Not too long ago, many people believed Facebook was the Next Big Thing in gaming. Developers debated it — sometimes ferociously — at conventions, while venture capitalists couldn’t fund the companies making those games fast enough….
Interestingly enough, we always had a reservation on the long-term growth of social gaming simply due to the fact that many publishers didn’t seem to be getting it right. When developing and managing a social product, it is difficult to find the right balance between spamming the user’s social network with continued posts and notifications, and creating enough viral impact to generate more users and fans.
Unfortunately, due to many publishers’ inability to control this balance, social media users (such as ourselves) are forced to simply block out completely our friend’s “updates” from sites such as Facebook…we were just bombarded by annoying updates in our News feeds:
“Susan just planted an apple tree!”…who really cares!?
“Joey just completed level 467 of Whogivesa%&*@”.
Or how about “Eric has invited you to play Scratch My Bottom & I’ll Scratch Yours”.
The social media onslaught has made many of us ill receptive to many kinds of updates, making it essential for product developers to be smarter in how they design applications for social media platforms; and gaming is no different.
The thing we like the most about this quick thinking from Oreo, during the black-out @ NFL Super Bowl XLVII, is not so much the finely orchestrated execution of a “just-in-time” promotion (Idea -> Approval -> Go-Live), but in the real results generated from the campaign.
Oreo capitalized on the freak black-out event during the game to their benefit by launching this Twitter “tweet” in the perfect context: “Power out? No problem…You can still dunk in the dark”.
For essentially close to zero investment, Oreo managed to generate impressive brand awareness and buzz (as-at Feb 5, 2013 @ 14:10 CET: 15,729 retweets & 5,817 favourites) that most high paying Super bowl advertisers could only dream of.
So what’s the moral of this short story? Marketing is quickly becoming much more about the Brains than the Brawn…you don’t need a big budget to maximize your marketing reach; in today’s world, you need to be faster, wittier, and above all, you need to take more risks. Start thinking more “out-of-the-box”, or your competition will.
Your Social Media Strategy - Real examples of DO’s and DON’Ts
What should you do if someone such as Richard Neill posts something similar to this (with now well over 90k likes and thousands of comments) on your company’s facebook page?:
Well, depending on your brand’s identity and target customer base, an equally creative and humours response is probably just what you need. And this is exactly what BodyForm, a UK maxipad company did, executing a beautifully orchestrated response to Richard via a Youtube video post (above).
Now Nestlé, on the other hand, has done exactly the opposite - In March 2010 they infringed on almost every rule of the unwritten social media code.One of their facebook page moderators had the brilliant idea of posting an outrageous “demand” on Nestle fans to not use an altered version of the company’s logo as their profile pic, or their comments would be deleted from Nestle’s facebook page. Of course what followed was an exchange between rightly defensive fans and a sarcastic, antagonistic, and egotistical Nestle employee. Here’s an excerpt from the chain of comments:
Not only did Nestle commit PR suicide by insulting customers and posting out right rude comments, but they failed to realize the indirect value that the use of their logo (even in different and creative ways) can have on their brand awareness and reach. Additionally, they seemed to have no idea of proper social media etiquette…removing people’s comments is a big no-no on public forums (or arenas in this case).
This is a strong contrast to BodyForm’s eloquent use of key social media strengths such as viral reach, creative flexibility, and openness; what better venue for a company to actually open-up to customers about the often misleading messages that advertising can generate. BodyForm’s video response (where they used a professional actress to play CEO Caroline Williams) also uses sarcasm to counter Richard Neill’s poke at the company, but in what can be argued as the right way…they played on the humours tone set by Richard with the objective to continue the lighthearted dialogue surrounding the female menstrual cycle - How often is such a subject viewed by men and women in a pleasant manner? With this cost effective campaign, BodyForm has been able to achieve positive brand and product affinity, which will most likely increase product sales.
“Apparently” Belvedere’s President had no idea this image and campaign was launched on the company’s facebook page. What was their marketing team thinking?! It’s such a clear example of what you shouldn’t do, that it almost seems as-if Belvedere’s facebook page was hacked into and sabotaged…
Click on the image or here for an article with more details. The article also cites another example of poor marketing judgement from another Vodka brand, Wodka, which is also shocking - Where do these company’s find such marketing morons?!?!
The First ever “Social Pizza”…and a good example of how companies can make social media work for them.
Launched only this week down-under in Oz, the campaign is designed by Domino’s Pizza and gives its Facebook fans the power to create a new pizza, which in turn will be sold on its menu across the country.
The campaign is to span a week where fans will vote on their favourite crust, sauce, and ingredients. The most popular selection for each day will then be added to the pizza. Once the pizza is complete, fans will be invited to post their ideas for the Pizza’s commercial name, with a cash prize to go out to the fan whose idea is chosen by Domino’s.
Here are the three main reasons why we think this is a brilliant campaign:
It leverages an existing fan base to increase Domino’s “social interactivity” facebook score, which is often measured by two metrics; a) “People Taking about this”, and b) “People Reached” - Where in our view success in a) directly impacts the b) score since People Reached is not exclusive to fans.
A crowdsourcing dynamic is created which a) increases consumer affinity with the brand and ownership, and b) generates very cost effective market research, R&D, and product development.
Facilitates the measurement of ROI by more clearly linking social engagement (votes/likes/shares) to product sales…hey, you helped create the thing, so why wouldn’t you actually buy it and get your network to buy it!
This example should really be an easy (and cheap) lesson learned for many brands and companies out there: Instead of your product team proposing new potential products, get your customers to do it for you. The success of that product (not only Sales, but awareness) is inevitably going to be improved, since the demand is already there.
Why having web presence with the BEST CONTENT will matter more in the near future…Search Engine Optimizers BEWARE
Google promises to do more SEO policing, penalizing sites with great SEO, but poor quality content.
As stated in one of our previous blog posts, the best way to ensure an optimal digital presence is to invest in the “value-add” of your sites (and less on SEO activities)…but, as rightly noted in this article, what exactly constitutes “value-add” or “good content” is still unclear and risks to remain a cloudy topic…
Media is a constantly changing and ever evolving element of today's modern life. As new mediums emerge, and traditional ones develop, brands need to remain in tune with consumer habits and with new marketing trends.