Category Archives: Social Media

5 ways to combine your Facebook page with your ATL

All the best examples of “social media marketing” are really, as much as anything, great examples of integrated marketing, it is social content, and cool social content at that, combined with ATL, TV spots, paid digital even PR etc. The recent Bing-Jay-Z example I posted about and the obvious “Old Spice” stuff are great examples for various reasons.

But most brands are doing it wrong, here is why:

  1. How many brands do you see who stick a FB logo or twitter logo on their ATL or TV spots, OK, so I know you are there, but I don’t even have a URL, how can I find your official page (most big brands have 1000′s of “unnoficial pages, no bad thing) and by making it harder work for me you reduce the action rate!
  2. So you have put up the URL but not given me a reason why I should follow, brilliant… What’s the incentive, if you want me to look at the page I better have a reason to go there, this is simple marketing in every respect!
  3. The URL is hidden in the corner out of the way, brilliant lets stick some tiny FB logo on a huge tube poster, here is a great example: 
    Can you spot the logo, it is hidden in the bottom left almost below the border, brilliant!
  4. No SEO or PPC, If I want to find out about a brand I probably Google it, simple really, so if you are spending all that money on FB ads and “sponsored stories” then it might also make sense to put some into Google Ads to drive traffic that way, a great, cost effective signpost, Lynx did this really well with their “Angels” campaign
  5. Not doing it at all… Look, integrated marketing works, so please do this stuff, your campaigns will be more successful
That’s it, easy really…

Sponsorship, integration and awesome marketing

I have been thinking a bit about sponsorship recently, I read an article the other day in the Standard which said that only something like 12% of football fans could name Carling as the League Cup sponsors, some similarly depressing figures were quoted for other brands involved in this kind of activity, this reminded me of a discussion I had on twitter over a year ago about how sponsorship was a broken model but no one was doing anything about it…

Depressing really as it is big business, millions of $ to secure the big deal and millions more in media and agency fees to support it all, the worst part being there is rarely a viable ROI model or clear KPI’s, it is all about “brand awareness” – a great catch all term in big brand marketing…

Then Joel showed me this:

Which is the best example of non-traditional sponsorship I have ever seen.

Sure this cost a hell of a lot of money, but sponsorship does, and this is sponsorship, Jay-Z is clearly being paid to endorse the bing products – sponsorship.

But instead of  a clever TVC and ATL execution featuring the famous rappers music and picture with some kind of “competition” online to meet him or get concert tickets (which is the typical fare for these kinds of deals) these guys really got to the nub of things: They engaged their target audience with something awesome and it’s awesome because it is the following:

  • Exclusive (you can’t get that content anywhere else)
  • Engaging (I would pay for that book so of course I am going to spend time finding it for free)
  • Disruptive (if I saw a part of Jay-Z’s life story emblazoned on a pool table or bus stop I would read it and then follow up online, because it is so disruptive it lures in it’s target reader
I also really love the way it thinks so differently about every day objects, from billboard and ATL to pool tables, table plates, clothing etc. – That is true creative engagement! 

And the results are great too: Huge uplift in Bing site visits, over a billion impressions and a hell of a lot of engagement. It also really sold the service, it was not some loose and contrived link to Bing, the Bing experience was core to the user experience and that is important, too often this type of thing has only a loose connection to the brand or product it is really trying to sell.

I have only 1 question: How many of those users who came to Bing for the Jay-Z stuff came back? – but then that is, in part at least, down to the quality of the Bing service.

How to get 40m hits on YouTube

Many people have many “tricks” or tips or ideas on what makes a good video and what makes it “go viral” and pick up some insane number of views, I am sure no small part is luck… There are lots of things you can do, you can throw paid media at it, you can “seed it” to key influencers in key communities and you can even build custom YouTube skins and clever engagement ideas around (or even within) the video.

But one sure fire winner is a talking animal:

40m views, need I say more.

So that’s it, next time you want a huge “viral” video hit, just find a dog and make it look like it’s talking, easy.

But seriously: All they have done here is made it cute, made it funny and made it relatable, anyone with a dog could tell you “that could be my dog” and anyone who loves dogs will find this funny and share it. So funny and relatable for the win

Automated DMs on twitter

“Thanks for following me! It’s really nice to meet you! I look forward to seeing your tweets!” – A typical auto DM…

There are many AUto DM tools out there and here are a few of my favourites.

The thing about auto direct messages are they are the only tool that can, without fail, get me to take an instantaneous action: to unfollow whichever account sent me one.

It is amazing that people who work in marketing, comms, PR and mostly “social media” think it is appropriate to use a faceless, lame auto DM to try to start some kind of conversation is ridiculous! I have already followed you, don’t ruin it now.

The really stupid thing is that the accounts sending me these auto DM’s are, often, not SPAM accounts or fools or even misguided brands, they are real people who often tweet interesting stuff and can even be nice to talk to, so why are they using these tools? – I don’t know, do you?

Lessons from the Duke Nukem Fiasco

Well the latest Duke Nukem is out, and it is pretty awful, apparently, you see I have never played it and I probably wont, but from the terrible reviews I have read and from the feedback I have heard from friends who have brought the game I can see it is pretty awful.

Now the situation has been made worse by a timely social media #fail from a small PR agency tweeting that they will effectively blacklist bloggers who write a bad review:

Oh no!

But here is the lesson:

It is really just as I wrote on James Whatley’s blog earlier today: Ultimately the problem here has absolutely nothing to do with reputation management and everything to do with a crap product, the game just doesn’t deliver.

You see most social media #fails are actually just symptomatic of a poor product and the failure of great campaigns to really take off are often related to the same thing.

“But Tom, ultimately this fail came from a PR agency that messed up big”

Well yes and no, no doubt this PR agency did mess up, and even they have admitted that, but lets look at the impact and alternative:

On the one hand: Which is actually going to impact sales more, a silly PR mess up that has probably created more noise in social media circles than anywhere else, or the fact that everyone thinks the game is terrible? – Clearly the latter, that WOM will spread far further, both on and off line.

And on the other: This particular PR fail would not have even happened if the game wasn’t awful… If it was great then the PR agent would not have had the reason to get so upset about his project receiving poor reviews.

Keeping it simple

It’s one AM in a hotel room in Helsinki, the wifi is poor but I just had a thought to share…

How many marketing campaigns actually work too hard?

It’s an interesting thought, often when I talk with guys in the industry about campaigns (especially really good ones like the T-mobile stuff I wrote about yesterday) people are very keen to tell me how the campaign “could have done more” or been better in some way.

While I understand the desire to make assets and investments work as hard as possible sometimes I think that adding an extra layer, or a “deeper engagement” mechanic actually takes away from the experience and misses the point? Most of the time I feel that brands are better off just keeping it simple.

what do you think?

Real life Angry Birds – Well done t-mobile

This is very clever and well executed… I could try and comment on it as a piece of marketing but I think 4m views and 25,000 likes in 5 days speaks for itself really:

Standing for something…

Lets make no mistake, this advert, in support of the “It Gets Better Project” was a brave thing for Google to do:

One the one hand they risk starting a debate about Google’s support of politicized causes, which the advert did. On the other hand they risk looking disingenuous, a company latching on to a good thing and trying to take credit for it or use it for commercial gain (well they are using a charitable cause for commercial gain aren’t they?) – these are big risks for a large public company with a market cap of over $164bn to take!

