Home Runs & Goals With Sports Campaigns

Football, hockey, basketball, baseball. We watch sports like it is the only thing in the world that matters. From die hard fans, to the occasional channel surfers, sports is at the heart of Americans. Game time brings people together. Marketers are fully immersed in this reality and are finding themselves pushed creatively to present sports fans with new and engaging campaigns constantly, especially at the peak of the sports seasons. With the kick off of baseball season and the Stanley Cup Playoffs, my 2 favorite times of the year, I thought it’d be a good idea to take a closer look at some of the current and most successful marketing and social media tactics being utilized.

MLB-Always Epic

The MLB, in an effort to lure in young fans, under the creative direction of Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos (part of the Interpublic Group) has coined the phrase “Always Epic”, replacing the old theme “Beyond Baseball” for this new round of marketing tactics. The previous campaign was noted for its traditionall use of media and marketing tactics, but this new campaign will tap into social and digital media in the hopes to appeal to the younger crowd.

So why take a sport that prides itself on being an American tradition and change it’s entire image to appeal to younger Americans? Well, this is just my opinion, but when I go to a baseball game (I’m 22 years old) I go with a big group of my friends and we go to kick back a few beers, scarf down some hot dogs, enjoy the sunshine and hang out with our friends. When you look around at a game, a good amount of the fan base is just like me and my friends. Tickets are a decent price for a typical home game and it’s summertime…of course the MLB is going to attract a young crowd looking for something fun to do on a warm summer night. It makes perfect sense for the MLB to change up their target audience for this new campaign.

What does this new campaign have to offer? Well, for starters it is going to take on a whole new look. Where the old spots featured videos of a glimpse into real action games and celebrated the traditions and charm of the long lasting American tradition, the “Always Epic” theme will play off humorous vignettes of today’s most popular players. Fans will also be invited to visit the campaigns microsite ,and tweet your thoughts about the campaign and during the games using with the #MLBAlwaysEpic hashtag.

In an extended attempt to make baseball seem cool and appealing to younger fans, and incorporate social media, the MLB network has created the MLB Fan Cave, which will share the thoughts of fans through twitter @MLBFanCave, an active blog, and through Facebook, video clips, and appearances on the MLB network.

NHL—It’s Stanley Time!

It’s that time of year again where hockey fans alike put on their most intense game face and fully commit to every second of every game. Yes, that’s right. It’s the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The “History Will Be Made” campaign, in collaboration with Young & Rubicam, proved to be highly successful last year, drawing in more than 302 million viewers for the Stanley Cup Playoffs, is back!

The campaign has kicked it up a knotch, as the NHL and NBC Sports Group have joined forces to extend the campaign across tv, print, radio, digital/social media for NBC, NHL and Versus, online, in arena, in store, and mobile platforms. The campaign, back and even better then last year, hopes to drive audience viewership and connect fans with the players on an emotional level. The hope is that this will inspire fans of all ages to post their own versions of the TV generated spots on YouTube and initiate social media conversation.  As an avid hockey fan (GO RED WINGS) I can relate to intense and emotion filled reality of the playoffs.  Like last year, fans will be urged to download the original music composed for the campaign from the NHLs Facebook fan page. Fans can also chose from 63 of the greatest moments in NFL playoff history, matched up head to head in an interactive bracket, and vote for their favorite on the NHLs microsite, History vs. History. ..perhaps first playoff hat trick of Wayne Gretzky’s career?

The first 2 spots, “Mess” and “Wish” already debuted in March and an additional 20 spots launches yesterday with the start of the playoffs.

 

Sports sure know how to create some great ads.

GO TIGERS. GO WINGS  ❤

Tigers LogoWings Logo

Social Media in 10

So you are, let’s say, a small business owner and with all the new social media buzz circling around, you decide it’s about time you implement a social media plan. It can be hard, as a small business without the budget to bring in the social media experts, to figure out the do’s and don’ts of setting a plan in place.  What social networks should you tap into? What tactics should you explore? What should you avoid? All these questions need answers before you can plan and execute a successful social media campaign.  If it were as easy as making a Facebook page and Tweeting, then anyone could do it.

