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February 10 2014

Is the Facebook Like Dead for Marketers?

Derek Muller longs for the days when his Facebook page had only a few thousand likes

"The other day I was just Googling, 'How do I delete these likes?'" he said to Mashable in an interview. "There's no tool to do that."

Muller is the man behind Veritasium, a YouTube channel dedicated to producing informative videos on science. He has a strong following on the video site with more than 150,000 subscribers

He also has a reasonably popular Facebook page with 131,000 likes. Those likes have turned out to be a barrier between him and his fans, and he explains why in a video uploaded to his YouTube page entitled "Facebook Fraud." Read more...

More about Facebook, Social Media Marketing, Advertising, and Social Media

September 30 2013

3 Spot-On Social Media Campaigns Every Brand Can Learn From

Creating a killer social media campaign isn't about the support of a great brand or having the right assets. It's about striking the delicate balance of perfect timing, relevant messaging and the right audience.

While everyone and his mother — and grandmother — is now a Facebook power user and a Twitter addict, hardly anyone understands how to brew up the secret sauce to a great campaign that catches the eyes of the masses.


These three social media campaigns — and the finalists for the Mashies' Best Social Media Campaign award — have accomplished just that

While all three of these campaigns, listed below, demonstrated an incredible ability to move people, there can only be one winner, which will be announced on Oct. 10 at the Mashies award ceremony at New York's Altman Building. Read more...

More about Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Social Media, Nike, and Hrc
How Fortune 500 Companies Use Instagram to Build Their Brands

Is your company on Instagram yet? If so, it joins the 123 Fortune 500s that have added Instagram to their marketing arsenal.

Brands like Nike, Starbucks, Ralph Lauren, Whole Foods and more are all top players in the Instagram big brand space

TrackMaven, a competitive analysis firm, has released a study that exposes how these Fortune 500s are using Instagram, and gives tips on how you can use Instagram like a boss, too.

Having an Instagram account is one thing, but actually using it is another. TrackMaven explored the percentage of active accounts versus inactive accounts of Fortune 500s and found that of the 123 using Instagram, about 22% had active accounts. Read more...

More about Social Media Marketing, Social Media, Fortune 500, Instagram, and Business

September 26 2013

The Reality of Social Media Marketing Crushes Expectations

Posting pictures on Facebook and interacting with fans may sound like fun, but that's not always the case.

When you're running a business, it can be just one more job to do. It's also a task with an uncertain return on the investment of your time and money. All this may make one yearn for the days when all you needed to market your business was to run a print ad somewhere.

Talk to Tanya Lotzof and you'll sense the frustration. After a month under the tutelage of a social media marketing consultant, Lotzof says she feels like she has little to show for the time and money she spent promoting her business on Facebook. "I didn't go to school for this," Lotzof says. "This is not what I do. If I knew what I was doing, I would do it." Read more...

More about Social Media Marketing, Business, Marketing, Small Business, and Small Business Panel

August 08 2013

Can a Popular Baby Franchise Turn Its Facebook Fans Into Customers?

Talk to most small businesses about social media, and they want to know how to get more fans and followers. But what if you already have a large following? How do you turn those fans into customers?

That's the challenge Meg Faure, founder of The Baby Sense Company, and Jeremy Pepper, a Los Angeles-based social media and public relations consultant on our Small Business Panel, are taking on this month. Faure is the international bestselling author of Baby Sense, which over the past decade she has expanded into a franchise that includes several more books, a seminar series and an ecommerce business that spans three continents. Read more...

More about Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Small Business, Facebook Marketing, and Business

June 13 2013

Case Study: Did Facebook Ads Work for This Photographer?

How deeply to you believe in social media as a marketing channel? Would you be discouraged if you gave it your all for a full month and didn't get a single lead? Or would you surmise that social media marketing is long build, a marathon rather than a sprint?

Those are some of the questions that Vinay Chinni is asking. We profiled Chinni, a New Zealand-born photographer who recently relocated to Los Angeles, in early May. We paired up Chinni with a social media marketing consultant from our Small Business Panel; in this case, the consultant was David Griner with Luckie, a Birmingham, Ala., agency. Read more...

More about Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Features, Business, and Advertising

May 16 2013

Should You Have a Facebook Page if You Sell a Super-Niche Product?

Only 2 million people in this country own horses, so just by selling a horse-specific product you've screened out more than 99% of the population. Does it make sense then to go on a mass market medium like Facebook?

Pamela Carr thinks so. Carr, who works as a senior marketing manager for ecommerce at the Chicago Tribune Media Group, is working on a side project called Alleva-Wave, a new business that provides pain relief to horses. The company doesn't have any real social media presence yet — not even a Facebook Page — but Carr notes that every time she puts a picture of a horse on her personal Facebook Page, she gets a lot of comments and reshares. "It's like dogs," she says. Read more...

More about Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Features, Business, and Advertising

September 01 2012

The Agriculture Industry Goes Social

Carolyn Baumgarten, is the community manager for Socialogic, a social media marketing agency. No stranger to the social media landscape, Carolyn brings to SociaLogic work experience in multiple industries including the arts, environment, and entertainment. Follow her

More About: Social Media, contributor, features, social media marketing

August 22 2012

Why Social Media Can’t Win Swing Votes

Mashable OP-ED: This post reflects the opinions of the author and not necessarily those of Mashable as a publication.

The 2012 election is supposedly set to showcase how well candidates understand and leverage the deep nuances of social media and the endless amounts of big data available. Political strategists believe they will identify what people really care about through dazzling algorithms, connect like-minded voters, and weave politicians into the social warp. Just like that, the magic will happen. Minds will be changed and politics will somehow be reshaped by this medium.

Or so the argument goes.

The reality is that Facebook, where President Barack Obama and Presidential Republican nominee, Mitt Romney are battling it out for fans and attention, is in the midst of a struggle. In fact, you m…
Continue reading...

More About: 2012 election, contributor, features, social media marketing

July 29 2012

Everything You Need to Know About Foursquare’s New Merchant Tools

Last week, Foursquare announced a slew of new merchant tools that give business owners more power than ever before to communicate with their customers through the location-based platform. Before, business owners could claim their venues, set up a special and let the platform take it from there -- it was more of a passive marketing tool. The new additions make Foursquare's local updates far more dynamic, and they leverage location-based marketing in a more targeted way than Facebook and Twitter. The revamp has several parts:

Updates -- Share photos, specials and news to nearby customers, a la tweets or Facebook status updates
Specials -- Create and manage Foursquare specials (no cha…
Continue reading...

More About: Small Business, foursquare, geolocation, open forum, social media marketing

February 26 2012

5 Clever Social Media Campaigns To Learn From

This post originally appeared on the American Express OPEN Forum, where Mashable regularly contributes articles about leveraging social media and technology in small business.

You don’t have to be in the market for a Super Bowl ad to learn the world’s biggest marketers. In fact, as a quick trip to Facebook illustrates, social media has a leveling effect: Whether you’re Coca-Cola or Jones Soda, your Facebook Page looks pretty much the same. Coke’s billions won’t buy a dedicated wing on Twitter, either.

