Tag: social media

How to Advertise to Millennials

BCA Intern Nora Carlblom

By Nora Carlblom

Getting someone under the age of 25 to look up from their phone seems almost impossible. While it is hard for our family and friends to get our attention, a brand or company may really struggle when it comes to figuring out how to advertise to millennial. A simple answer: A sponsored ad on social media.

WHY? Social media is the way to advertise to millennials because we are seriously ALWAYS on our phones.

  • It was found in 2015 that teenagers spend an average of 9 hours a day on social media. That means 9 hours of our day are spent scrolling through Facebook, then Instagram, then Snapchat, repeat. (CNN)

- We pay attention to social media more than things like a billboard or TV because it is often right in front of us
- It is almost guaranteed we’ll notice your product if it shows up in the middle of our Instagram feed.
- When I scroll through Instagram and see a sponsored ad that is a picture of a well paired outfit, it draws me in to the account and I often end up on the stores website.

HOW? The ad needs to be modern and appealing to youth in order to catch our eye. Along with looks, they also need to be relevant to what is currently happening. This is why social media is the way to go. Each social media platform is catered to advertising certain things. Instagram is more successful in advertising things such as clothing or food, while Snapchat is strong in showcasing a variety of things. It can range from the election to a new movie to beauty and fashion, and almost everything in between.

Product Placement
Many brands have celebrities advertise their product for them through product placement on their Instagram.
The post usually doesn’t look like a typical advertisement. Product placement can be achieved by sending someone with a large social media following to something like a music festival in their clothing and simply asking them to post a picture of them there in their clothes. Others have the celebrity holding the product or using it in a setting that is their everyday life, and their caption is them raving about the product.
The way we see it is, if the celebrity is using it and “loving” it then it must be worth the money. While, some people add the hashtags “#ad” or “#sponsored” to their post, it still drives fans to go and take a look at the product advertised.

Sponsor a Snapchat Selfie lens

A selfie lens is a silly interactive filter on Snapchat that adds various effects to your snap. A few examples are a dog that sticks out its tongue when you open your mouth or one that alters your face to make your eyes super big or your head into a pear shape.

The first filter that pops up is the sponsored one. So not only would your advertisement be fun and interactive it would be the first one Snapchat users see.

It is seen that many companies have benefited from sponsoring a filter: (AdWeek):
- Men’s Wearhouse created a filter during prom season and had a 48% engagement rate among 1,800 high schools
- Michael Kors’ put out a lens for #NationalSunglassesDay that received 100 million views and increased purchase intent 2.1 times above normal rates.

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How Social Media Can Boost SEO

Contributor: Lindsay Kent

For business owners, search engine optimization (SEO) can sometimes feel like a mystery to everyone but the search engines themselves. Keeping up with the shifting rules for “good SEO” can seem time consuming and daunting. While it is a good idea to stay up to date with SEO best practices, they sometimesaren’t guaranteed to work because of ever-changing search engine algorithms (see Google’s SEO starter guide here).

This is where social media comes in. Here is a list of five ways your company’s social media presence can boost your website’s search engine ranking:

