T-Swift is at it again

Whoda thunk. The same sappy, love-sick, boy crazy young girl who brought tweens lyrics like “It’s a love story baby just say yes” and “He’s the reason for the tear drops on my guitar” would turn into an bad***, strong, professional, & independent ultra-mega-super-star.

Taylor Swift.

I must admit, my affection for her has traveled like a roller coaster. As an emotional, small-town teenager myself, I loved her. As a young adult, towards the end of Taylor’s country career, I found her extremely annoying. But as an adult who appreciate strong, positive female role models and savvy business-women, I adore, envy, and respect her.

The woman’s a straight-up marketing genius. She’s authentic, engaging, and relatable. She goes above and beyond to show her customers (fans) that she appreciates their business (obsessions). She’s got the hyped-up release thing down pat. Plus I just feel like I could chill with her, in my sweats, at her NYC apartment, drinking Diet Coke, eating pastries & being totally cool with each other’s love of cats. Tay, if you’re out there, hit me up.

But seriously, can we talk about her 1989 album release tactics? Specifically on Instagram, T-Swiz had fans SHAKING (get it?) (if not just shake it off…) in anticipation of her album’s release with her gradual postings of song lyrics. Some examples:

lyrics1

lyrics2

lyrics3

You get the “picture.” (Ha, I kill me.) Not only was she super engaging with fans online, but offline she literally invited fans to her house(s). Yes, into her home. She had her team scout out the true, die-hard Swifties via different social channels, and then invited them to “Secret Sessions” at her home where they could meet Swift & her kitties (!!!) and listen to the 1989 album before anyone else. This “Swiftie hunting” continued past album release, and Tay would follow up on certain fans’ questions or concerns with things like money, hand-written letters and/or thoughtful gifts. She was (& still is) truly engaged and so so so down to earth.

The real question, though: did all of these tactics actually work?

During the first week that 1989 was released, Taylor had $1.287 million in album sales. That’s the highest-grossing week for an album since the release of Eminem’s “The Eminem Show” in 2002. I think it worked. And I must admit, I helped out those numbers! I think that was the first physical CD I purchased since “From Under the Cork Tree” by Fall Out Boy in 2005. Yikes.

Now, Swizzle is at it again with the launch of her “Bad Blood” music video. Have you seen these insane images with mega-stars she’s been sharing? So far, the lineup consists of some major names along with some bad*** images:

  • Taylor: Catastrophe
  • Lily Aldridge: Frostbyte
  • Zendaya: Cut-Throat
  • Haley Williams: The Crimson Curse
  • Gigi Hadid: Slay-Z
  • Ellie Goulding: Destructa X
  • Haliee Steinfeld: The Trinity
  • Lena Dunham: Lucky Fiori
  • Kendrick Lamar: Welvin Da Great
  • Karlie Kloss: Knockout
  • Serayah: Dilemma
  • Jessica Alba: Domino
  • Martha Hunt: Homeslice
  • Ellen Pompeo: Luna
  • Mariska Hargitay: Justice
  • Cara Delevingne: Mother Chucker
  • Cindy Crawford: Headmistress
  • Selena Gomez: Arsyn

BB3

BB2

BB1

The music video will air May 17th during the Billboard Music Awards, and you bet your Swiftie butt I will be waiting & watching (and posting an update!) And it’s not like I’m this major, crazy, Taylor-obsessed fan. I just am truly intrigued, and all of the exciting lead-up is definitely to blame. I fell for it – hook, line and singer (that’s how it goes, right?) (can’t stop won’t stop) and I’m not ashamed.

T-Swift, you keep doing you, and keep showing the world that even if you started out as a boy-crazy, hormonal, crazy teenager (like we all did), you will get past that and blossom into a smart, talented, professional & inspirational woman if you try.

UPDATE

Here’s the video with some Buzzfeed commentary. Guys, I’ve gotta girl crush. So many powerful women in one place. Can’t. Stop. Watching. That is all.

#EmilyFayeSays

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Is your brand believable?

