Author Archives: darleenr

USPS Wows AT 2015 Consumer Electronics Show

Displaying the power of mail

 

Will it surprise you to learn the Postal Service was one of the hits at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show?

 

CES brings technology enthusiasts and business leaders to Las Vegas to see the latest gadgets, including some that won’t hit the market for months. The 2015 show was the largest in history, drawing 150,000 attendees and more than 3,600 exhibitors.

 

USPS was one of the most popular exhibitors. Each day, hundreds of potential customers visited our booth to ship their purchases — and to learn about the power of mail.

 

For example, our display featured a station dedicated to digitally enhanced mail, which uses QR codes and other technology to bring traditional mailpieces to life.

 

Attendees could also play a memory game using Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express boxes and have their picture taken at our state-of-the-art photo booth, where they could create ready-made postcards using famous Las Vegas landmarks as a backdrop.

 

No less an authority than Time.com  identified the Postal Service’s booth as one of the “most eye-catching.” The site described it as “a booth with a tasteful, boxy design, which perfectly captures the essence of packaging and shipping.”

 

Hey, we couldn’t have said it better ourselves! Check out some of the booth photos below:

USPS Educates Consumers at Consumer Electronics Show 2015

USPS Educates Consumers at Consumer Electronics Show 2015

 

 

 

USPS Priority Mail Game Show

USPS Priority Mail Game Show

 

 

 

 

USPS at CES 2015

USPS at CES 2015

2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 580 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 10 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CEI) at the University of Florida

Big Ideas & Bold Confidence

Grown at The Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation

 

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 Evaluation

The Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CEI) at the University of Florida (UF) is one of the first specialized entrepreneurship degree programs of its kind. CEI offers the nation’s most comprehensive specialized master’s degree focused on entrepreneurship, with the Thomas S. Johnson Program. In one year students will earn a Master’s of Science Degree with a major in entrepreneurship. Students will learn entrepreneurial theory and practice which they can apply to real-life, real-time consulting for a small business, or for the creation of their own.

The center also offers a Veterans Entrepreneur Program (VEP) a college entrepreneurship program that mirrors the master’s program designed to help disabled veterans. VEP is intended for veterans interested in starting a new venture as a means to financial independence and for veterans who have an existing business for which they would like to increase profits.

Students attending either program will learn to think and approach challenges with an entrepreneurial mindset and learn how to channel that energy for success!

Target Audience

Budding entrepreneurs or individuals seeking to improve the business they currently own or work at, using an “entrepreneurial approach”. Students currently attending the University of Florida or another university who seek something other than a traditional degree program. Students and individuals who have decided that entrepreneurship is the path they wish to follow.

S-W-O-T

SWOT

The strength of the program, first and foremost is that it is part of the University of Florida, which in 2013, was designated as the 14th best public university in the United States by News & World Report.

Strengths

A unique and innovative program–The Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CEI) at the Warrington College of Business Administration, at the University of Florida offers the nation’s most comprehensive specialized degree program in entrepreneurship.

The greatest strength for VEP is that it is free for Veterans who are selected for the program! Costs are underwritten by the sponsors and private donors with operation and program development provided by the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, and the University of Florida.

Value Proposition to Potential Students: In addition to an excellent education, from graduation day on students will be ready to start their own business.

The Prestige of a MSE degree from the University of Florida.

GatorNest: GatorNest, students are able to engage their analytical and creative skills and apply them in unscripted situations, ultimately enhancing the learning process while creating value-added solutions to problems facing early-stage ventures.

Map Your Start Up APP: http://mapyourstartup.co/home/index  App that allows students to see other student’s entrepreneur endeavors. The App solidifies results of the program.

Tuition Assistance: The program partners with other in-state and certain southeastern colleges to help offset the cost of tuition.

University of Florida has student financial programs open to all students http://warrington.ufl.edu/graduate/academics/mse/financial.asp#SREB

Opportunities

The school is going to be launching on-line classes in the spring of 2015, presenting an excellent opportunity to open up the program to students everywhere.