Social media photo

Image credit: Jason Howie, Flickr

  1. The more the merrier: Using a variety of social media is the way to go. This means having your company on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest – if your target audience is there, so should you. Just make sure you have the time and budget to keep the pages current and updated.
  2. Followers matter: More followers means a higher domain authority. Getting a healthy amount of followers to your company page involves:
    1. Posting regularly, but not too often. Over-posting can be more detrimental than not posting enough, as followers will begin to unfollow you. Finding a safe number of posts can be tricky, so putting together a social media calendar is helpful for organization.
    2. Well-written posts that are short, to the point, and relevant to the audience you’re seeking.
    3. Beware of links to sites that claim to get you more followers. These may work quickly, but can actually lower your search engine optimization if search engines catch on. Instead, opt for the old fashioned way. Follow other pages, engage and interact. On many social media platforms, you can pay to expose your page and posts to new audiences. This increases followers without putting your SEO at risk.
    4. To keep followers engaged, be sure to set aside time to reply to comments, reviews and private messages. This makes followers feel included and keeps them coming back to your new content.
  3. Interaction is key: The more shares a post gets, the better it will help your page. Search engines keep track of shares, likes and comments. Every bit of activity on a post helps. Posts that tend to get more shares include pictures, videos, infographics and anything eye-catching. Once a follower is drawn into your post, shorter content will keep them there. Finishing off a post by asking your followers to “share if you agree,” “click on the link below,” or asking them a question that entices a response is also effective.
  4. Put a local spin on things: Is your company involved with your city’s annual holiday parade? Post about it. Post pictures, tag people, tag companies involved. People are more likely to comment and share when they feel a connection with your post. This is called locally optimizing your posts. When people search locally, it makes your post more likely to come up.
  5. Lots of Links: Includinglinks in your social media pages and posts is important in a variety of ways. First, make sure a link to your site is included in the bio sections of your social media pages. In posts, use links to your site where followers can read more about the subject of your post. This way, you can keep the content short on social media, but curious readers can still click to learn more. A great way to accomplish this is by sharing regular content from the news section of your website, and from a company blog that posts timely, relevant material your followers will be interested in reading.

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Blurring Lines into Pop Culture: Emojis & e-Books as Advertising

Contributor: Stephen Zehnder

Contributor: Ellie Koscheski

As an ad-woman, I love seeing effective examples of advertising blurring the lines into pop-culture. Dove’s recent campaign for their Quench products for naturally curly hair had me all ears, errr, hair?


The Curl Issue

Coming from a straight-haired girl who permed her way through the ’80s in a quest for curls, I’ve always been envious of voluminous, luscious curls. So I was sad to learn from research Dove conducted for the Quench haircare line which found only 10% of adult women, and 40% of younger girls actually like their curly hair.

Their research also discovered a glaring lack of pop culture showing the beauty of natural curls. From Hollywood, to magazines, to runways–straight dominates. Dove set out to change that with their #LoveYourCurls campaign, and I’m a huge fan of the alternative advertising avenues they took to achieve that.

Image Credit: Dove

Image Credit: Dove



Of the thousands of emojis available on cell phones, none featured any females with curly hair. Why were straight-haired girls getting all the emoji fun? For those of you who don’t use them, this may seem silly, but for the 73% of people in the U.S. who claim they use emojis every day, this was a glaring gap. Users want emojis that look like them, and this omission has the potential of making girls with curls feel marginalized as yet another way pop culture ignores curls. This all changed last week, when Dove launched a free app called Dove Love Your Curls Emojis Keyboard. Available through the Apple App Store or Google Play, the app features 131 variations of curls, hair color and skin tone emojis. OMG – finally!


Personalized e-Book

To help girls celebrate and be proud of their curls, Dove launched a personalized e-book, downloadable for free. The e-book is a compilation of stories, poetry and illustrations that beautifully describe the reasons to love your curls. The books can be personalized for the curly girls in your life with names and photos. Of the 350+ reviews on Amazon, positive comments abound such as “awe inspiring,” “uplifting,” “a must-read,” “adored this book,” “empowering,” and “I wish I had this book while raising my curly-haired daughters.”


Major credit to Dove for delving into a sensitive topic for women and utilizing their advertising as a platform for change. Their integration of advertising into popular tech products like emojis and personalized e-books was innovative and seamless, and their continued trend of confidence-boosting ad campaigns for women is inspiring.


P.S. Dove’s “Love Your Curls” YouTube video was launched earlier this year and received 9.3 million views in its first day. To date, it has 70K comments, many from curly-haired women saying it had them in tears. Check it out.

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Is your website mobile-friendly? It better be, soon

Katie Ferber, Contributor

Katie Ferber, Contributor

When you don’t know something what do you do? “Google it.” What was once the name of a search engine has now transformed into the act of searching. I even “Googled” to write this Bump about Google. Information not found on Google gets lost in cyberspace, which is why it’s so important for your company to have a strong presence there.

Where a website ranks on a Google search will soon change thanks to something called an algorithm. Starting April 21, if you search from a mobile device, your results will be ranked based on whether a site is mobile-friendly.

