Social Media - 5/10 - Digital Marketing Agency

Understanding Social Media Marketing via the “Cluetrain”

By | Social Media | No Comments

The Cluetrain Manifesto has been my ‘red pill’ in understanding the successful utilisation of Social Media networks by today’s companies. No doubt Social Media has been a desirable avenue for big business marketers and creative types with the unrivalled ability to connect, engage and market to a massive (and exponentially growing) online community. This is where their target buyer is. The primary contributor to their revenue stream.

Unfortunately, there is a world of difference in undertaking creative Social Media campaigns and undertaking successful Social Media campaigns, with many train wrecks littering the Social Media landscape of 2011. The Cluetrain Manifesto presented 95 theses each implicitly communicating the same core principle- “brands are conversations“. Companies need to humanise their voice, develop a genuine voice to their consumer, empathise with the real issues of their consumer and not get trapped in their own brand utopia. The three which particularly resounded to my own online sensibilities are:

  • Corporations do not speak in the same voice as these new networked conversations. To their intended online audiences, companies sound hollow, flat, literally inhuman.

  • Companies need to realize their markets are often laughing. At them.

  • We want access to your corporate information, to your plans and strategies, your best thinking, your genuine knowledge. We will not settle for the 4-color brochure, for web sites chock-a-block with eye candy but lacking any substance.

One of the more notable disasters of 2011 was the #QantasLuxury hashtag disaster .
The challenge posed to followers:
#QantasLuxury Twitter
With the prize of winning “a First Class gift pack feat. a luxury amenity kit and our famous QF PJs” the hashtag turned into a forum for disgruntled customers and stakeholders to vent their anger towards the operational and customer service issues which had plagued the airline having to ground its fleet in early November 2011.


The in-house Qantas Social Media team should have got on that Cluetrain.

My advice:
Use social media as an avenue to actively speak to your customer and respond to their praise and concerns with the same enthusiasm and approach. Be open, let them in on a secret, let social networks know first, let them know they are valuable, treasure their interest. Don’t speak down to them, speak with them.

A wise man once told me, Social Media is like babysitting the bastard child of marketing, PR and customer service. If you don’t look after it well, its parents aren’t going to be very happy. Don’t know about you guys, but I would be aiming for babysitter of the year.

Facebook Timeline for Brand Pages

By | Facebook, Social Media | No Comments

Adage has today reported that Facebook will begin the roll out of its new timeline page design for businesses at the first Facebook Marketing Conference on the 29th of February. Similar to the brand pages that we have recently seen appear on Twitter and Google plus this new design will provide page owners a much larger range of options in the customisation of their page.


The new prominence of photos is the major addition that timeline will bring. Currently when you look at a Facebook brand page, after the first few posts on a wall it starts to become a confusing mess of updates and audience interaction. This results in content or important updates potentially being missed by a brands intended audience.


Image Source:


The new timeline design not only displays photos and thumbnails in a much more attractive manner, but also includes the addition of a cover photo seen as a header to the page. This new space will provide page owners even more options in regard to the messages that they wish to send to their audience and add to the branding of their page. No doubt many new features will continue to be announced for all the major social media platforms as we move through the year. These will add to the already potent potential for customer and audience interaction that we see today.


Facebook Goes Public

By | Facebook, Social Media | No Comments

Social media juggernaut, Facebook made a much anticipated move on Wednesday, becoming a publicly traded company eight years after CEO Mark Zuckerberg kick started the basic form of the website at Harvard University.

Anticipated within three to four months, Facebook, hoping to trade under the ticker “FB”; on the New York Stock Exchange or Nasdaq Stock Exchange, will become one of the world’s most valuable companies hoping to raise $5 billion in its IPO. This amount comes to no surprise where IPO filing documents reveal Facebook’s revenue, the company earned $668 million on revenue of $3.7 billion last year, according to the filing. Speculation involving the potential market value of Facebook quotes figures of $100 billion upwards.

The main source of Facebook’s revenue stream is its highly targeted advertising placements which caters to a high level of market segmentation based on a user’s demographic, behavioural and psychographic factors (the information on a user’s profile such as interests, hobbies, relationships). This creates a desirable avenue for a brand’s marketing team as it allows better exposure to the relevant target market.

Facebook isn’t one of the first Internet start ups to go public. Zynga Inc, which specialises in integrated Facebook applications, represents one of the disappointments of Internet IPOs entering the public domain, with its stock price falling 5% below its IPO price on the first day of trading. Facebook may avoid this as its offering provides a human connection, allowing people to catch up all over the world, play hours of repetitive, pointless but addictive games and enables people to share every minute detail of their day. Furthermore it offers a public channel for celebrities, politicians and companies to connect and interact.

Mark Zuckerberg Facebook

Mark Zuckerberg initiates Facebook's IPO

It will be easy to see why this Facebook status update will be liked by hundreds of Facebook employees. This move turns them into instant millionaires due to an accumulated portfolio of FB stock obtained at prices lower than what they will be valued once placed on the open market. Facebook employed 3,200 people at the end of last year.

Google Launches Schemer

By | Social Media | No Comments

In a week full of news and announcements one that has managed to slip under the radar of most people is Google’s new service called Schemer, a Web site currently in invitation only beta dedicated to getting people sharing ideas and doing things. While this may seem a bit vague dig a little deeper and you discover that what it is in fact is a public idea, goal and objective sharing service. As it is linked to your Google+ account many people have instantly jumped and made an easy comparison to Facebook events. While I understand why, I feel this is too simple of a comparison to make.

Facebook events in their simplest form give users the ability to create and invite people to an event, key details being who, what, when and where. Schemer differs significantly to this in that it only focuses on the what and then leaves the rest up to you. For example a schemer idea could be “go for a bike ride”, you could then use this scheme or idea to organise a bike ride at a given time and place with your Google+ circles. This is where most people seem to get caught in comparing it to Facebook events.

Google Schemer - Find Stuff To Do

Google Schemer Find Stuff To Do page.

Looking at it further, if I submit the scheme “clean out my inbox” you start to see the real potential of Schemer. This activity clearly doesn’t require attendees or a place and can be done at any time. This in itself is the beauty of Schemer. By submitting my scheme it will then be shared with publicly (or limited within circles) on the site as a potential idea for other people to do. When people complete the scheme they tick it off and talk about their experience in completing it and if they recommend the scheme to others.

The real opportunity here would be for businesses to get involved, submitting tasks (non-commercial) and then Google potentially evolving a complete or a new scheme into a form of virtual currency which you could then use for example to get a discount voucher for a store.

At only a few days old it is difficult to gauge how successful this will actually become, but given the deep pockets Google has to support it and the already positive buzz (for lack of a better word) being generated around it, I think that that it does have the potential to entice and interest people who would subsequently make a Google+ account that, without Schemer, they might otherwise not.

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