Friday, August 19, 2016

Favorite Finds

While the games of the 31st Olympiad continued to dominate world news and social media this week, there were a few other stories that caught our attention. Following are just a handful of our favorite non-Olympic happenings – and mishaps:
  • Something New on the Political Menu – Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has a new campaign cooking. The Democratic nominee has launched Chefs for Hillary, a food-focused initiative in which celebrity chefs share recipes they’ve developed for her campaign. The first round of patriotic-inspired eats, which are available on Pinterest, include dishes from the country’s top chefs including Mario Batali‘s signature grilled swordfish; Dominique Ansel‘s democratic (blue)berry cookies, and Katie Lee‘s patriotic penne pie. The campaign also encourages voters to show “Team Hillary” pride by sharing their own recipes using #ChefsForHillary.
  • This Just Pin…er…InImage-first platform Pinterest has made a big move into video. On Wednesday, the company launched Promoted Video, allowing users to access full auto-play video with sound, and brands to display up to six Buyable Pins beneath each video as it plays. According to Pinterest, video will now be a "core part" of the user experience.
  • On No She Didn’t! – When writing social content/graphics, it’s probably a good idea to first ask, “is there any possibility someone could be offended by this?” This week, TV personality Ellen DeGeneres uncharacteristically found herself at the center of racial backlash when she tweeted a Photoshopped meme of herself piggybacking on Olympic sprinter Usain Bolt with the caption, "This is how I'm running errands from now on."
  • Stick ‘Em Up! – Following the June launch of its new ‘Stickers’ tool, which enables users to attach customizable, emoji-like pictures to their photos, Twitter announced Monday the introduction of Promoted Stickers. This expansion allows brands to create and promote custom stickers as a way to engage with fans. Pepsi will be the launch partner for Promoted Stickers, sharing some 50 custom stickers across 10 markets as part of its “PepsiMoji” campaign.
  • Pikachu Piques (Even) More Interest – As the Pokemon GO craze continues, an increasing number of city leaders want in on the action. Since the game entices users outside to engage in their community, it could prove an ideal medium to encourage even more civic interactions – everything from promoting local landmarks to reporting graffiti or broken street lights.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Favorite Finds

With political conventions behind us and the Olympics ahead, this week was the relative calm between storms on social media. But that doesn’t mean it was without buzz. Here are a few of my favorite finds from the past week:

·         Let the (Sponsors’) Games Begin. With the opening ceremonies happening today, everyone is getting excited for a summer Olympics that is sure to be chalk full of news. But for brands that are not official sponsors of the event, participating along on social media is going to be very closely regulated. If you don’t know by now to avoid all official hashtags, location references, ‘lypic references and athlete references, check out this post immediately.
·         6 Seconds to Win It. Speaking of competition, Mashable and Vine recently released the Armstrong award winners – Vine videos so good they took home a total of $10,000. The competition saw more than 400 submissions across seven categories: art, comedy, animation, illusion, music, series and remix. Watch the winners here.
·         Facebook Factors. Several interesting reports hit social out of Facebook this week. The platform launched a birthday compilation feature to remix the 100 times people say “happy birthday!!!!” on your birthday. And if perhaps that news doesn’t wow you, they followed up with a prediction that phones, not glasses, will be the future of augmented reality and a sneak peek at their massive new R&D lab where they will get to work making that prediction a (virtual) reality.
·         InstaSnaps. Facebook-owned Instagram also made a big announcement this week, unveiling a major revamp of its popular social media app called Instagram Stories,"  which allows users to capture and share video clips throughout the day. The videos self-destruct after 24 hours – very similar to the way SnapChat works – and won't appear on your profile grid or feed.Calvin HarrisDemi LovatoNick JonasCiaraDemi Lovato and Nick Jonas are tipped to be among the first to share “stories”. Don’t worry, Snap Chat still has its filters to stand on – and with 50 new suburb-focused geo-filters hitting Australia this week it got its own spot in the limelight.
·         ICYMI. Finally, in case you missed it, everyone is buzzing about the trailer for #WonderWoman. It looks pretty spectacular if you need a quick Friday break.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

In the Mix…LCWA Shines a Spotlight on Paper – and People – With Purpose

LCWA client Boise Paper has been manufacturing and distributing high-quality paper in the United States for decades, and now their story is more widely accessible to the public. This spring, LCWA wrote, coordinated and produced a series of three videos for Boise Paper to help the company shine a spotlight on its paper making process, its people and the role U.S.-based paper mills play in supporting both local economies and national woodlands. 

