3 Common Mistakes Marketers Make When Trying To Make Their Campaign Go Viral

By Julian Steinforth, Expedition PR

Photo: Markus Spiske

Photo: Markus Spiske

There is not shortage of articles that offer advice on how to create marketing content that can go viral. However, nobody can tell you for sure what mechanism works behind the phenomenon of viral campaigns: content that gets shared and commented on by millions of people worldwide.

The foundation of inbound marketing is simple: companies need to involve their audience in the creation process. David Spitz writes in his recent article for the Harvard Business Review that we need to change our thinking and ask ourselves “Who are the multipliers we are trying to reach with this campaign?” instead of “How can I make my content go viral?” For a B2B marketer aiming for a “viral” campaign could be even ineffective and a waste of marketing budget, since almost every viral content is targeting the mass market. Social media platforms have become the main source of content discovery and a major channel for audience engagement. Continue reading


These Social Media Marketing Campaigns Scored Gold During The FIFA World Cup (Part II)

By Julian Steinforth, Expedition PR

World CUp Hummels SchachThe first part of the article on how the FIFA World Cup was breaking new records for social media marketing discussed the level of social media activities on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, among others, as well as the type of content that was shared by millions of soccer fans around the world.

The second part takes a look at some of the brands that had successful marketing campaigns during the World Cup, getting fans engaged about sportswear and solar power.

Let’s start with adidas, a designer and manufacturer of sports apparel and shoes, and one of the official World Cup sponsors. About 100 athletes that participated in the World Cup had a signed sponsorship contract with adidas. The company had created a “Content Bible” of 1,000 images and 160 videos that the social media marketing could use during the Games to feature the players and tailor messages based on game outcomes. The result, over 1.6 million tweets, retweets and replies mentioned the brand during the first weeks of the tournament. The company’s YouTube audience also doubled, with more than 200,000 new subscribers since the Games started.  By showing 4 to 5 YouTube videos a day adidas gained 90.3 million views for their World Cup videos in total.

Continue reading


Hollywood’s A-List Rules Twitter

This post was originally published by ACM Computers in Entertainment on March 31, 2014.

Ellen DeGeneres Group Selfie During the Oscars Proofs Entertainment Content Rules Social Media and Shows the Marketing Power of the Second Screen

By Katja Schroeder, Expedition PR

Ellen DeGeneres’ group selfie featuring herself, 10 A-list celebrities and the brother of Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o during the Oscars on March 2nd was a slam dunk on Twitter for Hollywood. Within a few hours the star-studded selfie dethroned President Obama’s victory photo as the most retweeted picture on Twitter in history. To date it has achieved more than 3.4 million retweets and prompted parodies, including one from The Simpsons.  In comparison, Obama’s victory photo was shared 780,000 times.

At the one million retweet mark, Twitter honored Ellen DeGeneres for setting a new world record with – what else – a Tweet.

The envelope please….to @TheEllenShow – this is now the most re-tweeted Tweet with over 1 million RTs. Congrats!

— Twitter (@twitter) March 2, 2014


If you are not one of the over three million people who retweeted or liked the picture since the Academy Awards ceremony, this is the famous tweet that started it all:

If only Bradley’s arm was longer. Best photo ever. #oscarspic.twitter.com/C9U5NOtGap

— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) 3. März 2014

With the exception of Meryl Streep, who according to media reports exclaimed at the group shot that she has never tweeted before, entertainment celebrities have the highest following on Twitter. Continue reading


New York is a Melting Pot for the Food and Tech Industries

By Katja Schroeder, Expedition PR

2014 will be the breakthrough year for Food Tech companies.  This January at CES in Las Vegas, Yahoo announced with great fanfare the launch of two new digital magazines – Yahoo Food and Yahoo Tech. Both online publications boast a high caliber editorial team, led by Katie Couric and David Pogue. The magazines were designed on Tumblr technology, a multimedia blogging platform that had been acquired by Yahoo.  According to the New York Times, Yahoo’s CEO Marissa Mayer said the digital food and tech magazines had already attracted more than 10 million unique visitors since their introduction in early January. That comes to no surprise considering that food and technology are among the most discussed topics online. Moreover, technology is increasingly transforming the food industry and spurred the creation of food tech companies. Rosenheim Advisor charted the 2014 Food, Tech & Media Ecosystem. It stretches from online and mobile ordering, reservations, ad networks and loyalty programs to payment systems.

The food and tech industries continue to merge in 2014 offering more ways to hospitality businesses to market themselves and operate more efficiently. One of the nation's food tech hubs is New York City.

The food and tech industries continue to merge in 2014 offering more ways to hospitality businesses to market themselves and operate more efficiently. One of the nation’s food tech hubs is New York City.

On a recent Food+Tech Meetup organized by the founders of Foodtechconnect.com, some of New York’s finest food tech startup showcased how they are transforming the way restaurants market and operate their business.

