Tag Archives: social media

The Caffeine Challenge

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Fall is coming. While most people are thinking of autumn leaves or starting school, I’m thinking of Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte.
For the second year in a row, Starbucks executed a notable social media campaign to generate buzz for their highly anticipated seasonal beverage. Rather than simply submitting a vote, users were invited to complete various online challenges and tasks to bring back the popular latte to their cities a week before the drink’s official release date.  Some of the challenges involved simple games like crossword puzzles or answering trivia questions based on Starbucks’ online videos.  In addition, including the “#PSLChallenge” hashtag to your wall posts or tweets on Facebook and Twitter would garner even more points for one’s city. The city with the most points by August 24, 2012, will be rewarded with the debut of the Pumpkin Spice Latte one week earlier than the rest of the country; Leavenworth, WA took the win.
For the most dedicated drinkers, this is a darn near perfect reward. An earlier debut adds a special element to this already popular product and gives the consumer an illusion of empowerment. By participating in the challenge, passionate fans were able to share their excitement with their online communities and generate additional hype for their beloved beverage.
For your average consumer, Starbucks’ promotion still served its purpose—it let us know the latte is back! Whether one was excited about the challenge or not, by seeing others participate, they were exposed to the product virally through tweets, news feeds, and word of mouth. This exposure undoubtedly helps maximize awareness for Starbucks’ other products and offers, which will likely result in a boost in overall sales this upcoming holiday season.
As for me, nothing welcomes the new season better than the flavors that come with it.

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Filed under Cal Poly Pomona Foundation, CPP Dining Services, Darren and Lily, Facebook, Social Media

NBA – Where #BIG (Social Media) Things Happen

Fortunately, my favorite NBA team isn’t the Los Angeles Lakers – or the Los Angeles Clippers.

Unfortunately, as a resident of Southern California, this means I can’t cheer for my team from the stands or watch them dominate the league unless they’re being nationally televised.

Luckily, the NBA understands the global impact of the Internet and is devoted with their social media endeavors, which allows me to connect with my favorite team and fellow fans from anywhere in the world.

From a fan’s standpoint, the league’s social media efforts are highly beneficial and exceptionally entertaining. I am able to catch exclusive highlights on YouTube, humor myself by scrolling through fan arguments on Facebook, read about the latest rivalries on multiple blogs, and (my favorite part) interact with the league, teams, and individual players right on Twitter.  Receiving live play-by-play tweets is icing on the cake when a crucial game I desperately want to watch isn’t nationally televised.

From a marketer’s perspective, the NBA’s social media model is the ultimate prototype to strive for. Other sports leagues may have a presence on multiple social media platforms but with a ratings increase of 52 percent over the past year and merchandise sales up 30 percent, the NBA outplays every league by far.

Along with traditional social outreach campaigns, the global brand extends it’s reach by collaborating with broadcasting networks to actively encourage fans to send in tweets, which are then shown on-air. This generates buzz, increases likeability and ultimately allows the league to form a stronger relationship with their fans.

With these creative channels of interaction and communication for its viewers, the conversations and excitement between plays is now open to thousands of other fans beyond those sitting next to you on the couch.

Unfortunately, my favorite team was eliminated early on in this year’s NBA Playoffs but my hopes are still high and I’ll be staying up-to-date through the team’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram feeds during off-season. Without naming any names, I’ll just have to continue to #SEERED and wait for next year.

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Filed under Darren and Lily, Random, Social Media

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We’re honored to receive the Facebook All-Star award from Connect2One. We take great pride in the work we produce for the Bronco Bookstore through social media marketing. It’s always nice when various publications showcase our work in  articles but now it’s even cooler to have this trophy sitting in our workspace. When coworkers asked us who’s the bigger star on the trophy, Lily said, “I’m both stars. Darren’s the base.” Haha… In any case, we’re both very grateful to receive this award.

Below is a link to the article that Eric Criswell wrote about the Facebook All-Stars award.

Original Article

– D

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May 11, 2012 · 10:43 am

Social Media Best Practices

In the industry of campus retail, we’re innovators. The social media work we do for the Bronco Bookstore is widely recognized across the country by publications and other bookstore managers.

Lily and I were asked to present at the California Association of College Stores annual expo at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim, CA. last fall. The topic of our presentation was “Social Media Best Practices.”  This was the first time we’d be speaking about our work to a live public audience.  We had to figure out which campaigns we’d showcase and how we’d present it for the 30 minute time slot we were allotted. It took a lot of planning, designing, and rehearsing, but I do believe the hard work rewarded us with the best presentation we’ve ever created.

