Check-in, please!

This week, we discussed social networking sites. The least popular of the four discussed was the location-based social networking sites. Foursquare allows your friends to find out where you have been, and how often you go these places. It also offers coupons for checking in at certain places, as well as making the use the “mayor” of a certain place if they check-in there the most. Everyone loves earning things and being number one at something, so foursquare is a genius idea.

Being the “least popular”, I wanted to do some research to see how popular it actually is.

Here is an iPhone screenshot from the Foursquare website showing what a check-in at a venue looks like:

Foursquare has over 10 million users users and just recently surpassed the 1 billion check-in mark. To commemorate, their team put together this video about what a week of Foursquare check-ins look like:

A Week of Check-ins on the Path to One Billion from foursquare on Vimeo.

It’s a great visual of how it works. There are millions of check-ins daily.

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Speaking of Facebook

30/09/2011 1 comment

For those of you readers/classmates with glasses, I want to use this blog to share my absolute favorite branded Facebook page, Coastal Contacts. Though “contacts” is in the name, Coastal Contacts is known for its GLASSES.I found out about Coastal Contacts through a Facebook friend who had “shared” one of their promotions on their site (essentially meaning she reblogged it). I try to share every post I see of theirs with my Facebook friends because I want everyone else to get the great deals too. I got my glasses on there and am complimented on them all the time. Because of one of the great deals, I ended up only paying $17 shipping and handling with the insurance in case they were broken when I received them.


Here’s general information from the Coastal Contacts Facebook page:

Here’s a post from today of one of the free glasses deals:


If you have glasses or know someone who does, I highly recommend Liking this page to see the great deals. They don’t spam or overwhelm your feed.

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Unofficially Official

30/09/2011 1 comment

Our discussion post this week was about companies with unofficial blogs and fan sites. This got me thinking and wondering if it works the other way around (kind of)? We all know companies have websites and then they have Facebook pages, both official and unofficial; how many companies are solely using Facebook or using Facebook in a major way. These social media tools are great , FREE ways for companies to interact with their customers, and some companies rely completely on them.


I found this ( blog post about companies who are using branded Facebook pages to reach out to their consumers. Here’s a screen shot of the top 20 of 50 Branded Facebook pages:


I remember in high school when movie previews had links to websites at the end. More recently, I’ve noticed them having links to Facebook pages for information.

I think eventually companies will phase out trying to get consumers to visit their company website, and rely solely on Facebook and other social media sites. Stephen Haines, commercial director of Facebook’s U.K. operation, feels the same way and gave a presentation on it earlier this year. He gave some ”

comparing how many times Facebook users have clicked a company’s “like” button with how many times per month people visited that company’s Web site. For Starbucks, a top Facebook advertiser, the ratio was 21.1 million likes to 1.8 million site visitors. For Coca-Cola, it’s 20.5 million compared with 270,000; for Oreo, 10.1 million compared with 290,000; and for Dr. Pepper, it’s 4.1 million compared with 325,000.” The article about his speech can be found at:


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Pre-Roll Ads: Great Marketing or Holding Viewers Hostage?

19/09/2011 1 comment

Pre-roll ads are both: great marketing AND holding viewers hostage. Marketers have taken advantage of our free time while videos are loading to shove yet more advertisements into our brains. Though negative, I find it to be true, as well as an ingenious idea. As a consumer, I hate having to wait 30 more seconds to watch my video to see some new marketing. As a future IMC practitioner, I think it’s incredible. Consumers are forced to sit and wait for these commercials to pass to watch whatever they are watching. Youtube and Hulu are two video companies where majority of the videos have pre-roll advertisements. Pre-roll advertisements make complete sense; in an age where everyone uses DVR to avoid commercials, this is one place we can’t avoid. Sure we can mute our sound, or get on another site in a separate tab, but then we risk missing the start of the video, and who would want that.

I found this great list on VidAdNet ( of:

Ten Reasons to use Video Pre Roll Ads:

1. Video Pre Roll Ads are the new television.

2. You can get targeted views with a pre roll video network.

3. Customers pay more attention to pre roll video ads than other types of ads.

4. Pre roll video advertising has a much higher click through rate than nearly any other type of video ad.

5. Pre roll video ads appeal to a younger generation.

6. Placing an ad with a pre roll video network is like hiring a marketing team without the cost.

7. A pre roll video network can help you get more out of the ads you have already created

8. Pre roll video ads can set your company apart from your competitors.

9. Your pre roll video network can find the right customers for you.

10. Viewing of online videos is quickly surpassing any other type of media, and buying space on a pre roll video network is like purchasing a pre-made marketing home run for your business.

I also found this great video that explains how a Pre-Roll Ad can help your brand:


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American Apparel on the web

To me, a consumer website should be an extension of the physical store. You should get the same feelings logging onto a store’s website as you would walking into the store; familiar color stories, the newest merchandise being featured, then entire experience.

Loving fashion and growing up in a small town, I relied on the Internet for shopping. One of my favorite brand’s e-store, American Apparel ( is the perfect example of how a company’s website should reflect the physical store and the company’s ideology.

The inside of an American Apparel looks like this:

For those who don’t know, the company sells American-made basics only.  There is nothing to the clothes, so there’s nothing to the store but the bare minimum. When going onto the website, you are greeted with the same thing:

There is order and no frills whatsoever. We learned that attractive design is one of the main elements when it comes to successful web design.  By having a minimalistic design, American Apparel retains the customer they have, as well as gaining new ones by not scaring them away with an excessive site.

The site is very easy to navigate.  There is a bar along the top with the various sections of product the store sells, and everything is neatly shown. When clicking a tab, then a sub-section, customers are able to sort the items shown by category, most popular, top rated, newest, and price. This makes navigation easy because a lot of the time, people just want to see what is popular.

One of my favorite aspects of the site has always been the review tab on every item for sale. Consumers can sometimes be hesitant to purchase clothes online for fear of them getting something they didn’t expect or a different size or anything like that. The review section takes all of that hesitation away by allowing real customers who already have this item to discuss and tell all potential new ones about it. It’s great and puts the shopper at ease.

Lastly, promotion; American Apparel knows their customer.  When you search “American-made basics” or “American-made clothing”, American Apparel is one of the first searches to come up. It isn’t a site that your average consumer would stumble upon. Majority of their online advertising presence is on fashionable blogs where they know they can find their customer.

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World Wide Web Introduction!

23/08/2011 1 comment

Hi World! This is my first blog for Integrated Marketing Communications 619. The class is Emerging Media & the Market. For me, the most important type of emerging media to our society is Social Media.

This video was the first to come to mind when I thought about the decline of traditional media and the rise of new, digital media.


This video, also interesting, has statistics of the rise of social media.


As you can see, emerging media has come into all of our lives at full force. It matters because it is changing the marketing game completely. Due to the accessibility of cheap computers, mobile devices, and the Internet, we are constantly connected to each other, and constantly exposed to new as well as old, faithful products and services. Everyone constantly comes into contact with marketing, and marketing is getting smarter and more to the point each day. Emerging marketing gives people a choice as to what they want to see more of and less of, rather than just being bombarded with everything. It is able to be personalized so we can get exactly what we want.

Emerging media is making information available to the consumer instantly. If consumers have discrepancies with a product, they can tweet the company and almost always get a response. Consumers can look at Facebook to get the latest deals from their favorite brands. Mobile marketing is taking the game to a whole new level, and consumers are having little problems keeping up.

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