Twitter Profile Changes Strengthen Brand Messaging

By upgrading the aesthetic elements of Twitter profiles, they’re now providing individuals & brands with more opportunities to strengthen their branding messages in the digital space. The addition of a “Header Image” – which could be likened to the Facebook cover photo – allows users to upgrade the look & feel of their profiles. With the right marketing & creative minds at work, this will also be great for brands as they continue searching for ways to strengthen their digital marketing presence!

Header Image Ex.

Image

How does this affect you & How do you do It?

As it stands today, Twitter isn’t pushing the new profile changes automatically. That means you can disregard this post & do nothing to keep the old profile layout if you choose to do so. However, since you’re here & have read this far, switching to the new profile layout & adding a custom header image is simple. The process is slightly different depending on whether you’re executing it through the website or using an app, so we’ll outline the steps for changing your profile through both the website & the iPad app.

From the Website:

  1. After logging in, head to the profile editing page by visiting https://twitter.com/settings/design. You can also access this page by either clicking on the “Edit your profile” button on your profile page or the “Settings” (gear icon) on the right side of the top menu bar & selecting “Edit profile”, and clicking “Design” on the left menu.
  2. Scroll past all the themes you’re use to seeing, & you’ll eventually see the new “Header” option. From here, you will just need to choose an image from your computer to upload as your new header.
  3. Once you’ve chosen the image, you’ll have the ability to zoom or reposition it before uploading.
  4. Admire your art…

From the iPad App:

  1. Navigate to your profile page by clicking on the “Me” icon on the bottom of the menu on the left of the screen
  2. Click the Settings gear, & select “Edit profile”
  3. Select the “Header” option at the top of the menu that pops up
  4. Choose an image file from your mobile device. If you have a camera on your device, it will also give you the option of taking a new photo. Just like on the website, you have the opportunity to adjust the size & positioning of the image before adding it
  5. Admire your art…

Here at SPYCH, we’re always on the lookout for creative brand messaging & examples of good work. Include your Twitter handles or other great examples you’ve seen in the comments so we can check them out & show you some love!

 

- Landon

“You are such a hipster.” “I am not a hipster. I am just me,” my sister replied, trying to be ironic (hallmark hipster trait), Her response proved my point seeing as according to The Hipster Handbook, “a hipster never admits to being a hipster,” (Lanham, 2003).  Still, I made a vain attempt to define it for her. This task was far more difficult than I had suspected…

Attempt A: A subculture of upper and middle class over-educated youth rejecting (or pretending to) social mores and norms. Attempt B: Self-proclaimed nonconformists conforming to a new set of “counterculture” rules. My sister looked at me with eyes that said, “seriously?”  Attempt C: Hipsters are defined by a certain characteristic sartorial choice including but not limited to skinny jeans, deep V-necks, scarves, messy hair, and obviously vintage-looking (emphasis on looking) handbags. Looking at her outfit, she was caught red-handed, but still appeared to disagree.  So, I resorted to the number one authority on definitions: urban dictionary.  I read this aloud: a subculture of men and women typically in their 20’s and 30’s that value independent thinking, counter-culture, progressive politics, an appreciation of art and indie-rock, creativity, intelligence, and witty banter. And then, I showed her this YouTube video… I recommend it for those seeking a more comprehensive (and hilarious!) explanation of this cultural phenomena.

Hipster (Urban Dictionary): A subculture of men and women typically in their 20’s and 30’s that value independent thinking, counter-culture, progressive politics, an appreciation of art and indie-rock, creativity, intelligence, and witty banter.

Now, why is this relevant to a market research blog? Well, yes ok, it involves Gen-Y, but it is more than that… The emergence of the hipster trend is indicative of a greater cultural shift towards counterculture and anti-consumerist notions. We are seeing these trends on a nationwide scale, consider the Occupy rallies as exhibit A. Or the sudden couponing craze, exhibit B. Or the reintroduction of vintage into mainstream fashion, exhibit C (Penelope Cruz in a vintage dress at the Oscars in 2009, the popularity of “Fashion Hunters” a reality show about a designer second-hand store in Manhattan). My point is these seemingly innocuous bunch have (intentionally or not) set forth ideas that have permeated the mainstream. And tapping into their buying behavior is not a task for the feeble.

Check out the approach of this Australian ad by Honda. I’d be interested to know how many hipsters actually enjoyed this ad. I would argue that non-hispsters likely enjoyed this advertisement more than the hipster demographic due to the almost-mocking use of magnified stereotypes. And the fact that many hipsters don’t have TVs. That said, take a look at this hilarious mock-up  by Kurt Snibee. While it may not be a real ad campaign, it cuts to the heart of what we as researchers must do… Take the time to understand the consumer.