I am not ashamed to admit that I am a superfan of the Fast & Furious franchise. I have seen every movie multiple times (just saw 7 last night, so many tears!), and any time one is on TV, I find myself sucked in again. There’s just something about these action-packed, insane, funny, beautiful movies that gets me every time. Why on earth would a movie that is centered around extreme, out-of-the-box action scenes sit so dearly in my heart? I realized that I can trace my answer back to one thing: believably.

If you’ve ever seen a Fast & Furious movie, you know that the main character, Dominic Toretto (played by Vin Diesel) places family at the highest importance. And in the movie, all of the actors do an amazing job to make their “family” look so real. How? Because they’re all a big family on and off the screen. They live and breathe what they do and who they portray, and it translates to the big screen beautifully.

This is an important lesson that can be translated to many other areas. Specifically, though, I want to talk about brand. Is your brand believable? Do people trust that your brand’s mission translates to your brand itself? Here are some examples of big, successful brands and their mission statements.

Coke

Coca-Cola: To refresh the world, inspire moments of optimism and happiness, to create value and to make a difference.

Nike

Nike: To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.

Google

Google: To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.

How believable are those statements pertaining to their brands? Pretty believable, right? How do you think they were able to make them believable? Through their actions, of course.

Coca-Cola: Coke founded the Coca-Cola Foundation in 1984, with the goal of enhancing the sustainability of local communities worldwide. This Foundation has since partnered with international organizations to promote water stewardship, women’s rights, healthy and active lifestyles, community recycling and education, as well as disaster relief.

I think they’re making a difference.

Nike: Through the Nike Foundation, Nike leverages the power of their employees, brands, consumers and partners to create positive, long-term changes that increase access to sports, empower girls and women in the developing world, and support the communities we live, work, and play in.

Oh, and by athlete, Nike means “every person with a body.” 

Google: The Google Foundation focuses on many different important efforts. To name a few, they are working on fighting disease, increasing environmental responsibility including protecting wildlife, improving computer science education, fighting human trafficking,  and empowering women and girls. All of this is done through technology – working to develop smarter, better, faster ways to make a difference.

Takes a lot of information. 

These brands have been able to make their messaging believable, because they live and breathe what they say every day. It’s great to have aspirations and values, but if your company and brand are not living them, then how are you going to be believable? If you stay true to your mission at the office and at home, people will notice.

#EmilyFayeSays

PS: for other FF superfans like myself, you need to watch this extended Today Show interview with the FF cast – I promise you tears and laughs.

Staying productive during downtime

We all have it every once in a while (that includes you, busy-braggers) (you know who  you are): downtime. And while we may not admit it, we’ve all passed that time with mindless activities, be it chatting with coworkers about nonsense, perusing Facebook until our eyes burn, or scoring some sweet (unnecessary) deals from our favorite online retailer.

stop wasting

But as a young professional – especially one looking to stand out in their career field – how can we better-fill that downtime? How can you see it less as a detriment and more as a chance to grow? Here are some ideas that have worked for me.

Read industry news/blogs. 

Pretty obvious, but sometimes it’s hard to find that good content. Often times, your employer will already have online subscriptions to industry-related news sources that you didn’t even know about. Or, if you’re familiar with influential individuals in your industry, see if they have a blog or something like it that you can check out regularly. Being in the marketing industry with a passion for social media, here are a few sites/blogs that I frequent:

Convince & Convert

Adweek

TechCrunch

Social Media Examiner

Pro Tip: Subscribe to your favorite new sites’ email newsletters! Then you don’t have to hunt.

Jack up your LinkedIn. 

Notice I didn’t just say “LinkedIn Profile.” While I’ll never bash perfecting your profile, LinkedIn has even more than that to offer. Check out Pulse (under Interests) for articles related to your interests and industry. Follow companies you care about to stay up to date on their posts. Engage with clients, colleagues, and others in your network to grow your presence. Follow industry influencers to stay knowledgeable.

