Tag Archives: NFL

Fastest Growing Online Retail Channel: Social Media

Written by: Hannah Redmond
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Social for retail is a growing space, from embedded Buy buttons on social to referring traffic to retailers’ websites and apps via social posts. Platforms are creating more and more options for brands and consumers, and brands need to consider social as a serious avenue for sales. According to the Internet Retailer’s Social Media 500, the top 500 retailers earned $3.3 billion from social shopping in 2014, up 26% from 2013. That is well ahead of the 16% growth rate for the overall e-commerce market in the U.S.

Business Insider recently published a report showing that social is driving more retail traffic than any other online channel. Additional findings below:


Key points from the report:

  • Social media increased its share of e-commerce referrals nearly 200% between the first quarters of 2014 and 2015.
  • For retailers to maintain these social gains, they will need to pay special attention to mobile, where social engagement with retail content is still limited.
  • Facebook continues to grow its lead as the dominant social commerce platform. Facebook accounts for 50% of total social referrals and 64% of total social revenue. The site’s changing demographics could make older consumers a strong target for retailers leveraging the platform.
  • Pinterest is a major social commerce player despite a relatively small user base. The pinning platform drives 16% of social revenue despite an audience 6.5 times smaller than Twitter. New buy and action buttons on retailer posts should make Pinterest an even stronger referral and revenue engine for brands.
  • Twitter is losing its influence for mass-market merchants, but it could still have a role to play among sporting and event marketers, especially for location-based promotions. Recently, NFL and NBA teams have used Twitter to sell game tickets and merchandise.
  • Instagram doesn’t drive significant sales activity for retailers, but high-end companies have been leveraging the platform for branding purposes. New Buy buttons on paid posts, as well as increased targeting capabilities, could make the app a more important direct-response driver.

It is no surprise that people are spending more time on social not only consuming content but also making purchase decisions, and ultimately purchases. As we think about helping our brands navigate the digital space, social provides enormous value for retail, mobile, and beyond.

To read the Business Insider article that inspired this post, click here.

A Very Social Super Bowl

Written by: Hannah Redmond
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A Very Social Super Bowl
As told by SNICKERS social strategists Hannah Redmond and Rita Mogilanski 

Super Bowl 49 was the most social Super Bowl ever. More than 65 million people talked about the game on Facebook and there were 24.9 million posts on Twitter during the game.

Brands are realizing that social media can’t be an afterthought when planning for the big game, but rather social needs to be a central part of the brand’s marketing and communications strategy.SB Post 1

The SNICKERS social team planned for the big day by working closely with partner agencies to plan a cohesive, 360 strategy with multiple touch points. As an official NFL partner and a brand with a Super Bowl commercial, it was imperative that we make the most of the moment. 

  • Predictive and Strategic Research: No brand should wait for a “moment” to jump into the conversation on social media; rather they should arrive at game day prepared.SB Post 2
    The social analytics team at Fanscape came armed with information to help inform their social participation strategy, with items including Super Bowl trends from past years, SNICKERS social trends, and a list of brands to monitor. This information was necessary to prepare game day content and help find real-time opportunities during the game.
  • Rally To Release: The SNICKERS social team worked to help promote the Super Bowl trailer that was released on January 21. Our strategy was based around creating awareness and excitement around the campaign. We wanted to make sure we got fans involved in the process, so we asked them to like, comment, share, view the teaser, or use the official hashtag #EatASNICKERS to encourage SNICKERS to release the full Super Bowl spot before game day. After receiving over 2.5 million engagements, the full commercial was released 4 days before the game.

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Game Day
  • Social Media Command Center: A social media command center is the best way to track all the game day activity and manage outgoing content. The SNICKERS social team gathered several essential players, including an analyst to identify opportunities and measure and track success, a content and creative team to ideate when “real-time” opportunities presented themselves, an account team to push through client communications, and a community manager to keep a pulse on the community.SB Post 7
  • Real-Time Engagement: After creating a game time strategy and plan based on research and insights, SNICKERS focused on interacting with brands, fans, and media on Twitter during the game. We inserted the brand voice into the social conversation where relevant, while promoting the Super Bowl spot and NFL partnership.SB Post 8
  • The most successful SNICKERS tweets were timely and relevant, which is a testament to the planning and strategic partnerships that were in place
  • The SNICKERS Super Bowl commercial was the 2nd most shared spot on social media
  • SNICKERS ranked #9 in the top 10 ads based on digital activity
  • SNICKERS was in the top 5 brands ranked by digital share of voice

