What A 12-Year-Old Girl Taught Me About Social Media Marketing

Follow Us

  • RSS Feed
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google+

Want to get a clear idea of what social media marketing techniques work? Ask a girl in middle school.

Last month, I went back to my hometown to spend time with my niece and nephew. My 12-year-old niece Maya is the kind of media smart, technology savvy subject that marketers dream about. She has a Facebook page. She knows the latest and greatest forwarded videos. And she can tell you who is dating who in the world of tween pop culture. We spent many mornings together on our respective laptops. I would bang my head on the keyboard trying to come up with content while she toured the Internet stopping at all the must-see must-read places on the web. Particularly interesting were her choices in social media and how she responded. I had test market gold sitting next to me – in pink pajamas and eating cereal, no less.

When it comes to social media, 12-year-olds like Maya are choosy. She didn’t read blogs other than the prerequisite daily visits to Fail Blog. She had no interest in Twitter. It was all about Facebook. Like the rest of us, Maya uses it to keep up with friends and post her feelings about current issues (like her ongoing quest to own a bunny). Yet the real draw at Facebook for Maya and others her age is the amount of free gaming. The sheer number of free games like FarmVille that are available online is a growing trend and the middle school set is eating it up with a spoon. She didn’t care if the games were loaded with advertisements or product placement. She liked being able to play and play along with her FB friends. Marketing and social media gaming are the next big avenue to be explored and Maya proved this much-touted theory.

Interactive appears to be the key with social media users of all ages; Maya responded enthusiastically to viral videos she could post on her friends walls like this anti-Justin Beiber vid, who by the way is persona non grata for most hip 12 year olds. She spent lots of time “liking” things popular in her crowd while making it clear what ads she didn’t like on her page. On the other hand, she didn’t bat an eye at following Facebook pages of products that she liked. Recent studies find that Maya isn’t alone when it comes to welcoming advertiser-branded content; nearly half of social media users ages 9 to 17 say that they regularly participate in advertiser-sponsored social media activity.

What Maya knows about social media marketing is simple – but it’s something that sometimes escapes the professionals. It’s not important if the content on sites like Facebook is at times nothing more than blatant advertising. If it’s interesting, fun and above all something cool that can be shared with friends, it’s getting a thumb’s up. 12-year-olds and now even senior citizens are using social media feverishly. From what I witnessed, social media users are simply responding to the marketing that speaks directly to them. Sounds simple, yet sometimes it takes a 12-year-old to help us see what’s been in front of us the whole time.



5 Things You Might Have Missed

Follow Us

  • RSS Feed
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google+

In a slow week of tech, marketing and social media headlines, it may appear that you already read everything important and know all things timely and trendy. Do not be lulled into this false sense of security! We here at Brandsplat have sought out five more jewels of wisdom and curiosity to add to your treasure chest of knowledge.

1.) Marketing, Dead Head Style: This blog at Huffington Post from David Meerman Scott outlines what every company can learn from the marketing geniuses of The Grateful Dead. After all, the Dead have been a thriving and viable brand for decades with a following that seems to, well, never die. So in depth are the marketing lessons of the Grateful Dead, Meerman Scott and Brian Halligan even wrote a whole book about it, Marketing Lessons From The Grateful Dead: What Every Business Can Learn From The Most Iconic Band in History.

2.) Infusing Glee & Branding In PSAs: This week LG, makers of some of the most distracting phones on the planet, enlisted the comedic talent of Emmy nominee Jane Lynch to help stop teens from texting while driving. The Glee actress stars in a series of humorous spots aimed to show the dangers of texting behind the wheel. They’re funny ads that deliver a message while also promoting LG’s phones – and Lynch is red hot right now so all the way around it’s a well-thought-out campaign.

3.) Saving Time On Social Media: This quick read from Bloomberg is a smart reminder that our social media marketing need not suck up all of our time. Good to remember when you’re tweeting instead of, you know, actually working.

4.) Lionel Richie. Period: So we always like to give a shout out to the weird advertising moment of the week, and Lionel Richie doing a chip commercial in the UK pretty much fits the bill. We heart the smooth, soulful sounds of Mr. Richie and we think he could be on the brink of a kitsch advertising comeback ala William Shatner. Plus, he has prior experience.