With this in mind, the following social media campaigns from marketers big and small are designed to be idea generators. This isn’t a ranking of the most effective social media campaigns of the year, but rather the ones that have the most to offer an entrepreneur with big ideas and a not-so-big marketing budget.

1. Kraft Macaroni & Cheese’s Jinx

Last March, the venerable Kraft brand launched an interesting campaign on Twitter: Whenever two people individually used the phrase “mac & cheese” in a tweet, Kraft sent both a link pointing out the “Mac & Jinx” (as in the childhood game Jinx.) The first one to reply back got five free boxes of Kraft Mac & Cheese plus a t-shirt.

What you can learn from this: This is a low-cost way to track down potential fans on Twitter. All you have to do is search a given term and identify two people who tweet the same phrase at (roughly) the same time. In return, you’ll gain goodwill, a likely follower and probably some good word-of-mouth buzz on the social network.

2. Ingo’s Face Logo

When Swedish ad agencies Grey Stockholm and Ogilvy Stockholm merged last year, they wanted to get social media fans involved. The two agencies asked fans to participate by signing into Facebook to see the new name. Every time new people logged on to the dedicated site, the logo added their profile picture. With every picture, the logo got a little bigger, until 2,890 fan photos comprised the full name, Ingo, over a four-hour period.

What you can learn from this: This was another inexpensive way to get fans literally enmeshed with the brand. Another alternative is to create a real-life mosaic based on pictures of your Facebook fans, a project that Mashable recently completed.

3. BlueCross BlueShield of Minnesota’s Human Doing

What better way to illustrate the plight of the common man than an actual common man? That was the thinking behind a BlueCross BlueShield of Minnesota program last year that put Scott Jorgenson, a St. Paul resident, in a glass apartment in the Mall of America for a month. To demonstrate the recuperative effects of exercise, Jorgenson was put on a workout routine for the month that compelled him to exercise three to five times a day, in 10-minute spurts. In a social media twist, Twitter and Facebook followers dictated the type of exercise for each session.

What you can learn from this: Creating an event, especially one that involves social media fans, is an alternative to launching an ad campaign. Humanizing a problem for which your company provides a solution is also a good idea.

4. GranataPet’s Foursquare-Enabled Billboard

Pet food brand GranataPet earned worldwide attention last year for its billboard in Agenta, Germany. This wasn’t just any billboard, though. It was rigged so that if a consumer checked in on Foursquare, the billboard would dispense some of the company’s dog food. Someone from Granata’s ad agency filmed the billboard in action, and the video now has more than 50,000 views on YouTube (in various iterations.)

What you can learn from this: In the social media age, a single ad or a single billboard can generate images, press and videos, but only if it’s clever enough.

5. Reinert Sausages’s Wurst-Face App

Another German brand, Reinert Sausages, transcended its roots with a clever Facebook app that let users upload their photo and receive a “Wurst Face,” a graven image of themselves in cold cuts. The name “Wurst Face” comes from the extra piece of sausage that kids get for free at the butcher.

What you can learn from this: If you can create an app that’s social, fun and brand-appropriate, it will function more effectively than even a high-budget ad campaign.

More Small Business Resources From OPEN Forum:

- The Quick and Dirty Guide to Tumblr for Small Business
- Community Managers Share Best Productivity Apps and Tools
- 5 Tips For Using LinkedIn’s Mobile Site

Kraft image courtesy of Flickr, Lulu Hoeller

More About: Facebook, facebook marketing, features, mashable, online marketing, open forum, social media marketing, Twitter, Twitter marketing

January 13 2012

5 Proven Ways to Generate Revenue From Facebook

Facebook Money Image

Brian Carter is author of The Like Economy: How Businesses Make Money With Facebook and co-author of Facebook Marketing: Leveraging Facebook’s Features For Your Marketing Campaigns. He is a keynote speaker, trainer and consultant.

Facebook, with its 800+ million users, presents a huge opportunity for business. But the first question people ask is, “Can it really generate money?”

If you’ve read any of the Facebook marketing case studies over the last year, you’ve seen examples of small business profits and boosts in ecommerce sales via Facebook sharing.

If your business is ready to move toward Facebook profits, your next question should be: “What distinguishes profitable and unprofitable Facebook marketing campaigns?”

First, consider your revenue model. What steps will get your users to buy? How do you attract their attention in the first place? What does the conversion funnel look like? And how does Facebook fit with the marketing channels that already work for you, like email, text messages and affiliate revenue?

There are a number of strategies companies use to do Facebook business effectively. Let’s look at five of them.

1. Advertising-Based Ecommerce

Marketers can leverage the massive reach and highly customizable targeting of Facebook’s ad platform. They can create ads that take clickers straight to an ecommerce site, bypassing fan marketing entirely. The ads-direct-to-websites option is often overlooked, but can be immediately profitable. If you’re not 100% sure about committing to the time and creativity required for fan marketing, then test direct-to-site ad traffic first.

For example, Vamplets.com, which sells plush vampire baby dolls, achieved a 300% ROI on ecommerce sales in its first month of advertising directly to the ecommerce site, according to a company representative.

2. Fan Marketing Ecommerce

Fan marketing is selling to fans by posting from your page into their news feeds.

Fans appear to be more responsive when acquired through ads than through contests, content or legacy. Data analysis in 2011 from companies like PageLever revealed that many multimillion-fan brand pages were reaching 7% or fewer of their fans. Some pages have hundreds of thousands of fans who never liked or commented on a post, and have not seen the page’s posts for years.

Success with fan marketing requires that you be as visible as possible to your fans, and EdgeRank has a time decay factor. New fans may be required in some cases. Some businesses have taken the radical step to start entirely new pages and use Facebook ads to grow a new and more targeted fan base. With their more sophisticated and up-to-date understanding of how to engage fans, they achieve better results than they had with their old page.

Some profitable examples include Baseball Roses, Rosehall Kennel, WUSLU and SuperHeroStuff.

Baseball Roses sells artificial roses made from real baseballs. Founder of the company, Mark Ellingson, explained that they were unsuccessful with Google AdWords because no one was searching for their innovative product. They achieved a 473% ROI from their spend on fan acquisition via Facebook ads.

Rosehall Kennel breeds and sells German Shepherds, and has achieved more than 4,000% ROI on its fan acquisition spend, according to owner Eliot Roberts. What’s more, they have seen fewer requests for discounts and a shorter sales cycle.

WUSLU is a Woot-like site for home decor. While the company would not release exact profitability numbers, they are excited about their Facebook marketing results and have no plans to stop.

SuperHeroStuff.com’s founder Ronando Long told me that when the company began to use Facebook in 2011, it was the only new thing they were doing, and their revenues increased 150%.

3. Facebook Ads and Email

Many companies already have email dialed in. They know how much the average email subscriber is worth to their company, and they have an email marketing process that’s profitable.

For these companies, whether they initiate fan marketing or not, it makes sense to use Facebook ads to acquire even more subscribers, as long as those subscribers are qualified. Facebook advertising can be targeted according to 16 different criteria, including age, gender, interests, location, relationship status, connection to pages you admin, workplace, education level, majors in college and more. Add to that some ad copy that calls out the people you want to target, and you can ensure these new subscribers are qualified.

