Get people to spread the word about who you really are and about your USPs

At Componence I’ve been thinking about social network marketing A LOT lately. The ideas are popping up in my head. The enthusiastic reaction of so many people give me confidence that we’re heading to a bright new direaction with Componence. I’ve even made different business minded presentations about mashups and social network marketing with Chameleon. I mean, if we as a technical solution company can convince marketeers, then our social network marketing ideas must be really good ;)

Let someone else say it
“E-Marketer’s CEO Geoff Ramsey gets at the essence of the issue with his commentary: “If you’re going to build a community, don’t center it around your product, but rather on something deeply relevant to a particular consumer group,” Ramsey said. He also suggested keeping fans of your brand pages happy by giving them a lot of content and letting them share the love with others.” If you want to know more about the article, then read the full article about Social media can be a marketing platform: It starts with brand evangelism

I agree – but proof first that your message is powerful enough
I personally agree with this point. But I think before you think you can have your own community, there are a few steps you can try before spending a lot of development costs on a community that might not pull enough members. I mean, why not test if your message is powerful enough to get the potential community members to come out of hiding from their comfort zones?

I mean, a community is till often the end of many e-commerce / business concepts, with a lot of business models before it. It’s like becoming the CEO of the company you love, it wouldn’t be so wise to just go to the shareholders and tell them that you’ll be their next successful CEO right?

1. Organize a sweepstake contest – to generate sales leads
Create a sweepstake social network marketing campaign that can lead to viral social network marketing campaign. But keep it real! Make sure that

  • core message about the action is about true feelings when people think about travelling
  • the prizes in the sweepstakes are direct related to travel or can generate
  • the response of the client is valuable for sales this year

How can you determine a succes? Well, it should generate more leads than your last leadgeneration campaign, for less costs. And if your contenst was really about your core USPs, then the response – the user generated content – will contain better sales information. So if you’re lucky, you will have:

  • less costs
  • less printed promotion sent out – less trees cut down
  • more leads – let your target group spread the word
  • better sales information
  • if you’re really smart, the sales information can also be used to create better online content around it
  • hopefully a better conversion rate

Wouldn’t your Marketing Director be more happy to grant you more budget to go forward with you community ambition if the above works out? And if it doesn’t work out then there are two options:

  • You just or your marketing / advertising agency didn’t pinpoint the USP’s of the concept good enough, then you or they should be replaced
  • Or the message is not strong enough and you can save yourself the pain of investing hundreds of thousands in a community that would probably not work any way

2. Easy to share – NO MANUAL E-MAIL TYPING!
Make sure that the campaign is so cool that there is a nice chance of ‘spread around’. And make it REALLY EASY TO SHARE. And then get people to vote about it and let the best responses win.

Example: www.weareplaystation.com

A sweepstake contest that could have been 10 times better!

  • - Slogan is “This is living”
  • Can you capture the PlayStation® spirit on your camera?
  • How? By uploading images / photos … and just a description
  • Sharing options –> 5 communities –> Type emails manually –> No address books
  • Available only at the website

I personally would do it differently

  • Slogan is “This is living” – Show us how Playstation expands your living and brings it more energy, fun and excitement.
  • How? By uploading images / photos … and –> YouTube movies –> Picasa / Flickr series –> A network of friends / family who enjoy living Playstation together
  • Sharing options –> 10 communities –> No manual e-mail typing –> MSN / Gmail / Yahoo / Facebook / MySpace / LastFM addressbooks
  • Also available as apps in communities –> Facebook app –> Open Social app in MySpace / Orkut

And the prizes … I would give prices that were related more with ‘This is living’ rather than a camera, games or money. How are about a roundtrip of Living in Japan, the home of Playstation?

3. Connect to sales offices
And when it comes to give out the prizes, connect it to the sales offices. The winners might get a lot for free, but the others might be easy to convert with special discounts only that day … or give out coupons.

Example: http://www.weareplaystation.com

  • I don’t think there is a connection to sales offices
  • I would organize the announcement of prizes to the local retail
  • And give attendees at least coupouns with discounts on Playstation merchandising

4. Follow up and show your appreciation for the response
Eventually if the response is good enough, the user generated content might deserve a follow-up. Let’s say if the user generated content is about favorite locations, then booking agents might write their own reports / specials about it.

