One of the top 10 questions in social media marketing asked is “How do we kick start our community?” This post aims at providing some resources for brands that are preparing their community strategy. The old adage of the field of dreams isn’t true -if you build it–they won’t necessarily come. Brands must have a kick start plan to be successful with their community. Below, I’ll list out some practices I’ve heard from companies that have had successful communities, and I’d ask you chime in and add more ways, let’s get started, I’ll be as specific and actionable as possible.
"Everybody lives by selling something," wrote Robert Louis Stevenson, author of "Treasure Island." Agents, CMOs and deal makers will always get starry-eyed by the big names of "celebrity" because brands love endorsements, and consumers buy into "celebrity." Questions remain, however, as to whether the international obloquy related to the Tiger Woods crisis dealt a devastating blow to celebrity endorsement. In light of the risks, is the celebrity endorsement deal still worth it?
It happens every time. The moment those E.D. drug commercials list the possible side-effects: dry mouth, muscle weakness, nausea and, oh yes, erections lasting for more than four hours. I laugh out loud (or did the first hundred times I saw it). Isn't it like cigarette ads warning that smoking could attract fast girls, or that eating fattening foods lets obese people outsource more of their healthcare costs? A four-hour erection isn't a warning, it's a happy dream. Like that potato chip commercial says, you can't stop eating 'em. This illustrates the challenge of communicating risks and rewards to consumers.
Last month we bemoaned the way some marketers offer cash or other rewards in return for lying to one’s friends, while other dodgy companies sell bundles of 10,000 Twitter followers to help particular brand look well loved, among other funny business. However, the ongoing collision of marketing and social networks doesn’t necessarily have to involve trickery or deception. Picture this: You’re sitting next to the pool at a Vegas resort, when you decide to tweet a picture of where you are to your friends at their fluorescent-lit day jobs, just to, you know, assault their sanity. A few minutes later, a waiter shows up with an ice-cold beverage on the house, explaining, “thanks for the tweet.” Guess what your next tweet will be about? Staying at the BEST HOTEL EVAR!!
In 2002 a startling announcement was made: sales of video games had finally surpassed the movie box office in the U.S. Over the past two years, games have catapulted to an even more impressive level. Farmville, a game that allows players to tend to a virtual farm with their friends in Facebook, is currently played by 70 million people per month. That's one in four Americans. Kleiner Perkins, the legendary venture capital firm, announced that Zynga is the fastest-growing investment they've ever made. To give this some context, consider that Kleiner was the first investor in Google. I believe this trend represents something much bigger than just explosive growth in the gaming industry. For years, many of the world's smartest people, from psychologists to behavioral economist to marketers, have been studying what motivates people to perform specific actions. In marketing terms, the most important of these is the purchase impulse. Today, the research on buying behavior is beginning to be reframed in terms of gaming mechanics.