Advertising Mantras

By a veteran of the Advertising industry from Europe Ad week, here’s Bob Hoffman bashing almost all major publications, magazines, news agencies & big guns like Bill Gates. Really interesting delivery of speech and precise examples on every note and love his “quotes” and satire.

He talks about important lessons of Social Media Marketing and Digital Media Online vs. Traditional and Native TV advertising. By the end of this lecture, I almost felt like keeping it simple and to the concept is still the best approach towards Social Media Marketing. He stresses enough on my favorite facts & I quote:

“The Golden Era of Bullshit”

“Everyone seems to know the fairy tales & no one seems to know the facts”

“People say they’re passionate about brands… You’re what??? — Dude, get a fuckin girlfriend”

“Do yourself a favor, stop listening to big mouths like me, nobody is smarter than the truth, take the time to find out the facts for yourself, draw your own conclusions, allow yourself the wonderful freedom of skepticism”

– Bob Hoffman, ladies & gentlemen!

Social went Public! – $TWTR #Twitter

So, great buzz about Twitter going public today with $TWTR as it’s @NYSEEuronext symbol. Twitter surged as much as 94 percent from the $26 initial public offering price. While trader nerves were tested in the hours after the open as a venue for over-the-counter stocks was closed and one NYSE data feed slowed, investors said they saw no impact on Twitter.

The whole #IPO of $TWTR went really smooth allowing the trading to stabilize around $45, from where it initially began. Not a great but definitely a lot better start than #Facebook, which was a blunder 18-months ago.

In literally the first 15 minutes of the trading there were 1,684,138 tweets relating NYSE_Twitter_Twitter Bannerto the #IPO, were recorded from various Twitter platforms/ applications, most coming from major NEWS houses. Social Media streams with #Twitter, #TWTR, $TWTR, #TwitterIPO hashtags were continuously refreshing with over thousands of tweets and retweets every second.

Below provided is the chart with tweets within 4 hours of trading:

Twitter Tweet Statistics

So, what do you think? The buzz can keep the momentum going?

 

Substance in Social Media

Funny is how people now-a-days are considering Social Media, the BIG thing now. Where-as it was a big-thing a long back ago, maybe 3-4-5 years ago. Now, it’s the only thing. Developed or Developing countries, all are fairly in touch with Social Media whether they like it or not. I won’t be surprised if you don’t find a single 50-year old or a 5 year old who hasn’t heard about Facebook. This has nothing to do with popularity of Facebook but the way Social Media has evolved over the years.

like_us_on_facebook_small

It gives me goose bumps to think about the year 2020 or let’s talk 2035. It might take another level, it might vanish totally.Considering ‘Mark Zuckerberg’ who built the Facebook platform in one night, donno when next of his kind can pull of the one-nighter. The ultimate conclusion drawn is “WE DON’T KNOW” and the one who says “I KNOW” is probably a noob or lying in your face.

big-data-cloudSubstance in Social Media is not about Big-Data anymore. Tell me one company who needs to have Big-Data or to who Big-Data is useful? Everyone demands Unified Data. Social Media agencies are increasing exponentially, but do they have any idea what are the projects of Social for 2020 – 2035? Answer is ‘NO’. Why? No one cares, it’s hot now, let’s get on to it. Let’s get on trend. Implications are on the giants, local giants and segmented companies. Consequences, they don’t prepare well for.

I’ve seen a no. of Social Media reports now (well, you can too, just google them). I can tell you in crystal clear words, only one of ten reports have some substance and have projections related to near future. I mean, come one, if you gained 100 or 1000 fans on Facebook, how is it going to help you? Did you ever wonder, the pages which have over a million fans, how much engagement is there on their pages? If not, go and check.

Brand Influence

So if you are an agency, what exactly are you telling your client? Just a pie chart of his coverage? Or just his fan/ followeracquisition? Do you honestly think, it’s of any substance to the client or his requirements? Do you even know what are the right metrics? Well, in some cases, the client also doesn’t pay attention even if you write the script of the movie Matrix in it but in some cases the clients are going to grill you.

Whatever might be the case, on a broader perspective you need to question each page of your publisher. You need to question each metrics, each number on your pie or bar graph. That if I am telling the fan acquisition increased, why did it happen, what made it happen, what kinda post is likely to produce a similar impact on the Social Channel.

Social Media is not a business. It’s a subject or allow me to put it as a chapter under Brand identity. Regardless, it has to be in conjunction with ‘Marketing, Branding and Communication Strategies” of the client. Hence, if you just run after numbers in Caught in the wrong job2013 {After 6 proper years from evolution of Social Media}, in my language you’re just another man/ women caught in the wrong job.

There’s something for everyone on Social Media, has to be.

Attention Audience!

How about an attention seeking experience. Will it be called “desperation” in terms of Social Media?

Answer is “NO”.

There is a good percentage of people who are up for a new experience, any given point of time. Hence, potential, opportunities which are hard to breach, otherwise. So, what do you do? Lot of people/ agencies I know, choose to ignore because of monetary cautions. I clearly state it every time that these types of experiences if given in any event/ meeting, in my previous article of “Events & Social Media Numbers”.

