Airbnb’s Instagram Marketing Strategy

In July 2015, Mariah Carey stayed in a luxurious Airbnb mansion in Malibu where she posted a photo of her posing on the mansion’s beachfront patio and tagged Airbnb in both the photo and the caption. This post received about 45,000 likes and led to the growth of influencer marketing with Airbnb. Now they ask celebrities to share a picture from their glamorous vacation in exchange for a free stay at some of Airbnb’s most expensive and extravagant properties. By leveraging big-name celebrities and influencers, Airbnb generated a lot of user-generated content on Instagram which effectively generates brand awareness among mass audiences.

Taking a break from #1toinfinity #beachtime @airbnb, before my concert in Israel.

A post shared by Mariah Carey (@mariahcarey) on


Vodafone’s Storytelling Strategy – Ultimate Speed Campaign

After almost 10 years, Vodafone is re-introducing commercials that feature celebrities. This advertisement below features Martin Freeman where he is playing a video game and mockingly says “Uuuh, get Vodafone!” to the other player. The other player tells Martin’s character to get Vodafone for a better Internet experience because of disconnection issues while playing the game. It is clear from the video that unreliable broadband can really ruin important moments in people’s daily lives and Vodafone capitalizes on this concept with their storytelling marketing strategy.

How much will the GDPR change the use of Social Media?

You’ve probably heard of the GDPR. But do you know why you should be aware of it as a social media professional?

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a regulation about data protection and privacy for individuals residing in European Union (EU) while also addressing the policies on how the personal data is to export outside the EU. In order to address the data privacy protection challenges created by the evolving digital economy, the General Data Protection Regulation repeals and replaces the 1995 Data Protection Directive. Therefore, it enhances personal data, increases responsibility for organizations that process personal data, and introduces improved enforcement systems.

The GDPR establishes the minimum level of personal data protection throughout the 28 EU member countries. It will protect personal data with information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person. This includes individuals’ names, photos, posts on social media, and personal IP addresses. Starting May 25th, 2018, the civil fines for GDPR fall will be enforced. The fines range from $20 million to 4% of a company’s annual income; whichever is the larger amount. The severity of the civil fines can affect any company or organization; therefore it will be critical for organizations to comply with the GDPR laws and regulations.

Social media platforms operating in the EU will be required to create opt-in programs for giving consent to sharing an individual’s information. This includes making sure there are no pre-selected boxes on social media platforms allowing individuals’ data to be mined or shared from their social media profiles. Another important aspect of the GDPR is that individuals in the EU will be given the right to be forgotten online. This means that all data about an individual will need to be erased when an individual invokes that right [1].

How will the GDPR affect digital marketers and advertisers?

Social media marketers rely heavily on customer analytics to predict consumer behavior through the use of ads and direct mail. The GDPR will shake current social media marketing tactics, as marketers’ abilities in obtaining personal information from EU individuals will be hindered substantially. Digital marketers need to have persuasive and creative strategies in place for attracting EU individuals. They also need to provide clear privacy settings providing multiple steps in addressing their use of data collection.

In April 2016, companies and organizations were given a two-year grace period to be prepared for GDPR regulations by May 25th, 2018. During this period, companies were expected to create transparent procedures for data privacy settings and engage in data mapping solutions, so that there are secure options for storing private data and erasing data upon request. If companies do not incorporate these policies, it will lead to serious financial consequences and damage the organization’s PR image. It is critical that the companies provide absolute proof of individuals giving consent to share their information with marketers. A key component to running these procedures smoothly is for marketers to educate users of their new rights and requirements as much as possible.

While the GDPR creates barriers and challenges, it also provides opportunities for new marketing strategies. Marketers who are successful at following GDPR regulations will gain valuable customer relationships based on trust and respect. The GDPR will also encourage marketers to raise the bar in finding innovative ways to re-shape the outcomes of data collection from the online web-space[2].


[1]  Lubbe, Johan. “The New EU’s General Data Protection Regulation.” Global HR Practitioner’s Handbook, Edited by Lisbeth Claus, vol. 4, pp. 66–86.

[2] Hubspot. (2018, February 28). What is the GDPR? And What Does it Mean for the Marketing Industry? Retrieved April 19, 2018, from

Companies with a different Branding Strategy in the International Market

Content plays an important role in marketing and it is important to have different strategies to fit local customer needs. Some of the companies that have implemented different marketing strategies in localized markets are

  1. McDonald’s

McDonald’s has local flavored menus in different countries which makes it unique to attract customers.

  1. Domino’s Pizza

Like McMcDonald’s Domino’s Pizza also has localized menu for different countries. Below is an example of India’s Menu where the main ingredients of Pizza– Bread, cheese and sauce remain the same, while additional toppings are to be changed based on the target market.