Pro Tip: Make sure you’re not viewing profiles anonymously, and then view with purpose. LinkedIn notifies users when someone views their profile, so if you’re looking to show up in someone influential’s notifications, it’s a good, non-invasive way.

Grow as a social media professional. 

When I first started in the world of marketing, all of my social media accounts were for personal use only. And that’s not to say I was posting inappropriate pictures or vulgar statuses all over, but I simply wasn’t using social for a professional purpose.

my twitter

Fast-forward 2 months, and I really started to gain an understanding for how I could use social media, specifically Twitter, in a professional sense. So, I decided to create a “professional-only” Twitter account, and I also took the privacy settings off of my Instagram account. Not only do I now use them for connecting with colleagues & clients, but they are now my “window to the world” in the marketing industry. I use them to connect with industry professionals to gain knowledge on industry trends. I use them to connect with others at industry-related events I attend. Plus, I love using my Twitter account for industry “chats” (specifically #AdweekChat). While I don’t devote every waking second to them, I do take advantage of downtime to update my profiles, find interesting things to share, discover new people to follow – you get the picture.

Pro Tip: While you should always keep a professional tone on your professional social media accounts, it’s okay to be silly/fun. Don’t sound like a robot – make jokes, comment genuinely, and, well, be a human!

Go above and beyond for your client/company. 

This might already be expected, but often times we’re too busy to devote time to it and then forget when we actually have time. Think about it: how can you go above and beyond to either wow the client or improve things within your company (or department)? Devote 20 minutes or so during downtime to thinking up “free ideas” for clients. Or spend 10 minutes chatting with coworkers about a certain work process to see how others feel it could be improved. Who knows, you might just come up with a big solution!

Pro Tip: Regularly block out time on your calendar for brainstorming. Good ideas often come from a flowing thought process, so avoiding interruptions can make for the best results.

& when all else fails… take a break.

I used to work for a company that allowed 15 minute breaks ever morning and afternoon to go for a group walk around the development. It might seem like a waste of time, but so often I came back more awake and energized and ready to start pumping out some great work. Removing your brain from the task at hand can recharge your system and get you re-inspired. Just make sure to check with your employer first 🙂

Pro Tip: If a walk isn’t your thing, offer to make a coffee run to a local Caribou or Starbucks. Ask your coworkers if they want anything. Not only will it get you out of the office for 15 minutes or so, but you’ll be delivering smiles (& caffeine) to your coworkers – win/win!

starbucks

What do you do with your downtime? How do you stay busy? Share your tips in the comments! & as always, thanks for checking out what #EmilyFayeSays!

The value of strong company culture

I recently attended an educational luncheon conducted by the AdFed of Central MN called “Everything You Say & Do is a Commercial for your Brand.” (by Dan Day) Expecting it to be a presentation on client branding, I thought sure why not, and attended.

As it turned out, though, the presentation was less about client branding and more about company culture as it relates to brand. To quote Dan’s presentation: “True customer engagement is driven by brand-conscious employees who are themselves engaged.” To me, this means that to really succeed in activating your consumers, you need employees who truly understand and live your brand. This made me realize something about the company that I work for:

Flint Group totally rocks at this.

We all have really good understanding of what exactly it is we do here: “We do work that gets results.” We know that, while pretty creative is nice to look at, if it doesn’t accomplish a set goal then it’s useless. And we definitely know that we could throw money at a mass media calendar, but if we’re not strategic and customized in our approach, we might as well be flushing that money down the toilet. We pride ourselves on our ability to deliver work that makes a difference.

flint1

The Flint Group mission statement.

Aside from our mission, we have some pretty amazing employees.

Flint employees are brand advocates. We genuinely love what we do, and we’re not afraid to share that with people. We want to brag about our awesome jobs. And while of course there are times when we’re at each others’ throats with deadlines, vague requests, client feedback etc., we are able to push past that if it means delivering success to the client. We live and breath Flint culture, because we totally understand it.

It’s the best job in the world, but somebody’s gotta do it.

