The Hunger Games and Social Media

The Hunger Games opens in theaters tonight at Midnight. We’re excited about the movie and have been keenly observing the social media outlets associated with the film.  The Hunger Games has sparked a creative marketing effort to promote the movie, gotten fans involved, created massive amounts of content and allowed social media efforts to promote a good cause.

Also, we’ve been enjoying discussing how the Hunger Games and Social Media could have affected Panem (the fictional nation in The Hunger Games).

Social media has become one of the most cost effective and quickly spreading forms of marketing. To market the movie online and through social media the marketing team created a standard website that focused on the release date and movie trailers. They also created a website that allows visitors to become a member of Panem at Users share what district they’re in and their new Panem identification card on Facebook or Twitter.

The official movie Facebook page is extremely well done. With over 3.2 million fans this page can attribute much of it’s success to making their Facebook fans feel valuable. Making their fans first to hear news about the upcoming movie by sharing screenshots, the movie soundtrack, exclusive photos of the characters & actors and by interacting with fans not only on the main page but also on Facebook pages created for each district in Panem. They’re really using the Hunger Games and social media to bring fans into the movies.

Their Tumblr page is a perfect example of this. Tumblr is a great social media site that has many uses, because it is a great place for sharing and reposting items found on the web it has a lot of active users. One popular topic on tumblr blog pages is fashion. Social media marketers used this to their advantage by creating a faux online fashion magazine called Capitol Couture which examines the extravagant and absurd fashion trends displayed by citizens in the Capitol.

On Twitter they’ve chosen actual twitter users to become mayors of districts and district recruiters. Tonight, along with the movie they’re also launching a Facebook Game — The Hunger Games Adventures. With all this and more their social media efforts have encouraged fans to interact and to generate their own content to spread all over the world wide web.

While it’s neat to see all the things the markerters are doing it’s absolutely wonderful to see fans get involved, to become promoters of a product themselves. While this is particularly popular for books and movies with epic stories it’s important to keep in mind that this can still apply and happen with other businesses as well. For Example, Arizona Iced Tea on Tumblr share fan generated content featuring Arizona Iced Tea.

One of the most popular things I’ve seen floating around the web is this creative and well thought out map of Panem, which obviously took quite a chunk of time to put together. There are podcasts and entire websites that are dedicated to the fandom with names from to TheMockingjay on LiveJournal. Countless fan art creations including this lovely illustration of Katniss Everdeen.
Katniss Everdeen -- Girl on Fire


Hunger is Not a Game Website Badge

Website Badge

Besides promotion for the movies, other marketers have been able to use the success of The Hunger Games’s social media marketing for different endeavors. One example of this is Hunger is Not a Game by Imagine Better (An endeavor by The Harry Potter Alliance). By using themes from the novels & movies, and social media they are partnering up with Oxfam to gain supporters to change our system of distributing food relief, and to spread awareness of starvation.

While examining all the ways that the Hunger Games and social media are used, the experience got me thinking about how social media could have affected Panem. While there does seem to be television and phones in Panem there never is a mention of social media. One can imagine how it might affect the games and the fictional world of Panem. Tributes would be required to tweet throughout the Hunger Games competition, the more followers they get the better sponsors they’d get. There would be Facebook pages, fansites, podcasts, and blogs focused on all the tributes.

However, when I really think about it, if social media were around I don’t think they would have ever made it to a 74th Hunger Games. Social media can be very powerful. Knowing the role social media had in The Arab Spring, I think in the world of Panem, social media would have a hand in ending the spectacle of the Hunger Games years before Primrose’s name is ever called in the reaping.

Social Media is the Preferred Marketing for Everyone!

Direct mail, radio commercials, television commercials, billboards, flashing web advertisements, pop-up ads, and horribly timed telemarketing phone calls are all forms of marketing most people find extremely annoying. They are intrusions in our lives — always interrupting. They’re not like social media marketing. The biggest difference between this kind of marketing and social media marketing is that people get to pick and choose which social media messages they receive.

On Facebook you choose which pages you like, on Twitter you pick who you follow, when it comes to blogs you pick which ones you read. Social media allows you to subscribe to messages for the products and services you actually want to hear about.

Marketing your business to only those that want to receive your message at times during their day when they’re able to take in your message is more effective and less expensive than other forms of marketing. There are two forms of marketing, inbound and outbound. Inbound marketing is any form of marketing that helps you get found by potential customers. Outbound marketing is marketing that interrupts consumers and forces the message on them. When you think about it like this, outbound marketing sounds rather rude.