Within the following weeks, we were interviewed and featured in two different publications regarding the various ideas we discussed in our presentation. We were even complimented on how well the presentation looked. Lily deserves all the credit for designing each of the 75+ slides with such visually stimulating appeal.  From purely an aesthetic standpoint, it was certainly the most captivating powerpoint I’ve ever seen.

Whether  you’re from campus retail or not, we do believe that our presentation can offer you some tips and strategies to engaging your audience on Facebook.

– D

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Filed under Bronco Bookstore, Darren, Facebook, Social Media

Our Modern Family

Using an iPad to be a part of the Social Age doesn’t require that you be tech-savvy, less than 35 years old, or speak fluent English. Many people stray away from new technology with the assumption that it’s too difficult to use.  There shouldn’t be stereotypes classifying who could benefit from a tablet. Just as the Social Age can open up anyone’s world, tablet technology can be utilized by anyone. Their simplistic designs and interfaces don’t require that you be part of the Geek Squad or have any experience with computers.

Let us share with you our stories with two individuals whose personal experiences have demonstrated to us the power and possibilities of new tablet technologies.

[LILY]

I can barely explain to my 58-year-old mother how to change the video input on our TV or how to increase the ringtone volume on her flip phone without having to repeat myself a good 4-5 times. Yet, she has absolutely no problem launching an Angry Bird towards a pile of strategically stacked pigs – on her iPad.

Late last October, I purchased an iPad as an early birthday surprise for my mom. As she was unveiling her gift, she exclaimed, “Wow, thank you … what is it?”

Ouch. I think my heart just cracked a little. I know my savings did.

I just spent a ridiculous amount on this tablet and I will make sure she knows exactly what it is. I tried to explain to her to the best of my ability in broken Vietnamese (she doesn’t speak much English) that it’s almost identical to her iPod Touch – but now she can actually see the screen!

After my many pauses and horribly butchered pronunciations, she understood. And thus, began my 58-year-older mother’s journey into the Social Age.

Prior to handing it to her, I adjusted her settings to display Vietnamese instead of

English, which made it less of a struggle for her to navigate. I also synced her previously created accounts, iTunes applications, and added her list of contacts.

Already familiar with games from her iPod, she had no problem adjusting to flinging those Angry Birds with the iPad’s much bigger screen. Her favorite games also include Fruit Ninja HD, Slots Free for iPad, and Coin Dozer – World Tour.

Not only does her iPad act as a form of entertainment, it serves as a convenient tool for her to communicate with her five adult children.

She frequently refreshes the Weather+ Free app to check the weather for several different areas. A swipe for where each of her five children reside and once for her work location.

I often see her composing an email or conversing on the phone with my sister from Chicago. Sure enough, she’s letting my sister know that it’ll be snowing there soon and to remember to dress my nieces warmly for school. Last Christmas, my sister was also able to give my parents a grand tour of her new home using Skype on the iPad.

My siblings are always teasing at how our mother is now more technologically advanced than they are. I’ll surely take credit for that feat.

Just less than six months ago, my mom had no idea what an iPad is and now her daily routine can’t go without one.

[DARREN]

My Grandma is 81 years old; definitely not the first person you’d think to enter the Social Age on her own. She knows the basic functions of her DVD/VCR combo player and does own a computer. However, it can be frustrating to hear that, “The computer broke,” when really it was just a program that needed an update, the Internet was being slow, or her mouse ran out of batteries. A computer can do so much, but with all of its capabilities comes a whole slew of complexities and issues that even I sometimes find confusing. Despite her age, she has always been open to new technology but it was time to take a simpler approach.

When she unwrapped her iPad last Christmas, she was intrigued. Something so simple, portable, and button-less left many questions. Where’s the keyboard? What’s a touchscreen? What does it do? She knew nothing of tablet devices, let alone ever hearing the term, “iPad” before. However, we would soon learn that her age wouldn’t act as a barrier when it came to embracing the device.

I started simple and downloaded a few games while showing her the basic features of the new device. Various apps including Angry Birds, Fishy Slots HD and an interactive, talking cat instantly became her favorites. She also enjoyed how easy it was to play Mah Jong by simply tapping the little app icon. On her computer, she had to open up the web browser, remember which username and password to use in order to log in into her Yahoo account, and then search the game servers for an open game. There was no buttons and no mouse—just the ease of touching and swiping.

