Automotive Social Media Image Marketing

Good and Bad Examples of Social Media Image Marketing

Automotive Social Media Image Marketing

If you’re reading this, you’re probably failing at social media image marketing. That’s not me being cynical. By examining dozens of business social media presences every week, I get to see what so many are doing and the unfortunate fact is that 9 out of 10 are doing it wrong or not doing it at all. I’m being conservative with that estimate.

The “unfortunate” fact really isn’t that unfortunate, especially for those who are reading this. You see, you can actually do it right, which means that you’re going to have a leg-up on the competition. When things are too easy or too well known, they have a tendency to become universally good. When they’re universally good, that means that everyone is average.

Image marketing on social media is not about taking advertisements and posting them as images. It’s not about talking about your big sale next week in the form of a banner that you post to Twitter or Instagram (though there’s a way to do that which I’ll demonstrate below). It’s not even about taking pictures of happy customers in front of their latest purchase jumping in the air with the caption, “Oh what a feeling!”

Proper image marketing should accomplish some of the following goals listed in no particular order:

  1. Improve branding
  2. Promote an upcoming event
  3. Demonstrate a lifestyle advantage associated with your product
  4. Connect with the community
  5. Make a statement
  6. Drive traffic to a landing page

It doesn’t have to do all of these. It can do one of them really well, a couple of them very well, or knock out three or four of them with a single post. To highlight this, I’ll use examples that I found in my Twitter feed just in the last couple of hours. This does not only apply to Twitter; Instagram, Google+, Pinterest, and Facebook can all work nicely here.

It should be noted that size and aspect ratio are extremely important and arguably the biggest miss by most. Twitter has an aspect ratio of 2:1 while Instagram is 1:1. Small images don’t do as well. on any of the platforms. Pinterest is the only platform that does vertical images well. Appearance on mobile is more important than appearance on desktop. These and other technical aspects of image marketing will be covered in a future post. For now, let’s just look at the content…

 

Bad Examples of Social Media Image Marketing

These ones are bad. Don’t do these. I blocked out the business that posted one but I kept the one posted by Ram only because as a manufacturer, they should know better by now…

Bad Twitter Image Marketing

The image quality is poor. The car is cut off. There’s no visible branding for the dealership in the image. Overall, it’s extremely boring. This is not going to get anyone’s attention and nobody who sees it in their feed will care.

* * *

Bad Twitter Image Marketing 3

It’s a nice image of a mountain. Wait. Is that a truck at the bottom peeking up over the edge? It’s good that they are getting their fans involved, but the picture should have been edited to appear properly on Twitter before posting it. This is the lazy way out and accomplishes none of the goals.

 

Decent Examples of Social Media Image Marketing

These aren’t bad. They aren’t good, either. They’re good enough to get listed here just to show the differences between them and the ones further below so you’ll know what mistakes to avoid.

Decent Twitter Image Marketing

The attempt by Nissan is pretty strong. They’re trying to do well on Twitter and they’re doing an above-average job at it. This particular piece is missing something: impact. The message in the image means nothing other than stating a minor incentive. It gives no reason for people to actually click through to the landing page other than the boring message itself. With image marketing, you need to make a statement in order to get clicks. They should have put more creativity into the messaging rather than state the offer plainly.

More importantly, the offer itself is designed specifically for those who already plan on buying a Rogue, so the incentive is in the reservation itself. At first (and second, and third) glance, this appears to be another rebate offer because it looks like another rebate offer. There are brighter minds than mine that could have fashioned a better message, but it should have been less statement of the facts and a bit more mystery and uniqueness to draw people to click.

  • This Rogue wants to be reserved (and it will pay you to reserve it)
  • What do reservations and $250 have in common? The 2014 Nissan Rogue.
  • Early Bird gets the cash on their Rogue
  • No Reservations Necessary (unless you want an extra $250)

* * *

Decent Twitter Image Marketing 2

This isn’t bad because it does accomplish one goal – making a statement. The only thing keeping this at decent rather than good is that the message is a personal one and should have been delivered in a personal manner. While the picture is cool and the message in the text is strong, it would have been better to have a member or former member of the military (there’s probably some working at the dealership right now) by a car or the dealership’s sign with an American flag in hand. This is a bit generic but a good attempt – still better than 9 out of 10.

 

Good Examples of Social Media Image Marketing

Here are some good ones. These are nearly great but are missing a couple of minor components. If you did your marketing like this, you’d be ahead of 99/100 others.

Good Twitter Image Marketing

Great aspect ratio. Hot car. Good message and most importantly there’s a link to the inventory search for the vehicle itself!

