Jim Armstrong: A Storyteller and an Eavesdropper

A couple weeks back, we were tasked with reaching out to three reporters on Twitter to ask them how social media has played a role in their career. Sadly, I didn’t hear back from the three I had chosen. Now, looking back on it, I wish I had reached out to Jim Armstrong, an Emmy-winning CBS WBZ reporter based out of Boston. Jim knows how to leverage the power of social media to further his role as a journalist in the 21st century.

Although I just recently learned about him, Jim Armstrong has already given me a feel for the kind of journalist he is. In his Twitter bio, he refers to himself as a storyteller and an eavesdropper. A more perfect description of what today’s journalists should be doesn’t exist.

Screen Shot 2015-06-10 at 10.06.50 PM

Journalists as Storytellers

Social media allows journalists to be true storytellers. Despite Twitter’s character limit, it’s an extremely powerful social platform that gives journalists an opportunity to connect with people from all over the world who might not have access to the TV channel they’re featured on or might not read the specific articles they write. When journalists choose to tell stories on Twitter, they’re giving users an opportunity to take part in the conversation, something they might not otherwise have been able to do.

What I like most about Armstrong’s style on Twitter is that he doesn’t use it primarily for self-promotion, something that so many celebrities fall victim to. Instead, he uses it as a means to live tweet his beat and inform the public about what’s going on in his area. Reading his feed is almost like a play-by-play of Boston’s current events.

Screen Shot 2015-06-10 at 10.33.21 PM

Journalists as Eavesdroppers

Live-tweeting about a news event happening on their beat is a great way for journalists to increase engagement and follower growth. According to Twitter’s section on Media Best Practices, for journalists who post a concentrated number of tweets in a short time span, follower growth is 50 percent more than expected. Thanks to his live coverage during the trial of Boston mobster Whitey Bulger, Armstrong saw his follower count go up by more than 1,000 during the trial, with a 14 percent bump on the last day.

More recently, Armstrong live-tweeted from Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s trial in Boston to make it easier for the public to know what was going on behind closed doors. Rather than making his coverage text-based only, Armstrong opted to include some visual elements as well, such as the painting below showing Tsarnev’s facial expression as he hears that he’s been sentenced to death.

Screen Shot 2015-06-10 at 10.35.36 PM

While text-based tweets are extremely informative, incorporating an artistic component in your coverage of a live event, like Armstrong did, will likely incite a bigger emotional reaction from your Twitter followers. It’s one thing to read something and imagine how it’s all playing out, but it’s a totally different one to see a picture of what’s actually going on.

Journalists as Humans

We often forget that journalists are people, too. I think the ones who choose to use social media to show their human side as well are able to develop a closer connection with their followers and, are, therefore, able to further advance in their career. I loved this tweet Armstrong posted after the trial was over. It shows that he was experiencing this journey right alongside his followers.

Screen Shot 2015-06-10 at 10.34.59 PM

And it seems that his followers loved it too.

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Final Takeaways

Believe it or not, many journalists are still behind the eight ball when it comes to using social media to enhance their journalism. They view it more as a platform to promote themselves and their work rather than as a way to provide a unique value to their followers.

The past few weeks in this class have made me realize how important it is for journalists to educate themselves on how best to leverage the power of social platforms in order to see what their competitors are talking about, gather new story ideas and better connect with their followers. Those journalists that choose not to make social media part of their overall reporting strategy are missing out on the opportunity to enhance their careers and engage with and inform their followers. Fortunately, Armstrong doesn’t fall into this category.

Hello, everyone, and hello, 2015!

Hello! My name is Lynette Zilio, and I’m in my fourth semester of the University of Florida’s social media master’s program. I’m so happy to be in class with some familiar (and some new) faces! For those of you who might not know me, I’d like to take this time to tell you a little bit about myself.

Although I currently live in Orlando, I was born and raised in Miami. In 2007, I moved to Gainesville to attend UF. (Go Gators!) There, I majored in journalism and minored in Spanish. Throughout my time at UF, I was able to intern for The Miami Herald and The Denver Post as well as contribute to The Independent Florida Alligator and INsite, an entertainment magazine. I was also fortunate enough to be able to spend a semester abroad in Madrid, Spain, which really helped me dive deeper into the Spanish culture.

After I graduated from UF in 2011, I accepted a position as a sales and marketing assistant for a wholesale designer handbag company. In this role, I served as the liaison between the company’s independent sales representatives and its more than 1,000 specialty store accounts. I also ensured all department store orders were correct, attended trade shows, updated the website with new products and product descriptions, and created and managed the company’s social media profiles.

A year-and-a-half later, I accepted a position as the junior SEO specialist for a Miami-based cloud-computing company and Google Partner. In this role, I learned about keyword research, on-page optimization and what makes Google tick. I was also in charge of creating and managing the company’s various social media profiles as well as writing weekly blog entries for the company’s site.

Last June, after almost five years of being in a long-distance relationship, I decided to make the move to Orlando to be in the same city as my boyfriend. Since then, I’ve been working as a link builder for an Internet-marketing company called Launch That. Although the company manages several different websites, my job is to increase the visibility of asbestos.com in Google by utilizing white-hat SEO tactics to obtain authoritative and relevant backlinks. I also write monthly blog posts for the site and help with some of the company’s social media efforts.

My boyfriend Chris and I at the Launch That Christmas Party!

