Monthly Archives: October 2013

Event Marketing and Social Media


All of the major social media channels are utilized by the International Spa Association. The ISPA posted a range of content on its Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest and blog platform prior to the International SPA Association 2013 Conference & Expo, during the event and a bit after the event. I could see the semblance of a strategy being utilized prior to the event to get people excited about attending. Blogs were written and photos were posted that focused on packing, arriving and setting up the event.

During the event, only Facebook, Twitter and Instagram were utilized. This is typical behavior because they are the platforms that can be posted to easily while on the expo floor. After the expo ended, there was little in the way of wrap up content.


Prior to the show, the ISPA made a lot of Facebook posts. It started even prior to the month of October. It was promoting booth numbers, conference guide, expo app etc. Within a week of the event blog posts were being promoted, Instagram photos were being shared, registration information highlighted and of course ticket promotions. There was only one sponsor message that I saw and it was made weeks prior to the event.

The ISPA shared a ton of information during the expo and I almost felt it was too much. A lot of its updates could’ve been consolidated or been used only on Twitter. Facebook isn’t a platform where people want to see a lot of posts in one day and it went overboard. There were 13 posts the first day. I think there was a lack of strategy for Facebook and the ISPA felt it had to post everything on this platform. The type of posts it was making centered on events they were hosting at the expo, silent auction information and award recipients.

Spa-6After the expo ended, the ISPA used Facebook to post a few wrap up messages. A few different tactics were utilized. One message focused on wishing people safe travels and it received the most comments post event. Another great post encouraged attendees to continue talking about the expo on Instagram using the event hashtag. Asking for engagement usually provides better results. It also thanked its sponsors with a general message.

My biggest complaint would be the lack of images. The only images being used were those fed in through Instagram. All of the other posts were texts and links and that is all very boring. That doesn’t spark engagement or draw attention. Photo galleries could’ve been created from events and booths that were participating in the expo. Those photos would’ve been shared by the companies featured for additional promotion. Hashtags were also only used through half of the posts. It wasn’t very consistent with the messaging.


Spa-7The messages being pushed out on Twitter were the same as Facebook. ISPA must’ve linked the two. The only addition to Twitter was retweets throughout each day. It did a great job of interacting that way. The posts consisted of event information, asking questions and promoting award winners. The only way a booth was promoted was through a retweet.

Prior to the expo, there were ticket messages, photos from Instagram and a lot of see your soon messages. I think reaching out to attendees was a real strength to get them excited to attend the expo and encourage them to spread the message.

The ISPA kept up the same tactic during the event. It utilized the hashtag consistently and asked questions. I wish there would’ve been more product and booth promotion. I’m not sure the companies that had booths got much out of the ISPA’s promotions, other than a few retweets.

After the event a few tweets were sent out by the ISPA. They were consistent with the messages also going up on Facebook. Hashtags were prominent to help continue to drive impressions around the event as it wrapped up.


The ISPA utilized Instagram well. Prior to the show it focused on event planning, packing and set up. The pre-show photos received a lot more interaction than anything during the show. It was a great way to get attendees excited for what lied ahead. A big positive was it utilized the conference hashtag in each post and set it up so the photos automatically posted to Facebook and Twitter.


I don’t think this platform was utilized very well during the show. Booths and products could’ve been highlighted in a way to send traffic to that booth. Most of what it focused on during the show was the silent auction, exercising and a final night party. Its offerings were slim and the content it had at its fingertips during the conference wasn’t utilized. A big opportunity was missed to urge others to use the same hashtag and share attendee photos. Also nothing has been posted since the show.


Spa-3I felt the ISPA utilized its blog in a fun way before the show. It created two posts that focused on what to pack for the expo. This was great content that was promoted through most of its other social platforms. A week before the event, no other content was posted. I understand it would be hard to write a blog while busy at the event but posts could’ve been preplanned or it could’ve asked for guest bloggers to contribute.


spa-5The ISPA’s Pinterest page hasn’t received much attention in regard to the Expo that was taking place. Two videos and two blogs were pinned to its page prior to the event but that was it. I don’t know that Pinterest is an easy platform to utilize for a live event but there could’ve been a few more ideas utilized. They could’ve pinned images of the resort where the expo was taking place or pinned the products being showcased at the expo. A bit more attention should be paid to this space moving forward.