Social Media

I’m going to break it down into 10 tid bits of advice to take into consideration when tackling your first social media plan.

1.     STRATEGY: Define your objectives & establish your goals: Every good plan starts off with a strategy.  Write out a clear purpose for your social media plan and clearly articulate your purpose and vision.

2.     TEAM: Even if you’re a small, local business, you cant possible manage an entire social media plan by yourself. Delegate a few other people to help manage your plan. Identify who does what, clearly, so nothing in the upkeep of your social media presence goes over looked. Social media isn’t something you can learn over night so invest in the proper resources for additional training on the subject. Attend workshops and conferences, listen to podcasts (so helpful) read blogs by the pros.

3.     LISTEN! If you are going to have a social media plan you NEED to know how to listen to your audience. Where are your customers?  How are they engaging with each other and brands online?  How do they want to be involved with brands? Your first instinct may lead you to an answer like “Well, they are obviously all on Facebook.” WRONG. Take the time to do your research.

4.     FOCUS: If your social media plan stretches across 10 different social media platforms, chances are you are going to have a very touch time keeping track of everything. Once you figure out where your audience is, concentrate on creating a strong presence there. Prioritize what areas of social media are most important to your brand and focus on those. A strong social media plan isn’t necessarily one that integrates every single platform from Facebook to Flickr…its one that picks a few platforms and excels at utilizing them.

5.     THEME: If your social media plan is going to tap into, for example, Facebook, Twitter and Youtube, then make sure the 3 relate to each other in some way.  The worst social plans are the ones that are so jumbled and busy that they forget to carry a common theme centered around the brand’s message. WWE did an excellent job of this with their “Stand Up For W” campaign. Everything their audience could, from uploading videos on Youtube voicing your support, to making “I’m Standing Up for WWE” their Facebook status, tied in together in supporting their “Support for WWE” theme.  Create a story and create a voice for your brand.

6.     COMMUNICATION: I’ve talked about this before in a previous post, but communication is key! Once you have your social media plan up and running, you MUST establish a relationship with your followers. This is like the follow up step to Listening. Once you know where your audience is and what they want, start to involve them in your brand. Let them know you are listening to them by tweeting back or following up to their comments or suggestions on facebook.

7.     LINK: Make sure to link everything together. A person browsing your Facebook page should also be able to get to your Twitter, YouTube channel, Linkedln, Website etc…Consider creating a landing page. Here’s a great article on Copyblogger article outlining the basics of a landing page.

8.     SEO OPTIMIZATION: Make sure your website is optimized for online and mobile browsing. Make sure each page has a share button (Facebook Like, Twitter tweet this, Digg etc) and make sure each page is optimized with the right tags and met tags. Optimize your site with keywords (Google Keywords is a great tool to help with this). Make sure the links to your social media profiles are clearly displayed. YOU need to be in control of your own online presence. Get informed! Check out the Google Webmaster Blog for some great SEO tips.

9.     METRICS: Define the metrics you will use to measure your social media success. You need to have a way to measure your plan’s success and failures so you can adjust accordingly.  You can use Google Alerts to monitor search terms. Use site analytics to measure where your traffic is coming from and Klout is great for monitoring your Twitter influence.

10. GO FOR IT!!! Social media takes work, attention, patience, and the willingness to put the time and resources into your plan to achieve success. Once you have your plan defined and your platforms up and running, a social media plan can prove to be extremely beneficial.

 

 

 

Tweeting, Facebooking, Blogging, Networking Your Way to a Job

The other day I was browsing through Twitter when I came across a Tweet (of course now I can’t remember who Tweeted it) asking “Have you gotten a job through social media? If so, share your success story.”  Sounds a little unlikely right? With unemployment still lingering at 9% jobs are either extremely difficult to come across OR you’re competing against 2000 other applicants for the position. Thousands of companies are utilizing social media and tools can be useful in scoping out these job opportunities, connecting to companies/recruiters, and branding yourself.

