Archives for posts with tag: social media marketing

Now THIS is pretty cool.

The funky folks at Target (pronounced ‘Tar-jey’, if you want to make it sound a bit posh!?!) have just launched Falling For You.

What is it?

Well, they call it a short film but it’s really presented as a series of short episodes (Episode 1 is just 3 mins long – smart!) to be viewed online.

What’s the movie about?

Not sure actually. That’s not really the point anyway.

What Falling For You is really all about is selling products.

You see, as the film progresses, on the right of the screen, you’re shown a list of all the items from the scene that you can buy from Target. Click on an item as it appears and it will be added to your favourites.  Then, when the episode finishes you can check out your favourites, share them on Facebook, Twitter & Pintrest and then of course, the ultimate goal, go on to buy them – either online or in a Target store.

Cool! Huh?

What’s interesting to us is that the only true Social Commerce aspects of this thing is in the sharing or pining of the items.  It wouldn’t be a huge step to make the whole experience story a lot more social and interactive. Here’s a few ideas…

–          Viewers vote on what the characters will do next

–          Viewers vote on what clothes the characters will wear

–          Viewers ‘Build a Scene’ by selecting stuff from Target

The biggest challenge Target will have with this is making sure the story and the characters are compelling enough to keep viewers engaged. The big name enlisted so far is Kristen Bell (Forgetting Sarah Marshall, You Again) but even so, the first episode wasn’t exactly edge of the seat stuff – if you know what we mean 😉

Nevertheless, kudos to Target for a great initiative!


Earlier this week Gavin Michael, Chief Technology Innovation Officer at Accenture wrote a great post on Fortune Tech about The new rules of Social Commerce. Gavin suggested that so far most companies efforts at Social Commerce have really been ‘brochureware’ – ie: just copy/paste what they did on the eComm site or copy the actions they take with their traditional marketing and that’s all they’d really do.

As we’ve spoken about a few times here (and as Gavin himself suggested) that’s just like things were when the internet first started. There were no rules or guidelines for the early movers so everyone just had to kinda work it out as they went along. So, it’s ok that there’s still lots missing in companies Social Commerce strategies.

What we want to try to do here, is help you learn from the lessons of the early movers and see what you can take to apply to your own business.

Enter Tesco.

You’ll probably recall they came up with that really cool Subway Supermarket concept in Korea a while ago.


Well, now they’ve done something a little less dramatic, but nonetheless equally interesting – at least in terms of the results.

For Tesco’s ‘Share & Earn’ campaign they created a simple Facebook App that encouraged their members to share products from the store across their social networks. Whenever a friend clicked one of those links and made a purchase, the advocate earned bonus Clubcard Points (Tesco’s loyalty programme).

The result? Social Sharing of products on Tesco’s Facebook page went from 26% to 54% of all comments posted. That’s an increase of over 100%!

Morever, general sentiment also increased with ‘Positive Buzz’ soaring to 63% after being only 44% a week earlier.

And what did all this noise create in terms of real, direct sales?

No idea! Sorry, we aren’t able to get that information.

But like Gavin says in his article, Social commerce needs to become an “and,” not an “or.” It’s not a magical cure for all you business woes. Instead, it’s all about common tools and strategies deployed across multiple sites, apps, platforms and fora to give targeted customers specific and rich experiences.


Special Thanks to Leonie Bulman at wavemetrix for the news and results of Tesco’s social experiment.

The Zuck has oft been quoted as saying his mission is to make the world more open and connected. Very noble Zuck, thanks!

One of the key principles necessary to make this happen is Freedom of Speech. The only problem with Freedom of Speech is it means you need to let the moronic, the ignorant and the downright hateful have their say too.

So, what if one of those hateful, ignorant morons makes a nasty comment on your company’s Facebook wall or Twitter stream? Of course, if you’re a normal, rational person, you remove it and probably block that person from posting again. Maybe that doesn’t strictly adhere to the tenets of Free Speech, but who cares – it’s the right thing to do.

BUT…what if you didn’t even see that post?

AND…what if someone else DID see that post – and was offended by it?

According the Advertising Standards Bureau in Australia (ASB), you are responsible for that content!

Didn’t post it? Doesn’t matter! Didn’t even see it? Still doesn’t matter!

See, what happened is, a few of these haters joined the Smirnoff Vodka Facebook page as Fans and then posted some pretty crude stuff. Someone took offence and lodged a complaint with the ASB, who are the self-regulatory body of the Ad industry in Oz.

Smirnoff’s owners, the mega-booze barons Diageo, argued that Facebook was a tool for networking and communicating, not advertising. The ASB held that Facebook can also absolutely be a tool for marketing and promotion – and therefore is subject to the same standards of behaviour as any other publishing platform.

Hmmm? Methinks we have a dilemma!

This follows on from a similar decision by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) last year where they charged a company called Allergy Pathway for having false and misleading statements on their Facebook and Twitter pages – even though they didn’t post them.

