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  • 12 Dec 2018 12:13 PM | Kathy Doering (Administrator)

    This brings up a great point... e-Receipts are becoming more and more popular and are a great way for customers to keep track and manage their receipts on their computers. However, one does wonder what else they do with that information. 

    Great short read from our friends over the pound~

    UK – Retailers sending customers receipts by email may be in breach of data protection laws, according to research by consumer group Which?.

    Mystery shoppers were sent to 11 retail outlets, including TopshopMothercare and Nike, where they requested an e-receipt but told the retailer they did not want to receive additional marketing.

    E-receipts sent out by MothercareSchuhHalfords and Gap contained promotional marketing, "indicating that the retailers may be breaking data protection rules", Which? said.

    Following the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) earlier this year, companies must not send direct marketing to new customers unless the recipient has consented to the communication.

    Retailers asking for an email address at the point of sale must give shoppers the chance to opt out, if they are planning to send marketing information.

    While most of the shops in the research complied with data protection law, the e-receipts which did contain marketing "raise concerns that some retailers or their employees do not fully understand their obligations," Which? said.

    The mystery shopping research was launched after Which? conducted a survey that found 70% of people were concerned about how retailers might use their data, with over half ( 59%) concerned that if they received an e-receipt, their email address may be shared with third parties.

    Alex Neill, managing director of home products and services at Which?, said: "More and more shops are offering e-receipts, which can be convenient for shoppers, but our investigation suggests not all shops are aware of the law.

    "Retailers must do everything possible to ensure shoppers can have confidence that they won’t be bombarded with unwanted marketing emails and that their personal details are safe."

    A Halford’s spokesperson told Which?: "We take the privacy of our customers very seriously and would like to assure them that our e-receipts are compliant with the UK’s data protection law and conform to GDPR regulations. Our e-receipts do not contain any active promotion of products or services."

    A Schuh spokesperson told Which?: "Following your feedback, we have now updated the communications you highlighted. We are committed to achieving full compliance in all our marketing communications."

    Gap said it takes the privacy rights of its customers seriously and is investigating further. 

    Mothercare told the Guardian: "We take the privacy rights of our customers very seriously and we are confident our e-receipts comply with data protection laws. We look forward to receiving Which’s findings so we can investigate fully."

    Which? sent mystery shoppers to 11 retail outlets – Topshop, Clarks, Gap (including GAP Outlet), New Look, Dorothy Perkins, Arcadia Group (Miss Selfridge, Outfit, Burton), Schuh, Mothercare, Halfords, Currys PC World and Nike. Shoppers were asked to find out what data protection information was offered in-store and to examine the e-receipts they received. The shoppers visited each retail group a minimum of three times with a total of 34 visits.

    The organisation surveyed 2,074 UK adults online between 19th-21stOctober regarding their attitude to e-receipts. The survey was conducted by Populus.

  • 10 Dec 2018 5:09 PM | Kathy Doering (Administrator)
    Interesting perspective on the prediction of mental health issues from social media posts. 

    By TODD FEATHERS New Hampshire Union Leader

    Dec 8, 2018 Updated Dec 9, 2018

    On May 30, 2017, the Rochester Police Department received a call about a juvenile in the city who had posted something concerning on Facebook.

    The caller thought the boy might be contemplating suicide, so officers quickly contacted his mother. She told police her son hadn’t harmed himself and she had already taken him to a local hospital for evaluation.

    It was a good end to what, in many ways, was a routine call.

    Since 2016, Rochester police have received 95 reports about potentially suicidal residents based on Facebook posts that friends or family members spotted and deemed concerning enough to warrant calling 911.

    But the department has also received two reports, including the one from May 30, 2017, that came from a different source: Facebook itself.

    Three months before a Facebook employee called Rochester police about the juvenile’s concerning post, the social media company announced the launch of a new artificial intelligence program that scans text and pictures posted to the website for evidence that the user may be suicidal.

    “I’m sure there are going to be people out there who say it’s an invasion of privacy,” Rochester police Capt. Jason Thomas said. “But to me, if they’re putting it out there on Facebook, which is public, it’s a cry for help.”

    The program is currently running worldwide, looking for patterns in every Facebook user’s posts. It is perhaps the largest and most active example of a burgeoning new use of artificial intelligence, but several more advanced tools are in development.

    From companies using Twitter posts and Fitbit data to recognize suicidal inclination to a group of Dartmouth College researchers who developed a program to scan Instagram posts and identify users at a high risk of alcoholism, social media-trawling AIs are quickly becoming tools for detecting elusive behavioral health problems.

    “This technology is possible. It’s very clear that there are signals relevant to our mental health that are present in our social media data,” said Glen Coppersmith, CEO of Qntfy, a Virginia company that is using AI to identify people at risk of suicide based on data from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and wearable devices.

    “We can think of ways that we could apply this, but the biggest question is, ‘How ought we apply this?’ ” he said. “There are a lot of really big, obvious questions there. How should it be used? Who should have access to that information?”

    The health problems these programs are designed to solve are among the biggest around.

    In its announcement last month that life expectancy in the U.S. decreased last year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identified two main causes: increases in suicide and overdose deaths.

    Combined, they accounted for 725 deaths in New Hampshire in 2016.

    Research at Dartmouth

    Saeed Hassanpour and a team of researchers at Dartmouth set out last year to prove that AI could be used to first identify people at high risk of drug and alcohol addiction, and then target them with the proper treatment options.

    The team created a neural network, a type of artificial intelligence programming, and fed it two sets of data: more than 1.3 million Instagram comments and pictures from 2,287 users and the responses those users gave on a clinical survey used by health care professionals to measure alcohol and drug use.

    By analyzing the two data sets together, the network began to recognize patterns in the Instagram posts that corresponded with surveys that indicated a heightened risk of addiction.

    In an article published in October in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology, the researchers announced that their neural network successfully detected users at a high risk of alcoholism. Hassanpour said they are now working to gather more data and believe they will be able to teach the network to identify indicators of drug addiction as well.

    They’re also working on another aspect of the project: figuring out how, exactly, their network achieved its task. Because the program did not receive any human input — such as instructions to look for pictures of people holding alcoholic beverages, for example — the researchers don’t know what patterns it identified.

    “We trained the model on the raw data, so we didn’t really give any kind of manual direction to the model on what features maybe contribute to (risk of addiction),” Hassanpour said. “That’s kind of the strength … but at the same time, it makes the models kind of a black box, so we are right now working to try and develop the features that contributed and provide some insight.”

