5 Things You Might Have Missed!

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From social media tips to snacking on chips, we’ve cooked up another list of five things you might have missed!

1.) Learning Social Media Tricks From The Big Guys: This article from Inc. looks to the biggest brands currently rocking social media. While they all have never-ending advertising budgets, many of them — from Nike to Jet Blue —have smart ideas any business can adapt.

2.) Eye Catching for a Reason: We love the art installation-meets-technology trend in atmospheric advertising, but these clever tricks are all the more powerful when it’s for a good cause. This exhibit at the Intrepid Museum in New York caught our eye for drawing attention to World Autism Day with a little girl who won’t make eye contact, which could be a sign of autism. The interactive and informative display signals a much-needed change in educational campaigns.

3.) Is Social Media the New Rock and Roll? This infographic via Soshable.com was everywhere this week but still you might have missed it because you’re on infographic overload (happens to the best of us). Nevertheless, it makes our list because the effect of social media on young people is either a hot button issue or the same old boring thing we’ve been saying about new stuff that the kids love since the age of Elvis Presley.

4.) Goodbye to the Empire Carpet Guy: Lynn Hauldren passed away this week. You know, the guy from the Empire Carpet ads? Hauldren may not be a household name, but he made the company’s tagline and jingle (which he also wrote) truly iconic pieces of American marketing and advertising. The Consumerist has some of Hauldren’s best spots right here.

5.) Frito-Lay Crunches Its Way to the Top: The battle for Facebook likes in the Guinness Book of World Records has been pretty silly over the last few months. Nevertheless, chipmaker Frito-Lay made a legitimate record for the most likes within a 24-hour period, confirming what we’ve suspected all along: Facebookers like to eat chips in their underwear and like things.

Drinking the Haterade: Turning Negative Feedback into a Positive

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We had a good laugh this week when we read Julien Smith’s blog Priceless Lesson Learned from Scathing 1-Star Reviews on Amazon. Smith frankly discusses how bad reviews — more specifically, well-written bad reviews — made him a better writer. More than just funny or mean-spirited, we have to agree with Smith that a sharply-written, scathing review is an Internet delicacy and offers a valuable lesson for the brand on the receiving end of the review.

Last year, I worked with an L.A. restaurant on a social media marketing campaign. While it had a cult following, there was certainly a large amount of hateration in their direction. Reviewers on Yelp routinely tore this place a new one for not being fast enough and for not taking credit cards. So when the eatery decided to take plastic, we launched a tongue-in-cheek campaign to bring in the haters. We published the bad reviews on the restaurant’s Facebook ad and challenged the authors to return and give it another shot. Most Yelpers are not confrontational types but we had a few that rose to the challenge, came in to eat, and then changed their reviews.

Still, from a marketing standpoint, bad reviews are worth their weight in gold for the insight they provide into what people think about your business. Sure, you have to take a big majority of them with a grain of salt but there’s is no shortage of learning opportunity. After all, big brands are using Facebook to help pick new product names and logo designs because it taps right into the audience. While we’re not sure a full-on Domino’s style confrontation is necessary when it comes to bad reviews, we do think embracing online disses can be a catalyst to bring about change.

So, readers, what say you? What bit of biting criticism has helped your business in the long run?

Did Digital Kill the Movie Marketing Star?

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I trotted off to the multiplex with my family over the weekend to catch one of the animated holiday films currently dominating the box office. As we settled in, I couldn’t help feeling like the ceremony of watching movie trailers had totally lost its luster. No, it wasn’t just because the movies looked bad (which they did), but because I had seen all of the trailers before. Trailers, to many film lovers like myself, have always been a crucial part of the moviegoing experience. Yet thanks to digital branding and viral campaigns, there is nary a trailer in the theaters that you can’t watch online first. I will mercifully forgo the “when I was a kid, you used to have to wait until you went to the movie theaters to see a trailer” hurrang; online trailers have dominated for years and studios design entire campaigns around their release.

