Happy Birthday Sharon!

Happy Birthday Sharon!

Happy Birthday, Sharon!

We kicked off this week with Sharon’s birthday! We were excited to sit down with our fearless leader and delve deep into her psyche in honor of her birthday. As Executive Vice President and Partner at Vision, Sharon has drawn from her experience in account management and marketing to help define and broaden the agency’s direction and focus. She loves to run, watch the Mets and would love to shoot hoops with Michael Jordan someday. Get to know Sharon and what inspires her:

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN WITH VISION & WHAT’S YOUR ROLE?

I have been with Vision since 1991. I do account service work. I oversee the account service team, provide account oversite and help with overall strategic planning.

HOW DOES A TYPICAL DAY FOR YOU NOW DIFFER FROM WHEN YOU FIRST CAME TO VISION?

When I started at Vision, I was doing a great deal of new business development and account service. I spent most of my days on the road going to see clients, showing layouts, getting client feedback, and pitching new business. This was all pre-internet. Today, I am still a big believer in going to see clients and learning from them first hand. I still do some account work now but also spend time on big-picture initiatives for the agency and some clients and manage most of the agency’s pro bono work.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT YOUR JOB?

I love that every day is different and I love the people I get to work with – my co-workers and my clients. They are smart and passionate people who inspire me every day.

WHAT INSPIRES YOU THE MOST ABOUT BEING A LEADER?

What inspires me most is the chance to make a difference and to work with people who care about the results as much as I do. I am very fortunate to have the opportunity to work with the clients that I had over the years. I have worked with everyone from office managers to CEOs and they all bring so much to whatever project they are working on. It’s my responsibility to make their ideas a reality and to add whatever value I can along the way. It is a job I am so grateful for.

WHERE DO YOU HOPE TO SEE THE COMPANY IN THE NEXT 5-10 YEARS?

I want us to continue to make service a priority while expanding our capabilities. I want to continue to work with clients who inspire us and I want us to continue to have a team of passionate, dedicated staff who “get it” – understanding why it matters to always do our best.

 

Check out the amazing red velvet (Sharon’s favorite) birthday cake that our very own Angela baked! (It was delicious!).

 

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How Marvel Studios and Robert Downey Jr. Went Viral

How Marvel Studios and Robert Downey Jr. Went Viral

How Marvel Studios and Robert Downey Jr. Went Viral

An Example of How to Generate Organic Engagement

One of the biggest players in cinematic history made a bold (and brilliant) marketing move when they decided to announce an early release for the next installment of their franchise. That’s right, we’re talking about Marvel and their announcement that Avengers: Infinity War will arrive in theaters a week earlier than the originally advertised date. The movie is highly anticipated and while the marketing team could have put out a simple press release or given an exclusive to an entertainment outlet that would have garnered excitement, they did something better.

Marvel Studios teamed up with one of the actors from the franchise to announce the new release date on Twitter. We all know that social media has captivated more than just the younger generation. Athletes, brands and even politicians are tweeting about what’s happening on a daily basis. As Robert Downey, Jr. plays Iron Man and has been in seven Marvel movies thus far with Infinity War making eight, he was a phenomenal choice to help let the cat out of the bag. With over 10 million followers on Twitter and his character’s general persona, the marketing team had a stroke of genius in using that platform to make a splash.

It started with Marvel Studios tweeting, “On a scale of one to infinity, how excited are you to see #InfinityWar on May 4th?” and then a conversation via Twitter feeds sparked.

Anything Marvel Studios did would have had a large impact because the fan base is so dedicated to the brand, but announcing the way they did went viral. This playful back and forth gave followers content in which they became invested… and the result was incredible. Instead of paying for an ad or reaching out to a publication to drop the story, Marvel Studios created a conversation that entertained followers and had a more engaging result than if they had simply posted a new movie poster on their account.

This led to a discussion about the power of engaging, organic content. We know our example is talking about movies and famous movie stars, but their actions and intention are what we’re focusing on: organically engaging followers in a fun (and personable) way.