THE Professional Network: Linkedln

Linkedln is, by far, the best professional social network out there. From it’s easy to navigate interface, to its networking capabilities, Linkedln is a wonderful source for any job seeker to take advantage of. Users are able to create a profile highlighting current and past job experiences, educational background, interests, skills, personal and professional achievements, link to their websites, blogs, or other social media profiles through the home page, and upload a resume. There’s even a place for recommendations from past or current employers and I highly recommend asking for at least one recommendation. Users can also search companies and people to follow. By following a company, you can network with current employees, which can be a great resource for finding, for example, the HR hiring manager, or someone currently holding the position you are interested in. Start a conversation with him/her without initially asking for a job. Do your research and  talk about the company, then after a few back and forth messages you can ask if they know of any opportunities or contacts to direct you to. Company pages often have job postings and useful company news and background info. I also suggest joining groups that you’re interested in. I’m a part of the MSU Alumni Association Linkedln Group where I can partake in discussions between other Alum, reach out for job inquiries, talk about potential opportunities with Alumni in my field, etc. There’s also a box on your profile that says “Jobs you May Be Interested In.” Linkedln is constantly targeting you for jobs based on the info you’ve included in your profile and past searches. Don’t be afraid to reach out and connect with these people. It’s all about networking and putting yourself out there.

*Something Extra: When writing up your profile, make sure to optimize it with key words related to your job experience, for example “Media Buyer/Planner.” It might even be a good idea to add your location as well: “Detroit Area Media Buyer/Planner.”

Linkedln also has a service specifically for the hardcore job seekers. Now, of course you have to pay a price to utilize it, but you’ll benefit by being able to directly connect and interact with recruiters.

Tweet, Tweet, Tweet, TWITTER

Twitter, with its enormous, worldwide network of users is a very simple way to network and stumble across job postings and opportunities. Establishing a professional network and finding job leads is easy on Twitter, not only because of its keyword search tool (try typing in a job title and see what pops up!), but also because of your ability to make connections with professionals. First things first! Create a profile by including a picture, short bio and a link to your Linkedln, personal website or blog. Now it’s time to start connecting with all the other Tweeters out there! Follow companies you are interested in, Tweet about relevant topics pertaining to the industry you want to pursue. Run keyword searches that pertain to a job position you might be interested in…this is a great way to find job postings for a specific job title or company and connect with recruiters. Also, if you create #hashtags about your job hunt, you will begin to pop up in other people’s keyword searches and they may be able to offer a hand in your hunt. It’s all about making connections, starting a conversation, and building relationships. I’ve heard about people who had hundreds of connections, Tweeted “Laid off today” and within hours received direct messages from offering new opportunities, all because they took the time to utilize Twitter to it’s fullest potential and establish relationships. Taking the initiative can open doors for you!

* Something Extra: If you’re going to follow all of these companies and industry professionals then keep it clean. Using Twitter to aid in your job search doesn’t mean you can only tweet job-related content all day, but if you are going to occasionally Tweet something personal, keep it clean. Anyone can see your tweets at any time…even a recruiter, and trust me, a recruiter will take the time to read a day’s worth of tweets if he/she is really interested in you.

THE Social Network: Facebook

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Facebook is the largest social networking site in the world, and with that user base comes many opportunities you can take advantage of.  Many major companies have a Facebook presence now and even small and local business’s are beginning to tap into this social networking giant. With that said, it’s easy to simply search for your dream company and “like” or “become a fan” of their company page. From there you can find company info, job postings, and even start a conversation by posting or commenting.

Another useful job search feature is the ability to search for keywords. For example, say you are a graphic designer, try typing “graphic design” into the search box. Groups you can join and network in will pop up. I suggest joining these groups or at least poking around their pages because there could be some good networking opportunities or additional job opportunities there you may not have come across otherwise.

