having it all together.

There are always those few vendors at a Farmer’s Market that seem to have it all together – MORE than all together. The products are great, the people are helpful, and their business seems to be booming. They are an essential presence at the market, and it wouldn’t feel right without them there.

My classmates and I have similarly been discussing examples of brands in the “marketplace” that epitomize the successful integration of digital media. Amazon, Target, Joel Osteen Ministries, Samsung, Disney…all of these brands (and numerous others) have exemplified the trending belief that new and emerging media should be incorporated into marketing campaigns. These organizations hold a powerful presence online, through social sites, blogs, video/photo marketing channels, email marketing campaigns, and variations of each.

Let’s take a look at Southwest Airlines. This brand has received awards for such impeccable and substantial digital integration. With particular regard to Facebook and Twitter, Southwest holds its own, with over 1.5 million Twitter followers, and almost 4 million followers on Facebook. The brand operates a blog called Nuts About Southwest, and is thoroughly integrated across all channels. The following infographic compares Southwest to several domestic and international carriers, and claims that Southwest prevails when it comes to engagement:

Social-Airline-New

Ramon Van Meer, the marketing director at Let’s Fly Cheaper, an online travel agency, stated the “Use of social media marketing demonstrates innovation born out of the simple need to do more with less. The social atmosphere is today’s cutting-edge low-cost/no-cost marketing environment…It’s no surprise to find Southwest at the forefront of social media marketing. Southwest was founded on ingenuity and has always been a leader in passenger and public engagement. Social media fits the Southwest culture perfectly, where older airlines seem to be playing catch-up in this powerful modern marketing arena.”

The Twitter site is one “that is customer-service driven and reactive to people posting their comments regarding Southwest Experiences” and the blog is all about ” improving connections between the Southwest Airlines Team and its clients.” All in all, Southwest strives to enhance its goal of superb customer satisfaction through its integration of various digital media. Needless to say, this brand is one of those marketplace “vendors” that just has it all together.

Pohlman, B. (15 April, 2012). Southwest Airlines Blog and Social Media Use. Retrieved from: http://www.business2community.com/social-media/southwest-airlines-blog-and-social-media-use-0160248#M3wpcYohyG8QKZDd.99

Rice, C. (27 May, 2012). When it comes to Facebook and Twitter engagement, which airline is first class? Retrieved from: http://www.examiner.com/article/when-it-comes-to-facebook-and-twitter-engagement-which-airline-is-first-class

at the market: what’s your ‘apple butter’?

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I have found myself these last few summer months spending my Saturday and Sunday afternoons milling about various Farmer’s Markets. Not only are they a great place to pick up some homegrown fruits and veggies, homemade cheeses and jams, and grass-fed meats, it’s a wonderful place to socialize and see people from town. The time I’ve spent at these Farmer’s Markets are relaxing, easy, fun, and stress-free. They let me catch my breath from the ever-hectic work/school week and do something for myself. Personally, I tend to flock to the jams and jelly stand. I have a pretty insatiable sweet tooth, which I get from my father, and I can’t get enough of these homemade spreads. My favorite is, by far, homemade apple butter.

Just like my trips to the Farmer’s Markets (mainly for some apple butter or some pumpkin butter, which I saw on my last trip!), consumers in the digital space have their favorite digital “vendor” if you will. The Digital Marketplace is made up of social media, digital media, direct digital marketing, video marketing, mobile marketing, email marketing, blogs of many sorts – and the list grows each day. Each of these vendors offer various assortments of products i.e social marketing is Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and so much more!

What’s my personal fave? Well. If I were to spend a sunny Saturday morning in the Digital Marketplace, I’d have to go straight for the photo/video vendors. To me, these platforms speak to me most, and provide the strongest form of engagement and communication. When I want to see the essence of a brand, I’d rather see it documented in photos or stream it through video. I want to see real people and real instances captured. I particularly like Instagram.

infographic_instagram_full

These stats about this sharing site are remarkable. But I think it validates this digital medium, and why it has grown to be so powerful. Below are four brands that I follow on Instagram. These brands do a great job at engaging their followers. I am always interested to see how the real lives of brand representatives portray themselves and their personal involvement with the company.

NIKE

SOUTHWEST AIRLINES

ROSIE THE LONDONER (a great lifestyle blogger)

COMPLETE PHYSIQUE (a women’s fitness/health brand)

Check them out!

A picture is worth a thousand words, so the saying goes. So, why not say something about your brand with those photos? Do you have a personal preference when it comes to how you use and experience the digital marketplace? What’s your ‘apple butter’?