How is your company doing in this area? Are your employees your brand advocates? Do they totally understand your brand, culture, mission and values?

Encouraging your employees to live your brand results in voluntary consumer engagement. When your employees understand your brand and your values 100%, they operate in a way that’s a positive reflection of your brand, and that will become apparent to your customers upon interaction.

So think about it – if your culture + your people = your brand (Brandtender), are you as an employee representing your company and brand in the best light? OR are you, as an employer, giving employees the tools they need to do so?

Employees are the most valuable marketing tool a company has. Don’t waste ’em.

#EmilyFayeSays

6 Types of Businesses that NEED Pinterest

Pinterest is an intimidating beast for most companies. It takes time to build a following, and the payout isn’t always as quick as other avenues. However, there is a lot of potential return for the right business.

Given the surplus of women on Pinterest (80% of users, to be exact), there is a huge opportunity for relevant businesses to find success on the platform – and for little investment aside from time. The following infographic outlines who’s using Pinterest and how they’re spending their time on it. (via Huffington Post & Wishpond)

Infographic_pinterest_

Looking at this you can see that the potential for brand success on Pinterest is huge. However, there are several industries that can really benefit from having an active presence on Pinterest.

Real Estate/Construction

pinners

One of the original Pinterest categories (and still one of the top categories) is Home, with 17.2% of all boards falling in this category. (source here) This encompasses home decor, home design, architecture, appliances, and more. And who better to share ideas, products and trends about that then realtors and construction companies! The key to success here is mostly in liking and repinning content from others. Liking specifically will notify the original pinner, thus opening a door for follows and connections.

Food Service/Production

food

Another very popular category on Pinterest is Food. Pinners are especially active with food-related pins when they include enticing pictures. The more appetizing it looks, the more it will get pinned and repinned! As a food manufacturer, distributor, or even restaurant/caterer, there is huge potential for promoting others’ recipes, food advice, appliances etc. as well as  your own. Just make sure that the images are high-quality! (For tips on taking great pictures for social media, check out this recent blog from Convince & Convert)

Anything Wedding Related

Age

I’m finding it hard to resist saying duh here (whoops). With the majority of Pinterest users being women and the largest age-group on Pinterest (27.4% of users) being ages 25 to 34, if your business is remotely involved with weddings you need to be on Pinterest. This includes you, florists, bakers, wedding dress shops, craft stores, DJs, wedding planners, photographers, venues… the list goes on and on. And what should you be pinning? Anything and everything wedding related! Even if you’re a florist, you best be creating “Cake” boards and “Dress” boards and even “Color Schemes” boards – the more content you can create and/or share, the more followers you’ll gain.

Clothing & Beauty

spending

The real potential for clothing & beauty suppliers here is the purchase power of Pinterest users. Linking directly to e-commerce sites via Pinterest will increase site traffic and likely sales, considering Pinterest referrals spend 70% more than those from other non-social sites. There is also a lot of opportunity for connecting with “How-To” beauty bloggers by repinning & liking their content. These are influential people who are potential spokespeople for your product – and they’re definitely active on Pinterest.

Fitness/Wellness

10millino

The beauty of Pinterest is that, like other social sites, it’s real-time. It follows trends, because the content is user-generate (or user shared, mostly). This is a fortunate trait for those in the fitness/wellness business, because if there were ever a time that being healthy was in style, it’s now. Pinterest users trust brands on Pinterest more than on any other social site, so there is some real opportunity to capitalize on that by providing relevant, helpful, effective health & wellness information to users. And with growth stats like over 10 million unique users per month, that’s a lot of users.

Childcare/Education

kids

It’s becoming an increasing trend to share tips on childcare, education, and parenting on Pinterest. Given the audience of mostly women, this makes sense. If your company is involved with children in any way (daycare, child clothing retailer, education services, pediatrics, etc), you should be sharing your content and others’ on Pinterest. What do you share? Again – quantity is key here. Share parenting tips, child craft ideas, kid friendly recipes, learning tools for elementary teachers – anything that is potentially interesting to a parent.