My boyfriend Chris and I at the Launch That Christmas Party!

In my spare time, I enjoy traveling, trying new restaurants and dancing.

Being that I was self-taught before entering this master’s program, I don’t quite know all of the ‘fine print’ of social media. With the help of this course, I’d like to be able to learn more about how to properly handle social media issues in the workplace, what the terms and conditions of each platform really mean, how to best moderate user comments and how to determine the validity of content shared via social media. Once I learn more about social media ethics, I know that I will feel more confident in my role as an Internet marketer.

Proposed Integrated Marketing Communications Plan: BullHorn Media

**NOTE: The following proposal was created for BullHorn Media as part of my final project for MMC 5006, a graduate school course.


Some Background Information

Orlando-based multimedia production company BullHorn Media is looking for assistance to help generate buzz about their new brand through content, SEO, social media and networking events, to name a few. Below, I have proposed an integrated marketing communications plan that they will be able to utilize to help promote this new brand.

Company Analysis

BullHorn Media is a multimedia production company based in Orlando, Fla. It is the brainchild of Mark and Lisa LeGrand of Pro One Video Productions, which has been a leading video production company in Central Florida since 1992. Mark and Lisa had originally been doing both corporate events and weddings through Pro One but branched off and created BullHorn Media last year to specifically tend to its corporate clientele. This new multimedia production company offers its customers the following services: video production, graphic design and photography.

Target Audience

BullHorn Media produces videos for small and large corporate and nonprofit clients. So far, Mark and Lisa have been servicing companies that need profile pieces and web videos and documenting large conventions and seminars that are being held in the Central Florida area. They have worked with such high-profiles clients as Google, Hewlett-Packard, Pepsi and Gatorade. BullHorn Media also offers photography services, such as on-site headshots and product images, and graphic design services, such as branding, Photoshop and motion graphics.

Event Video Production

Strengths and Opportunities

  • Strengths: BullHorn Media’s biggest asset is the way it treats its clients. While there are many other companies that can produce high-quality videos, Mark and Lisa set themselves apart from the rest by listening to their clients’ desires and treating them in a friendly manner. Unlike some of their competitors, they also do on-site editing at conferences, which their clients really appreciate.
  • Opportunities:

Orange County Convention Center Pictured: Orange County Convention Center

  • Orlando welcomed 57 million visitors last year. About half of all visitors to Orlando came from elsewhere in Florida. An additional 7 percent came from other countries, while the rest were from other parts of the U.S.
  • In July 2014, Forbes ranked the Greater Orlando area #67 among the best places for business and careers.
  • Given that 90 percent of their clients contact them through email, I believe BullHorn Media could benefit from utilizing a service such as MailChimp to send out biweekly email marketing campaigns to its current customers. The email marketing service could also serve as a means to attract new customers and keep an organized list of their customers’ email addresses.
  • By signing up for and maintaining additional social media platforms, besides Facebook, BullHorn Media could engage and inform its target audience.
  • By attending networking events in their field, BullHorn Media will be able to form lasting relationships with potential clients.

The Importance of an IMC strategy

Having an integrated marketing communications plan using various multimedia channels is the best way to reach your customers. According to a recent Houston Chronicle article, by integrating tools such as advertising, direct mail, social media, telemarketing and sales promotion, you provide clarity, consistency and maximum communications impact. In other words, having a presence on multiple social media platforms and review sites and relying on email marketing and traditional marketing channels allows you to reach and engage with as many customers as possible.

Overall IMC Goals

  • Increase traffic to bullhorn-media.com
  • Incorporate social media into the brand’s overall IMC strategy

Final Thoughts

An integrated marketing communications strategy takes advantage of a combination of various communications tools to spread a brand’s message. While each platform serves its own purpose, the main reason for relying on an IMC plan is to have the greatest possible chance of reaching as many customers as possible at once. If implemented, my proposed IMC plan for BullHorn Media will help the company reach their goals of increasing traffic to their website and implementing a social media plan. In the long run, an IMC plan, such as this one, combined with their innate client relations skills, will help BullHorn Media stay ahead of its competitors. 

A Social Media Content Calendar for the Happiest Place on Earth

**Please note that the content featured in this post is hypothetical and purely for academic purposes only.


Each year, more than 17 million people visit Magic Kingdom, Disney’s most popular theme park. Because children are out of school during the month of August, it continues to remain one of the most popular times of the year for tourists to visit the happiest place on Earth. The hypothetical social media content calendar I created for Magic Kingdom will provide visitors with information about what they can expect during the month of August, including character appearances, rides, events, restaurants and ticket information. With these posts, my goal is to target parents and encourage them to plan their next family visit to the park, if they haven’t done so already. I hope that my posts provide them with new information rather than information they already knew about. My ultimate goal is to be able to increase the overall number of visitors to Magic Kingdom this summer.

Friday, August 1

Facebook: Get ready for a weekend of faith-infused entertainment. Tickets are on sale for Disney’s annual Night of Joy concert at Magic Kingdom. Purchase a two-night ticket through Aug. 5, and enjoy one admission to a Disney water park or DisneyQuest Indoor Interactive Theme Park!


Twitter: Buy a two-night #NightofJoy ticket through Aug. 5 to receive free admission to a Disney water park or Indoor Interactive Theme Park!