*Something Extra: I wouldn’t suggest friend requesting current employees or hiring manager of a company you’ve “liked” or “become a fan of” directly because they receive enough emails and applications at work that they don’t want to be bothered by random job seekers on Facebook.

*Something Extra: If you are going to follow a company’s Facebook page make sure your Facebook is clean and professional. If you have pictures you don’t want a recruiter to stumble across take them down, or make them private. Also clean up your wall and info, free from anything inappropriate. Remember, anything and everything on the internet is accessible so be careful of what you post.

The Blog World

Whether you have a personal blog, or just enjoy reading other people’s blogs, they are a wonderful resource for company news and networking opportunities. If you have your own blog, I suggest following company blogs of the companies you’re interested in. Most company blogs have job banks built right in. Subscribe to their blog, then read it and comment. Comment on company blog posts with relevant, thought provoking content. This will show them you are interested in their company and that you are knowledgeable about the work they do and the industry. Make sure your username on your comments links back to your own blog. Someone at the company may just happen to link your comments together with the resume you sent the week before and there you go…a foot in the door!

*Something Extra: I suggest putting links on your personal blog back to your Twitter, Linkedln, personal website, and resume. That way if your blog sparks interest in a company blogger all your info is right there. Also, put the URL of your blog along the top or bottom of your resume.

Technorati has over 130 million blogs. Use that as a resource to search for blogs relevant to your personal and job-related interests and start following those as well…the blogger could be someone at one of the companies you are pursuing.

A blog is a great way to brand yourself and show recruiters what you are interested and knowledgeable in. If you want to use a blog as a job search tool then blog about what you know and what you love! Start your own today through WordPress!

 

Successful job searches come from people who are consistant with their social media use and those who take the time to build strong networks. Social media is a great way to make connections, start conversations, and show recruiters you are knowledgeable about the industry.

*1 More Thing: I highly suggest linking all of your social media profiles together. If a recruiter only happens to come across one of your profiles you won’t be selling yourself short because links to all the others will be there right in front of them.

 

 

 

 

Talk, Chat, Communicate, Converse…However you say it, IT’S KEY!

With more and more companies investing time and resources into learning how to successfully utilize tools such as facebook and twitter, it’s no doubt that people are really starting to get a hang of the whole social media craze.  Now that companies are tapping into social media to reach consumers these social platforms are becoming a key component in the identify the consumer’s perception of a brand. Gathering consumer insights and behaviors from social media communities is quickly becoming a viable alternative to focus groups. As social media analytics evolve, brands are able to tap directly into consumers behaviors, thoughts, likes and dislikes.  Knowing how to speak the consumer language is more important then ever! Brands who have a social media presence need to actively build a rapport with their consumers in a way that gives consumers the feeling they are being valued and listened to.

Having an active social media presence goes beyond just using social media to promote your brand. From my own observation it seems like a lot of companies are using social media as an ego boost…like a popularity contest. In some cases, it seems to be about who has the most Twitter followers or who has the coolest interactive landing pages, but it goes way beyond that.  A brand’s Twitter or Facebook page is just the first step to achieving social media success. What’s the next step? Communication and building a relationship with your consumers.

communication

WHY?

You know that old saying, “Communication is key”…well whoever said that was absolutely right! The continuous emergence of various social media channels, from Facebook to Twitter to even Youtube, serves as an outlet for consumers to express their opinions, concerns, and feedback about a brand or product. This serves as an opportunity for the brand to then continue the dialogue with their consumers and create a period of interaction…COMMUNICATION. When a brand takes the time to interact directly with consumers and addressing their comments, it not only creates a personal level on communication (as the brand is addressing each specific consumer individually), but it shows the consumer that the company is actually dedicated to their consumers and isn’t just about the popularity contest I brought up earlier in the post.

HOW?

