Facebook is Ageless

October 28, 2010

by Roger Pynn

We hear a lot of feedback from clients who wonder whether Facebook and other viral media are appropriate tools for their brands.  A hospital in a community with a large senior population, for instance, grappled with that question, questioning whether their constituents are “on” Facebook.

When I first read this post by Lauren Pelkey on Eric Qualman’s Socialnomics blog, I thought perhaps I’d been wrong.  Writing about the top brands on Facebook, Pelkey didn’t ring a senior citizen bell with me when I saw Starbucks, YouTube, Victoria’s Secret and Red Bull,  nor was I reinforced by seeing Disney and iTunes in her illustration.

But seeing Oreos among those brands did tell me there’s reason for putting a mature market brand on Facebook and using other viral tools to reinforce brand loyalty.

Why?  Because my 95-year-old mother-in-law munches on Oreos like popcorn at a movie.

By the way, she’s also a pretty Web-savvy gal and I regularly find her interacting with Wheel of Fortune online. Maybe I ought to set her up with a Facebook account so she can become a fan of Wheel’s Facebook page.

Brave New World

February 8, 2010

by Roger Pynn

As we work to help a large, sophisticated client develop a comprehensive strategy to deploy social media tools, I’m doing a lot more reading … and, of course, turning to people I trust and have learned from, like Chris Brogan, Lee Odden and Eric Qualman who write artfully on social media evolution.

Our client lives and dies on the habits of a 50+ audience, they’re in a small, wealthy market where they are going to have to be a leader in social media. They’ve accepted that PEOPLE are using these tools, but are understandably wary of how and whether ORGANIZATIONS can use them.

In my search for evidence, I’ve learned a lot … which is at the heart of this brave new world. It changes by the second and every time I log on the wealth of data, reporting and opinion has grown exponentially.

One of the things I’m going to have to share with this client is what Brogan wrote about listening tools.

And Odden alerted his readers that the annual Marketing Sherpa’s 2010 Social Media Benchmarking Report is out and in his review reinforced exactly what we say to clients … that using social media without a strategy is like wandering in the woods:

“What MarketingSherpa introduces in this report is “ROAD” Map, which stands for Research, Objectives, Actions and Devices. The ROAD Map guide along with determining what phase a company is in with it’s social media maturity, helps determine next steps, planning and execution.”

By the way, if Sherpa’s $400+ tab is more than your budget allows, they’ve provided this complimentary executive summary you can download.

Socialnomics author Qualman says the endorsement power of our online connections could rival Google itself:

“You will see search and social media begin to merge with the end result being we will no longer search for products and services via a search engine, rather they will find us via social media. This is one of the true powers of social media! I care more what my friends and peers link than about what an algorithm or opaque rating system spits out.”

I actually find that scary, but I don’t disagree. My partner Dan Ward has written about the intriguing power of anonymity before, but Qualman’s point has to figure into your strategy.

Is an organization’s real goal in the use of social media to overpower fact and drive its audience instead to rely instead on the emotional connections the company has been able to establish?

Can we rely on institutions to build those relationships solely through data and fact? Or do we become much more susceptible to manipulation when we think they are our friend?

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