  1. World Wildlife Foundation (WWF)

The World Wildlife Foundation creates different sustainability initiatives for different regions in the world. One of their campaigns was promoted in Scandinavian countries, which encouraged them to promote a “blackout” or lights-off initiative during daylight savings.

  1. Coca-Cola

With a large International presence, this has been mainly due to the community programs that this company invests a lot of time and money on. Their branding strategy through this program is mainly to affect the emotions of the people, which is to give happiness. Above is an image of STAR program in the Philippines, where in this program, women were given 12-week Entrepreneurship course along with Gender Sensitivity Training Course.

  1. Airbnb

Airbnb introduced a social media campaign in 2015 prompting people to use the hashtag #OneLessStranger, which the company made in an effort to increase global presence on the Airbnb network. In this campaign, the community members were asked to host any stranger and take photo/video to share the experience using the hashtag.

Top 5 Video Editing Tools for Novice Video Marketers

Professional Development Series

Innovative Marketing Resources:

If you want to post your own video content for your personal business, start a vlog, or learn about the innovative user-friendly video editing tools, here are a few great resources to start with.

  • Nutshell

Nutshell is a very interesting automated video editor that is a free app for the iPhone, iPad, and Mac computers. The steps for creating short teaser videos are to 1) snap 3 photos, 2) select animated text options 3) add graphics to embellish each photo, and then woohlah! Your content is ready to share and send on your social media platforms.

  • iMovie- Apple

This tool is only helpful if you have a Mac computer, but is great for beginners that are just learning the video editing basics. iMovie has a mobile app where projects and editing tools are at your fingertips. iMovie also uses AirDrop to seamlessly integrate any video content from Apple products such as your iPhone or iPad, onto your Mac computer. iMovie also integrates with iTunes and Garage Band so that you can use any music or audio sound effect in your video content. While iMovie provides an integrative approach, it still lacks in certain design capabilities such as having professional looking video themes, texts, and captions. If you want to delve into more technical editing tools that go into graphic design and animations, Final Cut Pro X for Apple is another great resource for Apple products.

  • Lumen 5

Lumen 5 is an automated editing tool that uses AI technology to summarize blog post content by inserting relevant photos, videos, and music. This tool provides a great opportunity to turn traditional blog posts into fresh and innovative content. There is a basic version of the tool that is free, and other versions at different pricing scales that offer various additional features.

  • Filmora from Wondershare

If you are looking for high-quality professional level editing software, look no further. Filmora is free editing software that offers FilmoraGo (mobile editing) and Filmora Scrn (screen recording and editing). Filmora has many audio, motion, transition, and caption tools to vamp your video content. There are even gif support and boilerplate editing features. Filmora offers a beginners editing mode called “easy mode” that allows users to use a basic version of their editing capabilities.

  • Magisto

This automated editing tool is compatible with iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Android, and Windows. Magisto has very simple steps where you 1) select photos and videos from your personal video clips and camera roll, 2) select an editing style, 3) select a soundtrack from Magisto’s library of licensed audio, 4) add editing touches, 5) any remaining editing will be automated through Magisto software. Magisto allows you to create interesting and professional level content in a matter of minutes. Magisto offers free software for basic editing capabilities.

Q&A with Andrew Hickey: Ten Top Tips on Linkedin Marketing

Professional Development Series

Interview Spotlight:

Andrew Hickey: Director of Marketing Communication – Willamette University MBA

  1. What’s the main difference between using LinkedIn over other social media platforms? What are the benefits of using LinkedIn over other social media platforms?

There are several differences between LinkedIn and other platforms, but there are two that I find most important. First is tone. As an individual or brand, your audience on LinkedIn might be the same people you reach through other social channels, but they expect a more professional, informative tone. People use other social platforms for a wide variety of reasons – to stay in touch with family/friends; to keep up with the news; to argue about politics. So, it’s hard to tell what mindset they are in when on the platform. But people using LinkedIn are all basically in the same mindset – to work on or otherwise develop their career or professional life. Speak to them knowing that’s their mindset. The second big difference is the pace of LinkedIn. People aren’t on LinkedIn all the time. How do we know this? Because it’s information that LinkedIn guards closely. They don’t really release daily active user numbers. So, you’d have to assume it’s because those numbers aren’t really that impressive. Pew Research did a survey a few years ago about frequency of social media site use and LinkedIn came in dead last in every way imaginable. So, you don’t have to post frantically on LinkedIn like you might on Twitter or Facebook, where content gets stale a lot quicker. The need for quality over quantity is especially pronounced on LinkedIn.