    Qntfy’s algorithm picked up on unexpected indicators of suicide, Coppersmith said. People contemplating suicide were more likely to use the word “I” than “we” and less likely to use emojis when discussing emotions. Other studies have shown that people contemplating suicide prefer Instagram’s Inkwell filter, which turns pictures black and white.

    New science always takes time to gain the trust of clinicians and make its way into practical settings, said Ken Norton, executive director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness’ New Hampshire chapter. But he sees real potential for AI in the mental health field if the tools can be used with participants’ consent.

    “We really need to look at different ways of preventing suicide than we’ve been using up until now,” he said.

    “If I’m willing to have all my data analyzed for purposes of shopping and consumer goods, why shouldn’t I likewise be willing to have that information looked at for potential lifesaving measures?” he added.

    Privacy risks

    The research into these tools suggests they are ripe with potential, both for helping solve intractable health problems and creating a wide array of new privacy concerns.

    In order to work, they depend on social media companies with spotty track records of protecting users’ data.

    Facebook, which owns Instagram, announced in September that a data breach had exposed the personal information of about 50 million of its users.

    And the companies’ business models are built around collecting huge amounts of user data that can be plugged into algorithms to help advertisers target potential customers. The AI tools developed by Qntfy, the Dartmouth researchers and others work on many of the same principles.

    “I think the optimistic view of the future version of this is that a really intelligent app could just observe your behavior as you go about your life, on your phone, watching you move, and an algorithm would be crunching all that information, comparing it to millions of others’ and then tell your doctor” if you show signs of addictive or suicidal behavior, said Chris Danforth, a University of Vermont professor who helped develop one of the earliest AI tools to detect suicidal inclinations.

    He doesn’t subscribe to the optimistic view and worries that unethical marketers could use AI tools to target alcohol and drug ads.

    “There will be ways for advertisers of any industry to ask Facebook to show ads to people with demographic traits that correlate to people with mental health problems,” he said. “I’m definitely pessimistic that we’re not ready culturally. As a society, we don’t have the structures in place — legal structures or support structures.”

    In a statement, Facebook wrote that it works closely with mental health experts and carefully handles information flagged by its AI program.

    “Our Community Operations team includes thousands of people around the world who review reports about content on Facebook, including those flagged by our AI,” the company said. “The team includes a dedicated group of specialists who have specific training in suicide and self harm. Where we have signals of potential imminent risk or harm, a specialized team conducts an additional review to determine if we should help refer the individual for a wellness check.”

    Silicon Valley’s “move fast and break things” ethos (it was once a Facebook motto) has been criticized in recent years as it became evident that some of the world’s largest tech companies failed to anticipate the damage their platforms could cause.

    Some of the developers of AI-powered behavioral health screening tools are eager not to make that mistake.

    “I think it’s a little too early to see who’s going to be the main user of this. I don’t want to get too ahead of ourselves,” Hassanpour said. “What we tried to do is show the value of social media data in identifying individuals at risk.”

    “We hope that this can one day be operational while protecting people’s privacy, with the correct safeguards,” he added.

    Opt-in, opt-out options

    Social media users are also becoming more conscious of the value, and risk, that comes with turning their data over.

    Danforth said that when he began recruiting people to participate in a study of his suicide risk-detection tool he had no trouble finding people willing to disclose their serious mental health information to researchers. But when they were asked for their social media data, many of them dropped out of the study.

    One of the biggest ethical tests for the AI programs will be whether they’re developed as opt-in or opt-out models. Will social media users choose to have their posts monitored, or will platforms run them in the background, as Facebook is doing?

    Coppersmith praised Facebook’s suicide prevention efforts and pointed out that users must opt-in to using Facebook in the first place, although the platform has become ubiquitous and can be hard to leave.

    “I do applaud them that they’re trying to do this, doing some of the experimentations, even as they risk offending some people, because they want to see progress in this space,” he said, adding that the statistics — 47,173 Americans committed suicide last year and 70,237 fatally overdosed, according to the CDC — warrant bold action.

    “Someone could build these things and use them unethically,” Coppersmith said. But that has to be balanced against “the fact that we’ve not meaningfully moved the needle in 50 years in suicide prevention.”

  • 4 Dec 2018 1:57 PM | Kathy Doering (Administrator)

    Posted on November 8, 2018 by eChatter

    How to protect you and your children’s accounts

    Social media is no longer just a way for us to connect with friends and family. It’s how we connect with the world in general. By sharing photos, kids sporting events, places we like to visit, vacations, and other personal information, we make it easy for cyber thieves to gather specific data about our lives.

    What exactly is cyber identity theft?

    Online or cyber identity theft refers to a group of behaviors that can unfairly jeopardize or tarnish a victim’s reputation. Most commonly, this form of identity theft involves using someone’s likeness online, usually to pose as them and supplant their existing online presence.

    For example, many parents like to share pictures of their kids online. But posting those precious photos could result in issues with identity theft, advertisements, or online predators.

    Bree Fowler is the privacy editor for Consumer Reports. She warns parents to be careful. “Seemingly harmless information like your child’s name, their age, what they look like, where they go to school, all of that information can be used to create a profile that a hacker can use down the road for identity theft,” said Fowler.

    How can you be sure your child’s identity is safe?

    Set your social accounts to their highest security and privacy settings.You should ensure that none of your accounts are leaking information to parties whom you don’t intend to share information. Also, make sure that you review your social media post visibility after software updates to make sure your settings remain private. Finally, make sure that your account security is strong by using complex and unique passwords, two-factor authentication and good account reset questions.

    Don’t use hashtags. It makes it easy for cybercriminals to find your photos.

    Don’t use geotags. It gives criminals an easy way to find your child’s location. If you do not change your privacy settings, each time you post or add new pictures it will tag the exact location where you posted from.

    Be skeptical of links to unfamiliar websites, especially ones that promise shocking video, photos or gossip. They may be designed to hijack control of your account and information, and trick your friends into doing the same.

    If you log into social media on someone else’s computer, remember to log off before leaving and do not check the box to remember your username or password.

    Identity Theft

    What can you do if you become a victim?

    Contact the admins of the site or service where your identity is being abused or where your account was stolen.

    Notify friends, family and followers, if possible.Anyone who you regularly talk to or do business with has a right to know that you’re no longer in control of your online identity so that they don’t fall for any scams your identity thief might try.