Saturday, August 2

Facebook: Tonight, enjoy Extra Magic Hours at Magic Kingdom from 11 p.m to 1 a.m. when you stay at select Walt Disney World Resort hotels.



Twitter: Tonight, enjoy #ExtraMagicHours at #MagicKingdom from 11 p.m to 1 a.m. when you stay at select Walt Disney World Resort hotels.

Sunday, August 3

Facebook: Start your Sunday off right by hanging out with Winnie the Pooh and his friends for a perfectly magical breakfast buffet at The Crystal Palace at Magic Kingdom.

Winnie The Pooh at Crystal Palace

Twitter: Hang out with Winnie the Pooh and his friends for a perfectly magical breakfast buffet at The Crystal Palace. 

Winnie The Pooh at Crystal Palace

Monday, August 5

Facebook: Unlock the fascinating history of Magic Kingdom park and gain backstage access to legendary hidden areas on our five-hour Keys to the Kingdom tour happening all month long. More information at http://bit.ly/1bn3nV0.

Disney Keys to the Kingdom Tour

Twitter: All of August, unlock the fascinating history of #MagicKingdom on our Keys to the Kingdom tour. http://bit.ly/1bn3nV0.

Tuesday, August 6

Facebook: “Are we there yet?” Encourage your kids to use a calendar to count down the days until your Magic Kingdom vacation. #TravelTipTuesday

Disney World Countdown Calendar

Twitter: Encourage your kids to use a calendar to count down the days until your Magic Kingdom vacation. http://bit.ly/U31eLz #TravelTipTuesday

Wednesday, August 7

Facebook: Wondering what the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train ride at the New FantasyLand is like? Check out the full experience.


Twitter: Wonder no more! Here’s an inside look at what the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Ride at the New Fantasyland is like. http://bit.ly/U8Sowe

Thursday, August 8

Facebook: When did your dreams come true? Share your memories of your first trip to #MagicKingdom. #tbt

Little Girl Disney Princess

Twitter: Do you remember your first time at #MagicKingdom? Share your story with us. #tbt

Little Girl Disney Princess

Friday, August 9 

Facebook: Elsa and Anna, the royal sisters from Frozen, have journeyed from afar to meet new friends at Princess Fairytale Hall at Magic Kingdom park. Stop by throughout the day and hear a story about their adventures.



Stop by Princess Fairytale Hall at #MagicKingdom park today to meet the royal sisters from #Frozen.


Saturday, August 10 

Facebook: Hoping to avoid the long lines at your favorite ride? Reserve attractions in advance with FastPass+. http://bit.ly/1i5Zhp6


Twitter: Hoping to avoid the long lines at your favorite ride? Reserve attractions in advance with FastPass+. http://bit.ly/1i5Zhp6http://bit.ly/1i5Zhp6

Sunday, August 11 

Facebook: Looking for something to satisfy your sweet craving? Head on over to Auntie Gravity’s Galactic Goodies in Tommorowland, and treat yourself to soft-serve cones, sundaes or floats.


Twitter: Craving something sweet? Stop by Auntie Gravity’s Galactic Goodies in #Tomorrowland, and treat yourself to a delicious ice cream sundae.

Monday, August 12 

Facebook: Loco about Locomotives? Join Disney’s railroad engineers before the Magic Kingdom opens for a behind-the-scenes look at how they keep things chugging along. Visit http://bit.ly/1s90PpW for more information.


Twitter: Join Disney’s railroad engineers before the park opens for an inside look at how they keep things chugging along. 

Tuesday, August 13

Facebook: Planning your visit to Magic Kingdom this summer? Check out the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, the Contemporary Resort or the Polynesian Resort, deluxe resorts right by the park!


Twitter: Need a family-friendly hotel near the park? Try the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, the Contemporary Resort or the Polynesian Resort.

Wednesday, August 14

Facebook: “Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate’s life for me.” Captain Jack and his crew of scallywags are scouring the high seas in search of treasure—and new recruits! Sail away with The Pirates League, and transform ye self into a living, breathing swashbuckler from the days of olde.


Twitter: Captain Jack and his crew of scallywags are looking for new recruits for the #PiratesLeague. http://bit.ly/O4tE4M

Thursday, August 15 

Facebook: Want to know the best way to stay cool this summer? Take a ride on Splash Mountain, and you’ll find out.

Disney Splash Mountain

Twitter: Want to know the best way to stay cool this summer? Take a ride on #SplashMountain, and you’ll find out. #MagicKingdom

Friday, August 16 

Facebook: Princess Ariel has gadgets and gizmos aplenty, and she’s always happy to make new friends – especially human ones! Set aside some time to visit her at the grotto in Fantasyland anytime from 9 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. http://bit.ly/1tGixTa


Twitter: Princess Ariel is always happy to make new friends. Meet her at the grotto in Fantasyland from 9 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. 

Saturday, August 17 

Facebook: Did you know? When the Magic Kingdom was created, its entrance and Main Street USA were created as a tribute to and in similarity to the old-fashioned movie theater.



Twitter: Fun Fact: The entrance of #MagicKingdom and Main Street USA were created as a tribute to and in similarity to the old-fashioned movie theater.

Sunday, August 18 

Facebook: With a little pixie dust from Tinker Bell, watch Cinderella Castle come to life right before your eyes. Every night, Magic Kingdom park guests can enjoy fireworks during the Celebrate the Magic show.


Twitter: With a little pixie dust from Tinker Bell, watch Cinderella Castle come to life during the #CelebratetheMagic show.