There is plenty of room to grow the social media presence of the program from its current state to one that will greatly improve its Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

The Branding of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation

There are some basic questions that must be asked and answered in order to define the “brand” of “The Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.” Taking a cue from Forbes contributor Kate Kiefer Lee, from her 2012 article describing how to define a brands voice will be the first important step we take to connect with potential students.

I suggest we begin there, by asking basic questions regarding the “brand” of the center. Once we identify the answers we can use the findings as the basis for creating content which can be repurposed and used across all social media platforms to reach a larger audience.

Specific Recommendations for CEI’s New & Improved IMC Approach

Clear the Fog — There needs to be a clearer delineation between the school and the program offerings. The logo being used by Warrington is too similar to the WordPress logo and I suggest it be re-branded or updated. I am suggesting the tag line “Big Ideas & Bold Confidence” be utilized throughout all promotional materials and across all social media platforms.

An Investment

Much more attention and man-hours needs to be invested to grow your on-line community. Currently across all existing social media platforms, Facebook, Twitter and the Blog the program is falling short.

Here is a simple solution: Implement a three-month intern type rotation of UF students who are enrolled in the social media master’s program to work as social media managers. The students will gain real-life experience for their resumes, while the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation will gain consistent content and professional quality engagement without the costs associated with hiring a seasoned social media company. Employ at least three social media students per rotation in order to improve content and gain consistency.

Expand social media platforms to include LinkedIn, Pinterest and Goggle+. Incorporate a scheduling tool such as Hootsuite to plan content more uniformly. Use Hootsuite Analytics to identify top performing content, best time of day to post, demographics, etc. Test new content across all social media platforms. Mix new “test” content amongst uniform, generic informational posts. Include Infographics, polls, calls to action and contests.

Finally as much as possible the school needs to be as mobile user-friendly as possible. Therefore any content that can be mobilized should be.

 

Resources

http://www.forbes.com/sites/katelee/2012/11/20/10-questions-to-help-you-find-your-brands-voice/

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jaysondemers/2013/05/23/the-3-pillars-of-seo-in-2013-content-links-and-social-media/

Data Driven Strategies for Increasing Engagement

This post as with most of the content on (DarleenLove4Learning) is for the purposes of fulfilling a college assignment.

ABC

The ABC Company, based in Central Florida is a health-oriented business that is very much engaged with social media, along with a Facebook page, ABC has a Twitter account, Pinterest page and YouTube Channel. ABC sends out a bi-weekly e-newsletter and utilizes an email marketing service for its distribution. Like any company ABC wants to increase business and reach more customers. As a social media consultant I have been hired to help them analyze their social media efforts. My scope of work will include a review of ABC’s Facebook Analytics along with the results of an email e-newsletter distribution. Based on that data I will make recommendations on how ABC should move forward with a total IMC plan for more engagement.

The two data sources include ABC’s Facebook Analytics and ABC’s Bronto results from an email newsletter sent out on May 21, 2013.

How to Use the Data

Facebook Insights allows businesses and marketers a snap shot into the how well their content is working, who is looking at it, where they are located, even how old they are. Using this data a social media manager can identify areas of improvement and pinpoint what content is driving engagement.

Engagement data can be harvested from many other sources one being, email marketing sites such as Bronto. Bronto provides statistics on how your customers engaged with your latest email blast or email campaign. Most email marketing sites provide reporting as part of the total service package. There are many email marketing firms available and for those interested in going that route as part of an overall marketing mix, I have included reviews of the top ten email marketing firms.

Great Facebook Possibilities—For ABC

Engagement

Between the period of May 7th and June 2nd ABC had 880 likes, up 0.69%, there also was a total possible reach, based on these likes of 340,325 friends of fans, giving ABC the ability to reach a much larger audience.

During this period ABC was posting at least once a day and on some days they posted more than once. The post with the highest engagement was regarding a Group Fit event that reached 509, engaged 13 and had 4 people talking about it. This post went viral at a rate of 1.96%!