Any time there is an opportunity to generate engagement by creating a fun dialogue with your followers, it should be utilized. Organic content that is genuine, humorous and conversational can increase followers’ engagement as well as their interest in following a particular page/brand. Most people are on social media for entertainment (and to connect/converse with others), so what better way to capture followers than by being a source of enjoyable and entertaining content?

Take a page out of the Marvel Studios’ book the next time you have an announcement or product launch. Create fun, conversational posts in which followers can partake. Be funny and charismatic; people are more likely to follow and engage with a business/brand that has a personable voice on social media. Social media is the place to give your business and/or brand a personality. Content that comes across a feed that is humorous, relatable or seems genuine is a gold mine for people who spend their time on social media.

Capture their attention! Find an angle that works for you on social media and is still true to your company’s values. People crave entertainment and reward genuine authenticity, so quality organic content can be more valuable than spending hundreds of advertising dollars on the same platforms.

Take it a step further.

You’re aiming to post quality, engaging content on your page. Good job! Now, take your business/brand to the next level on social media by engaging with your followers. Respond to their comments, tag them in a response, double tap when they tag you in a photo or like/retweet them when you can! Spending time engaging with your followers is time well spent. Being responded to by a business or a brand makes followers feel heard (and somewhat important). We’re not talking about writing a book-long response to every comment that pops up in your notifications, but a simple “Thanks for the love, @____!” or “We’re glad you liked it!” response can go a long way and keep your followers wanting more. 

Keeping with our Marvel theme, the directors of Avengers: Infinity War were kind enough to have provided a perfect example. The Russo brothers (directors at the helm of Avengers: Infinity War and the movie to come after it) responded to a fan that tweeted concern about the mysterious title for the next Avengers film that won’t be announced until after Infinity War has hit theaters. The Russo brothers promptly responded and the result went viral. Again. Nothing flashy, no long dialogue; just a short (yet impactful) response that has been liked and retweeted thousands of times. 

People want to be a part of the brands they’re following and feel like their voice is heard; so when you have the opportunity to respond, retweet/regram or like their comment or post, take advantage of it! The result could start trending.

 

Image source: Twitter

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The Power of Print

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Award-Winning Design Series: Reckitt Benckiser Professional

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Brand Authenticity in the Social Media World


Brand Authenticity in the Social Media World


Brand Authenticity in the Social Media World

How Can Your Brand Be Authentic on Social Media:

Sometimes it’s easy for businesses to forget to put the SOCIAL in their social media. Think of it as a stage for your brand to really have its own personality. This is where you are constantly engaging with your customers by answering questions, liking comments and providing support that they crave and need. No one wants to talk to a “bot”; they want the human factor now more than ever. Even if you aren’t using a bot you don’t want to risk sounding like one. The same mentality should apply to your content as well. You still want to create content that is on-brand and consistent with your messaging, however, you can also use this as an opportunity to connect with your followers and develop a relationship with them. Ask questions and engage the users so they just don’t scroll on by. Make them stop and appreciate what you’re giving them. Give them what they didn’t know they needed. 

Remain relevant with current happenings that can relate back to your brand. Be approachable in your voice to establish trust and legitimacy with your current or potential customers. 

What Brands Are Successful at Staying Authentic on Social Media:

NETFLIX

Netflix for the win, for well, everything. What started as a new and more convenient alternative to Blockbuster video has now exploded into a media streaming phenomenon with original shows and movies and a top-notch social presence to boot. What does Netflix do on social media that makes it so successful? 

1. They never try to sell you anything. Well, at least not directly on Instagram.

  • There are no gimmicky sales posts with fake scenarios that consumers know aren’t real. Their imagery does not reflect one of a traditional advertisement.
  • Netflix uses Facebook as its platform to showcase movie and show trailers and then Instagram for funny memes and brand awareness.

Source: Instagram

Source: Facebook

 

2. Their voice is the funny best friend you wish you had. 

  • Mostly on Instagram, reading their captions will make you actually laugh out loud. They’re clever and sound like they’re your friend that you can relate to. They provide their followers entertainment while simultaneously informing them about a new show coming to the service or overlap two shows in one cheeky reference.