    Monitor your online identity and change your passwords.As a precaution, you might want to monitor your other online accounts to verify that they haven’t been breached as well. Also, consider an identity theft protection service. Most of the top-rated services will monitor the use of your information on the Internet black market, allowing you to catch further abuse of your identity.

  • 27 Nov 2018 9:20 AM | Kathy Doering (Administrator)

    We always learn from our mistakes and this time of year is a great time to reflect on and learn from others who missed the mark in social media marketing. From 

    By: Lilach Bullock

    I write about digital marketing topics, from content to social.

    I write about digital marketing topics, from content to social.

    With over a third of the world’s population on social media, it’s only natural that so many brands have joined in, doing their best to stand out in a positive way, reach their audience and engage them with meaningful content.

    Only…that isn’t always the case. Every year, brands make huge mistakes on social media, mistakes that either lead to a few chuckles at their expense, considerable consequences and anything in between.

    And of course, 2018 was no exception. While last year there we had small social media fails like McDonalds’s tweeting an update before it was actually written… Or bigger fails, like Wendy’s tweeting out an anti-Semitic meme and, of course, the introduction of the word “covfefe” to languages throughout the world, 2018 too saw its fair share of social media fails, both big and small.

    In this blog post, I’m going to share some of the biggest social media fails of 2018. Here they are, in no particular order:

    Snapchat or “how not all publicity is good publicity”

    2018 has been a pretty difficult year for Snapchat.

    Starting with Kylie Jenner’s tweet back in February of 2018 asking if “anyone else not open Snapchat anymore?” that was estimated to cost Snapchat a staggering $1.3 billion to other celebrities dropping the popular social network, followed by even more regular users leaving the platform.

    And not only that but they were also the cause of a pretty huge social media fail that led to them losing £650 million and enraging people all over the world.

    It all started with a simple ad of a game: “Would You Rather?”. The purpose was to engage people and make them ask – and answer – impossible questions. However, the questions they chose for the ad left a lot to be desired, making light of domestic abuse by referencing Chris Brown’s conviction for hitting Rihanna back in 2009:

    Would You Rather: “Slap Rihanna?” of “Punch Chris Brown?”

    This of course led to immediate backlash, the $650 million loss that I previously referenced and, not surprisingly, very bad publicity for Snapchat especially as Rihanna wouldn’t accept Snapchat’s apology.

    Clearly, even if the ad was created by a third-party app, that really doesn’t excuse Snapchat in the public eye.

    What can you learn from this huge fail?

    One of the most popular sayings in marketing and PR is “no publicity is bad publicity”. Obviously, there are exceptions to every rule and Snapchat has certainly made that very clear.

    Looking back, it’s difficult to understand why they took this very dangerous route, except perhaps to get people talking about. And while they certainly achieved that, it also led to some serious consequences.

    So the most important lesson to learn here? Quite simply, don’t be offensive – even if that is your brand, there are always limits to what is acceptable and making jokes about domestic abuse as a brand is definitely up there in the list.

    Another important lesson? Check third party content before you let it go live. Anything that is shared on any one of your websites/blogs/social media/etc. should be properly reviewed before being published.

    US Air Force or “maybe don’t make jokes about killing people?

    The US Air Force Twitter account is the author of one of the worst tweets of 2018. But before I get to that, there’s a bit of a backstory.

    Back in spring of 2018, a new viral clip took over the Internet, much like the blue/white dress of 2015 – now entitled simply, The Dress.

    The audio clip, posted by a social media influencer, featured a recording of a voice saying “Laurel” – or “Yanny”. By asking the Internet what they thought was actually being said in the clip, it led to an incredible viral sensation that had people fighting over it much like they did back in 2015 with The Dress.

    When you get these viral sensations, you can also except brands and organizations to jump in on the trend and try to piggyback off it with the appropriate hashtags.

    However, as is the case with the US Air Force, that can definitely backfire. The organization posted an insensitive tweet that was making light of drone attacks and bombing victims by claiming victims would much rather hear Yanny or Laurel rather than their A10 drone.

    Not surprisingly, this led to very intensive backlash both on social media and in the press, even though they promptly deleted the tweet and apologized for it.

    What can you learn from this fail?

    While jumping into pop culture and incorporating these types of elements in your social media updates is a good idea (when done well!), brands need to take care when they make any joke.

    And what’s more, brands really need very clear guidelines of what can be and can’t be posted on social media. Take the time to put together guidelines and social media policies and make sure to instruct your social media team on what is acceptable and what isn’t, as well as how they need to conduct themselves online when they have access to any company account.

    Better yet, create a system or social media workflow whereby a manager or editor needs to give their approval before any update is published.

    Chick-fil-a or “why you should take a minute before responding”

    After the previous 2 fails in this list, this one is just a bit of harmless fun; however, it’s still a fail and there’s still plenty to learn from it.

    Chick-fil-A, a North American chicken sandwich brand has fans all over the world; but mostly, they’re from North America.

    One of their fans from North Pole, Alaska took to Twitter to ask Chick-fil-A if “Yall wanna open a Chick-fil-A in North Pole, Alaska? Like everyone wants one”. To which Chick-fil-A promptly responded:

    “Thanks for asking! Although we have no immediate plans of expanding beyond North America at this time, we appreciate your feedback! Thanks for being a fan!”

    While it’s easy to understand why the person answering the tweet wouldn’t have heard of the just-over-2000 strong town, it’s a bit more difficult to understand how they wouldn’t know that Alaska is, in fact, a U.S state.

    What can you learn from this fail?

    While this isn’t as big a fail as, for example, the “Would you rather?” ad, it still teaches us an important lesson: do your research before you respond to a customer on social media. Spend a couple of minutes going through the question or comment to make sure you definitely understand it – and only then respond to it.


    2018 has seen some pretty huge social media fails, but if you’re not their author, then you can use it as an opportunity to learn from other people’s (and brands’) mistakes and fails, such as:

    To start with, don’t make offensive jokes!

    Create clear social media posting guidelines that state very clearly, using examples, what is acceptable and what isn’t on your company social media accounts

    Create a social media workflow that requires interns/junior associates/etc. go through an editing process and get approval from their manager before posting an update

  • 19 Nov 2018 2:34 PM | Kathy Doering (Administrator)

    By:  Jim Matorin, Business Catalyst at SMARTKETING: Tech-friendly pragmatist that specializes in innovation and revitalizing businesses.

