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Best Twitter campaigns, data mining and why Asia is wary of social media

Hi everyone,

We are determined our readers should be kept up to date on the latest issues in corporate social media. Read below to see bite size summaries of what’s hot in the space  – need innovative campaign inspiration? Having trouble engaging with Asia? Read on!

Asian firms are wary of social media

Two things here. First it is definitely worth taking a look at a recent survey by Burson Marsteller ‘Global Media Check up‘. It looks at how the Fortune Global 100 companies used the four main social media platforms in 2010, compared to 2009 and throws up some interesting points.

Secondly it is worth reading this article which has homed in on something fascinating within the study. Only 40 percent of Asia’s top companies use branded media channels like Facebook and Twitter for corporate marketing purposes. This is in comparison to 79 percent globally. And the reason? Culture. Reading this will also serve as a good reminder that each market develops differently in this respect. And don’t assume the UK are the best at it either…

Many brands continue to act “Me First”

A down to earth post about customer relations and the importance thereof. This post says customer relations are the best marketing there is. It asks if companies adequately reward or even recognise employees who take the time to solve problems. It also shows us a great video of when one comedy show turned the tables on a notoriously “Me First” phone operator.

Best Twitter case studies and innovative campaigns

Simply Zesty have provided us with yet another really helpful post. Following the success of their case studies on marketing through Facebook, they’ve gone and done the same on Twitter. Brilliant. Click here to see why Jeep , Orange and Levi’s all made the cut. They’ve even managed to get our old favourite the Old Spice Guy in.

Data mining  – the next frontier

An interesting post showing us the evolving nature of social media. For companies ahead of the curve, this tool is no longer  ‘another broadcast opportunity’ but a chance to analyse data. Technology now allows us not only to see customer profiles and historical buying patterns but to widen the spectrum of what we know about individuals such as hobbies and tastes. To see how to collect this data, how to avoid the pitfalls and how to make what you find useful, see here.

Get Free Chipotle Food for Watching NBC Promo on Facebook

They do say that the way to a mans heart is through his stomach. In their latest campaign NBC are banking on the fact that it is also the way to get people watching their programmes. Harnessing the creativity of Chipotle (Mexican food), who have already had success with social media in a campaign last year, they are offering buy 1 get 1 free deals through Facebook for those who watch a 90 second promo trailer. Sounds good to us, can Innocent talk to the BBC perhaps?

-Posted by Francesca Boothby Filed in Tuesday Update

Website SEO Dead?

Google Places – The Reality

Posted on February 7, 2011 by Jim Farnsworth

Google Places is being hyped as the foremost source of local search.  Sure, it’s been around awhile, previously as Google Business Center.  People are familiar with the format:  the map of local businesses that meet the organic search parameters.  Placing the listings smack dab in the middle of the organic listings is genius.  Google realizes that the majority of people are looking for local businesses.

I first became aware of Google Places last year through the standard email solicitation.  The more I learned about the email, the more excited I became.  Millions of businesses are not even aware that they have a Google Places Page, which opens up an incredible window of opportunity for consultants to get their clients to Page One of Google WITHOUT expensive and time-consuming SEO.  All you have to do is 1.Claim your listing.  2.Add Photos and Citations, and  3.Get Reviews.  The more of all three you have, the higher your ranking.  The ultimate goal is to listed in the coveted ’7-Pack’…the list of 7 local businesses on Page 1.  Simple.

But, Wait a minute, Scooter.  In spite of what some ‘gurus’ are saying, it is NOT that simple.

Google Places is still a work in progress.  There are still big inconsistencies in its reporting.  Places Pages that have not been claimed, with no reviews, photos, or little in the way of information, regularly outrank Pages that are properly optimized.  My research shows that the Google Places listings are still pretty arbitrary.  In fact, I’m trying to get listed for ‘Akron Internet Consultants’.  That search turns up a 3-Pack.  The third listing is a ‘Siding Contractor’!  The site is not claimed, with 0 photos, 0 reviews, and only 2 citations…neither of which even mentions the word, ‘internet’   Go figure.  By the way, I AM on the map for that search.

OK, I signed up for the course touted by the email, and began to learn about Google Places. But when I started to do my own research, I found that the instructor was grossly simplifying how Google Places rankings work. For example, the instructor claimed repeatedly that not claiming your listing could hurt your listing position. There is no proof that claiming or not claiming your listing has any effect on your position.  It is certainly a good idea;  until the listing is claimed by SOMEONE, it could be claimed by ANYONE. For the sake of security, claim your business listing NOW!

My research was simple. I did searches for various terms;  Chiropractor, Glass, Assisted Living, Tree Service, Pest Control, and others.  I then took the information of the local 7-Pack businesses, and plugged it into a spreadsheet;  Is the Listing claimed;  How many Reviews, Photos, Videos, Citations? The results: there was no pattern.  Google Places rankings are still quite arbitrary. Listings that have not been claimed frequently outrank sites that are claimed;  One site with 33 Reviews, 61 Citations, and 5 photos was #7…behind unclaimed sites, and sites with no reviews or photos, and less than half of the citations.

So, the question you’re probably asking now is, if it’s so arbitrary, why bother?

Because, it will eventually sort itself out.  I expect 2011 to be a big year for Google Places, and I see a lot of effort being made by Google to tighten things up.  Listings will begin to make more sense, and those accounts that are ignored, are going to get left behind.  The 7-pack has room for only 7 businesses.  Those businesses that have taken the time NOW, to optimize their listings, to encourage customers to submit reviews, that start adding citation sites, will be in the 7-Pack;  those companies that ignore Google Places will be shut out.