As the case is with my sister and her hipster friends, often the consumer doesn’t understand him or herself.

Written By:  Margo Aaron, Research Consultant

References: Lanham, R. (2003). The Hipster Handbook. New York: Anchor Books.

Social Capital and Never Bowling Alone Again

Posted: November 14, 2011 by Grace Hughston in Gen Y, Social Media

How many hours do you spend with technology every day? Two hours?.. Eight hours?.. Think about your smartphone comfortably sitting in your jeans pocket or resting in the special pocket designated in your purse… Do “Twitter” and “Facebook” come up regularly in daily conversation? How often do you turn to your phone when you’re sitting at a traffic light, or waiting on the elevator?

Social capital refers to connections of social trust, norms, and networks that people can develop to get collective or economic results.

Without a doubt, technology has become ingrained into the daily lives of most individuals, but I can’t help but reflect on what it must have been like before this time…  The sociological book Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community by Robert D. Putnam highlights the emphasis humans place on social interactions with others. The novel received its name from the 1950’s and 60’s fad of bowling leagues within communities, and describes the reduction in all forms of in-person social interaction – taking from Americans one of the greatest methods of enriching the fabric of their social lives. Putnam fights to highlight the declining involvement in communal organizations, which is interesting because this novel was published in 2000 – right before the spike of social networking sites online. In the short years since this was published, not only have people found a communal satisfaction through online forms of social media, but the majority of the American culture has embraced the technology wave with open arms.  Brian Solis sums up the minority to this evolving trend when he states, “Skeptics will now be recognized as laggards as they now officially stand in the way of progress” in reference to the recently released Nielson Social Media Report.

Market researchers and technology developers have recognized this shift and emphasis on consumers’ need to fill their social cravings with social sites/digital media. This was accomplished by utilizing smartphone surveys and hand held activity tracking on cell phone devices. Older generations look on to the younger generations, such as Gen Y and Millennials, and tisk at the dependence they have on their connection to their cell phone or computer. However, it may be that they’re simply not realizing the underlying innate-need for a social community, which is being satisfied with their channels of technology… They can reach out to friends and family at an arm’s length, literally.

Market researchers learned, adapted and utilized creative ways to gain this access to consumers – using smartphone surveys, hand held activity tracking, etc… If we label this as an early example of using technology to create more accessible marketing research, what is the next step in applying technology of the future to consumer research?

You know what it’s like: sitting at the computer and staring at the “Social Media Slot Machine” with continuous updates from Facebook friends and the stream of tweets trickling down your screen… Not knowing what to post or even just lurking on different sites trying to learn how to get your customers involved with what your company is doing online… There’s a better way to interact online than silently stalking competitors to understand their strategy!

Here’s where we suggest you start.

First, think about your company (you may need to get out a sheet of paper to track this conversation in your head), and REALLY think about it. Lay out all your marketing messages, brand promises and mission statements and get down to the core of what your brand represents. Conjure up what it means to be a part of the company – to be involved in the everyday excitement of working with colleagues and having the opportunity to build relationships with new clients. It may help to think about the concept behind:

  • Brand Vision- What do you want to accomplish through social media? Do you want to teach your customers about your company? Or, do you want to educate other professionals about your industry? Picking the core vision will help when discerning what content to post online.
  • Brand Audience- What audience do you want to listen to you? Identify the key customers your company should broadcast its messages to.
  • Brand Personality- It’s more than just your company’s voice, it’s what that voice represents. Think of that ultimate employee who exemplifies the company’s values in everything he or she does on a daily basis. Whether it is in their communication mannerisms or the activities they participate in after work… Speak from this voice!

The next important step is to become an active and consistent presence online. By making daily updates on social media channels, customers following your company will begin to develop an understanding of your brand. You may be asking yourself, “I don’t even know what to post! How can I find something that will engage my followers?” Well, the good news is you don’t necessarily need to be the opinion leader yet, but you do need to have an opinion with what you choose to post. Find articles and online sites that correlate with the vision of your company and make sure they are fitted to enlighten your specific audience. As mentioned earlier – “customers following your company will begin to develop an understanding of you brand”… Therefore, make sure posts are ON BRAND!

Consistence and stability are both key to maintaining an authoritative position online. When sharing information, keep an even flow of communication from your company to your users. Sporadic postings may conflict with your company vision and users may lose interest in keeping up with your news feed.

