Weekly Report Three – Lowe’s

This week I started with an overview of the Lowe’s brand.  Most of the information I found on their website.  It was very informative, well organized, and provided several internal links.  I expected to find listings for their products, an About page telling about the company, and a section on careers with an online application.  I did not expect to also find a page about how Lowe’s gives back to communities through charitable donations in goods and services.  Here is an article about Lowe’s helping in Columbia, South Carolina, here is an article about Lowe’s helping to build a home for Habitat for Humanity, and here is an article about Lowe’s partnering with a small business, Hammock Boutique, which employs impoverished women in Yucatán community.  Lowe’s also has something called Lowe’s Innovation Labs, which is helping to solve the global clean water crisis.  An interesting aspect of this is that “citizen scientists and the DIY community” are invited to help create a solar water pasteurizer.  Before starting this week’s project, I thought Lowe’s was simply a hardware and appliance store, and didn’t realize that this company is actively trying to help people in extreme circumstance or just with a weekend DIY project.

I also posted about Lowe’s presence on social media, and did an analysis of Lowe’s social media rhetoric.  I discovered that this company is very active online and maintains a very consistent presence on the social media accounts.  On Facebook they are quick to respond to customer complaints and find a way to rectify any issues.  The same can be said looking at their Twitter account, which shows a long list of replies to happy and unhappy customers as well as tweets trying to engage specific users, for example about projects they may have mentioned to Lowe’s in previous tweets.

Their online customer service seems much more consistent than the content posted.  Though Lowe’s posts frequently, often several times per day, their posts differ from site to site with different photos, or the same photos edited into a collage and using different captions.  For viewers, it means having to follow Lowe’s on each website in order to keep informed about various deals, tips, design ideas, etc.  It also shows that the people who manage Lowe’s social media accounts work very hard at coming up with content to post and making sure that each post is new and different in some way, instead of posting the same thing across all social media accounts.

Because of this, it seems like Lowe’s is trying to engage users on different websites according to what people from each site like to see or based on how users of different websites like to interact.  They use high quality, professional looking photos on all of their accounts, but they seem to use the best photos on Instagram.  This makes sense, as Instagram is a very visual, photo based site.  They @ tag other businesses and accounts on Twitter, because that is one of the best ways to engage others as well as have your content get as much exposure as possible on Twitter.

 

Compared to Others

Just as Batdad did, Lowe’s also responds frequently to comments on social media.  Unlike Batdad with his few-word answers, Lowe’s often gives lengthy replies to comments on Facebook.  As Lowe’s is a company that employs many and is not just one designer or one internet celebrity, Lowe’s doesn’t have an option to provide personal information and peeks into a personal life as is what happens with both Batdad and Stella McCartney.  Instead of focusing on what one person is doing or accomplishing, Lowe’s likes to show a sense of community and an ability to bring people together, either through a project or for a greater good.  Also, it doesn’t appear that Lowe’s posts often about their good deeds.

Lowe’s doesn’t seem to rely heavily on word-of-mouth as Batdad does.  However, Lowe’s does seem to care a lot about how their company is perceived, which is why they are so quick to respond, particularly to complaints.  As they try to reach a resolution that will make a customer happy, others can see good customer service in action.  Also, through their Rant or Rave app on Facebook, as well as through just the posts on their Facebook page (and other accounts), people can review their company, service, and products.  This could be considered a form of word-of-mouth which is similar to Batdad, and is also something that Stella McCartney doesn’t do as she does not have some form of rating system on any of her pages.

 

What I Will Do Next Week

I will do as Lowe’s does and maintain a heavy online presence.  I will also respond to every comment and tweet, as well as try to @ tag others on Twitter who have similar interests and content.

 

 

 

 

Weekly Report 2 – BatDad

I started this week with a brand overview of BatDad.  Most of the information I found on him came from articles that were written by other people.  This is mostly due to the fact that BatDad does not seem to be big on talking and sharing information, especially information about himself.  I read a few articles, linked to them, and added some information about BatDad.  I also went through his social media pages to find a few examples of what kind of content he creates and posts.  Somehow the formatting in this initial blog post became a little messed up, and I haven’t been able to fix it, but the other posts seem to be okay.

Next I looked at Batdad’s social media presence.  This type of post, last week and this week, has taken the longest to do.  This is because I have to keep going back and forth between the same few tabs – each tab being a different profile – and compiling the media into a blog post.  It involves a lot of scrolling, date and data checking, and searching for the same post across the different sites.  This isn’t a problem, of course, I just didn’t expect this post to take the longest.  I thought it would be easier, with perhaps the analysis taking the longest.  Anyway, this post seems to have the least amount of “meat”, but it really does take quite a bit of work.