When it comes to YouTube, ISPA isn’t doing much of anything. There was one video prior to the show that could be considered event promotion. It was a chairman’s update. It would’ve been very hard for ISPA to film videos at the conference, edit them and get them posted to YouTube. Maybe it utilized this year’s expo to gather new video feature content that it can use heading into 2014 and promoting the next expo.


In regard to integrated marketing communications, the ISPA carried consistent images and messaging across its social media platforms, website and blog. I found the magazine it creates called Pulse and an Exposure Guide that was an extension of its expo campaigns, contributing to IMC.

It maintained consistent images and messaging through social media by tying the platforms together. All Instagram images were pushed to Twitter and Facebook. The posts made to Facebook and Twitter were the same and most likely were only being made once but pushed to both platforms.

It also doesn’t do a great job of promoting other social media platforms from each other. The only platform I saw promoted from another area of social media was Instagram.


The highlight for me from all the posts was the way the ISPA promoted its initial planning blog posts throughout its social media platforms. It took its blog content and utilized it on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest. It was content that attendees could benefit from.



Content Creation for Disney’s Animal Kingdom

If I worked on Disney’s Animal Kingdom social media accounts, here are the type of posts I’d plan out for the month of December. My goal would be to continue to grow social media engagement during a time when people are overwhelmed and consumed by the holidays.

(If a photo is present it will be applied to both Facebook and Twitter.)

Sunday, December 1sr

mickeys-jingle-jungle-parade-00Facebook – Celebrate the Season – and Go Wild with Mickey’s Jingle Jungle Parade. This parade runs all month long at 3:45 p.m. each day. Let us put a little magic into your holiday season.

Twitter – Tis the season for Mickey’s Jingle Jungle Parade. Don’t miss out at 3:45 pm each day. #AnimalKingdom #MickeyClaus

maasai-mara-kenya-lion-yawn-2-bigMonday, December 2nd

Facebook – Do you have a case of the Mondays? It would be going a lot better if you were at Animal Kingdom. #NapTime #AnimalKingdom

Twitter – Our lion has a case of the Mondays too. #Rawr

Tuesday, December 3rd

maharajah-jungle-trek-00Facebook – It’s time for Trivia Tuesday! What animal do you think Disney Imagineers took to a meeting with executives to reassure them of the up-close excitement that was being designed for Animal Kingdom? #TriviaTuesday

Twitter – What animal was used to bring excitement to a meeting about building Animal Kingdom? Tweet us your answer. #TriviaTuesday #AnimalKingdom

Wednesday, December 4th

Disney-500-acre-Animal-Kingdom-Theme-Park-attractions-map-offering-Disneys-Fastpass-Service-Primeval-Whirl-Kilimanjaro-Safaris-DINOSAUR-Kali-River-Rapids-Expedition-EverestFacebook – Are you visiting the Animal Kingdom soon? Pre-plan your way around the park with this interactive map.

Twitter – Here’s the tool for you to pre-plan your trip around #AnimalKingdom.

Thursday, December 5th

Facebook – Throwback Thursday! Don’t you just love this baby elephant video from 1998. #TBT

Twitter – Who can resist baby animals? Throwback Thursday is dedicated to this baby elephant from 1998. #TBT #AnimalKingdom

Friday, December 6th

dino-sue-00Facebook – Let your voice be heard. Tell us your favorite Animal Kingdom attraction in the comments below. #FridayFavs

Twitter – We want to know your favorite Animal Kingdom attraction. Tweet us back for a chance to be retweeted. #FridayFavs #AnimalKingdom

Saturday, December 7th

kilimanjaro-safaris-00Facebook – It’s a sunny day here at Animal Kingdom. Hit like if you wish you were here.

Twitter – Lots of activity happening at Animal Kingdom today. Share your photos and we’ll retweet the best. #AnimalKingdom #GreatWeekend

fe7fd34f2279dcd14373a86f5d3a3020Sunday, December 8th

Facebook – Here’s your motto for today. #KeepCalm #AnimalKingdom

Twitter – Retweet if this is your motto for today. #KeepCalm #AnimalKingdom

Monday, December 9th

its-tough-to-be-a-bug-00Facebook – Heading to Animal Kindgom this week? Learn how the FastPass+ works to save you some time and get you on all the rides you’re looking forward to.

