July 2008 Archives

What's an automaker's social media mindshare?

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A friend of mine, Ashley Laing has started a new blog covering social media. In one of his first posts, he compared the "social media mindshare" of the major automakers to their market share using social bookmarking tools like Digg and Redditautomaker-mindshare-2008a.jpg

The analysis gets interesting when Ashley breaks down the social media mindshare into three categories bookmarking, commenting and rating. The results conflict with a recent report from Forrester on how successful the automakers are in social networking marketing.

Now social media mindshare is definitely not a measure of success but using the premise that any press is good press, the analysis tells you something. I can see a lot more firms tracking activity like this in the future. Many have already begun to do so using tools from the likes of Visible Technologies, Cymfony and Buzzlogic but more are about to enter this space. Some can just start by doing the basic analysis themselves akin to taking Google Alerts of their competitors to the next level.

Companies need Social Media Czars

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logo_adweek.gifLast week I was quoted in an Adweek article that discussed how large Fortune 100 companies are starting to hire new kinds of leaders to help them navigate the social media space. Talking about Ford, Intel and Pepsi, the article discussed the trend towards hiring social media czars that coordinate social media efforts across the organization within and beyond the marketing departments. I believe it is just a matter of time before most organizations either have dedicated roles like this or push their employees (or specially identified employees) to go through a social media boot camp of sorts. 

The way consumers communicate and interact has fundamentally changed. Recognizing that I probably sound like one of those social media evangelists, I do feel that organizations need to adapt as well. Whereas some departments need to adapt just to survive (Corporate Communications and Human Resources are the most obvious ones), others don't need to change but can benefit immensely by harnessing the social influence and the wisdom of the crowds.

And not just the organizations, but the agencies need to change too. Whether it be by encouraging every employee to become experts in the social media space or by hiring or identifying social media champions from within, they do need to identify new leaders. And these leaders need to think in terms of how their agency's service offerings must evolve to keep pace with the ever evolving social web. Ask me, this is something that I worry about everyday.

Interview at Marketing Voices on Peer Influence

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I was interviewed by Jennifer Jones at Marketing Voices on Social Influence Marketing recently. You can view the video clip below. 

I delve into how marketers should best use peer influence to their advantage and where I have seen peer influencers have the greatest impact.

Does MySpace have the most valuable audience?

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Who'd have thought that MySpace's audience might be more lucrative than those of some of the other networks? A recent Ad Age story quoted a MySpace executive who said that the network has more of international rich adults as an audience than any other social network. According to the executive, 85% of MySpace's audience is over 18, 40% of all Moms are onMySpace and more people making $100,000 or more are on the network.

A New High or Low for Social Influence Marketing?

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As Argelio Dumenigo pointed out to me, depending on your perspective this Sprint advertisement can be a new high or low for social influence marketing. Sprint has offered to pay consumers for using the Instinct in personal YouTube videos. It's basically a product placement contest.

I like how they're honest about it with the phrase "sell out your family." If you participate, you'll need a Sprint phone obviously. It doesn't have to be your own though (meaning you'll be asking all your friends for an Instinct phone and buzzing about the product that way too).

 It's a pretty entertaining contest and even you don't have a phone you may participate just for the opportunity to win the $10,000. Still, the idea of product placement in a YouTube clip is a little weird.

McDonalds and Social Influence Marketing

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mcdonalds.jpgHere's another example of Social Influence Marketing. Over in the UK, McDonalds has launched a national advertising campaign to convince parents that the Happy Meals are healthy. The TV campaign is aimed at reassuring parents that only high quality beef, chicken and potatoes are used in the Happy Meals. 

The 5 million pound campaign is the first time that McDonalds has tried to establish a relationship with parents about healthy eating. So rather than market to that actual consumers of McDonalds, the company decided to target the influencers who control the person strings. The parents aren't the ones having the Happy Meals, but they're certainly the social influencers. Avenue A | Razorfish is involved in the digital campaign.

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