& the more important thing to remember is…

…Pinterest takes time.

People don’t actively seek out brands as quickly on Pinterest as they do on Facebook or Twitter. But, if you’re posting high-quality, relevant information, you will gain traction and grow your Pinterest presence. And if you ever have any questions on how your brand should be handling Pinterest, I’m happy to help answer them.

Thanks for checking out what #EmilyFayeSays!

Don’t Hate Me Because I’m Social

Out of all my friends & family members, I feel pretty confident in saying that I am the most addicted to social media. Actually, I guarantee it.

Allow me to explain myself.

As a marketing professional, it’s my job to stay up to date on the latest trends in digital marketing. The largest portion of this (or marketing strategies as a whole) is social media. I can’t help but learn about new techniques, tools and trends, because that knowledge only serves to benefit my clients and myself in my career.

But at times I find myself becoming self conscious for the depth and breadth with which I use social media. I love live tweeting events. I will not stop putting my vacation pictures on Facebook. I enjoy posting selfies on Instagram (cue #SorryNotSorry). But sometimes, I feel embarrassed by my “addiction”.

But when I really think about why I’m so hooked, I get really happy. Because guess what: social media is my passion. And guess what’s even better than that: I get to pursue my passion daily. AT WORK.

So if you must, mock my selfie. If you need to, complain about my numerous live-tweets.

But please:

donthateQUOTE

 & that’s what #EmilyFayeSays!

6 Traits of Ad Agency Folks

The ad-agency clique. We’re a quirky bunch. We’re all creatives at heart, but only some of us have the gift of bringing it to life (read: not me). We are not afraid to be daring. To take risks. We’re the guy at the party who is dancing like a maniac and everyone is embarrassed for him but he doesn’t notice because he’s just having a blast.

We’re the one guy at your Super Bowl party who yells at everyone to shut up during the commercials. We’re that one girl you follow on Twitter who uses branded hashtags in almost every tweet. We’re that loud group out for happy hour, drinking wine & craft beer, critiquing various logos & menu copy while checking our iPhones at 2 minute intervals.

We’re kind of a handful.

So if you too find yourself involved with one of our kind some day, here are 6 Traits of Ad Agency Folks.

phone

We are on our phones a lot. I mean, everyone spends a lot of time on their phone, that’s for sure. But when I say a lot, I’m talking responding-to-a-tweet-at-3am-on-a-Tuesday-because-we-can’t-resist-a lot. Whether it’s staying active on social, responding to client requests, rushing to meet an impossible deadline, we are always connected.

 

nerd

We geek out on marketing & media strategies. This includes, but is not limited to: Super Bowl commercials, creative/effective hashtag use, well-executed pop-culture references in client advertising, viral trends that work well for brands, superior customer engagement, and beyond. We live for this shit, so don’t tease us.

 

risky

We are risk-takers. We are always trying to push our clients to go one step further, to agree to the risqué cheeseburger ad, to promote a 24-hour social media contest/challenge, to get outside their comfort zone (and into ours). This translates to other areas of our life. We push ourselves and others around us to be daring – to take leaps of faith – to not be afraid to look silly.

 

outgoing

We are inherently outgoing. Even the recluse creative has an extrovert hiding inside – it’s what we do. Our job is to connect with people – to craft messages, strategies, tactics etc. that get people to react in a certain way. So it only makes sense that we’re people-people (albeit some more overtly than others).

 

help

We don’t like to see others fail. At our core, we want everyone we work with, professionally or personally, to succeed. We always have our clients best interest in mind, and we carry that home with us to our families. Awards are fun & recognition is always nice, but in the end what we really care about is making others happy and successful.

 

fun

We love to have fun. We can’t help it. For many of us, that’s why we chose this life. We enjoy the wacky. The outlandish. The modern. The unique.  We live and breath creativity, communication, and craziness. And we wouldn’t have it any other way.

What do you think? Do you fit these traits? Did I miss anything? Share your thoughts by commenting on what #EmilyFayeSays