I had some quality experience with Costa Coffee Team in the UAE. It was a blend of their trade secret recipe and marketing event with a bunch of Socially active people. The agenda was the launch of their iphone app called “Costa Coffee” available at the app store.Of course, for now, it’s a regionally focused app where-in the concentration restraints to United Arab Emirates, essentially Dubai.

The app associates well with the brand, being of the same branded colors, ‘light maroon & cream’. It was pretty interesting as an overall experience because obviously it would contain the menu card but apart from that it has a puzzle game & music. Well, someone really smart came-up with that for sure. Locations of all Costa Stores across UAE are built-in courtesy, GMaps.

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I found it easy to use and pretty simple in the format it’s icons are placed. So good job Mr. Developer. One obvious addition I would make here is, launch it for Android & Windows as soon as you can.

Coming back to the Event, it has become a social norm to be socially involved with your key influences, in order to maintain the volumes of your buzz. A bunch of us who were learning the coffee art, or at least giving a shot for it… Honestly, it was fun, even though, I was not very much interested in that but always up for new experiences. Thanks for Costa Coffee UAE for hosting this event.

-P

Social Media Day – Social Media what?

A global event started by Mashable Pete Cashmore, thanks man!

buy-twitter-followers-bird-dollar-sign-webBut I think; it has lost it’s cause, at least bits of it. Why do I feel so? #Twitter might go public, easy reason of depression already even though Mr. CEO says – “Money doesn’t drive us, it’s just oxygen”. My point exactly. “That’s what makes it everything”.

Anyway, coming back to Social Media Day, June 30th, every year, I recognize it’s existence but no matter how much fun it sounds, it’s a money driven business like any celebrate-social-media-day-with-mashable-in-san-francisco-49dda7d314other. I see, Digital departments of corporations and/ OR Digital Agencies, they are number driven. It’s as good as like, someone like – Adolf Hitler sitting on your head with a gun pointed at you, that if you didn’t get 1 million fans or 10,000 followers; you will be fired. Now, you and me, both know, Adolf Hitler, has no idea about Social Media, whatsoever. His accomplice told him or I must say influenced him by saying, numbers drive this business. Yeah, what a ‘mess’.

Why don’t I see special campaigns? Why don’t I see bean bags? Why don’t I see, people dressed up in costumes? Why don’t I see cupcakes? Why don’t I see a flair? Why don’t I see some joy? – Questions; no Social Media department OR company will answer to. Because, everything costs oxygen! Everyone is happy to neglect people and people accept it. You know why? Here’s an example:

In an documentary with BBC- Saud bin Abdul Muhsin Al Saud, Governer of Ha’il province, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, said: [Rephrase of his statement] “I am the super-power, I can make a statement and it will be a rule effective immediately but will the people accept it? It’s not like something which is considered to be “Haram” will be accepted even by the supreme power – In here, he essentially talks about Women driving in KSA, getting a chance to speak and other rights.

Similarly, people working in the Social Media Industry are neglecting the basic norms and standards of it. It’s funny how some companies have actually termed “Social Media” as – THE NEXT BIG THING”. Well, if you are sitting on a billion dollars with millions of fans, for you, YES. This negligence is coming naturally because statistics are that, over 65% of the people working in Social Media are not even Social Media savvy, with no idea whatsoever. So, this education is going far beyond worse in coming years because the one who is teaching also has no idea of what is he/ she talking. I’ve actually been writing about something called “Fun” – “Social Media is Supposed to be Fun”

Not sure if I am right but I at least know I am not wrong.

Okay, for rest of the 30% – 35%, hats off for actually thinking/ planning every aspect; but you will get my vote only once it pops out for good. Hope to see some fun in 2014.

Respondents to Social Media Day:

Social Media Day Survey

The Social Keyboard

So, I am sure, a lot of you would have thought of it but my question is, why is it still not there?

Out of tons, the keyboard manufacturing companies, of course, I can only name a few such as ‘Microsoft’, ‘Apple’, ‘Dell’, ‘Logitech’, ‘hp’ etc. none of them came up with this. Why?

The Social Media Keyboard
The Social Media Keyboard

How cool would it be to have an Enhanced keyboard which is so much internet savvy, good for the conglomerates involved in mass communication, media and teenagers, of course. Yeah, that’s too much of a cliché.

But is that just because of a company patent war? Of course, I understand every one wants to be the no. 1 in terms of branding; but can you stop the battle for a second and actually be human-centric? Lets do it the people way!

Brands & Sarcasm!

Social Media, as we all know is a very vast field for those who use it, for those who doesn’t use it, for those who study and monitor it and for those who still struggle to find the correlation between it and people.

Anyway, when it comes to marketing, some brands have rightfully How-to-Boost-Your-Marketing-through-Social-Mediachosen Social Media platforms to display a whole bunch of products, generated conversations and shoved the idea of that product in Social Media users. But, as a study suggests that only 14% population trusts marketing, rest 86% still look for peer recommendations. Also, trust score for a brand increases when it has 38% negativity amongst it’s consumers. As I have previously mentioned in one of my post “Social Media When…” that negativity spreads at 100x speed than positivity and comes down with the same frequency, similar is the case with the trust score.