    Every marketer understands the value of knowing their target audience. Conventionally, marketers utilize demographic categorization, primarily population groups, when targeting consumers. The new, viral wave of influence marketers are digitally mining deeper via the different social media platforms to find their target audience. The individuals they target are called brand advocates, select social individuals who have influence over potential buyers. As a result, marketers want to get a better understanding of the psychology of social sharing, the subject of my last post Social Sharing.  For the record, I agree with the hypothesis of brand advocates, but as I stated in my last post, marketers are over processing when it comes to targeting.

    It is my position, with all the material that has been published by conventional marketers, there is one demographic population group that eats, sleeps and breathes social media and sharing content online. Meet the influencers, Gen Z, individuals born after 1997. This group of future consumers will account for 40% of all consumers by 2020.  Overall, Gen Z commands about $828 billion in spending power. Having lived their whole lives online, they are an exceedingly tech-savvy, a “cut to the chase” generation.  Their digital life is becoming even more complex.  Smartphone penetration is currently estimated (source: Common Sense media) at 81.1% among teenager (ages 12-to17-year-olds) and is expected to reach 85% by 2022.  The same report estimates they are heavily partaking in social media; approximately 7 out of 10.  According to a recent eMarketer report, their mobile social app usage is higher than Millennials – the Big Three platforms being YouTube, Snapchat and Instagram.  More than half (59%) of Gen Zers (specifically ages 16-24) surveyed indicated their usage of YouTube increased in this past year versus the prior year; while 56% indicated their use of Snapchat increased and 55% of the respondents were using Instagram more. 

    Given Gen Z is a tech centric generation, I believe marketers now recognize they need to digitally transform their marketing/selling strategies accordingly to this benefit, results driven demographic group.  Straight to the point messaging, no clever promotional ploys (e.g., loyalty programs), authentic, as well as entertaining interactive experiences across MTP (multiple touch points).  It is also vital for companies to keep pace with technology trends to continue engaging and appealing with its younger generation of consumers.  Two current trends that are gaining popularity are the creative, multimedia “storification” of social media platforms and AR (Augmented Reality) marketing.  Oh yes, let’s not forget, when it comes to living life day to day, thanks to technology, all great experiences are instagrammable (shareable photographs). 

    In conclusion, why spend the resources as in time, people and money to identify social individuals that influence buying. They have already been identified – Gen Z, your future consumers. Instead, spend your resources crafting influence marketing movements targeting teenagers to drive sales. 

  • 13 Nov 2018 2:28 PM | Kathy Doering (Administrator)

    By:  Jim Matorin, Business Catalyst at SMARTKETING: Tech-friendly pragmatist that specializes in innovation and revitalizing businesses.

    My ambiguity regarding influence marketing persists especially in light of an article I read in ContentStandard, a weekly newsletter published by Skyword titled The Psychology of Social SharingWhat Makes People Engage with Your Social Content.    

    Long title for a short article, a six minute read according to Skyword.  However, it took me eighteen minutes because I had to read it three times to fully digest. 

    I highly recommend clicking to the article, but for SMRA readers who would like to cut to the chase, here are my key takeaways. 

    • Recently, social media algorithms have become more complex in order to offset click-bait, spam and false reporting.  These changes are adversely impacting the public reach of content.  Consequently, creating content that generates organic engagement (“meaningful interactions”) has become a marketing challenge.
    • A new study from the NY Times Consumer Insights Group confirmed that the reasons people share information (word of mouth) has not changed significantly over time.  What has changed is how and where people share information.  The NY Times sketched a profile for six different types of online sharers.  For more details I recommend you click to the article.
    • Understand your audience.
    • Marketers are over processing when it comes to targeting. 

    My company specializes in food-away-from-home marketing.  Recently, we were asked by a client to examine future shifts in consumer food-away-from-home eating behavior. 

    Our research revealed that there is one demographic group that eats, sleeps and breathes social media and sharing content online.  Can you name the generation?  Stay tuned.  In my next post I will provide the answer as I continue to investigate influence marketing.

  • 7 Nov 2018 8:34 AM | Kathy Doering (Administrator)

    #socialmedialistening at its finest! Finding a new market for a well established product without having to change it at all, using social media to promote. Genius!

    How Pedialyte got Pedialit

    By Kaitlyn  Sep 10, 2018, 

    One of the sweeter and more demented rap hooks in history goes, “Baby, I’m important like in Pedialyte.” It’s from Young Thug’s “Calling Your Name,” released in September 2015; the lyric, as helpfully unpacked by Genius user chillHill, means something along the lines of “he is a necessity to his girl (baby) like Pedialyte is to a dehydrated baby.”

    Pedialyte is an oral electrolyte solution manufactured by the Columbus, Ohio-based medical company Abbott Labs. It’s based on rehydration therapies invented by the World Health Organization in the 1940s and was initially designed as an affordable means of treating dehydration caused by acute gastroenteritis, a common inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract caused by any number of viruses, fungi, and bacteria.

    Acute gastroenteritis is still a worldwide epidemic, with a reported 2 billion cases in 2015; in many countries in western Africa and Southeast Asia where it remains a major problem, Pedialyte is classified as a drug. In the US, Pedialyte has been sold over the counter in pharmacies since the 1960s, primarily marketed as a way to rehydrate children age 1 and older following a bout with the stomach flu or a long day at the beach.

    Four months before Young Thug’s beautiful contribution to the canon of lightly infantilizing wordplay, that changed. Why and how that change happened tells us less about the science of hydration than it does about one of the newer and more confusing facts of our existence: Every single one of us is now a social media “influencer.”

    In May 2015, Pedialyte announced that it would target the hangover market — or rather, a subset of the adult market made up of people who engage in what the brand refers to as “occasional alcohol consumption.” The market was already there — Abbott said adult sales of Pedialyte were up 57 percent since 2012, accounting for a full third of total sales; the company was just deciding to go after it officially.

    Abbott’s senior brand manager Eric Ryan tells me the decision to woo adults was simple: “The beauty of the product is that the benefits haven’t changed — Pedialyte is still a medical-grade hydration solution backed by advanced science. We don’t endorse heavy drinking or claim to cure hangovers, but our users find confidence in having a trusted rehydration solution that works.”

    People had been tweeting about using Pedialyte as a hangover remedy since at least 2009. (Although back then, you could also find lots of people talking about rehydrating kittens and puppies. It was a different time online.) Some of these people were famous, including Carson Daly, Diplo, and a slew of college football players.

