“I’m watching you” – Social Media Monitoring

Social media monitoring has become a huge industry, with many tracking tools popping up to help businesses keep track of their brand performance across the Web. With dozens upon dozens of available options, choosing the right fit for a company can be a daunting task.

Upon doing some research, I believe Sprout Social would be a wonderful choice for Ronald McDonald House Charities Morgantown to monitor the activity set forth by my proposed social media plan. Sprout Social offers a free trial, a $59/month plan, and a $99/month plan. Instantly, these prices show affordability, which is imperative for a small non-profit branch like RMHC Morgantown. The $59/month plan would likely be the wiser choice, offering various tools such as monitoring, content calendar, reports, and more.

I believe Sprout Social an appropriate choice for RMHC Morgantown due to the affordability combined with tools provided for the price. While there are certainly cheaper options available, Sprout Social has built a reputation for quality, which lends credibility to its usage. Moreover, given the scope of the social media plan I have created over time, an affordable (but also quality-) social media monitoring tool would be hugely beneficial for RMHC


Looking back and reflecting on my social media plan, I am quite proud of my ideas. I’ve no doubt that if I were to look at every proposed action, I would have a burning desire to change many details, being that I am my harshest critic for improvement. That said, I would love the opportunity to present my plan to the appropriate RMHC managers, even if only for general feedback. On the other hand, the opportunity to implement my ideas and test their success is a goal that I look forward to achieving.







White Label Networks for RMHC: Are They Worth It?


White label (aka private) social networks have been growing in popularity over the past few years. Their appeal comes from allowing a company to completely own and control everything regarding the network, ranging from appearance to content. However, this type of ownership comes at a significant price, especially when compared to the available public social networks. White label networks certainly have advantages over public social networks, but weighing the advantages against the incurred costs is paramount when considering building a company’s own private network.

When evaluating private networks in relation to non-profits, like Ronald McDonald House Charities, the situation becomes all the more favorable toward public networks. Most non-profits, RMHC included, simply cannot afford to create  these private social networks when the public networks offer equal benefits, in terms of outreach. However, using a site like Ning (link below) to build the company’s own social network may provide the benefits without the large costs.

That said, a theoretical private social network for RMHC does have strong branding possibilities. The company could make the network available for employees, families, and the general public. There would be no stringent membership requirements, although the sign-up page could encourage providing a location of which the potential member has partaken in. The network could host global company information while providing a comprehensive list (with website links) to every single RMHC branch around the world. Beside the traditional information and pictures readily available elsewhere, the network could feature a sliding display of tweets, pictures, and posts from various RMHCs, with the aforementioned posts coming from employees, families, or volunteers.

In addition, personal experience posts with RMHC would be encouraged, along with comments. Furthermore, the network would have information regarding opportunities to volunteer or donate, alongside finding the nearest RMHC to a person’s location. A mobile app could prove beneficial here, with location services being made available for the app.

In essence, expanding a company like Ronald McDonald House Charities to include white label networking has the potential for benefits. However, those benefits may not be necessarily benefits that are not gained from public social media. If RMHC were to jump on the private network bandwagon, a site like Ning could be used at a much lower cost than other private networks.

It is important to note, however, that this post is referring exclusively to Ronald McDonald House Charities of Morgantown, WV. If the global headquarters chose to implement the white label network and make the network available for all RMHCs, then the prospect of white label networks becomes far more enticing (and possible). However, RMHC branches operate independently of one another, making this idea null at the present time.




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How Nostalgia can Stifle Creativity in Marketing: An Opinion Piece

Nostalgia is a powerful emotion. In a mere moment, a strong wave of memories and feelings, brought on by a nostalgic moment, can transport any person to a different time and place in their lives. Nostalgia is capable of providing great joy to a person, reminding them of generally happier and simples eras in their lives. Childhood nostalgia is an especially potent case. That said, marketers can often prey upon nostalgia in lieu of using creativity to market a certain product.

Take the recently released revival series Fuller House. The original series Full House, beloved as it may have been, was hardly a bastion of “must see TV.” Relying heavily on after school special lessons, laugh tracks, and cheesy repetitive jokes with hugs at the end, the series was no critical darling. However, the show was tailored made to appeal to families with kids of all ages. And so a generation grew up on Full House, memorizing every snappy catchphrase (not a difficult task with the number of times every character’s catchphrase was repeated). The show ran for eight years, and its success ensured longevity via syndication, allowing the next generation to have the catchphrases ingrained in their brain (myself included).

And thus Fuller House arrived, the sequel series created by streaming giant Netflix. The show’s premise mirrors the original series, except instead of three men taking care of three girls, the genders have been swapped (plus an additional girl amongst the three boys). Original characters DJ Tanner and Stephanie Tanner, alongside fan favorite Kimmy Gibbler, move in together to help DJ raise her three sons after she becomes a widow. A shred of creativity in the premise is not to be found, nor is the house setting of the show very different (the crew recreated the set).  Laugh tracks, lots of hugs, guest appearances by the other cast members, and repeated catchphrases, both old and new, abound in the show’s thirteen episode first season.

Here is the show’s official trailer.

That trailer exemplifies the idea stated in the title of this blog, which is that appealing to nostalgia is an easy way for marketers to stitch together a marketing campaign devoid of any creative process. The original theme song is used again, except redone by modern pop star Carly Rae Jepsen (a very fitting artist choice). The trailer centers quite a bit on the entire cast from the original, even though the old cast makes sporadic appearances, at best. And, of course, there are catchphrases coming from everywhere and from everyone. While the trailer does show the basic set-up of the new show, the trailer could have focused far more on the stories of the ladies, now grown up, and their children. Instead, half (or more) of the trailer is focused on the old cast and tired catchphrases.

Here is Fuller House’s teaser trailer. This brief trailer shows that creativity and nostalgia can be fused in an effective marketing package. The trailer focuses on the original Full House set, while the accompanying song is a perfect track lyrically to appeal to nostalgic feelings. The trailer closes with the sounds of the familiar voices of the cast. This is a great shame, that this creative trailer was followed by a far less exemplary display.

However, the argument can be made that Fuller House was created as an easy-to-make nostalgic cash grab to begin with. Having watched the show, I found the series entertaining enough, though the fact that the show does little in original scripting cannot be denied (as many critics have pointed out, as well). Furthermore, nostalgia based marketing has gathered more and more popularity, as discussed in this article. Yet, this article proves exactly the point of this post. Nostalgia makes marketing easy, lacking any effort or creativity most of the time. Considering the advent of TV revivals and remakes, marketing to nostalgia is the effortless cop out method to avoid brainstorming sessions and skip right over to the check.