Lights, Camera, ACTION!

App Challenge- Alamo Drafthouse Cinema

Alamo Drafthouse was founded in 1997 by movie fans for movie fans. Since then, this grassroots company has grown to become a world recognized movie theater. Their zero-tolerance policy for cell phones, and their commitment to providing the best customer service possible has stolen the hearts of moviegoers everywhere. Their mission statement states that they “remain dedicated to keeping the movie-watching experience safe for movie fans, serving quality food and drinks, and upholding high presentation standards.”

From an outsider’s perspective, they are doing just that. A quick look into their top social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook and Instagram) and their website makes it is clear that Alamo Drafthouse delivers a consistent and brand conscious message to all of their sites. Their app is no different.

This free download allows you to purchase tickets, and connect with their rewards program, Victory. While there is no visible CTA’s on the first level of app, there are many once you join Victory. Free screenings, free meals and drinks, and priority access are all used to draw the new member in. Once you are a loyal fan, they keep you coming back for more with new and exciting offers.

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Content Analysis

The people behind Alamo Drafthouse know what they want from their app and they are succeeding in their goals. The app allows you to easily access their ticketing system and your bonus information if you are on the rewards program. While their website is mobile-friendly, it is much easier to access the app once it is downloaded, making it profitable for Alamo Drafthouse. However, currently the app holds no unique content that cannot be found on their website.

I had the opportunity to secret-shop at my local Alamo Drafthouse multiples times. Every time I attended a screening I ask the employees I came across a few questions about their experience with the app. Below are my findings from asking if they personally have the app downloaded:

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As you can see, the majority does! On top of those findings I would say all but one employee had something nice to say about app. If I was Alamo Drafthouse, I would be very proud of how they answered my questions. All the employees I spoke with, whether they had the app or not, were very willing to answer my questions. Most of them even offered me additional information on the rewards program.

Recommendations/ Conclusion

I have to admit, I enjoy going to Alamo Drafthouse more than any other theater. Their customer service is superb, their food is to die for and don’t get me started on how funny their custom preshow is. Still, I would do a few more things to get people really engaged.

Alamo Drafthouse is all about creating a disruption free zone, but they also personalize the brand as rebellious, quirky and cool. Cell phone use in a theater? That’s about as rebellious as you can get. Since most of their target audience, middle class adults, use Twitter, Alamo Drafthouse should too! Preshow live tweeting could enhance the engagement inside the theatre. Of course, the no cellphone rule would still apply during the duration of the actual movie screening.

They could also pay a sort of “Where’s Waldo” with their audience. Like I mentioned before, Alamo Drafthouse is very quirky. Something fun, but old-school, would be a perfect way to get their target audience to do more than just watch a movie. This, of course, is just one example. My recommendation is that Alamo Drafthouse engage off the screen with their customers.

From what I can tell, this company does not wish to capitalize on having their customer’s email addresses. Again, Alamo Drafthouse states that they want to cause as little disruption as possible, this seems to include their emailing habits. The main screen of their website also exhibits this. While there is movement of advertisements, there are no popup ads or unruly CTA’s.

Overall, Alamo Drafthouse has a clear and consistent message on all platforms. They have appropriate CTA’s, and have all of their social media icons visible at all times. Their app is easy and effective, but not too flashy. Alamo Drafthouse truly is an amazing company, one that all movie fanatics can enjoy.

Now, if you will excuse me I have to head over to my local Alamo Drafthouse for a midnight premier! I’ll eat some popcorn for you!


Seeing IS Believing

There is an old saying that I think about from time to time. Perhaps you’ve heard of it, it goes, “Seeing is believing.”

My grandparents always scoffed at the idea and my little cousins rightfully used Santa Claus as an argument against it. To them the idea that you have to physically witness something to give it absolute value was madness. I’ll admit the whole concept is quite disenchanting.

Here is what I discovered in my musings. Sometimes that old saying is perfectly justified, especially in the professional world. Anytime we write a paper or create a presentation, we have verify our information. We have to make the audience see it to believe it.

That is why visualization is imperative. Let’s forget about the fact that humans process visual representations faster than words on a blank piece of paper, and lets forget that most of the information our brains process is based off of what our eyes see. The truth is, if you want your audience to believe something then you must prove it to them and the only way to do that is to show it to them.

Let’s use the number of followers that I have as an example. I can very easily say that I have 258 followers on Pinterest, 179 on Twitter, 333 on Instagram and 850 friends on Facebook. What does that mean though? From just reading those numbers can you really make sense of it?

Let’s see it visually now.

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Put things into perspective? I mean, look how many friends I have on Facebook! I swear I’ve at least met them all at least once.

Looking at numbers on a blank piece of paper can be impressive but showing it in a graph, chart, infographic or illustration can really bring it all to life. In cases such as these, seeing IS believing.

