Category Archives: R-blog

Snow Day

Don’t underestimate the benefits of ridesharing in inclement weather.


Branching Out Early Into New Media

Over the last few years, major brands have gone from social media skeptics to true believers, embracing Facebook as a new way to reach and interact with audiences. Big brands have a track record of being hesitant to embrace emerging media, and become major news stories when they finally adopt a presence on the next big thing. There can be a down side to waiting. Unfortunately for brands that are just hitting their social media stride, as Facebook celebrates its tenth birthday, there is already talk about its decline. Users are already shifting to new applications and ways of communicating that may or may not have any staying power. As audiences continue to migrate from one social media outlet to the next, brands shouldn’t be afraid to follow and step out into the new, unknown territory. 

A few weeks ago a friend asked me if I come up with all sorts of cool hip ideas at Riggs Partners, as if because of my age I have a magic ability to use social media in the hippest way possible. My answer, in short, was “no.” Here’s why. The goals for connecting with people are the same no matter the medium. Whether it’s because of the way we communicate, or the way people listen, that part of the equation doesn’t seem like it is going to change any time soon.

A recent New York Times article noted that Aristotle had the recipe for viral media marketing figured out in 350 BC. Just as Aristotle’s methods of appealing to logic and emotion made his speeches more memorable and persuasive, modern social media, and any media for that matter, works the same way.

Aristotle, the original social media master.

Before there was Zuckerberg, there was Aristotle.

Having a strong brand position can be key to success, but as long as a brand stays true to its message, as new frontiers open up, brands shouldn’t be afraid to branch out into them. A quality message will be effective no matter if it is on Myspace or Snapchat. Advertisers should take solace in the fact that even in a noisy medium, where everyone has a voice, the cream of the messages will still rise to the top.

Tweeting the Olympics

For the next three weeks, I will become a couch-potato commentator on all things winter sports related. Fair warning to each and every Olympic athlete competing in Sochi: I will judge you. Whether the landing of of your triple axle is a bit shaky or the overall impact of your first run down the halfpipe is a bit lackluster, I will criticize you from the comfort of my peanut gallery.

Luckily for me, the snarky folks at @SochiProblems have already gotten a head start on judging the highs and lows of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games. However, they’re not commenting on the performances of the athletes (although I’m sure that’s soon to come), but rather, the thousands of mishaps that have seemed to plague Russia’s winter games. The @SochiProblems account currently boasts roughly 274,000 followers. That’s 100,000 more than the Olympics’ official @sochi2014 account. According to Mashable, “The hashtag #SochiProblems has been mentioned more than ‘Team USA,’ ‘Putin’ and ‘opening ceremony,’ on social media.” Fodder for the account includes photographs of/jokes pertaining to subpar hotel conditions, bathrooms without stall partitions, packs of stray dogs, glasses of yellow tap water, and these tipsy security guards:

It’s worth noting, then, that a Twitter account that does not claim an owner (nor has it given any hints about who is managing its tweets) could severely undermine Russia’s 50 billion dollar effort to promote its attractions and amenities to potential tourists. So, what have we learned? Two things: 1) Twitter is more powerful than ever as a means of aggregating and sharing content, and 2) it has the capacity to change the world’s perception of an Olympic sized event. The negative publicity is taking away from what’s set to be one of the coolest and most physically demanding Olympic games we’ve ever seen (Slopestyle? The ski halfpipe? C’mon!). On the bright side, at least there’s all kinds of team bonding happening in the Olympic Village:

 

What a difference a decade makes

The original Facebook login

What a difference a decade makes.

Ten years ago today, the world was five days away from the launch of Kanye West’s first record, still recovering from a certain Super Bowl wardrobe malfunction, and baffled by Britney Spears’ decision to get married to Jason Alexander (not that Jason Alexander) for 55 hours.

Oh. And a little site called thefacebook.com had begun to find its way around the Harvard Campus.

Facebook (which has changed the way people and brands interact with one another, provided the story for my favorite movie of all time, and issued a host of phrases into the general lexicon of the 21st century) has continued to grow and thrive in a place where other social networks have come and gone, surviving by refusing to sit still. 

But more than these other ideas, Facebook has always been a place to share personal moments. The site got the ball rolling on the way we’re now accustomed to sharing our lives. Sharing is now a part of the human instinct.

It’s fitting then, that Facebook rolled out ‘Look Back,’ allowing you to revisit on your time with the site. The video, highlighting your major milestones on the site (most liked posted, photos, etc.) is certainly a nostalgic way to celebrate the anniversary, but it’s right in brand with the site that’s changed so much. As we look back with Facebook, we also look forward to see what other changes the site will bring to our world.

Because if the past is any indication, we’re in for an exciting future.