The way we see it is this should all come down to what’s fair and reasonable. If someone posted something nasty on your Facebook page at 3am, while you were all snuggled up in bed and then someone on the other side of world saw it and took offence and lodged a complaint about you, before you even woke up, should you be held accountable?

Maybe Facebook needs to implement a ‘moderate first’ function to company pages, much like many forums do.

What do you think?


PS: Thanks to Smart Company for much of the info & inspiration for this post.

As you might expect, we do daily searches across the web for the term ‘Social Commerce’. Lately, we’ve been seeing a lot of results like this…

The company is Solavei.

First impression was that this was some sort of scam. Just the way the comments were posted, the fact that so many seemingly non-connected people were making the same posts, etc.  Indeed, do a search for ‘Solavei Scam’ and you’ll get quite a few results. Interestingly enough, some of those hits are infact people trying to get you to join Solavei! Smart, huh? They’ve cottoned on to the reality that many will see this as a scam and so will look to confirm or deny their suspicions. What better way to make a pitch!?!

The idea of Solavei is simple enough. Sign up to an unlimited mobile phone plan for $49 per month. Then, for every three people you get to sign up, you get earn $20. So, sign up 9 users and you’ve paid for phone bill for one month – & still have enough left over for a Frappucino!

Sounds like Amway, right? Well, ok, not Amway specifically but one of those pyramid selling schemes where the entire business model assumes that each user signs up many more and when they do so, they earn money in return. Sometimes, LOTS of money! Multi-level marketing is the proper name for it,  if we want to be politically correct.

And that’s pretty much exactly what it is.

BUT…isn’t it also a good example of Social Commerce?


We’re still not really sure how we feel about it. After all, our mission is to create genuine and sincere word of mouth across the social networks. Somehow this seems less than sincere. Then again, to be fair, anybody who’s inviting you to join the service is already a member themselves. So, you use it, you like, you invite me to share in this great service. What’s wrong with that? Sure, you’re getting paid for referring me (& then I can also get paid to refer others) but does the fact that everyone’s getting paid for a referral make it any less genuine? Maybe. Maybe not.

This is certainly not the first time that a company has paid a bounty for a new customer. Ever heard of affiliate marketing?

Maybe it’s just a fine line between Social Commerce and a Pyramid Scheme.

According to John Cook at Geek Wire, Solavei recently closed a $3.6 million round of funding, bringing the total raised to $7 million. That’s pretty serious! They also seem to have some serious people running the company, including a former US Congressman (should that make us feel safer or more wary?!?).

But that’s another weird thing about the team at Solavei – their key strengths seem to be that they were once somebodies. Of course, we all know that your previous work experience largely defines your value to the new company, but somehow it just seems odd to us that they’ve highlighted everybody’s former glory. Again, in the interest of fairness, we don’t know any of these folks by name or reputation so we’re certainly not suggesting they are anything but supremely qualified & skilled individuals. We’re just saying it sounds a bit odd.

So, take a blatantly obvious (& unapologetic) multi-level marketing business model, lead by a group of former somebodies, add the power of the social networks and what do you have?

You have something that sounds like a scam but infact may just be one of the smartest businesses around.  For us, the jury is still out.

If the product ROCKS! then we don’t really see anything wrong with the business model. If the product and service turns out to be a DOG, then I guess we’ll sit back and say, ‘It always sounded like a scam!’.

MDGadvertising recently created this interesting little infographic around the ROI of Social Media marketing, based on data from a number of different sources.

A few things that really interest us on this topic.

First of all, have you noticed how we are far more laser-focussed on the ROI in Social Media than we’ve ever really been with so many other forms of traditional advertising, like billboards, TV, radio, etc.

I recently read a ROI analysis of a billboard campaign for a specific model of car, where they declared that around 4% of new cars sold during this campaign were a direct result of the billboards. How do they know? Well, they asked the new car buyers. Any problem with that? Only one. Chances are there were other factors that impacted on their decision to buy – word of mouth from a friend, seeing an ad in newspaper, reading a review in an auto magazine, etc. Sure, the buyer still believes it was the billboard that closed the sale but in reality it probably only helped influence and reinforce the buying decision.

Truth is, many of these traditional forms of advertising are really geared more to brand/product awareness rather than directly creating a call to action – ie: a sale.

This infographic seems to suggest that maybe, at least amongst the Chief Marketing Officers surveyed, we’re now realising that social media ROI should consider much more than the pure sales it generates. 96% of CMOs said they are starting to look beyond pure sales & web metrics when assessing the value of social media marketing.

The second key observation for us is the statistic that says only 11% of businesses surveyed have been using social media marketing for 3 years or more. This a pretty new thing. Probably fair to say that if 90% of business has been using social media marketing for less than 3 years, many are still only dabbling, trying to find the best ways to use the tools.

That leads right into our third and final observation, for which there really is no statistic given here. Execution! How well are businesses executing their social media marketing strategy? If a campaign fails, is it because the tools are simply no good OR is it because they’re not using the tools the right way?

A spoon is generally considered a pretty useful tool for eating soup from a bowl – but not if you use the wrong end!?!

