Tag Archives: Social Media

Does B2B have to be boring?

I am currently staggered to see how B2B`s continue to find excuses on why not to change the status quo of their brand communication. Is B2B really that different from it`s more flashy but shadow throwing B2C brother? I don´t think so. B2B`s and B2C`s have one thing in common and that is a human being on at least one end of the table. In the case of most B2C`s, brands have evolved into personalities while a lot of B2B`s still hide behind datasheets and the fear of risk. But as the saying goes, no risk – no reward.

With that, I am particularly amazed to see how “Deadpool” (a 20th Century Fox production) manages, as a movie, to establish a personalised brand that not only grows on its trailer release closer to the red carpet date but a brand that capitalises on many Realtime Marketing (RTM) opportunities, such as the Australia Day message posted on (no, not TV…) YouTube. Almost any brand – no! Any brand – could have jumped on the Australia Day train to get a little free riding brand exposure and collect awesome brand interaction data (just saying) along the way. The same applies to the Deadpool clips about testicular / breast cancer. Morally, one could of course argue if the free riding on this topic to outreach to new potential cinema patrons is too far stretched to support, yet on the other hand, one could also argue about the goodwill of a brand with a strong voice to support these initiatives in cool way – the Deadpool way.

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Anyway, I believe that every B2B could have easily jumped on similar opportunities to build a voice that is worth listening too and one that doesn`t put your audience to sleep. Maybe not full Deadpool mode but the Australia Day or many other RTM opportunities lend themselves beautifully to associate your brand with outreach worthy topics to attract new fans, followers and eventually customers.

To add to this; the success in this example did set in. It`s the highest grossing R rated movie during its opening day (+ 40 M USD). Taking risks, at is turns out, can pay off. Deadpool box office record

To end this post – Deadpool is smart – be like Deadpool!

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My Social Media Marketing favourites of 2014

2014 has been a great year for advertising and marketing. With brands moving further into the digital space, newcomer social media like Vine or others started to see the first big campaign bang. I could probably call many campaigns great campaigns, yet a few stood out in terms of creativity, use of audience relevant media and, from could be gathered publicly, campaign ROI.

#emojiscience by GE

GE has made the transition from a global brand into a social brand some time ago. Yet the multifaceted giant still surprises by its creative tackle of various out of scope fields to position the GE brand in potential (future) customers`minds. For its latest stunt, GE has partnered with Bill Nye to create the emojiscience campaign, which runs on almost every thinkable social media channel, ranging from snapchat, vine to the bluechips of social like Facebook or Twitter. The heart of the campaign is however surely the campaign microsite, which details the science driven approach, howe to enter the campaign and be “revined” by GE. The cross-social approach deserves a virtual high five and surely boosts GE yet again to the top of brands I didn`t expect to be at the forefront of Vine or Snapchat. In my eyes, GE is doing a tremendous job to both experiment in these new social media spaces, while attracting new crowds of followers which eventually transform into GE customers, directly or indirectly in the future.

always #LikeAGirl 

always, a leading P&G female hygiene brand, managed to pull of a campaign during the soccer world cup earlier this year, which attracted almost 54million YouTube views, without starring any soccer players. Without going into further campaign details, that could lead much to a philosophical discussion as one can tell from the many YouTube comments, the campaign surely paid of and smartly capitalised on a less heavy targeted audience during the World Cup. It also shows, that touching stories can still create brand friction for the good.

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#ShareACoke Campaign

Coke`s 2014 summer campaign embraced what social media is all about: sharing. Replacing is brand presence on Coke bottles with the most popular names in various countries, coke animated its fans to share virtual coke bottles with friends on Facebook, instagram and twitter under the hashtag shareacoke. The campaign was supported with both online and offline media and resulted in much publicity and the hunt for name tagged bottles. According to the WSJ, coke sales spiked by a little over 2% during the campaign period. A good campaign performance in a very competitive and highly saturated space.

Samsung vs. Apple

For both consistency and bravery, Samsung deserves a spot in the top 4, too. Whilst Samsung`s aggressive anti-Apple campaigns also backfire by becoming a little to blunt, Samsung deserves to be mentioned by sticking to its uphill battle against the Apple fanboy community. Whilst the Apple vs. Samsung debate surely spikes religiously driven discussions, from a pure technology standpoint, it is fair to say the technological trajectory of the mobile space has long been surpassed by the strength of brand perception in the mobile community.

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2015 will surely be an interesting year for some brands to catchup, for others to still learn how to navigate in the social media space while a few will power ahead to occupy new media and boost brand engagement to new heights.