By sending contest-based email campaigns integrated with social networking, one Fortune 500 company achieved a 400% increase in email open rate, click rates of 14%, and one-fifth of their email subscribers also became fans, according to Steve Gaither, president of JB Chicago, the marketing agency that worked with the company.

4. Facebook Ads and Text Messaging

Businesses haven’t rushed to adopt SMS marketing, but 24% of mobile marketers have found their campaign ROI met or exceeded their expectations, and 4% of all mobile users have responded to a coupon for a product or service.

One local store (from a popular fast food franchise I’m not allowed to name) boosted revenue with this approach. It posted information about free text message coupons to its Facebook fans. Fans who opted in received an SMS coupon every day for 30 days. The result was $65,000 additional store revenue.

5. Generating Traffic to Your Ad-Supported Site

If you’re a publisher or blogger, content is your stock in trade, and advertising is usually your bread and butter. Why not create a Facebook page for your site, grow that fan base, then post a link to every new article? This boosts traffic to your website. Since your advertising revenue is tied to pageviews, more traffic from new readers and repeat traffic from fans mean more advertising revenues for your website.

Proud Single Moms, which created a Facebook page, grew about 98,000 fans via Facebook ads for less than $5,000, according to the site’s creator. Since the website uses AdSense ads, they chose to blog on topics that not only were interesting to moms, but which also had Google keywords generating high click fees. You can use a combination of the Facebook advertising platform and AdWords’ Keyword Tool to find interesting and profitable topics. Then they posted links to their blog posts on Facebook each day. Proud Single Moms was on track to break even on its initial ad investment within six months, and was privately sold to another party.

Which Revenue Model Should You Choose?

If one of these models isn’t an obvious match for your business, I’d recommend you first test direct Facebook ads to whatever is already working for your business. Do you have products or services that already sell well? Use Facebook ads to send more traffic to them.

Fans can also be affordably acquired through Facebook ads, but make sure you understand the amount of time and creativity required for fan marketing before you start. Companies that jump into fan marketing without that understanding and a good plan usually post in a way that doesn’t lead to much interaction. Then, EdgeRank reduces the reach and value of your Facebook page. Overall, the ROI of your efforts becomes low or negative. But when you get the right fans from Facebook ads and engage them with interesting content, profits often follow.

More About: contributor, Facebook, features, Marketing, Social Media, social media marketing

For more Business coverage:

January 04 2012

How to Win Friends on Facebook With Music and Movies — But Not Books [STUDY]

Want more Facebook friends? Then make sure you’re listening to the latest hit music.

A recently published study by three researchers at Harvard examines how and why people make friends on social networks. The study shows that people who share an interest in music and movies are most likely to friend each other. Having a similar interest in books, meanwhile, carries no weight when it comes to making online friends.

The study also documents how Facebook friends impact each others’ preferences. The group used for this study was not easily influenced by what their social circle enjoyed, except when it came to classical or jazz music. Facebook friends who share a taste for those genres did tend to influence each other, researchers found.

“The extent to which friends’ preferences actually rub off on each other is minimal,” Kevin Lewis, one of the researchers, told Wired.

The researchers collected the data from a group of college students for four years. Information for the study was collected from self-reporting by the students, and monitoring from an actor.

This study might cause some marketing professionals to worry about the true impact of their social media efforts. Marketers operate under the assumptions that the public is more likely to trust a peer recommendation than an advertisement.

Are you influenced by your Facebook friends? Do you influence their tastes? Let us know in the comments.

More About: Facebook, Harvard, social media marketing

December 21 2011

The Hobbit Trailer Makes Its Debut on Facebook [VIDEO]

The Lord of the Rings franchise has released the trailer for its trilogy prequel The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey slated to hit theaters next December. Although it’s not unusual for big films to be hyped this far in advance, the LOTR team has been giving fans incremental treats of behind-the-scenes footage on Facebook for nearly a year.

The much-anticipated trailer – which hit The Hobbit’s Facebook page late Tuesday night — follows the character Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), a Hobbit who is swept into an epic quest to reclaim treasure taken by the dragon Smaug. The film stars Elijah Wood, Cate Blanchett, Orlando Bloom, Ian McKellen, Ian Holm, Hugo Weaving, Evangeline Lily and others. It’s once again directed by Peter Jackson, and the prequel will be made into two parts.

Instead of relying on traditional forms of media such as magazines and TV to tease the film out to fans, the marketers of the film have been connecting with its audience since February on Facebook by adding new pictures, videos and Q&A’s to its Hobbit page.

The video clips that highlight a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of the film could easily have been saved as bonus footage for the DVD and Blu-ray release, but by the time the movie opens, it will have ramped up fans and generated immense interest in the film for two years.

The production videos — which have been about ten minutes in length — are easily sharable with Facebook friends and many have found their way onto YouTube. Meanwhile, the trailer runs about 2:33 minutes.

Should more Hollywood blockbusters use social media to reach out to fans in advance of the film’s debut? Do you think the prequel will be as good as the trilogy? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

More About: Facebook, movie trailers, Movies, social media marketing, YouTube

For more Entertainment coverage:

December 15 2011

Is Google+ Really a Social Media Game Changer?

Google+ may be less than a year old, but New York Times bestselling author Chris Brogan is ready to crown it a game changer. His latest book, which will publish next week, is called Google+ for Business: How Google’s Social Network Changes Everything.

Everything?,” we asked Brogan. He assured us, rather indignantly, that he hasn’t made a mistake with his book’s title.

Google+ has an obvious advantage in search results, presents unique opportunities for brands and is backed by deep pockets, he argues. And all of these factors make it a social media platform that will stick around in a big way.

Mashable asked Brogan about what makes Google+ a different kind of social network, what has worked best for brands on the platform so far, and for his advice on developing a Google+ presence.

Q&A With Author Chris Brogan

Google+ was unveiled in June and introduced brand pages just last month. How have you explained what the new social network changes or how it works best when it hasn’t been around for very long?

“Google+ posts sent to “public” rank fairly well in Google search results. You can’t get that with Facebook or Twitter these days.”

It’s pretty easy to explain. Google+ posts sent to “public” rank fairly well in Google search results. You can’t get that with Facebook or Twitter these days. If almost 70% of people start their online trek to your website via search, then that’s fairly self-explanatory. Second, Facebook works on a “closed” and insular “who you know” model, whereas Google+ works on a “what you’re into” model. It’s much easier to prospect in B than A.

The title of your book says that “Google’s Social Network Changes Everything.” Can you be more specific?

Absolutely. I wrote about 200 pages of more specific. But for you? I’ll boil the ocean: Search is probably the biggest reason it changes everything. Second, a very wealthy company (Google) is pushing Plus to be a very powerful effort to change the way we share information on the web. They’ve spent money on commercials during many mainstream events, and they’ve changed up many of their disparate applications and processes to point harder toward Google+. They’ve really quickly moved towards building a social backplane that is a lot more functional than any other social network.

What about the opportunities for brands on Google+ is different than those on Facebook or Twitter?

Brands can share better than on Twitter, because the visual appeal of Google+ pages encourages more clicking. Brands can host hangouts and have deeper interaction than on Twitter. Because Google’s search features are far more robust than Facebook, the opportunity to prospect and find more potential community members is much better.