The upside is, once all of this information is collected and organized, it makes the social media analysis a lot easier.  Still takes time and work, but the information is easier to find and read.  Like last week, I started by organizing hashtag use.  BatDad doesn’t use hashtags often.  I then showed which posts are used on different sites.  The most interesting thing I found in all of this information is that in creating BatDad and making himself an internet celebrity, he also made his wife and brother/friend/whoever (Uncle Rob) internet celebrities, and they all help each other maintain their “fame”.

Compared to Others

BatDad keeping his private life private is a the opposite of what Stella McCartney does, as she shares a lot of information about her past and her personal life.  She provides plenty of background information on her About pages, and shares photos from her childhood, her early days as a designer, and her current life outside of work as well.  I think part of the reason BatDad is private, in addition to wanting to keep at least somewhat a barrier between his family life and the public, is perhaps because he is a fairly new internet celebrity.  He doesn’t have a lengthy history to provide details about.  He also doesn’t have a long list of experience or skills – he just bought a Batman mask and started making videos.

BatDad seems to rely heavily on “word of mouth” advertising. He is not particularly proactive in trying to become more popular, and he doesn’t seem to be trying to build or further diversify his brand. This likely goes back to his statement that he will stop creating videos when it stops being fun, and that he started it just to goof off with his family, not to seek fame. Part of this “word of mouth” advertisement comes from his fans. As I mentioned in my analysis, people will edit photos and create memes that relate to BatDad and share them with him. BatDad then shares these only to his Facebook page. The other part of this advertising style comes from his wife Jen and (assumed) brother Uncle Rob. BatDad frequently links to these other accounts, even on different websites. They also link back to him. I think it’s pretty nice that they show support for each other, even though their titles as smaller internet celebrities is based on and branched from BatDad’s fame.  In comparison Stella McCartney has online and television ads, and most likely also has other types of advertising such as print.  This is because she is trying to sell products, not a character.  She also does have some “word of mouth” advertising, such as a celebrity wearing one of her designs, but overall advertising doesn’t seem to be a heavy focus, at least not on her social media accounts.  She doesn’t seem to have a fan base that creates memes and such about her but this is probably because she is a professional with a business post to audience viewer style of content, and BatDad’s character is comedic, with a lot of interaction between him and his fans, and now also his wife and Uncle Rob, too.

He frequently responds to fan comments on Facebook fairly often, which is something that I did not find Stella McCartney doing.  In this way, it is as though Stella McCartney provides the information to the public, perhaps even curating it at times to create and uphold a certain image, yet still keeps herself at a distance from her fans.  By interacting with his fans, BatDad is able to make his fans feel involved and connected.

What I learned from last week:

I am still trying to help my blog get more attention.  New blogs can be pretty difficult to promote.  I created a hashtag, #LifeLoveLibra, which is the name of the blog.  I have used this on Facebook and Twitter.  I had a family of sick kids this past week, and then I got sick as well, so I didn’t get as much blogging done as I would have liked.  Interesting thing I noticed, I got more likes on my Facebook page this week than on my blog.  I’m not sure whether these likes are from people who already follow my blog or entirely new people who came across my Facebook page but have not followed my blog.  I have 14 blog followers with three likes this week – low number, partially because I didn’t post as much or as often as I wanted to, and partially because I did not post any recipes, which seems to be the type of content that gets the most attention.  My Facebook page is up to 9 likes, no other interactions, but I also was not able to be very active on this page this past week, either.

What I learned and will try next week:

There are four things I will take away from this week’s brand and apply to my own blog.  One is perhaps making short videos and utilizing this form of media to show recipes, how-tos, etc.  The videos will be fairly short, at ten seconds or less.  I will try uploading to Vine, but will also post to my Facebook page.  Another is using short titles for these videos.  It seems this is the easiest way to give a description of the video, or tell my thoughts on the content in the video.  Though it may not always be the case, it does seem fitting that short videos have shorter titles.  The third thing I will try is word of mouth advertising.  I will try asking some friends or family to link to my blog, or to link to their favorite post I have made so far.  The final thing I have learned from this is to create subtle calls to action on my Facebook posts.  I will do this by adding my Instagram and/or Twitter names at the end of new Facebook posts, and also work them into the end of my blog posts.

 

Weekly Report 1 – Stella McCartney

This week was productive.