Onsite in Jackson, Alabama, our team met workers passionate about quality products, customer service and safety – and we learned a lot about how paper is made and how demand for domestic paper incentivizes landowners to keep much of our nations’ forests healthy and thriving. Then we took that knowledge and translated it into powerful, educational brand videos. From writing the script to editing the final footage, LCWA helped capture Boise Paper’s “Paper with Purpose” mission in action – and we’re excited to now bring that story to the masses. 

Check out the three powerful videos we helped create for Boise Paper – Sustaining Our Forests, Paper with Purpose and People with Purpose – and stay tuned for a close-up look inside the Boise Paper International Falls Mill coming this fall!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

In the Mix...Trex Celebrates Outdoor Living Season with Two Successful Sweepstakes

As the world’s largest manufacturer of high-performance, wood-alternative decking and railing, our client Trex turned to us to kick-off outdoor living season with two summer sweepstakes for its social media followers.

Leveraging Trex’s partnership with HGTV personalities Paul Lafrance and Kate Campbell – a.k.a. “The Trexperts” – LCWA successfully hosted a sweepstakes on the online design and décor community, Houzz. Followers who were participating in the “Decking with the Trexperts” sweepstakes were asked to add images of Paul and Kate’s favorite Trex decks to their own Ideabooks for the chance to win a piece of Trex Outdoor Furniture.

To keep Trex top-of-mind, we hosted weekly discussions on the Houzz Advice forum ranging on topics from favorite features in an outdoor space to what people are the most concerned about when it comes to a deck build or remodel. Participants who answered the weekly questions were awarded with extra sweepstakes entries.

Through heavy cross-promotion on Trex’s other social channels, including Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, the “Decking with the Trexperts” sweepstakes generated more than 2,100 entries and saw a 137% increase in Houzz followers for Trex.

We continued the social momentum by launching the #YourNextDeck Pinterest sweepstakes. Entrants were asked to create a Pinterest board that featured outdoor living products that they would like to have on their next deck and also were encouraged to pin images from the Trex #YourNextDeck Sweepstakes Pinterest board to receive bonus entries.

The sweepstakes ran for four weeks and generated more than 3,392 entries – more than double the participation of the same sweepstakes in 2015 – and helped to provide a generous spike in both Pinterest followers and traffic to Trex.com

