Old Spice + Imgur = Gold

Old Spice always impresses me in their advertising and marketing, especially digital since that’s what I work in (Holler, W+K).

Recently it came to my attention that they were one of the brands that has decided to jump on Imgur as a new platform. Makes sense, as the target audiences match up (male millennials). I was blown away not only by the execution, but by the Imgur fanbase response.

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Imgurians (yes, that’s a thing) are very well known as a pretty cynical, critical audience that will eject you from the community with harsh comments and downvotes, so the fact that they had love for the brand’s recent sponsored post, is truly awesome, and a serious nod to the fact that the Old Spice team is being super smart about the role the platform plays for them.

They truly know their audience, know the platform, and that is why they will be successful here. Now go stare at this post for some more time; its pretty damn great.

Where is social media going?

Now that it’s nearing the end of 2014, I’ve summarized my thoughts below:

  • People are spending more and more time connected. This is no longer a space that is an add-on for brands, it deserves attention, expertise, and resources. The brands who don’t realize this will be left behind and miss out on earned reach social media brings.
  • Many core platforms have become “pay-to-play” platforms focusing on reach rather than organic engagement. Facebook is now essentially an ad platform – content does not perform (and only reaches about 2% of an audience) without a paid boost. To be on the platform, you must have a budget.
  • The social space is becoming crowded and each platform now has a unique role for consumers. Repurposing the same content across various platform no longer works.
  • Consumers will have more power to control a product/brand in the future. They have opinions, they hijack campaigns, and they aren’t afraid to tell brans what they want. If you’re not listening to your consumers via social media, you better start now.
  • Content is influencing SEO more than ever before, and social media platforms provide more places to publish branded content.
  • The “internet of things” is something to think about when thinking about products and marketing campaigns. People are connected in a variety of ways, with a variety of devices – how to we touch our target consumer in all of these digital touchpoints?
  • Social Analytics can be used to make solid business predictions. We use social conversation data (volume, content) to make decisions on things like timing of campaign launches, or the next product innovations we can explore.

I miss you Twitter. But it’s okay.

I’m a self-proclaimed social media addict, but I haven’t been very active my own Twitter account – @hannahlah – much at all lately. Recently, I was called out for this by a friend/follower. So, I decided to write about a few reasons why this is, and in my opinion, they’re pretty legit.

First, I’ve been busy on another account.
Luckily for me, I now work at a kick-ass social media agency on a kick-ass account. Which means I’m logged into my client’s kick-ass Twitter page all the time. Sure, I have social listening tools, but there’s nothing like some manual watching and digging as well. Monitoring my client’s social accounts (there are multiple) is always my go-to when I power-up my computer in the morning, am waiting for a bus, or am catching up on TV. It’s my new obsession (and I get paid to do it – lucky me!).

Secondly, there are so many social distractions.
Instagram, Reddit, Pinterest, Wikipedia. There are so many sources of information (and distraction) these days, in addition to my Facebook news feed full of my friends’ activities. I find myself gravitating towards Instagram and Pinterest more than ever lately. This probably has to do with my being a visual learner, and the fact that most online content is becoming more visual, so we’re becoming spoiled with it. Either way, there are a lot more places to spend my time online than ever before.

Finally, life got in the way.
It’s been a rough year. Between taking more classes than I could handle when I was wrapping up my MBA, a few health issues of my own and even more serious health issues of both my parents, I’ve had little time to frolick around in the online space as @hannahlah. There is some positive that’s coming out of these events: I’ve re-prioritized what’s important in my life, with a strong focus on cherishing my time with family/friends. And as much of a social geek I am, Twitter just isn’t at the top of my list 😉

6 Resources for the Aspiring Entrepreneur

Originally posted here.

In my MBA classes at Rutgers Business School, I have learned that creativity, perseverance, solid business skills, and passionate determination make an entrepreneur. But, there are also additional resources that help entrepreneurs along the way. Here are some of my favorites.

1. Inventor sites
A professor and mentor of mine, dt ogilvie, told me about Edison Nation when she knew I had a product Idea. It’s great. People from around the world use Edison Nation to get their innovations in front of retailers and manufacturers, to store and perfect their ingenious ideas, keep up with inventive friends, and learn what it takes to create and introduce a successful product into the market. 

2. Pitches
An idea will go nowhere if you don’t know how to communicate it effectively. Every entrepreneur has to learn how to give a good pitch. Shark Tank on ABC offers both entertainment and an education in pitching. I have also been sure to enter every pitch competition available to me so I can practice my pitch and learn what types of questions VCs and Angels will ask me.

3. Meetup Groups
In business school, we are trained to network. Meetup.com provides groups of all kinds of people with similar interests that anyone can join. I highly recommend joining it. When I am looking for a programmer, I go to a tech meetup. When I am looking to find other entrepreneurs for advice and guidance, I go to a cofounder meetup. My current favorites in the NY/NJ area are: Tech Startup Pizza Night, Startup Newark, Scarlet Venture, and NJ Tech. At Tech Startup Pizza night, we fill up an Italian restaurant in NYC, enjoy Pizza, wine and discuss hot topics in the tech startup world. At Startup Newark and Scarlet Venture (both founded by RBS MBA Alumni) and NJ Tech, we give and watch real business pitches, collaborate on projects, hear from great speakers, and have great networking events.

4. Skillshare
Join a Skillshare class, or connect with an industry leaders who are teaching the courses. Skillshare offers courses in entrepreneurship taught by experts, successful startup founders, and more. Some include “Startup Metrics for Founders,”  “Crash Course: Branding, PR, & Social Media,” and “TechCEO Bootcamp.” The last one I went to was at Union Square Ventures, and was pretty amazing.

5. Business Plan Competitions
Business Plan Competitions are a great way to get seed funding, become credible to future investors, and get some insightful feedback on your ideas. Best of all, they usually reward teams with money with no strings attached. Rutgers Business School has a competition each year, as do many other area schools. At Rutgers, both professors and investors judge the plans and pitches, and give valuable feedback that will help you improve your pitch tremendously. It is an amazing experience.Visit bizplancompetitions.com or business school websites to find a competition in your area.

6. Social Media
One of the great things about social media is that you can connect to other aspiring entrepreneurs from around the world and help each other grow. Find and follow mentors on Twitter. Subscribe to your favorite entrepreneurs on Facebook. Start conversations with them, comment on their blog posts, and ask lots of questions. I’ve learned that successful entrepreneurs are generally responsive to those of us just starting out, because they have been in your shoes before. Learn everything you can where people are spending their time and sharing their knowledge, opinions, and thoughts online.


10 Reasons why Public Relations Professionals should consider an MBA

I’m often asked from my friends in public relations, journalism, and communications “why did you decide to get your MBA? Is it worth it?” I 100% believe this was one of the best decisions I have ever made as a public relations professional. In this slideshow, I share 10 reasons why I think public relations pros should consider earning their MBA