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Black Friday As We Once Knew It

by Katherine Schober, Social Media Strategist

 

As soon as Thanksgiving ends, Christmas shopping begins. Although Black Friday isn’t actually a holiday, many workers and students take a break from their normal lives to celebrate Thanksgiving, spend time with their families, and kick off their holiday spending on this most famous Friday.

 

For years, Black Friday has been defined by doorbusting deals, early-bird prices, and crowds that make Woodstock look spacious. Regardless of the weather, dedicated Black Friday shoppers would wait endless hours outside retail stores in hopes of making the most of their holiday shopping budgets. The hardcore retailers began opening their doors at six in the morning, but over the years, many stores have moved to opening as early as four. Once inside, bargain seekers become relentless and all courtesies are thrown out the window with last year’s Apple iPad 1st Generation (so last season). Some shoppers resort to good old-fashioned shoving, while others might get creative using their shopping carts as shields to grab that last Play Station on the shelf. These extreme tactics may have been necessary for successful shopping on previous Black Fridays, but in this new digital era long lines, elbowing our way through crowds, and early mornings outside a store in the freezing cold could be a memory of the past.

 

The growing presence of brands on social media sites has already begun to change the way we “clip coupons.” For consumers, following their favorite brands on Facebook or Twitter allow them to get the latest updates on product shipments, quick sales, and even compete against other customers through contests for a special deal offered only through this medium. Companies have been utilizing the popularity and convenience of social media in their everyday business routines. Not to be excluded, Black Friday and the buzz that surrounds it is just as present this year on social media sites as all your favorite brands. In fact, Christine Erickson of Mashable.com claims, “Black Friday is a lot like Facebook — you’re either obsessed with it, or you try to avoid it at all costs. It’s also equally as fast and crowded, which is why the two are so perfect for each other!” Macy’s, Walmart, and Best Buy are just a few of the companies taking Black Friday to a social level. Announcing last minute doorbusters, previews of in-stock products, and exclusive fan-offers, companies have their customers visiting their pages incessantly to stay on top of the latest Black Friday news.

 

Social media isn’t the only game changer this year. Our mobile devices have evolved to be so much more than the telephones we originally used them for. Smart phones now email, browse the Internet, stream music, and more recently allow for purchases to be made in the palm of your hand. Many companies have developed mobile friendly websites so that their customers can conveniently shop or get information from wherever they are. Another mobile trend coming on strong is the use of QR codes. These codes are popping up everywhere, in magazines, newspapers, and online. All the consumer has to do is take a picture of it with their phone and the deal is revealed and ready to use when they get to the store.

 

In recent years, retailers have coined the term Cyber Monday to encourage shoppers to go online and buy products they weren’t able to sell on Black Friday for bargain prices. Since many students and workers return to their normal lives after Thanksgiving weekend, retailers have acknowledged that people still have a lot of holiday shopping ahead of them. Some might even continue this shopping from their desk if they can. Cyber Monday has been around for less than a decade and has already gained a level of popularity similar to that of Black Friday. In fact, some shoppers prefer to wait until Cyber Monday to catch the same great deals without the hustle.

 

This year has been a growing one for social media and mobile marketing. Already, these new trends are affecting how we get ready for Black Friday. Looking for special offers on social media sites and through QR codes has taken consumers down a different path of prepping for the holidays than years past. These changes are only the beginning. This Black Friday will be different from the last, but next year, will people even wait in line? Will stores continue to open as early as midnight and will crowds be as large? What effect will social media and mobile marketing have on the already digital Cyber Monday?

 

In the past, these two retailer-made-holidays were easily distinguished from one another. Prices offered in-store on Black Friday weren’t available online and featured products online for Cyber Mondays weren’t always available in-store. Does anyone else see where I’m going with this? At the rate these trends are taking over, it’s anyone’s guess as to how much longer these two days and the characteristics that define them actually remain separated. Social media and mobile marketing are going to continue to change our familiarity with brands, and days like the crazed Black Friday, might soon be a pleasant experience after all.

Internship Opportunities @iSource_Digital

 

If you are eager to work in a dynamic online marketing agency, with young professionals that have fun using cutting edge marketing tactics, this is your chance!

We are looking to hire interns in the areas of: Account Coordinator, Graphic Design, and Social Media Marketing. Internships may be full-time or part-time. Internships are unpaid with a small stipend to help cover travel expenses.

 

ACCOUNT COORDINATOR INTERNSHIP

Looking for an Account Coordinator INTERN to help support the agency team with managing clients, write and manage social media platforms, coordinate with print shops & suppliers, online marketing, research vendors/media, plan events, develop multi-media promotions, and some admin/office management duties. Position would assist USA and Latin America accounts. Training will be provided.
- Ideally will hold/pursue a Degree in Communications/Advertising/Marketing a big plus.
- Must be fluent in SPANISH. (Oral & Written)
- Agency or Interactive Marketing experience a big plus.
- Office Management including Admin work experience.
- Computer knowledge -- Windows/MAC/Office -- (Adobe CS5 experience a BIG PLUS).
- SOCIAL MEDIA Management & Copywriting will be a BIG PLUS.
- Open minded and available to assist in the various areas of the agency.
- Must have a reliable source of transportation.