Should brands approach their presence on Google+ differently than how they approach it on other social networks? And if so, how?

“Brands should strongly advocate the individual employees as well as the brands on Google+.”

Brands should strongly advocate the individual employees as well as the brands on Google+. There are restrictions to what a brand page can do, so the opportunity is to have really strong personal brands do some of the heavy lifting in building community. Scott Monty at Ford and Jennifer Cisney at Kodak are great examples of this.

How many different brand representatives did you interview for the book? What was most surprising to you about the way they are using Google+?

I spoke to a handful of people representing brands, and did a lot of research on others. Probably the first and most interesting surprise I had was how often Michael Dell, Chairman of Dell Computers, uses Hangouts to communicate with people live and in real time on the site. Beyond that, I wrote the book in early days, so the case studies were still developing.

What is the most creative or effective way that you’ve seen a brand use Google+?

I’m really impressed with how Intel has built specific sharing circles for the different types of content they intend to share, but if I could only choose one, I really like how The Corcoran Group showcases all kinds of interesting things around New York City. They make their page so interesting that you just have to check in quite often.

Which brands do you consider to have the top Google+ pages?

I like Intel, Corcoran Group, Alure Home Improvement, Red Bull, Ford, and Kodak.

Google+ has a fraction of the number of users that Facebook has and is dominated by users who work in the technology sector. Do you think Google+ will ever catch up to Facebook in terms of its reach?

“I’m not predicting that Google+ wipes out Facebook, but the comparison is silly.”

This is one of the silliest questions people ask me. Facebook has been around for years. When Facebook first became publicly available, MySpace had a gazillion users. When AOL was at the top of its game as a community platform, there was no such thing as MySpace. Don’t worry about counting users. Google has far deeper pockets than Facebook and several dozen applications that are all useful to business. I’m not predicting that Google+ wipes out Facebook, but the comparison is silly. A few months of Google+ compared to a handful of years of Facebook is not a decent comparison.

More About: brands, chris brogan, features, Google, interview, social media marketing

November 26 2011

How Luxury Label Tory Burch Dominates Digital Marketing

American fashion designer Tory Burch founded her label in February 2004, the same month that Mark Zuckerberg launched Facebook from his Harvard dorm room.

In the fashion industry, Burch’s rise has been nearly as striking: the 45-year-old CEO has expanded her line of ready-to-wear clothing and accessories to more than 450 department and specialty stores worldwide, as well as dozens of Tory Burch boutiques in the U.S., Europe and Asia. She opened 20 new shops, including several in international cities (Osaka, Seoul, Hong Kong, Kobe and Taipai), in 2010 alone.

Much of her success can be linked to an aggressive digital strategy, says Miki Berardelli, who has served as chief marketing officer of Tory Burch since 2009. The company launched ecommerce immediately after opening its first shop in downtown Manhattan, and toryburch.com generates more revenue than any physical store. Burch is one of the few designers to maintain a direct, ongoing dialogue with her friends and fans on Twitter, which she does in an easy-going and authentic manner. The company’s blog, which is helmed by former InStyle editor Honor Brodie, is broadly recognized in the industry as one of the leading manifestations of ongoing, brand-developed content.

We spoke with Berardelli about Tory Burch’s advancements in ecommerce and social media, and how the company is investing in what Berardelli believes is the “future of ecommerce”: namely, shopping through Facebook. A transcript of our Q&A is featured below.

Q&A With Miki Berardelli, CMO, Tory Burch

You joined Tory Burch in 2009. What drew you to the company?

I think it was really Tory’s vision to create a luxury brand that is accessible and has a sense of social responsibility — those were things that resonated with me both personally and professionally. There was also of course the people and the culture and, from a marketing perspective, the emotional connection that the customer had, and still has, with the brand.

How would you characterize the company’s marketing strategy at that time?

Tory always says that in the early years, not having a tremendous budget forced her to really think out of the box and tap into her and her team’s creativity. It was very much about editorial relationships and personal appearances, which enabled her to connect directly to the customer. Seven and a half years years later, that startup spirit is very much alive. We still have not bought traditional advertisements in U.S. magazines, although we do some display and online advertising.

How else have the company’s marketing efforts changed since you joined?

We continue to focus on all things digital. We redesigned our website earlier this year, which was very much about pulling all of the content [we have developed] into the shopping experience … [and] supporting mobile commerce. We’ve also done a lot in the social media space. Lately we’ve been focusing on the intersection of social, local and mobile, whether that’s for a new store opening in a specific market, or driving traffic into [our existing] stores. Given the rapid growth of the company, we’re also focused on analysis of our marketing efforts to ensure that they are effective.

How much of your marketing spend is allocated to online versus offline efforts?

It’s pretty even — or, I should say, it’s balanced. But everything we do, whether it’s our photography or our website, is all serving the marketing message of the company.

At what rate is your ecommerce business expanding? What percentage of your sales now occur online? What percentage occur on toryburch.com?

As we are a private company, we can’t disclose specific numbers. We are however forecasting a growth rate in the high double digits compared to last year. As for your second question, we see a slightly higher penetration of ecommerce sales to total business versus many brands that are distributed through retail or wholesale. What’s interesting about Tory is that she launched ecommerce immediately after opening [her first] store on Elizabeth Street [in New York]. Ecommerce has always been at the forefront, and toryburch.com is our largest store.

Mobile sales is currently our fastest-growing segment. The proliferation of iPad has definitely impacted our business, seeing a tremendous amount of traffic to our site [from users of those devices] specifically.

What have been among the biggest marketing and ecommerce challenges as you’ve expanded into new markets, particularly China?

China’s fascinating. The rate at which the Chinese sector is embracing ecommerce is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. The challenge lies in understanding the landscape and deciding what makes sense for our brand, just as we do here. We launched our first Weibo site in support of the opening of our first store in Bejing. We are currently building ecommerce-enabled sites to support the markets that we’re in in Europe and in China.

Tory Burch has made considerable investments in developing online editorial, largely through its blog. Why have you invested there? Is it paying off — and if so, how?

“While the voice is consistent across all platforms, we treat each one differently because they are all unique.”

Tory wanted to tell the brand story in a more editorial way, and that led to hiring Honor Brodie from InStyle, who is now our creative director. She built a team that focuses on the Tory blog, which is expression of all the things that inspire and entertain Tory, whether it’s an artist or author or even another designer. The blog doesn’t talk much about Tory, but about other things, and I think that’s what’s unique about it.

Honor and I [have] worked together to integrate the blog and commerce. We’ve brought in all the content into the shopping experience so that the customer can explore and connect with the brand while they’re browsing product. We do look at the analytics of customers who explore content, and have found that they are a more highly engaged customer across the board, not only in how much time they spend on website, but in terms of their purchases and loyalty as well.

What does your current investment in social media look like?

We’re currently on Facebook, Twitter, Flipboard, Tumblr, Foursquare, YouTube, and Weibo in China. [Those accounts] are run by a small team of two people, except for Twitter, which is run by Tory herself, and Weibo, which is run by our team in Shanghai, in partnership with our editorial team in NYC. [Tory has] always embraced social media, and if it feels right for our brand, we’ll launch it, test our way into it, learn quickly and make adjustments as appropriate.

What about video?

