Building Brands through Social Networking: Part 2

August 25, 2009

By Kevin Breid, Business Management and Development Intern @NYCA 

A Facebook Fan Page allows a brand to reach out to consumers in a spirit of democracy.  Fan Pages are also created so individuals can utilize brands as brand-marks of their personality, associating themselves with companies that represent who they are. This allows consumers the chance to return the favor by proudly displaying their allegiance to a brand on their personal Facebook profile. 

There seems to be three essential components that are necessary to create a Fan Page that will effectively increase brand awareness and consideration: Networking, Content and Participation.  Here are a few examples of companies that are utilizing these avenues of promotion to their advantage.

Starbucks and iTunes on Networking:

An essential element in building a Facebook fan base is networking between platforms.  This means opening doors between sites that encourage users to explore all that you have to offer.  On Starbucks’ home page you will find links that take you directly to their Facebook page, Twitter account, or Youtube channel.  Creating pathways between sites directs users who otherwise may not have searched out your other pages on their own.

 Starbucks

Conversely, iTunes is allowing Facebook users to search the iTunes database directly from their Facebook Fan Page.  Once you find the music or movie that you are looking for, they give you the option to share it with your Facebook friends.  You can also click “buy” which will direct you straight to the iTunes store to purchase and download.  Essentially,  iTunes has turned Facebook into on online store.

 itunes

 Pringles on Content:

This is a paramount factor if a brand is hoping to keep users checking back to their fan page on a regular basis.  If there is updated, interesting, and even entertaining content, your page is more likely to generate consistent views.  This will also encourage new fans through word-of-mouth.  Pringles is doing an excellent job of exemplifying this concept.  Their page is constantly up to date with new videos.   Following the viral trends of Youtube, Pringles is using comedy to promote their brand over the web.  Check out this recent post:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jYTK7rH9nl4

 

Coca Cola on Participation:

The Coca Cola Fan Page has become somewhat of a legend among Facebook pages.  It was originally created by two genuine Coca Cola fans who were not actually affiliated with the company.  When the page caught on, the company decided to endorse it and make it official.  What’s unique about this page is that, even though it’s mediated by Coca Cola, it’s primarily driven by user generated content.  You can upload your own videos, and share your funny or sentimental moments.   

 cocacola

 

The future of social media networking and advertising is one with a broad and promising horizon.  It’s filled with opportunity and the freedom to be unique and creative according to your brand’s personality and goals.  And if these successful precedents are an accurate forecast of what is to come, you can be certain that Networking, Content, and Participation will be three necessary pillars to build from.


Building Brands through Social Networking:Part 1

August 20, 2009

By Kevin Breid, Business Management and Development Intern @NYCA

By now we have reached a point where the majority of internet users are at least aware of Twitter and Facebook.  Their endorsement and utility are expanding exponentially.  Facebook alone hosts 250 million users.  Nearly half of those users log on to the site at least once every day.  The same goes for Twitter, with estimates stating they have increased by near 20 million users since the beginning of the year.  In the past two months alone, an incredible number of internet users went from having only theoretical knowledge of Twitter to becoming regular tweeters.

social_circles_2Only a couple years ago, these social media sites did not even appear on anyone’s radar.  Now, Facebook, Twitter, and the form of communication they provide are becoming part of everyday life.  Facebooking, tweeting, and texting (which is essentially the basis for Twitter) are quickly approaching a status of necessity and functionality that rivals the cell phone and e-mail.

So how are brands getting into the networking game?  Interaction.  By participating in social media sites and interacting directly with consumers, we can find out what they’re thinking, what they’re feeling, and what their needs are.  Beyond metrics and results, we can begin to engage consumers on an individual basis. In return, they have the opportunity to connect with us, speak their minds, and ultimately feel important and even influential. 

A small business, like a privately owned restaurant, can send a message to their regulars through Twitter if, for example, they have a new entrée on their menu.  A regular can then tweet back after dinner and offer their opinion and feedback.  Likewise, larger corporations can give a face to an otherwise seemingly impersonal monster.  Consistent, personal dialogue of this sort can give life to a brand and permit patrons to feel legitimately that you are investing as much in their interests and concerns as they are investing in your company with their loyalty. 

These methods of networking are still new and constantly progressing, but symbiotic brand-and-consumer relationships of this kind could do great things for companies who are willing to open up to their audience and communicate.