ABC’s June 2nd post enjoyed an even higher virality rate of 4.29%, this post recognized National Cancer Survivors Day occurs on that date. This is an excellent example of the type of content their community is looking for and content that is relevant to friends and fans of more than just immediate followers.

Overall people talking about ABC is down by a little over 50% drawing me to the conclusion that content should target a larger community interested in health and wellness. Content that would entice the community to share with family, friends and fans in an effort to reach that larger population of 340,325.

Demographics Worth Noting

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The ABC community is 60.3% female between the ages of 25 to 34. However we don’t want to overlook the male population which is represented by a little over 38%. The majority of ABC’s followers are from Orlando Florida or the state of Florida who speak English. Spanish is the next language present amongst the community therefore it may be worth considering posting content in both languages to test its engagement.

Organic reach from the community appears flat no matter how you look at it. But page views are all over the place, lots of dips and spikes. The only way to describe it is inconsistent. So I recommend ABC takes a closer look at the content that caused the peaks and recreate and retool similar content with more consistency. Perhaps using Hootsuite for scheduling although it’s not clear if they are using a dashboard tool to post content or not.

My recommendation for ABC’s Social Media efforts include the following:

Include Social Sharing buttons wherever possible.

Create a content calendar at least thirty days out.

Include relative health related special days or memorials to engage organic community and reach fans and friends.

Repurpose Facebook content across Twitter and Pinterest.

Repurpose YouTube videos on Facebook to include links or bitly links on Twitter.

Use more images, by the content of the posts listed it does not appear that ABC is using images. Therefore I would recommend including images in most posts. Any image that is used on Facebook or Twitter should also be posted on Pinterest to build up ABC’s gallery.

I also recommend using Infographics that pertain to health and wellness.

Include lists and polls to engage and grow the community.

Bronto Email Campaign

According to silverpop.com the average open rate of an email marketing campaign is 18%. ABC’s Bronto stats reflect and average open rate of 25.4 %, so in the case of email marketing ABC is doing well. However we need work on click rates and conversions.

Email

My recommendation for Email marketing includes the following:

Continue to promote the e-newsletter via Bronto.

Include a link to the e-newsletter across all social media platforms.

Include a call to action with a reward, or coupon to get people to click-through or to conversion.

Ensure the email marketing template is mobile friendly.

Include a QR code that leads readers back to your social media platform.

Retool the e-newsletter content and start a website.

Ensure email campaign runs parallel to all social media platform, same message, same logo, and same theme.

Conclusion: ABC has a great foundation for improvement. By using a content calendar, repeating high engagement content and introducing new content over time, we should see better results. ABC should designate a social media specialist to monitor and listen to all social media channels via either a dashboard type site or manually. ABC need to cross promote all their social media channels on every piece of content they send out. It is assumed that ABC currently does not incorporate social sharing buttons therefore that will be first on my list of recommendations. The good news ABC has a great potential to grow their community as demonstrated by the sheer reach of the organic followers.

 

Resources

https://www.facebook.com/help/

http://email-marketing-service-review.toptenreviews.com/

http://www.silverpop.com/Documents/Whitepapers/2013/WP_EmailMarketingMetricsBenchmarkStudy2013.pdf

Your Opinion Is Important To Us!

This week’s assignment calls for a response to both a negative and positive tripadvisor post

Each student must respond as if they were the Social Media Manager in charge of Public Relations for a hotel, the Hyatt Regency of Orlando Florida and the Hilton of Fort Lauderdale, respectively. For those who may not be familiar with tripadvisor, it claims to be the worlds, largest travel community. Tripadvisor receives more than 260 million monthly visitors, 60 million members, boasts over 150 million reviews and opinions in 26 languages, made available to both the consumer and business owner. As a consumer one can use tripadvisor to see reviews from other travelers on hotels, travel packages, restaurants and “best of’s” in numerous categories. It’s a site worth checking before you travel for sure! For a business owner, and in this scenario, a hotel manager, how you respond to reviews about your establishment can make all the difference. A carefully crafted response can influence return visits, prospective customers and ultimately a choice to book-or-not-to-book with your hotel.

