This is a fantastic look at the real life social network and the online social network. It’s a presentation done by a Google employee and has some very interesting insights. In particular segments and groups of friends and relationships. I’ll be adding thoughts, bullet point and additional info for the post but for the time being here is the presentation.[slideshare id=4656436&doc=vtm2010-100701010846-phpapp01&type=d&w=600&h=800]
I know social media marketing is a hot topic these days and there are a lot of companies attempting to get their foot in the door with social networks. The appeal of these networks is incredible, mainly for the viral and exponential nature of the system.
My network is a connected graph with exponential growth possibilities. My 400+ friends all have approximately 350 friends (on average and informally) if any company can get their foot into the door and illicit a response from my friends and their friends then the brand spread and effectiveness of that “sharing” can be astounding.
In addition to that it’s much more than the one way conversation that Television, Radio and even a Landing Page can provide. I get feedback, I gain key influencers, brand advocates and it’s the consumers doing the marketing for me. This dynamic is much more than a shift, it’s a paradigm shift in the way we consumer, promote and self market to each other.
So what does this mean for the average company and internet marketer?
Well to be quite honest it means that you’re not likely doing anything with your social media presence. The fact is that the vast majority of companies out there are not effectively utilizing their Facebook presence.
Having said that I have informally seen a great deal of excellent brand identities on Facebook. I’m also going to ignore some of the more popular examples here like Ford, Starbucks and Heinz.
I’m looking at smaller operations that have actionable changes you can make that will help you make more of your page, presence and ROI. Some of my personal favorites are:
Looking at these three, and yes all of them come from my casual usage of Facebook rather than any in depth digging. These are quite simply excellent pages that keep me interested, returning, visiting and interacting. This is isn’t a massive empirical case study, this is me looking at things that just “work”.
Let’s break it down what do these people do that most people do not do on Facebook?
That a pretty basic actionable breakdown of things you can work into your social media marketing strategy without breaking the bank or hiring a team of 10 people to manage. This stuff is easy, so get on out there and start optimizing your own Facebook presence, these actions have a huge ROI and lead to many many good things.
Update April 21, 2010: Looks like I was quoted over at Media.asia in Five things you need to know about: Social media and brands by Andrew Knott. Nice to be referenced however briefly.
You’re probably doing Social Media in your Internet Marketing mix, most companies and marketers have jumped on that bandwagon faster than people become Dallas Cowboys fans when they go on a winning streak.
To be honest, chances are if you’re doing Social Media you are most likely completely wasting your time and resources because you’re doing social media badly.
No offense. But the large majority of marketers simple do not use Social Media the same way they might use other forms of media and advertising.
No ROI (Return On Investment). This can also be measured in Brand terms rather than dollar amounts.
No clear and definitive goals.
If you took a few hours, set up a Facebook group, Facebook fan page and Twitter feed then simply post to those profiles then you’re completely wasting your time.
Doing Social Media badly is much worse than not doing Social Media at all.
As with everything in Marketing you need to attach a value, strategy and execution plan to each and every program you put in place. If you don’t then frankly you’re Marketing badly.
Case in point.
The Pepsi Cheer was an abysmal failure from a Social Media standpoint and from a Marketing standpoint. Here is a good overview from Marketing Mag:
This campaign was the brain child of the Toronto Agency Capital C (Yeah that’s right their corporate website is hosted on Typepad – very edgy).
Before we look at Pepsi’s Social Media Strategy results, let’s have a quick look at what they implemented:
Here’s what Pepsi wanted to do:
The winning cheer was an annoying (in my opinion) “Eh! Oh-Canada! Go!” which was a customer submitted cheer and was then heavily promoted through advertising mediums (all listed above).
Now on a fundamental level this idea should have died in a brainstorming session. You never ever mess with the patriotism of Canadian Hockey fans. Here in Canada, Hockey is a big part of people’s sports watching mix and particularly since Canada dominates International Hockey (even though we lost in the finals to the US this past year).
The cheers Canadians have been using for years are pretty popular and there was never a need to add a new one to the mix when it was clearly a very shallow corporate marketing initiative.
Their brutal social media implementation also caused them more brand damage than had they done absolutely nothing. Pepsi and their agency failed to remember one key component of Social Media.
It’s a conversation with people. People can (and should talk back).
This is exactly what people did and it wasn’t pretty.
Let’s look at some very basic stats:
Pepsi’s Facebook Fan Page: 134,926 Fans
Pepsi Canada’s Twitter Profile: 1034 Followers
Basic Negative Results
Pepsi – I Don’t need yer damn cheer
The” Eh! Oh! Canada Go!” chant is a national embarrassment
Twitter Search for Pepsi Cheer
I’ll actually run a reputation report for this later in the week and add this to an overall case study, since this is such a blatantly bad idea.
Let’s have a quick look at why I’m saying this was not only a bad Marketing idea but it was a failure from a Social media perspective:
This is just the beginning of this fiasco for Pepsi in my humble opinion. They’ll be dealing with the backlash for quite sometime. Particularly since they appear to be staying the course on the same bad Social Media Strategy.
Another dumb move.
The key take aways here:
If you are going to do Social Media properly then do it properly and think about what you are doing, devote resources, a strategy and team to it.
If you think you need to have a presence on Social Networks just for the sake of being there, then you’re dead wrong.
If you are going to do a half assed job of Social Media Marketing then do yourself a favour and don’t do it at all.
Social Network Marketing is currently a hot topic in the world of Internet Marketing. Many people want to integrate a social media and social networking component to their marketing mix. The most common problem I see is Social Media Marketing thrown together in an ad hoc fashion and poorly executed.
The key risk from a marketing perspective is this: poorly executed SEO will result in no rankings, poorly executed PPC results in wasted budgets, poorly executed Social Media Marketing can result in a bad reputation, negative buzz and angry users.
You need to be very cautious when executing a Social Media Marketing campaign – do not just throw something together and start talking to an online community, the ramifications could be not only worse than you expected they could be difficult to undo.
Planning, education and execution are critical to a successful social media program. I would suggest that you consider the following points before launching a social media marketing program:
Although I’ve gone off on a tangent slightly, I am laying the ground work for this screencast and discussing one of my favorite sites: StumbleUpon. I’m not going to introduce Stumbleupon in this article, I do that in the screencast below. You can also learn about StumbleUpon right here.
So enjoy the screencast and I’m sure I’ve missed something in my overview so let me know by leaving a comment. Click Play and watch my screencast on Stumbleupon, you might find it useful![media id=4 width=600 height=480]