People with such negative comments/ posts, can say anything and everything about something. It can be direct, related, indirect or sarcastic manner. This post is all about how should brands take “Sarcasm”.

For that, I’ve a very critical question, which I would like to bring to your attention:

a) Are brands allowed to take sarcasm? Social Media and your brand

The answer to this one isn’t simple. Because it totally depends upon what kind if brand are you. Of course, there are more chances of you being a consumer based brand since you are using Social Media to maintain your brand loyalty and market yourself. If so, what industry do you belong to? Say, telecommunications, beauty products, fashion, consumable goods or anything in which you are in touch with your end-user. Then, YES, totally YES, you are allowed to take sarcasm. In fact, it gives you a golden opportunity to immediately go a clock ahead of your competitors.

Wonder HOW?

Here’s how. We all know about the Burger King twitter hack, anyone knows how burger king treated the situation after they restored their communications, successfully? They ACCEPTED it!Sarcasm Redefined

There you go, the key to successful engagement post crisis is accepting. Same is with sarcasm. If someone’s being sarcastic towards you, welcome it. Accept it. Win it. Treat that person. It would work as a charm for your brand’s trust score. Just don’t ignore. Turn the situation to an arena and turn to the stage as a stand up comedian, if you have to; everyone likes to laugh. Just don’t ignore.

Simple steps to get you there are:

1) Formulate an engagement strategy as soon as you know your sarcastic influence.

2) Build up a conversation on a personal note. Just remember, this one can bring a 100 more to you, without any effort and investment.

3) Once you have given enough attention, try and accept it again with a sarcastic tone of “it happens to the best of us”.

Not in one case, I can think of, this can go wrong. Communication on Social Platforms is similar to communicating in any public meeting, hence, doesn’t require a rocket science strategy. Plain communication is enough to cater to your own loyalty.

Social Circle

#Tip: Social Media is not “Word of Mouth”; it’s “World of Mouth”, hence, lets not make it complicated.

Is LinkedIn, a serious affair?

Talking about Social networks, LinkedIn has always stood out to be one professional network bring corporates and corporate professional together. However, its usage still remains undefined to certain extents. Along with that, its apprehension is also dissimilar with a lot of people, of which to pen all isn’t viable. Hence, let’s try and ask the key questions to begin with:linkedin

a)      What is LinkedIn’s purpose?

b)      How are you using it? And what for?

c)       How is your corporate looking at it? Or how is it considered at all?

You must be thinking, why these key questions now. Well, there is a great significance to all of these. Over a period of time, this network has raised itself a Social Network with its core competence of bringing working professionals together with detailed job descriptions of oneself that can be read in the format of a Resume. Hence, its usage becomes crucial at an early stage of a professional career. Coming back to the questions, here is how I answer them:

a)      What is LinkedIn’s purpose: For someone with an educational background with an outlook of a professional corporate career, it’s a must to have a profile on LinkedIn and importantly with 100% completeness. In other words, what’s there to hide if you consider your growth as self-achievement? At random hours, the talent acquisition professionals or the head hunters do keep an eye for niche requirements and you could be the end of their search. And ask yourself, what did it cost you?

b)      How are you using it? And what for? Answer to this one is pretty simple, if you are a person with an educational background looking for a job, no better place to be. If you are already into a job, looking for more relevant opportunities, again no better place to be. If you are happy with your job and still hold a profile, maybe participate in the group discussions LinkedIn holds and give a piece of advice. If you a business owner, well, you’ve an ocean of thoughts put together for you to enhance every department of your conglomerate.

c)       How is your corporate looking at it? Or how is it considered at all? Of all, my major focus remains on this question. As I’ve already pointed out the period progression of LinkedIn from a small Social Website into a hardcore Professional Network, I want to learn about the corporate consideration of the same. So far, I’ve seen lots of changes coming through with-in the network, such as addition company profiles and followers of the same. But yet, I don’t see its significance reaching to all levels.

To elaborate on last question, I feel for a few things:Linkedin

1)      Not all the employees of an organization follow the same format of designation and company name. Why?

2)      If they don’t follow the same format, is/ should the organization be concerned? Because, it’s about the online reputation, if I’m not wrong.

3)      Should there be a protocol as such? In my opinion, yes!

4)      I just read in someone’s profile, it said “India’s largest IT Company”. If I am viewing you on LinkedIn, my dear, I would certainly know what your company name mean.

Further elaborating my point, below provided is an example and you are to tell me, why this and what should the company do about this:

LinkedIn Profile 1

LinkedIn Profile 2

LinkedIn Profile 3

Above mentioned are some real time experiences, I’ve gone through and felt that it is important to follow a format and companies, majorly the people involved in PR and HR departments should get this amended for their organizations. After all, its all about the brand identity, whether online or offline.

Let me know your thoughts.

Disclaimer: The above piece is my perception. LinkedIn Or Intel Corporation has nothing to do with it.