The Social Media Bunnies Evolution


Lessons Learned

The Social Media Bunnies took on this Social Media Marketing challenge by finding topics that interested us and collaborating to write fun blog posts. The first strength we recognized in our team was the comfortability with different social media platforms. Pooling our networks and social media accounts, we decided to market on Reddit, Tumblr, Facebook, and Twitter as our main channels. In addition, we decided to write articles with specific mediums in mind so that our article would both get views and follow the social norms of the platforms. Throughout this project we learned lessons that will help us moving forward in our careers. Stay tuned while we discuss three factors that had the biggest impact on our blog posts.


1. What is the value of a six second duration session of a Reddit User?

The Social Media Bunnies undertook our competition for viewers (sessions), click-through (bounce-rate), and length of time on the site (session duration). When writing articles, we considered the medium when deciding on a topic for the week. While considering the channel for certain topics, we did not originally consider the effect of these channels on the metrics we were measuring.

Reddit and Tumblr campaigns caused the number of sessions to skyrocket in a short amount of time, with the page duration inversely plummeting toward zero.

Earlier Sharings of Reddit & Tumblr Fame – Analytics

The 2,121 viewers during this time period solidified the Social Media Bunnies’ place as #1 for the number of sessions. In the past weeks, we have focused on sharing through Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn as our channels of choice. The effect on page duration and bounce rates is staggering.

Past Week of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn Sharing – Analytics

When comparing these strategies, another question comes to mind. In the ever changing world of social media and content marketing, what is the value of a six second session from a Reddit user? Did the content soak into the viewer’s brain during those six seconds, enough to make a lasting or at least subconscious impression? The overarching question of numbers vs. substance comes to mind. In our case, the numbers won while the duration lagged behind.


2. Social Norms and Mediums of Choice

It is crucial to understand the micro-cultures on each of the websites that you choose to engage in,  tone and ideas can make or break your article. Posting and engaging in the domains you are most familiar with is strongly advised  It also helps to use the resources you have at your disposal, such as knowing your neighbor is a strong influencer on Twitter. Catering your content to your strengths can get you a running head start to achieving your goals.

Social Media Bunnies wrote a Pokémon article because one member had a large network for Pokémon on Tumblr. However, because we wrote the article with a negative spin Reddit reacted badly. Reddit didn’t like how we talked about Pokémon Go needing to be revived because they were still very much active in the game. If we had written the article or at least titled it with a more positive spin, Reddit may have reacted more positively. However on Tumblr it did very well and due in part to having an engaging and original photo that was enticing to click.

We made a crucial mistake with “Apple Goes to the Dark Side”. We were able to keep the article on the first page of the Apple subreddit and getting a landslide of viewers, we violated one of the subreddit rules that forbids users from posting their own content. We would have gotten away with it but we reacted to comments in an attempt to increase engagement and the subreddit realized that we had posted our own content. As a result, the article was taken down and our largest sources of (potentially viral) views was cut off. In addition, one of the Bunnies was banned from Reddit.

Social Media channels are designed for connection. But the connections have norms of engagement, and the network is not forgiving if you violate their rules


3. Dropping the Ball on Bounce Rates

Bounce rate is the percentage of users who land on your website and decide to leave without going to a second page. A higher bounce rate, such as our bounce rate of 95%, indicates that we were not successful in convincing users to stay on our page to digest our material. Our team could/should have counteracted this by incorporating more links and/or multiple pages into our material. This would have been the best strategy to keep users on our pages, however we failed to incorporate this piece of advice. Any bounce rate above 80% is considered very poor by Google Analytics standards and even 70-80% is not is not ideal. One of our biggest problems in this regard is that we boosted our posts on sites such as Reddit and Tumblr, which are not known for creating low bounce rates.

The lowest bounce rate we achieved, was 40% from an email campaign from our United Airlines article. This is only based off of five sessions which suggests that linking our material to the most intended audience, was the most effective way to bring down bounce rates.

Recently, one of our Bunnies did go through and added relevant outside links to such articles as “Apple Goes To The Dark Side”. While we are still waiting to see the result of this effort, we are confident that it will bring down the bounce rate over time and encourage search engine optimization.

Analytics by Landing Page

 


The End Result

Analytics Overview by Campaign

Throughout this experience the Social Media Bunnies succeeded in our goal of garnering the largest number of views but fell short in the duration and bounce rate categories. Our primary mediums of Reddit and Tumblr were conducive to this sort of outcome. Connecting our content to trending topics in the social media sphere, such as Star Wars, Apple, Pokémon, and United Airlines, enhanced the effect of our chosen channels. The flashy name on the content can get clicks, but to be able to appeal to all the various segments within this interest group is a task for only the most herculean marketers.