* * *

Good Twitter Image Marketing 2

This one is much like the previous except a different variation for two reasons. First, it uses a stock image, which is only good if the image is as good as this one. The thing that brings it up from “decent” is that the link takes you to a vehicle specific landing page which is more appropriate on Twitter than a straight vehicle search. Remember, if they want to search, they will. Putting them on a page with information about the vehicle is better for higher-funnel customers that you’ll get through social media.

 

Great Examples of Social Media Image Marketing

These are the best that I’ve seen so far… after searching four hours back in my Twitter feed. There are better ones. There are plenty of worse ones. They aren’t perfect but they’re pretty darn close.

Great Twitter Image Marketing

This one hits goals 1, 5, and 6 nicely but it really nails home #3: Demonstrate a lifestyle advantage associated with your product. It doesn’t need to show the whole car. It doesn’t need a beautiful background. It has a simple, elegant four word message that can reach the target audience where it hurts.

* * *

Great Twitter Image Marketing 2

Remember, it doesn’t have to nail several goals to be effective. This time, it does a wonderful job of branding but keeps it touching the community with the localized weather factor. This is exceptional and if the following is engaged, it’ll resonate.

* * *

Great Twitter Image Marketing 3

Simple and powerful. This is what Nissan missed when they promoted their message. Well done, Mr Potratz and Mr Ziegler.

* * *

You don’t have to be a professional photographer or a creative genius to get it right with social media image marketing. You just need to have a good strategy, solid execution, and a willingness to know the “rules” well enough to break them ever so slightly.

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Offerpop Releases Hashtag Gallery, Empowering Marketers to Manage User-Generated Content at Scale

Offerpop

NEW YORK, New York (Nov. 6, 2013) —Offerpop, a leading social marketing software company, has released Hashtag Gallery, a solution that allows brands to unite social media with traditional marketing channels, compile and store user-generated content, and showcase hashtag campaign content in a single location.

Hashtag Gallery capitalizes on an exploding trend: brands everywhere are including hashtags in their TV commercials, print and digital ads, and other marketing programs.

With Hashtag Gallery, brands collect, manage and showcase user-generated content related to these hashtags in a seamless branded display, on websites, auto-generated landing pages, or Facebook tabs. Through these campaigns brands encourage passionate consumers to share photos, videos, and posts. These engaged communities span multiple mediums and generate an expansive library of valuable user-generated content that can be repurposed for marketing and merchandizing programs.

“The convergence of social and mobile is fundamentally changing how consumers interact with their favorite brands, enabling them to share experiences and user-generated content,” said Prakash Mishra, co-founder and Chief Technology Officer for Offerpop. “Hashtag Gallery gives brands ways to turn content into relevant, real-time consumer engagement, amplifying the reach of traditional marketing programs.”

Marketers have struggled to organize, respond to and reuse consumer posts that include their branded hashtags. Hashtag Gallery automates this process, allowing time-strapped social marketers to track and follow up with responses in real time. Through auto-responding to entries with custom messages and “claim your entry” links, marketers can easily get permission to repurpose user-generated content. They can also incentivize and reward consumers for participating, offering daily, weekly, or monthly prizes.

Marketers can create and launch their Hashtag Gallery campaigns in minutes, with no custom development required. With Hashtag Gallery’s powerful back-end moderation capabilities, marketers can choose to approve entries before publication. And they can view program metrics like unique visitors and participation in real time, allowing for campaign optimization.

Offerpop’s launch of Hashtag Gallery includes an early access package that rewards companies and marketers that launch a Hashtag Gallery campaign in November by giving them hands-on help from a team of Offerpop’s social media strategists, who work with brands like Audi, American Express and NBC Universal. Sign up at www.offerpop.com/earlyaccess.

To learn how to tap into the power of hashtags, check out Offerpop’s new e-book, The Definitive Guide to Hashtag Campaigns. (http://go.offerpop.com/definitive-guide-to-hashtag-campaigns/)

 

About Offerpop

Offerpop helps marketers launch powerful social marketing campaigns to reach, engage and connect with their consumers. Global brands, agencies and small businesses use Offerpop to increase revenue and grow fans, followers and email subscribers. Launch campaigns across any marketing channel — website, advertising, email, and TV — and drive engagement on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. Offerpop is a Facebook Preferred Marketing Developer, qualified by the PMD program in Apps.  Offerpop is a Twitter Certified Product. Learn more at www.offerpop.com.

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The #History of the #Hashtag: An #Infographic

Hashtags

Before a hashtag was what it means today to just about every major social network, it was a pound button. It was a number sign. It was a tic-tac-toe box. It was anything other than what it is today, one of the most useful and important tools used by social media marketing firms and general social media fans across the internet.

I was there, believe it or not. I saw the first hashtag ever used. It was funny because at the time I thought it was a pretty silly idea, but obviously it grew on me and hundreds of millions of others. Now, I often find myself wondering why hashtags aren’t used more often. Go figure.