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Learnings and Recommendations
  • Include Social Media as Part of 360 Planning
    Super Bowl planning, including creating a cohesive content strategy, communications plan, and creative elements, takes months. Social media elements should be injected into each part of planning, since Super Bowl has become such a “social moment.”
  • Involve Consumers
    Brands that foster consumer involvement earn more shares and a higher share of voice on social media. Whether it is part of the core campaign (like Doritos Crash the Super Bowl) or an activation that brings in or acknowledges fans during the game day conversation (like McDonalds), it is an increasingly important part of marketing during the Super Bowl.
  • Conduct Social Research Beforehand
    Don’t wait for a “moment” to chime in on social media. Arrive at game day prepared with conversation metrics and relevant topics from previous years, as well as have already investigated upcoming campaigns from competitors and general advertisers in the space. Making note of what has previously resonated with fans and seeing how other brands are implementing strategy based on their own research can help prepare and preplan content and ways to get into the upcoming social conversation.
  • Be Present on Game Day
    A social media “command center” is more than just multiple computer screens monitoring various hashtags. It is important to create a core team with specific roles to play on game day:

    • An analyst to help identify content opportunities and measure and track success;
    • A content team (including creative) to ideate when a “real-time” opportunity presents itself;
    • An account team to help push through client communication;
    • A community manager to keep a pulse on the trending topics and brand community conversation.

Each team member plays an important and deliberate role and together they drive success.

Overall, whether brands have an ad in the game or not, there are ways into the Super Bowl social conversation – by finding an angle that makes a brand relevant. Keeping these four elements in mind when creating this angle will set teams up for success.


Hannah and Rita are on the SNICKERS social team at TMADE.




Headlines & Stuff

Written by: Digitally Approved
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Here are some cool things we read about this past week:

Facebook Finally Lets You Edit Posts
Facebook introduced the ability to edit status updates this week. The editing feature will roll out to all Facebook users on the web and Android devices over the next day or so. The editing feature is NOT included in the latest iOS app, but will be pushed through during the next update.

Twitter and the NFL Agree to Sell Video Ad Packages Together
Twitter is currently working with the NFL to sell packages of promoted tweets. The partnership is the latest in a string of deals Twitter has done with more than 30 publishers, sports leagues and TV networks since January (most recently with CBS). Under the program, sponsors including Verizon will be mentioned in promoted tweets sent out from NFL’s Twitter handle during the regular season and postseason, and given pre-roll placements in the attached videos. A minority of tweets will be highly valuable video content of game highlights posted in near-real-time (a minute after the play occurs) from the 13 Thursday night games that air on the NFL network.

LinkedIn Pushes In-Stream Promoted Jobs Ads
This week, LinkedIn began sticking its “promoted jobs” product into users’ main streams. The ads are a form of native content for the network – a paid way for recruiters and employers to stick their open positions in front of job seekers.

Facebook Starts Up its Mobile Ad Network Again
After a nine-month pause, Facebook is taking its mobile ad network out for another spin. The social network is currently running a second test to show Facebook ads off Facebook in mobile ads and on mobile sites.

YouTube Launches Comment Word Blocking & More Google+ Integration
YouTube is now allowing moderators to block inappropriate words in comments. The video platform will also be restructuring the order of comments – moving relevant comments to the top of the list including mentions from the video creator, popular personalities, engaged discussions about the video and people in user Google+ circles. Users can also now choose to start a conversation publicly or privately on the platform. Also starting this week, YouTube comments will be powered by Google+ on the channel discussion tab.

Global Social Media

Facebook and Other Banned Sites to be Open in China Free Trade Zone
Facebook, Twitter and other websites currently banned by the Chinese government will be accessible in a planned free-trade zone (FTZ) in Shanghai according to the South China Morning Post. Citing unidentified sources, the Hong Kong newspaper said that authorities would welcome bids from foreign telecoms firms for licenses to provide Internet services in the zone. The recently approved FTZ is slated to be a test bed for convertibility of China’s yuan currency and further liberalization of interest rates. The idea of unblocking websites in the FTZ was to make foreigners “feel like at home.”

