It hadn’t occurred to me that most brands and companies large to small are embracing social media or at least thinking about it. It hadn’t occurred to me until I spoke with Rob Merritt, Senior VP and Director of CKPR, one of the largest independent public relations firms in the U.S.
He said during an interview for a Fame article:
“From a PR standpoint I don’t think we execute a PR program right now that doesn’t have an online component and some kind of social media aspect to it.”
I know it’s only anecdotal evidence that social media is taking a strong hold. But I can say that based on several interviews I’ve conducted with PR staff at companies and agencies social media is almost always part of the marketing or PR strategies.
And if you want to reach younger generations with your company’s message, it’s almost imperative.
Monitoring Web chatter about your brand can be a challenge. We’ve written at least one article on monitoring social media to protect your reputation. The task can be expensive or time consuming–but it doesn’t have to be.
You can take a quick, free look at what the Web thinks about your brand with HowSociable?. The site is incredibly useful and easy to use. It doesn’t require any registration, usernames or passwords. You can even look at what people are saying about your competition.
Simply type in a phrase and see the number of times it’s mentioned on 22 social media portals. All the biggest players are there–Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Technorati, YouTube.
Not only do you get the number of times your brand is mentioned, you also get the links to where your brand is mentioned. That’s so cool! Find out what people across the Web are saying about your company from one spot.
I am a huge fan of the AMC television series Mad Men — a drama about the ad men and women on Madison Avenue in the 1960s. That’s why a blog post about the shutdown of Mad Men Twitter feeds caught my eye.
Apparently, fans were posing as Mad Men characters, creating Twitter profiles for them, and posting regular Twitter posts. (Check out Don Draper’s, Betty Draper’s, Peggy Olsen’s, and Pete Campbell’s Twitter feeds.) AMC asked Twitter to shut down the feeds, which angered fans.
Here’s an excerpt from the Reuters’ article:
“Although anybody can legally pretend to be any made-up character, Twitter could be in violation of AMC’s trademark if its presentation successfully confuses readers as to whether the feeds are endorsed by the network. Still, sources said that AMC still is looking into the matter and noted that some executives at the network recognize the value of the feeds.”
Later, AMC revoked the request, allowing the feeds to continue. I think this leads to some fundamental conclusions about the ways brands should view social media avenues like Twitter.
1. As long as consumers aren’t being profane and inappropriate or otherwise offensive to others and the brand, what can it hurt?
2. Social media avenues work best when minimally policed.
3. It’s free, no effort viral marketing for the brand.
Thanks to David Lidsky, Senior Editor of Fast Company, for blogging about this. I wouldn’t have seen it otherwise.
I’ve run across a quick tactic for those of you battling to get users to engage with your Web 2.0 marketing strategies.
I just finished helping to select the winners of the 2008 MarketingShera Viral Marketing Hall of Fame, and I learned viral campaigns are strange beasts.
They’re not as straight-forward as AdWords accounts or press releases. It doesn’t seem to matter how much time and money you invest–you must appeal to the fickle whims of the Internet.