Twitter, and 7-Eleven is great at using hashtags to generate some friendly competition.

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And, of course, around half want to use Twitter to find out about special offers. Using social media to spread the news about promotions, bundle deals and freebies is a sure way to have followers pay attention.

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Last, another large chunk — 51 percent – want to stay up-to-date with brand news. Making your account a must-follow means sharing information that’s valuable, and more important, exciting … such as surprise visits from NASCAR stars.

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Written by Immediate Consumption

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BRAND SPOTLIGHT: Oscar Mayer

What do Michael Bacon and turkey bacon have in common?

They’ve both spent their lives in the shadows of other bacons: Kevin and pork.

The two less-recognized bacons have many positive attributes of their own. Sure, Michael didn’t star in Footloose or win a Golden Globe like “the other Bacon” did, but he can play 12 instruments and is an Emmy-winning composer. As for turkey bacon, it’s 50 percent less fattening than its counterpart.

Oscar Mayer’s new ad campaign aims to gain recognition for both the lesser-known – but equally important – bacons. Using the hashtag #UnsungBacon and a hilarious promotional video, the goal is get Michael to surpass Kevin in number of Twitter followers while promoting turkey bacon’s meaty merits.

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Michael, who can’t even boast a blue check next to his Twitter handle, may still have a ways to go:

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Nevertheless, in addition to giving recognition to Michael and turkey bacon, advertisers should recognize all the things this campaign does right: it’s clever, it’s social media centric and, at the end of the day… it’s about bacon.

 

Written by: Immediate Consumption