Successful Social Media Advertising Provides Value

Most people can agree that the most effective social media advertising campaigns are the ones that provide real value. With this in mind, more companies are creating resources that solely exist to provide customers with information and help solve their problems. I came across this link on Twitter and thought that the Visual Economics site is a great example.

You’ve probably seen these infographics passed around on social media sites but did you know that it’s owned by Credit Loan?


From using ice cream to explain certificate of deposits to visual maps such as this, Visual Economics is an informative site whose sole purpose is to inform. It’s not until I went to check out their Twitter and Facebook Page that I noticed the affiliation. This is a great example of shareable content but it obviously takes a lot of time and effort to compile a whole different site for consumers.

What are some other sites that you’ve found helpful and who are they affiliated with?

Where are the Greenbacks?

Saturday morning’s meeting at the Caltech/MIT Enterprise Forum featured the topic of New Media Revenue Models: Growing Greenbacks in the Digital Ecosystem. Although we wished there was a clearer focus on ways to actually obtain greenbacks (especially for smaller and start up companies), the keynote speakers, panelists and audience helped make it a very informative experience.

Where Social Media Fails
This topic came up and the panelists did a very good job of showing how and why social media marketing can fail.

  • Relevancy– Instead of spending millions on a Super Bowl ad this year, Pepsi has come up with a Refresh project, where users can vote to allocate funds to a certain charity. Although this is an interactive campaign promoting worth causes, Steve Banfield questioned its relevancy when tied back to Pepsi’s brand. For example, the current leader for the $5,000 block is a charity that will send girl scout cookies to overseas troops. What does this have to do with the Pepsi brand?
  • Keeping Momentum– When something goes viral, it can spread like wildfire. The I’m with CoCo Facebook Page has nearly 1 million fans. How do you keep your fans and followers excited and willing to participate? The momentum can’t and won’t last forever. Traditional marketing channels have years of research and tons of studies to go off of. While social media marketing is more of an experimental tactic that will take some trial and error.

Where Businesses Fail
In a classic episode of The Simpsons, Homer becomes a human guinea pig in testing experimental products for some extra cash. He tries an appetite suppressant that works surprisingly because it makes the person blind! Why crave food when you can’t see it?

Scientist 1: Who’s gonna buy a pill that makes you blind?
Scientist 2: We’ll let marketing worry about that.

Many companies, small businesses and individuals fail because they put too much emphasis on social media marketing. They begin to forget that it’s important to provide excellent products and services. Marketing consists of ways to make your product look good, BUT is it actually good? Consumers aren’t stupid and if you offer them shoddy stuff it won’t matter how many friends or followers you have. Chances are, you’ll end up on Consumerist and your bad reputation will follow you for years to come.
Bottom line: Always work hard to improve your goods/services and let marketing take care of the rest.

Check out some tweets on the forum and learn more about upcoming events here.

Twitter for Customer Service Success

Do What Now?

From shameless self-promotion to broadcasting tweets about everyday things, there is no doubt Twitter is a place to be social. But, what about turning to Twitter as a way to promote good customer service? This is exactly what some companies, like Best Buy, are doing as a way to extend their customer service efforts. It may sound silly or confusing but in the end, it makes sense. Twitter and other social media platforms are attracting your customers, so why would you ignore this segment? With a team of technology pros, Best Buy’s Twelpforce is readily available to assist consumers with any questions and give advice that can help them with pending decisions. Best Buy has even invested in numerous TV spots to help spread the word of their Twelpforce.

Strengthening Your Weak Areas

Some commend Best Buy for their breakthrough marketing and customer service efforts, as they will surely set an example for others to follow. But this idea did not arise from nowhere, as Best Buy has been lacking in the customer service department in the past. Just Google “Best Buy customer service” and you won’t be surprised to find these gems: “Best Buy, worst customer service”, “Best Buy Customer Service is a Joke!”, “Best Buy Embraces the Suck” and more. This is not what any company or individual wants to hear. By utilizing new social media potential to create powerful tactics, Best Buy has found an effective way to strengthen their weaknesses.

A New Trend for 2010

According to the Harvard Business blog, customer service via Twitter is a trend to look out for in 2010. It’s a mutually beneficial plan as businesses will benefit from a cost effective measure that will leave their customers happy when they get the help that they need. Additionally, Best Buy’s Twelpforce is a unique way to build their brand. Their Twitter account is decked out in the signature blue and yellow with a sea of smiling employees. If that isn’t an image that a successful corporation wants to convey, I don’t know what is! Although the Twelpforce is not yet a year old, I think that Best Buy is taking a step in the right direction when it comes to nurturing passionate employees and gaining loyal customers.

Using A Creative Commons License As An Online Marketing Tool

If you are publishing digital content to the web, an easy way to encourage people to share and distribute your work to reach a broader audience is a Creative Commons license. Providing a level of protection somewhere between a full copyright and public domain, CC actively encourages people to spread your content around in a way that would be impossible otherwise.

In essence, a Creative Commons license allows people to use your content as long as it is used and credited in a specific way, so that it is still clear who the original author is, but people can use, remix, and distribute the content without fear of legal action. The truth is that obscurity is a far greater threat in web marketing than piracy. Anything that increases your profile will ultimately result in sales, but if you don’t let your content out, you can’t gain an audience.

The truth is, people are going to reuse your content whether you like it or not, so a CC license increases the likelihood that you will be credited, linked, etc… Many influential bloggers are careful not to infringe on copyrights for fear of lawsuits. Make it easy for the people you actually want linking to you, those with credible reputations, to do so and you can be assured you will be credited and reach a wider audience in the process.

Check out this great viral marketing example!

I just attended a webinar today put on by HubSpot that discussed search engine optimization, blogging, and social media. I will write a blog post later today about the webinar. It was filled with great content! But the moderator pointed out a viral campaign on YouTube that was very impressing!

So I did a search on YouTube for “blender” and found a bunch of videos put out by this blending company called Blendtec that sells a high end blender. The videos are very entertaining and the video I watched is below. I don’t know if they used some special effects here but they blended an iphone. At the end they pour out a bunch of ash and parts. The videos they put out are called “Will it blend?” and it seems they just choose different items to put in their high powered blenders. They’ve litterly received millions of views since their YouTube channel went live in July of 2007. The iphone video alone received over 6 million views.

At this point after watching the video I was still not really sure what the company was about that was promoting this video so I went to their YouTube channel and found their company website which sells the high end blender. If you visit the website you’ll see on the right column links to their videos and a seperate site that just promotes these funny videos. They also have a banner promoting a free trip to blendtec.

Blendtec gets an A+ in my book for viral marketing. This is a great case study and something to strive for with regards to viral marketing. The costs for putting these videos on was probably pretty high but the exposure they’ve gotten from YouTube and other channels was well worth the investment.