*Please use reference code AC-INTERN-2011 & submit resume/cover letter to ansley@isourcedigital.com


GRAPHIC DESIGN INTERNSHIP

Looking for Graphic Design INTERN to help support the agency team with creative concepts for ads (online and print), newsletters, special communications, websites, case studies, multimedia, social media, marketing collateral, proposals/presentations, etc.
- Experience with design software a must (Adobe CS5 & Microsoft Office)
- Spanish is a MUST.
- Web design experience a BIG PLUS, including Dreamweaver, Wordpress, Joomla, Campaigner, etc.
- Candidate ideally will hold or pursue a Graphic Arts, Communications, Advertising or Multimedia.
- Full-time & Part-time positions available. Agency located in Hollywood.
- Please include creative portfolio with resume.
- TRAINING will be provided.

*Please use reference code DESIGN-INTERN & submit resume/cover letter with a digital portfolio or link to portfolio website to ansley@isourcedigital.com

 

SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING INTERNSHIP

Looking for Social Media Marketing / Account Assistant INTERN to help support the agency team with client services, social media, and business development. The person will be involved in providing account management assistance to our existing clients, generating content for the web, and assisting with business development. TRAINING WILL BE PROVIDED.
- Ideally will hold/pursue a Degree in Communications/Advertising/Marketing a big plus.
- Must be fluent in SPANISH. (Oral & Written)
- Agency or Interactive Marketing experience a big plus.
- Office Management including Admin work experience.
- Computer knowledge -- Windows/MAC/Office -- (Adobe CS5 experience a BIG PLUS).
- SOCIAL MEDIA Management & Copywriting will be a BIG PLUS.
- Open minded and available to assist in the various areas of the agency.
- Must have a reliable source of transportation.

*Please use reference code SM-AC-INTERN & submit resume/cover letter and portfolio samples (if applicable) to ansley@isourcedigital.com

 

Why Brands Need a Social Media Specialist

by Ansley Phillips

When I first got my driver’s license, I felt lost in places I’d been all my life. Suddenly, my neighborhood looked unfamiliar, the mall seemed farther away, and the old sledding hill became an intersection of decision. This is how social media marketing is without analyzing social behaviors from both consumer and business standpoints. Even if you’ve spent lots of time using social media, trying to drive sales using social networks can leave you feeling directionless. This leads us to…

The 3 Reasons Why Brands Need a Social Media Specialist

  1. Social Media Marketing is an unprecedented specialty. It’s interactively inbound, word-of-mouth marketing. Traditional marketing techniques are only applicable if they are strategically modified for the social media climate.
  2. Social is more like storytelling than broadcasting. Brands need a dedicated professional to manage their engagement. You’re developing a community that needs time and nurture to become fruitful.
  3. Having a specialist provides opportunity and freedom. Most business owners don’t have time to analyze, publish, and manage their company’s social community but also don’t want to jeopardize their online presence by excluding social media or leaving such an influential tool in untrained hands. Using an online community manager gives you the opportunity to creatively execute social media campaigns that support your marketing plan.
Brand Perception
This chart reflects a study done by IBM, regarding the perception gap between what consumers actually value from social sites vs. what businesses think consumers value.

For more information on social media marketing and why you need a social media specialist, contact ansley@socialnitro.com. SocialNitro clients range in size and location, with a concentration in South Florida, particularly Orlando, West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, and Miami. With iSource Digital clients, we’ve integrated social media into numerous large digital campaigns. SocialNitro is a division of iSource through which we’re now offering competitive-rate social media marketing for small to medium-sized companies in South Florida. Also, ask about our “New Neighbor Special,” providing additional discounts on social media packaging for Hollywood businesses.

Social Media Day 2011 Meetup - Fort Lauderdale, Florida

 

Social Media Day - SocialNitro

Social Media Day Meetup gives you the opportunity to engage with your local social media peers in-person, rather than just virtually! “The global event is a celebration of the advancements we make in technology that allow us real-time connectivity with our business partners, consumers, and customers.” (Sun-Sentinel.com) Meet people in your area that are following the same topics, reading the same articles, and engaging on the same social networks. Talk to other professionals about the influence and future of social media. Will Twitter out-live Facebook? Will Foursquare continue to grow at its current rapid pace? What do you think about Seth Priebatsch’s “game layer” concept? Join in the discussion on using #SMDay on Twitter. For more info, contact via Twitter @SocialNitro.

  • What: Social Media Day 2011
  • When: June 30, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
  • Where: Irish Pub, 305 S Andrews Ave, Fort Lauderdale
  • Details: Global event is a celebration of the technological advancements that enable everyone to connect with real-time information, communicate from miles apart and have their voices be heard. We invite you to celebrate by socializing with your online community offline!
Register/contact: Mashable Meetup