FYI – you may think this is just a silly analogy but a mate of ours actually went through exactly this situation when opening a hotel 2 years ago in a very remote location and having to train the F&B staff.

Of course you need to measure and analyse all you possibly can about your social media marketing campaigns – but just be realistic about your expectations, especially if you’ve only been using it for a short time. Don’t expect immediate success. Do expect to have to play around a bit before you start getting it right. Don’t blame the tools – but don’t blame the tradesman either. Give them both a chance to find the best way to work together.

Just to complete the food utensil analogy… now try taking that spoon from a 2 year old and giving her a pair of chopsticks to eat her dinner. Sounds pretty messy, right? Let her practise for a few years and she’ll probably do just fine.

There you go. It’s all about Spoons & Chopsticks!?!

To Like or to Look? That is the question.

If Billy Shakespeare was around today, can you imagine how much he would have to say about this whole Facebook phenomenon – indeed, the entire social network ecosystem? We reckon he’d probably start with a jab at the now ubiquitous ‘Like’.

(Actually, if you read on in that quote, you’ll find a few more Facebook-esq analogies – ‘slings and arrows’, ‘outrageous fortunes’, ‘great pitch and moment’. Go on, get some culture into ya – Hamlet

Well, there’s an interesting article in the Search Engine Journal by Jake Filan from Kairay Media discussing the issue of Like Fraud (my words, not his).

Here’s the article – Facebook Ads: What Are You Really Paying For?

The key to success in Social Commerce is how effectively you can leverage your social networks. If your social network isn’t made up of genuine people and businesses, there’s not much to leverage.

Let’s be really clear on one thing – ‘Like’ is a Vanity Metric.

It might make you feel good to see how many people (or at least you think they’re people!?!) ‘Like’ your page, but what does it really mean?

It should really be called ‘Look’ – coz that’s what it is.

A ‘Like’ just means that someone has taken the time to ‘Look’ at your page. It’s only when you understand the reasons they came to look that you can really start classifying that Look as a Like.

Could it be that these people really only ‘Like’ you because they had the chance to win an iPod is they just clicked ‘Like’?

Is it just me, or is there something ironic about the guy who seemed to rebel against the very idea of the cool and popular kids and clubs (it must be true, I saw it in the movie!?!) building a feature into Facebook that infact encourages exactly that behaviour?

As with just about everything else in life, it’s not the quantity but the quality that really matters.

Getting Social! Keeping it Real!


PS: Thanks to Mari Smith for Tweeting the SFJ article. Follow @MariSmith to get lots more useful snippets.

After years of saying, ‘I really should…’, I finally bit the bullet last week and bought a pair of Bose QuietComfort 15 headphones while in Hong Kong.

BTW – if you spend a lot of time on planes, I can really recommend them!

But what was really interesting was how they were trying to generate word of mouth for their product. Interesting because they’re trying both social and more traditional word of mouth.

The red card was inserted into the document folder type thing they give you with your receipt, warranty, etc inside. As you can see, they’re inviting me to go and Like their Facebook page for the chance to win – something.

Personally, I don’t think this is super effective. The official Bose fan page on Facebook has no mention this competition. When I type in Bose Hong Kong in Facebook search, I get nothing. So I have to assume I should be on the main Bose page, but it’s hard to be certain. Guys, really, throw me a bone!

Now the offline word of mouth tool is brilliant! Not sure how many French customers they really get in Hong Kong, but anyway, what it  says is, ‘Our customers are often asked about their Bose headphones by others. So, here’s a few cards you can hand out when asked.’

Great idea, huh?

If someone makes a comment about my headphones now, you can be sure I’ll whip out my special Bose card for them. Having the cards not only puts the idea in my head but also kinda makes me feel a bit important because I have something so special that it’s worthy of such a card.

They’ve even been smart enough to put the cards in a special pouch that stays inside your case. Again, two benefits – they’re always on hand AND always front of mind, every time I open the case.

So, kudos Bose on the offline strategy. Still some work to do on the social strategy, but thanks for trying.




Sometimes I even amaze myself at how much cool information I’m starting to find to share with you all. I know there’s only a few of you following my blog but I can see that there are at least a few more of you reading it from time to time. Thanks! Makes it seem all worthwhile!!

Now, back to today’s little gem…a whitepaper on Social Commerce from the guys at Awareness.

Frankly, there’s so much juicy info in this one that it seems a bit silly to try to pull out key take-aways.

BUT…I know you you’re all busy and you need at least a few bullets to get you excited. So, how about this – let me tell you what the 6 Social Principles are that they’re talking about in the title of the paper.

1. Social Proof – which is all about following the crowd

2. Authority – following the leader

3. Liking – following friends & colleagues

4. Reciprocity – which is about returning favours

5. Scarcity – which is about, well, something being scarce & thereby being more valuable

6. Consistency – yeah, doing what you do regularly

There you go! Nothing earth-shattering in that, is there?

The magic is in how you apply each of these principles within the Social Funnel and with B2C and B2B Prospects & Customers.

So, do yourself a favor, CLICK HERE to download your FREE COPY and find out for yourself what it’s all about.

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