Twitter – All you need to know and more about the FastPass+. Put one to use this week at #AnimalKingdom

Tuesday, December 10th

ak-overviewFacebook – It’s time again for Trivia Tuesday! It took how many years to turn an old cow pasture into Animal Kingdom? For a whopping $800 million dollars, it only took three years. #TriviaTuesday

Twitter – How many years did it take to build #AnimalKingdom? Let us know your answer for #TriviaTuesday.

7a44e6c30bd0392ce31494389122704d copyWednesday, December 11th

Facebook – These nails would look good on any attraction while at Animal kingdom. Anyone want to attempt these?

Twitter – Amazing #NailArt that would look great for your Animal Kingdom visit.

Thursday, December 12th

Facebook – Throwback Thurday! Let’s look back at a time lapse of what it took to build the Tree of Life. #AnimalKingdom #TBT

Twitter – Throwback Thursday! The Tree of Life comes to life in this awesome time lapse video. #AnimalKingdom #TBT

Friday, December 13th

pangani-forest-exploration-trail-00Facebook – Do you have a favorite animal you like to see when visiting Animal Kingdom? Let us know in the comments below. #FridayFavs

Twitter – For #FridayFavs tweet us your favorite animal at Animal Kingdom. Best ones get retweeted.

Saturday, December 14th

Facebook – If you’ve not been to Animal Kingdom watch this video to experience Expedition Everest. If you have ridden the ride, then relive the thrill.

Twitter – Feel the thrill of Expedition Everest. #AnimalKingdom

15ddd1a8e808e7af4577b528e1b2c36cSunday, December 15th

Facebook – Like this post if you LOVE Disney’s Animal Kingdom. #ILoveAnimalKingdom

Twitter – Everybody loves Disney’s Animal Kindgom. Retweet to show us some of that love. #ILoveAnimalKingdom

Monday, December 16th

Facebook – Go behind-the-scenes at Animal Kingdom with this video of one of the gorillas visiting the hospital.

Twitter – Our gorilla takes a trip to the hospital. Watch and see. #AnimalKingdom

Tuesday, December 17th

affection-section-00Facebook – You know what day it is. It’s Trivia Tuesday! Approximately 1,000 animals live in Animal Kingdom, and more than 150 species have reproduced since the parks opening. #TriviaTuesday

Twitter – #TriviaTuesday is here again. How many animals live in #AnimalKingdom. We’ll let you know who has the closest guess.

Wednesday, December 18th

rainforest-cafe-animal-kingdom-00Facebook – Food is a theme park. Find out where you should be eating at Animal Kingdom long before you get here. #FeedMe

Twitter – Who’s hungry? Find out what food is the best at Animal Kingdom. Let us know if you agree. #FeedMe #AnimalKingdom

Thursday, December 19th

dak029838LARGEFacebook – Throwback Thursday! Animal Kingdom was opened on Earth Day on April 22, 1998. Here’s a photo from the opening celebration. #TBT

Twitter – Throwback Thursday! Do you remember what year Animal Kingdom opened? It was Earth Day in 1998. #TBT

Friday, December 20th

flame-tree-barbecue-00Facebook – Walking around Animal Kingdom all day can wear you out. Where do you like to stop and fuel up while in the park? Let us know in the comments below. #FridayFavs

Twitter – A theme park can wear you out but Animal Kingdom has great dining options for you to refuel. Which is your favorite? #FridayFavs

Saturday, December 21st

Facebook – You can’t resist an adorable baby giraffe video. Hit like if you think he’s cute.

Twitter – Everybody needs a baby giraffe in their life. Check out this adorableness.

8cf36cc267d3fb79a32b37cdee03fe31Sunday, December 22nd

Facebook – We want to give you a HAND for being such great fans of Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Twitter – We are giving YOU our followers a hand for being the best. #BestFansEver

Monday, December 23rd

Facebook -Every little kid and some adults too, dream of being a Wilderness Explorer.

Twitter – A kid’s view of Animal Kingdom.

