All the Social Ladies Podcast: Debbie Miller

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Debbie Miller is the President of Social Hospitality, a marketing firm focusing on social media and content marketing. Debbie works with businesses and individuals on a large range of subjects related to digital marketing and communications. Debbie is also the Digital Communications Manager for HyperDisk Marketing and has spoken on social media at universities as well as business events and industry conferences. She’s written for a variety of Internet Marketing online publications including Search Engine Journal, Maximize Social Business, SEMrush, and Forbes. When she’s not online, Debbie enjoys spending time with her spoiled dog children; watching movies; reading; and drinking copious amounts of coffee or wine. 

Show Notes

Miller’s Career Was a Happy Accident

During the summer of her junior year in college, she was placed at an internship program in a destination marketing organization. It marketed cities and and their attractions as great tourist spots so all the hotels, restaurants, and attractions could benefit from the influx in visitors and business. Miller was really lucky, timing-wise, since this was when social media was first emerging for businesses and it became integrated into her Website Online Manager role when she was hired full-time.

In 2010, when she realized there wasn’t a dedicated resource for travel and hospitality in social media, a marketing friend suggested she create a blog from the business point of view. A year after its advent, a restaurant reached out to Miller to seek her help in managing its blog. Many clients soon followed. This would be the beginning of Social Hospitality, a business that grew from a blog.

Blogs and Their Importance

From her own experience, she feels like they’re important. Her first client was the one who reached out to her because of the resonating content on her blog. With a background as an English major, writing came easy to Miller. For others, blogs are a great outlet – through writing, you can show qualities about yourself and how you react to things.

Working with Business vs. Individuals in Social

The advice Miller would give both business and individuals is similar. “It’s social media so make sure to be social,” she says. “It’s not purely just about outgoing messages, but interacting with the community: engaging with the audience and following the right people that include a narrow focus on related accounts.”

The Biggest Social Challenge

Because Social Media is always changing, it’s difficult to stay updated. It’s also hard to stay organized and Miller relies on Hootsuite for all her scheduling. It allows her to see her personal, professional, and business accounts all in one place. A system of organization in place is her key to staying on top of everything.

Enjoy, and check back here for more episodes of the All the Social Ladies podcast on Social Media Today.

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How Debbie Downer and a Bunch of Girls Won the Big Game

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Yesterday I spent the day tracking advertising and brand hashtags for Hashtracking. Weeks of prep went into my big game planning and strategy. I followed brands and agencies involved with the ads. I read articles about and reviewed the ads that were leaked beforehand and made note of each and every leaked campaign hashtag, so that we would be able to follow along on game day. We worked as a team to set up live public hashtag leaderboards – tracking both the brand names and the campaign tags as the commercials aired live.

This is a labor of love. Ever since I was child, I’ve looked forward to the commercials that air on Super Bowl Sunday. They represent the wittiest, cleverest and most artistic work of top agencies. As the daughter of a former “real life” Madman, for me it’s like watching art.

In fact, I had my 86 year old Maddad (as I like to think of him) over last night, because I like to hear him weigh in on commercials. He’s still got great instincts and a lot to say about the ads. He was fascinated that we were able to watch response to ads in real time via the conversation on Twitter. While Katy Perry performed at #Halftime with Pepsi’s hashtag – we were processing up to 900 tweets per second with the brand’s tag.

It wasn’t just a halftime show spike. With each commercial there was a spike in both ad slogan hashtag and brand mention.

But a few tags stayed active all night long, creating a bit of an upset for a day usually dominated by beer and car ads.

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This year the biggest advertising winners were maxi pads (Always #LikeaGirl) and insurance, specifically – messaging about preventing childhood accidents.

The key to the success of both of these Superbowl ad winners: Emotion

In the case of Always, the messaging was a clear example of the way girls confidence is undermined by commonly heard phrases – particularly in the years between early childhood and adolescence. The videos struck a chord and created a groundswell of response that lasted all evening long making #LikeaGirl the #1 most tweeted ad slogan of the night.

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Nationwide took another tack. They scared the crap out of us.

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At the time of airing, I personally tweeted about how disturbed I was and from the responses I got, it was immediately obvious I wasn’t alone. Tweets streamed in all night long declaring Nationwide a big bummer and the “loser” ad of the Superbowl.

To be sure, Nationwide’s ad stirred up a lot of negative, even angry emotions. Their ad was disturbing. The images of all-too-familiar potential childhood death scenarios preyed on the worst fears of every mom and dad in the viewing audience. We were expecting to be amused (which Nationwide’s other ads – #InvisibleMindy were great for) and maybe to have some heartstrings tugged by puppies and ponies. We knew we’d see some crass humor, sex and pure fantasy ads – cue escapism. But not this stark reality.

The Nationwide ad was a complete disruption. It was the moment that “shit got real” on a day when we were least expecting it. This, and the reaction it evoked, was the power of emotion and disruption in advertising. This was why we didn’t see a beer brand or a car company in the usual expected #1 spot for most tweeted about brands during Super Bowl 49. We saw #Nationwide.

The ad might not have been popular, but it was definitely effective.

You know who wasn’t surprised at all by this upset? Maddad. He called it when he saw it. He’s always been a fan of emotion and disruption in effective advertising.

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