Monday, August 19 

Facebook: We’re happy to have Princess Merida from “Brave” as part of our Disney Princess family. Which princess are you most excited about meeting? 


Twitter: We’re happy to have Princess Merida from “Brave” as part of our #DisneyPrincess family. Which princess are you most excited about meeting?

Tuesday, August 20

Facebook: With the newly redesigned My Disney Experience mobile app, you can get wait times for attractions and showtimes for fireworks and parades as well as share plans with others through Family & Friends.


Twitter: The #MyDisneyExperience mobile app gives you wait times for attractions and showtimes for fireworks and parades.

Wednesday, August 21 

Facebook: You’ll go to infinity and beyond when you hop on Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin. Make sure you buy your FastPass+ before you ride!


Twitter: Go to infinity and beyond when you hop on Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin.


Thursday, August 22 

Facebook: Make sure you’re able to get in one last Disney visit before your kids have to go back to school. Remember that Florida residents pay only $99 for a one-day pass to Magic Kingdom.


Twitter: Make sure you get in a Magic Kingdom visit before school starts back up again. Remember Florida residents pay only $99.

Friday, August 23 

Facebook: Before you leave the park, make sure you stop by Big Top Souvenirs, a magical circus packed with zesty snacks, sweet treats and unforgettable souvenirs.


Twitter: Before you leave the park, stop by Big Top Souvenirs, a magical circus packed with zesty snacks, sweet treats and unforgettable souvenirs.

Saturday, August 24 

Facebook: Have you heard of our MagicBand? MagicBand enables you to travel lighter throughout your vacation. Use it to enter Magic Kingdom and other parks, unlock your Disney Resort hotel room and buy food and merchandise.

Disney Magic Band

Twitter: Use your #MagicBand to enter the parks, unlock your Disney Resort hotel room and buy food and merchandise.

Sunday, August 25 

Facebook: Curious about the man behind the magic? We welcome you to go on the Walt Disney: Marceline to Magic Kingdom Tour, a three-hour look at how key events in Walt Disney’s life inspired Magic Kingdom park and the beloved attractions within it. 


Twitter: Learn more about #WaltDisney, the man behind the magic, on the Walt Disney: Marceline to Magic Kingdom Tour. 

Monday, August 26 

Facebook: There’s no better way to bring the whole gang together than by going on Disney’s Family Magic Tour! Take off on a guided scavenger hunt through Magic Kingdom and collect a series of clues as an unforgettable adventure magically unfolds around you. More information at http://bit.ly/1r71Tu3.

Disney Family Magic Tour

Twitter: Looking for a fun activity everyone can enjoy? Check out our #FamilyMagicTour scavenger hunt. More information at http://bit.ly/1r71Tu3.

Tuesday, August 27 

Facebook: Great sea creatures and twinkling flags cross the lagoon to electronic tunes in the Electrical Water Pageant. You can catch the show tonight every 15 minutes from 9 p.m. to 10:15 p.m.

Electrical Water Pageant

Twitter: Tonight at 9 p.m., great sea creatures and twinkling flags will cross the lagoon to electronic tunes in the #ElectricalWaterPageant.

Wednesday, August 28 

Facebook: Celebrate your daughter’s birthday by taking her to dine with Disney Princesses at Cinderella’s Royal Table inside Cinderella Castle. Visit http://bit.ly/PhYisD to make reservations.

Cinderella-Royal-Table 2

Twitter: Dine with Disney Princesses at Cinderella’s Royal Table inside Cinderella Castle. Visit http://bit.ly/PhYisD to make reservations.

Thursday, August 29 

Facebook: Space Mountain will take you through the darkest reaches of outer space. Make sure to check it out when you visit Tomorrowland. 


Twitter: #SpaceMountain will take you through the darkest reaches of outer space. Make sure to check it out when you visit #Tomorrowland.

Friday, August 30 

Facebook: Hungry? Be our guest at the Beast’s enchanted castle. Step inside for a delicious quick-service lunch or a delightful sit-down dinner.


Twitter: Hungry? #BeOurGuest at the Beast’s enchanted castle. Step inside for a delicious quick-service lunch or a delightful sit-down dinner.

Saturday, August 31 

Facebook: Meet the mouse who started it all at the Town Square Theater from 9 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Discover props and posters from Mickey’s magical career in the theater and maybe even spot a disappearing dove or a rabbit coming out of a hat!


Twitter: Don’t forget! You can meet #MickeyMouse at the Town Square Theater in #MagicKingdom from 9 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.

Victoria’s Secret Has Its Marketing Strategy Down Pat

Last week, I analyzed Victoria’s Secret’s (VS) use of integrated marketing both on-site and off-site. This week, I’m going to take a closer look at the company’s use of push and pull marketing techniques. Push marketing, also known as marketer-initiated communication, takes place when a company initiates a marketing dialog with its customers or prospective customers. Examples of push marketing techniques include chat windows, pop ups, emails, text message alerts and RSS feeds. Pull marketing, or consumer-initiated communication, takes place when consumers begin the engagement with a company. It’s about answering the questions that people are asking. Some examples of pull marketing techniques include a sponsored story on Facebook, a banner ad, SEO and a sign-up button to receive texts and emails.

