Speak Beautiful, Be Beautiful

Dove has been very active across social media over the past few years.

It launched the Campaign for Real Beauty in 2004 to help “make women feel comfortable in the skin they are in, to create a world where beauty is a source of confidence and not anxiety.” Initially, billboards featuring images of regular women instead of models were used to market their message. After the campaign received a significant amount of attention and positive feedback, it moved into other areas like magazines and television.

Two years later, the campaign kicked off a series of viral videos like Legacy, Evolution, Love Your Curls, Little Girls, and Real Beauty Sketches. The videos all received a huge response, both negative and positive.

In early 2014, Dove launched the #speakbeautiful campaign in partnership with Twitter in response to the barrage of negative comments women were making about their looks on the social media site. Dove encourages women and girls to tweet positive things about themselves and the way they look.

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Dove’s Instagram account does not have many followers (only about 75,000), but the company does respond personally to what their followers comment about. They do the same on Twitter, replying to their followers and thanking them for being part of the community that they are trying to build with their customers.

Dove has taken some flack for their campaigns. But that is to be expected, especially with a huge company that makes huge waves in marketing. There will always be some level of criticism.

But, overall, I think the campaigns are very positive. I’m the mom of a toddler girl and I really have some concerns about how she will be affected by the media’s portrayal of women and girls. I respect the Dove campaigns because I think they are powerful and honest. And I’m not gonna lie – they make me tear up a bit.

Click on some of the links above and check out Dove’s video campaigns. What do you think?

 

COMM 0015 Blog Post #4 – Out of the Box

One of the best thingThink Outside the Box on a Blackboards that have come out of social media is just that – the social aspect. There are so many happy stories of people getting behind a cause, finding people they love or helping someone who is sick. Social media is the fastest way to pass around a message or an idea and watch it catch fire.

Kickstarter is a great example of how the internet community can come together to support new and creative projects around the world. Basically it works with someone coming up with an idea, “pitching” it via the Kickstarter website (while remaining upfront about possible set backs), setting a time limit for crowdfunding and then wait for people to fund it. It’s not for profit, the extra funds get used for the project as well as “kickbacks” for the funders, or backers. For example, you may get the first copy of the product, tickets to the movie premiere, attendance for filming, etc. The individuals that pledge money to a project only get that money taken from them if enough pledges are received to meet the target.

This past year I’ve helped to fund two projects The Sword and Laser online book club and the making of the Veronica Mars movie.  The Sword and Laser book club started as a successful podcast and branched into a YouTube video show when they partnered with Geek and Sundry. Due to funding issues, their show was cancelled. I love the podcast and the show, so when I saw the opportunity for a “second season” I wanted to help out.  I loved being able to do this, to help (even instartup a small way) to support something I’m passionate about (books) and to see people who produce good content be able to continue to do so.

The making of the Veronica Mars movie was one of the biggest success stories for Kickstarter. It started with a promo video that went viral and is currently the third most successful project on the website. The video was funny and clever, featured the old cast members, and appealed to Veronica Mars fans to help them get their movie out. I believe the reason it was so successful is that it was done for the fans, years after the show was cancelled the fans were still requesting a movie be made.

Obviously this is just one example of how social media has the ability to create a positive change for many people. The internet produces many inspiring ideas, for me Bitcoins (although not a social media platform) will be the next big thing watch. I think it has a great potential to change the way we do business on a global scale and it will be interesting to see what happens.

COM 0015 BLOG POST 2: Strong and Weak Organizations

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Two organizations  which I have discovered that have really impressive social media campaigns are Oxfam Canada and the Canadian Red Cross.  Both of these organizations are very active on twitter, You Tube, Facebook and provide lots of information regarding their campaigns on their landing campaigns.

The Canadian Red Cross is particularly effective in terms of tweeting out pictures of their latest aide campaign which over the Christmas holiday was helping those in need affected by the ice storm.

image In addition to these images appearing on their tweets, they also appeared on their daily  blogs and video versions were posted to youtube with duplications and links on  their Facebook page as well at to their main page at: www. redcross.ca.

Oxfam Canada has a very similar strategy in their approach to social media.   Their main page consists of an overall look at the goals of their operation as well as links to their various social media platforms including likes for Facebook and the opportunity to follow this organization on Facebook.  Their blogs and links are all interconnected including a number of video postings to youtube as well as assessments with news links that can be found on LinkedIn.  The landing page for Oxfam, like that of the Red Cross, is very easy to find: http://www.oxfam.ca.

Given how difficult it is for aide organizations to stay front and centre and receive donations while providing information, their social media campaigns are a critical component of fundraising and communicating during disasters.  The first big example of this was during the appeal for donations to help immediately after the earthquake in Haiti.  Many larger aide organizations, ie. the Red Cross,  were set up to allow twitter and facebook followers to donate money directly to their sites.  And many news organizations were following these agency twitter accounts to get updates on their developments on the ground.  It seems organizations such at the Red Cross and Oxfam discovered early on the importance of a strong social media campaign, and they are continuing to engage and connect to audience members in as many platforms that seem to have a good cross section of viewers that will participate in their activity or at least share with others what these organizations are posting.

By comparison, a relatively large organization that has much more work to do in terms of its social media strategy campaign is the Conservative Party of Canada.  Although the federal party has about 27,000 followers on Facebook, very little daily activity exists in terms of updating its followers to what is happening on a federal level on a consistent basis.  Here the party should be adding speeches and statements the Prime Minister and cabinet ministers are making in terms of funding announcements or policy statements which the party in turn could use to show how their party in power is working to improve lives of Canadians.  (Of course this may be viewed as propaganda but to the party loyal, this will help ensure party loyalty).  As well there is very little activity for the party on YouTube.  A search on You Tube for the Conservative Party of Canada consists mostly of attacks and again very little that is tied to the party in power or MP’s announcements.  There are very few tweets and not a lot that seems to engage a younger audience which is what the party should be trying to engage well before the next federal election.  (U.S. President Obama won the social media campaign for his last two presidential elections and he proved that if you can engage a younger audience through social media, you can build a strong base that can be a very difficult movement to contain or stop).  I think think the Conservative Party should use its numbers on Facebook and engage its audience with questions or encourage them to check out other platforms (ie YouTube and Facebook), to cross promote itself as well as containing ‘it’s spin”, particurlarly as we get closer to a federal election.  If the party does not do this, and other federal parties step into this arena and take the lead, the price of not enough engagement for the conservatives, may be seen on Election Day.