One of the benefits of using LinkedIn is that it’s relatively quiet compared with other platforms. Most brands still largely ignore LinkedIn, so it’s still kind of a green field of opportunity. It’s also a relatively drama-free environment where conversation mostly remains civil. That’s becoming harder to find across platforms.

2. What are some of the features that are unique to LinkedIn or are of interest to you?

The ability to find people on LinkedIn is powerful. Whether you’re an individual looking for a job or a company marketing a product or service, LinkedIn allows you to search and target their user base with helpful precision. LinkedIn also has a lot of valuable economic data they collect and can seemingly analyze quicker than typical sources like government agencies. They produce some valuable reports that show economic trends based on user data.

3. How would you want to brand yourself or a company page?

This will vary wildly depending on who you are; what your goals are; and what resources you have available. But there’s one thing I think holds true no matter your situation: Be authentic. Don’t push your personal or organization brand into a shape or form that isn’t consistent with who you are.

4. How do you create leads with the LinkedIn company page?

You could spend some money on advertising. LinkedIn, relative to other social platforms, is expensive when it comes to advertising. But if you know your audience and understand what your performance metrics need to be to achieve positive ROI, it can be super effective to advertise via your company page. Otherwise, you could try to generate leads organically. Be active on LinkedIn via your company page – post regularly and answer questions or acknowledge comments. Engage with your audience as authentically as possible. You can use SEO tactics to increase the visibility of your company page. And you can create “showcase pages” that highlight certain aspects of your product or service. There are ways you can position the messaging on your company page to facilitate lead generation, as well.

5. If your target audience consists of both prospective employees and prospective customers; how would you want to portray the company page for these dual audiences?

True, company pages on LinkedIn can speak to several audiences. The same general set of tactics you would apply to transform your company page to a lead generation machine apply here, as well. Tweak your messaging and any applicable calls to action to play to your audience. For example, if you are a consultant or small business owner looking for clients, pitch your value up front on your company page.

6. What are the challenges in posting content on LinkedIn versus other social media platforms?

LinkedIn’s algorithm for determining what shows up in an individual’s feed is very much still a wildcard. All social platforms guard their algorithm, but LinkedIn’s seems like they’re still not sure what’s in their own black box. Engagement seems to be a big factor – the more engagement your posts get, the more visible they will be. But that’s not been a consistent outcome in my experience. I have a good-sized following on LinkedIn – nearly 90k people – and I do a lot of experimentation with posting at different times of day or week. I look at past posts that got a lot of engagement and try to post similar content. But there doesn’t appear to be any rhyme or reason to what works and what doesn’t. Also, LinkedIn doesn’t let you edit posts on company pages after you post them. That is wildly annoying.

7. What are some of the metrics that you think are important for posts on LinkedIn either on your personal account or on a company page?

Engagement. How much of your available audience are you reaching and how many of them are liking/commenting/sharing your stuff. If I had to pick one form of engagement I think is most valuable, I would say sharing content. That is when you have the best chance of organically growing your network. A share is, in some ways, the highest indicator that someone likes your content. They are willing to put their name or their brand behind an idea or thought you had. Comments are great too because they offer an opportunity to have a discussion. And that helps to keep your existing network warm.

8. Where would you rate LinkedIn in terms of transparency of insights information when compared to other platforms for a company page?

LinkedIn gives a good amount of data to company page owners about their audience and how content is performing. You can learn about visitors to your company page; engagement with the content you post; and about your existing group of followers. My only issue with LinkedIn company page data is that the data can sometimes be inconsistent. For example, I posted something from a company page the other day and it got a few likes. But none of those are showing up in the Company Page analytics dashboard. I think they have some work to do, but the data is helpful.

9. What are some changes that you look forward to on LinkedIn?

Supposedly LinkedIn Groups are undergoing a bit of a revival and refresh. I’m looking forward to that. Groups on LinkedIn can be a good way to really interested people around distinct topics and generate organic discussion. LinkedIn just got into supporting video content directly in the feed. I’m not a fan of how most people are using that new functionality, but I think it will get better as people figure out what works and what doesn’t with video. So much of it right now seems poorly planned, poorly executed, or some combination of the two.

10. What are some tips on posting social media content on any platform?

Find your voice. It’s not easy. I don’t have any magical tricks for finding your voice. But establishing a unique and authentic tone for yourself or a brand is key to connecting with the different audience on social media. It doesn’t matter what the medium is (written, audio, video, infographic) if you make that connection.

Other Posts Within the Professional Development Series:

The Future of Paid Social Media Marketing: Kinda Creepy, but also Smart