As a marketing person, and teaching marketing all the time, you know what I’m supposed to tell you. Your marketing materials have got to look perfect. You have to have them spell check. You only have one chance at a first impression.
Well, let’s now switch over now to social media. With social media marketing, your marketing materials have got to suck. I’m sorry, but they need to suck. The worse they are, actually the better, (I am exaggerating a little here). That doesn’t mean that you go and you mess up your home page with spelling error or and damage your brochures. They have got to be perfect. There is a time and a place for both. When we’re speaking about social media, the worse the better. The reason is that if you’re going to produce, let’s say, a television commercial. It’s going to cost you anywhere from $50,000 to $250,000 to create that studio commercial. Trust me, if you’re spending $250,000, or even $50,000 to create a commercial, don’t you have a hidden agenda? Aren’t you trying to sell your message?
Of course you are. That’s the purpose of the commercial, Web site, direct mail piece, brochure. Don’t you think that you audience is wise to this, that there’s an agenda attached with the production of a video; or anything that you’re going to spend money on? Don’t you have to get an ROI out of all of your marketing and advertising?. But when your ROI costs are zero with social media, you can be real, sincere, and authentic. You’re transparent. Plus, this video that you’re about to see actually was transmitted via cell phone and received by followers on SeeMic. Click here to watch the video This video is an example of an application called SeesMic, which is kind of like Twitter for text messaging, except this allows you to do the same thing with videos.
Robert Scoble is one of the most prolific bloggers in the world. Robert, reads twenty-three thousand blogs every thirty days according to Google. Twenty-three thousand blogs! Robert went to this Fast Company party and he stuck his video camera cell phone in this guys face. He was the Vice President of a company and Robert asked, “Tell me what you do?” To hear other Robert Scoble insights he shared during our conversation go to: http://www.thesocialmediabible.com/2009/02/27/robert-scoble
This Vice President, was surprised, but started talking. When you see the video you’ll see how awful it is. It’s very dark, out of focus, the audio really is bad, but what it is, is real, now, sincere, transparent, and believable.
What it also was, was transmitted around the world within seconds; and over 50,000 people viewed it in the first three minutes.
Go view the movie now if you haven’t already. Honestly, could that video be any worse? You cannot see it, you cannot understand it. But, It’s effective because I got to see it within three seconds of when it actually took place. There was no editing, there was no hidden agenda. I got to see it … instantly! I’ll watch this because this is real, not staged, not funded, with no hidden agenda. This is transparent. That’s the difference between conventional marketing and social media marketing. Real. Transparent. Authentic. Sincere.
The second video was created by Kevin Denollan, the then vice president of Cold Stone Creamery. I was having coffee with Kevin one morning and I asked, “So what did you do when you went to Cold Stone?” Kevin told me the first thing he had done was he looked at what we did the previous year for marketing. Cold Stone took a satellite truck around the country and we interviewed people outside the Cold Stone Creameries, asking them what they thought about Cold Stone Creamery. They all told them what they wanted to hear and that was, “Oh, it’s really good. It’s sweet, it makes me fat, and I love it.”
Those campaigns were not very effective and they ran at a cost of $35,000 to do them each year. What Kevin decided to do was to use social media and get people involved, engaged in their brand and he created a contest. The contest was that each customer got to vote for the two Cold Stone flavors that best go together. They called it “The Marriage Of Two Flavors.” If the customer who pick the two flavors that were most voted on first, they would win a free Sundae, one a week, for a year. This is customer collaboration and engaging your customers in your brand. Here’s what happened?
As a result of this campaign they created this little animated cartoon to announce the two winning, married flavors. The new married couple turned out to be Strawberry & Cheesecake. The cartoon even has a Barry White sound alike singer with a sound as smooth as the ice cream. How cool is that?
This video (commercial), had more than 125,000 views in the first 30 days. Cold Stone had nearly 50,000 votes. Generated more than 300 print, TV, and Internet stories, and most importantly, product and franchise sale went up!
They were actually on The Today Show and they got 50,000 of their customers to engage in their product. And best of all, the entire campaign, including the animation, voice-over and everything cost only $8,500, over the $35,000 they spent the year before.
Incredibly, people are still watching this video and I’m telling you about it in this blog.
Read more of Lon Safko’s Social Media Bible blog
Lon Safko is the co-author of The Social Media Bible: Tactics, Tools, and Strategies For Business Success. He is also an innovator and professional speaker with over 20 years of experience in entrepreneurship, marketing, sales, strategic partnering, speaking, training, writing, and e-commerce. He is the founder of eight successful companies, including Paper Models, Inc.
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