According to tripadvisor responding to positive and negative reviews clearly demonstrates to both former and prospective guests that you are interested in their feedback and take customer service seriously. mgmtresponseguide_1_2_0

In a December 2013 survey, 77% of respondents said that seeing a hotel management response makes them believe that the hotel cares more about its guests. Over half of the survey respondents also said that seeing a management response generally makes them more likely to book, versus a comparable hotel that did not respond to travelers.

For Study Purposes Only—This is Not an Actual Review or Response from Hotel Management

Hyatt Regency, Orlando Florida

On behalf of the Hyatt Regency of Orlando Florida, let me be the first to thank you for returning to our hotel. I would also like to thank you for taking the time to review our hotel as your comments reflect how pleased you were with your stay. Our pledge to Hyatt Regency guests is to offer the very best of both worlds from business travel to tourism, to that end, we are so pleased you decided to come back and this time, with your family.

You may not be surprised to learn the Hyatt Regency of Florida earned a Certificate of Excellence in 2014 by Trip Advisor and the prestigious 4 Diamond Award by AAA. Awards, along with guests reviews like the one you kindly provided demonstrate we are getting it right!

Compliments to the Chef’s

We are equally pleased that you enjoyed the dining at our facility. I will be sure to pass along to Corey Crawford the Chef at the B-Line, how happy you were with the light bite and desert you described as scrumptious. We are proud of the B-line and take pride in the high energy, prompt service, and fine food we make available to our guest 24 hours a day. I see you also took the time to tell us your family enjoyed the Fiorenzo Italian Steakhouse. Chef, James Stafford will be thrilled to add your review to the over 110 existing reviews that rate his restaurant as “better than excellent” on Trip Advisor.

The next time you and your family return to Orlando we would love for you to consider staying with us again. Please feel free to contact me personally at (407)-284-1234, to discuss making your next stay with us even more pleasurable than the last.

Until then don’t forget to follow us @HyattOrlando on Twitter, visit our Facebook page, and view our Pinterest page to bring back some special memories. Remember to check the Hyatt website for specials and discounts too! Thank you again for providing your valuable review on tripadvisor of the Hyatt, Orlando and we look forward to seeing you and your family again.

Sincerely,

Mark S. Hoplamazian

President & Chief Executive Officer

Hilton-example-2014 Hilton, Fort Lauderdale

On behalf of the Hilton, Fort Lauderdale and Hilton Hotels & Resorts, I would like to extend our professional apologies to you and your husband as it is obvious by your comments we failed to meet your expectations during your recent stay at our property. Each one of your concerns will be addressed with the management and the staff of the hotel to create a better experience for guests going forward.

As the most recognized name in the industry, Hilton Hotels & Resorts stands as the stylish, forward thinking global leader of hospitality. With over 92 years of experience, Hilton continues to be synonymous with “hotel” because of our innovative approach to products, amenities and service. We apologize this, was not your experience.

You might be interested to know that we are currently refurbishing all the rooms at the Fort Lauderdale property which, when finished, will include renovated bathrooms, modern walk-in style showers and fashion forward furnishings throughout. It is our hope that if you ever return to Fort Lauderdale you consider staying with us one more time to enjoy the improvements.

Your return will provide the Hilton, Fort Lauderdale an opportunity to show you and your husband how much we have perfected our facility. Please contact me directly at 1-(954)-463-4000 if you decide to give us another try. I will personally see to it that your stay will be a true Hilton Hotel & Resort experience. Please know that every guest and every stay is important to us.

Thank you for reviewing your stay at the Hilton Fort Lauderdale.

Sincerely,

Christopher J. Nassetta

President & Chief Executive Officer

This was a fun assignment and an eye opener too! I learned a lot about both hotels and may even stay at one of them when I come to Florida when I graduate! There is a discernable difference between the two hotel websites and one stands out as more progressive than the other. My takeaway—even if you have an established social media presence, or reputation for having excellent customer service, unless you continually focus on keeping your content, your service and your relationships on track, they could easily slip away.

very satisfied

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