This week’s Brandsplat Video report episode covers Hubspot.com, Analytics, Export.ly, and Keenan Cahill with David Guetta. Check it out! Or click here for more Brandsplat vids
Archives for January 2011
Tweets You Might Have Missed
We admit it. We’re still Twitter obsessed. Apparently everybody else still is, too. This week saw a flurry of tweet-tinged stories, so we’ve devoted our 5 Things You Might Have Missed list entirely to all things Twitter. So without any further clucking, let’s shake a tail feather and get to listin’!
1.) UnTweeps: It’s a great time of year to do your Twitter cleanse, and part of that regime should be to dump would-be tweeters who haven’t been so active lately. We’re loving UnTweeps for this task. Sure, there are similar things out there, but none is as thorough and speedy as UnTweeps.
2.) ThunderCats, ho!: We were intrigued and delighted to see one of our favorite 80s cartoons trending this week. So imagine our further delight when we heard Warner Brothers (which owns the ‘Cats these days) stirred up the social media buzz to plug the upcoming release of the new ThunderCats cartoon. It’s the kind of brand resurrection only Twitter can do at lightening speed and the blogs and the traditional news soon picked up the story, too.
3.) Tweet Degrees of Separation: “Connections” is the new Twitter feature launched by the site to take the place of the awkward “You Both Follow” section on Twitter. While there’s still some glitches, the feature has improved and is worth taking for a spin just for curiosity’s sake.
4.) Wheat Thins Ambushes Tweeters: This campaign caught our eye earlier this month and resurfaced in blogs this week. Wheat Thins is turning the tables on folks who talked smack about its cracker on Twitter and Facebook. The results are as innovative as they are funny.
5.) State of the Union Address: Like most national news events that could use a good dose of positive buzz, the State of the Union address went directly to Twitter when the broadcast was over. White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer received Tweets about the economy, healthcare and other issues before the address. Post-speech, the White House posted candid pics from the event on Twitter, proving once again the little bird is the one to turn to for late-breaking news.
How Much is that Comedian in the Window?
Here’s a social media and traditional advertising gimmick hand crafted for our voyeuristic times. The good folks at Downy have shoved a comedian in a department store window and forced him to stay there for a whole week while the world watches his mannequin antics online. It’s not as cruel as we’re making it sound. In fact, “Mike in the Window,” as they’re calling it, is a smart and funny old-fashioned gimmick that uses today’s social media and online branding to drum up interest in fabric softener.
This is how it works: For one week, comedian Mike Birbiglia will live and sleep inside a Macy’s Herald Square display window. Downy has been pitching its product as a sleep aid claiming that soft sheets help folks get a better night’s rest. Procter & Gamble, the makers of Downy, even funded a study conducted by the National Sleep Foundation. The study naturally found that things like clean, yummy-smelling sheets help folks fall asleep faster. So to put that theory to the test, the company enlisted Birbiglia to live and sleep in the busy window.
What makes Birbiglia the ideal candidate? He’s an infamous sleepwalker. In fact, some of his most famous stand-up routines revolve around his sleepwalking problem. So fans of the comedian will be tuning into see if wanders in the middle of the night or sleeps soundly, thanks to Downy, of course.
Using Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, Birbiglia will chronicle his life in the store window with observations and one-liners. As he stepped into the window yesterday, cameras rolled and live footage of his press conference was seen on Facebook. Fourteen thousand people have already ‘liked’ Mike and his week has just started. The stunt is sure to bring in more followers as the week goes on.
Speaking of followers, “Mike in the Window” was the top trending topic yesterday on Twitter, and although it was a sponsored tweet, it crushed other topics floating around Twitterland. Mike will be tweeting to his followers about his April Fresh-smelling adventures. And if you’re one of the 30 people who don’t use Facebook or Twitter, you can catch up with Mike on his own YouTube Channel.
Smells like a hit to us – but, readers, tell us what you think. Does “Mike in the Window” rock or does it totally stink?
Widening Your Blog’s World View
Functioning with a teeny tiny view of the world with no relevance to what is actually happening on planet Earth is one of those common mistakes business blogs make quite frequently. And, man, is it frustrating. After all, you want to invite people into your little corner of the Earth, but you also want to be relatable to folks not in your inner circle. Non-stop navel gazing provides little or no insight and doesn’t encourage people from all walks of life to participate in your blog.
For an example of a blog whose brand stretches globally, we really love Nylon Magazine. The New York fashion mag has seen its share of creative shifts since it was born more than a decade ago. But today’s Nylon speaks the language of fashion all over the world. So it makes sense that their blog invites readers to send in photos of global graffiti art. Featured in photos, the blog segment is one of the site’s most popular and ingenious. Why couldn’t your blog about your homemade soap invite your users to send in videos of them using the products? Why couldn’t your travel blog invite readers to send in bizarre vacation photos? There’s no reason we all can’t take a cue from Nylon and inspire our readers to share their lives with us, too.
Another way to expand your blog’s reach is to take part in the conversations on people’s minds. Newsworthy topics and trends relevant to your brand should be incorporated in your blog’s language. Non-ranting, current-event-based blogs which address global concerns are a good way to get the conversation rolling. Just remember to stay off the preaching pulpit and to avoid yelling like some crazy person on The View. Check out Ecoki.com for an example of an issues-fueled blog that handles it with style intelligence and class.
Of course, engaging worldwide blog audiences makes sense in hopes of generating more revenue”¦ but it’s deeper than that. Global blogging and global marketing is now within our reach and will soon become the norm. Those stuck babbling about themselves will quickly find out how small their world has become.