Social Media Bunnies Out.


Review our previous works:
  1. The Top Five Corporate Social Media Cage Matches
  2. Apple Goes to the “Dark Side”
  3. Can Pokémon Go Be Revived?
  4. The 5 Secrets to Social Media Marketing
  5. Social Media #struggle: United Airlines
    1. United Take Your Turn
    2. United & THE INCIDENT
    3. United’s Response & The Backlash
    4. What Comes Next for United?
  6. The Social Media Bunnies Evolution: Lessons Learned

CAN POKÉMON GO BE REVIVED?

CAN POKÉMON GO USE A REVIVE?
HAS POKÉMON GO MANIA FAINTED??

Upon release Pokémon GO was one of the most successful apps ever, with immediate viral public appeal. It was so popular, in fact, that it crashed Niantic’s servers due to the popularity. One can speculate that Niantic underestimated the popularity of the product. Pokémon GO was constantly in the news and the public eye during July, August and September. Much like the late 90’s, Pokémania was in full effect, and just like in the 90s, Pokémon Go’s popularity has subsided. In our opinion, Niantic lacked a long term business strategy when launching this product. With the recent release of Gen 2, what can Niantic do to regain some of that “spark” from the summer of 2016?

Here are some ideas that could revive the franchise:

  • Boost marketing efforts during spring
  • Capitalize on social media apps
  • Trading with friends
  • Encourage outside social interactivity
  • Capitalize on the nostalgia factor

Boost marketing efforts during Spring 2017: The weather will be nice enough for people to walk outside and be active again, give them something they can do outside! There is no better way to regain an audience than reminding people of your product as they come out of their winter hibernation. We suggest marketing on social media platforms like Facebook, Tumblr and Instagram. Their next best marketing move will be finally releasing the long-awaited Legendary Pokemon to kick-off another chapter for the game series. 

Ellen managed to persuade a Bulbasaur to stick around for a photo-op.

Capitalize on social media apps: Pokémon Go should first decide which channels best suit its needs and then put processes in place to make sure that these channels are feeding customers through the funnel of decision making for purchases and providing the full-frontal user experience. Partnering up with Snapchat, much like bitmoji, can help Pokémon GO stay relevant and “in” within the eyes of the target demographic: millennials.

Trading with friends: Part of what made Pokémon so popular in the 90’s was the ability to become social with other people by simply trading IRL. Having a trading mechanic (which so many people have been asking for) that limits trading Pokémon to people within 4 feet of you will help users attain Pokémon they don’t have in their home biome.

Encourage outside social interactivity: Setting Pokémon lures should be an incentive for Pokémon GO players to gather. The lure setter should earn extra XP for everyone catching Pokémon in their lure, which means more $$ for Niantic. Since their revenue comes from their limited PokéCoin sales and by selling user information, seems as though they’re about due for a steady cash flow.

  1. Capitalize on the nostalgia factor: Nostalgia is a MAJOR
    Remember the good ol’ days…

    factor in games and platforms that have been around for multiple generations. Just look at the Super Mario Run app. These 2nd Gen Pokémon create less feelings of nostalgia and home for long-time Pokémon community members. Pokémon Go needs to unleash the power that’s already inside. New Pokémon Go fans are not as familiar with the newer generations. We recommend having small story lines that introduce the new generation of Pokémon. Sticking with the first 151 Pokémon is not a sustainable strategy and moving forward they need to work harder to integrate newer generations.


  2. Historically speaking, the Pokémon franchise can attribute its popularity to the social interactions it facilitated, whether that be meeting another Pikachu lover or trading someone for the their best Pokémon card. In the early 2000s once the original Pokémon fever had died down the franchise was able to stay relevant within their niche market, with the constant release of new Pokémon generations. Even though the Pokémon franchise was not as prominent in popular media’s eyes the Pokémon Company has survived more than 20 years with each Pokémon game outselling its competition.  We believe Pokémon Go can be revived.

FLASH! PETA SHUTS DOWN POKEMON GO EVENTS IN PORTLAND, OREGON!

Pokemon Go BallThe controversial organization, PETA (Protection for Equivalent Theoretical Animals), has managed to rally citizen support to protest and block several Pokémon Go events scheduled in Portland, Oregon, on the basis that monsters qualify as “theoretical animals” and that Seekers, in pursuit of points, status and otherwise basic irrational and illogical storytelling opportunities, will resort to irrational, illogical and virtual fantasy activities as they prey on innocent virtual creatures unable to defend themselves.