Social media has quickly become the most effective means for inbound marketing. But, simply switching your messages from outbound marketing outlets to your social media outlets isn’t enough. Outbound messages are trying to be heard over the massive amounts of other messages that a person is bombarded with each and every day. Outbound messages are the equivalent of screaming at someone. Inbound marketing in the form of social media is for people who are already seeking out information from you. They may appreciate something with more detail. And, since social media platforms are a place for conversation, it’s a perfect place to be conversational and to encourage interaction.

Social media marketing is ideal for both businesses and consumers. Don’t just try to be heard. Invest in social media marketing, get your message to those customers who are not only interested in your message, but are also at a point in time when they can fully absorb your message and interact with your brand.

At Welborn Social Media we truly believe that every business can benefit from social media marketing. If you’re interested in social media services for your business please contact Zeb Welborn at (909) 973-9089 or email

Design a Customized Profile Image for Your Facebook Business Page

One of the many things we do is set up Facebook Profiles. It is important to fully fill in profile information and to have a to-the-point description in the About section, since that always shows up on the side bar on the left of the Facebook page.

We do these things, but our favorite part of setting up a Facebook Business page is creating the page’s profile picture.

The maximum width for a Facebook image (as displayed on the profile page) is 180px. Which isn’t a whole lot of room. The good thing is that this image can be much longer. The maximum height is 540px (as displayed on the profile page). Which makes a good size space for you to add some color to a page, add information, or add an image that really expresses the brand.

One important thing to keep in mind is the page thumbnail. The thumbnail is the small square image that shows up next to your page name whenever you post on Facebook. This thumbnail is taken from your profile picture. To get a good thumbnail make sure there’s a square portion that’s almost as wide as your profile image dedicated to giving your page a good thumbnail. (To set your page thumbnail: After you post your profile image you can click to ‘change picture’ and ‘edit thumbnail’ to pick the appropriate part of your profile image to be the thumbnail.)

When designing a Facebook profile picture I usually make sure the logo takes up nearly the whole width of the image, that it has a square portion all to itself, and there’s no distracting background behind the logo. This portion will make up the thumbnail. Then I work with the colors and the attitude of the business to create something appealing and attractive. Sometimes it is important to get more information in the Facebook image, one thing I always try to include is some contact information. It should always be easy to find out how to get in touch with a company. I always keep the Facebook layout in mind when designing these pictures. Once I get the image together I like to put it into a screenshot of a Facebook profile so that I can really see how it’s going to look on the page. After a little fine tuning and approval from the business owner we post it up and admire how much a well crafted profile picture can really enhance the look of a Facebook page.

Keeping the Facebook layout in mind can let you have a little fun with profile images.Try adding a shadow to the edges of an profile picture to create a little bit of depth, or use the white background to your advantage by adding rounded corners. The white background could also be useful in creating a super 3-d look, a photo at an interesting angle with a white background could be used in the profile picture to create a really dynamic effect.

Lacey’s super special tip: Most people recommend that the Facebook page profile picture be 180px wide by 540px tall, but it’s better to upload a page image that is 250px wide by 750px tall. That way when the profile picture is opened the image viewer it will be full size.

If you would like help setting up a Facebook page for your business, or if you already have one but want it maximized contact Contact Zeb Welborn at (909) 973-9088. Be sure to ask about the other Facebook services we provide.

Facebook Likes — A Pyramid Scheme that Actually Works

Most of us know to stay away from Pyramid Schemes. It’s an unsustainable, often very unethical, business model, but sometimes when you hear the pitch it sounds so promising. If you join the scheme and bring a couple friends into the business, and they each bring a couple friends, then you’ll all be making thousands of dollars. It sounds great! It’s just that in reality it never works like that. Someone is going to lose money and whether that’s you or your friends, it’s an unhappy ending.

Facebook has it’s own sort of pyramid scheme and it has a happy ever after ending. The Pyramid Scheme of Facebook Likes. It’s a little different than a traditional pyramid scheme, of course. Here’s how it works, you get one Facebook like. Now that you have a Like you post engaging content on your page. Your Like finds this content interesting and is compelled to comment on your page. This action shows up on your Likes page and introduces your business to all of their friends. His friends now have a convenient opportunity to Like your brand. At this point you must share more interesting content. So that your new Likes will interact with your page and introduce your page to all of their friends, and so on.

As you can see from this diagram it looks very similar to a pyramid scheme.