BCA’s web developer and designer Aaron Cotton broke it all down for us and said this is the single biggest change to Google and possibly the internet in the last five years. Google has always used only one index for all sites; you were served one result no matter which device you were searching from.

“Mobile” devices are essentially everything other than a desktop or laptop like phones and tablets … what most of use on a daily basis. After April 21, adaptive sites will rank higher than separate mobile sites because they get more combined traffic. Sites that do not have either adaptive functionality or a separate alternative mobile site will be put below sites that do, on a mobile search.

You can see if your website is mobile friendly by clicking here.

So what do you do if your site is NOT already mobile-compatible or adaptive? It’s imperative you get together with your web designer to make those changes. BCA creates adaptive sites for our clients.

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Who’s Brian Williams? The Power of Knowing Your Audience

Maggie Cox

Contributor: Maggie Cox
February 12, 2015

Wow, did I ever get an up-close-and-personal lesson this week on the power of knowing your audience. Case in point: career announcements from Brian Williams versus Jon Stewart.

The unfolding news from NBC kind of meandered through our office. It was compelling and chat provoking to some, and warranted a halfhearted shrug from others. Count me in the This is Big category. I wanted to talk ethics and brand impacts and speculate on how things would play out. I had a few takers and we’ve enjoyed our conversation.

What a difference a few days later when we heard Jon Stewart was leaving The Daily Show. Immediate and passionate internal email exchanges. Wailing, lamenting and handwringing. The end of an era! Jon Stewart cannot be replaced! This can’t be happening! Our younger crowd couldn’t stop talking about the news.

Slight exaggeration (and likely ill advised, given what we’ve seen this week), but one that helps illustrate the importance of understanding the differences in generations. My firm has Boomers, X’ers and Millenials, with a slight skew to the young. Our day-to-day interests and media use vary wildly. And even on a point on which we all agree (love Jon Stewart), the depth of passion and energy directed to it is all over the map.

The take away: successful communication requires understating the values held and interests that drive different demographics. With so many channels and consumer-is-in-charge choices, it’s harder than ever today to know how to crack the code. We have to start by knowing who our audience is and what its members care about.

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Engaging the Facebook Masses

Courtney Meznarich

Courtney Meznarich
June 2, 2014

Hey Facebook fans, can you hear me? Do you even see me anymore?


A recent study shows organic reach per fan on Facebook (that is, how many of your Facebook page fans have seen a certain post without you paying to promote it) has decreased from a median average of 16 percent in 2012 to about 6.5 percent today. Facebook hopes you’ll make up the difference by purchasing promoted posts and ads. That’s one way to do it, but it’s not the only way.


Many brand pages are doing just fine since sweeping changes were made to Facebook’s news feed algorithm back in December, and there are a couple of reasons for this.


1. The brands have “social DNA,” that is – they naturally do well in social media because they’re social at heart. They’re musicians, entertainers, sports teams, and movies, and people like to talk about them. You can’t change your “social DNA,” but you can certainly improve upon it.

2. The brands are creating and sharing original content that moves people to act with a like, a comment, a share or a click.


You see, Facebook is onto you. It doesn’t want your memes in its newsfeed and its filtering out your spammy “like my page” pleas. It wants new, fresh, exciting stuff that gets the people going!


In addition, we sometimes forget about a few other basics that have little to do with content, but can significantly increase engagement, thereby significantly increasing our chances of being seen in the newsfeeds of our fans.


Take a moment to read this infographic or print it out and share it with your office. Your fans ‘liked’ you for a reason. So get out there and be seen!

 Facebook Engagement

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Creating Connections with Your Public Relations Strategy

Contributor: Alyssa Santos April 15, 2014

Contributor: Alyssa Santos
April 15, 2014

One of the gifts of working in public relations and marketing is the daily task (and challenge) of creative thinking. I was seeking creative inspiration this week when I stumbled across a fabulous example of a fresh PR strategy with Honest Tea’s latest #ParkYourThirst campaign.


The creators of the #ParkYourThirst campaign understand how to introduce their brand to an untapped audience, and form a relationship. In this case, untapped audience = outdoorsy people. Hikers. Bikers. Campers. Nature-lovers. Cabin-dwellers. The brand = Honest Tea.