Push and Pull techniques On-Site

  • When you click on the Help button at the top of victoriassecret.com, you have the option of either live chatting with a customer service associate, calling the company customer service line directly or emailing the VS customer service team. All are available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.
  • While Victoria’s Secret sells plenty of full-priced merchandise, the company makes sure its homepage is filled with eye-catching sale announcements to lure in current and prospective customers. Full-priced items are left for the site’s interior pages.
  • There are three separate locations on the website for customers to register for the company’s opt-in email list. VS sends daily emails to its loyal customers alerting them of upcoming and current in-store and online promotions. Customers can also subscribe to the Victoria’s Secret catalogue on the website.
  • When you click on VS All Access, you’ll be given exclusive access to all things Victoria’s Secret, including TV commercials, in-depth coverage of the Angels and announcements of special events and new store openings.
  • You can download the Victoria’s Secret app for iPad and iPhone “to watch the hottest videos, scroll through the most recent behind-the-scene snapshots or explore cutting-edge trends” says Sharen Jester Turney, the president and CEO of Victoria’s Secret.
  • PINK, Victoria’s Secret’s sub-brand focused on introducing 15-22 year olds to Victoria’s Secret, also utilizes push and pull marketing techniques. Through PINK Nation, the brand’s loyalty reward program, customers can opt in for exclusive offers via text messages or emails. And, to top it all off, there’s a PINK Nation app for iPhone, iPad and Android. Did you know that more than 3 million PINK girls have these apps?

Victoria's Secret PINK Nation


Push and Pull Techniques Offsite

  • Victoria’s Secret constantly runs ads on Google AdWords. By simply typing in Victoria’s Secret into Google, an ad will pop up.

Victoria's Secret Google AdWords

  • Victoria’s Secret has done a great job with its SEO. For instance, if you type in “panties,” VS comes up as No. 1; if you type in “women’s panties,” VS comes up as No. 3; and if you type in “bras,” VS comes up as No. 1. With so much competition in the lingerie and underwear industries, this is quite an impressive feat.
  • Victoria’s Secret is active on the following social networks: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube. According to a 2012 article, VS has such a successful Facebook page because it uses it to direct traffic to its main site as well as its Twitter and Pinterest, thereby increasing its ROI.

Additional Marketing Strategies

  • Victoria’s Secret’s website is updated daily. With so many sales going on for both VS and PINK, the company really has no choice but to be on top of removing any expired sales promotions, out-of-stock items or last season products.

Victoria's Secret Sale Promo


  • Victoria’s Secret doesn’t maintain a blog through WordPress or Tumblr, but when you visit the VS All Access section of its site, you’ll find mini blog entries detailing the company’s latest news, updates and events, in addition to behind-the scenes interviews, videos and photo shoots featuring its Angels, or supermodels.
  • Victoriassecret.com is mobile friendly, which as we’ve learned so far, is a necessity nowadays since smartphones and tablets have become so prevalent. Today’s consumers don’t want to have to pinch or zoom in to get to what they’re looking for. The VS mobile website is user friendly and contains the same information you would find on the desktop version of its website.

Victoria's Secret Mobile Version

  • As I previously mentioned, Victoria’s Secret is extremely active on/has social share buttons for the following social networks, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube. The company also has share buttons on the bottom of each of its VS All Access blog posts.

Room for improvement?

No company is perfect, but I have to admit that, in terms of marketing, Victoria’s Secret is as close to perfect as you can get. My only suggestion to them would be to include a blend of both full-price and sale-price ads on its homepage. That way, the company can condition its target audience to buy both new, full-price items as well as sale items. Having a homepage that only advertises current sales makes VS come across as a discount lingerie retailer, which is far from what is actually is. Other than that, I think the company has a great IMC plan in place.


Victoria’s Secret Lies in Its Social Media

Victoria’s Secret serves as a great example of the dos of integrated advertising, or combining several different media channels and tools under one big idea in order to produce a greater experience for the consumer. The largest American retailer of lingerie has an extremely active online and offline presence. But Victoria’s Secret’s marketing success is not new. During Q1 of last year, Expion, a social media management company, ranked Victoria’s Secret in the top 10 retailers in social media. The company utilizes victoriasecret.com, sends daily emails and maintains accounts with Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram to build excitement around new collections and events such as the annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. It also relies on more traditional forms of advertising, such as TV, print, billboards and direct mail.

Online Advertising


Victoriasecret.com has a global Alexa ranking of 1,481. It ranks as the 499th most popular website in the U.S. The site is very easy to navigate and contains many large, high-quality images of models showcasing the latest items. It maintains a consistent color scheme of pink, black, white and gray throughout. Besides the eye-catching photos of its models, what immediately draws people to the site is the fact that the first image is always promoting a current sale that its having. Who doesn’t love a good deal?!

Email Blasts

I signed up to receive daily email promotions from Victoria’s Secret about a year ago. While I don’t always get the chance to take advantage of them, I find the company’s choice of images in its email blasts as well as the email subject lines to be extremely engaging. Through these emails campaigns, the company does a great job of making women look and feel beautiful and making sure its customers are aware of current in-store and online promotions.

Victoria's Secret Email Campaign

Facebook: 25,300,751 likes 

Last year’s Expion study found that Victoria’s Secret and fellow social media powerhouse Walmart were posting on Facebook about twice as often as other brands. The week of 5/25/14 Victoria’s Secret received as many as 37,600 likes on one of its posts. The company posts approximately two to three eye-catching photos a day of gorgeous models, new products and current promotions. It also does a great job of utilizing its Facebook to handle customer questions and issues.

