Monday, 30 May 2011

Pharma has the right idea for social

I read and hear a lot about how heavily regulated industries, such as pharmaceuticals and financial services, can't/won't use social technologies due to compliance issues. However, I can't help thinking that those compliance issues actually force FS and pharma organisations to use social media in the right way. That is, they use social media to be helpful and informative. They don't try and sell stuff, but they think of ways they can provide useful information to their audiences.

A great example of this is Roche's recent launch of an online tool to help Warfarin users learn more about anti-coagulation self monitoring. Roche are restricted from promoting products so they do something to help patients. Which is nice.

Facebook social ads new formats explained

I came across this blog post that explains the new types of Sponsored Ads introduced by Facebook last month.

The formats I'm that familiar with, but look quite compelling are:
  1. Page Post Likes - when a Fan Likes a post on your Page, you can advertise that action to the friends of that Fan e.g. if I Liked a post on the Land Rover Page, Landrover could advertise the comment I'd Liked to my friends.
  2. Check In - when someone checks in or claims a Facebook Deal from one of your Facebook Places, you can advertise that action to the friends of the person who checked in. e.g. if I checked in to a Starbucks and claimed a Deal, Starbucks could advertise the fact to my friends.
  3. Domain - if your website uses the Facebook Likes functionality and someone Likes some content on your site, you can advertise the fact to that person's Facebook Friends.
You can see quite a clear pattern here - all use the endorsement of a friend, which is much more powerful than an ad from a brand alone.

How you feel about Facebook using you and your content in advertising is up to you as an individual, but from a marketing point of view it's a neat strategy.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Targeting Facebook status updates

Looks like Facebook Page Admins can now target status updates to fans of a Page by city and by language. You just click on the drop down box next to the Share button and click the Customise button. You can then select location and language.

Here's one I prepared earlier targeting Magyar speakers in Manchester. OK, not a massive audience, but you get the point.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Social media and Digital stats

My colleagues at McCann Metro put on a fantabulous social media and all round digital conference last week called Real World Digital. As the title suggests, its focus was looking at how the real world has now blended with the digital world.

It had great speakers from Google, Facebook, Apple and Autonomy. There was a good back channel chat on Twitter via #RWD2011.

I've summarised some of the things I found interesting from each speaker.

John Lamphiere, Facebook.
  • Social channels increased in use by 52% from 2010 to 2011, due to the power of word of mouth recommendations for products and services.
  • XBox Live increased profits from Xbox by 242%
  • 43% of news is shared through social channels [source CNN]
  • $1.5 billion has been saved by consumers via Groupon in the last 12 months
  • 66% of govt agencies in the UK use at least one social channel.
  • Social Ads are 4x more likely to results in sales than standard ads.
  • Herbal Essences received 1.5 million views of its Facebook Page by using Facebook ads to target fans of The Hills [as they had the same demographic/interests as Herbal Essence target audience].
Hamish Nicklin from Google.
  • Quote: "Search engines are databases of intent" i.e. people's search habits reveal what they are intending to do/buy.
  • 20M searches for camping in December. [the big question is why?]
  • 21M searches for 'new job' each month.

Suzanne Wright from Apple talked mainly about the iAd platform.
  • It costs brands £300K to get involved in the iAd platform.
  • Nissan's iAd is phenomenal [my opinion]. See embedded video and this link
  • For iAds, the ad agency does the creative and Apple does build and integration and ensures that the creative fits with the iAd channel.
  • Lead time 8 weeks
Overall, there was some serious geekery going on.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

The intent behind the marketing

I can't help thinking that nowadays, in this age of transparency and slight distrust of authority, people are extremely interested in the intent behind a brand's marketing. I mean, if a brand's intentions are good then I think people tend to forgive it for doing something extremely crass.

I hope my theory is correct and brand's continue to move away from the Mad Men thinking that duping the customer into buying something is great marketing and more towards offering customers what they need, when they need it.

Or maybe I'm being naive.

Monday, 2 May 2011

Social media insurance

An interesting story in Canada about insurance companies offering policies to cover companies messing up in social media e.g. Kenneth Cole, Habitat. Where there is risk, there is insurance, I guess.
I wonder how the premiums are going to be calculated? Will certain industries have higher premiums, like certain job titles generate large premiums for car insurance? [if you are a broadcast journalist you get seriously stung]. Will companies get a no claims discount based on how many years they have been running a blog, twitter feed or Facebook Page?

It will be interesting to see how this plays out and if companies take out policies.