The film genre is very important to Tory. We believe it’s a dynamic way to tell the brand story, we do all different types of films — behind the scenes during a seasonal photo shoot, or filming Tory on one of her trips where she gets inspiration for her designs. It’s a pretty varied mix of content, and we’re continuing to learn what is successful.

With so many platforms to choose from, how do you decide where to invest your time?

I can’t think that we’ve ever scaled back any of our efforts anywhere. We do make sure when pooling resources to manage another social platform that we do it well, that we take our time and think through how to do each platform differently. On Tumblr we do one strong image and a letter, and on Facebook we do more behind-the-scenes content. With Foursquare, we focus on the location element. While the voice is consistent across all these platforms, we treat each one differently because they are all unique.

What sort of return on your investment have you seen? And how do you measure it: sales conversions or engagement?

We measure both. Although we have a very strong and growing Facebook and Twitter community, we [also] want to have a truly engaged community. In terms of metrics, we look at Klout score, amplification and responses. We pay close attention to what types of messages we post and how they are received, and that informs our thinking going forward. It’s truly a constant learning process.

You’ve recently begun experimenting with Fcommerce by offering discounts on certain items through Facebook. Why have you pursued that strategy in particular?

We’re testing some concepts now, including exclusives on Facebook. It’s more of a surprise and delight for our Facebook community, and so far it’s been successful in driving excitement and sales. Consumers who are fans of a brand on Facebook have a certain appropriate expectation that there should be an exclusive benefit just for them. [Our exclusive discounts] are about tapping into that sensibility.

Do you think Facebook will ever become a major sales channels for you? If not, what value does it offer you as a company?

We believe that social shopping, or Fcommerce as everyone is calling it now, is the future of ecommerce. The demographic skews younger on Facebook compared to our core customer, so we see it as a really important way to connect with that consumer. We’re embracing [Fcommerce] with our Facebook shop and our exclusives early on so we can learn quickly. I don’t think we’ll import our full catalog to Facebook. My hunch is — and Honor and I talk about this a lot — that the experience should be curated in some way, and we’re testing some ideas and concepts with that in mind. We love Google Catalogs, the idea of taking our traditional printed formats and bringing it into a digital space, but I think — as we were mentioning earlier about social platforms needing to be slightly differentiated — that is true of social shopping as well.

Does the same potential exist for other platforms?

They’re all so different. I think about Flipboard and being able to create your own personalized content, but it’s hard to say. Facebook is certainly the destination where social shopping is being most closely integrated, both on Facebook Pages and on retail sites.

Are you planning to set up a Google+ page?

Yes, we’re excited.

What advice would you give other brands — fashion or otherwise — going forward?

I think it’s about being yourself. In the social space it’s just as important to stay true to your brand and your brand’s lens just as you would anywhere else.

More About: fashion, Marketing, Miki Berardelli, social media marketing, tory burch

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November 14 2011

How Leading Fashion Brands Are Embracing Online Video

The Digital Marketing Series is supported by HubSpot, an inbound marketing software company based in Cambridge, MA, that makes a full platform of marketing software, including lead generation tools.

A video commissioned by Kate Spade New York for its “Live Colorfully” campaign.

Prohibitively high costs have historically kept TV out of the media mixes of all but the most securely backed fashion brands. But the web has given brands an opportunity to cheaply host and distribute video content for the first time, and many are now developing video content to bolster their online and offline retail businesses.

Cecilia Liu, digital marketing manager at Kate Spade New York, says that video had long been on the back burner for Kate Spade before it released its first “major” video in the spring of 2009. It wasn’t until Kate Spade’s ecommerce business started to take off that the opportunity to make campaign images “more alive, interesting and interactive … through video” became clear, she says.

This year, Kate Spade commissioned a different artist each month to create a video around a color for its “Live Colorfully” campaign, including the one above. The brand has also developed behind-the-scenes videos, as well as short animations for its website.

The opportunity in online video for brands is a big one. More than 3 billion videos are viewed per day on the web’s largest video-sharing platform, YouTube, whose monthly traffic hovers around 800 million unique visitors. Nearly three-fourths of U.S. citizens have visited a video-sharing site in their lifetimes, and more than a quarter visit video-sharing sites on a daily basis, according to a July survey published by Pew Research Center.

Early Successes

There have been some notable — a.k.a. “viral” — online video successes among fashion brands, as seen in this chart from luxury think tank L2, above. A blurry video of Alexander McQueen’s Spring/Summer 2010 collection show, during which Lady Gaga‘s “Bad Romance” single premiered, has amassed nearly 3.5 million views on YouTube from a non-branded account. An Emporio Armani ad showing Portuguese football star Cristiano Ronaldo has been watched nearly 2 million times on the brand’s official account, and more than 1 million additional times on non-branded accounts.

What has made these videos so successful? In a recent Tumblr post, Jessica Coghan-Kia, director of digital media at Starworks Group, broke down the 12 most-viewed videos of all time on YouTube and stacked them against some of the best-performing videos from fashion brands this year. She found that videos with some form of celebrity involvement — whether in front of or behind the camera — as well as videos with a humorous element tended to perform the best. She pointed to Lanvin’s lighthearted Fall 2011 campaign video in particular, which has been viewed nearly half a million times since it debuted in August despite the lack of celebrity participation.

“Lots of luxury brands still feel like they need to take their brand DNA, translate it into this new medium [of online video], and then shove it down everyone’s throats,” Coghan-Kia tells Mashable. “When brands create videos, they need to think about the viewers and about creating something they would want to watch and share with their friends first.”

Lanvin’s Fall 2011 campaign video has racked up nearly 500,000 views.

Videos rarely became viral by themselves; seeding generally plays a large role in a video’s success. In fashion, reaching out to online media, including bloggers, can help that brand’s video quickly reach a large online audience of fashion enthusiasts. Coghan-Kia recommends doling out pieces of exclusive video to a concentrated set of bloggers with a voice and aesthetic that align well with a brand, rather than canvassing the same video to a greater volume of bloggers. Brands should also of course embed and share out their videos across their other social channels, and should consider investing in targeted paid advertisements at launch to build early awareness of the video, she says.

Partnering with video bloggers (“vloggers”) who already have large followings on platforms like YouTube can also be a smart strategy for a brand. Although not in the fashion category, cosmetics brand Lancome has had particular success through its partnership with vlogger Michelle Phan, whose how-to videos — which now utilize Lancome products — have attracted more than 1.6 million subscribers and nearly half a billion total views.

Beyond Viral

Popular vlogger Michelle Phan is a spokesperson for Lancome Paris.

But are brands’ efforts best invested in chasing after the elusive “viral” video? Or should they be investing in creating a catalogue of steady but solidly performing videos?

Coghan-Kia says that depends on a brands’ individual goals. Brand awareness campaigns, like the one Lanvin staged for its Fall 2011 campaign, should aim to be seen by as many people as possible. But awareness isn’t the only thing brands can achieve with online video.

SEO is another major benefit afforded by online video. The more content a brand puts out on high-ranking websites — YouTube included — the more relevant that brand and its properties become to Google. And the more relevant the brand, the cheaper its cost-per-click rate becomes in paid search, which Coghan-Kia says “should be at the heart of any brands’ online marketing mix and the larger revenue driver.”