    A social media image Pedialyte used to promote its Powder Packs to festivalgoers. Pedialyte

    Ryan says Abbott has never paid influencers at any level, neither celebrities nor athletes nor Instagram queenpins. They just pick up the stuff of their own accord. (In 2014, for the recurring Us Weekly feature “25 Things You Don’t Know About Me” — a daring glimpse into the banality of famous people’s lives — Pharrell Williams wrote, “I drink Pedialyte almost every day.” He did not say why.)

    “We knew there was online and social buzz about adults using Pedialyte,” Ryan says. “Because of the high levels of advocacy for our product, we’ve found that our everyday consumers are our biggest influencers. If you take a quick look at celebrity buzz about Pedialyte, you’ll see why we haven’t pursued any formal partnerships to date — Pedialyte is a product people like to talk about, from elite athletes to Oscar nominees to runway models to rap artists. You name it, we’ve felt the love.” The love, sure, but also free marketing everywhere.

    Pedialyte’s brand pivot was written up by just about every business publication you can name. The rest of media soon followed suit.

    “Everyone is Drinking Pedialyte to Cure Their Hangovers,” Cosmo declared. “Does Pedialyte Cure Hangovers?” asked the Atlantic. Ever the trend-setter, the New York Times published “Letter of Recommendation: Pedialyte” two years later.

    Shortly following the 2015 announcement, Abbott sent a #PowderPackedSummer team to 144 music festivals and sporting events throughout the US to distribute a new powdered product convenient for travel and outdoor drinking. In tandem, Pedialyte paid for six branded articles on BuzzFeed with titles like “11 GIFs That Describe How You Feel After the Office Christmas Party” and “11 Dogs Who Are Thirstier Than You”; the latter’s introduction read, “You think you’re thirsty? These dogs know all about it. Next time you need to rehydrate, be sure to look to the lyte – Pedialyte!”

    Members of the Pedialyte street team at Lollapalooza. Pedialyte

    Pedialyte’s in-house research scientist Jennifer Williams does not, for the record, recommend the product as a “hangover cure.” She’s been at Abbott for 25 years and has worked on Pedialyte for the past 10.

    “We know that there is no cure for a hangover,” Williams says. “You can’t go to a store and buy a cure for a hangover. We know that alcohol dehydrates, and we know that our product rehydrates.”

    A hangover is a symphony of unpleasant symptoms associated with the influx of toxic compounds that comes with drinking alcohol. The accumulated compounds cause inflammation, mess with your immune system and hormone balance, and upset your body in all kinds of other ways that aren’t even fully understood; scientists have spent years looking for a surefire salve for the common hangover, and they haven’t found one.

    While Pedialyte won’t necessarily alleviate a hungover person’s nausea, headache, or dizziness, it can counteract the dehydration caused by drinking. Here’s how it works: Pedialyte contains sugar, salt, potassium, and water. The water obviously rehydrates you, while the sugar helps pull the salt and potassium into your body to replenish electrolytes that have been lost due to dehydration. That’s it.


    Williams tries to convince me that if you’re really dehydrated, “water isn’t going to do it for you,” and that the amount of sugar in Gatorade and Powerade throws off the chemical balance and negates the benefits of the electrolytes. “It actually makes the problem worse. It can actually dehydrate you or cause a gastrointestinal disturbance. I can say ‘diarrhea,’ if you want.”

    Williams refers to Abbott as a scientifically “conservative” company, careful to never make too specific a reference to a hangover. She has to review every social media post for scientific accuracy, and she notes that the brand’s pivot to the adult market came with no adjustments to Pedialyte’s packaging or presentation. The main product changes since then have been the addition of two flavors — Strawberry Freeze and Berry Frost, obvious rip-offs of Gatorade flavor names — and a new “Pedialyte AdvancedCare Plus,” which has nutrition facts nearly identical to the original Pedialyte but purports to have “even more electrolytes.”

    Pedialyte’s initial summer marketing push coincided with the second season of HBO’s True Detective, which drove 3 million prestige cable viewers to the brink of madness. In the fourth episode, Colin Farrell’s racist, corrupt-cop character Ray takes Taylor Kitsch’s closeted, war-criminal character Paul around in a truck, peer pressuring him to drink whiskey. “I just don’t know how to be out in the world, man,” Paul says (because this was a serious show concerned with the nuances of evil). To that, Ray says, “Hey, look out that window. Look at me. Nobody does. Hit that again. We’ll get you some Pedialyte.”

    Abbott says the mention was “not coordinated”; I asked writer Nic Pizzolatto’s publicist and HBO — no comment. There’s no way to prove that this was product placement. But you do the math: there are few combinations more logical and lyrical than a TV show about sex parties and a guy who was found sizzled to death in a vat of acid, and an Ohio-based medical supply company.

    That summer, Pedialyte also launched a traditional ad campaign and an interactive Twitter campaign called #SeeTheLyte. Two of the copywriters who worked on the campaign said they were bound by nondisclosure agreements and could not talk about it. Abbott’s PR director Molly Sustar referred to the details of #SeeTheLyte as a “trade secret” and declined to discuss it. Yet to many of the people it sought to target — cool, young millennials — the #SeeTheLyte campaign may have appeared morbidly embarrassing. It could even be argued that Pedialyte’s appeal to the adult market survived a coordinated sabotage from within house.

    View image on Twitter

    View image on Twitter

    Pedialyte US@pedialyte

    You are never too old for freezer pops. And you are never too old for Pedialyte. #rehydrate

    12:25 PM - Jun 16, 2015

    Along with stock photos of Pedialyte packets peeking out of wallets and being passed offas discreetly as a dime bag, color-blocked illustrations of bearded hipsters and agave plants, Pedialyte started tweeting things like, “We forgot our tutus, but had an amazing time at Electric Daisy Carnival Las Vegas!” and, “T.G.I. Finally!” You know — things normal young people say, right before they get lit.

    And yet, this coordinated attack — an embarrassing Twitter campaign, a festival ground team, a new flavor (strawberry lemonade!) — all seemed to work. When the next summer rolled around, rapper Vic Mensa was promoting his new EP with a guest spot on Sway Calloway’s radio show. He completed his freestyle challenge with a verse that went, in part, “Drank too much Ciroc, I need some Pedialyte.”