Now the question of how to address consumers might arise. How a brand can make their consumers feel valued can manifest itself in several strategic ways…digital, branding, and conversation engagement.  The brand could respond to a consumer comment as simply and quickly as a Twitter or Facebook reply, or get as fancy as a as digital video response, direct emails, or targeted mobile ads.  A study by 360i found that 43% of tweets are conversational “@ replies” and 24% are conversational status updates and comments on Facebook.

COMPANIES THAT DO IT RIGHT

Let’s take a look at some companies and brands who know how to converse with their consumer. Companies, such as Meijer, Kodak, and Best Buy, utilize direct communication to address consumer concerns and comments via Twitter or Faceook. These 3 brands are wonderful at communicating with as many consumers as they can. If you look on their pages you can see that if a consumer asks a question or addresses a concern, there is a response from the company.  Some responses offer advice, other product info or coupons.

Sometimes brands are caught in a sticky situation and have to find a way to address negative consumer comments. That’s where good PR and analyzing the situation and the best way to handle it come into play. A good example of this is how Groupon will address all the negative feedback from their Super Bowl commercial. This PR pro has some insight on that. This is the simplest way to communicate with consumers and let them know you really care.

WRAPPING IT UP

It’s a simple fact that when brands and companies communicate it’s a win-win for everyone.

  • Consumers feel valued and are more likely to establish a brand loyalty
  • Brands, products or services have a change to engage in conversation to promote  and brand themselves, get a message across, address consumers concerns/opinions/satisfactions, and learn from their consumers.

Social media conversation is a way for brands avoid bombarding consumers with irrelevant messages because they are starting a discussion about specific things at a specific time. KEEP IT RELEVANT! The ability to sustain a meaningful dialogue with a consumer is a way to study consumer behavior and a significant way for marketers to capitalize and learn from the 2 way conversation!

Brands Go Social for the Super Bowl

As the mother of all TV programming approaches, yep that’s right the 2011 Super Bowl, marketers are utilizing more than the $3 million 30 second TV spot. With social media campaigns backing most major brands, this year social and digital media will be a game changer for Super Bowl ad campaigns. The brands that think they can only rely on “let’s do a Facebook contest” won’t stand a chance against the innovative social media approaches some brands are carrying out.

Two of the leading brands in this Super Bowl social media craze are Mercedes and Audi. Both have unveiled high-profile social media contests with prizes to die for. So what do you have to do to win an exhilarating R8 drive at the Audi sports car experience in Sonoma, California or a brand new Mercedes-Benz ? You have to be the best at using social media to socially and digitally tout the foreign brands before and during the big game.

Let’s take a closer look at these’s brand’s tactics:

Mercedes-Benz: They launched “The World’s First Twitter-Fueled Race” (catchy copy). The contest will award 2 new cars to a pair of social media geniuses. The team that garners the most Mercedes tweets, Facebook “likes” and other social media and digitally related instances by game day WINS! Sounds like a pretty good deal to me…tweet away people!

Audi: Audi’s approach is aimed at saying goodbye to old luxury and hello to Progressive luxury. Their contest, “The Audi Prgressive Luxury Trade Up” Twitter contest invites people to compete for the most creative definition of Progressive Luxury by including the hashtag #Progressls and the http://audi.us/ProgressIs URL in their tweets. The top 10 tweets are awarded old luxury prizes with a chance to trade up to new luxury prizes. The grand prize is R8 drive at the Audi sportscar experience in Sonoma, California where winners will enjoy the ultimate in progressive luxury and a $25,000 donation by Audi in their name. The hashtag will also make an appearance in Audi’s 60 second game day commercial, making social media history.

Both these social media campaigns are innovative, exciting and successful at getting consumers involved in the action. I’m excited to see the winning results.

