Social marketing succeeds because humans like to share. The “Like Me! Social & Viral Content Tips for Making Your Brand Look Sexy” session on Tuesday at SES San Francisco 2011 had plenty of examples to back that up.
Li Evans, of Libeck Integrated Marketing, explained that a social campaign that goes viral is accidental. It’s nothing you can plan for (this was repeated by Greg Jarboe in a panel on YouTube today.) When thinking about a social media campaign, the goal is show everyone that you or your company are a valuable resource.
Some Social and Viral Tips
When posting to Twitter or writing a Facebook status that links to a web page or video, offer a brief reason about its value to your readers.
Sometimes the point of a social marketing campaign is not exactly about getting more sales or traffic, but rather, changing the perception of a brand. For example, you may recall Proctor and Gamble’s new Old Spice commercial’s featuring the muscled and gorgeous, Isaiah Mustafa. P&G knew the image of an Old Spice man was of an older man, or less modern. To change the perception, they created ads aimed at women by featuring Isaiah, Fabio and other male models. The response was spectacular. The commercials were placed in YouTube and women shared them with their friends. They didn’t sell products as much as it changed perceptions of the product.
Make it easy to share. Make sure your videos have a share button. Sometimes someone will you’re your video and put it on YouTube so it can be shared, but the problem with this is they get they get the credit or links if they put it on their own web site.
People want to share. You want to understand what someone’s passion is, touch a nerve, make them laugh, feel like they can help and focus on content quality.
As marketers we have to listen. We can’t control what audiences think and say.
The next speaker was Mike La Rotonda, CEO of Votigo, who offered these takeaways:
Use user generated content in social marketing campaigns. This is cost effective and people are key to spreading your marketing message.
Build your community and grow your customer base. Fans of your brand spread content about you. The more elements you have to allow them to create and interact, the better.
User engagement can be done by posting questions. Do polls. Ask site visitors how they user your products? What were the benefits? You can run contests such as photo and video contests.
Your goals are to engage customers and generate brand awareness, so find ways to increase fans by offering reasons to get to know you and your company. User voting, photo sharing, contests, incentives…it’s okay to start small. Think about how about how to get people involved in your products and brand.
Jeff Revoy, Chief Marketing and Product Officer of iContact, who was up next, told us that 37% of Twitter users purchase from a brand after becoming subscriber, fan or follower.
To build brand awareness try setting up accounts in Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, YouTube, etc. You primary goal by creating these various channels is to drive content.
Quality content is the key. It must be extremely relevant, funny, informative, and interesting. Be sure to encourage them to share.
Nonprofits –create a badge for your company, association, club, etc. This allows people to share and get the word out because they are proud to be affiliated with you. You’ll gain these followers who share a passion for your cause and are willing to share.
Retail – get them to “like” you, design offers and promo, give something relevant to them
It’s okay to repurpose content from your newsletter and put it on your blog. Try different angle, especially if your products or service is difficult to promote. One web site that sold LED lighting wrote about kid’s safety, which was shared by their Facebook followers.
Local restaurants – Create interest…”where is truck going to be next?” Use Twitter as way to get reservations or Foursquare for special discounts. These ideas may not convert but they spread the word about you.
Put tutorials on YouTube.
Jeff Harmon from OraBrush told the story about how that product went from a small time invention to selling in the millions thanks to investing in YouTube’s new promotional videos service. The increased exposure resulted in huge traffic and sales in 6 weeks.