Archive for the ‘blogs’ Category

As we all know by now, social media opens up new doors for businesses large and small; but who is pushing the limits and creating their own opportunities and becoming a “Big Brand” in the new world of social media?

Blendtec’s “Will it Blend?” campaign promotes its blender and similar products on YouTube as a way to market in low cost manner. Tom Dickinson, the CEO, attempts to blend objects such as an iPhone, 50 marbles, an air soft gun with bee bees, all of which end up as dust. These videos are short, silly portrayals of how this blender will work with anything you throw into it. Blendtec’s YouTube videos, also Facebook and Twitter pages,  were successful in setting their products apart from others like it in a creative and innovative way using social media that resulted in positive feedback and increased business.

Burger King is another company that has been testing the waters of social media, and marketing in general for that matter. I’m sure you all have seen the string of “Whopper Virgin” commercials on TV and perhaps even visited the website; well, following this campaign they began a Facebook application where you could sacrifice 10 friends by removing them from your friends list, to win a free whopper. The application quickly gained over 20,000 users who sacrificed over 200,000 friends. However, because of privacy issues, Facebook had to take away the application. Burger King did use a different concept than social network users are used to though, because instead of inviting friends to the app or gaining new friends, which is what these networking sites are intended for, they had you delete friends to promote the legendary Whopper.

Another great example of testing social media is Ford when promoting their new Fiesta. They gave 100 people, in their twenties, each models of the car in hopes that they would share their experiences with it over a six month period. None of their volunteers had any experience with advertising and this tactic was especially more risky than those of Blendtec and Burger King, because they were not sending the messages, their customers were. This I think is the true nature of social media, allowing the audience to have control of the messages. Ford could have received a great amount of backlash and a huge tarnish on their reputation, but in this economy and struggling times, they sought to start from the bottom, let the people do the talking for them and hope for the best. It was complete transparency into their flaws and into the true “Ford experience.”


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Creating networks with social media is not something that will happen overnight – it is a commitment, something that takes dedication, time and resources.

Leo Babauta, author of The Power of Less, wrote a guest post on Darren Rowse’s blog explaining the 7 steps it takes for building relationships with social media, blogs particularly. You can’t expect your audience to be sitting around waiting for you to finally start a blog, forum, or some other medium and come to you immediately once you do – you must go to them. You must reach out to your stakeholders. Liana Evans expands on this point, saying that if you communicate often, your community of followers will in return start to trust you will be there and will rely on you to have a post, comment, or tweet. You’ll know then that you have established a connection to your audience.

However, trust comes from more than just “being there” and being reliable to respond. You have to remember that people are taking time out to look at your blog, your Twitter, or maybe Facebook page. Responses and posts must be helpful to your readers; these are made for the purpose to get to know them better, so don’t forget that it’s about them, not you. You also want to encourage discussion, don’t only post your thoughts and facts, but ask readers what they think as well and always remember to thank them for their time, input, and comments.

A thank you always goes a long way and so does positivity when trying to build relationships. A positive attitude toward involving yourself in social media will not only make your networks more attractive, but will also help when presented with negative comments or criticisms. You want to accept criticisms and use tact to reply to them. You do not want to ignore criticisms because then frustration only builds and with social media, you may even be able to help in an immediate and direct manner. FedEx has learned through social media that you can uncover opportunities, and you can do it fast. They have been able to help with shipping frustrations as well as see and track packages within hours of shipping; all which they say could not have been done without their networks.

Like FedEx, you want to show you are listening. Communication is a two-way street and relationships depend on successful communication, therefore you probably want to use other channels than just a blog, or just a Twitter page. E-mails, e-newsletters and the like may give people who don’t have the chance to see every update on your blog a way to still be a part of the communication and to stay involved with your organization. That being said, you also want to involve yourself in others’ blogs and forums. Giving back on blogs will help develop and establish both a community of bloggers and a deeper connection and relationship to your audience – after all, people who respond to blogs, often have their own. Another benefit of being active with social media is that you may be able to pick up on a hot industry topic before many others do, and you can get a jump-start on early communication of that topic!

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