What Ashton + Blekko Could Mean to You
A few months back, we pondered the relevance and importance of budding search engine Blekko. Blekko, in case you haven’t heard, is a social media- and user-created search engine. It allows users to eliminate the gunk they don’t want to look at in their searches while empowering them to “like” and “tag” the sites they search for the most. While there is little question that Blekko is a good idea, the question remains: Will anybody show up to the party?
Thus farÂ whetherÂ anybody shows up has been of little concern to the site as Blekko has simply progressed and continued to run smoothly. The unofficial company motto has been “we’re just doing our thing and doing it well.” Yet even the hippest tech dorks clamor for an A-list backer, and that’s exactly what Blekko got when Ashton Kutcher showed up at their door. Kutcher announced on Monday that he was investing $200,000 in Blekko. Suddenly the guy who made Twitter a household name was giving his stamp of coolness to this upstart search engine.
All this is good news for marketers and small businesses. As we speculated before, the marketing power and potential of Blekko truly is unlimited. If Blekko takes off, thanks in part to Herr Kutcher’s additional funding, small businesses trying to get on the map will finally have a shot. Is it going to single-handedly take down Google and AdWords? Hellz to the no. But what Blekko can do is create a search engine unlike any other search product out there. ForÂ example, when we used it for a client, we were able to knock out defunct sites which have similar names. What’s more, we could “like” similar sites in their industry, creating a profile for our client that supports other small businesses. Now our client can linkÂ theirÂ Twitter and Facebook pages directly to Blekko, which plays up the element of social search and its growing importance in SEO. Pretty cool”¦ and the wholeÂ endeavorÂ for our client took less than ten minutes.
While we won’t be running to see his new film or copying some of his fashion looks, we can’t help but agree with Kutcher on this Blekko thing.
Brandsplat Video Report on Getting a Million Dollars, Girl in a Fountain, and Mila’s Daydreams
This week’s Brandsplat Video report episode covers Getting a Million Dollars, Girl in a Fountain, and Mila’s Daydreams. Check it out! Or click here for more Brandsplat vids
5 Things You Might Have Missed
It is Friday – which means little or nothing to freelancers, workaholics or unemployed creatives. But around these parts, Friday means it’s time to share with you 5 things you might have missed. So read ’em and weep!
1. PepsiCo Goes Fossil Fuel Free in U.K.: Okay, sure”¦ it’s not happening right away and it’s not happening in the United States, but we’re surprised this wasn’t a bigger story. By pledging to become a “zero impact brand” by 2023, Pepsi is clearly not only responding to consumers who have environmental concerns but changing the way the soda pop game is played worldwide. The effort has already been criticized as greenwashing and others wonder if the company will actually follow through. Nevertheless, it’s an ambitious move and one we think more companies will be making to keep their brands relevant in these hyper-aware times.
2. LivingSocial Rocks Amazon Deal: You probably didn’t miss this one, but did you pay attention? 1.4 million Amazon vouchers were sold this week on LivingSocial, beating out Groupon’s record-breaking Gap deal. The moral of the story? Social media and online marketing strategies for retail, dining or entertainment clients have to now include online discount websites.
3. NPR is Well Liked on Facebook: For the often mocked and playfully teased National Public Radio to achieve mega-Facebook status is something of a miraculous feat. NPR has 1.4 million fans who talk and relate to the network’s top news stories – something no other news outlet has been able to pull off. NPR has hit social media and digital marketing hard over the last three years and it’s paid off”¦ to the tune of a staggering 4.5 million pageviews a month.
4. Making Headlines: When it comes to killer content, you have to have a great headline. This copyblogger.com series reminded us of how essential reader-grabbing headlines actually are. According to the site, 8 out of 10 readers will read headlines but only 2 will read the rest of the post. In addition to reading the whole series, we’ve added headlines to our list of things to improve in 2011.
5. Inside the VW Academy: Volkswagen has created a series of online videos that give viewers an inside look at the company’s latest models. Yawn, right? Not so fast. What makes these videos list worthy is the appearance of SNL’s Bill Hader and the witty writing.
Winter’s Hottest Twitter Tips
It is certainly winter, which in retail means desperate post holiday sales and in entertainment means reality TV and movies too terrible for summer release dates. But in online marketing and social media marketing, winter is a great season to spend time on our Twitter campaigns. Not only does Twitter make for a good snowy day indoor activity, advertising and PR through Twitter is a lot cheaper than other avenues during a season in which clients are hoarding their dollars to pay for their upcoming taxes. Instead of hibernating we’ve decided to get the little bird bundled up and tweet like there’s no tomorrow. So to celebrate we’ve come up with 3 of the hottest twitter tips for the winter.
1.) Grader? I don’t even know ‘er: Grader, bad joke aside, is an awesome tool to find out what your Twitter influence is and more importantly which Tweeps in your area are the most influential. Like Klout, Grader awards grades as to how popular you are on Twitter allowing you to see how successful your tweets have been.
2.) Sell Your Book on Twitter: Got a self-published or small publishing company produced non-fiction book that you’ve written and are dying to get to more readers? Twitter is the place for you. When we read this piece profiling how a horse lovers joke book had a boost in sales, we knew what we suspected all along: Tweeters are readers. Short messages and smartly created hashtags are nifty techniques to help get your brilliant book into the right hands.
3.) Take the 140 Challenge: There’s been a lot of talk lately about how well written Tweets actually require real writing talent. As major Tweetaholics, we happen to agree. Concise, funny, and smart tweets DO need a little extra thought but ultimately garner more RTs and more responses. Making this happen in 140 charters or less isn’t impossible; it just takes some brilliance and thoughtfulness. Look to writers and comedians on Twitter for examples of brilliantly written tweets and start making your 140 shine!