Friday, July 22, 2016

Favorite Finds

In case you live under a rock or were in a coma recently, the Republican National Convention was held this week and created a non-stop buzz in the social world. But luckily I found a few other tidbits to mix up the rundown:
  • Where my ladies at? A new study looked at how women interact with brands: 94% of women engage actively with brands online; 90 percent do so via their mobile phones, vs. 53% on their laptops; and 81% consider Instagram their social channel of choice. The main reason they follow brands socially is for discounts and promotions information.
  • Let’s (NOT) talk Millennials… An article from Hootsuite discussed the common practice of building targeted social media campaigns around Millennials, and all the reasons why that is a BAD idea!
  • Enough with the wires! PR Daily blogged about the trend away from newswires, recommending instead a more targeted approach to media distribution.
  • To make a long story short… The hashtag #TheInternetIn4Words was trending for a bit this week. Some chose to keep it light, others made political statements and still others commented on humanity in the digital age.
  • Speaking of politics… The hashtag #DoYourJob lit up the Twittersphere in response to feelings of frustration toward a less-than-productive federal legislature and the stalled Supreme Court nomination process. The not-so-subtle call for action stemmed from @POTUS and quickly spread to other issues including gun control and the (never-ending) Tom Brady saga.
  • Twitter tries to silence: After conservative writer Milo Yiannopoulos’ Twitter account was suspended for allegedly instigating a barrage of hate tweets, the #FreeMilo campaign sparked a debate on freedom of speech via social media.
  • …and more politics…Sorry guys, it’s convention season, which means lots of #UnusualPoliticalConventionFun! After day one of the #RNCinCLE, everyone was buzzing about #FamousMelaniaTrumpQuotes when her speech turned out to be quite similar to the one Michelle Obama gave at the 2008 DNC, stirring up claims of plagiarism. Just ask Cher or My Little Pony! Other highlights include police in riot gear sent to break up opposing protests in the Public Square outside the convention, and Third Eye Blind (remember them?) chimed in on (trolled) the event as well!
  • Everybody breathe… Did you get your invite to the #OneDirectionIsOverParty? ‘Cause apparently all the guys are flying solo and people are beside themselves!\
  • On a happier note...Pippa Middleton, little sister to Kate Middleton, is engaged to her hedge fund manager boyfriend #JamesMatthews! WooHoo! Everyone but conspiracy theorists celebrated the 47th anniversary of the Moon Landing! Despite “SpeechGate 2016”, @FLOTUS got her groove on with a little #CarpoolKaraoke! And #PokemonGo dates are a thing now!
  • Lucky #13! It was announced that Ava DuVernay’s Netflix documentary #The13th will be the first documentary to open for the New York Film Festival #NYFF and only the fourth to play in one of the festival’s key spots!
  • Get ready for the HEAT WAVE! People in the UK were out and about during the #HottestDayoftheYear when temps rose higher than those in Sao Paulo! We are also in for a bit of a hot one to wrap up this week so stay cool everybody! 
  • Virtual Inspiration: @StuartScott, the ESPN broadcaster who lost his battle to cancer last year, would have turned 51 this week and his daughters decided to throw him a virtual ice cream party! Gary Marshall, 81, passed away this week, and fans and former colleagues flooded social media with tributes and memories. In addition, Ernest Hemingway’s 107th birthday and Robin Williams’ 65th birthday were also celebrated this week by fans and family. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

In the Mix…Sun or Snow at the National Hardware Show!

When our client Snow Joe + Sun Joe announced that it wanted to do its biggest giveaway yet – two trips for two to any SUNNY or SNOWY destination in the U.S., we knew we had to go all out with a full social blitz to promote this epic sweepstakes. One of the trips was to be given away on site to attendees at the National Hardware Show, so LCWA staff traveled to Las Vegas to promote the #SunOrSnowJoe sweepstakes and encourage entries, integrate another QVC product feature event, and meet media at the booth to show them the extensive line-up of innovative electric lawn and garden tools from Snow Joe + Sun Joe – including the revolutionary iON Dual Stage Snow Blower – the first completely cordless, self-propelled, battery-powered two-stage snow blower. While at the show, we helped drive constant activity at the booth and segued interest from sweepstakes entrants into full-blown booth tours. In addition, we leveraged the #NHShow hashtag for attention at the show and shared hundreds of photos and dozens of videos with Snow Joe + Sun Joe fans and followers on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vine and Snapchat – including a live winner announcement from unofficial mascot Snow Bro on Facebook Live and Periscope.

After the show, the fun continued, as we rewarded Snow Joe + Sun Joe’s loyal and active Facebook community with a #SunOrSnowJoe sweepstakes of their own, leading to nearly 17,000 entries and 500 fans gained, end ending with another Facebook Live winner announcement! We look forward to pushing the envelope on social media for Snow Joe + Sun Joe as they continue to revolutionize the lawn and garden tool industry.







Friday, July 15, 2016

Favorite Finds

It was a crazy week in politics, protests and Pokémon as the summer heats up (literally and figuratively).  Let’s focus on things that aren’t too depressing: