There’s a right way for businesses to build out their social media communities: by giving them great content that they want to comment on and share with others.
The wrong way involves spending hard-earned money on buying Facebook fans and Twitter followers. The Beatles were right, folks: you can’t buy yourself love. You’ll only purchase a ton of grief from your customers.
Melissa Ruggles, social media manager at Splash Media, talks to SplashCast host Renay San Miguel about the dangers of buying fans and followers, and the best way to create engaged, active social media communities that lend credibility to your business.
Watch more SplashCasts or subscribe to our YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/splashmedialp.
In the world of social media, every holiday presents a special marketing opportunity – a special theme used to push or launch a product or service, a chance to offer exclusive content, another shot at goosing the conversation between customer and company.
Okay, so Halloween isn’t an official holiday, unless you manage a Party City; then it turns into an early Christmas. But it is an unofficial celebration of pop culture and memories of our youth, along with our innate desire to be taken to the brink of fear and then pulled safely back (like riding your favorite theme-park roller coaster, or attending the latest “Paranormal Activity” movie.)
More brands are taking to social media to make those scary connections, and some are doing it better than others. Audi makes smart use of the #halloween Twitter hashtag, and the social network’s Promoted Tweets feature, to push its thermal imaging cameras in its newer models:
On Facebook, the hit AMC horror series The Walking Dead offers up a bloody bucketful of behind-the-scenes material and extra content on its FB fan page; a must-click for fans of a genre show that does the best job yet of mixing gore and terrors with solid character development. And its production and makeup geniuses have some helpful hints for those who still don’t have any costume ideas for All Hallow’s Eve:
The scariest thing I’ve seen lately via social media, however, started catching some viral buzz about a week ago. It’s the Take This Lollipop Facebook app, an extraordinarily creepy way to make a point about privacy. Giving the app access to your Facebook account presents you with a two-minute horror movie where you and your friends are the stars; your status updates, photos and other content appear on the computer screen in the basement of a sweaty-looking guy in a wife-beater T-shirt – he’s right out of Central Casting for the role of Internet Stalker. He mutters, screams and types away as he looks in on your life, digs up your address on Google Maps, and then gets into a car and drives off – presumably to meet you face to face.
Frightening to be sure, but as Joe Berkowitzaptly points out in a Fast Company article Take This Lollipop also may have unwittingly put a spotlight on the technology that enables this kind of instant interactivity, and how it might be used in more productive, business-friendly ways other than scaring people.
Have you seen any recent clever tie-ins of Halloween and social media marketing? If so, please share with us in our Comments section below, and check out some advice and best practices from the week:
There’s Always Room For Jello…Brains?
Yes, another Halloween-related marketing campaign, this one from Kraft Foods. But as reported by Karlene Lukovitz of MediaPost Marketing Daily, Kraft’s efforts aren’t so much about a simple theme tie-in as they are about the company’s clever mix of all its social media and web platforms – including mobile – and its multiple family-friendly brands.
Content Don’t Mean A Thing If It Ain’t Got Worth Sharing
Marcus Taylor of SEOptimize writes at Logic + Emotion about the kinds of content that gets passed along by customers and comes up with his own grading scale for determining how shareworthy a blog post or social media status update can be.
That’s all for this week. Have a great weekend; here’s hoping your Halloween scares are all of the “it’s-only-a-movie” kind, and watch out for those trick-or-treatin’ kiddos on Monday night!
Steve Jobs, Apple and Social Media Marketing
The announcement came earlier this week that Apple CEO Steve Jobs would be taking another medical leave of absence, and the stories are still rolling in regarding Jobs’ influence on the technology industry and what his company will do if he can’t return to his role at Apple.
I’ve interviewed Jobs on several occasions during my broadcast news career, all conducted between 1997 – the year he returned to the company he co-founded – and 2007′s introduction of the iPhone. The one thing I learned during that time is that there is no way to get Jobs off message; he talks about what he wants to talk about, and his legendary passion and enthusiasm add spark to his words. Tech observers have long noted that his expertise is in divining customer desires and in selling and marketing his company and its products. Steve Jobs knows what customers are looking for in tech devices long before they know what they are looking for.
So his impact isn’t just on designing stylish must-have gadgets, and forcing the music and movie industries to rethink the way they distribute their products. Jobs is also having a say in social media marketing – helping to build it out as a business – thanks to the popularity of iPhones, iPads, Mac computers in general and the iTunes platform.
This Social Media-Made Commercial Brought To You By HP – Via YouTube
We’ve said it here before but it bears repeating: companies need to be their own broadcasters, generating their own useful content, and their websites are their broadcast networks for said content. But being the former broadcast journalist that I am, I realize that I need to update that statement to include “and their social media platforms can be their network affiliates.”
Case in point: the news this week that HP will be going back in time to stage a live commercial, just like the good old days when Ed McMahon would read ads for Alpo dog food during “The Tonight Show.” Only this time, the players are comedians Rob Riggle and the Upright Citizens Brigade, and the venue will be YouTube. HP is showing off its new ePrint feature which allows mobile device users to upload photos on-the-go to web-enabled HP printers. The commercial is set for 3-5 p.m. Eastern time this Friday, Jan. 21st.
CES 2011: The Connected Living Room’s Boost for Online Video
Despite all the hype generated at this week’s International Consumer Electronics Show regarding tablet computers and potential competitors to Apple’s iPad, TV’s are still a big part of the overall picture at the annual event. Samsung, Sony, Vizio and LG all announced new flat-screens integrating 3D technology and/or web connectivity, and while 3D continues to garner more media attention than it deserves, it’s the “smart” TVs that hold a lot of promise as truly disruptive home appliances.
More to the point for those in digital marketing; more smart TVs means more new channels for web video marketing, as companies take advantage of the opportunities to dial up effective, compelling content for current and potential customers.
Smart TVs obviously put more programming power in the hands of consumers – the same kind of processor-and network-based power that is already transforming other aspects of entertainment like music and movies. Industry analysts talk about the added temptation for cable customers to “cut the cord” as more online services like Hulu and Netflix, and more overall web/social media content from YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, start to show up on the big plasma or LCD TV in your living room.
Those same industry analysts may wonder out loud if consumers really want apps icons showing up on their onscreen TV guides, but developments are heading that way, so questioning the progress of technology for that particular issue is a little like Grandpa Simpson cursing at the clouds. So for those who don’t want to fight the future, imagine the possibilities for companies that come up with the next viral video sensation and can watch the fruits of their creative labors on a laptop computer and a 52-inch plasma screen. Or picture a business using slick, broadcast network-worthy production values in videos that offer up news-you-can-use-style content – that aren’t overtly commercial – and being able to send those videos out via website, social network, tablet computer or large-screen television.
Samsung told the CES crowds that it hopes to sell 12 million internet-connected TV’s in 2011; that would represent 27 percent of its total shipments. The focus may still be on 3D images, but it’s the promise of smart TVs that could really make businesses and brands “pop” on all those new screens.