 

 

 

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#breaktheinternet for brands without big bu(dgets)

Kim Kardashian just came out with a cheeky headline in one of her latest front covers; suggesting her rear side could ‘break the internet‘. A surely ambitious endeavour, even for a celebrity of her status. Juicy photos of Kardashian`s most valuable asset surely helped to partly do the trick. More can be viewed on the celebrities social channels, e.g. Instagram. Side note, with a little over 21 million followers in Instagram alone, Kim Kardashian managed to build a solid social follower-ship, which amassed roughly 0.5 million views of below`s cover page in her Instagram feed alone. To contrast, some major global brands, e.g. Nike with an in-house social media team and a multimillion dollar social media budget, have a “mere” 7.8 million followers in Instagram. Microsoft`s official channel clocks in with 15K followers… this should really put Kardashian`s backend achievement into perspectives based on the free media coverage she (and her agency) managed to unlock.

Frontcover Kardashian #breaktheinternet

 

What can and should brands learn from this? Has Kim Kardashian`s attempt to #breaktheinternet failed?  Some websites discuss the success of Kardashian`s ambitious attempt to break the internet, such as the Wall Street Journal, comparing total #breaktheinternet tweets with #cometlanding.

I do argue, that despite the failed attempt to the break the internet, thanks to all forces involved, Kim Kardashian surely boosted herself into each major press outlet on this planet and made the headlines from the Time to countless others.

Without having Kardashian`s natural social media follower-ship, most brands will struggle to get the free media attention Kardashian assumed over the last couple of days.

Nevertheless, a few brands stood out by taking advantage of the Kardashian stunt to propel their brand into the discussion and surely score some new fans.

Advertising week listed a few top brand reactions, a few of which I believe are worthy to being mentioned again.

The most outstanding brand reactions are clearly shared amongst Nissan, JetBlue, Jolly Rancher, the Metropolitan Museum and Budweiser. Scroll down for some of examples – Nissan is my clear winner, followed by JetBlue and Jolly Rancher.

What all these brands however have in common is a to react timely with relevant content in the right media channel. If one wants to argue about the headline of this blog entry, one could of course say, that all brands mentioned will have a reasonably sized social media budget. Nevertheless, the above effort could very well be done on a budget. Social media monitoring tools are available on a paid and freemium basis, which allow brands to monitor for high engaging content.

The crux however will be to react timely upon this discovery. E.g. if MarCom needs to get sales, legal and or IR approval before being able to take any action, any endeavour of this sort is almost surely doomed to fail. Establishing brand guidelines for the social media follow up space might help to get stakeholders on board and assure a timely reaction and thus a ride along this freely available media attention.

Content and channel are almost self-explanatory. If Twitter goes crazy, no sane social media manager would attempt to shift the attention to another channel. So engage in Twitter, as all brands below did. Shoot for brand exposure and brand attention and not for channel conversion. This assures that your content is likely more relevant to the wider audience in reach and does not stir up an advertising aversion or even a messaging conflict in that matter.

Budweiser`s reaction to #breaktheinternet

 

Jolly Rancher`s reaction to #breaktheinternetNissan`s reaction to #breaktheinternet

JetBlue`s reaction to #breaktheinternet

JetBlue`s reaction to #breaktheinternet

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book review: Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World

I have recently purchased JAB, JAB, JAB, Right Hook by Gary Vaynerchuck (Amazon Link). Although the delivery took a little longer than usual (Amazon’s drones seemed to be grounded) I was quite thrilled to be getting this new bible of social media marketing. The book is heavily based on a boxing analogy (JAB, JAB, JAB, Right Hook) which is refreshingly funny in the first few pages but starts to become slightly annoying and repetitive after the first one or two chapters.

The book itself is structured in 12 rounds (according to its boxing analogy). Round 3 to 7 are the main chapters of the book and cover the biggest social networks by active users. Thus Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr. Each chapter briefly describes the social network and then provides plenty of examples of both good and bad jabs, hooks and knockout blows.

Table of Content JAB JAB JAB Right Hook

Review:

For first time social or digital marketers, this might be enough to get a brief overview of what is going on and or what works on the premiere social media platforms. The book is nicely structured and provides ample of examples for most networks. The book’s main stronghold, its entertainment value, is however also its biggest weakness. It completely lacks subjectivity in example reviews (e.g. basic analytics of user reactions). A little demographic introduction to social networks would also be quite helpful to give people a feel of what or whom to expect in which network. Although the examples are nicely picked from all sorts of industries and companies, many seem very subjective in description. Providing some strategic brand perspective to it would undoubtedly help to make the book more useful for marketing professionals. Another shortfall is the missing link of social or digital to traditional media. Either one is hardly to be seen in isolation these days but needs to work together with other networks or channels.

To conclude: If you shoot for a book to provide you the background for a social media strategy or to build up your knowledge on the usage social media for brand purposes, you might not find enough meat on this one.

 

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News Flash: social design contest activates fans & followers

BeyerDynamic, a German manufacturer of high quality audio-equipment (wiki entry) has just run a great social design campaign called “My headphone” on a special microsite www.my-headphone.com. With over 4000 design entries, Beyerdynamic has run a great campaign, combining both fans and the product, in a smart and as it seems contact cost efficient way.