LET OUR POKEMON GO GO!   jail pokemon

Signs of Pokémon Go monsters contained in squalid cages and fed items with virtually no substance are popping up everywhere. Worse, in a demonstration of how low seekers will fall, “monster-fights” reminiscent of the dog fights that got old basketball players almost arrested have been seen in the back alleys of one of America’s greatest cities.  The conditions are perceived as horrible, with poor monsters gripping bars and crying out for their families.  In a worst-case situation, a baby monster was separated from its mother before it could flee its hunters.

pokemon#2Other groups attempting to capitalize on the event have even started a “slave labor” camp for captured monsters, selling them on Craig’s List for virtual bucks.  Enslaved monsters are expected to ensure harsh working conditions while captors and seekers seduced into this unsavory world go out in pursuit of even more monsters.  It’s an awful situation as wild and carefree monsters are struck down in the middle of their natural habitat, with little time to defend themselves from the “slaying ball” that is used to swipe them away.  As one concerned citizen reported, Pokémon Go monsters are even starting to show up in  historically human red light districts.  Poor PokemonRepublicans across the country are in an uproar as questions of equality for animals and citizens’ concern for these imaginary creatures takes priority over what they have long considered to be a more important agenda while Democrats are looking to expand universal health care programs to include Pokemom Go Monster Dads, Moms and kids alike.

GETTING EVEN

As the Pokémon Go phenomenon has exponentially accelerated in the last few days, pokemon fieldreports of Seekers getting creamed is also increasing, to include (most recently) a group in Salem, Oregon that found themselves standing in the middle of Liberty Street in the front of the firehouse, trying to climb up the fireman’s pole in search of an evasive and illusive creature.  Seems that Seekers may not be using a lot “upstairs” as they look for PokeStops and through Lures out to grab yet another poor, defenseless monster.  But, the monsters are starting to get creative and gang up on Seekers.

In yet another unreported incident, four ridiculously cute monsters threw their own “lure” out to catch a few unsuspecting Seekers.  Using the guise of a broken paw, one monster lay await in a green circle as the Seekers approached.  Just as the swipe of the ball was about to happen, three other monsters ran out and jumped on top of the Seekers, scaring the bejeezus out of them, causing them to lose their phone and of course, their corresponding identity. (Anyone looking for a Samsung XII should call the local authorities).   It’s only a matter of time before massive uprisings between man and beast lead us all to lock ourselves in our shelters and wait to see who wins.

RELEASE OUR POKEMON GO!

PETA, founded by M.N Sterious, an 84 year old member of the Portland community, is dedicated to the protection of virtual reality of any form.  M.N. Sterious planned and coordinated the Portland Pokémon Go blockade using age-old wisdom combined with helpful hints from Google search engine.  Demands for a release of all caged Pokémon Go monsters must be met before the blockades are removed.   As in all things fantastical, the PETA group has staged a virtual hunger strike with hopes to gain attention of those who are oblivious to this ridiculous condition.   It certainly grasped this author’s attention!

For more information on PETA, look no further.  You won’t find anything anyway.  Meanwhile, stay OFF THE STREETS, OUT OF TREES, AWAY FROM FIREHOUSES…oh yeah – all that advice assumes people are using their heads when playing this game.  That’s where we went wrong!

How to play Pokémon GO … at Work

When I first heard that a new Pokémon was released a few days ago, I was pumped to give it a try. Being a 90’s kid, I was an early adopter of the Pokémon series; I owned both the red and blue versions of the original game. I went straight to the Google Play app store and downloaded the new Pokémon GO immediately.

Rattata
Trying to catch Rattata in my office

I went through the basics, choosing my character’s clothing and style. After that there was a little bit of a tutorial about how to get started and then I was on my way. Almost immediately I saw a Bulbasaur on my screen. It was really cool seing the Pokémon on my screen in augmented reality. I saw Bulbasaur wondering around the grocery store as I shopped with my wife. I decided to try to catch him right away (I later found out that by holding out, you can actually choose between Bulbasaur, Charmander, Squirtle, or even a Pikachu with a little more patience). As soon as I saw the Bulbasaur, I kept tapping on the Poké Ball to throw at Bulbasaur. That didn’t work, so I tried holding the ball. At this point, a green circle formed around Bulbasaur and began shrinking, then getting larger, then shrinking again. This still did not throw the ball, but I knew I was onto something. Finally after tapping all over the screen (including on the ball and on Bulbasaur about 100 times each), I accidentally swiped the ball toward Bulbasaur. This resulted in a ground ball toss that fell well short of my first Pokémon. After several speed sensitive swipes, I finally made a toss that caught him. This sequence highlights my big frustration with Pokémon GO – the tutorials are seriously limited and make some picking up on some of the game play difficult to get the hang of.