Online video can also be used to drive sales on-site. Coghan-Kia cites William Sonoma’s catalogue of recorded product reviews as example of online video that helps sales at points of purchase. Fashion retailer Saks Fifth Avenue also does a great job with videos on its website, which show shoppers how an item moves on a model, she notes.

There are myriad ways to approach online video and, like other forms of online marketing, a set of best practices has yet to be firmly established. Needless to say, we’re looking forward to seeing what brands develop as they increase in their investments in the space.

Series supported by HubSpot

The Digital Marketing Series is supported by HubSpot, an inbound marketing software company based in Cambridge, MA, that makes a full platform of marketing software, including lead generation tools.

More About: Digital Marketing Series, fashion, features, luxury, Marketing, mashable, ONLINE VIDEO, Social Media, social media marketing, YouTube

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October 18 2011

How Zyrtec Turned Its YouTube Videos Into a Viral Game

The Modern Media Agency Series is supported by IDG. Social networks have grown into social media and more recently into social business. It will change collaboration inside an organization and interactions with clients and prospects. IDG Global Solutions President Matt Yorke explains the far-reaching implications.

Queen Latifah, Samsung Galaxy Tabs and dogs. Those aren’t the usual elements of a successful social media marketing campaign, but allergy medication Zyrtec seems to have pulled all those together and made it work.

What’s more, the brand used a fairly untested format for getting its message across: YouTube. Sure, pretty much every brand has a YouTube presence these days, but it’s often an afterthought — a place to dump old TV ads that have already premiered on Facebook. Zyrtec is one of the few — Pepto Bismol is another — to use YouTube as a forum for launching a social media game.

Launching Parks Unleashed

Zyrtec worked with ad agency JWT in New York to launch the YouTube game Parks Unleashed on Sept. 5, the start of the fall allergy season. Modeled on 30 year-old text-based games like Zork, the game presented users with various scenarios in which they’d have to make a choice.

The premise was that dogs have buried Samsung Galaxy Tabs all over the park and you, the user, have to find them. As the user ambles through the park, she is confronted by various characters, like the chatty hot dog man, who asks, “What can I do you for?” At that point the onscreen choices include “Seen a pug?” “Hot dog, please” and “Diamonds??” Each choice will set you on a different path.

“We looked at every aspect of the traditional brand channel experience — beyond the videos, we looked at the various interfaces and page layout — and integrated them into a comprehensive meta-game inspired by those old-school graphic adventure PC games of the early ’90s,” says Josh Shabtai, experience design director at JWT. “Making a GrimFandango that my mom would want to play might have been on my mind throughout the initial development stages.”


It turns out that there are a lot of moms who want to play GrimFandango, or at least the GF-inspired game that Zyrtec came up with. The Zyrtec YouTube Channel now has 2.2 million total views, almost all of which were drawn by the game — an impressive feat over a roughly six-week period.

In addition, the “time spent” metrics were also impressive. Tim Nolan, creative director of JWT in New York, says the average player spent more than seven minutes playing the game. Some returning players were on for 30 minutes or more.

“We took this approach to talk to our consumers using media that they already engage in, at a destination they spend their time, leveraging behaviors we know they love,” Nolan says.

Of course, Zyrtec didn’t leave it to consumers to discover the game for themselves. The brand ran an online ad campaign promoting the game that included a YouTube masthead ad, a Yahoo Mail takeover and Facebook display ads, among other methods of outreach. The brand also tagged a TV spot with a prompt to visit YouTube.com/Zyrtec, but that campaign only ran for about a week and a half.

Colleen Sellers, Zyrtec’s senior brand manager, says the brand got its money’s worth out of the buy: “YouTube is one of the most powerful channels online and using it for Zyrtec to reach such a massive audience, via Parks Unleashed, is a big win for us during the important fall allergy season.”

Unusual Outreach for the Category

Another element worth noting about the campaign, aside from its use of YouTube, is the fact that few pharma brands, even over-the-counter ones like Zyrtec, are engaging in social media. The ostensible reason is that they’re afraid, since the FDA doesn’t clearly delineate what they can and can’t do on the social web.

Brands in the category that have ventured forth have often found that their cautious approach doesn’t translate. For instance, Facebook had to step in earlier this year to tell pharma marketers to allow comments on their brand pages.

However, John Mack, who runs the Pharma Marketing Blog, says that the FDA’s lack of guidance is an easy excuse. The real issue, he says, is that the industry is too risk-averse. “What’s holding back the industry is the old axiom: You can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” Mack says. “Social media is alien to both pharmaceutical marketers and corporate communications executives who are used to ‘pushing’ messages out to ‘targets’ rather than engaging in two-way communications with peers, which is the essence of social media.”

In this respect, Zyrtec was a notable exception and, possibly, a harbinger of more social media marketing from the segment.

Series supported by IDG

The Modern Media Agency Series is supported by IDG. As people rush to join social networks, innovations around how people use networks grow, too. Social business promises to have dramatic effects on our work and business lives. Groupon is just one example cited in IDG Global Solutions President Matt Yorke’s explanation of social business and its impact on us.

More About: features, Gaming, Marketing, mashable, Modern Media Agency Series, social media marketing, viral videos, YouTube

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October 11 2011

How Facebook’s New Features Will Affect Digital Marketers

Patrick Salyer is CEO of Gigya, which makes sites social by integrating a suite of plugins like Social Login, Comments, Activity Feeds, Social Analytics and Game Mechanics. Patrick can be reached on Twitter @patricksalyer.

With Facebook’s major changes set to roll out this week, little thought has been given to answering how Timeline and the revamped Open Graph will affect our interaction with rest of the web, and how websites stand to benefit. I believe that weaving Facebook even deeper into websites is going to yield a positive experience for consumers and sites alike. Here’s why.

Contextual Sharing

One of the notable features of the enhanced Open Graph is contextual sharing. For users, the benefit is obvious — it enables much more than just “liking” a piece of content. Now, a user can share that he or she “read” Catching Fire or that he or she “listened to” Nirvana. “Liking” an article, video or photo has thus far limited users, forcing them to show tacit approval (within the context of one-click reactions) for something that they may not necessarily find desirable.

With contextual sharing, users will no longer be boxed-in by expressing one emotional reaction. For marketers, this offers major benefits for on-site engagement and syndication.


One of the other share features that Facebook unveiled is “frictionless sharing,” which allows sites to share any content a user reads or interacts with directly to his Facebook Ticker. It’s important to point out that the user must authorize the site to turn on this sharing functionality much in the same way that sites have already needed to allow users to explicitly authenticate. However, by enabling sharing and placing objects on a user’s Timeline, Facebook is undertaking an enormous and important process: documenting web activity.

While some end-users may cringe at the thought of their entire digital lives being “Facebooked,” this approach to broadcasting web activity appeals to its younger, most active user-base — a group that seems to care about “show and tell” even more than it does about privacy. Teens and young adults grew up with Facebook, and the transition from one- or two-click sharing to no-click sharing won’t be as uncomfortable.

