I just finished listening to a webcast entitled “From Brainstorm to Firestorm: Creating an Environment for Viral Marketing Success” hosted by SmartBrief and moderated by one of my favorites, Guy Kawasaki.
In Guy’s opening take, he stated the obvious: you get more followers with any social media tool by being more interesting; and you’re more interesting by providing interesting links and information. The three tools he uses are Objective Marketer (for email campaigns), TwitterFeed, and TwitterHawk. Another tool, TweetMeme, he felt to be the single most powerful way to get followers.
Andy Sernovitz had a slightly different perspective. He felt that allowing people to participate and share however was best for them was the key. Rather than TweetMeme, he would go the ShareThis approach where people could “share the love” for you/your brand in whichever they wanted.
Stacey Kane of California Tortilla (voted best burrito in D.C.) said they leveraged their TacoTalk email newsletter into effective Twitter campaigns to drive store traffic. One example: providing a “secret password” on Twitter for a free taco in-unit; conversion rates were much higher than when the same thing was done via newsletter.
Brendan Hart with National Geographic talked about the importance of connecting with the brand. For instance, on Twitter, they’ve invited people to solve a puzzle of Mount Everest at their website; as someone improves upon the time, NatGeo posts that result on Twitter, keeping it fun and interactive. On their website, people can post photos they’ve taken and a couple are selected for inclusion in each issue of the print magazine. Involvement on all fronts.
Stephanie Miller of ReturnPath summarized things this way: Use Twitter when brevity over clarity is desirable, email when content is king, and Facebook when a brand wants to be more engaging. She gave an example of Oreo, which has 1.3 million fans on Facebook and where nothing has been posted since early March vs. Coca Cola, with 3.4 million fans, who seem to be so engaged that every few minutes one of its fans is posting something. Do people love Coke more than Oreo? I’m not sure. But what’s clear is that Facebook is more important to Coke and its fans know that. In short, she said whatever social media we use, we must commit the time and resources.
As with any form of marketing, no matter the way in which we connect with our consumers, we must be channel appropriate and engaging.