5.) Digging The New Digg: From the way folks have reacted, you would have thought that the new, more Twitter-esque version of Digg was a mind-controlling weapon destroying humanity. Nope. The new Digg is just an easier-to-browse version of the old standby and the most amazing thing about it? The relaunch actually has people talking about Digg again! We kind of like the new Digg and we like a good old fashioned brand comeback even more.


Traditional Advertising Techniques Worth Hanging On To

Follow Us

  • RSS Feed
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google+

As traditional media continues to take a hit and online marketing booms, we’re faced with questions: Do we dump old skool advertising altogether or should we hold onto some of the tried and true techniques that have worked in the past? I say slow your roll, cowboy. There are a few trusted vintage forms of traditional advertising that still hold water today and yield decent results.

Community newspapers and newsletters, for example, are still an effective avenue to bring in local customers and clients. The homegrown press has experienced resurgence lately. Landing a profile of your business that will be read by your neighborhood clients is far easier than nabbing a four-page spread in The New York Times. Story pitches to indie publications lack the pomp and rejection often attached to publishing giants. These freebies, which pop up on the porches all over the country, are also good places to run traditional advertisements. The ads are low-cost and low-risk; plus, many businesses experience immediate results by offering coupons in their ads to rope in the locals.

And for the love of the marketing gods, DO NOT ditch your involvement in pet projects and causes! Partnering with a local non-profit is a PR and advertising goldmine that will never go out of style. Sponsoring the local school’s silent auction or donating goods and services to a cause close to your company’s heart remains a great way to attract customers who like to patronize the good guys. Another plus: Community partnership goes hand in hand with social media marketing where publicizing your good deeds has never been easier.

And please don’t give up on radio and TV advertising just yet. Spending big bucks on radio ads or TV spots is just silly if you are a small enterprize, but you can still cleverly get your products or company on the air without a lot of hassle. Investigating your local public radio and television options is a good way to get a media mention without breaking the bank. Again, it ties into helping out the community and supporting local broadcasting – and the best part is that it’s really cheap! Watchers and listeners of public broadcasting know that companies are being plugged around the clock for supporting various programs.

Now it’s your turn to tell us, marketing mavens. Are you still using any traditional marketing techniques? Is there more to marketing than social media? And while you’re at it, tell us about some advertising innovations that have rocked your world in the comments section.

Today’s Secret Word is “Blogging”

Follow Us

  • RSS Feed
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google+

As we update our company’s Facebook page and tweet our days away, it is easy to neglect our blogs. After all, blogs have been around forever and they can easily slip to the bottom of our online branding and social media marketing priority lists. There are bigger, trendier digital fish to fry. Yet blogs are still being read, forwarded and passed. Blogs remain an instant and easy way to re-launch our brands. I was reminded of this recently by an unlikely personality – Pee Wee Herman.

Yesterday, Herman launched his first-ever Huffington Post blog. Herman is a cult icon; though his checkered past helped get his popular Saturday morning show cancelled, he’s still a brand – and, seemingly, a brand on the road to a comeback. His blog at HuffPo is the humorous kind of fodder you’d expect from the originator of dork chic. The requisite “Pee Wee speak” followed by a Funny or Die viral video are all included in his blog adventure. Yet right at the bottom of his post is a funny and shameless plug for his upcoming stint on Broadway. So while there is still no basement in The Alamo, there is still marketing moxie left in the world of blogging.

What Herman and others have tapped into is the power of forwards and links. The moment his blog appeared, postings at IMDb.com announcing its arrival showed up on the Herman message boards. His official Facebook page announced his blog’s arrival to his 100,000+ fans (and, naturally, Herman tweeted about his blog, too). And, like clockwork, his blog ended up in Google newsfeeds and at the top of search engine lists.

Today’s online marketing calls for blogs to be put into action in social media while taking on the task of expanding a brand. In short, we don’t have to be loners or rebels to get our blogs noticed. We just have to be persistent and creative.

So what are we waiting for? Let’s get out there and produce blogs filled with the language of our brand. Let’s use every available social media outlet to market our blogs, too. And tell ’em Large Marge sent ya!

