I prefer Lakefront Brewery for more than just a brew

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Lakefront Brewery is one of my favorite brands. One reason Lakefront remains top-of-mind is their commitment and engagement in the social space. Here are two reasons that Lakefront Brewery utilizes their social networks well.

  1. Lakefront is human

Lakefront comes off as approachable and down to earth on their social platforms. From a consumer standpoint, you can relate to a brand that speaks your language. More importantly, consumers relate to brands that are part of their lives, share their triumphs and understand their struggles. People want to be interacting with other people. The more a brand can become a person, the more compelling and engaging the brand will be to their followers.

Here’s a great example of Lakefront Brewery utilizing the human element with their My Turn Series, which allows their employees a shot at concocting their very own brew. This literally puts a person’s name next to their brand. Chad could be anyone walking down the street, but it’s the fact that he’s walking on the same street as everyone else- that’s important. Sharing pictures and mentioning the release dates of this series adds to the power of this human element within the Lakefront Brewery brand.

Lakefront Myturn

2.   Lakefront is responsive

If you look at their Twitter feed it’s trickled with tweets and retweets from Lakefront Brewery followers. It’s important for brands to remain a part of the conversation. It adds to the human element and encourages followers to engage in conversation. The more conversation a brand can have with its audience the better. That two-way conversation will move consumers from brand purchasers to brand loyalists and advocates.

Lakefront Twitter

If you look at Budweiser’s Twitter feed they have little conversation with their audience and seem to never retweet their fans.

Budweiser Twitter

Those are a few reasons I think Lakefront Brewery does a great job engaging with their followers using social media.

Enough about what I think. What do you think?

 

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Budweiser trots away with Super Bowl social victory

budweiser

While many brands geared up for an exciting Super Bowl, most also understood the potential the night presented. Sure, most brands understand that they should undoubtedly be in the social space during the super bowl, but from what I could tell, few brands understood what being effective in that space actually meant.

The problem with Twitter and social media in general is the lack of strategy while using it. It is not enough to simply be in the space. Brands must show their audience value by linking and sharing content that is meaningful to their lives. Budweiser displayed this well during their 2013 Super Bowl campaign.

If you didn’t catch their commercial or tweets, I recommend checking them out. I don’t think it’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. What’s beautiful is how on strategy they are with every touch point of this campaign.

Budweiser shows how social media should be used to bring their audience into a two-way conversation. More importantly, they utilized their website as a space for the content to further live, develop and grow.

It seems many brands think that their “social strategy” is to tweet during the Super Bowl. But rather those tweets should are their tactics, which resonate a concept and follow a strategy. Budweiser nailed in this Super Bowl.

Enough about what I think. Tell me what you think below!

Is image manipulation ethical?

cnn vs usa today

I was catching up on breaking news this morning when I noticed something interesting.

I recently downloaded the CNN app for my Windows Phone (finally starting to write more apps for that platform!) and was scrolling through the Christopher Dorner/ LAPD shooting story that shared some breaking details this morning. I was satisfied with the coverage, although I did pick out some typos in another story, but it did suffice for my morning news consumption. I was surprised to see, however, when I returned to my trusted USA Today app that I’ve used for several months. The picture of Dorner was exactly the same, yet strikingly different.

Home screen. Scroll down. CNN- loading..

Yes, it was the same picture, but definitely enhanced with a darker look and feel. This case sounds familiar. Remember the O.J. Simpson Newsweek and Time magazine from Media Ethics? I sure do.

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In both cases, I would argue that these men don’t deserve much sympathy. However, is it ethical from a mass communications standpoint to deceive our audience my manipulating images?

Some food for though. Let me know what you think below!

Social Media Must Have Multiple Perspectives

Social-Media-Marketing

In Cathryn Sloane’s article Why Every Social Media Manager Should Be Under 25, she surfaces some interesting points that have undoubtedly stirred the pot of discussion for communication rookies and veterans.

In my opinion, Ms. Sloane’s best point is toward the middle of the article when she describes the nature of Millennial’s progress in the social space.

“The key is that we learned to use social media socially before professionally, rather than vice versa or simultaneously. After all, it is called social media; the seemingly obvious importance of incorporating comforting social aspects into professional usage seems to go over several companies’ heads.”

I believe there is truth to Sloane’s above point. Let’s break it down. Media, through a marketing lens, are the channels and platforms that connect brands to consumers. Social, according to Dictionary.com, is pertaining to, devoted to, or characterized by friendly companionship or relations. It’s the only media that allows us to garner two-way communication with a brand’s audience. That’s pretty powerful. Understanding that raw, social element of this platform is powerful as well.

However, social media is still in the process of being defined. Every day we move closer to maximizing its utility. But that’s the situation for everyone, not one specific age group. As the Disney classic, High School Musical cast would sing, “We’re all in this together.” (insert millennial immaturity joke).

But seriously, there’s absolutely room for everyone in the development and use of this powerhouse of a medium. I think Cathryn’s piece would have made more sense if she changed a single word in the title. Omit “managers,” insert “team.”

In my eye’s the bottom line is that there should never be any implementation of content on any platform without a solid content strategy. While I may be biased in saying this, Millennials are probably better at executing social media tactics due to the nature of our learning. That doesn’t mean we can effectively manage a brand’s social presence without some qualified help.

Now, I think a  strategy discussion would be dangerous without a trusted veteran in the room with seasoned experience needed for any brand strategy. It’s simply a variety of people at that table, brainstorm or party.

I see both sides of this discussion, which may sound like a cop-out, but it’s not. Using multiple perspectives is exactly what social media needs to stay well-nourished and grow.

Just one Millennial’s opinion, what’s yours? Comment below!

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Scratching the surface of my passion

It’s not an uncommon question, “What are your passions?” It’s not uncommon, for me at least, to give a common answer. I love music and baseball. I can write about my experiences with them both, how I’ve grown from them and how music and baseball has shaped my character. I’m sick of it. So, I scratched the surface.

What is it about music and baseball that I love so much? I’m fairly average at both activities, I’m not pursuing a career in either and I can’t seem to find time to fit them into my daily or weekly grind. Seems like I’m either lacking passion in my life, or that same passion lives in new and exciting opportunities.

Music and baseball allow me to be part of something bigger, a team or an ensemble. Working together with people feeding and thriving off one and other’s ideas, hard work and insight. Collaboration. Ah, that’s better. I’m passionate about collaborating. It gives me freedom with a safe home base. The foundation of a team allows for risky creativity, which generates ideas and outputs far greater than any one person. Collaboration is my passion.

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