After identifying this opportunity, the Honest Tea team partnered with the National Park Foundation to begin a conversation. Using social media, the company asked national park goers for “their HONEST feedback on spending time in our national parks” – in other words, “How do you Park Your Thirst?” Fans were asked to snap a selfie in the great outdoors, tag their photo on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, hashtag #ParkYourThirst, and be entered to win an annual pass to the national parks and a month’s supply of Honest Tea.

Source: http://www.honesttea.com

Source: http://www.honesttea.com


Honest Tea discovered that two in five people visit parks to get away from the hustle and bustle, and 96 percent feel inspired or better about themselves or physically refreshed after visiting a park. Then, they collected some of the greatest memories their fans have in national parks and created the infographic to the right.


All this was done during the month of April to celebrate Earth Day (April 22).


#ParkYourThirst achieved three impressive goals:

1. Cross-promotion and collaboration: Partnering with the National Parks Foundation gave the campaign legitimacy and purpose – Honest Tea donated $25,000 as part of the campaign to protect America’s 401 national parks.

2. Branding: The tea-drinkers posting selfies became ambassadors for Honest Tea, branding the drink as earth-friendly and convenient for outdoor treks.

3. Creating Connections: Honest Tea successfully connected two unrelated things – spending time outdoors and bottled tea.


View the campaign page here.


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What the Cronut Crisis Teaches Us about Good and Bad PR

Courtney Meznarich

April 10, 2014
Courtney Meznarich & Dave Cox

Cronuts have sure had their share of press in recent months. The coverage has been quite impressive for this fried piece of dough. But when the donut-croissant hybrid went from bringing in the dough to being fried in the headlines this past week, it made for an interesting discussion in the public relations world, and here at our own BCA office.


The Dominique Ansel Bakery in New York City launched the cronut in May of last year. It’s been hailed by foodies and has drawn crowds that line up outside the bakery two hours before doors open to get their hands on their limit of two. The treats were selling like wildfire and it seemed nothing would dampen the hype … until a mouse. Yes, a little mouse brought down the Cronut Empire faster than you can say YouTube. But wait, did it?


A screen capture from the mouse video that (nearly) brought down the cronut.

A screen capture from the mouse video that (nearly) brought down the cronut.

A customer posted cell phone video to YouTube showing a mouse scurrying across the bakery floor. The mouse got its 15 minutes of fame on national news networks. The health department shut the bakery down for inspection. Cronut-eaters everywhere cried. And so did the owner, Domique Ansel. He cried foul.


“Honest hard-working businesses should not have to face cruel and sensationalized attacks that are not framed in the proper context,” he said on Facebook. “We urge our customers to seek deeper details and answers before jumping to conclusions.”


Feedback for Ansel ranged from support to disgust, but in the end, he won the PR battle by speaking out on Facebook. The store has reopened and it’s drawing the same crowds as before.


In my opinion, Ansel was lucky. His approach could have gone terribly wrong because it bordered on emotional outburst. But it worked because his bakery had a broad base of support, and he knew which buttons to push (hardworking, honest business).


“This is such an outstanding story that addresses the larger issue of protecting your reputation and setting the record straight,” BCA Vice President Dave Cox said. Dave and I discussed instances where our clients have made decisions to take a different route, despite our best efforts to encourage them to get in the ring and fight back. “The ‘let sleeping dogs lie’ approach chips away at clients’ reputations and brands,” Dave said.


Of course, there’s a fine line between defending your reputation and sounding whiny, and I’d argue Ansel came close to acting as if he was blameless. To avoid overly emotional reaction to a PR crisis, we always recommend that clients have a strategy in place before something goes wrong. A company should know who’s to respond, what channels to use, and how quickly they’re expected to react.


“You never want to sound shrill, defensive or angry in responding. You don’t want to get caught up in tit-for-tat dialogues. And, there are times to ignore inane and overly vitriolic commentary,” Dave said. “But the record needs to be set straight or it will reoccur enough to become reality and devolve into an overly defensive posture for clients with no hope for reversal.”