My Headphone Contest Winner

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Brand’s watch out – consumers are getting on the social payback bus

Some call it a new trend, others just a lone payback story – yet a privately bought promoted tweet of a disgruntled passenger of British Airways proved the power a single consumer has gained with the help of Social Media (and granted – some budget to buy a promoted tweet). The customer using the Twitter name @hvsvn seemed to have been disgruntled by BA’s missing service mentality over his lost luggage and has taken his frustration online.

promoted Tweet against British Airways

promoted Tweet against British Airways

To quote one of his tweets “I was about to send them a telegram but then I realised Twitter was faster”, a new area of customer complaints has begun. What started years ago with a United Airlines breaks guitars song, has gone to a new level which should be ringing all alarm bells for brand managers and general managers to check upon their delivered market performance. It also shows how important a working social media crisis management is – besides the basic lesson that a top down communication approach is long gone. It took BA almost 4 hours to react on this tweet, long enough for Mashable to get wind of it and the tweet going viral and even being reported in the news (tv). Although the damage to the brand will be hard to quantify in real terms, it is indisputable that BA’s brand has taken its toll over the last 22 hours – more can only be expected to come.

hvsvn tweet

hvsvn tweet

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B2B customers are ready to be socialised

According to a new Forrester Research study, the majority ( I question the “all” in their report) can be reached via social media. As they claim, 98% of business decision makers can be reached on social channels these days.

Forrester B2B Report

Forrester B2B Report

 

 

It is even more staggering to then contrast the social media habits of B2B organisations who often fail to move beyond the publication stage (from print to electronic to social). Interactive marketing (meaningful, time and location sensitive and most importantly behaviourally induced) should be used to bridge the gap from publication to interaction. The start might be to build listening capabilities in online channels to not only learn about customers but to also develop a feel for all available channels. A further rollout should be well prepared and accompanied by enough resources to be able to react on potential pitfalls and market responses. After all, every journey is accompanied by great learnings and new insights – the jump into social media engagements is nothing else.

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6 reasons why… forget it, this is just a funny ad from Adobe

Adobe claims a top spot in online advertising with their funny Super Bowl commercial (see below) and well, their “You can measure Social Media ROI ad”. In times of smart data (I still refrain from using the word big data to specify the use of data for decision making advantages), this should come as no surprise, yet as it seems, business schools (as I currently experience the no 1 ranked business school in Europe), marketers and organisations still avoid the ROI discussion and shift to the topic of online brand building. I particularly like how Adobe uses current stereotypical personas to play in their ads – which in my opinion should put 85% of today’s marketers (see their Super Bowl ad), advertising agencies and “consultants” to shame.

YOU CAN MEASURE SOCIAL MEDIA ROI…

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Adobe’s Super Bowl commercial… wondering who the “winner” is now:

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As always, if you made it this far, check out the Adobe blog for more – worth a visit.

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Direct Fan Engagement – what brands can learn from the music industry

The music industry and many artists are undergoing a vivid transformation from top down content producers and mass entertainers to connecting on individual levels with fans. Some artists, such as Chamillionaire capitalize on digital marketing and gamification effects for a higher level of brand engagement, which is impressively shown in the following clip (extract from the 2012 gamification summit). Worth watching & very entertaining.

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learnings from the clip:

> Authenticity counts

> Engage on personal levels

> Make the brand matter

> Budget isn’t the driver – creativity is

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2012 Marketing take aways

2012 has undoubtedly been the year of Social Media with tv ads in the decrease, mobile and smartphone spikes, gangnam style hitting 1 BILLION hits on youtube, pinterest becoming popular, instagram being sold, Facebook going from high to low, Apple issuing its first apology, social election revival in the US, mobile advertising hitting new records and, and, and… The attached infographic from SEO Company and Nowsourcing does a pretty good job in summing up the 2012 year in social media.

However, 2012 has also been the year to question unthoughtful media spendings in new channels with GM exiting its Facebook engagement and companies shifting budgets from campaigns to owned & earned content marketing.

My 2012 take-aways:

  1. shift from campaign management to content marketing
  2. increase customer centricity by listening on all channels
  3. social media is not exclusive but inclusive – think multichannel marketing
  4. change customer engagements to incentive driven third party marketing (I expect this to grow in 2013ff)
  5. mobile and emerging technology cannot be longer ignored. The pace of technology diffusion has excelled in 2012 with changes in consumer adoption.
  6. B2B caught up (to some extent) with B2C but continues to struggle to find its role and rightful place in Digital Marketing.
  7. a savvy marketer does still have to think about target groups and how to best reach them – not every medium, despite its public sex appeal (e.g. Facebook) does lend itself to every marketing challenge.
  8. ROI, ROI, ROI – marketers still struggle to define the ROI of digital marketing – which comes as a surprised based on the big data advantage of digital compared to traditional.
  9. and so much more!

 

Happy new years to everybody and see you all in 2013! 

Social Media Review 2012

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