Look at the current crop of summer films. Most of them have had digital campaigns for at least six months. Whether it’s The Hangover 2, The Smurfs or Transformers, studios are pushing these films early thus inspiring the age-old complaint that you feel like you have seen the film in its entirety before it reaches the theaters. Warner Bros’ film version of The Green Lantern has been feeling the digital pinch; almost daily, there are new trailers, sneak previews of posters and new photos of the movie. Yahoo has partnered with the film to offer even more exclusive peeks into the film. The Green Lantern also has big-time dominance on Facebook with 90,000-plus likes. By the time Green Lantern opens on June 17, audiences will either eat it up or pass on it because they’ve already OD’d on the lime-colored hero.

You can’t blame Hollywood for cranking up summer movie marketing, though. The box office has been in the dumps for months. The video-on-demand category looks to sink movie theaters as we know them. So times are tough. Still, you can’t help but wonder if digital desperation is the best way to sell movie magic.

Two Brands That Stay Well-liked On Facebook

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Like any good blog covering social media marketing, we’ve endlessly discussed the secret formula behind Facebook likes. Likes have become a golden ticket in the social media marketing world. With them, your brand archives big-time recognition on the world’s most-used social network. Without them, your company sits there like an unpopular kid at a middle school dance. Yet just being a well-liked brand isn’t enough. In today’s social media shark tank, what you post on Facebook needs to be gold, too. So we were intrigued by a new study from Visibli which rounds up the most “liked” posts from brands on Facebook.

According to the study, Audi and American Airlines reign supreme. The carmaker racks up an impressive 228 likes for its posts out of every 100,000 followers, meaning not only do followers love the brand, but they love what the company is posting on Facebook. Audi has an impressive 3.1 million “likers,” which translates to an average of 7,068 likes for every post.

This study is illuminating because it validates something that content-conscious types have been saying forever: keep ’em engaged. You can blast your brand’s message over and over again, but if the content isn’t creative then you’ve wasted your time and haven’t really contributed anything to the Facebooksphere. Clearly, Audi and American Airlines are igniting their followers with content they respond to. It is no fluke that the rest of Visibili’s study is dominated by pop stars like Chamillionaire and Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga. Pop music fans on social media are “like”-happy, so for a brand to inspire a similar response is impressive, indeed. Visibli points out that a Facebook post generates 50 percent of its “likes” during its first one hour and 20 minutes, meaning that engaging a Facebook audience has to happen quickly.

Readers, it’s your turn to engage us. Which brands post things you can’t wait to “like”? Tell us below!

Five Things You Might Have Missed

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It’s been a wild week full of wacky and unpredictable technical ups and downs, strange social media happenings and catchy viral hits. So we’ve hunted around the web and placed these colored eggs in a fancy basket we like to call the Five Things You Might Have Missed. 1.) Nyan, Nyan, Nyan: What the *blank* does a flying pop tart cat who sings a ridiculous song while shooting rainbows out of his backside have to do with marketing, you might ask? Plenty. This so-annoying-it’s-hilarious video has gathered over 1.5 million YouTube hits and has launched a successful t-shirt line, several parodies and there’s even talk of a video game. Inane and silly? You betcha! But it’s also viral and literal gold. 2.) Amazon Cloud Causes Thunderstorm: Thursday, April 21st might be forever remembered as the day Amazon’s cloud burst. A failure in the company’s web services single-handedly rendered Redditt, Foursquare, GroupMe and HootSuite useless. Yet to be resolved as of this posting, the glitch caused a tizzy for social media marketers and reminded us it’s always smart to have a good dashboard backup plan. 3.) Digital Dieting: We’ll blog more about this next week, but digital dieting makes our list during the “I gave it up for Lent” time of year. Purging the channels we spend time on with little return is a thought-provoking challenge perfectly fit for spring renewal. 4.) The Stars on Facebook: This hilarious Altoids music video, unlike the aforementioned mind numbing cat, is a smartly written parody of Facebook and the people we love to pretend we like on the site. Look for this one to go viral and to spawn spin-offs. 5.) Amtrak Online Gets Derailed: Mark another one for Mercury being in retrograde. The travel by train giant experienced a hiccup this week when its online ticketing system took a nose dive. This technical snafu makes the list because of how Amtrak responded. Tech savvy Amtrak employees used social media to alert travelers and field questions. Nicely played, Amtrak. All aboard!

