Five Things You Might Have Missed!

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This week’s Five Things You Might Have Missed promises the best in viral marketing, Twitter management gone wrong, some digital Easter eggs and even a walrus on your back! Read, enjoy, tweet and repeat!

1.) Tweet the Wrong Thing: Spike Lee on Twitter just seems like a recipe for ill communication — and this week, boy was it. The diminutive ’90s auteur raised eyebrows when he re-tweeted the wrong address for George Zimmerman, the man who allegedly shot teenager Trayvon Martin. The tweet ticked off tons of tweeps and put Lee on the defensive. Martin’s story is already a highly-charged one and Lee’s misinformed tweet proves how out of control Twitter can get when the wrong information spreads like wildfire.

2.) Happiness 360: Streets Ice Cream took its good-time brand to the streets with a pop-up 360 photo booth that invited passersby to jump, dance and interact in front of a Matrix-style camera. The end campaign is an interactive one which features ordinary folks in extraordinary poses and promises to end lame sponsored photo booths forever.

3.) Cat in a Raincoat!: Columbia Sportswear embraces the spirit of invention with its “Great Moments in Trying Stuff” viral campaign. An earnest 1950s style announcer takes viewers on a hilarious journey through innovations, like sweaty hot dog buns, mesh tank tops and a not-too-happy cat in a raincoat — all brilliantly illustrating Columbia’s outerwear technology.

4.) An App to Dye For: PAAS Easter Egg dye partnered with Heinz Vinegar to come up with this cool Easter egg decorating app just in time for the holiday. It’s digital egg dying without all the mess — genius! The cute seasonal game is sure to be a hit for egg-enthusiastic youngsters, but PAAS gives the app a little something extra by donating $1.00 for every download to Make a Wish Foundation through April 8th.

5.) I am the Walrus: We wrap up this week’s list with a spot for muscle cream from Allgauer Latschenkiefer. Nicely shot, cleverly edited and, featuring a piggybacking walrus, this viral ad is simple, funny and sweet.

Pixar Gets ‘Brave’ with Online Marketing

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Disney-Pixar is just one of those brands kids of all ages love dearly and without question. It even withstands not-so-great moments (*cough,* Cars 2, *cough cough*) with flying colors. So beloved is Pixar that it can get away with things other companies would never dream of (like the dialogue-free first 20 minutes of the hit Wall-E).

That said, Pixar knows when it’s taking a risk and markets accordingly. Take this summer’s Brave, for example. The film boasts the brand’s first film heroine, a sassy Scottish tough girl named Merida. For the decidedly dude-centric film empire, her creation is an act of bravery in itself. Marketing Merida to the Toy Story set takes a certain finesse, and here’s how Pixar is handling it:

Thanks to Twitter’s new capacity to relay brilliantly and beautifully handled images, Pixar has been tweeting photos of Merida since late last year. Early on, bigwigs at Pixar clearly thought that the sooner they could establish Merida as a new animated star, the better. Next, the company employed the hashtag #Brave to get film fans chatting about the recently-released trailer. Since the film is a bit of a departure, image- and clip-heavy tweets are the fastest way to get folks excited about the film. Pixar, by the way, is a great example of Twitter marketing in general. The brand tweets clips and quotes from classic films as well as news on upcoming projects like Brave.

In addition, over on Facebook, it appears the movie is already a hit — and it doesn’t even open until June. With over 100,000 fans, Brave on Facebook embraces the film’s international roots by having multi-lingual options for viewing the trailer. The page promises to serve as a hub for contests, ticket buying and fan interaction as the film gets closer to its release date.

While we can’t be sure if little boys will love Merida, we know if any company can get inside their minds, it’s certainly Pixar with its masterful grasp on online marketing.

For Republicans, Social Media Marketing Gets Etch A Sketchy

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I can’t speak for everyone, but I’m sure many of us were disheartened to see our beloved childhood friend, the Etch A Sketch, dragged into the unsavory world of political campaigning. Last week saw everybody’s favorite red-screened, white-knobbed drawing toy used as weapon against Republican hopeful Mit Romney. Etch A Sketch fever hit social media like a tornado on Wednesday when Romney aide Eric Fehrnstrom said of his candidate’s performance during primary season, “Well, I think you hit a reset button for the fall campaign. Everything changes. It’s almost like an Etch A Sketch. You can kind of shake it up and restart all over again.” This off-the-cuff comment led to Twitter silliness, moments of unexpected branding brilliance and a case study on how social media marketing interacts with today’s political campaigns.

