TOMS Next Chapter: From Shoes to Eyewear

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For several months now, TOMS has been building anticipation about their upcoming #NextChapter in the TOMS company. After several years of successfully executing their well known One-for-One model with cute, comfy shoes,  the company has decided to branch out into uncharted territory. They put mystery boxes in locations worldwide which will be opened today to reveal the next chapter in TOMS One-For-One program.

The event takes front and center on their website , inspired a nice spread on their Facebook page, and has been the talk for weeks via their Twitter account (see below).

They created videos for YouTube to incite anticipation among the avid TOMS fans (such as the one below) as well as encouraging people to check-in via Gowalla at the opening events for TOMS Mystery Boxes.

Today is the day for the unveiling and fans are eagerly anticipating #TOMSNextChapter!   The unveiling takes place at 10:30 a.m. PST … That’s about 1:30 for us East Coast dwellers!  I’m excited to see what the #NextChapter is that Blake Mycoskie will be sharing with us! If you want to know more about TOMS, read my April blog post here

Note: After the release, I will update this post with the exciting news! Check back to find out what the new chapter is!!!!

And the Next Chapter is . . .*drumroll* . . .

TOMS  EYEWEAR!!!!

 

 

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QR Codes Get Fashionable

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Let me start by saying that I’m usually not a fashion magazine reader, because I rarely have the time. A few months ago, I got an email with a free $10 credit from MagazineLine. After browsing around the site a bit, I found that I could get a year of Elle and Allure for just $5 in addition to the coupon. What can I say, I’m a sucker for a good deal!

When my magazines came this month, my roommate beat me to reading them. She’s been listening to me for the last several months chattering away about social media and QR codes, so she recognized that there were more than usual in this month’s magazines. I went through the magazine and used my QR code reader, mobiScan QR, to read the codes. We found a wide range of ways that the codes were used, and I thought it would be fun to share! You will notice that some of the advertisements use Microsoft’s tag instead of typical QR codes. These rectangular, colorful codes work much the same as any other QR code, except they require the Microsoft tag reader to open them.

Here are the fashionable advertisements and the content that they shared via QR code or Tag:

Sephora

Elle, June 2011, pg. 34-35

 The QR code for this super bright Sephora advertisement redirects to a YouTube video (below) about the product’s summer trends! 

Allure, June 2011, pg. 46-47

 The QR code for this golden Sephora advertisement redirects to a similar trend report video about Luminous Golds. I love the dynamic media used by their QR campaign and look forward to great things from it in the future. The company even created a QR code for it’s Make Up For Ever collection (see advertisement below). The QR code redirects to www.hd-not-retouched.com .

Allure, June 2011, pg. 71

Garnier

Elle, June 2011, pg. 181

Allure, June 2011, pg. 51

The Microsoft Tags for these Garnier advertisements redirect to a cool how to video for the Creme Color and the Blow Dry Protector!

John Freida

Allure, June 2011, pg. 66-67

This John Freida advertisement (above) has a QR code that redirects readers to a how to video showing viewers how to best use the foam color!

And Many More . . . 

To see the QR links for the advertisements, simply click on the advertisement. Keep in mind that these links are optimized for mobile, so they may not show up as well on your computer screen. I hope you have enjoyed this quick look at how many fashionable brands and companies are using QR codes to reach their customers. You will notice that some of the more interesting campaigns aren’t so much selling the product as they are trying to offer assistance with the product or with how to select a product if you are in the market for one. I think that QR codes are a very interesting way to add content to print advertisements . . . What do you think????

Charity:Water – 1,497 Gallons of Good

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The above picture shows my Social Vibe widget which has helped me raise over 4,000 gallons of water for Charity:Water in the past 6 months. This may seem like a small amount of water to you, but it’s a great deal to people in many countries. While it was easy for me to complete the quick surveys and activities offered by Social Vibe to “earn” the water, it is extremely difficult for people in many third world countries to gain access to safe drinking water. I firmly believe that due to the ripple effect a little bit of good can go a long way by helping influence others to do good. So, thanks to all of you who helped me reach 1497 gallons!

What is Social Vibe?

Social Vibe

Social Vibe is a company which creates engagement advertising. You know, those fun ads that you actually want to see sometimes because they engage you with the product. As a part of their business model, Social Vibe has created a social giving program that allows users to participate in advertisements via a widget (like mine above) in order to earn money that is then dedicated to the cause of choice. I chose Charity:Water, but there are many other charities to choose from! More about the social giving program can be found here.  I would strongly advise you to consider adding a Social Vibe widget to your blog to support your favorite charity. Besides, all it costs you is a little blog space! 🙂

Why did I choose Charity: Water?