The green circle shows the target to hit with the Poké Ball
The green circle shows the target to hit with the Poké Ball

After my first successful capture, I walked around the grocery store looking for new Pokémon to capture. This was a much more interesting way to go grocery shopping than my usual visits. I ran into a handful of Pokémon which I caught successfully. On a few occasions, the Pokémon would break free and I’d have to use another Poké Ball to try again. I soon realized that the green circle around Pokémon was showing the difficulty to catch the Pokémon; green means easy to catch, yellow is medium, and red is a difficult Pokémon to catch. The more difficult the Pokemon, the smaller you need to wait for the circle to get. However, the small the circle is, the more accurate the throw needs to be to capture the Pokemon. I found that if the Pokemon was green, it was easiest to throw when the circle is bigger because they would rarely break free and would also have a better chance of hitting the target.

GPS signal not found error
Glitch #1: “GPS signal not found” error

When I got to work the second day of having the app installed on my phone, I was excited to see that there was both a Gym and a Pokéstop at a park near my work. Pokéstops are places to get a few random items (ie: Poké Balls, eggs, etc.) and Gyms are places for players of levels 5+ to battle each other and try to capture and hold the Gym. Once a player has reached level 5, they must choose between one of three teams to join to battle against the others at the Gyms. My employer has recently completed a walking challenge in which the employees formed teams and competed to see which teams could rack up the most steps over a five-week period. With the spirit of the competition still going after the challenge had ended, people are still walking around the park in the middle of the day. This was a great excuse for me to get to play a little Pokémon GO at work while working on my fitness at work. I took an afternoon stroll and took my first shot at the Gym. I sent in my 93 CP (combat points) Pidgeotto against a 300+ CP Gengar. I lasted about 20 seconds in the matched but was clobbered. I need to work on leveling up my Pokémon before I step into the ring again. At least I have a nice distraction at work when I need to get away from my desk for a few minutes.

Glitch #2: Blank trainer
Glitch #2: Blank trainer

Though the gameplay has been captivating, if not somewhat addicting, there have been some rough spots. Glitches run rampant with the early release of Pokémon GO. It’s hard to play for more than 10 minutes without a glitch of some sort. The glitches range from slightly annoying to downright maddening. Every five minutes or so, the GPS will lose connection for several seconds, but usually comes back soon. On several occasions, my player has just disappeared for minutes at a time and I’m not able to interact with anything on the screen. There’s also been a number of times the servers have been jammed so much that I cannot login, including when I originally tried to sign up; it took me five tries to get a user set up. Then there’s also another glitch when the sign in screen cannot authenticate my password. This has happened for more than five minutes straight on three different occasions. Finally, there has been multiple times when I click on a Pokémon, Pokéstop or Gym and the game will not let me interact with those items. As fun as the game is, the glitches have gotten frustrating enough that it barely makes the game worth playing.

A Spearow landed on my dog’s head!
A Spearow landed on my dog’s head!

Overall, it’s been a fun and nostalgic way to get reacquainted with a childhood game. The glitches/underperformance of servers have outweighed the positives for me. I think after the game has some firmware updates and additional servers online, the game will be worth a second look. Pokémon GO reminds me of the Sour Patch Kids commercials. At first it can be so aggravating trying to log into the game that I felt like throwing my phone to the ground, but as soon as it started up I was excited to get moving and catch ‘em all!

For more ways to get through your work day, especially if you’ve given your 2 weeks notice, check out these great tips!

Pokémon GO – What is it??

So……what is Pokémon GO…..and who’s playing it?

I kept seeing posts on social media about people catching Pokémon.  I felt a little sad for these folks, as I thought the cards were making a come back and knew how much money could be “invested” in them, only to be cast aside for Yu-Go-Oh cards  in the future. Then, in some severe cases, Magic the Gathering.   Turns out it’s an app that was just released this last week that has already become insanely popular.

What the Hell Is ‘Pokemon GO’? A Short Explainer

I asked a couple people what it is and how it is played…these are the honest answers:

Capture 1 Capture 2 Capture

Words such as incense, revives, razz berries and of course Pokeballs are used. All said with straight faces.  A lot of the more dedicated players (or are they gamers??) that I spoke to about this phenomenon are in their early to mid-twenties. Man, woman or child are all equally attracted to this adventure. Lunch breaks are no longer for eating, but for trying to catch Magmar and Rattata.  Friday night drinking can be paired up with Pikachu.  Exercise with Entei (a 6’11” Volcano Pokémon)…..hope these things aren’t life size.

I couldn’t quite grasp the concept…..so I downloaded the app to experience the thrill first hand.  It is kind of entertaining, you get to pick your character’s clothing, right down to shoes and a backpack.  The most challenging part so far was finding a name that was still available.  I may have to watch one of the abundant tutorials to become an expert trainer.

Let the games begin 🙂