This is why it was the right decision:

In my opinion Google made the right choice, here is why:

  • Google are not being disingenuous and anyone who cares to do some research can see that, they have famously supported other gay causes and marches for years: They publicly opposed California’s Prop 8 and they have used the rainbow flag in gay related search terms in the past, they even have benefits to gay employees to offest tax issues in the US – I think it is fair to say they have a genuine interest here!
  • Google are a genuinely different organisation, in their IPO letter in 2004 Google’s founders made it very clear that: “we will be better served-as shareholders and in all other ways-by a company that does good things for the world even if we forgo some short term gains. This is an important aspect of our culture and is broadly shared within the company.”  - They genuinely follow this philosophy
  • The above make Google 2 things which are very important: Brave and Genuine, they are a company that stand for something, their advertising reflects that
  • This advertising is effective precisely because it is genuine, because it comes from a good and positive place, not a corporate (disingenuous) one, as such it creates an emotional reaction in the audience that is linked to the brand
  • But more importantly Google are showing no fear, they are doing something they feel is right and are unafraid of the inevitable lash back from right wing groups, this is great to see because they are recognizing the fact that they will not please everyone and they don’t care, they are a strong and confident brand and are acting like it
I am not for a moment saying every brand should try to support a highly politicized cause, it won’t be right for every brand and it would be kinda weird! However I am saying that brands need to be confident, they need to be genuine and stand behind the words and slogans with real actions, like Google have done. 

Well done Google, you have taken an important stand on an important issue – for that I respect you. 

More bands jumping on the social media erm… Bandwagon

A couple of days ago we all found out that in a social commerce experiment The Kaiser Chiefs are letting their fans create their own versions of the album and make money by “selling” their versions, while this is an interesting experiment in social commerce it is very risky and I suggest it is more a stunt before a proper iTunes album release, see more here.

Now we have Swedish band “Junip” taking an interesting but different approach, they have taken to crowdsourcing their next music video via a YouTube contest

They have uploaded the track to YouTube, see it below, and all you have to do is upload your video response for a chance to win:

They are not the only band taking this road, Panic at the disco is working with a new service called Viddy, a mobile app based video sharing service in the vein of Instagram, see their plan below:

So here is my question: Why are the bands doing this, all of the above, is it a genuine desire to disrupt, to allow creative talent to shine and to do something new, or is it a stunt, a competition and build some buzz?

Probably a little of both, I’m not saying either is a bad thing but I am getting a little tired of everything people do in social becoming transactional. By that I mean everything is a competition or a “we do something for you and you get something in return” anything from “make a video for our band and win some stuff”  to “sell our album for us and make a pound”, what happened to all that talk we used to have about becoming a “trust agent” as Chris Brogan would put it, about being in the conversation etc. I dunno, this is really a whole other post but I feel that by becoming too transactional we are losing our way a little bit… Do you agree?

Getting back on the street

I came across this video from John Jay last week about the creative process:

What really struck me about it was 2 things:

1) As a creative director at a large (and very creative) agency I expected this guy to talk in a very different way, more flamboyant, more buzz words more WOFT, I was very pleasantly surprised that he seems down to earth and to the point!

2) He makes a brilliant point: “Most CEOs would gain a lot by getting back on the street and getting an understanding of how young people think today and not just simply have consultants feed it to them through decks of strategy and research.”This is so important and applies to everything, you can’t really get something unless you have really experienced it, it’s one of the great failures of research and insight, particularly social media insight and social media monitoring… Sure you can buy a tool or pay an agency to give you numbers and tell you what is going on in the social space, but in my opinion you gain INFINITELY more value by actually taking that 20 minutes you could spend reading a powerpoint and actually going and having a look yourself, less scientific, yes, but more real, less sanitized.

But beyond social this applies everywhere, it is always fun to watch those TV programmes where the boss goes undercover on the shop floor then makes a load of changes to policy aferwards, but why wait for a TV show, just do it, just go wander into your stores and look to see what they are doing well and where they are failing.

If you don’t have stores, go see your vendors, go talk to your customers, run ideas past your mates, I dunno, be creative!

But get out of the ivory tower (or cubicle, or laptop) and see the world, you will be better because of it!