    In February 2017, Pedialyte joined Instagram and started laying the groundwork for a program called #TeamPedialyte. Pedialyte’s social media team started commenting on every single post that mentioned the brand, most commonly with, “You made our day!” and, “Stay hydrated,” paired with a sunglasses emoji. Then they started hopping into DMs, writing, “You’re a big fan of ours, it’s no secret. Well, we noticed and were wondering if you’d consider joining #TeamPedialyte? And we aren’t just asking anybody. … Only real-deals like yourself.”

    They asked for addresses and T-shirt sizes and sent out a St. Patrick’s Day care package in late February, then a summer survival kit in July. The mailings look to have been designed by someone whose only exposure to EDM culture was that Zac Efron movie, packed with items like a Bluetooth speaker-equipped water bottle, beer koozies with neon lettering (“Lit today, Lyte tomorrow”), and fingerless gloves with “High five to rehydration” printed below a green Pedialyte logo.

    The people who received these kits posted about them voluntarily, typically using the recommended hashtags and sharing an Amazon discount code. Almost none of these fans have more than 800 followers, and most have between 200 and 300. They’re not influencers, except in their very immediate social circles. They’re young professionals and cross-country runners and fratty Midwestern coeds who get dehydrated and swear by this Pedialyte trick they heard about. The largest #TeamPedialyte-posting account I could find belongs to a pair of Bengal cats that live in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. They have 941 followers, and they are very cute.

    Mae Karwowski, a co-founder of the New York influencer agency and tech company Obviously, explains the tactic: “This is the new evolution of influencer marketing. It doesn’t really matter the size of your following; it’s that you’re excited and want to post about the brand. The authenticity is really there. It’s just people who are really excited about Pedialyte, not like, ‘Your manager arranged this thing where you post five posts and five stories.’”

    Karwowski compared Pedialyte’s strategy to that of the blog-first makeup company Glossierand the Kardashian-knighted clothing company Revolve, calling them three of the first to realize the benefit of spending money on a “really organic brand ambassador community where brands are choosing people based on how excited they are to talk about the brand as opposed to how many followers they have.”

    Raj Rawal joined #TeamPedialyte after posting a photo of himself with arms full of the product at a CVS near Coachella, which resulted in a surprising DM and a gift box. The 28-year-old digital producer from Los Angeles has since posted about the brand a handful of times in his Stories and twice in the grid. He tells me he jokingly adds “#ad” to his Pedialyte posts even though the company consistently reiterates in his comments that he’s a “fan” and not a paid partner.


    “So many people hit me up and were like, ‘How do I become a Pedialyte influencer?’” he tells me, laughing. He was happy to post about the product in exchange for free stuff — “Free stuff is rad, obviously. Who doesn’t like free?” — and he was also happy to tell me that Pedialyte is a “fascinating elixir” that you can chug after a night of heavy drinking so you wake up without a hangover and “still a little bit drunk.”

    Taylor Williams, a 24-year-old #TeamPedialyte member from Chicago, expresses feelings similar to Raj’s (“My love for Pedialyte now is more for their whole brand — they’ve realized who’s drinking it and they’ve become fully engaged with us on a personal level”), as does Arizona State undergrad Bryce Schmitgal, who brings Pedialyte to music festivals when he plans to drink all night, passing out packets of powder at the Lost Lake Festival in Phoenix in 2016.

    Schmitgal was hired by a third party, the event-staffing agency Victory Marketing, but was more than eager to instruct his fellow festival-goers that “Pedialyte is not just for babies and can help hydrate more than any other sports drink like Gatorade or Powerade,” he says.

    “What I love about Pedialyte is that it really works,” says Alyssa Feitsam, a 25-year-old fan from St. Louis. “No gimmicks.”

    To understand the cult of Pedialyte, I would need to drink it. (I’ve always been a Gatorade girl, no offense. You can get an eight-pack of Gatorade for $5!) One morning, on the way to the beach, I stopped at Walgreens and bought a bottle of mixed-fruit Pedialyte, a box of Pedialyte powder packets, and a box of Pedialyte freezer pops. This is $24 worth of Pedialyte.

    Pedialyte tastes like Kool-Aid, if Kool-Aid also had an underlying kick of dentist’s office fluoride rinse. Pedialyte freezer pops are tolerable, but their packaging suggests that between 16 and 32 pops may be needed to fully rehydrate a dehydrated person. A recommended serving of the original bottled version is a full liter — two if you really intend to feel better. Travel-size packets have to be mixed with exactly 8 ounces of water or the chemical balance will be off, according to Abbott’s scientist. And in any case, Pedialyte is sold only in pharmacies, coming in cumbersome rectangular bottles that have child-proof twist-off caps and a thick foil seal.

    The packaging still says, “Use under supervision of a medical professional,” which, frankly, is too authoritarian for me.

    My best guess is that this medical appearance is part of the draw — a way to say that your hangover is serious because your partying was serious. Appropriating a medical substance also makes a vague suggestion that you’re doing something illicit. It’s leagues away from bringing cough syrup to the party, but aesthetically, is it that far from bringing cough syrup to the party?

    But the refrain I heard from every #TeamPedialyte member I asked — including former All Thatstar Lisa Foiles, just another unpaid fan who took it upon herself to make an elaborate Pedialyte unboxing video — was that they love it because it works. It makes them feel better, fast, as the tagline goes.

    Actually, according to Rawal, it prevents him and his friends from feeling bad at all. “What we actually do is basically detox to retox,” he explained. “So I drink vodka with Pedialyte as the mixer. Miley Cyrus by day, Hannah Montana by night — best of both worlds.”

    This idea, too, has been co-opted by corporate America. “I started testing Pedialyte in some cocktails in October 2017,” says Mike Perro, the director of operations for PJW Restaurant Group, which owns the Pour House, a pub in Exton, Pennsylvania. “The idea was meant to be a tongue-in-cheek way to help brunch patrons who may have drunk a bit too much the night before with a twist on the ‘hair of the dog’ theory.”

    Mike Perro’s Pedialyte cocktails. PJW Restaurant Group

    The restaurant added brunch to its offerings early this year, and with it, Perro’s Pedialyte cocktails, available only from 11 am to 2 pm on Saturdays and Sundays. You can now also buy them at two other Pour House locations — in North Wales, Pennsylvania, and Westmont, New Jersey. Listed in a section of the menu titled “Recovery,” there is a Weekend Krush (orange vodka, orange Pedialyte, orange juice), a Summer Krush (strawberry vodka, strawberry Pedialyte, lemonade), and a Tropical Krush (mango vodka, orange Pedialyte, peach nectar).