Within moments of the comment, “Etch A Sketch” had become a top trending topic on Twitter. Much like Angelina’s leg, Mitt’s Etch A Sketch launched a Twitter account of its own. While all of this was funny and buzzworthy meme stuff, the comment itself was a PR disaster and Romney’s opponents hopped on social media almost immediately to skewer Fehrnstrom. Newt Gingrich and others were quick to use the Etch A Sketch metaphor to exploit Romney’s changing position on issues. Gingrich tweeted, “Etch A Sketch is a great toy but a losing strategy. We need a nominee w/ bold conservative solutions.”

Meanwhile, the makers of Etch A Sketch, Ohio Art Company, couldn’t have been more thrilled. Their product quickly received millions of dollars in free publicity as images of the Etch A Sketch were shot around the globe via the Internet. The company released this giddy statement about the brouhaha: “Happy to see Etch A Sketch, an American classic toy, is DRAWING attention with political candidates as a cultural icon and important piece of our society. A profound toy, highly recognized and loved by all, is now SHAKING up the national debate. Nothing is as quintessentially American as Etch A Sketch and a good old-fashioned political debate.”

News outlets were reporting toy retailers couldn’t keep Etch A Sketches in stock after the quote exploded. So score one for Ohio Art Company. And score one for social media marketing and digital PR. This silliness over a quote about an Etch A Sketch is the perfect example of how fast these channels work for and against brands of all sizes.

Twice as Nice: Is Multi-blogging Right for You?

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When it comes to corporate blog creation, lately we’ve been seeing double. Or even triple. Many brands are finding that just one blog simply won’t suffice when it comes to talking about all the amazing things their business does. For companies with lots of little niches or several imprints and subdivisions, multiple blogs are an easy fix. A number of blogs can lighten the load for a primary blog while providing specialized topics and information. So when do you know if one blog isn’t enough?

A good, first question to ask yourself when considering multiple blogs is an easy one: Is my current blog successful? If you answered “yes,” then congratulations! You clearly have a well-read blog that could perhaps support spin-off blog that covers additional topics that just won’t fit in your current already jam-packed blog. But keep this in mind before you start spreading your blog love around: In order for your new blogs to be successful, they will require the same hard work, great content and diligent marketing that made your original blog so successful.

Next it’s probably best to figure out what your new blogs are going to cover. Multiple blogs from the same business can be great if they each have their own voice and specific areas of expertise. Readers are not going to come back to read the same information they already read on another blog. So pick topics from your corporate cannon that might not always get a chance to shine in your current blog. Also, multiple blogs can be great for limited campaigns and promotions, covering updates in company policies and new products. Whatever you use your new blogs for, make sure the SEO keywords and strategies from your original blog stay pretty much the same. Clearly your keywords are helping audiences find your blog, so you want to hang on to them for your new blogs, too. Consistent keywords, thorough SEO and solid blog content management, will help your new blogs achieve the same success as your first blogging blockbuster.

Lastly, don’t be afraid to add new voices to your multiple blogs. Different perspectives not only make for more dynamic content but prevent you from suffering a blogging burnout.

If you have plenty to say and a solid blogging practice already in place, why not give multi-blogging a try? Your blogging empire awaits!

Five Things You Might Have Missed!

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Tech oddities! Branding delights! Social media marvels! Step right up and enjoy the little online marketing circus we like to call “Five Things You Might Have Missed!”

1.) Meet the Social Pizza: What’s more social than sharing a few slices of pizza? How about actually creating a pizza on social media? Domino’s in Australia is calling on Facebook fans to create the ultimate social media pizza pie. Through March 25th, Domino’s fans down under will have the opportunity to vote on favorite sauce, crust and topping combinations, with the winning concoctions featured on Domino’s menu. Amateur pizza chefs will also get a shot at $1,000 bucks for coming up with a great pizza name.

2.) Skin Vibrations: Here’s one from the “What the Tech?” files. Nokia is reportedly working on a patent to help smartphone holders literally feel when they receive a call. A small patch of fabric or a tattoo can be attached to the skin and will vibrate when an incoming call is received. While still in the developement stage, the vibrating tattoo officially ushers in the era of humans being literally attached to their phones.

3.) Main Events: Like the rest of Facebook, Facebook Events got a big-time makeover this week. Unlike Timeline and some of the other updates, however, this one is bound to make plenty of people happy. Easy for brands and individuals alike to use and keep organized, the new Facebook Events is the must-use use tool of the spring on the planet’s biggest social media mecca. Check out Social Media Examiner’s in-depth look at Facebook Events to learn about all the new features.

