Ah, Twitter… A beautiful place filled with highs- OMG, I got 200 retweets!– and lows- Wow maybe I shouldn’t have posted that picture from the bar last night… No matter how you use it, there’s no denying the power that this platform has created for both individuals and companies alike. And just like us individuals, companies have had to learn how to utilize Twitter without making themselves look like fools.
Here’s five companies who are doing it right:
T-Mobile starts off the list because let’s get real- their marketing department has kinda been on fire the past few years. From their rebranding as the “Uncarrier” to their most recent deals, #TMobileTuesdays, T-Mobile is making waves in the telecom industry as other carriers are struggling to adapt to changing consumer demands.
Why their Twitter account works:
- Visual consistency across the board. From their header to the font color of their links, T-Mobile’s Twitter page plays some pretty slick mind games on you and leaves your brain thinking of T-Mobile anytime you ever see the color magenta.
- Secured DJ Khaled as a spokesperson before he jumped the shark. Often times, companies will see something go viral, only to snag it after it’s old news or miss the opportunity completely. Fortunately for T-Mobile, they got him right in time and his personality has become a major asset to their social media presence.
- Harnessed the power of a hashtag with #TMobileTuesdays. By using a good promotion as a hashtag, T-Mobile is extending their reach on Twitter while also showcasing how their uncomplicated loyalty rewards program is better than the rest of the telecom industry.
2. Starbucks Coffee (@Starbucks)
As a company whose presence extends beyond the corner coffee shop and into homes, churches, and almost anywhere else you could imagine, Starbucks needs no introduction. You’d better hope with their record fiscal year in 2015 that they’d be able to afford a good social media marketing team.
What they’re doing right:
- Frequent retweets and interactions with customers. Arguably more important than promoting the company, positive customer interactions online are what it’s all about. Starbucks recognizes this and uses their Twitter page to frequently share the love.
- A well-placed hashtag is a happy hashtag. Almost every one of Starbucks’ tweets contains a hashtag, but they do it in a way that doesn’t seem like they’re trying to hard (#lookatus #wecanbecooltoo). My personal favorite would be #ProTip, which is basically Starbucks validating the Secret Menu. Their hashtag strategies enable the company to extend their reach without exhausting their followers.
- #MerryChristmasStarbucks. When a hashtag against you goes viral, you can either hide until it’s over or you can make up your own hashtag. Starbucks kept it classy and turned the whole situation around with #RedCupArt, which encouraged consumer interaction with the brand and shifted the Red Cup controversy into a merrier memory.
In September 2016, the University of Georgia did something big. They changed their logo for the first time in twenty years. And people are having a lot of feelings about it.
What’s the big deal? On a simple level the logo still has the same colors and our iconic Arch. But at a closer examination, there are some very big changes.
- UGA dropped the “The”. UGA states the reasoning on their official logo webpage as, “There was tremendous inconsistency across campus, at the school and unit level, for the use of ‘The,’ so we knew we needed to take a stand to obtain consistency. We looked at the university’s charter and found that it did not provide a precedent for the capital ‘T’ — ‘The’.” Huh. Guess I have to go change my resume now…
- The Arch is simplified. UGA recognized that besides the bulldog, the arch is the most iconic symbol associated with the school. Keeping it but simplifying it to make it bolder is an obvious tactic to adapt to the digital era that is upon us. The cleaner cut of it helps it stand out better online and makes it easily transferable to different mediums.
- A Different Red. Though UGA does not specifically address this color change, it certainly goes along with their “embracing the digital shift” ideology. The deeper color is bolder, helping it stand out better, and a little easier on the eyes. Were it a brighter red, it might have been a little painful to stare at.
The whole idea around this big change is about reinforcing UGA’s image with it’s digital presence, as well as attempting to unify the different divisions within the university. As of just this August, there were countless variations of logos meant to represent the University of Georgia on one level or another:
Yes, it’s messy. And yes, there’s not a single thing that every one of these logos have in common. Seriously. Try and find one thing. Some only use the color black, some don’t use the color black at all. The Arch is prevalent for most but not even in the same design. It’s a marketing nightmare if you’re trying to prove how consistent and well-connected the school is with its different divisions and organizations.
But will this new logo help the consistency of the brand? Although UGA listed consistency as one of its goals, I severely doubt anything will change unless the school requires and enforces every organization use this new logo. It is simply too costly to expect each and every one of these organizations to completely restructure their logos to incorporate this new arch and shield image. Not only that, but every flyer, poster, t-shirt, and pen with an older logo would become obsolete, making everyone have to spend even more money to produce the new versions.
Let’s consider one other motive behind this big change. This logo is being strategically unveiled at the start of new football season, as well as right before publicly launching a fundraising campaign this fall. According to Online Athens, the money spent on this new visual identity (which was paid for through private donations only) is viewed as an investment in the capital campaign, expecting to raise over $1 billion (yes, that’s BILLION with a B). Hopefully some of that money will go towards the smaller organizations within UGA that might not necessarily be able to afford shifting to this new image otherwise.
But love it or hate it, this new logo is here to stay.
Every time around this year, I begin to develop a growing feeling of excitement as each day passes. November marks the first real feeling of fall, it’s the start of some of the best holidays we get all year, and it’s a time of coming together. Unfortunately, this year has been a little different.
Maybe it’s the fact that it’s November 3rd and I still have to wear shorts because the high is 80°F every day. Maybe it’s because I haven’t been taking my multi-vitamins. MAYBE it’s the absolute madness that is #election2016 that’s dragging down my spirits… Whatever it is, a lot of people are feeling the same way. And that could be a big problem for businesses as they struggle to engage with consumers in a more meaningful way this holiday season.
Brick and mortar Black Friday sales are on an unfortunate decline. From just 2014 to 2015, they fell 1.2 Billion dollars, according to ShopperTrak. And it’s only predicted to hurt even more this year.
Enter REI. Recreational Equipment, Inc. An American outdoor recreation retail cooperative corporation that specializes in “outfitting members for a lifetime of adventure”. With higher end products and not-so-special Black Friday specials in the past, this company wasn’t really ever that into the whole Black Friday concept anyways. Last year, however, REI decided they weren’t going to play the same game as everyone else. Making a major decision to take a stance, the company announced a huge marketing campaign before Thankgiving 2015 called ‘Opt Outside’. On Black Friday, REI shut it doors, paid it’s employees to go outside, and encouraged its members to do the same instead of spending their holiday time waiting in lines and busting down doors for sales.