Tuesday, December 24th

wild-africa-trek-04Facebook – Trivia Tuesday! Ever wondered where all of your recycled containers go at Disney?  Well, quite a few milk jugs ended up in Animal Kingdom.  Through Disney’s “green” efforts, the benches in the park are made of the recycled material. Next time you take a seat at #AnimalKingdom. Think about what you’re sitting on. #TriviaTuesday

Twitter – Benches made out of recycled material. That’s what Disney and Animal Kingdom do best. #GoGreen #TriviaTuesday

Wednesday, December 25th

photopass-01Facebook – Make sure you leave Animal Kingdom with memories that will last a lifetime. Find out what our Photo Pass has to offer.

Twitter – Make memories that last a lifetime at Animal Kingdom. We’re here to help with Photo Pass

Thursday, December 26th

avatarkingdom_boats1998ww-500x332Facebook – Throwback Thursday! When Animal Kingdom first opened there was a River Boat ride. Due to technical issue it only stayed open a year. Take a look back at the ride and the issue it faced. #TBT

Twitter – Throwback Thursday! There’s a ride at Animal Kingdom that only lasted a year. Read more about it for #TBT.

Friday, December 27th

festival-of-the-lion-king-gallery00Facebook – The Animal Kingdom has great shows. Which one would you pick as your favorite? #FridayFavs

Twitter – Have you seen the shows at Animal Kingdom? Tell us your favorite and we’ll retweet the best. #FridayFavs

ca5a389c1dba307aa31f502c21fad34cSaturday, December 28th

Facebook – Only four days until New Year’s Eve. Why not enjoy one more thrill in 2013 by riding Expedition Everest. #AnimalKingdom #HappyNewYear

Twitter – End your 2013 in style by riding Expedition Everest at #AnimalKingdom #HappyNewYear


Sunday, December 29th

Facebook – Good morning. We hope you have a bright and sunny day whether you are visiting Animal Kingdom or not.

Twitter – Rise and shine tweeters. We hope you have a bright and sunny day whether you are visiting Animal Kingdom or not.

409f0f3ae5451a0e61d8cbd2a49214c7Monday, December 30th

Facebook – Like this post if you plan on visiting Animal Kingdom in 2014. Share this post if it’ll be your first visit to the park. #1stTimer

Twitter – We hope your New Year’s Resolution includes visiting Animal Kingdom. Let us know if you will make 1st visit in 2014 #1stTimer #AnimalKingdom

Tuesday, December 31st

mickeys-jingle-jungle-parade-00Facebook – Today is the last day of 2013 but there are two more days to take part in Mickey’s Jingle Jungle Parade. Don’t miss out.

Twitter – Only two chances left to watch the Mickey’s Jingle Jungle Parade. You don’t want to miss it.

(Photo credit to

Brands can Soar to New Heights with CafeMom


In 2011, listed CafeMom as one of 50 Websites That Make the Web Great and said, “According to CafeMom, the ‘Café’ in its name stands for conversation, advice, friendship and entertainment. That may be (an acronym), but it’s also a good summary of the site’s appeal. Most of what goes on here focuses on the conversation, advice and friendship part: moms helping moms using features such as a Q&A service and thousands of discussion groups on everything from money and finances to religion and spirituality.”

CafeMom is a very diverse social platform that can be categorized in several different ways. It has features which make it a social network because users can create profiles and build a network of friendship similar to Facebook. Dr. Michael Wu said in Content vs. Social Network, “In a social network, people are held together by pre-established interpersonal relationships, such as kinship, friendship, classmates, colleagues, business partners, etc.”

A content community is a platform that has users coming together for a common interest. That interest for CafeMom would be parenting. “Clearly people join the community because they care about this common interest that glues the community members together,” Wu said. “Some stay because they felt the urge to contribute to the cause; others come because they can benefit from being part of the community.” There’s content being created by the network and by the community. It all relates back to the common theme of mom but can be segmented out into many different areas.

This article title on says it best, ‘Content’ or ‘Community’? People Come For Content And Stay For Community Online. That’s probably how CafeMom pulls in a lot of its users. They find the content being produced on the site and once they get there, the community keeps them coming back. Vanessa DiMauro went on to say in the article, “Content is important because it attracts new users to visit the community and inspires them to join. They see a piece of content they would like to have, they see topics that are of particular interest to them, or they spot a discussion that makes them feel like they have found a peer group.”