Facebook Finding Missing Children

Facebook is now exploring ways to be a part of the emergency broadcast system. The social networking giant recently teamed up with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Users can now sign up for AMBER alert, allowing them to be informed when a child goes missing in the state he or she resides in. So far 53 AMBER pages have been set, one for each of the 50 state in addition to the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands

Here’s how it works: Each state has its own Facebook AMBER alert page which will alert page fans about the missing child once the police department receives and enters the information and posts it to the page. The fan pages will contain the missing child’s picture, name, age, a description and any other information that may be useful to the case. The company has actively been working with state and local agencies to help create the pages and insure their upkeep and accuracy and to maximize their full potential.

Although the idea of linking missing person reports to social networking sites isn’t a new one, Facebook has taken it to a new level. Myspace had an AMBER alert app years ago and Twitter accounts related to missing persons bulletins have been credited with locating missing children, but with Facebook’s 500 million users the alert potential is much greater and Facebook’s user base is now much more diverse.

The Facebook alert system has made sure not to alert just any random user, much like how the radio and TV broadcast systems operate, but rather only those who have opted in to the alerts by “liking” an AMBER alert page. Facebook wants to make sure that the people using the alert system are those that believe in it’s purpose and will actively help spread the alerts virally by posting in on their walls, status, or to other social networking sites like Twitter.

The AMBER alert website claims that so far, 525 children have been recovered as a result of the Facebook pages. The site also states that the first 3 hours a child goes missing in the most critical and using social media is proving to be an effective tool in spreading the alert at a rapid rate.

Facebook said they will be donating 50 million advertising impressions to help publicize this new system and its important cause. If the system’s success continues, the Facebook – AMBER alert partnership could serve as a model for state’s and the government in alerting people of other emergencies in the future.

I think this partnership is a wonderful step in using social media for a greater good. It creates awareness of the emergency quickly and gives hope for finding more missing children quicker.

A New Place For Q & A…Exploring Quora

I’m sure you’ve heard about the website, Quora, which has recently made it’s way into the news and online media. Being THE hot, new buzzed about online tool, I’ve decided to check it out! It’s recently exploded among the social media junkies, reporters, industry pros and the tech savy crowd  as, according to their website, a “continually improving collection of questions and answers.” It was founded in April 2009 by Adam D’Angelo, who was previously CTO and VP of engineering at Facebook, and Charlie Cheever, who led Facebook Connect and Facebook Platform.

blog picture for quora

  • Quora is a website where you can ask questions and receive an answer back from community members, kind of like Yahoo Answers. But, here’s what makes it better. Quora is much more than someone asking “Q) I have ate two whole tangerines in about two hours what will happen to me?” and some one coming back with a sarcastic response like A) “That all depends on whether you swallowed any seeds. If you did, be very careful not to eat any dirt or drink any water for the next two weeks.” And yes that was a real question and answer…don’t ask how I came across that one.  Anyways, like I was saying, Quora does more then just asking a question and getting a slew of ridiculous responses back. It’s a database of knowledge created by people, for people with an additional opportunity for anyone to collaborate and start a discussion and gives users a chance to offer their expertise and opinion while striving for consensus.
  • It provides a platform for social and interest-driven real time content: Quora allows you to follow other community members with similar interests as you and ask them questions directly. Also, your homepage provides a feed that shows you new topics you or those you are following may be interested in.  As soon as I created my account it gave me the option to connect through Facebook and Twitter so I instantly had several people, and topics to follow right away, making it’s interface more like that of a social network.
  • Quora posts your name to your answer: This is another reason why there is so much press around the site right now. High profile people who have extensive knowledge about a topic are contributing their knowledge and opinions to questions. It makes the content more trustworthy then Yahoo Answers or Wikipedia for example.

I’m still in the test run phase of Quora, but I’ve managed to set up an account, follow a few interesting people ad topics and even voted on some good answers. I have yet to ask a question, but when I do, I’m anxious to see the responses I get. It’s definitely a website worth checking out. I think you’ll be surprised at what you can find on there. For now you can follow me here on Quora.

