Category Archives: Social Media Trends

Case Study: SoundCloud and Spotify for Content Marketing – Grace Miserocchi


  • Launched in 2008
  • Over 250 million active users as of October 2013
  • 175 million monthly listeners
  • 12 hours of audio uploaded every minute
  • Popular for music discovery and outreach
  • “Timed comments” permit any user to comment on a specific timestamp within audio content.
    • These comments allow public engagement and communication.
  • SoundCloud mobile app allows for easy consumption of audio.
  • Brands using SoundCloud must be consistent. They should develop a following through promotion of their account on other channels.
  • Audio quality on SoundCloud is sometimes very low and copyright infringement is an issue.
  • Examples:


  • Launched in 2008
  • 40 million active users, 10 million paying subscribers
  • 20,000 songs added per day
  • Over 1.5 billion playlists
  • Spotify App Finder includes apps that the further personalize experience.
  • Brands cannot publish user-generated audio.
  • Brands and companies can create shareable playlists.
  • Users can share what they listen to on Facebook and Twitter.

Which should be used?

  • Use SoundCloud to publish original audio content, such as podcasts, interviews, and transcribed blogs.
  • Use Spotify to gain fans by sharing personalized playlists.
  • Music can unite people under a common interest on social media.

Readings: Beginner’s Guide to SEO

This free beginner’s guide to SEO is the best resource for developing an understanding of search engine optimization, conceptually and in practice.

I highly recommend that you take the time to begin reading through the various sections, perhaps even download the PDF. At a minimum, bookmark this site as a resource for understanding SEO.

If you only read one section of this beginner’s guide this semester, focus on this section:

Chicken Thistle Farm- Mary Lyndal and Jenna


Chicken Thistle Farm Website


  • Based in Walworth, NY
  • “Fresh, healthy, local food raised the way nature intended, transparently, pasture to plate.”
  • They sell: chickens, eggs, pigs and turkeys as well as fresh veggies. Their goal is to raise the animals giving them a healthy life, not to bulk them up with hormones. They feed their animal’s natural food and strive to raise them in the right way.


  • The farm posts podcasts several times a month with varying topics about farm life and updates about the business.
  • Coopcast (Credit:


  • Chicken Thistle farm uses their blog several times per month to keep their customers updated with happenings around their farm. They also answer how to questions, for example, how to build a root cellar. Their blog creates online content so when people search for certain topics, they may be lead to the farm’s website for their search, thus generating exposure to the farm.


  • Coopcam is a live video of what is happening at the farm so anyone can see what the chickens are doing at different points of the day.


  • They have 1874 likes on Facebook and they consistently post almost everyday. They interact with the public by replying to posts regularly as well as keeping them updated with happenings around the farm. They not only post about the farm, but they share inserting articles and other relevant farm topics.


  • On Twitter, they have 482 followers and like on Facebook, they are very good about interacting with their customers. 


  • On their YouTube channel, they have 271 subscribers and have posted 30 videos. They focus on sharing glimpses of farm life and their animals. Their last post about the life of pigs has 602 views, so a good number of people are interested in seeing an insight into farm life.

Overall, the farm does an excellent job of interacting and talking to their customers through various social media platforms. They also create a good amount of relevant content on the internet that can lead potential customers to their website.

Mayo Clinic

What is the Mayo Clinic?

     Mayo Clinic is a non-profit hospital and research group based in Rochester, Minnesota. It is the largest first integrated non-profit medical practice in the world. The Mayo Clinic has three hospitals in the United States located in Minnesota, Florida, and Arizona, within these three hospitals, the Mayo Clinic employees more than 42,000 people. The Clinic also owns and the Mayo Clinic Health System which consists of over 70 clinics and hospitals employing more than 14,000 people. The Mayo Clinic specializes in treating difficult medical cases through tertiary care.

     Mayo Clinic spends over $500 million a year on research. The Mayo Clinic also operates several schools of medicine, including the Mayo Graduate School, Mayo Medical School, Mayo School of Graduate Medical Education and May School of Health Sciences.

     Mayo Clinic has been close to the top of the U.S. News and World Report List of “Best Hospitals” for more than 20 years. It has also been on Fortune Magazine’s list of America’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” eight years in a row. 

     Lee Aase is the Director of the Mayo Clinic Center of Social Media. After his day job, he serves as Chancellor of Social Media University, Global, a free online higher education institution that provides hands on training for social media.