Tweet Ideas & Twit-ovations for Marketers

Follow Us

  • RSS Feed
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google+

We all heart Twitter and the instant connection it gives us to our clients, friends and other followers. Yet the “Twitterverse” has gotten crowded lately with new apps, ideas and tools being pushed out and blogged about at the speed of light. Lucky for you, dear readers, we here at Brandsplat have dug through the latest in Twitter topics to find some nifty techniques you may want to integrate into your Twitter and social media marketing plan.

Fast Follow: Launched on August 10th and blogged about ever since, Fast Follow is the Twitter tip on everybody’s lips. But just what is it? Fast Follow is a free tool from the social media giant that taps into the mainline of Twitter/SMS text messaging. Tweet marketers can now text something like “follow peachmahoney” to 40404 and that person’s or brand’s tweets then will be delivered via text message – no Twitter account necessary. Fast Follow is truly worthy of all the chirping as it blasts the doors open to reach a much bigger audience. Even as an avid Tweeter, I’ve just started using Fast Follow and now can’t imagine life without it.

Tweaking Twitter Contests: Many Tweet marketers thought the disastrous Air France Twitter contest would be the end of the promotion as we know it; alas, hungry tweeps haven’t given up on contests and either should marketers. Contests of any kind need to be simple to enter, clearly defined and watched like a hawk. By posting contests regularly stamped with a time limit, marketers can avoid a hot mess of “But I tweeted first!” responses from angry consumers. Also, focusing the contests based on your products and services keeps the conversation about your business (which is kind of the whole point).

LinkedIn & Tweets App: Another must according to the folks in the know, Tweets App was given an overhaul this spring to easily connect LinkedIn users with new tweeps to follow. Tweets App works as a social butterfly and introduces you to folks in your industry to follow based on your current LinkedIn connections. Tweets App is the kind of like-industry back scratching Twitter marketing was built on and the best part is the app does all of the work for you.

Those are three of our favorite Twitter tips, and now you should give us some of yours. It’s only fair, after all. Enlighten us, Twitter gurus, in the comments below!

Our Weekly 5 Things You Might Have Missed List

Follow Us

  • RSS Feed
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google+

That’s right, cats and kitties: We’ve sifted through the litter to find 5 little nuggets of Internet goodness to share with you. Dive in, debate and discuss as directed.

1.) Dole’s Appealing Facebook Contest: As part of Dole’s summer-long Go Bananas After Dark campaign, which urges consumers to nibble on the monkey’s favorite snack at night, Dole has launched a Facebook-based campaign to vote for the best banana-themed artwork. From a Lady Gaga made out of bananas to bananas playing poker, the submissions were whittled down to a select group and now Facebook members get to have their say. The winner will receive prizes like a new grill and free fruit courtesy of Dole.

2.) Facebook Places & Marketing: This piece in Ad Age details all of the ins and outs of Facebook’s new geolocation program. Facebook hopes to take Foursquare’s model and turn it into something massive using its near-billion-plus users to help the push. The conversation is just starting on what FB’s Places potentially will mean for social media marketing; thus far, it appears that, like Foursquare, there are oodles of opportunities for brand development.

3.) Your Digestive System is Adorable: This little advertising oddity, brought to you by the makers of Yakult yogurt drink, has been tweeted and blogged about a lot this week, but we thought it deserved a little more attention. Why? Simply because it’s the grossest and yet most adorable ad we’ve seen in awhile. And it’s a well-played marketing move by Yakult, as similar yogurt products promising digestive miracles have been the subject of liability lawsuits and consumer scrutiny. Plus, even though the star of the ad is really a digestive system turned into a puppet, it’s still pretty darn cute.

4.) Designs on Better Business: Good.com featured an article entitled “What Businesses Can Learn From Designers” this week and we think it is a must-read. Focusing on how business can benefit from the know-how of artsy types is the type of piece that Good does really well, and this one is filled with info any sized company can use.

5.) Matches Made In Ad Heaven: So this spot rounds out our list for sheer “huh?” factor. Is it about energy-saving light bulbs? Is it a commercial for a new toy? A dating service? Nope. It’s all part of “Made For Each Other,” Frito Lay’s whimsical yet strange campaign for its chips and dips. Demented? Yeah, but Frito Lay gets credit for going out on an artistic limb by creating something eye-catching – and the accompanying social media marketing is spot on.