Source: Instagram

Source: Instagram

3. They post content about relevant social events but relate them back to their shows and/or movies that are currently streaming on their platform.

  • Something happens in pop culture and they immediately jump on it. They create timely posts on topics that are already trending but with a fun spin that relates back to them.

Source: Instagram

Source: Instagram

KFC

Still succeeding as a favorite fast food restaurant serving tasty fried chicken since its small start in 1930, how does KFC remain relevant on social media? First and foremost, you can’t check out their Instagram without your mouth watering. But what has KFC done to continue turning out new engaging content?

1. They have fun with their food.

  • The recipe has never changed so to keep things fresh KFC gets creative with their content. No simple beauty shots of their food found here. More like funny edited situational photos, videos, and animations that are overproduced for the pure joy of it. On top of that, they planted this hidden gem on Twitter by following only 11 other accounts: 5 Spice Girls and 6 guys named Herb which was undiscovered until @edgette22 noticed on Twitter and his tweet about it went viral. This little nod to their recipe containing 11 herbs and spices was pure marketing genius. They took things a step further by sending him a painting of him and Colonel Sanders as a reward for finding their hidden marketing gem.

Source: Twitter

2. The Colonel is not just a mascot. 

  • The Colonel dominates their social media but he never gets old. With the ever-changing Colonel now being represented by famous actors, comedians, and musicians, this campaign continues to evolve and take on new personalities with each new person. That doesn’t mean the original Colonel is out though. He is still the most featured Colonel with constant fun visuals that truly come to life and stay relevant.

Source: Instagram

Source: Facebook

3. They stay relevant with social events and pop culture.

  • They keep serving up the fun visuals for holidays, sporting events, seasons and more. They’re always creating something unique and different.

Source: Instagram

Airbnb

A service connecting real people with amazing living quarters up for grabs for vacation rentals? Sign me up. Often cheaper than the major hotels and resorts while offering more space and privacy for its vacationers, this service has gained popularity as a better choice for travelers. We all love dreaming about vacations and Airbnb capitalizes on that.

1. They use user-generated content.

  • What better way to sell a dream vacation than to show real people enjoying their own dream vacations in the places you can rent? No strategically planned professional lighting and lenses to make things bigger than they are. They show their actual customers enjoying their experiences in the most authentic way thus generating a “this could be you” mentality. 

Source: Instagram

2. They create serious FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out).

  • The user-generated photos are half of the equation. The other half is all about their voice. Their honest and approachable tone assures you of the reliability of their trusted hosts and upholding standards while setting the scene. 

Source: Instagram

3. They create a sense of community.

  • There’s nothing better than getting a good recommendation on a place to stay. Airbnb is like your truth worthy and reliable friend who also happens to connect you to a whole group of people with their reviews and recommendations. We trust our peers and they aren’t afraid to ask their followers questions too. They ensure that their follower’s voices are heard.

Source: Facebook

The Power of Print

The Power of Print

THE POWER OF PRINT In a world of skip buttons and fast-forward icons, print media still has the power to strike curiosity in a reader and breathe life into a page. Moving through an evolution of formats and creative developments, print now acts as a bridge between the...

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National Intern Day

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Award-Winning Design Series: Reckitt Benckiser Professional

Award-Winning Design Series: Reckitt Benckiser Professional

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How To Get Influencers to Grow Your Brand: The Do’s, Don’ts and Expectations

How To Get Influencers to Grow Your Brand: The Do’s, Don’ts and Expectations

How To Get Influencers to Grow Your Brand: Do’s, Don’ts and Expectations

What is an Influencer?

Influencers are active social media users who have established personal credibility with a large audience in a particular industry. They “influence” their followers by sharing their recommendations and reviews while maintaining authenticity in their personalities. 

What are the Benefits of Working with Influencers?

1. Ad blockers are starting to gain popularity as a means for users to control the number of ads they see on social media.