Above & Beyond with Guerrilla Marketing

Today I came across an article highlighting Microsoft’s recent guerrilla marketing campaigns, which got me thinking. Besides a short guerrilla marketing campaign I wrote in a Michigan State Junior year copy writing class, I really don’t know much about guerrilla marketing. What makes it good? What makes it bad? Is it really effective? How are advertisers using this technique to promote their brand? And a few more questions came to mind. So of course I pulled up the ever so trusty Google and got to work looking into this off the wall, creative form of advertising.

So what is guerrilla marketing? And no, it doesn’t have anything to do with the furry jungle giant here…

gurilla face

In a nut shell, guerrilla marketing is using unconventional and aggressive tactics to yield maximum results from minimal resources. With today’s strong social media presence as a powerful measuring tool and the decline of traditional forms of advertising, huge opportunities have opened up for guerrilla marketing as it is starting to pop up in the advertising mainstream. Today’s most successful guerrilla campaigns come in the form of viral, out of the ordinary billboards, over the top product promotions, marketers are even taking guerrilla tactics to bus stops. The possibilities are endless…it just depends on how far the advertiser is willing to push the limits for maximal creativity.

Mini Cooper Guerilla Airport Campaign coopswallsmall

But like every advertising effort, there’s the good and the bad

The Good: Guerrilla marketing is authentic, relevant, creative, attention grabbing, and strategic. Guerrilla marketing creates instant buzz, and whether it be good or bad, it still gets people talking about the brand and with today’s strong social media presence people will be doing more than just talking.  People will be tweeting, facebooking, snapping photos, telling their friends about the awesome ad they saw while running errands. Although guerrilla marketing can’t be measured like traditional marketing, it can be measured through social media. All social media conversation about the brand can be easily tracked in real time, making ROI easily measurable, and networking for the brand highly successful.

Guerrilla marketing can also be cheap. A good campaign can strategically, and successfully be carried out with a budget of even a few hundred dollars, and on the viral end it’s free! Doesn’t get much better then free advertising! Guerrilla advertising is also great for small businesses, in fact in was initially developed for just that. It can be tailored to meet specific needs, whereas traditional advertising can get complicated and expensive to achieve exactly what the brand wants. Finally, guerrilla marketing is, in my opinion, the most creative form of advertising. Like I said earlier, the possibilities are endless.

The Bad (dun dun dunnnn…) Guerrilla techniques, like any form of advertising, can be perceived negatively. Something over the top may not be easily accepted by consumers, or worse case scenario legal action could be taken against the campaign. Keeping that in mind, its important to check city laws before carrying out the campaign. Yes, guerrilla marketing can be inexpensive for small businesses, but if you really want to out-do your competition it could require a pretty big budget and the willingness to dedicate time and energy. Another disadvantage to this technique is that unlike online advertising, for example, where you can measure the effectiveness of the ad based of CPP and other measurements, you won’t see the success or failure of your guerrilla campaign overnight…it requires time, and lots of it!

If you want an ad that takes creativity to the extreme and aren’t afraid of pushing your brand’s limits then guerrilla marketing is a technique to consider squeezing into your advertising budget…like i said above, you can spend as little or as much as you want it just depends on how far you’re willing to push the ad.  You’ll receive maximum exposure for your brand, create instant buzz, and get people talking about the awesome ad they just saw. Guerrilla marketing is making its way to the forefront of streamline advertising and for that reason it’s worth tapping into.

Social Media Impacts 2010 Election

It’s that time again as the 2010 Mid-Term Elections took place today. This year has been an especially buzzed about campaign season as more candidates then ever turned to social media to drive their campaigns. As I’ve said before, social media continues on the rise. More and more people have not only realized the power social media has in the digital world, but understand the importance of jumping on board. What better way for candidates to reach out to people for their vote then through social media outlets.