Does Facebook Studio Demystify Facebook Marketing?

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Amidst all of the Facebook news this week — from the President’s Facebook town hall to another Facebook & China hassle — the company quietly released a new product for marketers and advertisers. While maybe not a big deal to the rest of the world, the potential of this community site, dubbed Facebook Studio, is huge for us marketing types. Facebook Studio promises to open the dialog between marketers and ad agencies about the secrets to successful Facebook marketing. The flashy gallery at Facebook Studio shows off the campaigns that were most shared, most commented on and most liked. This should be a chance for agencies and businesses of all sizes to share what’s worked for them on Facebook and how they did it.

So is Facebook Studio a good learning tool or is it just a splashy infomercial that toots the horns of big companies with big social media advertising budgets?

It is certainly too early to say definitively if Facebook Studio is a worthwhile idea. I spent some time on it and found it to be interesting if not yet groundbreaking. The Learning Lab portion of the site is light on content but does have a nice word of mouth video for beginning Facebook marketers. The Spotlight section features campaigns that have racked up tons of Likes. Corona is featured as a most Liked site and it shows off the beermakers’ campaign which took over Times Square billboards. While an innovative campaign, let’s be real here — most small companies can’t afford such an endeavor and therefore this section of the site is less inspiring and more show-offy.

The educational aspect on Facebook Studio is light, but the real goal is to inspire businesses to buy advertising space on the site. Personally, I’m not sure if it convinced me to pitch that idea to clients or that it was all that motivational but it is definitely another worthwhile tool for the social media marketing toolbox.

Marketing Fundraising in the Digital World

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“So what’s the marketing plan for donations?” said a wise but staunch board member of an arts organization that I do PR and social media marketing for at a recent board meeting. Cue the cricket noises. With all my Twittering and Facebooking and digital press releases, I sort of forgot the thing board members like him worry about: raising lots of money. How am I going to market this so it inspires people to donate?

Some deep breaths, a long walk and a few handfuls of Easter candy later, I did what I always do when I’m stumped: I Googled. See, our particular campaign had thus far been very successful being strictly digital and very social. So I knew that the fundraising had to be cool, had to be cutting edge and needed to be social. There’s a billion new online fundraising and crowdsourcing sites — but which ones are effective for new non-profits?

At the top of the search engine heap is Crowdrise. Launched last summer, Crowdrise has the A-listers behind it (primarily Hollywood do-gooder Edward Norton, who used the site to raise over a million bucks for his fundraising marathon). Kristen Bell, Paul Rudd and Russell Brand also use Crowdrise for their pet projects. Easy to use and irreverently written, Crowdrise is definitely skewed to a younger demographic, but it’s a good place to keep all fundraising in one spot. Plus, Crowdrise scores points for being extremely social. So Crowdrise gets put on the “It couldn’t hurt to try” list; I will surely report back here with my findings.

But our next immediate move for fundraising was the thing I know works best with social media and that is using your contacts. Whether it’s breast cancer walks or girl scout cookies, we’ve seen firsthand the effectiveness of using social media to bring in the dough. Besides, you always hit up your friends before hitting up strangers, right?

Cool crowdsourcing site in play? Check. Friends happy to fork over whatever they can? Check. What else is on the plan to market fundraising? Cue the crickets again. But I do know that with social media marketing and a strong digital marketing strategy in place, it won’t be me and the crickets for too long.