 Here is a snap shot of some of the companies that presented:

·         NoWait, is an iOS app that allows consumers to search restaurant wait times, add their names to waiting lists and get texts from restaurants when their tables are ready. CEO, Ware Sykes, shows how the company is serving a sizeable non reservation market space; restaurants and their customers that don’t take reservations and need better solutions than buzzers or manual text messages to manage an average wait line of 45 – 60 minutes. Serving over 1,000 restaurants nationwide, the company’s table management system seats up to 3 million diners per month.

·         Cover, founded by Mark Egerman or Andrew Cove, is a payment processing app that lets customers seamlessly pay for their meals and saves restaurants money on credit card fees.  Diners can use the downloaded Cover app to easily settle their bill on their mobile when leaving the restaurant and even preset tip percentage and bill splitting with other diners.

·         Culinary Agents and Easy Pairings  are both solutions to help restaurant owners with recruitment and staffing in the hospitality industry. While Culinary Agents offers match making for the back of the house and front of the house, Easy Pairings currently focuses on front of the house staffing, with plans to expand in the future. CEO and co-founder Darren Wan shared that based on his own experience managing a restaurant in New York, staff turnover is a major pain point for the food industry. Turnover rates are approximately 55%. Data analytics and online profile matchmaking can help restaurant owners to identify proper candidates quickly.

With New York, and especially the borough of Brooklyn, being a major hub for digital media, tech and food businesses, it will be exciting to see how the three industries will feed each other with new ideas and innovative business models.


10 Questions for Idil Cakim on Word of Mouth

By Katja Schroeder, Expedition PR

The explosion of social media channels has heightened the need for companies to build and manage their online reputation. It also has created opportunities to spread word of mouth messaging through mobile and social channels. We sat down with Idil Cakim to discuss tips and tricks for building online advocacy and how this might change in the future.

What is online advocacy and why should companies care about it? The second part of your question made me think there are two types of online advocacy: 1. Organic—where people start posting about a common topic such as a product recommendation, their political view, or a local event, creating a discussion thread across sites and platforms. 2. Engineered—where companies rally targeted audiences around a topic such as a brand or a related theme with ad creatives or PR initiatives. In either case, opinions posted online can affect purchasing decisions, brand favorability, and recommendations. That’s why companies should care about it.  Continue reading


Winter Olympics 2014 in Sochi – A Good Candidate to Break the New Social Media World Record

By Julian Steinforth, Expedition PR

sochi_app_storeWith today’s start of the broadcast of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, millions of people will be tied to their TV and computers screen to watch their favorite winter sports and cheer on their home country’s teams. Big sport events such as the FIFA World Cup, the Super Bowl or the Olympic Games are always a crunch time for marketing and PR professionals since, according to KT Tape, 83% of viewers use social media on second-screen during the games. Procter and Gamble launched their very successful “Thank You, Mum – Pick Them Back Up” commercial for the Olympics which went viral and hit over 13 million clicks after only two days on YouTube. But the Olympic Games are also used by countries to promote themselves and their culture to the rest of the world. One example of this is Canada who launched their big #WeAreWinter campaign featuring their star athletes in several videos that followed them through the preparation to the Winter Olympics.

The rise of social media and mobile technology has enabled people from around the world to follow scores, athletes and help to handle scheduling the 98 events which take place in 15 disciplines over the next couple of weeks.

Here are five apps specifically developed for the Winter Olympics in Sochi that will greatly improve your second-screen viewing experience:

  1. AT&T, also official network service provider, launched the #ItsOurTime App with a record function, giving fans of the US team the opportunity to support the athletes with a loud “U-S-A” chant.
  2. The free Olympic Athletes Hub App makes it easy for fans to follow their favorite athletes on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, all combined in one App. A great solution to monitor all social engagement and happenings.
  3. Also worth checking out is the free 2014 Team USA Road to Sochi App. Designed for the supporters of the US team, the App puts a focus on the US athlete’s Facebook and Twitter handles and provides its users with biographical background information, photo galleries and video clips.
  4. A good way to stay up to date on the medal count is with the Sochi 2014 Medal Alert App. You can select your favorite sports category and the teams you’re cheering for in the preferences. The app will notify you each time a medal is awarded during the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games.
  5. For Android users the official Olympic sponsor Samsung launched the WOW Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games App. It allows its users to keep track of scores, medals and event schedules. Also included in this app, and possibly one of the most valuable features for those unfamiliar with the sports they are watching, is a small tutorial for each sport detailing how it is played and scored.

Alex Huot, head of social media for the International Olympic Committee (IOC), predicted that the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver would be “the first social media Olympics”. However, the games in Vancouver were outranked by London. With 150 million tweets across 16 days and 80,000 a minute when Usain Bolt won his 200 meters title, plus 1 billion official page impressions on Facebook, the London 2012 Olympics were crowned as the “first social media Games.” We know that Sochi can’t be crowned the first social media game anymore, but world records are there to be broken as social media use has even increased since 2012.


