Sunday, 31 October 2010

Social ideas not social media

For the past few years, most social media marketing has revolved around social media engagement. By that, I mean using social channels like Facebook and Twitter
  1. To Talk with the target audience. For example, the way Radox uses Facebook to have two way conversations with fans.
  2. For customer service e.g Comcast Cares on twitter
Or sometimes for commercial purposes e.g. Cash Generator on Twitter [disc: client].

However, I don't believe brands can treat social media as just another channel for engagement anymore. Social media is best used when its part of an integrated campaign.
Most people now are now familiar with social media and many use them [over 20M people in the Uk are on Facebook]. Brands therefore need to use social media channels in conjunction with other channels to ensure consistent messages.

Some brands have started doing this: Cadbury's spots and stripes campaign uses Twitter and Facebook as an integral part of the campaign to great effect.

T Mobile's new Welcome Home campaign does this a little but mainly used social channels as just another way of broadcasting a clever 30 sec spot.

I think the age of 'let's do a Facebook Page' is over and now brands need to take a holistic approach to social media and integrate it into all campaigns.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Russia most socially networked country

An interesting report out from Comscore last week shows that Russia is the country most engaged in social networks. In August 2010, people in Russia spent more time than those of any other country on social networks, with an average of 9.8 hours per visitor to social networks per month.

Like Eurovision, the UK came behind Israel and Turkey.

The thing that got my interest was that it is local social networks - Vkontakte with 27.8M visitors and Odnoklassniki with 16M - that get the majority of the traffic. Facebook is fifth with 4.5M visitors.

Even Google got it's global ass whupped by local search engine Yandex who received 34M visitors in August, compared to Google who received 30M.

It does make you think there is more to social media life than Facebook and Twitter.

Monday, 25 October 2010

Sponsored celeb tweets

There was an interesting debate on Radio 5 today about celebs being paid to talk about products on Twitter. It was sparked off by a campaign on Twitter by Land Rover who have recruited such stars as Daisy Lowe to tweet about the new Range Rover.

Many people were automatically up in arms about paid for tweets – as I was originally when I heard about the initiative. Then I actually had a think about it and realised that slebs being paid to advocate a product is nothing new and has happened for donkey’s years and no doubt will continue to happen for years to come. The fact that they are using a ‘social channel’ is just a new way of doing the same thing.

However, when you see a TV ad with a sleb talking about a new hair product that makes their mane shiny, you know they have been paid to appear on the ad and say ‘they are worth it’ to camera. In Twitter, people expect genuine conversations and points of view. They expect people to say things because they truly believe what they say, rather than being paid to say nice things.

So, IMHO, slebs can use Twitter like any other channel , but they need to obey the unwritten rules of that channel and fully disclose when they are being paid to tweet and when they are tweeting their true feelings. They have to do this in the US by law by saying 'spon' or 'ad' before any sponsored or paid for tweet. I reckon the same should apply to all users of Twitter.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Customer service is the new marketing?

I heard a rather glib/profound statement [depending on your pov] this week that:
Customer service is the new marketing
Customer service's role in marketing is something that I've heard a fair bit of discussion around over the last few months. So, over a few beers, myself and an ex colleague put the world to rights and came up with two povs on this issue:

  1. Social media has made good customer service very transparent. Subsequently, those brands that provide good customer service get their brand talked about positively across the social graph = v good marketing.
  2. Social media has given people platform to whinge and rant about any little niggle or problem they have with a company. This results in white noise of so-called customer complaints that it is difficult to determine if a company is actually good or bad at customer service.
My conclusion? Brands that treat customers well get rewarded with great reputations and more customers. And, people whinge whenever they get the chance:)

Monday, 11 October 2010

Real life remote control car

Mitsubishi has come up with a really cool way of test driving a car - remotely through your browser.

Using cameras, servos in the car, GPS mapping, a remote control system and a Sony laptop, you can drive a Outlander Sport over a closed course.

It's like Top Gear come true. Shame it's just in the US at the mo.

Nominated for SoMe social media awards

A quick self congratulatory 'woo hoo!' We've been nominated for Best Social Media Agency, Best Campaign for Durex and Seven Seas and Best Use of Facebook for Jura at the Don't Panic Social Media Awards.
Big hand to all the team at McCann's who put in so much had work.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

ASA to regulate social media

In September, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) announced details of its plans to regulate online content, including marketing activities in social media, by extending the CAP code to all online content in the control of a brand or organisation.

Generally I think anything to help provide people with a better experience of brands online and to help guide brands’ behaviour on t’internet is a good move. However, most reputable brands are already behaving, well, reputably. They hold two way dialogue with people, honestly, transparently, with full disclosure and no attempts at deception.

The challenge for the ASA will be policing the application of the CAP code to online content, particularly content in social media where there is a grey area on who owns the content. At a recent Marketing conference, a spokesperson from the ASA responded to a question about how the code applied to social media with the answer that ‘any UGC under a brand’s control will fall under the CAP code’. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to explore the issue further and clarify how CAP applies to ‘shared media’.

Shared media is content that isn’t quite owned by a brand or by a user. For example, comments by a user on a brand’s Facebook Page, blog or YouTube channel, is usually referred to as shared media.

So, if a user makes a comment on a brand owned social media that doesn’t comply with the CAP code, then what happens? Does the brand have to take it down? But if so, does the brand have a right to delete a comment that technically doesn’t belong to them? I think this is an area that the ASA need to provide some clarity.

IMHO there is still a large amount of grey in this move by the ASA. Perhaps the ASA should work more closely with those bodies that have great experience in conversational type communications e.g. PRCA, CIPR, WOMMA. Stuart Bruce, with who I sit on the CIPR Social Media committee makes a very pointed comment here.

Rob Brown, chair of the committee, expresses probably all our concerns here.

Clarity is definitely needed, but until we receive that clarity, brands need to go on behaving reputably online, by being transparent, honest and listening to what people are saying.