Noteworthy Campaigns

Urban Outfitters New Social Network Offers Members Deals for Data
Urban Outfitters is integrating marketing and social media with a new rewards system to revamp their Urban On app. The social networking app allows users to upload photos of themselves in Urban merchandise and syncs with their social networks. Now, every time a user mentions the company on Twitter or Instagram, they are rewarded with points that will provide exclusive perks including advance warnings of sales, as well as early access to merchandise and concert tickets. The intention of the app is to provide the company with data about its customers while also giving them something in return.

Walmart Launches Online Reality Series and Invites American Consumers to Pick Its New Big Products
This week, Walmart launched its first-ever original reality series developed for the web. The first episode can be viewed at getontheshelf.walmart.com, and Walmart is asking the public which new products from American entrepreneurs will appear on shelves this fall. The new weekly series highlights 20 finalists in its Get on the Shelf contest. Each week, four different finalists will showcase their product in an effort to gain public votes and get their item sold on Walmart.com and possibly in Walmart stores. The episodes go live Tuesdays at 12:01am ET from 9/24 – 10/22.  Viewers can watch the episodes and cast their votes online.

Thanksgiving is here, are you ready?

Written by: Digitally Approved
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Thanksgiving, one of the most social of all holidays, is upon us; bringing families and friends together to celebrate our lives and to give thanks for what we have and are about to receive.

Since the late 20th century, Thanksgiving also meant the official start to the holiday shopping season. Are you ready?

As we’ve previously mentioned in our Shopping Goes Social piece, many retailers are leveraging their social media clout to connect with consumers by offering them something extra they can’t see on a particular retail site or in a weekly circular. Other sites are there to aggregate this information for you – like Black-Friday.net.

Black Friday Page

Want to get a head start on those Black Friday deals? This site simply lays out the ads and deals in advance of the biggest shopping day of the year. You can see preview circulars, online deals of the day and even create your own shopping list.

Know what you’re cooking on the big day? Want the best pumpkin pie or green bean casserole recipe or have one to offer? Several popular recipe sites offer not only great recipes and tips, they also offer real reviews from real people who have made that particular dish. Sites like allrecipes.com are offering a free Webscast to show how dishes are made – you can watch it on their .tv site or from your iPhone.

Watch live streaming video from allrecipeslive at livestream.com

And what would Thanksgiving (or one of my posts) be without the time-honored tradition of the NFL. Since the league’s inception in 1920 fans have been able to skip away from the Thanksgiving table to catch the games. Since the advent of the television, it makes getting up from the table a tad bit easier. As our mobile devices have become more sophisticated, we don’t even have to leave the table to get the scores. But don’t tell my family about that.

NFL Mobile

When all is said and done, it’s all about being with your loved ones, celebrating being together and giving a little bit of thanks. So to everyone out there, have a great Thanksgiving weekend, wherever and however you may be spending it.

Football Season: Getting into the Game

Written by: Digitally Approved
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Football Logos

Now that football season is in full swing, we here at Fanscape think it’s about time to take a little look at one of the most successful sports in US history. Whether you’re an every now and then fan or one of the most passionate – you know who you are you face painting season ticket holders and fantasy leaguers – the NCAA and NFL completely captivate us in the Fall and Winter months. And at Fanscape, we’re no exception.

In recent years the game has gone well beyond just what is seen on TV or in the stands; it has become a virtual communications juggernaut. Fans now have unprecedented access to players and teams: fan & team groups on Facebook; message boards galore; Twitter accounts, player websites; and UStream activity, all connecting us in such an intimate way. Because of the expansive amount of options that have been created to link fans to their respective teams and/or players, the doors have swung wide open for brands to captivate their audience in creative new ways.

Contests, promotions, players’ involvement and a team’s interaction all are important aspects of reaching fans, but as marketers we need to make sure our efforts are getting the right message across without being too intrusive. With the every day fan becoming increasingly more savvy on both the consumer and social media front, taking contests beyond entering a name and email is key to a campaign’s success. Some of the best we’ve seen thus far have been those that bring fans directly into the fold; e.g. Dorito’s Crash the SuperBowl and the NFL’s Super Ad.

Football has always been a social affair: gathering with friends, family or a group of fellow fans to watch your favorite team; tailgating, an experience in and of itself; and let’s not forget about actually being in the stadium for the game. True, football has always been about fans coming together to celebrate, but with social media in the mix, fans have the added rush of instant connections and instant interaction on a global scale, whether sitting at a sports bar, at home or in the stands.