The most important part about this process is the continuous posting of engaging content that will interest your customers. Content that your target market will identify with. So, when one of your Likes is in need of your product or service they will know your brand, know what you do, and will remember you at that critical point in time. Gaining likes doesn’t always generate an immediate monetary return, but it sets any business up to gain more loyal customers in the future. By building those online relationships you can have friends of friends of friends of friends participating on your page, turning your decision to invest in social media into the greatest investment you ever made for your business.

Unlike a pyramid scheme it takes continuous effort. But also unlike a pyramid scheme, it actually works!

Check out our other post on Facebook Likes: The Value of a Like on Facebook

If you have any questions or are interested in investing in social media for your business contact Zeb Welborn at or at (909) 973-9088.

January in Review – Overcoming Doubt, Using Video, Giving Presentations and More

2012 is off to a great start and we’re optimistic about what the year will bring on so many fronts.

My favorite blog article of the month was inspired from one of the Chino Valley Chamber of Commerce meetings I recently began attending here in Southern California.  Our blog article, Don’t be the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, the Lion or Dorothy . . . Be Toto, discusses how passion can help people overcoming doubt to come out on top.  All of us have insecurities and doubts about ourselves, but the reality, often times, what we perceive as weaknesses are actually our strengths.  Many business owners that I have met have overcome their own fears to become successful. I look forward to more Chino Valley Chamber of Commerce meetings that will build my knowledge about business and allow me to network with other business professionals.  These meetings have already helped to solidify the experience we want our customers to have when they deal with our business.

We recently began uploading a variety of videos on many of the companies we do social media for including Los Serranos Country Club and The Tutoring Solution.  Find out how we can use videos to help build your brand – Welborn Social Media Can Help You Use Video to Build Your Brand.

Keep Slides Interesting

Lately, we have been introduced to a variety of new businesses, including Mormino & Associates, and have been enhancing the presentation we use to demonstrate the impact social media can have on a business.  Make Your Presentation a Conversation:  Five Tips for a Killer Presentation.

As a result of the success of our social media business, I have finally been able to move out into my own apartment and by using Facebook, I was able to furnish my apartment – The Power of Facebook:  How Facebook Helped Furnish My Apartment.

Lacey had been very active this month designing and developing websites.  And is doing an amazing job.  Find out how we create customizable websites for any business – How We Can Create Fun, Exciting and Customized Websites for Any Business.

We want to help businesses succeed and expand and know that social media, when done right, can benefit any business.  If you or anyone you know is interested in expanding their business have them contact us for a free presentation about the possible impact social media can have on your business.  Call Zeb Welborn today for a presentation – (909) 973 – 9089

How We Can Create Fun, Exciting and Customized Websites for Any Business

I recently got the opportunity to design the landing page for a magazine website. While working out the details of the assignment my client told me, “I just want to see what you put together without a ton of input from me. I want you to go ahead and design what you think would work best and we can go from there.”

This is a good news/bad news situation. The good news is I have complete freedom. The bad news is that without the back and forth and asking, do you want this or that? it’s hard to figure out what the client really wants.

We already run the Twitter account for this business. She was very happy with the Twitter background I created for their Twitter profile page and she wanted to see what I could do for her new website.

After doing some research I had some good ideas for this webpage but was having difficulty fitting ideas together. Then my client sent me a message, sort of an outline of their plans for this new website. It had a list of the different sections they wanted on their website, the type of content they wanted on their page, but nothing about what they wanted for a design.  However, at the end of the document there was a section titled Brand Personality with a list: Friendly, Fun Creative, Inspiring, Imaginative, Informational, Educational, Savvy, Good Clean Fun, Social.

I wrote this list down. After reading the words a couple of times I knew how I was going to design the site. I knew how it would look. I knew this because I now knew how the site should feel.

After spending a few days developing the design I submitted a first draft mock-up to my client. They had some minor changes for me, but overall they loved it. They really liked the overall layout I set up. They loved how I integrated social media. They loved the feel the design achieved, saying that it was friendly and warm and still clean and organized.

I got to talk to another employee, whom I’ll be working with to get the site live, and he shared with me the joy my client had for the design I put together.

Apparently, they formerly had a full-time graphic artist who’s esthetic didn’t match my client’s esthetic. It was hard for them to reach design solutions that made the client happy. After getting it right on the first attempt my client has a lot of faith in me and has hired me on to help get the site live.

It can be hard to tell what a client wants. By paying attention and putting myself in their shoes, I was able to get some good ideas. Then, with the help of a few simple words, I knew how I was going to put it all together. It’s a design that I’m proud of and that my client is stoked about.