     What the Mayo Clinic is doing to bring social media to health care:

The “Gold Standard” for Social Media   

  The Mayo Clinic has 464,915 “Likes” on Facebook, 623,000 Twitter followers, over 69,000 followers on Google Plus, and around 7,900 followers on Pinterest. The Mayo Clinic also has a Flickr, YouTube, and 6 blog posts.

     Joan Justice, author for states that the Mayo Clinic is the “gold-standard for the use of social media by healthcare organizations.” Justice also states that Mayo Clinic is the  “most popular medical provider channel on YouTube.”


     The Mayo Clinic’s YouTube Channel has over 13,000 subscribers and more than 10 million views.


The Mayo Clinic’s Pinterest Page has 20 Boards consisting of health related topics.

 Social Media Center:

                       The aspirations of the Mayo Clinic are intentional that they have a center for a Social Media Center. This center is offered in ordered that the correlation between patients as well as employees may be expressed through the medium of social media.

                       The Mayo Clinic website states, “Mayo Clinic believes individuals have the right and responsibility to advocate for their own health, and that it is our responsibility to help them use social media tools to get the best information, connect with providers and with each other, and inspire healthy choices. We intend to lead the health care community in applying these revolutionary tools to spread knowledge and encourage collaboration among providers, improving health care quality everywhere.”


The Mayo Clinic has SIX blogs. They have a news blog, “Advancing Science” blog, two blogs for patient sharing, a “Diversity in Education” blog, and a “Mayo Clinic Center for Innovation” blog.

                       The Mayo Clinic has made sure that each special interest is represented in their blogs.

Email Marketing: Not What You Say, but How You Say it

It is clear that companies who spam via email have given email marketing a bad rap. However, studies show that email marketing is still the number one cheapest and most effective way to contact the masses.

It’s rather funny to think how important just one or two lines in an email can be. It could be one or two lines too long, or maybe those few sentences just aren’t appealing enough to your potential consumer. Each sentence you put (or don’t put) into the body of an email is crucial to keeping your prospective customer hooked.

As most people have heard since they were a kid, “the first impact you make on someone is the greatest,” it goes the same for hooking potential customers while sending that first welcoming email.

I have reached out to the rookie social media search engine site, Quora for feedback to find the best welcome email ever received.

Email Marketing vs Social Media

Is it a knockout or a points decision?

Last year Mark Zuckerberg spoke out against email marketing claiming that in the future, email will be replaced by message-based services such as Facebook. While it’s true that we now have more choice when it comes to our preferred method of communication, this doesn’t mean that email no longer has a place. In fact, research has shown that the use of email in our marketing and CRM activities has grown significantly over the past few years. And let’s not forget that in order to sign up to Facebook you still need an email address.
According to a report produced by Royal Pingdom, Internet 2011 in numbers, there were more than 2.2bn email users in 2011 and 3.4bn email accounts, this figure growing by 500m. According to Radicati, this number is expected to grow to 4.1bn by the end of 2015.

There is always a tendency when new technologies come along to throw out the old in favour of the new. Email is often seen as out of date and its value diminished by the exciting opportunities that social media appears to open up.

Of course it’s essential to build in emerging channels to our marketing strategies to keep us in contact with our growing audiences but as its true that marketing cannot rely on digital alone, so it is that we need to ensure we are maximising all channels we have at our disposal. And while social is a constantly changing environment, email remains a core feature in our everyday lives and has proved its effectively time and time again.

While social media can be great for raising a brand’s profile, most consumers still respond better to offers made in an email. In this sense, social media is the tool that acts to warm up the audience with email coming in to close the deal.

Like anything, email must evolve to remain relevant and we have already started to see some more social elements in its functionality. However most of us would be hard pushed to imagine a world where we carry out our business transactions through Facebook Messenger or MSN chat or request our bank statements be IM’d to us each month.

Abi Clowes, Head of Marketing at Pure360 says “As a marketer I see social as another channel to send messages through – no different to mobile or email, it’s great that it expands our reach and allows us to target the person not just the title or consumer. As Pure360, we are seeing huge growth in the number of emails sent out each month, certainly not a decline. We’re talking 3 billion emails being sent a year. In addition we’ve taking steps to better integrate email and social campaigns so people can send their messages regardless of channel.”