*My* Online Reputation

When we assess brand’s digital personas, it is all very simple. There is a list of boxes that are left checked or unchecked. We take their statements for face value and see if they execute those in their activity.

A personal online reputation is much harder to judge. Individuals are much more complex than brands are. We have quirky sides, sassy sides, conservative sides and opinionated sides. If we were all characters in a book, brands would be considered flat characters and individuals would be round.

Trying to assess a personal reputation like a Fortune 500’s is nearly impossible. Yet, we are asked to do it anyway. Our digital world, while vast and endless, limits us to tiny screens. We are so much more than that.

That has always been my overall goal for my online reputation. I want to be more than a tiny screen: I want to be a round character in the book of life. I don’t want to have a simple mission statement and only post according to that. I want to be present! I want to live and be engaging. I don’t want to be all business, nor all pleasure. Life is a mixture of both, and I want my online persona to express that.

That is why I post. I post to prove I’m a real person, with real feelings, real memories and real opinions. I also post to keep my family updated. Living so far away from home has its perks but having to call everyone to tell them the 411 can get tiring. Social media keeps me connected.

From the outside, I think my digital reputation matches my real one. I definitely have more opinions and experiences than my news feeds show but I think that when I do post, they are a reflection of me. Eventually, I will have to post more and post better. I’m learning, though! With age comes wisdom right?

Right! That’s another thing I pride myself on. I try to be as smart as I can be when it comes to what I post. I often go through my timeline and get shocked by what my peers post. Don’t they know that our real life reputation can be based on our digital one? I figure you can’t control who sees what online, so you might as well post appropriately.

Eventually I want to work at a respectable company, but that won’t ever happen if they can’t respect me first.

Of course, there is always a need for improvement! Here are some goals and tactics that that will propel my digital future.

  • Goal: Become a trusted source for Public Relation news.
    • Tactic: Follow and repost from PR professionals.
    • Tactic: Start blogging on my own! I don’t need an assignment sheet to generate valid content; I can do that anytime and anywhere.
  • Goal: Create a social media network.
    • Tactic: At least twice, tweet a question, complement or comment at a respectable PR professional.
    • Tactic: Go beyond the first tactic. Email or private message with those persons to have a more in-depth conversation.
    • Tactic: Go to more PR related events and introduce myself to the people involved. Put a face to a name.
  • Goal: Cross promote my media channels.
    • Tactic: Add icons and CTAs to all social media platforms to promote my other profiles.
    • Tactic: Update my LinkedIn profile with those platforms.
    • Tactic: Link my blog to my Facebook and Twitter so that whenever I post, there is an update on those profiles.
  • Goal: Be an early adopter of emerging social media platforms
    • Tactic: Follow technology news sources and try out any new social media platforms that are covered.
    • Tactic: Review my favorites on Facebook or my blog.
  • Goal: Line up a field related internship for the summer
    • Tactic: Network with PR professionals and discuss options.
    • Tactic: Specifically contact Alessa Ross and Melanie Cornell.
  • Goal: Plan ahead and organize social media content.
    • Tactic: Utilize Hootsuite and pre-plan content (original or curated). Create a social media calendar.
    • Tactic: Since my Hootsuite account will eventually end with this class, research other alternatives and experiment with them so that when Hootsuite is gone, I will have another option.

Sounds easy enough, right? From a simple search of my name on Google, I found that these goals and tactics would be perfect for my personal brand. Most of my content that comes up in my search was either from my Pinterest account or my YouTube account. All of my other social media accounts, including my blog, are apart of the top 10 results.

As of right now, I do not have a Google alert programmed. In the future, I believe it could be a useful tool for my personal brand promotion. Right now, however, it is not on my top list of priorities. I’m in the middle of transitioning email accounts and I do not think it would be useful at this date in time. Maybe when my online reputation expands, I will reconsider.

I also noticed in my search that all of my platforms are in need of cross-channel promotions and CTAs. Those connections could really improve my digital presence. Having visible icons on my blog and social media accounts could help me direct traffic to my lesser-known sites. As of right now, I have a few set up but not to the extent I need them to be.

This includes my blog. I know I talked about using my blog quite a bit in my tactics and that is because I feel that it can be an extremely important tool if I use it right. Here, there is no 140-character limit and I can express myself the way I see fit.

Looking at my blog metrics, I can see that cross channel promotion can do it good. I have minimum traffic, with only a handful of views for each blog post. Mentions are positive but, again, are low in numbers.

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Overall, even though I need to cross promote and I have many goals to improve on, I’ve been doing something right. With a Klout score of 47, I’m not as in the dark as I would have expected.

Molding your online persona to be a version of your physical one can be hard but when you track it, connect it and work with it, anything is possible. Sometimes I fear that someone looking at my platforms won’t be able to see the real me. Today, I’m here to say that that is not the case. The Jordyn you see online is the same Jordyn that is behind the screen. My digital reputation is my reputation, and I couldn’t be more proud of what I can accomplish with it.