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Blog Post

Move the Meter: When Social Becomes Tangible

Brands invite us to transition from the digital world to the real world
November 28, 2017

New research shows that real-world experiences — and reading printed media — leads to better comprehension than on-screen learning. So what’s a communicator in this digital-focused world to do?

One method is to bridge the divide between the world of social media and the real world of actual social interactions.

One clever example of combining experiential and social marketing comes from Chick-Fil-A, which built a pop-up restaurant on the state line between Georgia Mississippi and Alabama on the day of a much-anticipated football game between the Georgia Bulldogs and Auburn Tigers.

Chick-Fil-A’s efforts resulted in a unique shared experience for fans, netted hundreds of thousands of social media impressions, and earned dozens of national news stories for the fast-food chain.

As brands bridge experiential and social marketing, social media platforms are keeping pace by introducing features that encourage real-world sharing and conversation among friends, such as Instagram’s Go Live With A Friend feature. In addition to fostering new ways to connect with friends, these features offer brands a new and interesting platform upon which to create and distribute live interviews, webinars and announcements.

It will be fascinating to watch how the lines between the tangible and the digital continue to blur.

Here are some other interesting reads that caught our eye this week.

Graphic Designer Nate Balfour:

The rise of young adult podcast listeners has caught the attention of advertisers. AdWeek has identified a category of podcast loyalists called “Super Listeners” — people who encourage their friends and family to listen to specific podcasts that they love. The trust that listeners develop with their favorite podcasts is considerable, opening the door for advertisers to associate their brand with listeners’ favorites hosts and programs. What’s more, “Super Listeners” are analogous to social media influencers, so advertisers are also eyeing ways to further enable these loyal listeners to share what they hear on their favorite podcasts with friends and followers.

Editorial Strategist Katharine Brenton:

It’s not exactly breaking news that the newspaper business is facing significant challenges. While many of the news business burdens have been borne by large, urban dailies, smaller community publications have also struggled — despite a new report that highlights some key advantages that small newspapers have in a rapidly evolving industry. It turns out that small newspapers play a key role in local communities and are highly valued by residents. So it might help if newspapers stopped trumpeting the news that they are in mortal decline.

Project Manager Kathleen Ryan:

A recent AdWeek article quoted President Donald Trump’s digital media director Brad Parscale saying that ad buys helped them win the 2016 election. Although the Trump campaign had very little money for marketing at the start, Parscale credits Facebook for helping the campaign raise $280 million through ads that yielded excellent results and low impression costs. He said the ads that ran on Facebook cost less than $1 but brought in donations far above that amount.

On peak days, the Trump campaign was running as many as 150,000 different pieces of creative online.

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