Now it’s a mad dash to get the site up and running to stay on the schedule. It’s going to be a busy week!  Stay tuned for the finished product when the site goes live.

If you are interested in getting customized websites designed for your business, contact Lacey Welborn at (909) 973 – 9088.

Five Tips for a Killer Presentation

Whenever we meet a potential client we prepare a presentation for them. We share facts and ideas about what Welborn Social Media can do for their business.

Our presentations have been very successful.  Get our five tips for a killer presentation

Upon the completion of our presentation, our potential clients have a basic understanding of social media, how it can benefit their business, and, often times, business owners begin to see the massive potential social media has to offer.

Slide 1 of Our Presentation

Here are some reasons why our presentations are successful:

  • We alter our slide show to suit the business we’re presenting too. This is beneficial for two reasons:  we provide a personalized approach which gives us credibility that we can take their information and use it to communicate using social media, and it gives us on opportunity to delve into the business to better understand the needs of our customers.
  • We use lots of slides. Clicking through more slides during a presentation helps develop a strong, consistent flow of information to our potential customers. Instead of having one slide with a topic and three bullet points it’s much better for the tempo of the presentation to have four slides with very large, easy-to-read font.
  • Conversation is a must.  At the beginning of each presentation we explicitly encourage clients to ask questions.  Throughout the presentation we ask a lot of questions and make sure they are understanding the material we presented to them.  The presentation is less of a presentation and more like a guided conversation . . . our slides help guide the discussion.
  • Our slide show is very cohesive. It has a set color scheme, a few font choices and consistently placed items throughout.
  • While being cohesive we also have worked to make the slides more interesting. We have a lot of charts in our presentation to visually display some of the astounding facts around social media. We realized there were too many bar graphs and they became repetitive. By thinking of more creative ways to visually display information we’ve been able to make our slide show much more interesting.

Keep Slides Interesting

Our presentation is a constant work in progress. We are always trying to improve both the design of the slides and the manner in which we share them.

We love giving our presentation to business owners. By the end they can see the potential for social media in their business. They can imagine the success it can bring. They can visualize the ways it can allow them to share their passion for what they do.  Use our five tips for a killer presentation.

The Top 11 Moments for Welborn Social Media in 2011

We founded Welborn Social Media in June 2011 and despite being open for business for roughly six months, we have many memorable moments.  The following is our top 11 moments for Welborn Social Media in 2011.  Thank you to our friends, family and the businesses who have used our services this year.  We are extremely optimistic about 2012 and can’t wait to see what the future has in store for Welborn Social Media and the people we interact with.

  1. We began the year by expanding our social media, graphic and website design knowledge by learning new ways to promote The Tutoring Solution.
  2. In June, Welborn Social Media got it’s start with our first client Scrapbook Expo.  We have been running the Scrapbook Expo Twitter Page ever since.
  3. In July, we started work on Los Serranos Country Club‘s blog, Facebook and Twitter pages and continue to run their social media presence.
  4. In August, we began working for WireSpeed Systems, a global supplier for new and refurbished networking equipment.  We run their Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn pages.
  5. In October, we started a Facebook and a blog for System 1 Interiors, Los Angeles’s best acoustic ceiling removal company.
  6. We launched the Welborn Social Media website and began developing our own social media presence.Welborn Social Media Online
  7. Attended the Arizona Business Growth Expo and began developing business relationships with wonderful people that will continue to help us as our business grows.
  8. As a result of our work, our client, WireSpeed Systems, was recognized by Cisco, the largest corporation in the networking industry, as their Facebook SuperFan. WireSpeed Systems has been featured in Cisco’s Facebook profile picture since the beginning of November.
  9. Hosted our first Twitter chat for our client Scrapbook Expo. It was a success and we’ve been hosting two Twitter chats a month ever since. Follow #ScrapChat at 6pm PT on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month to join in!
  10. Launched DLT Growers brand new website, built by Welborn Social Media.  DLT Growers sells ground cover to companies like Lowe’s and Home Depot.
  11. Helped the Women’s English National Football team’s starting goalkeeper, Karen Bardsley wish fans a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

It’s been a truly memorable year. The most exciting part of this year is the possibilities for next year. In the past few weeks we’ve been talking with a variety of businesses about enhancing their brand with our social media services. We already have some exciting things in store for 2012 and can’t wait to write the year in review at the end of next year, it’s bound to be packed with even more memorable moments.

Happy New Year!