Victoria's Secret Facebook Comment Highest

Twitter: 3.97 million followers

The company has an extremely active presence on Twitter, posting to its profile an average of three to four times a day. What I like most about its Twitter is that it answers as many of its customers’ tweets as it possibly can, regardless of whether the customer has a complaint, a question or is simply stating that they recently purchased a product from the retailer.

Victoria's Secret Twitter Customer Service

YouTube: 462,349 subscribers

The Victoria’s Secret YouTube channel features more than 425 videos, including behind-the-scenes footage, TV commercials and exclusive interviews with the Victoria’s Secret Angels.

Pinterest: 181,350 followers

Victoria’s Secret’s Pinterest has 25 boards and 4,170 pins. It posts the same images it already does on its Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts, plus so many more. If you ever wanted to get an inside look at every model and product photo imaginable, this is the place to do so.

Victoria's Secret Pinterest

Instagram: 4,534,152 followers

As of today, Victoria’s Secret has posted 1,267 photos to its Instagram. Almost every photo has more than 100,000 likes. The company averages between two and three posts a day that feature its models, also known as Angels, product shots and even some videos. The Victoria’s Secret Angels each have their own Instagrams, so loyal Victoria’s Secret customers have the option to follow them as well.

Victoria's Secret Instagram Cover Photo

Offline Advertising

Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show

Victoria’s Secret utilizes this annual fashion show to promote and market its goods in high-profile settings. Last year, 9.71 million people tuned in to view the TV special that featured the current roster of Victoria’s Secret Angels modeling high-end lingerie.

Victoria’s Secret Angels

One of Victoria’s Secret’s greatest marketing strategies has been to heavily promote its models. Victoria’s Secret’s models, known as “Angels,” are a major part of the brand’s image, appearing in the annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, catalogs, stores and advertisements. The website features a “VS All Access” section for learning more about the group, which includes Adriana Lima and Alessandra Ambrosio. Unlike other retailers, Victoria’s Secret wants its customers to really get to know the women who are modeling its products.

Victoria's Secret Angels

But wait…there’s more

Victoria’s Secret also utilizes print, billboard and TV advertisements to promote its brand. Loyal customers can expect to receive notifications of product promotions via direct mail and see advertisements strategically placed in their favorite magazines. Victoria’s Secret is also known for buying billboard advertising in key locations, such as on the side of buses, and in high-traffic areas, such as Time Square.

VICTORIA'S SECRET using Showcase in Chicago

Overall, Victoria’s Secret’s integrated marketing communications strategy is top notch. It is both consistent and engaging.





Classic Marketing vs. Social Media Marketing

For this week’s assignment, we’ve been asked to compare and contrast two aspects of classic marketing and social media marketing. Although there are a world of differences between them, the two aspects I’ve chosen to evaluate are direction of communication and availability.

Direction of Communication

In the classic marketing approach, communication is considered to be unidirectional. In other words, information is spread by the company (active), and customers/consumers can only listen (passive). In social media marketing, communication is considered to be bidirectional, meaning that both the company and the customers have the opportunity to talk and listen. In this particular aspect, I think that the social media approach is better and more fair. In order to succeed in today’s world, businesses need to listen to their customers. Constructive feedback, whether positive or negative, can drive sales. A recent small business article on FoxBusiness.com provides the following tip for success. “Your customers provide the best form of advertisement and a source of non-dilutive capital. If you make time for your customers, they will make time for you.” In fact, two thirds of consumers across age groups want companies to respond to online comments on social media platforms.

With social media, companies are held more accountable for their actions. Social media marketing means that customer feedback can be seen by all. A bad review about a company on Facebook, Twitter, Yelp or TripAdvisor could easily lead to a decrease in sales or customer visits. That being said, the best way to succeed in today’s world is for businesses to provide top-notch customer service and utilize an integrated marketing communications strategy that consists of both classic and social media marketing.

For instance, Nike is one such company that has understood the shift in media and how to successfully navigate today’s digital world. “It has employed new forms of advertising on new media channels as they hit critical mass, and it has shown just how close to the consumer companies have to be to stay front of mind” (Young, 2010, p. 19). Today’s campaigns need to be multimedia and multichannel, such as is the case TV commercials that feature hashtags to facilitate online conversations about a particular brand.


In classic marketing, customers can only receive support during regular business hours. On the other hand, social media marketing allows for permanent communication. A business is ready to react to assist customers with any issue they might be having or respond to customer feedback at any hour because social media doesn’t sleep. Nowadays, people are less likely to call up a company to complain/praise a company or request assistance because people don’t always have the time it takes to wait on hold or call during regular business hours. JetBlue, for example, is known for being extremely responsive to those who mention the brand on Twitter, whether their comments are positive or negative. JetBlue’s commitment includes 20 to 25 full- and part-time employees that are responsible for social and other customer-service tasks. Two or three staffers are always on call, and at least one person constantly monitors social channels in case a rapid response is required. Nike even has a separate Twitter handle, @NikeSupport, to handle customer service requests in the best way possible. Seamlessan online food ordering service, that serves customers in several time zones across the United States and in London offers customer service support 24 hours a day.