Does your company have a crisis communications strategy in place? Keep an eye out for my next post, Responding to a Company Crisis, coming soon.


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‘Rent The Runway’ is a new marketing partner for fashion

Brooke Pitts

Contributor: Brooke Pitts
February 12, 2014

Flashback to New Year’s Eve five years ago: I spent almost an entire paycheck on a dress I would only wear once. My roommate asked why I couldn’t wear any of the dresses already in my closet and the answer was ridiculous simple: I had already worn them and I couldn’t stand to repeat an outfit. Crazy, I know.

It’s now 2014 and I have a husband, a child and a mortgage. There are still few things I enjoy more than shopping for designer dresses (even though I rarely get the opportunity to dress up…I mentioned the husband, child and mortgage, right?), but it’s a careless practice I’ve now replaced with a new way to satisfy my shopping addiction affinity, all while keeping my spending in check (and not getting caught in the same dress twice). It’s called Rent the Runway, and my only complaint about their business model: how the heck did I not think of this concept first?

Guys have rented tuxedos for years — it’s about time women enjoy the same convenience and affordability.

In just four years, Rent the Runway has acquired more than 3.5 million members who rent party, prom and special occasion designer dresses such as Nicole Miller and Diane Von Furstenberg. You can also rent handbags and jewelry. By bringing a male concept to feminine fashion, Rent the Runway allows a woman to have her Cinderella moment for pennies on the dollar. Genius, right?

Red Dresses on Rent the Runway

The company was founded by Harvard Alums Jennifer Hyman and Jennifer Fleiss. But the Jennifer’s have created a unique business model; rather than buy and rent dresses, they ensured the long-term sustainability of their business by partnering with established and up-and-coming designers. The duo had to understand what the designers wanted, which in most cases was brand protection and the certainty that they weren’t going to lose real purchases by making their products available for rent. Then they had to prove to the designers that Rent the Runway could be a major channel for them to reach new demographics.

The company provides what it calls “experiential marketing.” Designers rent their gowns to a core group of customers, who are often in their mid-twenties. These women might not otherwise purchase and wear high-end designer dresses for another 10 or 20 years, so by feeling great in the dress now, the designer creates a positive impression on the customer. And that not only generates buzz on the streets but usually leads to future purchases of this brand.

Furthermore, Rent the Runway offers real data to designers — the type of women renting the dress, what other brands those women like, their age, body type, where they live and the types of events and occasions they are renting the dress for.

The Our Runway site feature allows women to submit first person reviews and photos of dresses and accessories they’ve rented — a tool both customers and the designers have learned to depend on. CEO Jennifer Hyman told The Business of Fashion that they have even had brands change their sizing as well as elements of their production due to feedback received from Rent the Runway customers.

The word about Rent the Runway is spreading quickly and organically, Jennifer Hyman told Fox Business. “Over 65 percent of our members tell us they heard about Rent the Runway through a friend.”

It’s not to say women will never purchase designer dresses again, but they certainly have another, more affordable option to try first. It’s more evidence of our ever-evolving consumer habits, and department stores may have to think outside the box to compete.

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Barnett Cox & Associates names new director for social media

SAN LUIS OBISPO − Barnett Cox & Associates announces the appointment of a long-time employee to head up social media projects.

The public relations and marketing firm has named Teri Conklin as Social Media Director, a new position added to her job as a project manager. Conklin started with the company in 2007 as an account coordinator and was promoted to production manager.

Conklin is knowledgeable in all digital and social media processes, techniques and trends to implement and sustain social media services for clients and BCA. She manages content and updates of BCA website (www.barnettcox.com), Facebook (www.facebook.com/bcabrand) and Twitter accounts (@bcabrand), and directs video-sharing projects, business directory site registration, and other digital strategies.

As project manager, Conklin also provides day-to-day services for clients, including Hospice of San Luis Obispo County, PG&E, Performing Arts Center, City of Arroyo Grande and Cal Poly.

Follow Conklin on Twitter (@TeriConklin) or find her on LinkedIn.

Contact: Dave Cox
Barnett Cox & Associates
(805) 545-8887


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