I believe everyone should have the right to a clean, safe water supply. If you’re not familiar with the water crisis in many countries, you can learn about it by watching the videos below or visiting the Charity:Water website.

Mark Schaefer’s “The Tao of Twitter”: A Twitter Guide for Beginners and Experts

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My first knowledge of Mark Schaefer came through a classmate, Aaron Sachs (@AaronSachs), who had worked with Mark on some social media stuff for Aaron’s business Symply Social . Aaron sang Mark’s praises to our Advertising 490: Social Media class, and when he mentioned Social Slam tickets were going on sale, I was one of the first in our class (except for Aaron, of course!) to sign up. I was eager to see what this social media conference was all about. I considered the cost of $40 kind of expensive until I realized that attendees also received free food and free books! Included with registration was a copy of Mark Schaeffer’s The Tao of Twitter and Jay Baer’s The Now Revolution. I decided that even if the conference was boring (which of course it wasn’t!), I would still have two free books. Needless to say, Social Slam was an amazing opportunity and I even got my free books signed by Mark and Jay!

Earlier this week, I had time to sit down and read Mark’s book. While I was reading it, I kept finding myself nodding in agreement with Mark’s points. Because I loved the book so much, I wanted to share some of its key lessons with you—or at least what I thought was key. Mark hits on several ideas that I myself have thought of but not been able to put into words. Below are quotes from the book that I will be referencing in many future conversations with friends about how to best utilize twitter.

“Business benefits are created through three elements: targeted connections + meaningful content + authentic helpfulness.” (pg. 11)

These three elements make up the core of Mark’s The Tao of Twitter, and he offers great explanations for the importance of each. I especially like his emphasis on the importance of authentic helpfulness. Just this week, I wrote a blog post about books I wanted to read for summer to beef up on my social media knowledge. Someone over at Wiley Business Books (@WileyBiz) was kind enough to send over a list of social media books they had recently published, 3 or 4 of which I had listed. I was reminded by the list of a few more books I wanted to read, but had temporarily forgotten about. Whoever was Tweeting for @WileyBiz that day had no guarantee that I would buy any of their books or mention them anywhere, but they tried to be helpful and perhaps promote their products a bit. 😉

“ . . . Under normal conditions, Twitter is about engaging, not broadcasting, so it probably does not make sense to just broadcast on a regular basis.” (pg. 40)

This one hit home because of my extreme frustration with some social media specialisists who simply post and repost and re-repost links to their blogs, which contain only information which I already read when I read their books. (Obviously, Mark isn’t one of these people. His blog, {grow}, is an amazing source of fresh, insightful content!) While HootSuite and other services can help you schedule tweets if you will be away for a while, I strongly believe in the need for interaction. While a little shameless self-promotion can go a long way, you need to be sharing good, new content that can actually help your followers learn something that they don’t already know from reading your books. Which leads to our third point . . .

“If somebody only takes about themselves, their business and how great they are, you’re going to want to get away fast! But, if a person shows genuine interest in you, and offers help without regard for their own personal benefit, you will like that person and connect with them.”(pg. 47)

I LOVE following and being followed by people who are willing to interact on Twitter, even if they don’t have an idea in the world about how they “met” you on Twitter. A random Tweet by @AaronSachs introduced me to Kaarina Dillabough (@KDillabough) who lives in Canada and posts some very interesting things about social media on her blog, Decide2Do. As Mark says on page 32, the rule of creating relationships on Twitter is “You just never know!” There may come a day when I could be helpful to Kaarina or she to me. If she ever needs a place to camp out in Georgia, at least she would have an inside contact. 😉 Which brings us to the final quote I selected . . .

“At the end of the day, as long as you are satisfied with the business benefits you are receiving from Twitter, what anyone else thinks is irrelevant.” (pg. 73)

Some people probably think I spend way too much time hanging out on my computer—or my Android powered smartphone—tweeting away to people I’ve never even met in person. But, I find benefit and think that Twitter is providing me with a wonderful opportunity to learn from people that are the experts in the field. No expensive classrooms for me! I’m learning the ins-and-outs of social media from the pros who are out in the field working on it. And, the best of them are following Mark’s guidelines! Shouldn’t you read The Tao of Twitter and get a head start on your future as a member of the Twitter Tribe?

If you are interested in reading a more traditional style review of Mark’s amazing book, you can read some of these great video reviews below or visit the Tao of Twitter site to see a round-up of great reviews here.