    “I would imagine college kids are doing that,” Williams, the Pedialyte research scientist, tells me. “I have no idea what would happen if you mixed it with alcohol. You maybe be undoing all effort there; I can’t imagine it working well.”

    Today, Abbott says, adults make up “at least half” of all Pedialyte sales. They really did it! Congratulations to central Ohio.

    They have “done it” in such a way that Gustave Karagroziz, a 27-year-old obstacle racer from Long Island, mailed the company a handwritten letter asking to be added to #TeamPedialyte.

    He was told there were no more available spots, which infuriated him to the point of messaging me screenshots and screen recordings of more than a dozen of his Instagram posts about Pedialyte. “I’ll stop there, just know this isn’t even one-fourth of the pictures I have,” he said. He just wants an opportunity to represent a brand that “has done wonders” for him.

    Did I set out to write this as an inspiring tale of a company succeeding based on the merit of its product and its goodwill toward its customers? No, I don’t care about companies succeeding. But having written that story anyway, I’m happy enough to recommend that you spend your money on products that have terrible branding, an embarrassing social-media presence, and solid science behind them.

    Pedialyte is the real deal, which is probably why it’s disgusting. It’s the anti-Goop — not “wellness” but health. It’s the anti-Gatorade, which is basically salty sugar water that made a bunch of football players richer than God. We are so used to being suspicious, it’s easy to forget that some things still have utility genuine enough to withstand even the thirstiest attempts to mask it with neon lights and tweets about wingmen.

    The recently Bieber-affianced model Hailey Baldwin didn’t get paid to post a photo when she knocked back a 2-liter bottle of Pedialyte at the entrance to Coachella this April, but it happened. And by all accounts, she had a lovely, well-hydrated weekend.

  • 23 Oct 2018 3:29 PM | Kathy Doering (Administrator)

    By Michael Lieberman

    Michael Lieberman is founder and president of Multivariate Solutions, a statistical and marketing research consulting firm that works with major advertising, public relations, and political strategy firms.

    Data privacy has been at the forefront of the legislative battle waged by Marketing Research organizations like the Marketing Research International Institute, the Marketing Research Association, and ESOMAR. In fact, this issue looms large in the media as well. Advances in technology only make the matter more urgent.

    Privacy is linked to the exploding number of Android and Apple apps on ubiquitous smart phones and IPads. When one downloads an app, a game, a newspaper or Skype, that application requests permissions by default. Most of us barely glance at what we agree to.

    Are these permissions necessary for the application to run? More important, are they an invasion of privacy?

    There is a hidden tax in our “free” mobile apps: the debt is paid is in the coin of privacy. “Least privilege” or “need to know” are irrelevant and even strange notions to some application developers. And it is hard to differentiate among the legitimate, superfluous or even malicious permissions.

    Each and every time you install an application, it is likely that you will be asked for a large number of permissions. “Can I access your entire life (…just in case?)”.

    Google requests permission for more than 200,000 apps. In this paper we examine one of the most well-known of these, Gmail. We will present results of the Gmail segment and suggest a model for identifying anomalies in permission-requests made by our downloaded apps.


    When one downloads an application, Android usually suggests a similar app, much like Amazon might suggest a similar book or Nordstrom’s a similar purchase item. The ‘suggestions’ are derived by formula. This is no different, in marketing research parlance, from an a priori segmentation. In other words, certain apps go with other apps. Google makes their categories public and the data available.

    In our database, we have downloaded close to 189,000 data points (each an app). These are provided in comma-separated value format, which is easily read into Excel.

    With each application, Google makes available whether that app requests up to 189 permissions. Most of them are quite common. Some are not.


    It is reasonable to assume that Google segments apps for a reason. After all, suggested apps—be it a calorie counter, a simulator war game, or a memory exerciser—are designed to carry out certain functions.

    Thus, one would expect that the permissions granted to similar apps would be similar. It is against this hypothesis that we can search for unusual, or suspicious, permissions. Hypotheses are not always straightforward, but they are necessary for our inquiry.

    Computer programmers have approached me to find a one-size-fits all algorithm to ‘weed out’ bad permissions. In my view, this is not possible, because ‘bad’ is a relative term. For example, it would be ‘bad’ if I managed to the codes to the US nuclear arsenal (and worse for my enemies), but not ‘bad’ if the President of the United States had access to those same codes. It is “good” if I know the password for my bank account, “bad” if someone else does.

    Our hypothesis, then, is that the apps contained in the Gmail cluster should have similar permissions. We will be looking for exceptions to that rule and then deciding if they are ‘bad’.

    Gmail Similar Apps

    Table 1 lists the Aggregated Permissions that are Requested within the Gmail cluster. The most frequent permissions are shown in descending order by percentage of requests within the similar this apps group.

    Table 1

    Naturally, some permissions float to the top. We are seeking the uncommon ones. Glancing at a simple output does not get us far enough. Further analysis is needed.

    Network Analysis

    Network Analysis is the practical use of Graph Theory. Graphs can be used to model many types of relations and processes in physical, biological, social and information systems. Many practical problems can be represented by graphs.

    In computer science, graphs are used to represent networks of communication, data organization, computational devices, flow of computation, and so on. For instance, the link structure of a website can be represented by a directed graph, in which the vertices represent web pages and directed edges represent links from one page to another. A similar approach can be taken to problems in travel, biology, computer chip design, and many other fields.

    There are many statistical measures calculated in Network Analysis. For our practical purposes, only two measures need to be subjected to our analysis. These are “degree”, that is, how popular a given node is, and eigenvector—how well connected a node is to other clusters. We call this a ‘bridge’.

    The first step is to structure the data on which apps are connected to which permissions. The program I use, NodeXL, is an open-source Excel back-end program. Together with SPSS, the data is shaped, placed into Excel, and run with the analysis. The procedure produces the following graph (Figure 1).

    Figure 1 – Network Analysis of Gmail Similar Apps Cluster and Permissions Requested

    The size of each app and permission is the eigenvector centrality—its bridge factor. Despite being classified by Android as similar apps, our analysis has isolated four distinct clusters within the Gmail group. These clusters are not segmented by Google, but rather by which permissions they share. Not unexpectedly, the clusters divide into sub-segments of Gmail/Gmail-like apps.