Dave Choplin, Head of Microsoft’s Envisoneers team agrees,

I think that email is dead when it comes to social media in the same way that snail mail was dead when it came to email. Time and again, it’s always the same thing. Enter the bright shiny new technology stage right, therefore old boring technology must exit stage left.

When all we had was email we would use email for everything.

Now we’ve got this wonderful selection of different kinds of communication. What’s nice is that our email starts to be for those communications that do truly need the kind of functionality that email offers.

The key thing for me is to dispel the myth that a lot of social media ‘luvvies’ would have you believe, that email is dead. Everything has its place and it’s really understanding which is the right tool for the job.”

If you’re looking for some clear and helpful guidance to maximise on the success of our email marketing, check out our Email Best Practice Guide as well as our Podcast Episode 43 where we talk to Sean Duffy, Principal Email Marketing Consultant for Emailcenter.

To answer the question we posed at the start of this post, Hostpapa has created an interesting infographic comparing email and social across 5 major success factors; Benefits, Growth, Usage, Reach and Features with an interesting, but maybe not unexpected result.

Forbes’ 10 Reasons Why Your Social Media Marketing Efforts Aren’t Working

This is an interesting article from that outlines ten common things companies are doing wrong when it comes to social media marketing. The article mentions important things like setting unrealistic goals and not engaging the audience. It also provides some short advice on how to right these wrongs.

How Businesses use Instagram

Many people say that pictures are more convincing and persuasive than words. Businesses can now employ this method through Instagram.

Social Media Examiner defines Instagram as a free mobile photo-sharing app with 800 million users and counting. Lisa Buyer from Search Engine Watch said, “the popular photo-sharing platform snaps up 7.3 million daily users in the U.S. and last month zoomed by Twitter in daily mobile traffic.”

Instagram is steadily becoming more popular with companies and small businesses.“Since a picture is worth a thousand words, anyone can tell a story with images on Instagram,” Rebecca Murtagh,  Chief Strategist / President of Karner Blue Marketing LLC, said.

Social Media Examiner has come up with a list of 10 creative ways businesses use Instagram. 

#1. Show products

#2. Show how the product is made

#3. Go behind the scenes

#4. Show what products can do

#5. Give a sneak peak

#6. Show offices

#7. Take consumers with you

#8. Introduce Employees

#9. Share celebrity sightings

#10.  Share the cuteness

Search Engine Watch also has a list of tips for using Instagram for businesses:

  • Optimize profiles just like you would other social media profiles.
  • Post images that pique the interest of target audiences.
  • Use trending hashtags or create your own hashtag.
  • Tags for each image should include the name of the brand, locations, keywords, the names of people featured (preferably with their permission) and what the image represents.
  • Use ‘Likes’ to validate how attractive the images are to the intended audience.
  • Share your Instagram photos on other social networks.
  • Don’t simply post to Facebook and Twitter every time you take a photo, optimize content for each medium – the post isn’t just the image – it is the story, notes Neher.
  • If your business is tagged in a photo, make sure you get permission from the photographer to use it.

Econsultancy has come up with a list of nine brands that use Instagram effectively.

#1. Red Bull uses Instagram to promote its image as lifestyle brand for extreme sports, such as snowboarders, skaters, skydivers, F1 cars and people partying, interspersed very occasionally with photos of Red Bull cans.

#2. Burberry uses Instagram to showcase some of its products.

#3. ASOS uses images of its latest ranges and behind the scenes looks at fashion shoots, It also places great emphasis on featuring user-generated content.

#4. Starbucks focuses on what people do while drinking Starbucks coffee rather than on the product itself.

#5. Selfridges frequently posts images of products and displays from its UK stores.

#6. Audi only includes images of its cars, but all the photos are sleek and colourful, promoting the idea that Audi is a luxury, aspirational brand.

#7. Tiffany & Co. has attracted more than 118,000 followers mainly by posting images if its products.

#8. Nike uses Instagram to get people to use its Nike+ and NikeFuel fitness products, featuring images of various groups of people working out and updates on how many people are using the products on any given day.

#9. Innocent Smoothies uses Instagram to associate its product with a lifestyle rather than just pushing out cold brand messages.

Econsultancy also provided an example of a negative use of Instagram

  • eBay used Isntagram to promote its “Walk the Red Carpet” competition, but four weeks after it was created, the account became inactive.

Instagram is an emerging tool for businesses to connect intimately with their audiences through images.