CafeMom was formed in 2006 by Michael Sanchez and Andrew Shue. According to, CafeMom started with blogs, articles and message boards. An affiliate sponsor program for user product reviews has been in place since the beginning. In the past seven years, CafeMom has blossomed into an all-inclusive mom community. Its family of properties now includes Mamá, and

Who is using CafeMom and how often?

It’s no secret, CafeMom is targeted at mothers and mothers-to-be. Mothers come in all shapes, sizes and ages.’s About section states that it receives 20MM users every month across all of its properties. The Huffington Post reported in May 2013 that the site receives more than eight million unique visitors a month to

The obvious growth has been in the platforms CafeMom continues to launch. In January 2012, CafeMom went after the Latina community by launching MamásLatinas, a bilingual website to serve Hispanic mothers. The most recent addition was The Prowl, a social shopping destination, in August 2013.

Heather Huhman in a Huffington Post article said the following, “It has raised a total of $17 million in venture funding, and is valued at over $150 million. Keep your eye on this startup as it continues to impact the way mothers keep in touch.”

What CafeMom has to offer

CafeMomSTirThe social networking side of CafeMom allows users to create profile pages which are as elaborate as a user would like them to be. There are options to add friends along the way and join specific groups. Private messaging and an instant messaging system can be used to communicate within the platform. A user’s activity is easily tracked so they can quickly return to certain posts and keep up with the conversation.

CafeMom’s community boards are an area where moms post questions and comments and other moms respond. There are topic groups for everything you can imagine: kids, recipes, sex, cleaning, entertaining and a whole lot more. There are communities you can join for the month and year your baby was born. This allows a mom to connect with other moms who have children at the same stage in life.

There’s an events and giveaways area where contests are run by brands to win prizes. An advice area offers up topics which start with pregnancy and go all the way through teens. Along with the content in this area comes real mom advice.

According to Mashable’s article 6 Valuable Social Networks for Parents, there’s a bit of game mechanics in CafeMom. Points are awarded for asking questions, replying to others as well as the option to give points out to those who respond to you. As points are earned, the user’s level increases and badges are earned.

CafeMomVideosCafeMom Studios is the video portion of the site. There are more than 25 different shows which range from topics of beauty, healthy living, holidays, home and parenting. New videos for each show are added frequently. The hosts have a wide range of talents and include doctors, mommy bloggers and a reality TV celebrity.

CafeMom has added a few other platforms to its family. The Stir is a very active news area where articles are posted daily about hot topics which can range from anything about parenting to celebrities and politics. MamásLatinas was an area developed for Hispanic moms so they can connect in their native language of Spanish as well as consume content specific to them. Brands can specifically target this area, assuming the area fits their market.

An influencer program is offered on CafeMom. The site finds influential moms and recommends them to brands to complete product reviews, which are then featured on CafeMom. There’s no way to specifically sign up. Moms are targeted based on writing ability and being an influencer on the site. The key to getting picked is to be active on the community, write well, show interest in topics related to advertisers and be patient. Moms are not paid for the reviews but they do receive free products to test.

“Moms can sniff bullshit a mile away,” says Sanchez to when explaining why using mom reviews to promote advertisers’ products work. “We tell advertisers what’s going to work with moms. And if a mom writes a bad review, it’s ok.  If some of the moms don’t like it, chances are someone else will jump in and defend the product. It all tends to balance out.”

There are 10 areas of the site which large brands sponsor. For instance, Inside the Kitchen is sponsored by Reynolds Wrap. This landing page consists of a branded page for Reynolds Wrap, user generated recipes, discussion boards, aggregated content areas, Reynolds Wrap social media and a Reynolds Wrap discount coupon. Another area similar to this one is First Time Moms and it is sponsored by Baby Orajel.

How CafeMom works

The way this social network works is up to the users and how they want to engage. There’s enough content on the site that users could just browse and consume what they are interested in. If users are compelled by the social aspect of the community, they can post to the message boards and create a network of friends to engage with.

What’s in it for a brand?


CafeMom strives to be a place for both readers and advertisers. “When we started out early on, we thought we could build something symbiotic between brands and content,” says Shue to  “Getting the moms involved was one of the smartest early decisions we made.  Just being a media company wouldn’t have been enough.  But if you can figure out how to get other moms to spread your message, you’re going to score points.  And advertisers will pay for that kind of direct involvement.”