Social media sites have provided companies of every size the ability to target and communicate with their customers much easier than ever before… Remaining consistent across all channels is a fundamental principle to actively connect and provide value to others. While these are only the first steps on the path to utilizing social media to its fullest potential, they are core concepts to understand and implement into your online branding strategy!

So, what do you think? What are issues you’re facing? What are some tips YOU can share with others?

- Grace

So, you just unwrapped that shiny new iPad here at the MRA Corporate Researchers Conference in Chicago eh? Now, you’re looking for reasons to cover it with fingerprints, but you just don’t know where to start? Here are a few of my favorites and why I like them. Start here and let me know what you think. Feel free to add your favorites in the comments!

  • Tweetdeck – Free – the main Twitter utility I use. You can keep multiple search columns going, send tweets, follow trends, shorten links, all in one! Use it! Start a search column for #MRX and #CRC2011 and you’re off to the races!
  • Facebook – It’s really not just for college and high-school friends anymore. Download, play with it and understand what it is really about. It is changing the communications industries and is changing the world of Marketing Research….forever!
  • CRC Conference App – It’s really good! (Plus you can see my goofy face on the cover)
  • Flipboard – Really great app for consuming content
  • Mashable – the number one news source for social media and new tech news, I start every day reading the top stories from Mashable
  • Evernote – The way I keep track of all of those in-the-moment insights and thoughts I would usually end up forgetting. Great clipping feature and really useful for things that you need to follow-up with later
  • Dropbox – The software I use for large file size transfer. Since you have a limited amount of space on your ipad, use Dropbox to store your files in the cloud until you need them.
  • GoodReader – My favorite app for reading PDFs….I think it is the best!
  • Outlook Web Access – Great way to keep up with your email on the go!
  • CNN – Obvious
  • Sportscenter – I am a sports addict
  • Huffington Post – great news source
  • New York Times – I don’t need to explain anything here
  • Yelp – great for reviewing and looking at consumer insights about places!

What are your other favorites? Leave a comment with your favorites that I may have missed in the list! Enjoy the conference and don’t forget to say hello!!

Ben Smithee – (@SpychResearch on Twitter) or Find me on Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/BenjaminSmithee

I love baseball! If you know me personally, then you know how much I love baseball, to the extent I still play to this day on competitive baseball teams. 16 years ago, today, Cal Ripken Jr. set the record for most consecutive games played – 2,131. Pretty impressive!! There was a 22-minute standing ovation that voiced the appreciation of the fans in attendance that day – also impressive!

How often are you tempted to “phone it in” or decide to not show up and call in sick? As a researcher, you know how intense our schedules are, how easy it can be to catch a cold from flying on various planes, constantly changing climates, and germ-filled hotels (bedbugs anyone?). I learned from my mentor, Tim Ishii, while playing music professionally in college that you’re only as good as your last gig. Words that stick with me to this day.

How good was your last “gig”? Did you phone it in because the project was “just another day of toilet paper focus groups”, or the 29th IDI out of 30? Or, did you dial it up a notch and see if you could get even more from the research than you thought you could? We spend so much time in the marketing research industry talking about consistency, non-bias, etc., but how consistent do we strive to be personally? I am guilty of geeking out and being addicted to new learning, and I try to not harness it and let it go wild, but I’ll admit there have been times where I have felt like there was no new learning to be found. The funny thing is that it often turns out to be the most interesting interview of all!

Clients appreciate consistency. They like knowing that they can call on you and know exactly what to expect, and that you will give it your all each time, every time. This isn’t rocket science or new thinking, but something we must still constantly keep in mind. By game 2,131 I bet Cal Ripken Jr. had seen just about every single scenario that could possibly happen, but he still showed up. The even more impressive part is that he showed up ready to play and at the top of his game every time he stepped onto the field.

Would your clients give you the equivalent of a 22-minute standing ovation?

Quick video – http://es.pn/q1tQ6Q 

Have you visited the Spych Facebook Page ?

You can catch Tim Ishii and his sister, Leslie, as the opening keynote speakers at this year’s ESOMAR Qualitative Summit in Viena!

 

 

We’re on-site at the 2011 IIR Technology Driven Market Research Event here in Chicago this week!

John Snowden is out here with us, and we will be live-tweeting and video blogging on behalf of the Greenbook Blog, New Qual Blog, and IIR.

Look for updates from us with one on one interviews from attendees and speakers, and follow along with us by checking out the #TDMR hashtag.  Do you have any questions for any of the attendees or speakers?  What are you most excited about for the future of Market Research, specifically regarding technology?