The Business Upside: Data and Traffic

Getting users to interact with Facebook’s updated features for websites is an advantage in itself, but there are other, more concrete ways the revamped Facebook features will help businesses. As the user experience becomes more personal and engaging, Facebook’s functionality on websites will ultimately provide those sites with an even deeper look into whom their visitors are. This marriage of social data and on-site activity can be applied for a number of ROI-driven activities, such as hyper-specific ad targeting, content and product recommendations, and driving inventory decisions.

Just as importantly, the frictionless sharing features could be a huge boon for sites as measured by the oldest and most valuable metric on the Internet: referral traffic. By allowing auto-sharing for nearly any activity on a site, users will be able to push even more content to the News Feed, Ticker and Timeline, generating more exposure and click backs to sites.

Discovery: Now a Two-Way Street

For years, the web was about search — that is, people using search engines to find specific things online. Now, the web is shifting toward discovery — users are increasingly letting content find them via social networks. This trend actually started a few years ago with a number of sites seeing social networks drive more referral traffic than search engines. With Facebook’s new features, I think we’ll see this trend turn into a basic tenet of web optimization, as sites will soon be able to learn so much more about their users and offer targeted, shareable content that brings in more referral traffic.

Today, businesses spend millions of dollars optimizing for Google searches, trying to get found. But as social becomes a larger traffic driver, and as Facebook and other social networks continue to enable content discovery, those businesses will need to offer interactive, sharable content in order to stay relevant. Those businesses that understand how Facebook is enabling bilateral relationships between sites and users will get found, gain traffic and increase on-site engagement. Those businesses relying on search — and ignoring Facebook’s bold innovations — may soon stop getting found at all.

More About: contributor, Facebook, features, Social Media, social media marketing

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July 06 2011

7 Twitter Marketing Campaigns to Learn From

The Social Marketing Series is supported by Campaigner®. Campaigner email marketing enables small, medium and large businesses to strengthen customer relationships and drive sales by connecting to their customers quickly, simply and affordably. Visit www.campaigner.com to learn more.

While marketing activities on Twitter are often described by silly, Twitterized words — like tweetathon, twontest and tweetchat — these types of campaigns have proven successful for marketers and brands of all sizes.

There are a number of winning Twitter strategies used by top brands, but those same companies tend to mix up the types of individual marketing campaigns they run on Twitter, whether paid or organic.

Here are seven successful Twitter marketing campaigns from American Airlines, Network Solutions, UNICEF India, IBM, USA for UNHCR, McDonald’s Canada and appbackr. Read about their successes below and share your brand’s Twitter campaign victories in the comments.

1. American Airlines: Celebrate Successes with a Hashtag

In celebration of the 30th anniversary of its AAdvantage loyalty program, American Airlines ran a Twitter contest called “Tweet to Win 30K Miles.”

The Twitter contest was a smaller portion of a larger campaign, called “Deal 30,” which involved 30 partner deals and promotions over 30 weekdays. The AAdvantage team created a microsite that promoted a new daily partner deal or promotion — the Twitter contest occurred on the fourth day of the promotion. Participants had to register their AAdvantage number on a microsite, tweet the #Deal30 hashtag and follow the @AAdvantage account to enter for a chance to win 30,000 AAdvantage miles.

The campaign was promoted primarily through AAdvantage and American Airlines’ social media channels with the goals of driving traffic to the Deal 30 microsite to increase buzz for the remaining deals and to attract new Twitter followers for the recently launched @AAdvantage Twitter account.

Success Metrics: Within one week, the microsite’s bit.ly link gained nearly 18,000 clicks via Twitter, and the @AAdvantage Twitter account experienced a 70% increase in followers. And overall, retweets on Twitter increased 43% and the Deal 30 microsite garnered more than 27,000 entries.

Lesson: Weber Shandwick account supervisor and AAdvantage community manager Colin Alsheimer shares his takeaways about the campaign with Mashable:

“Given a valuable enough incentive, users will complete several registration steps for entry. The requirement to share a specific tweet and hashtag to an entrants own social network is what drove the success of this promotion, especially given that it wasn’t heavily supported by other media channels. In the future, we’d probably require that users take fewer steps for entry in order to increase the total number of entrants. Including a specific and unique hashtag was essential for tracking purposes.”

2. Network Solutions: Use Twitter to Promote Larger Social Campaigns

During the 2011 Super Bowl, domain registrar Network Solutions aimed to detract from competitor GoDaddy’s risqué media blitz while promoting its .CO product offerings. Instead of directly competing with GoDaddy’s substantial Super Bowl ad buy, Network Solutions worked with agency CRT/tanaka to spoof GoDaddy’s infamous Super Bowl commercials with hopes of garnering attention on Twitter among social media influencers.

With a $200,000 budget, the company developed a concept around Go Granny, “the original domain girl,” and created a series of mockumentary vignettes featuring Academy Award-winner Cloris Leachman.

While the campaign was centered around one parody commercial hosted on YouTube (embedded above), Twitter played a large role in the promotion and success of the campaign.

“Go Granny’s antics did not stop on YouTube. She took her sassy personality to drive traffic to the video,” says CRT/tanaka director of social media Priya Ramesh. “She took over Twitter for three one-hour long tweetcapades on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday of Super Bowl weekend. During the tweetcapades, @Go_Granny‘s tweets were carefully targeted to win the attention of influencers like Guy Kawasaki and Scott Monty, under the premise she was inviting people to her Super Bowl party. The team of powerful mommy bloggers at BlogHer participated in the tweetcapades as well, tapping into their extensive networks.”

Success Metrics: In five days, the campaign inspired more than 3,500 tweets and garnered nearly 20 million impressions across Twitter, reports agency CRT/tanaka. On top of that, #GoGranny became a trending topic in Washington, D.C., and top influencers who tweeted about Go Granny included Gina Trapani and Brian Solis. Even more impressive, the company’s sales of the .CO domain increased by more than 500% during Super Bowl weekend as a direct result of the campaign.

Lesson: “Twitter is extremely helpful for generating buzz around an online social media campaign, but it needs support from other social outlets as well,” says Shashi Bellamkonda, director of social media and PR at Network Solutions. He continues:

“For maximum success, Twitter can’t stand alone. Beyond tweeting, our team dropped blog posts about the campaign, alerted our Facebook base, sent out an email to our customer, issued a press release and conducted traditional media outreach. We also worked with BlogHer to tap into their extensive network of influential women and mom bloggers. If marketers do their homework and recognize that Twitter campaigns must go hand-in-hand with other efforts, they will increase their overall success. In our case, once the Go Granny tweetcapades started, there was no stopping them.”

3. UNICEF India: Show Celebrities Their Impact on Social Good Projects

UNICEF India’s agency, OgilvyOne Worldwide, enlisted social agency BUZZVALVE to manage a three-month social media campaign to promote UNICEF’s “Awaaz Do” (which means “lend your voice” in Hindi) initiative, an effort to send eight million unschooled Indian children back to education.

“The thrust of our campaign lay in targeting influential personas and celebrities on Twitter,” says BUZZVALVE CEO Rohan Chandrashekhar. “A retweet or a mention by them proved crucial for our outreach program and to get word out about the campaign.”