CafeMomWeb2A brand that wants to target moms should place serious consideration on CafeMom. There are several options for brands to get involved. It can sponsor an area of content and have its own landing page. The content would tie directly in the brand for a seamless integration. Within that space advertisements can run, social integration can be in place and promotions can be utilized.

Another area of interest for a brand is the influencer program. This allows a brand to provide a user with its product for free. It in turn gets a review, positive or negative, and it is promoted on the site. Reviews from real moms are why women flock to this site. They want to know what products have been tested and are liked. The site is full of influencers who can steer other users in different product directions.

Advertising is included all over the site. If a brand doesn’t want to fully integrate with the content, it can purchase advertising space. Lastly, a brand should monitor the discussion boards to gather data. Its product could be discussed and the brand has potential to receive real feedback. It could also gain insight into reviews on competitors and in general find out what its target audience of moms wants. The site is full of consumer insights waiting to be utilized by brands. The hard part is figuring out where within the site this information is posted.


Integrating Social Media

Pinterest Example
Pinterest Example

CafeMom knows the importance of having a presence on other social channels, even when it’s a social network. It has a presence on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+ and Pinterest. Conversations happen outside of its platform and CafeMom wouldn’t want to miss out on what is being said. The other social channels provide a way to extend conversation and then drive traffic back to CafeMom.

What CafeMom is lacking is synergy between the platforms. It is not taking full advantage of having an integrated marketing communications plan. Each channel is being used to mostly push messaging. Engagement would increase if CafeMom took a deeper look into how it should be utilizing each social media platform.

Its Facebook page is being used as a website traffic driver. All the posts I saw were links back to its website. CafeMom is picking articles which will grab attention and produce a lot of comment engagement. The positive side to its posts was the headlines. Text was used that made a user want to read the article. The downside to each post was a lackluster visual. Facebook should be about having a conversation and CafeMom is lacking in this area. It generates engagement by posting controversial articles but doesn’t join in on the conversation. I also found it posted way too many times a day and its engagement may suffer because of it.

CafeMom’s Twitter account mirrored its Facebook tactic of driving traffic back to its website. There wasn’t much engagement besides a few retweets. When it comes to Google+, CafeMom has forgotten it has a presence in this space. The last update was in mid-July. My guess is the little engagement it was getting wasn’t worth the time posting to the platform.

Pinterest and YouTube are two social platforms I feel CafeMom is utilizing well. On Pinterest it posts content that will be in popular searched categories. reported in 2012 that the most popular categories on Pinterest are related to home, arts and crafts and fashion. CafeMom put a focus on visuals which is extremely important. The descriptions it uses for each pin could use some work to grab attention and a focus needs to be made on keywords to help with search ability.

CafeMom is fully utilizing YouTube by posting all of its video content on the platform. Its page is very well organized. With YouTube being the second most popular search engine, this is a smart move. said in March 2013 that YouTube has one billion people visiting its site each month. Every brand that has video needs to utilize YouTube.

Click photos below to open a photo gallery of social media post examples.

Mobile Friendly

Moms are constantly on the go. CafeMom knows how important it is to have a mobile friendly website. The site can be utilized while waiting in a child’s car pool line or when roaming the grocery store looking for ingredients for that evening’s dinner. When visiting CafeMom on a mobile phone you are taken to its mobile website. There is a full site option in the footer for those users who are more comfortable with the full site. The full site also functions well on a mobile device. I could not find an iPhone app.


View Interactive Presentation >>


About Section. Retrieved on October 10, 2013 from

Crawford, Stephanie. (2009, July 15). How CafeMom Works.
Retrieved on October 9, 2013 from

DiMauro, Vanessa. (2011, June 18). ‘Content’ or ‘Community’? People Come For Content
And Stay For Community Online. Retrieved on October 10,
2013 from

Huhman, Heather. (2013, March 6). The 10 Hottest Startups to Watch in NYC in 2013. Retrieved on October 8, 2013 from

Indvik, Lauren. (2012, March 12). What People Are Pinning on Pinterest.
Retrieved on October 11, 2013 from