2. Influencers have a large following of users that you can tap into. The right influencer can help your business gain access to your target audience in a more authentic way. Consumers are 30% more likely to purchase your product if a non-celebrity influencer recommends it. Influencers establish a trust and authenticity with their followers and they can help shed light on your brand in a positive way.

3. Successful influencers are popular for a reason: because they know how to reach their audience and they know what works. Use their expertise to position your brand in the best way.

  • 30% of consumers under 32 spend time on social media reading peer written content.

  • 47% of US readers consult blogs to find new trends and ideas.

  • 20% of women will consider buying products supported by their influencers.

source: digitalbrandinginstitute.com

How to Work with an Influencer – The Do’s:

Finding the right influencer for your brand takes a bit of research. Start by searching for the people in your industry who have a lot of engagement with their users. Your instinct might be to go after the person who has the most followers, but try to resist doing so as the amount of traction their posts get is more important than just the follower count. It is also important to find someone who you feel is genuine. Someone who is all about selling themselves is less likely to have a promising group of followers.

Once you have found the people you would like to work with, reach out to them. It is important when doing this that you approach them the right way. You can start by complimenting them on their content, share any similar interests you may have or even suggest different ways of increasing exposure by sharing their content or sharing quotes from them on your platforms. It is key here to be genuine in your outreach. Influencers would be beneficial to your brand and they may not need for you to share their content, but offering to do so creates a mutually valuable dynamic.

Next, you’ll have to show your potential influencers what the value is of what you’re trying to sell. They need to believe in your product as much as you do so that if they recommend it to their followers, it comes from a genuine place. You also need to make sure they have an understanding and a mutual belief in why their users would want this product too. How would this product benefit their own followers? After all, influencers are a brand too and they want to maintain being an authentic voice for their followers. It is not beneficial to them to recommend something that is off-brand.

The Don’ts:

Be aware of the potential for fake influencer accounts out there. A fake influencer account might look like they have a lot of followers, but they won’t have a lot of posts and they won’t have a consistent number of likes on their posts. Unfortunately, we live in a world where people can purchase fake followers to boost their follower count and can use stock images as if they were their own authentic generated content. It is also equally important to set up a deal with your chosen influencers ahead of time that includes a contract. An influencer cannot guarantee a direct response rate from their followers; however, setting up terms of your relationship ahead of time will set expectations of what content is generated by them, and you won’t get a surprise invoice from them after you thought you paid them already in free product.

Expectations:

Social media is all about exposure and brand awareness. Working with influencers can grow your brand’s reach in an authentic way. A genuine product review and feature from an influencer can establish a level of trust associated with your brand and attract the interest of their users. Keep in mind, it is unrealistic to expect that working with an influencer means you will automatically receive an instant set of built-in new followers for your brand and an instant boost in sales. It is still up to you to continue generating your own content that further supports this level of trust so users are more likely to purchase your product or service.

Conclusion:

Working with influencers, the right ones for your brand, can only benefit your brand’s social media presence. It’s like getting great product or service reviews from a good friend you trust but with a lot more exposure. That is something you cannot compare to a simple paid advertisement that lacks authenticity. Take the time to do the research to find the best people who will complement and grow your brand.

 

Sources: Entrepreneur.comdigitalbrandinginstitute.com

The Power of Print

The Power of Print

THE POWER OF PRINT In a world of skip buttons and fast-forward icons, print media still has the power to strike curiosity in a reader and breathe life into a page. Moving through an evolution of formats and creative developments, print now acts as a bridge between the...

National Intern Day

National Intern Day

With today being National Intern Day, we saw it as the perfect opportunity to introduce our summer flight crew additions: Julia, Graydon, and Fletcher. All three bring different skills, fresh insights, and an exciting energy to the agency, and they have experienced...

Award-Winning Design Series: Reckitt Benckiser Professional

Award-Winning Design Series: Reckitt Benckiser Professional

Reckitt Benckiser Professional (RB Pro) Division Product Brochure Series Vision partnered with RB Pro to develop a new brand identity and positioning for their line of professional products that was to be unveiled at an upcoming trade show. The new positioning was...