Monday, July 28, 2008

The Best Social Media Campaigns

It is now common for companies to implement social media into their business models, for those who do not have a Facebook page then get with the program. There are other companies that stand out from the rest thanks to their innovative social media campaigns. Here is my list of best social media campaigns in the works.

First Place Goes to Lenovo

Lenovo has come up with a great campaign for advertising during the Olympics. Lenovo has 100 athletes from more than 25 countries and 29 sports signed up to blog at the games to get fans interested (see their blogs by going here). This tactic will increase the Lenovo brand awareness and associate them with the highest level of competition in the Olympics. Congrats, wish I had that idea.

Oreo and YouTube

Second place goes to Oreo, the Nabisco product. They are using this campaign on YouTube to get fans to upload their favorite Oreo moments. Plus, the winner of this contest will have their Oreo video on the YouTube homepage in late August. Pretty cool.

Honorable Mentions

The first honorable mention goes to Red Bull and what they are doing with MEN7. They are launching webisodes on YouTube about extreme sports moments and tricks. The great thing about this is that Red Bull is using YouTube to hopefully get this series picked up on TV.

And my last award for nice try goes to McDonald's Myspace campaign. The idea is great but I am not posting a link for my own personal reasons, simply Mikky Ds is just horrible for you to eat. Don't want to give too much press to stuff that can really do some damage.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Is Social Media for Big or Small Companies?

Recent discussions that I have had with companies and social media gurus have lead me to create this post. Is social media better depending on the size of the company? It is a tough question but here is my response, please let me know if you think I am missing something.

Small Guys

Small businesses have some advantages due to their stature (could not resist). They are quick, agile and quite. It is easier to start a social media strategy and they do not need a press release to do so. They are also better at responding to consumer problems because they do not deal with as much red tape. Additionally, it is easier to manage and mend relationships when dealing with fewer customers. It is also easier to make your consumers feel unique with this strategy because they know they are not competing with millions of consumers for your attention.

Big Players

Large Businesses are powerful and well endowed (too much there?). Being big helps because evangelists can sustain most of your social media strategies for you, you just have to find them. When you do, cherish them and treat them better than your own children, not really but you get the idea. Next is money. We all want it and the bigs have it. Since money is not a problem the websites, promotions and videos created can be much lavisher than smaller companies. This SM campaign should stand out and be a bit different than what has been done before. What will help is that bigs also get a lot of publicity. One post in The New York Times about Best Buy and their social network, tons of people pay attention to it.

Size Doesn't Matter

As you can see, size really does not matter. The crucial element is in the company's execution of their strategy. The size helps make certain things easier but remember that social media takes time and meaningful care to succeed just as any relationship requires.

Social Media Creates Brand Personality

What first comes to mind when someone says Target or Best Buy? Probably that they are affordable, have a wide variety of goods and they have tons of stores all around. While these are good descriptions, there is something huge lacking. A personality.

SM Creates Your Personality

I cannot help my Psychology degree from impacting how I view certain things, but I think it is a missed opportunity for brands to lack a personality. A real and true personality. Some brands argue that they already have one, but a personality results from close interaction with others that takes place on a deeper level than having someone walk through your store doors. You do not need a Myers-Briggs test, but the use of social media. Social media creates these avenues (whether it is from blogs, pictures, videos...) that provides any brand the perfect chance to show consumers their personality. By creating an interaction with consumers, the brand becomes more than a store or a service. Through conversation or sharing pictures, your brand will develop a personality that your consumers will identify. How great would it be for a brand to be thought of as interesting, caring and hilarious. Social media is the answer.

How to Create a Brand Personality

This is important, it is very difficult to create your brand personality if it is different from what your company stands for. For instance WalMart would have a hard time showing they really care about small local businesses by taking pictures of them smiling and shaking hands. Your brand has to honest, like your parents said "just be yourself". It's true, but it takes time. The most important part of this process is being consistent. It does not take time for your consumers to figure out what you are trying to do, but it takes time for them to believe it. Being steady in your dialogue will make this happen. Soon you will create a bond with your consumers that will likely lead to lifetime loyalty to your brand, and that is what every brand wants. So get out there and turn you consumers into believers.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

TiVo Strikes Social Media Deal with YouTube

Personally I think this deal is marvelous. TiVo has just struck a deal with YouTube. TiVo subscribers will be able to watch videos from the most popular video website on the planet on their television. I cannot get over this, I have TiVo and I am dying to try it.

Who Does it Help More? TiVo or YouTube

The answer to that is tricky, you ready? It's both. These two companies are going to love this relationship. YouTube already has this app for the Apple TV, but as much as we dig Apple, TiVo is far more popular for a household than Apple TV. This new deal will help YouTube get even more people to watch their videos, if that is humanly possible. For TiVo, this is one giant leap in the right direction. TiVo is all about being able to watch what you want, whenever you want and this deal adds to that desire. Get ready because Adweek says people can get these YouTube videos now. That is of course if you have the necessary equipment, which is a TiVo Series 3 or TiVo HD. I am looking foward to the fact that TiVo and YouTube will be leading the industry in entertainment for many years to come.

Risks Meebo has with Social Media

Meebo is an IM program that supports systems such as Google Talk and AIM. Meebo is trying a new concept to make more money and they are trying to use social media to do it.