Here’s an infographic from Offerpop that breaks down the long (in internet years at least) history of the four little lines.

History of Hashtags Infographic

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Groupon Gets a Facelift

Groupon Redesign

Groupon, the former daily deals site that turned into a social deals site that is trying to turn into a marketplace site has released its first redesign just in time for its five-year birthday. They aren’t just changing colors from old-school green to clean and tidy white. They’re trying to reinvent themselves… again.

After passing up on a $6,000,000,000 offer from Google a few years ago, they’ve had ups and downs. Mostly downs. That’s not to say that they don’t have a future, but it will take more than a redesign and a new direction to justify passing up on billions.

Here’s what Mashable had to say about the new design:

When users visit Groupon now, they will see a spotlighted deal followed by personalized collections of deals and a left-hand navigation menu, which lets users browse deals by category. There is now a search option featured prominently at the top — long overdue — which finally lets users search for keywords across categories. For example, someone looking for sushi would be shown restaurant deals, as well as deals for sushi classes and merchandise.

Read More: Mashable

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Build Websites for Mobile First

Build Websites for All Devices

Earlier this week I wrote a controversial piece about responsive website design that brought the ire of professionals within my industry and a flood of emails calling me all sorts of names. Yes, there were those who agreed as well, but they were the minority.

In retrospect, I sold out. I looked at the data, saw how responsive websites were not performing very well on mobile devices in industries that were heavy on data, and came to the conclusion that adaptive was a better solution for some. I stand by that statement based upon practicality, but there’s an addendum to that answer: if you want to do the absolute best practice possible, it would be to build your website from mobile up rather than from PC down.

It’s always easier to make a site more complex than to simplify it. Adding features is simply easier than taking them away. If you build your websites with the following three ideas in mind, you have the greatest chance for success:

  1. Mobile is huge and getting huger. Assume that your website will be accessed as much if not more on mobile devices in the near future than on big screens.
  2. People love mobile designs because they’re used to them. If a website displayed on a PC operates much the same as it would on a mobile device, it will perform better. That’s not to say that you need to sacrifice design or make your website look amateur on a big screen, but strive to make it “mobilesque”.
  3. Touchscreen functionality and the art of scrolling rather than clicking is becoming more of a “thing” for desktop websites. Keep that in mind when you build pages.

If you take into account how your website will load, operate, and perform on mobile devices and build up from there, you will find that your overall website performance will improve. The problem with responsive websites in some industries is that they cram as much as they can to fill out the big screen and then it looks terrible and performs poorly on the small screen. Work from the small screen up and the website will do better regardless of the device.

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BBM Early Access Launch Worked Perfectly

BBM

It might be too little, too late for BlackBerry, but their latest success (though it has been marred by some scandal) is another example of why exclusivity, even for a short time, is often the best marketing tool available. Their wildly popular instant messaging app, BBM, started off as an exclusive “early access only” app. Anyone could download it but it could only be used by the “special” people.

That lasted a week. Now, it’s open to everyone, making one wonder why early access was even necessary. It wasn’t, but that’s not the point. The reality is that people love to have things that others do not. It’s human nature. Every launch should be done with some variation of this theme. Launching to everyone isn’t as effective as launching to a select few and then releasing it to the world. It’s what really made Facebook the better option over MySpace in the early days and it will always work as a marketing technique.

In this case, BlackBerry allowed anyone to download the app, but only those who had requested information about it before were able to access it. That made them feel special, forward thinking, and in some ways mildly visionary. They were rewarded by getting something that millions of other people wanted. Now, after 10 million downloads, it’s open to all on iOS and Android. This all played out well for BlackBerry. Now, if they could only make their phones as effective…

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Over Half of the Internet is Posting Photos and Videos

Sharing Pictures on Smartphone

Everyone is a content producer or distributor nowadays, or so it seems. The real numbers are astounding; according to Pew, 54% of US internet users post their images or videos online.

The rise of smartphones has put a camera within reach all the time. The increase in the ease of posting on social networks like Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat have made it as simple as the push of a couple of touchscreen buttons. This combination has led to the rise and there’s no reason to believe that it will stop any time soon.

According to The Next Web:

More than half of US adult Internet users (54 percent) post original photos or videos online that they themselves have created, while just under half (47 percent) take photos or videos that they have found online and repost them on sites designed for sharing content. These numbers are both up from 46 percent and 41 percent last year, respectively.

Read More: The Next Web

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Why Teens Love Snapchat

Teens on Snapchat

I know the feeling that many parents get when they find out their kids are using Snapchat. It doesn’t matter how much you trust them. The first question that comes to mind for those parents that know anything about the temporary messaging system is, “are they sexting?”