    The Analysis—Backward Assumptions Reveal Exceptions

    Network Analysis is useful when examining all kinds of data, such as Twitter and website links, restaurant data and media research. We can fit Walmart sales data, throw the data into the analysis, and then advise the client as to which items we suggest he put on sale.

    The general approach is to examine the top Degree (popularity) and eigenvector centrality (bridge). These key measures suggest a sales strategy.

    Here, though, we are looking for exceptions, the opposite of what ‘should be’. To do so, we reverse the Degree and Eigenvector Centrality, searching for the smallest values with the Gmail Google group.

    When we reverse the network analysis statistics, we see that some permissions have low degree and eigenvector centrality, which means they are uncommon.

    The table below shows a smattering of information about the isolated permissions coming from the network analysis. Let’s see what we have.

    Glancing at this chart, one might ask the following questions.

    • Many of us use Yahoo Mail, but do we want it to read our sensitive log data?

    • Are we comfortable with Outlook taking a screenshot of other apps programmatically, without root permission (frame buffer)?

    • BlackBerry might be on its way out, but while you were on your cell phone it was reading not only the calendar but confidential information. What was it doing with the data?

    • Do we want Outlook to automatically delete contents of our USB storage?

    • AntiVirus Security might be a little too secure. We give it permission to automatically delete other apps caches. Which apps? What caches?

    Generally speaking, I wrap up my articles with useful tips. Today stands as an exception: I leave my readers with more questions than answers. This fittingly reflects the reality of our information age.

    Michael Lieberman is founder and president of Multivariate Solutions, a statistical and marketing research consulting firm that works with major advertising, public relations, and political strategy firms. He can be reached at +1 646 257 3794, or at

  • 16 Oct 2018 10:10 AM | Kathy Doering (Administrator)

    By:  Jim Matorin, Business Catalyst at SMARTKETING: Tech-friendly pragmatist that specializes in innovation and revitalizing businesses.

    Recently I was asked by a client to provide a list of F&B social media leaders worth benchmarking.  In acknowledgement metrics are key when evaluating companies best utilizing social media across the top platforms, I began my online research.  Consequently, I learned there are copious research indexes harvesting online data and ranking social performance across multiple metrics on a regular basis – total follower counts, online engagement, SRVs (social restaurant visits), etc.  Numerous brands consistently score high.  I began drafting my list of companies when I realized Wendy’s surfaced to the top.  Rationale: Social media metrics and receiving top rankings are significant, but nothing is more important than backing up the social rankings with stellar financial performance, a true metric monitored by the corner office.  

    The fast-food chain decided to accelerate its social media game back in 2017.  Creative, witty engagement via Twitter with their loyal fans (currently 2.81m) and major competitors, as well as leveraging their YouTube channel to share authentic stories were the epicenter of Wendy’s social movement.  The one Twitter engagement that went viral was follower Carter Wilkerson asking how many retweets would he need for a year of free chicken nuggets to which Wendy’s responded: 18 million.  #NuggsForCarter became the most retweeted Tweet of all time beating out Ellen DeGeneres’s famous Oscar selfie.  However, Carter fell short of his challenge.  Other successful Twitter threads were their banter with McDonald’s over using frozen beef and continually using cultural references that connect with Millennials (e.g., rap artists Kendrick, Jay-Z, etc.).  Note: Wendy’s also levraged YouTube to share with viewers how they source product and poke fun at competitors using frozen beef – 5 million views and counting. 

    Financials by the numbers:

    • Net income was $159.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2017 compared to $28.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2016.
    • A 49.7% growth in profit from $129.6 million in 2016 to $194 million in 2017.
    • Their global sales exceeded $10 billion for the first time ever.

    Social media metrics key when measuring the success of your social movements, but there is no better metric than experiencing the corresponding uplift in financial performance.

  • 10 Oct 2018 9:14 AM | Kathy Doering (Administrator)

    Retailers are on a mission to engage with consumers on social media. And to a certain extent, it appears they are succeeding. According to Salesforce, 54% of millennials use social channels to research products before they buy. Similarly, Aimia says that 31% of shoppers use social to browse for new items.

    But, are they actually buying through social media?

    Not really. Despite clickable shopping posts on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Pinterest, research suggests that users are failing to actually purchase on these channels. A recent survey by SUMO found that 82% of shoppers have yet to use social buy buttons or other forms of social commerce.

    So, why do brands spend so much time and effort advertising on social media?

    At the end of the day, it works.

    Peer recommendations reign supreme with millennials

    According to Hubspot data, 71% of people are more likely to make a purchase online if the product or service comes recommended by others. Millennials simply tend to believe what their peers say, seek their opinions and often validation.

    According to entrepreneur Andrew Molz, in order to reach millennials, brands should focus on earning those referrals and recommendations. Molz is an ecommerce guru who built a Shopify based website and generated $2.2 million in sales using only social media to generate traffic. Apart from hiring influential brand ambassadors and sponsoring influencers, Molz says this may also include asking satisfied customers to leave reviews, soliciting customer testimonials, then displaying those on social media and landing pages.

    User generated content has a big influence on purchasing decisions

    According to Gartner research, 84% of millennials are likely to be influenced to make a purchase based upon user generated content. Molz says this can act as additional motivation to encourage followers to share content such as reviews, images, and stories. “Seeing a product in use or simply reading personal stories from other consumers clearly has a big influence on this consumer group,” he added.

    For instance, Covergirl has worked to create relationships with popular beauty vloggers James Charles and Nura Afia. By working with Afia specifically, the brand stands to capture the interests of Muslim women who may have previously felt ignored by the cosmetics industry. That’s significant as it is predicted that Muslims will spend between 464 and 730 billion dollars on fashion and beauty products and services by 2019.

    Influencer campaigns, similar to what Missguided created, generated huge success this summer on the back of its partnership with Love Island. Instagram offered users the chance to shop the cast’s outfits. Capitalizing on the red-hot popularity of the show, user’s real-time desire, and handy product information – Missguided saw sales surge 40% as Love Island aired. It’s likely that a significant portion of these sales were through social.

    Millennials are definitely more impressed by engagement than promotion. 62% percent of users state that they are more likely to become brand loyal if a company engages with them, sincerely, on social media. Not only does brand loyalty drive purchasing decisions, it also drives those ever important social media recommendations.

    Businesses that are interested in influencing millennials should certainly use social media to address them. But, in order to be successful, brands must recognize exactly how millennials look to social media for information and feedback. This generation values sincerity, peer and influencer recommendations, and values.

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