Kessler, Sarah. (2011, January 11). 6 Valuable Social Networks for Parents.
Retrieved on October 11, 2013 from

Klimas, Liz. (2013, March 21). How Popular Is YouTube? If It Were a Country, It Would Be the
‘Third Largest’. Retrieved on October 10, 2013 from

McCracken, Harry. (2011, August 6). 50 Websites That Make the Web Great.
Retrieved on October 9, 2013 from

Shontell, Alyson. (2011, May 18). How To Use Your Mother To Make $30 Million Dollars Per
Year. Retrieved on October 9, 2013 from

Wu, Michael. (2010, June 6). Community vs. Social Network. Retrieved on October 10, 2013 from

How do these brands rate on social media?

Consumers have a wide range of media channels where they can come in contact with a brand. For brands to be successful they need to utilize each platform based on one strategy called integrated marketing communication. The American Marketing Association stresses that to build brand equity consumers need to be delivered the right message at the right time in the right place. The IMC plan must have consistent messaging across all channels. Follow along as I take a look at three different brands and see if they are utilizing IMC and social media in an effective way.


ImageKia Motors America can be found in all the primary social media spaces. They are certainly putting an integrated marketing communications plan into action through advertising, emails, trade shows, social media etc. These are the social platforms I looked at for Kia: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and Pinterest. They use consistent imagery on all the platforms. The messaging is also consistent but it is tailored to the specific channel as well. The biggest difference I saw with Kia was their Google+ page didn’t utilize their red color scheme. I don’t know the limitations of Google+ to know if changing the color isn’t possible.

ImageKia does a great job updating content. Posts are published at least once a day on most channels. There weren’t many days that they missed and they kept the content to a minimum to not overload their followers. There’s not a hard rule about how often to post but it is important for each brand to figure out how much content their followers will tolerate. suggests that brands only post once a day on Facebook and shows that most top brands stick to that on average.

Kia is very good at incorporating hashtags across all of the social media platforms. Most of the hashtags pertain to specific content. The only consistent hashtags that I could find dealt with their specific car brands. I didn’t find that Kia linked its social channels to each other very well. On Facebook they had a tab for Instagram and Pinterest and that was all I could find.


ImageChili’s Grill & Bar is a very popular chain restaurant. While I found them in all the main social media spaces, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and Pinterest, I’m not sure they understand how to utilize a fully integrated marketing communications plan. They lack the consistent messaging and imagery. Colors schemes and logos are consistent but different posts are happening in different places at different times. I wouldn’t say that their tactic is fatal but they should look at being more consistent and building a plan to talks about their brand in the same way.

ImageChili’s spends a lot of time focusing on Facebook and Twitter and doesn’t put a lot of time and effort into Instagram, Google+ and Pinterest. Posts on those last three channels weren’t made consistently. I’m not sure they’ve figured out the right kind of content for Instagram, Google+ or Pinterest. Their imaginative ideas are lacking. Hashtags are only used on their Twitter and Instagram posts and they aren’t being used for tracking purposes. The hashtags I saw were for entertainment instead of a measurement purpose. The only social platform that connected their followers to the other social media channels was Facebook. It had a tab for Twitter. Chili’s has a long way go in harnessing social media in the right way.

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARSImageThe Jacksonville Jaguars might not be having a great season but they are fully utilizing the benefits an IMC plan. They have a strong presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and Pinterest. I was disappointed to see that they had only switched two of their social media channels to show their pink Breast Cancer Awareness Month logo and the others still were utilizing their normal branding. Besides that all the messaging and imagery are consistent. I was pleasantly surprised by their level of strategy.

ImageThe Jaguars do a great job of keeping all of their social media channels up to date and you’ll see a few posts a day on each. Almost all of the posts coordinate so that their follows see a consistency no matter where they are consuming the information. Hashtags are used frequently and in the right ways. I find their content to be very creative and engaging.

Out of all three companies I researched, the Jaguars did the best at connecting their social channels. On Facebook they had a tab for Instagram as well as a Social League tab that held a social feed. Their Twitter background was utilized effectively by listing out their social channels.

If I had to assign a grade to each company Kia would be rated the highest at an A+ but the Jaguars aren’t far behind with a solid A. Unfortunately Chili’s did not impress me and they will get a C for their effort.