Note: There were some minor typos and grammar issues which prevented a five out of five star ranking. I’m sure, however, that Mark is working on these and will have them all fixed for the second printing. Overall, an amazing book!

Good Reads for the Summer: Social Media Edition

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Some great books I plan to read this summer to increase my knowledge of social media! Look for Book Reviews throughout the next few weeks!

  1. The Tao of Twitter by Mark Schaefer
  2. Socialnomics by Erik Qualman
  3. The NOW Revolution by Jay Baer
  4. The Social Media Bible: Second Edition by Lon Safko
  5. The New Rules of Marketing and PR by David Meerman Scott
  6. The Zen of Social Media Marketing by Shama Hyder Kabani
  7. Engage by Brian Solis
  8. Content Rules by C. C. Chapman & Ann Handley
  9. Twitter Power 2.0 by Joel Comm
  10. Rework by Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson
I’m always open to new book to add to this list! Please leave comments about any of these books you have read or if you have a great book to add to my list!
Note: You can click on the book link to buy it on Amazon or the author link to follow them on Twitter!

America’s Royal Obsession with the Royal Wedding!

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When I was a little girl, I wanted to be a princess just like everyone else. My Disney Princess of Choice was always Ariel. I loved that she could sing. Her voice was so beautiful and I found myself annoying my parent’s to death with my Disney Sing-Along cassette tapes of The Little Mermaid. I loved that she was able to get her Prince and embark on a new interesting life. Her story embodied a desire that I believe we all have to learn about what is out there in the world that we don’t have access to. That being said, I wanted to be Ariel . . . I wanted to be a Princess!

However, my childhood was also filled with less happy tales of a real princess–Princess Di. As a child born in 1988, I was too young to remember the happiness and splendor that came with the first televised Royal Wedding and the birth of England’s future king. Instead, I remember the sadder days of scandal and heartache as Princess Diana went down a sad trail from beloved wife, mother and humanitarian to the princess remembered for scandal and heartache and finally becoming only a Candle in  the Wind.

Diana’s tragic death left a great deal of concern about whether new Princess-To-Be Kate Middleton would be able to handle the equally stressful role. But, Queen Elizabeth approved of the match and based on various reports believes that the fact that the couple have dated for several years and that they are older will help Kate become a wonderful candidate to one day fill the Queen’s shoes. So ensued the preparations for the Royal Wedding and what came to be one of the most watched TV airings ever! And, guess who was talking about the wedding? You guessed it! America led the ranks of people Tweeting, blogging and Facebook posting about the Royal Wedding and the variety of interesting characters who did and did not attend.

While the Royal Wedding generated a lot of interest in the UK, it was America where we saw the most media coverage and chatter about the Royal Wedding.  According to the Associated Press, “22.76 million Americans tuned in to watch Prince William and Kate Middleton’s royal wedding ceremony in the early morning hours on Friday, April 29” (OnTheRedCarpet). A Nielson study showed that US coverage of the Royal Wedding and stories related to it were much higher than the UK or other countries.

Thanks to our early training from the wonder folks at Disney and the idea of the American Dream, we all grow up thinking that we can be anything we want—even a Princess. For commoner Kate Middleton, this fairytale seems to be coming true and American girls (and guys) couldn’t resist hanging off of every word that was shared about the Royal Wedding. Let’s just hope that this fairy tale has a happening and Kate can join the ranks of fairy tale princesses! 😉

A Return from my Spring Siesta: Better Late Than Never ;)

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For the last few weeks, I haven’t been blogging my regular three times per week. Instead, I have been finishing up final projects and giving finals in the class I teach. Classes wrapped up for me last Wednesday and I took a short siesta, heading home to see family and friends in Georgia. As always, my short trip home was very refreshing and I’m excited about starting in on my summer to do list.

This summer to do list includes catching up on quite a few blog topics that I have wanted to post on for the last month or so, and haven’t had time to do justice to. People who read blogs, but don’t blog themselves, often don’t realize that to blog well takes a great deal of time. While anyone who blogs often can easily generate a list of things to bog about, actually composing the posts takes time and concentration I haven’t been able to dedicate lately.

Now that my summer schedule has started, I will hopefully be able to catch up on a lot of the topics on my “To Blog About” list. These posts may not be as relevant as they were a month ago, but the dynamic nature of social media means that things often recirculate and are relevant repeatedly for various reasons. So, hopefully, you will all gain some benefit from my upcoming belated posts!

On a final note, my goal from here on out is to publish 1-2 posts per week. While I love blogging, the 3 posts per week are no longer required for my social media class. I need to devote most of my time this summer to my thesis! 🙂