Twitter is one such social media channel where customers expect quick responses. As a result, you’ll likely want to respond to mentions and inquiries quickly. Many companies dedicate full-time employees to the task of responding to customers and potential customers on Twitter. Overall, I think the social media marketing approach is best for dealing with customer issues/requests that require immediate attention. However, a classic marketing approach would probably be best for dealing with more private matters that cannot be as easily solved via direct messaging on Twitter or private messaging on Facebook. 


Successful marketing campaigns should strive for a balance between classic and social media marketing. Utilizing both can maximum a company’s exposure. When you add social media marketing to a classic marketing approach, it helps businesses stay on the path of success. Customers don’t mind watching TV commercials when they have another outlet, such as Facebook or Twitter, to voice their opinions. Regardless of which traditional marketing channels you opt for, it’s always important to have a social media plan to satisfy your customers.





Tackling Multimedia Communication

I’m back for the summer semester and looking forward to blogging about my Introduction to Multimedia Communication class. In it, I’ll be introduced to the themes, issues and how to’s of an integrated approach to new multimedia communication. I’ll be exploring such topics as social media/multimedia writing and management and utilizing several mediums for integrated communication campaigns. I’m excited to learn how to utilize various communication methods to achieve the greatest possible benefit for businesses and customers alike.

I hope you’ll once again join me on this social media ride. Stay tuned for some awesome posts!




Second Life: It’s even more complicated than the first


For this week’s lecture on digital ethnography, we were asked to create a free account in Second Life (SL), a virtual community with almost 37 million residents. “Second Life offers a totally new experience for humans,” said SL’s creator, Philip Rosedale, in PBS’ Digital Nation documentary. And that’s exactly what SL was like for me — a totally new experience.

My Initial Reaction

I’m as far from a video gamer as they come. The closest I’ve come to regularly playing a video game was when I used to play the puzzle video game Chip’s Challenge on my first PC back in elementary school. But let me assure you that that did little to prepare me for SL.

Signing up for SL was pretty straightforward. I went to secondlife.com and signed up for a free account. I was asked to create a unique username for my avatar, so I chose “linnyz” because I didn’t feel comfortable using my actual name. It seems most people pick something other than their real name, so I wasn’t alone.

My Avatar

Once I was signed in to SL, I began creating my avatar. I had trouble deciding on an avatar because I wanted to present an integrated self, but none of the girls looked like me. Ultimately, I decided based off of which one’s outfit I liked best (such a girl thing to do, I know). I initially chose the avatar pictured left, but when I started the game and discovered that she was the “goth” one, I changed my avatar to the one pictured right because I felt it reflected my overall look/personality a bit more.

Goth Avatar Second Life                         Girly Avatar Second Life

When the game started, I was dropped off on an island surrounded by pirate ships. There were about four to five other people on there with me, but I couldn’t figure out what to do or how to interact with them. Before I was able to really orient myself with this new environment, I received my first chat from the residents on the island. In it, they were introducing themselves. One spoke Spanish and the other Portuguese, so I jumped in and said “Hello,” but the conversation ended there. Maybe it was because they didn’t speak English? I then tried flying over the ocean, and I have to admit, it was pretty cool because it gave me a sense of freedom. But after seeing minimal activity on the island, I chose another destination.

Chat Conversation 1 Second Life

My next destination was called “Hesperia Templemore”. It was dark, and there was weird rock music blaring in the background, so I tested out my avatar’s running skills and tried to find out where the music was coming from. I came across a deserted motel and a nearby bar. The bar was closed, but I was still able to enter through the side.

Motel and Second Life

I descended down the bar’s staircase, and at the bottom of it, I came across instruments and a notice that asked me to give a donation to “support live music in SL.” I opted not to donate and moved on to another destination.

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 7.34.08 PM                                  Support Live Music Second Life

My third destination was “Prehistorica: The Dawn Kingdom”. I was so confused by all the rules here, but fortunately, received help from a fellow resident named Eric who’s been playing the game for four years. He gave me a landmark called “Help Island Public”. I wasn’t quite sure what a landmark was, but it seemed like it was a tutorial, so I accepted it.

Helpful Resident 1 Second Life

Eager to find a destination with more people, I ended up selecting from among the editor’s picks because I figured they’d be more entertaining. I decided to check out “Rez Nightclub and Mall”. There was a live DJ playing original dance songs for a packed house, but, unfortunately, no one seemed friendly and I didn’t receive any welcoming chat messages.

Free Dance Club Second Life

Later, I ended up at Luskwood Lusk, another dance-type party. Here, the DJ was playing songs like “Material Girl” by Madonna and “Lovesong” by the Cure. Someone in the chat was looking for a fitted ladies top for her avatar, so one of the other residents sent her a suggestion. I’m still baffled by the fact that you can buy virtual clothes for your avatar.

Clothes and Second Life

I then chose to go to New Citizens Incorporated. Here, I tried to change my avatar’s appearance because I wanted it to look more like me. One of the female residents saw how much I was struggling and actually sent me a notecard containing instructions on how to change my avatar’s outfit.

Helpful Resident 2 Second Life Changing Appearance and Clothes and Second Life

 I tried following what she said, but ended up bald and without pants (eek!). So I undid my changes and tried changing her outfit again. Somehow, I managed to put her in a sexy school girl outfit. At this point, the avatar didn’t resemble me in the least. Well, at least, I tried.