Many people believe that Obama’s social media presence during the 2008 Presidential Election can be credited largely to his win. By election day he had gained more than 2 million followers on Facebook and over 100,000 on Twitter. It has already been suggested that the Republicans may win majority in tomorrows Congressional vote as their social media presence is much stronger. With the explosive growth of social media over the past few years it is no surprise that it would play an important role in politics. Who knows maybe it will even replace telephone polls and surveys some day in the near future.

According to a publication on the Social Media in the 2010 Election 98% of Democrats and 95% of Republican of the House have official Facebook Fan Pages and 95% Republicans to 93% Democrats on the Senate have Fan Pages. Just thing, five years ago I bet a majority of these politicians didn’t even have a clue what Facebook was.

Candidates are utilizing everything from Facebook and Twitter to YouTube Channels to get brand themselves and raise money for their campaigns. As more and more people turn to the web to research candidates the opportunity for the candidates to reach them increases. I’ve stumbled across some candidates who have running Google Adwords campaigns and others with Facebook Ads.  Many of the candidates are also linking all of their social media profiles together. For example on their Facebook page is a link to their Twitter and official website and at the end of a video on their YouTube Channel their may be the URL of a link directing viewers to donate. Facebook and Twitter, where the general public can comment, post, retweet etc. give them a sense of personal connection with the candidate and that’s what voters are looking for when they hit the poles. They want to vote for someone they feel they have a connection with. Keeping that in mind I think it’s crucial for candidates to take the time to respond to comments and tweets.. Justin Amash, who’s running for Michigan’s 3rd Congressional District, uses his Facebook page to post what he’s recently voted on and why he voted that way. He even replies to comments and updates all his posts himself. I think a big part of a candidates job is to directly interact with his/her constituents and Amash does just that.

Even though Facebook Fan Pages, Twitters and YouTube Channels may not be the most precisely targeted campaign tools, they are allowing candidates to reach a huge amount of people, create an ongoing buzz and even promote word of mouth. Engaging with such a vast digital audience will not only attract supporters from the candidate’s area, but also people in surrounding districts that can help pass along the word or even donate if they’d like. The downside to this though is that they can’t vote for that candidate not in their district. This tends to make campaigning a bit difficult as it’s hard to determine if the candidate is spending too much time on people who in the end can’t vote for them. It’s all a toss up.

*A side not for the politicians: Social media is easy, quick, real time, has the ability to reach the masses and allows the public to interact with you. BUT a strong media presence doesn’t always mean digital followers will turn into voters…like I said, the targeting is a toss up.

But for now, any political would be in the stone age if they didn’t utilize social media to some extent.

Google Docs Pairs up with Android and iPad…Making Life on the Go even easier

Not one but TWO Cool new development in ONE week…Way to go Google!!!!

Today, Google announced the launch of Google Docs editing capabilities for Android and iPad (not to be confused with the entire iOS platform, as Google has only announced launching this APP with the iPad).

To break it down quickly, Google Docs is a system that incorporates spreadsheets, word processing and presentation features, that can be shared and edited by multiple users. Now, Google is bringing the editing capabilities to mobile and iPad users.

As an avid Google Docs user, for projects and work, I think this is a great idea especially for those of us who want the ability to do work on the go. I love this recent, growing incorporation of Google with mobile devices and apps. Clearly, Google has realized that mobile is becoming the new go-to source for quick, on the go, spur of the moment business related and social media applications. I wouldn’t expect anything less from them.

The only downside to this is WHY hasn’t Blackberry gotten hold of this new App? There are probably more Blackberry users out there then Android and iPad. I don’t think this will negatively affect Blackberry, but once again it pushes other systems ahead. I heard that the new Google update for Blackberry allows users to search Docs, but not edit them yet. As a Blackberry user I am quite jealous of all you Android owners.

And why is Google pairing Android and iPad together for the launch of this? Seems a bit random. It almost makes Android look like a tablet instead of the mobile OS that it is, but that’s just my opinion. I would have thought they’d either focus solely on mobile or launch it with the entire iOS platform to include iPhone, iTouch, and iPad…it remains a mystery.