Bollywood icons Priyanka Chopra and Shekhar Kapur were among others to tweet about the campaign. BUZZVALVE encouraged their participation by showing them how big of an impact they had on the initiative. Chandrashekhar explains:

“We set up a two-way communication channel between us and them, where we were able to show them through our analytics the kind of impact they were having on Twitter and among their followers on every retweet or mention about the campaign. In effect, rather than have them formally ‘endorse’ the campaign, we helped them ‘participate’ actively. Our analytics helped them understand their own influence and this acted as an encouragement for them be active campaigners. We thus created an environment for them to engage with us and the ‘Awaaz Do’ cause directly, by making real-time info about their impact available to them.”

Success Metrics: During the three-month campaign, the #AWAAZDO hashtag received 1,525 mentions and the @UNICEFIndia Twitter account gained 2,198 followers. The campaign itself received 60,540 impressions on Twitter during the time period, as calculated using Tweetreach. By the end of the campaign, the Awaaz Do website garnered 203,248 signups of people interested in “joining the movement” to help get India’s children back to school.

Lesson: Non-profit organizations can increase their celebrity endorsers’ activity with a campaign by showing them just how impactful their Twitter involvement is. Sharing analytics with celebrities involved in the campaign can encourage them to share the campaign with their followers more often.

4. IBM: Aggregate & Organize Event Conversation

For Lotusphere 2011, one of IBM’s annual user conferences for customers and partners, the tech firm expanded its typical social media strategy and created a social media hub, a single online landing page providing a live stream of blogs, Twitter comments, Flickr photos and videos of keynote sessions and interviews from the conference. To keep chatter organized on Twitter, the company employed the hashtag #ls11.

Success Metrics: By mid-event at Lotusphere 2011, which takes place from January 30 to February 3, there were more than 20,000 tweets tagged with the #ls11 hashtag, and the hub site’s video channel had garnered 34,000 views. As of February 15, 2011, there were more than 35,000 tweets with the #ls11 hashtag, and 9,500 of those tweets were retweeted. IBM calculates that the campaign garnered more than 41 million total impressions on Twitter.

Lesson: Whether it’s as simple as employing a hashtag or as strategic as creating a social landing page, aggregating and organizing conversation around your brand, especially during events, is key to making a splash on Twitter.

5. USA for UNHCR: Hold a Tweetathon

For World Refugee Day this year, USA for UNHCR held a “tweetathon” as part of its overall Blue Key Campaign, which asks Americans to purchase a symbolic $5 Blue Key pin or pendant to show their support for refugees worldwide and the 6,000 UNHCR staffers who work 24/7 to assist them.

The tweetathon took place on Monday, June 13, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET, seven days before World Refugee Day, and it featured a number of social-savvy “Blue Key Champions” tweeting via their personal Twitter accounts for at least an hour each, while supporting tweets originating from the official @UNRefugeeAgency Twitter handle. Roya Hosseini, wife of The Kite Runner author Khaled Hosseini and the Twitter voice of the Khaled Hosseini Foundation (@tkhf) also appeared on the tweetathon as a special guest, which especially increased awareness of the tweetathon and campaign.

Success Metrics: On the day of the tweetathon, 1,524 tweets used the #bluekey hashtag, which is a significant increase over the daily average of 50 that occurred during the rest of the campaign. Traffic to the Blue Key website also increased 169% over the previous high point. Furthermore, more than 50% of key purchases for that week were a result of the tweetathon.

Lesson: A tweetathon can significantly benefit a time-sensitive social good campaign. USA for UNHCR’s social media consultant Shonali Burke explains that the campaign experienced a huge bump in activity as a result of using Twitter:

“From December 2010 (when the Blue Key site was launched) until April 2011, there were approximately 1,100 keys dispatched. For the duration of the 6-week campaign (May 9 to June 20), there were 2,645 keys dispatched, and significant awareness created via online and social media. That’s a huge jump in just 6 weeks.”

6. McDonald’s Canada: Target Specific Users with a Promoted Account

Agency Golin Harris recently launched a geo-targeted Promoted Account for its client, McDonald’s Canada, which was the first brand in Canada to execute such a campaign. The goal was to leverage Promoted Accounts to increase @McD_Canada’s average new followers by using a ‘suggested follow’ that targeted Twitter users via specified keywords and hashtags.

While the client declined to share specific keywords used, citing “the competitive nature of how McDonald’s Canada gains followers using Promoted Accounts,” it was quite pleased with the results, noting that the use of diverse keywords and hashtags enabled the company to reach viewers of many demographics with many different interests.

Success Metrics: With a total budget of $15,000 USD, McDonald’s Canada gained 9,503 new followers over the course of the campaign. The campaign also drew in 14,200 profile views and resulted in a 4% overall engagement rate, which includes retweets, replies, favorites and clicks. This engagement rate is quite high when one considers that advertising click-through rates are generally subzero percentages.

Lesson: Paid advertising on Twitter, including Promoted Tweets, Trends and Accounts, can be an option for brands looking to gain new eyes. Brands should test out various hashtags and keywords to target their desired audience. “The Twitter team acted as a great resource to help McDonald’s Canada test out different keywords and bids to gain the greatest amount of new followers,” notes Karin Campbell, senior manager of external communications, McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada Limited.

7. appbackr: Increase Site Traffic with Promoted Tweets & Accounts

App marketplace appbackr began using Promoted Tweets and Account in mid-May to promote the LSATMax app that is currently on its way to funding its next iteration via the appbackr platform. “The app is directed to people studying for the LSAT, so a 20 to 26 age group roughly,” says Sarah Cornwell, product manager at appbackr. “Our online marketing budget for this app was split between Facebook ads and Twitter. In the past, we would have focused entirely on Facebook, but with Twitter, we can watch the impact in bit.ly, and we like that immediate feedback.”

Cornwell stressed that creating a targeted campaign on Twitter, instead of targeting a wider audience, gave appbackr the most bang for its buck. “LSATMax lends itself to a targeted campaign. We were able to focus on people on Twitter searching for relevant keywords — LSAT, law school, etc. — to let them know this app was available as a study tool.”

Success Metrics: In six weeks, appbackr has increased its follower count by 140% (from 880 to 2,114) and increased traffic to its site from Twitter by 94%. Furthermore, traffic from Twitter as a percentage of appbackr’s total site traffic rose from 2.6% to 4.4%. And of its Twitter from traffic, the percentage of new visits rose from 51% to 65%.

Lesson: Appbackr’s campaign with Promoted Tweets and Accounts enabled it to reach a highly targeted audience on Twitter, resulting in an increase in Twitter followers and site traffic.

Series Supported by Campaigner®

The Social Marketing Series is supported by Campaigner®. Campaigner®’s Smart Email Builder makes it easier than ever to create professional looking email marketing campaigns and affords multiple ways to grow and manage lists, integrate with CRM, and utilize campaign metrics and reports to increase results. For more information, please visit www.campaigner.com or watch a product demo today.

More Twitter Marketing Resources From Mashable

- 9 Lessons From Successful Brands on Twitter
- 16 Food Trucks Serving Up Tweetable Eats
- 7 Tips for Better Twitter Chats
- 5 Proven Twitter Marketing Strategies
- The Voice: How a TV Show Became a 24/7 Social Media Conversation

More About: business, MARKETING, online marketing, Social Marketing Series, social media, social media marketing, twitter

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