Sexy Avatar and Second Life

For my final destination, I wanted to try Miami Beach since I’m from Miami, but, sadly, it was too full. Who knew virtual destinations could be at maximum capacity?! I have to admit, it felt kind of like not being on the VIP list for an exclusive party. Bummer!

Full Region and Second Life

My Take on SL

I found SL to be extremely confusing and wanted nothing more than to get out of this world. On the plus side, its residents were very friendly. Even still, I’ll take the real world and my real friends any day over SL.

The survey results are in: Facebook is still alive…for most!

At the end of last year, a study came out saying that Facebook was ‘dead and buried’ for teens in the U.K. Curious to find out whether Facebook was ‘dead and buried’ in the U.S., I created an electronic survey on SurveyMonkey to find out more about Facebook use among Americans of various ages. I used a snowball sample to arrive at my results and spread the word about it via social media. In total, 115 people responded to my survey; however, because I was using the free version of SurveyMonkey, I was only allowed to document 100 responses.

My Results

Gender and Age

Of those who responded to my survey, 73% were female and 27% were male. The majority of the people, 32%, fell into the 18-24 range. Those in the 25-34 were a close second, coming in at 28%, and the third highest group was the 45-54 range, coming in at 26%. Unfortunately, I did not receive responses from anyone under 17, which is likely because this group has deemed Facebook to be uncool, but also because I don’t interact with many teens. I also didn’t receive any responses from the 75 and up crowd, so it seems most grandparents don’t use Facebook.

What do you primarily use Facebook for?

As I suspected, the majority of people, 84%, use Facebook to keep in touch with friends and family. Five percent said they use it to keep up with current events and 4% for professional or networking reasons. No one selected the “to share articles” option. While I think many people use Facebook to share interesting articles they find, it’s not their primary reason for using the site.

Facebook Use Survey Question 3

About how often do you view or access Facebook?

Despite a drop in teen use, it seems that most Americans above 18 are still addicted to Facebook in some manner.  The majority, 81.82%, of my respondents admitted to logging on to Facebook multiple times a day. About 10% said that they log on once a day and about 4% a few times a week. Only three of the respondents said that they log on to Facebook less than a few times a week.

Facebook Use Survey Question 4

Have you ever deleted your Facebook account?

Seventy-eight percent said that they had never deleted their Facebook account, and 22% claimed to have deleted it at one point but later chose to reactivate it. No one ended up selecting the “yes, and I do not plan to reactivate it” or “I’ve never had a Facebook” responses, so it seems that the majority of Americans are still attached to their Facebook account.

Facebook Use Survey Question 5

Why did you delete your Facebook account?

I wanted to include this question to find out more about those people who have, at some point, deactivated their Facebook account. The majority of respondents who fell into this category said that Facebook took up too much of their time. This was followed by those who felt Facebook was boring/that they didn’t use it as much. Only one person claimed to have left Facebook because their parents/relatives joined, which has been cited as a top reason for the decline in teen use.

Facebook Use Survey Question 6

What do you like most/least about Facebook?

This was my only free-response question. While it was the hardest to quantify, I felt it was necessary to include it.

What people tend to like most

  • It’s not just pictures; it’s articles, videos, peoples’ opinions all in one.
  • Being able to see what friends and family are up to without having to pick up the phone and call every week.
  • It keeps them up to date on current events.
  • It’s innovative and changes with the times.
  • Posting pictures

What people tend to like least

  • Lack of privacy
  • Facebook ads cluttering their newsfeed
  • Constant updates to the platform
  • When people post obnoxious things or complain

Please rank the following social media networks in order of preference: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+

The results in order of most to least popular are: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Google+. My prediction is that, in the coming years, Google+ will make top three.

Facebook Use Survey Question 8

Since last year, how has your Facebook activity changed?

Fifty-one percent said that they access Facebook about the same as they did last year, 25% more than they did last year and 23% less than they did last year. The fact that most people are accessing it about the same as they did last year means that the social media network may have already reached its peak. The fact that 1/4 of the respondents access it more than they did last year may be a result of the fact that many of those who took my survey are social media masters students and likely access Facebook for work.

Facebook Use Survey Question 8

How strongly do you agree or disagree with the statement ‘Facebook is dead and buried’?

Most still consider Facebook to be going strong, as 49% strongly disagree with this statement. Twenty-nine percent somewhat disagree, 15% are neutral about this statement, 6% somewhat agree and only 1% strongly disagree.

Facebook Use Survey Question 9

What I could’ve done differently

  • While my survey was able to show Facebook use among Americans overall, the free version of SurveyMonkey made it difficult for me to look specifically at which age groups were more active than others. Perhaps I could’ve found a way around this by selecting a purposive sample instead of opening up my survey to the general population.
  • If time had permitted, I would’ve found a way to seek out teens to take my survey.
  • By posting my survey on Facebook, I was automatically attracting regular Facebook users. Those who have a Facebook but rarely log on likely didn’t see my survey, and therefore did not take it.
  •  I would’ve added the following four answer choices to the question that asked why people deleted their Facebook: “I deleted it while applying for jobs/school”, “Too much drama,” “I had privacy concerns,” “I kept comparing my life to my Facebook friends’ lives.” I think having these answer choices would’ve provided me with more accurate results.
  • While I enjoyed having a free-response question, it was difficult to quantify the results for this. Instead of answering what they like most and least about Facebook, many people only answered part of the question. Next time, I’d ask it as two separate questions.