If your competition has 5 reviews, you’re going to need 15 to get ahead of them.  If you have 25 citations, someone else will need 50 citations to get ahead of you.  The 7-pack for Clearwater, FL Dentists have 3 listings that have 116, 89, and 54 Reviews.  Get the picture?  Get started TODAY!


100K of Free Branding Advice, in Just Three Words

Here’s a simple formula for successful branding, employed by the best brands in the world.


Know who you are and believe it.

As a company, if you are not unified in your vision, your branding effort will be DOA. Without consensus, your aspiration to become a great brand is a non-starter. No matter the nature of your company–a high-powered law firm, an Internet startup, a new fashion label–you need to speak with a singular voice and agree on who you are and what your value is to your customers.

Naturally, a charismatic visionary can lead the way (i.e. Napoleon, Henry Ford, Sir Richard Branson), but even those titans needed to get their key players aligned. Most often, it’s a group of senior executives to start with, but it applies to every individual in the company. There is no other option. They all need to say “yes.”

Create a clear and compelling message, in words, pictures or both, so that everyone–from your employees to your customers to your mother–can easily understand your brand promise and why they should care about it.

The more memorable this message and image is, the easier it is for “believers” to become “ambassadors” and communicate it to others. The result: They will love you for your clarity.

This is where a lot of brands fall short, because it takes determination, commitment, and real money to reinforce your brand identity everywhere. To optimize design and marketing dollars, brands need to work consistently and strategically to activate all touch points with target audiences. Great brands do just that and they never miss.

Take a moment and test this model on your favorite brands. Walk into any Lego store, and you can feel the unified brand message, from each individual Lego brick to the holistic constructive creativity in the space. When your Netflix envelope arrives exactly on time, you know this is what their core values simplify down to: customer service, fulfillment, and delivery. When you lovingly unwrap a new product from Apple, you see their dedication to detail amplified in every respect.

Is it a simple formula? Yes. Easy? No. I estimate that this “free” advice is worth about $100,000 if a company really gets it right. Don’t apply this formula and doom your brand to bland.

In the coming months, I’ll be showcasing brands that unify, simplify and amplify, and those that do not. I’ll be examining “legacy “companies and those born yesterday from a wide cross section of industries. If you have a suggestion for a brand that you love that employs this formula well–or examples of ones that don’t–I’d like to hear about it. Please share them here.

Ken Carbone

Why Advertising Agencies Struggle With Social Media

The day an advertising agency’s creatives (art directors and copywriters) truly “get” social media and how to communicate ideas through social channels, is the day said agency becomes a relevant player in the new marketing landscape. Trouble is, in my experiences, advertising creatives are often solitary, anti-social types, content to focus on their art and craft even at the expense of changing with it.

Certainly I don’t infer that all creatives are this way. Many have made the transition from “working on my book” to creating compelling communications. Many more have gravitated from nice print and outdoor pieces to providing creative direction for simpler methods of transmitting messages, like sales letters, Pay-Per-Click ad copy or even blog posts.

Get Creative!

But the transition of the advertising creative to be able to include compelling social activations in their traditional communications concepts has not been an easy one for many. When you think about it, the media creatives typically deal with are known and, thus, uncomplicated. We understand that a billboard is stationary, can’t be too dynamic or distracting to the audience (lest it causes accidents) and must communicate a compelling, memorable message in art and copy that takes less than 10 seconds to comprehend.

Conversely, a piece of content you would provide to your audience on Facebook can be more complex in language, include dynamic or multi-media elements, but is also rather unpredictable in that the audience can respond to it. In fact, good creative execution on Facebook compels the audience to do so.

Now the creative concept must truly live outside a prescribed box of parameters. If the content is good enough, the audience will demand more and fast. Reactions or comments on the content may open new avenues to explore in conversation with your audience.

Facebook content potentially has a never-ending life of its own. A billboard gets taken down after a while because everyone who will see it, has.

The reason creative executions of social media campaigns work, like the Old Spice response commercials, is because the creative team took their thinking outside the confines of a set of parameters. The elements of size and duration are erased, even flipped to have the creative expectation ever-present and always changing.

In years past, an advertising campaign may evolve and have a life of its own, but there are typically weeks, even months in between the first set of commercials or placements and the next iteration that continues to tell the story.

In social media the time to press for phase two is often minutes.

Since first trying to communicate the importance and dynamics of the social web to the wonderful creative teams I worked with at Doe-Anderson to the custom training and education sessions I do with advertising agencies and PR firms today, I’ve been searching for that switch to flip and illustrate what can make a traditional creative understand how to approach social media marketing successfully. I haven’t found it yet and it will likely take collaborating with a creative to really nail something relevant.

But I’m understanding more and more that the roadblock has less to do with the personality of the art director or copywriter in question and more with the space and time differences in digital and social versus traditional executions.

Your ideas? How can we facilitate understanding and advancement within the traditional agency environment to help our creatives produce compelling communications that are persuasive, but also social? What are your agency creatives doing that compels you in this space? As a creative, what differences in approach do you find helpful in producing communications that work online?

Your thoughts will help shape our understanding of the conversation and contribute to a better environment for us all. the comments, then, are yours. BY JASON FALLS