Their Social Media Advantages

I saw this on Adweek, so I think this is true. Meebo has tested out their plan to use pop-up ads during chats in Google Talk, AIM and others. Advertisers want this ad space to join in a conversation with their consumers, that's one good thing. The other is that the test markets Meebo used saw a one percent interaction rate with these ads, which is pretty good. Another good thing is that advertisers only have to pay per click. Good for advertisers?

Why This Strategy Will Fail

First of all, Meebo plans to interrupt chats about every three minutes with ads. That is just going to be annoying. People will not like being invaded upon like this. That is not the main reason why this will fail. The main reason is that these companies selling these ads are looking for conversations. The only way this is going to happen is if a social media specialist is waiting to talk to every reply. Consumers have a large chance of being ignored due to the small time the company has to respond to a single chat, the SM specialist has to be right on time and most companies do not have that man power. This will cause a severe problem. Willing consumers who actually respond and are interested will be ignored, leading to potential fans of your company transforming into enemies. This is where negative word of mouth will spread rapidly. Overall, the companies paying for these clicks will be paying to create angry customers. If you have enough social media specialists than it could work, but we all know that is not the case. I tried to warn you.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Social Media and Personal Relationships

Now that more and more companies are using social media to launch a new product, manage customer reviews or anything else the secret is not a secret anymore. Social media works. However some people are still unsure why it does work. The answer is simple and one that has been around for a long time.

SM Creates Personal Relationships With Your Brand

Since the beginning of advertising and marketing, the goal has been to create a bond with the consumer. Now, thanks to social media the bond a company can have with their consumers is very personal, feeling like a one-to-one relationship. And that is why social media works. Some big businesses might be put off by this idea but they should not be. They are afraid that a close bond with your consumer might lead them to find out horrible things about your company. If this is the case, you need to change the way you operate to start. The advantage of this bond is two fold.

Two Huge Benefits

First the customer will feel unique and special to have an influence over their favorite companies. The better they feel about this, the more people they will tell about how wonderful your business is. Second is that you, the company, will begin to treat these consumers more like friends rather than piggy banks. This will be good because you will actually care if Jane from Austin is happy with her new laptop. Thus you will go out of your way to make your customers satisfied. This is the cycle you will enter if you plan on using social media in your business model. It is a great experience and you need to be doing this. Warning! If you are not fully committed to this idea then it could do more harm than good.

Twitter Acquired Summize

Summize was not in business that long. The website that tracked tweets was a helpful tool to find out what people were saying about your business. Now Twitter has acquired Summize. The new site is branded with the Twitter logo and is referred to as Twitter Search.

Good Move for Twitter?

Absolutely! All companies should be monitoring the new Twitter Search for what people are saying, whether it be good or bad. This was a great move for Twitter to acquire this company because now, not only do they have their logo branded on this popular site but they have the engineers who created Summize moving to California to work for Twitter. For all those a bit late to catch on to the acquisition do not fear. The next time you try to access the old Summize, you will be redirected to the new Twitter Search. Other than that, the site works just the same. Tweet that!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Blu-ray and Disney Go Social Media

Blu-ray is using social media to their advantage. Other companies take notice because this is just another example why social media is not a fad but a trend that is changing business models. Disney has teamed up with Blu-ray to use their new app which Blu-ray has labeled BD Live.

BD Live and Social Media

The New York Times reports that the classic movie "Sleeping Beauty" will be the next DVD to have the BD Live app for the 50 year anniversary release of the film. BD Live uses social media to create an interactive environment for movie viewers. Thanks to Blu-ray's technology, viewers can watch movies in tandem with friends in other locations and chat using a laptop, P.D.A. or cellphone and their comments appear on screen. Parents who are not able to watch the film with their children can record a video message that will pop up during a designated scene as the child watches the film and viewers can compete against others on trivia. These social media tools are a great way to fulfill the consumer desire to be interactive.

With DVD sales dropping, this new app is surely to be a big hit for all movie watchers. Look for the BD Live app on new Blu-ray movies. And congrats to Blu-ray for leading the way. The only downside is that the movie with the new app cost more than typical DVDs, but it's worth it.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Social Media is Changing TV

We all know that YouTube has great videos and that some television shows are available to watch online. What you probably do not know is that the struggles of local television networks to create a big hit is providing opportunities for social media to take control.

Social Media Success to Television Hit

If you have not heard of Yo Gabba Gabba! then ask anyone between the ages of 5-15. The new Nick Jr. show is one of the most popular kid's television series in recent years. If your wondering which Nick Jr.'s creative director came up with the idea for the show, your asking the wrong question. Yo Gabba Gabba! started playing episodes on YouTube and after such a high demand for the show, Nick Jr. picked up the series. This is not a fluke or a lucky stroke of genius but social media paving the way for change.

Future of Television

Now I am no fortune teller but I'd bet my life's savings of $37 that this trend will continue. Here is why. Companies, such as Red Bull, are creating interesting Webisodes to air on video social networks like YouTube and Vimeo. Red Bull with the help of MEN7 will be doing a series of shows about extreme athletic tricks. They hope to be picked up just like Yo Gabba Gabba! for a major payday. The future of television shows will be successful Webisodes from social network sites because this system works extremely well for the television networks. Rather than watch a pilot and hope other people will like the show as well, cable and TV networks can pick the most talked about and obsessed shows online as their next big hit. So for all you creators on YouTube, the incentive for making amazing videos just went far beyond selling your own ad space.