5. Show your added value – keep the relationship
If the previous step can lead to something valuable for travelers, they might want to come back to the website where they can find the special information / services. And involve them again …

6. Can you get into their comfortzone?
And if you are really successful in binding the relationships to your values and you can keep the interaction. Then make sure that users of your website can be taken as an app / widget along into their comfort zones (Facebook, MySpace, iGoogle, iPhone, desktop, ..) You can do this my making mashups wiht popular web systems that are already used frequently by your target group

7. And if you’re really successful – then create your own community
This community should definitely show more service and more value, that can be generated by the power of stakeholders who have an commercial interest in the community. So combine user generated content with professional feedback, more sweepstake contests … I personally think e-mail marketing will be replaced by social marketing campaigns. For me e-mail is still a lot of spam, even the newsletters I’ve registered to. But if a friend sends me a message … I’ll look at it, even if it is spam. And if he/she does it too often … I’ll say something about it and it will probably be less.

Of course the above is a lot of talk, I’ll try it myself at Componence and will share real numbers after the summer, once we’ve done a few of these projects. In the meanwhile: be true, be smart and let the social networks do a lot of marketing work for you :)

Other related articles / content:

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About Ha Vo

As IT professional I am convinced that IT should work for society, on the demand and supplier side. IT projects should not be expensive nor should projectmanagers focus more on managing down expactations than rather really trying to resolve problems more efficiently with his team to deliver what was promised. Imagine what would be the case if all IT projects were carried out at half the costs and at the same time really deliver what was promised. Such results would eventually benefit us all. The way to achieve this is to believe in software re-usability, from open standards to open source, combined with active management to enforce it as requirements in IT projects. The other side of the equation needs the eagerness and spirit of IT professionals in lower-cost countries as they really see IT as a way to escape poverty and earn professional success. And in between there is Componence, my organization that enforces both aspects strongly in our strategy to become a Enterprise Service Provider that makes IT work for all and in the same time should cost less and deliver more! In doing so internet is our playground where Web 2.0 and Enterprise 2.0 are not just trends, but our way of work.

16 responses »

  1. [...] Marketing 2.0 – Social marketing I personally think e-mail marketing will be replaced by social marketing campaigns. For me e-mail is still a lot of spam, even the newsletters I’ve registered to. But if a friend sends me a message … I’ll look at it, even if it is spam. [...]

  2. [...] Social marketing – don’t start with your community At Componence I’ve been thinking about social marketing A LOT lately. The ideas are popping up in my head. The enthusiastic reaction of so many people give me confidence that we’re heading to a bright new direaction with Componence. [...]

  3. [...] Interesting use of this approach: Use a viral to see if a community has added value for your business/product. [...]

  4. hi

    nice article on Social Media Networks, i came across a similar article on another website http://www.theecommercesolution.com/blog/2007/05/01/how-social-network-marketing-works/

  5. I agree with the idea of giving something of value to your community. A great content positions you as an expert in your field. Often times people lose sight of this and only pitch on their products.

  6. I love the “You ROCK, You RULE” picture at the start of this post, its a classic :)

  7. Flexoplex says:

    Valuable and significant article.I agree with the idea of giving something of value to your community. A Superb content positions you as an expert in your field. Often times people lose sight of this and only pitch on their product.
    Thanks for sharing,

  8. Barrie Evans says:

    We all need to adapt and be able to utilize the social media marketing as it is growing daily. The more I read about this form of marketing (this post included), the more ideas I seem to get. Also, the ability to adapt marketing of a “traditional” business as well as the internet business is key to a better future for a business who can market effectively using social media.

    • Hi Barrie,

      The key here is that we need to understand that we’re really dealing with people again, like in the old days where most business were still bricks and mortar. But because we’ve seen the power of online advertising like banners, google ads, newsletters … we tend to forget that:
      – we’re dealing with people and we need to build relations
      – the most effective way to get new clients to get current clients to tell about you

      Have you read my blog about “we’re too asocial to do social business”?

  9. Thank you for keeping us updated. I very enjoy it and find all the data extremely useful.

  10. More Info says:

    Truly such a beneficial webpage.

  11. Candice says:

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