4.) Holy Phileas Fogg! So they might not be able to make your skin vibrate today, but Nokia claims its battery can last on a trip around the world. Inspired by the 140th anniversary of Around the World in 80 Days, Nokia sent its phone to 12 cities and 4 continents with a single charged battery and no charger. The results are a globe-trotting, good-time viral hit.

5.) Help for Your Ugly Office: We close out our list with a drool worthy digital contest from Turnstone. Those makers of pricey but awesome office accoutrements, Turnstone is giving away 5 office makeovers to startups with great ideas and amazing stories. Wannabes are encouraged to pitch their dream office ideas to Turnstone via video. After a judging committee sifts through the submissions, Turnstone will post the best videos and users will vote for their favorite. It’s a cool contest with a great prize from a brand that encourages vision and personality.

Study Says Facebook, Twitter Not the News Breakers We May Think

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In social media marketing, we live by the legend that everybody gets all of their information from Facebook and Twitter. After all, we see big news stories spread like wildfire on social media every week, if not daily. From celebrity scandals and branding snafus to sports scores and natural disasters, the common belief is that social media isn’t just talking about the top stories of the day, but actually breaking news stories, too. Yet a new study is out to burst that bubble by claiming only 9 percent of Americans turn to Facebook and Twitter to get their news.

Shockingly, The State of the News Media 2012, a report from the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism, finds that Americans are decidedly old school when it comes to getting their news. More than a third claim they still hear the headlines from news organizations like CNN, MSNBC and local radio/TV news outlets. Tech sources for news weren’t totally out of the picture, however; 32 percent say they rely on search engines and 29 percent use news aggregation sites and apps like Flipboard, according to Pew.

The numbers in the survey shift dramatically, however, when the study focuses on subjects who rely on digital for their only news resource. A full 52 percent of digital news consumers admit to getting at least some of their daily news from Facebook and Twitter. Pew subjects were also very opinionated about which they liked better for news — Facebook or Twitter. Seven percent of digital news consumers say they get news from Facebook very often while only 3 percent said the same for Twitter. But Twitter dominated in being first for original stories; 39 percent said they read stories on Twitter they wouldn’t have found elsewhere.

But does the dip in social media news mean anything to marketers? You tell us, readers! Has the social media news era already ended, taking our interest in engaging with brands on Facebook and Twitter with it? Sound off below!

Did Blogs Save the Art Star?

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When window-shopping around the net at different blogs for blog creation ideas, it’s hard not to notice how artsy things have gotten. From snappy original graphics on design websites to Tumblrs filled with bold images that transcend mediums, art is seemingly everywhere. In fact, it now seems like the cool thing to do to reference famous or undiscovered artists in blogs of all genres. Also, the number of blogs alone devoted to the arts is a testament to how seriously the web loves the arts. With all of these great-looking blogs with snooty-patootie artistic pedigrees floating around, we wondered: Did blogging help artists, or is it the other way around?

To get to the bottom of the question, one need look no further than free blogging platforms like WordPress, Tumblr and Blogger. Blogging platforms are taking the blogs of artists very seriously, with Tumblr leading the pack. Tumblr, it seems, was born for art pimping. With its image-friendly layout, Tumblr makes posting images easy. Almost immediately after Tumblr’s launch in 2007, artists flocked to the site. Tumblr was quickly utilized by artists as “makeshift websites” where followers and buyers could easily find artists’ work without the artists having to sink big money into a traditional site. And Tumblr’s social nature made it really easy for artists’ work to get passed around and shared by other users. Tumblr is so serious about the arts that it has an artist outreach program and even boasts its own office gallery comprised of works by artists from Tumblr. And, naturally, Tumblr features several directories of artists that you can find on the site.

Other platforms are art crazy, too. A simple WordPress topic search for art will turn up blogs by big-time artists and art writers, while Blogger boasts blogs from the Guggenheim. Artists were clearly drawn to the ease of blogging and the rest is history.

The relationship between artists and blogs, it appears, is a mutually beneficial one. Artists can have their work seen by millions of blog readers and blogs can now elevate their appearance to compete with online magazines and tablet publications. But does all this art talk mean our blog content management strategies must now include original artwork? No, but some kind of image plan should be put in place. This blogging art explosion proves that fresh content now includes great-looking graphics.