Social Media Revolution

August 17, 2009

By Gene Paek, Director of Interactive @NYCA

Social media is about communication.  Whether peer-to-peer or brand-to-fans.

The future of social media for marketers is being able to segment their fans and communicate to them with relevant topics and extend targeted offers.


‘When I was deep in poverty you taught me how to give.’ -Bob Dylan, The Wedding Song

August 13, 2009

By Michael Mark, creative director/ceo @nyca

 

You may need to reduce staff – the P&L Statement will have its say. You may need to cutbob-dylan services – it goes hand and hand with lost revenue. You may need to cut salaries – that hurts but maybe it’s better than losing a job. But with all the cuttings you cannot lower your standards. In fact, you must raise them. 

With less money and fewer people and less time, you must actually give more.  If you don’t, things will just get worse. You will have fewer clients because you will not be as valuable. More, you will have less self-respect because you haven’t been doing everything you can.  Don’t let the recession take away your self esteem. 

Cut your scope, cut your deliverables but in everything you do deliver, give more. Do it with even greater care than when the budgets were there. Yes, you might need to do less but do it better. You will have lots of excuses not to. The economy will weaken your resolve — that’s where it gets nastiest. But don’t give in, give more. You will keep your clients. When your competition succumbs you will get their business. Offer a fourth idea when you usually share three. Make the extra client call. Look over the work for another time to see how to make it better. Spend more time with your staff, listening more is giving more.  What ever you do quality is non-negotiable.

During cuts you need higher standards to keep your head and company morale raised. How else are you going to get a glimpse of the future?


BRANDS IN THE DIGITAL SPACE: IT’S TIME TO CHANGE

August 4, 2009

By Gene Paek, Director of Interactive, NYCA.  gpaek@nyca.com; http://www.nyca.com

The year was 1999.  My neighbor was selling his home.  No realtor, no MLS listing.  Just a sign that read “For Sale By Owner.”  By the end of the day, he received five offers.  All over asking price.  The winning bid by a jogger that just happened to see the sign passing by.  Back then, home sellers sat back for buyers to find them.  In today’s real estate market, it’s the complete opposite.  Home sellers need to find buyers.

Same thing happening with brands and their websites.  Back in 1999, building a web site was pretty much the bullet point for their “Interactive Strategy” slide.  But in today’s digital space, brands need to understand the digital space means more than just a website and online advertising.  Today’s consumers are finding necessary product information in a variety of ways (search, retailer sites, blogs, apps and rich media formats).  

Don’t get me wrong.  Brand still need a web destination.  A home in the digital space.  However, brands also need to venture out and find consumers where they’re consuming their media.  I call this fish where the fish are fishing.

Social media sites are great fishing spots. I hear many brands talk about social media sites and their fear of “diving in” because they’re not sure if a particular social media site will be popular next year.  I always give the analogy of top network TV shows: who knows what next year will bring, but you will always find success placing media in a current hit TV show.  Seinfeld lasted for 9 seasons while The Brady Bunch only lasted 5 seasons.  However, both are considered iconic.  Note: I was under the impression that The Brady Bunch was still filming episodes.bradybunch
In today’s social space, Facebook and Twitter are iconic social platforms that brands can leverage.  But leveraging these platforms the right way is key. It’s not about a destination for your brand, as these platforms are about communications between your brand and its consumer.  Who knows for how long these sites will be mainstays, but what we know is that both destinations are growing.  And probably growing stronger than a particular brands own website.  

eRetail is another untapped fishing spot.  It’s equally as important to leverage eRetail strategies to educate consumers about your products and influence purchase for your brand.  For example, if a consumer is looking for a new food processor to buy (non-search), do you think they will visit Target.com or Sunbeam.com?  Chances are Target.com. Thus, the opportunity for a brand like Sunbeam to develop content specific for Target.com shoppers and feature that content on Target.com (as opposed to driving users to their site) will provide better results in the end.  Results meaning sales.

Brands simply cannot rely on just driving users to their own brand site to find success in the digital space.  Brands can no longer wait for consumers to visit them, instead, brands need to go out and find their consumers.  Just like the Greg, Peter, Bobby, Marcia, Jan and Cindy once sang, it’s “Time to Change.”  http://bit.ly/GdNQe