At the start of this week I typed a lengthy overview for the original brand I had picked, Cult of Coquette.  I didn’t realize before starting this project that Cult of Coquette had such a lack of an online presence.  I struggled to even find information on the brand, resorting to reading blogs non-affiliated with the brand and putting the pieces together.  Once I tracked down Cult of Coquette’s social media pages, I realized that their postings were so infrequent, I didn’t have much to go on.  So, I changed the first step in my project to a much more social media friendly brand, Stella McCartney.  I chose this brand because they are in the same industry – Cult of Coquette is a higher fashion vegan brand, and so is Stella McCartney.

So, I made a new post, an overview of the Stella McCartney brand (I also edited my Brand List page to reflect the change).   I started on her website to learn about what types of products she sells.  I also went to her About Stella page to learn more.  There I found several paragraphs detailing her life’s work as a designer.  I perused the website and linked back to a few examples of her products.

My next post went over Stella McCartney’s presence on social media.  I found her pages on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest, and I noted how many followers she had on each site.  Then I went through each site to find the top posts from the past week – she is quite active on social media, so looking at posts beyond a week would have been incredibly time consuming.  At first I picked the top three posts on Facebook, and then on Twitter.  At this point I noticed that she did not always post the same content to different sites.  For example, the photo of Jennifer Lawrence wearing a suit from her Autumn 15 collection was posted to Facebook and Twitter, but not her Instagram or Pinterest.   So, I chose to look at a few top posts from each site, and tried to find the same posts on all four sites to see how the wording would change.

My third post, an analysis of Stella McCartney’s social media rhetoric, combined all the information I had gathered to this point.  I wanted to see how the posts differed through comparing and contrasting.  This was made fairly easy as she used many of the same photos on different websites.  I first organized which hashtags she used by website.  She uses hashtags that are relevant to her brand, not just the top trending hashtags on Twitter, for example.  This gives her brand appropriate exposure.  I thought it was interesting that she uses less hashtags on Twitter, where hashtag connections were first used, than on Facebook, where hashtags only became a feature a couple years ago.  She also uses Twitter and Instagram to tag and connect to other brands and celebrities.  I thought this was interesting, because she posts more frequently on Facebook but doesn’t connect to other brands or celebrities on Facebook.

Another thing I noticed is that all of her top posts include photos.  Looking through her pages, it seems that most if not all of her posts include photos.  So, I’m not sure whether these posts gained so much attention because they included visuals or if something else is happening, such as good quality photos get a lot of attention, or the captions and links get the attention.

Since I have only looked at one brand so far, I don’t yet have enough information to draw connections and notice patterns between different brands, which is why this weekly report seems a bit short.  I will be including that information in later weekly reports, which will include anything I notice from this brand, and so in future these reports are expected to become much longer.

Personal Approach:

I also continued to create new content for my personal blog.  Like the first week, I posted five times.  I now have 14 followers and 77 hits, up last week from 12 followers.  My blog also received four comments and 35 likes, as well as a few more likes on some older posts.

Other page stats are:

Facebook page:  4 likes (I was not very active on this page this week)

Twitter: 6 F, no RT (I tweeted each new post)

Instagram: No new activity (did not link to new posts)

No Pinterest activity (no change)

Tumblr: 2 followers, 2 likes

I didn’t get much farther in promoting my blog on Facebook, so in this upcoming week that will be part of my focus, not only on Facebook but all the other social media sites that my blog is connected to.  One thing I noticed that Stella McCartney did is she organized her Pinterest posts.  My Pinterest posts are pretty well organized, but the posts from my blog are currently just being lumped into various boards they fit into (vegan recipes in the Vegan board, etc).  So this week I will also be reorganizing these blog-specific posts into one board so that my blog content can be found easier on Pinterest.

During this next week, I can apply the things I have learned to my personal blog by being most active on my blog’s Facebook page and using that page to post the most content, not only directly linking back to my blog posts but also similar, relevant content in the form of memes, quotes, external links, and anything else I find that may be appropriate. I will develop and use consistent hashtags across all of these social media sites to help further promote my blog. Instagram posts will be high-quality photos linking back to my blog and using hashtags. I will look for similar users/bloggers to connect with on Twitter and Instagram and use the @ to publicly connect with them. One example of how I can do this is by trying out a recipe or project from another similar blog, linking back to the blog in my post, and connecting to that blogger publicly to let them and their followers know that I tried out their recipe or project. This could generate more views and interactions in my own content and potentially gain more followers as well.