Then came the ultimate test. I was sitting at home fiddling on my iPhone. That’s when I decided to see how well my Grandma would handle answering a FaceTime video chat call. I dialed her up and it rang a few times, so I imagined that she was staring at the incoming call and being utterly confused until it would stop ringing. Instead, the image of her smiling face showed up on my screen. A connection was made! The first thing she said was, “I’ve been trying to shoot these Angry Fish for almost an hour now!” I laughed and said, “They’re Angry Birds, Grandma. Not fish.” It was a much easier correction than dealing with driver updates or Internet popups. More importantly, for the first time ever, she was communicating with her grandson through her new iPad, and thus bringing her into the Social Age.

As we’ve said before—through working, playing and living, the Social Age is all around us. Yet, many people repel from the latest gadgets with the assumption that they won’t be able to adapt to the unfamiliarity of modern devices.

Let these two women be grand examples of how openness to new technology can truly transform and improve the way you connect with the things and people you care most about. As our stories have demonstrated, once you allow yourself to conquer the fear of the unknown, you too, can be a part of what’s current and new. It’s a lot easier than you think.

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Filed under Apple, Darren and Lily, iPad, Technology

Grad Fair Games

Lily and I entered our Bronco Bookstore campaign titled, “Grad Fair Games 2011” into the NACS Cool Ideas Contest. The winning entry will receive $1,000 to use toward future marketing campaigns.

We chose to enter this campaign because it was particularly something new for us and unique from other campaigns we’ve done in the past.  We used social media to promote it, but the campaign itself consisted of various forms of guerrilla marketing and live events.

We’re just finishing the final plans for our  2nd annual Grad Fair Games coming later this April. Until then, take a look at our Cool Ideas Contest entry below that was written by both Lily and myself.

– D

Purpose:   One of Bronco Bookstore’s ongoing hurdles in recent years has been generating awareness for Grad Fair. In previous years, some of our students have often overlooked traditional forms of marketing such as print advertising and e-mail blasts, which led them to miss Grad Fair altogether.
To overcome this obstacle, Bronco Bookstore took a different approach from traditional marketing to promote Grad Fair 2011 and truly celebrated the “learn by doing” spirit of Cal Poly Pomona.
The Grad Fair Games was created to raise awareness for our 2-day Grad Fair by enticing upcoming graduates through participative activities weeks before the big event. The series of hands-on events consisted of two games, along with a guerilla push through our “Grad Walkers.”
Our first game, “Sash Shuffle,” invited students to register teams of two through Bronco Bookstore’s Facebook Page. Teams were then pitted against each other on game day with the objective of transferring a graduation sash between each teammate’s shoulders (without the use of hands) in the fastest time. The game was formatted in a tournament style rewarding the winning team with a pair of graduation sashes.
The second game was called, “Tassel Tossers.” Students were given a shot at tossing a tassel into a graduation cap. Landing a tassel into the cap would reward the student with a 2011 graduation tassel.
Additionally, our “Grad Walkers” guerilla push complimented the Grad Fair Games and directly connected with upcoming graduates about Grad Fair 2011. Bookstore employees, fully dressed in commencement attire, strolled around campus during peak hours in high density areas wearing their cap and gown to hand out flyers and directly communicate with students about Grad Fair 2011.
How Idea Was Successful:   The Grad Fair Games strengthened awareness by having students participate first-hand in memorable activities leading up to Grad Fair 2011. This untraditional marketing push ultimately translated to an increase in sales figures.
Students stopped and observed as participants frantically (and creatively) transferred the graduation sash.
Cheers and groans were heard from the observing crowds as participants scored or barely missed a tassel shot.
Additionally, the “Grad Walkers” drew in a lot of attention, as it was unusual to see students walking amongst the crowds dressed in a cap and gown a whole two months before commencement. Curious students who approached our “Grad Walkers” got to ask questions and learn more about Grad Fair by speaking with an employee one-on-one.
It was this type of unique attention that generated enormous amounts of increased awareness for Grad Fair 2011. This boost of awareness led to a substantial increase in traffic during both days of the event. Our Grad Fair exclusive merchandise pack completely sold out and sales saw an average increase of 22% over the previous year in all areas.

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Filed under Bronco Bookstore, Darren, Facebook, Social Media, Work Days