Thankfully for most parents, you’re children are not. As much as mainstream media would love for us to believe that the service is evil and part of the moral degradation that is gripping our country, the standard Snapchatting teen is using the service because they really don’t want their actions as teens to catch up to them as adults. It’s a mentality that makes Snapchat such a hot service and parents need to understand that in many ways Snapchat is a good thing.

Don’t get me wrong. There are plenty of bad things that can happen on Snapchat and tons of reasons why parents should be concerned. Even if their children aren’t doing bad things on the service doesn’t mean that they’re not receiving bad things from their friends. It’s really no different from normal real-world interactions. Good things can happen and bad things can happen. It’s all about raising them to focus on the good things and to be able to handle the bad situations appropriately. It’s about parenting.

As was noted on Techcrunch today, kids see Facebook the way adults see LinkedIn:

Kids are in a petri dish, where their every social post can be scrutinized and used against them. That’s why disappearing media startup Snapchat is important, says its investor, Benchmark‘s Bill Gurley. Teens don’t want their daily lives permanently recorded. Gurley said at TechCrunch Disrupt Europe in Berlin that Snapchat board member Mitch Lasky’s kids tell him they view Facebook like adults view LinkedIn.

Read More: Techcrunch

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halloween kids

Cloud Storage: Keeping Your Holiday Memories Safe

halloween kids
The train’s about to leave the station. Next stop: Candy

I still remember the moment my Dad took the picture of my friend and I in our costumes. I remember it because I’m able to go back and look at the picture to this day. It was Halloween, 1980 and I was proudly dressed up as a train conductor while my friend Rich dressed up as Jerry the Cat from the “Tom and Jerry” cartoons. We happily strolled up and down the blocks near our houses, under the watchful eyes of our parents, collecting Snickers and lollipops while getting frightened by crazy neighbors who turned their front yard into a haunted house. I’ll never forget all those Halloween memories, and pictures like this are part of the reason why.

At this point in my life, all that really remains of that holiday are photos, and a few snapshots in my mind. I still remember some excitement here, a vision of a pile of candy there. I can still see my elderly next door neighbor who gave out Hershey Kisses. But a lot of what happened that night is gone. The unfortunate thing about this photo is that it’s fading along with the memories themselves. The fortunate thing is that this doesn’t have to happen anymore. Cloud storage is making it a thing of the past. Here are some of the reasons why the cloud is taking away that fear of losing your Halloween memories.

Don’t Let Your Memories Fade

One of the best things about cloud storage is that images don’t slowly lose their sharpness and brightness as the years go by. While going through a pile of photos the other day, I saw that the stuff from my Mom’s childhood was getting particularly faded. Oh sure, I could take all those ancient negatives and bring them to a photography store where they turn them into pictures again. It’s almost at the point though where it’s too inconvenient to drive to wherever that service is still done, pay the expensive price, and then still be stuck with a physical photo that is just going to fade again. In this situation, I recommend uploading them to a cloud service right away. Cloud storage services like Box, Bitcasa, Sugarsync and many others are perfect for converting these old photos into files that will stay in the same condition forevermore, saving your memories from certain doom. Bitcasa even has an “Infinite Drive” that lets you store an unlimited amount of these memories.

pictures on floor
Old-school cloud storage

Say “Bye” to Photo Envelopes, “Hello” to Convenience

When I want to reminisce about Halloweens past, a lovely pile like the one above is what I must sift through. I keep all the old photos and many keepsakes in a large moving box. Many of the pictures are in plastic bags. At that point, I must rummage through old envelopes filled with photos that were once developed in a Fotomat booth in a shopping mall parking lot back in 1977.

The modern convenience of cloud storage has made all that obsolete. I remember my mother shared photos by mailing them in a large manila envelope and writing “handle with care” on the front. Now, I share my holiday photos on Twitter and Facebook from my tablet or smartphone through one of the more advanced cloud storage mobile apps. With Bitcasa, you can send friends and family a single link that takes them to a folder with dozens of photos from that glorious, candy-filled night.

Another Halloween memory preserved in the cloud.
Another Halloween memory preserved in the cloud.

Bad Weather is No Threat

When I was 15 years old a massive earthquake hit the San Francisco Bay Area where I live. After the 7.1 quake struck, we all watched on TV as thousands of people lost their homes in fire and rubble. This type of disaster makes many of us worry about what might happen to the precious memories of our childhood that we store in shoeboxes around the house. I specifically remember the sadness when I thought about life with no record of holidays and birthdays. The threat of tornadoes and floods still plague thousands of people who don’t realize that cloud storage is a great option. In fact, it ends this worry once and for all. Whether it’s your Facebook timeline, your Instagram feed, or your Dropbox account, those pics of beloved pets are safe on a server. If you’re interested in getting started with a cloud storage service or just want to compare some of the best out there, please check here.

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