Social Media and Data Analytics are Main Ingredients for Good Restaurant Marketing Recipes


Case Study: The Opening of Falansai Vietnamese Kitchen

By Katja Schroeder, Expedition PR


One of the industries that technology is changing dramatically for the better is the food and restaurant business. Technology spurred the creation of new types of food services and is helping restaurants with their operations and marketing. There is a food tech boom in New York and many of the new food companies are based in Brooklyn. Crain’s New York reported that investors have a huge appetite for Brooklyn food startups. The on-demand dining industry is growing, driven by new types of companies that help consumers prepare gourmet meals at home with home-delivered packages that include ingredients and recipes or help consumers purchase fresh produce and organic products via the Web. Examples are Plated, Blue Apron, Kitchensurfing, Food52, Wholeshare and Farmigo.

But also the traditional restaurant industry is using technology from point-of-sales (POS) systems, online reservation and delivery services as well as social media marketing.

Brooklyn Based Named Falansai Among the Best New Restaurants in 2013

Brooklyn Based Named Falansai Among the Best New Restaurants in 2013

Thus, we were very excited to be brought on board to execute an integrated marketing program for the opening of Falansai Vietnamese Kitchen (pronounced faa-laan-sai) in Brooklyn, New York. Continue reading


Holiday Shopping 2013: Watch out for Santa’s new digital elves and reindeers

By Dennis Anderson, St. Francis College, and Katja Schroeder, Expedition PR
This blog post was originally published by ACM – Computers in Entertainment.


Forget chimney sweeping, Santa is sending gifts by same-day courier and his elves are roaming virtual shopping malls to stuff your stockings.

adidasinteractive_2This year’s holiday shopping is on track to set a new record for m-commerce: Total e-commerce grew 24% to $4.6 billion on Cyber Monday, Black Friday, and Thanksgiving, according to research conducted by BI Intelligence. The study concluded that m-commerce grew 63 percent and accounted for nearly $940 million in sales on those three days. One in four e-commerce dollars spent on Black Friday and Thanksgiving was on purchases made through mobile devices. Comscore is predicting a combined 14-17 percent growth in holiday desktop e-commerce and m-commerce compared to last year, keeping in mind that this year’s shopping season is merely 27 days, thus six days shorter than 2012.

Santa and his virtual elves also have a couple of new tricks up their sleeves. One of them is comparison shopping.  Continue reading


Dogfish Accelerator Demo Day Lesson #1: Producing Film and New Media Content Starts With Audience Engagement

By Julian Steinforth, Expedition PR

Last Friday the Dogfish Accelerator Demo Day took place at the Microsoft Technology Center in New York City. For the very first time film production companies pitched their projects to the investment and entertainment community, taking a page from the tech industry playbook.

Dogfish Accelerator Demo Day 2013 in NYC

Dogfish Accelerator Demo Day 2013 in NYC

Inspired by the TechStars model, eight production teams presented 13 films, 3 marketing and distribution platforms, 2 multi channel networks, and ancillary streams of revenue including graphic novels, video games as well as a fashion line to more than 200 investors and media representatives at the Dogfish Accelerator Demo Day. The first cohort of the Dogfish Accelerator program was selected from 440 applications.

Dogfish Accelerator was founded by James Belfer and Michelle Soffen to help indie film producers think like startups. Belfer, who worked on several film productions with his company Dogfish Pictures, realized that the film industry needs to change.

“I experienced firsthand the many challenges the independent film industry faces,” stated Belfer in his opening remarks.  “The real issue isn’t that the times are tough, it’s that you can’t be disruptive without knocking down a few walls. Or without trying new investment and business models, testing new marketing and monetization strategies, or utilizing distribution opportunities across multiple platforms.”

The Dogfish Accelerator program offers seed financing, office space and access to resources to nurture companies that are willing to take the leap with a new model and change the industry.  More than 20 industry mentors, from financing to marketing, support the teams throughout the program and beyond. Continue reading


German Social Media Networks: Xing The Rising Star and Yelp Entering The Market

By Julian Steinforth, Expedition PR

Xing is one of Germany's leading social networks

Xing is one of Germany’s leading social networks

According to a ComScore report,  46.4 million people are accessing social media services via their PC in Germany. With a population of over 81 million people, half of the country is regularly online. 17.3 million Germans are checking in on social networks daily for news . Half of those (8.4 million) are using their Smartphone to go online to read blogs or communicate via Twitter, Facebook and other social media services.

This month, eMarketer published a report stating that Germany is the top social networking spot in Western Europe, edging out the U.K. The social media usage numbers in Germany are expected to increase further over the next years.

In the U.S. the most popular social networks are Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest and Google+. In Germany Facebook and Google+ are also among the top social networks, with Facebook dominating the market.  However, there are also few other networks that are worth mentioning. One of them is Xing, a social network for business professionals that is comparable to LinkedIn. Continue reading