Social Media Marketing Tips and some fun Examples.
By Alicia Whalen
Monday, 29th September 2008
So now I cave, I will write a post about using social media as a marketing channel -

I think that I have now seen enough good examples of well done campaigns that I can write confidently that generating buzz through social media is a good idea!
I would be remiss not to say that these campaigns all worked because they are well established brands in their right.  They have thrown their hat into the social media ring – and it worked! 

We as marketers are always concerned with the measurability and ROI of marketing and communications campaigns – and although the potential to effectively reach your target audience through a social media channel such as Facebook and MySpace is great – you must go into a campaign like this with a clear strategy, and clear goals for expected ROI.

Before you play, develop a strategy by starting with the goals of the campaign:

  • Are you looking for increased website traffic?
  • Are you looking simply to generate buzz for the brand or for a specific campaign? 
  • Are you looking for sign-ups or sales?
  • How will you measure the success?
Be realistic in your expectations as social media channels are primarily user-generated, and therefore marketers cannot expect to have control over the brand message, or control over how messages are consumed.  Obvious brand control over a Facebook group for example, will not work in this space. 

Users will be ok with a brand voice of some kind, but it needs to be legitimate and obvious to the users that there is a marketing purpose.

Let's review a few examples of effective use of social media channels for marketing:

The Cadbury Guerrilla on Youtube: 

Cadbury chocolate launched a video on YouTube.com and Sky.com – both video sharing websites.  The campaign allowed viewers to edit original video to create spoofs of the hilarious spot,  which have since had the original video and spoofs viewed over 4 million times on YouTube alone!  The result? 

The company reported a 5% increase in revenues.   Now that is a Guerrilla marketing tactic if I have ever heard of one!  Check out the Guerrilla – he is hysterical!

The Coors Light Facebook Group:

Molson breweries Coors Light Facebook group is an excellent example of a brand "starting the conversation" within the social media space and then allowing the users to keep it going.

The beer company started a Facebook community which they called "The Coors Light Brewing Company - Proud Sponsor of Things Best Left Unsaid" with the help of their marketing agency Mediaedge:cia.

The Facebook group has over 27,000 to date with 27 different discussion topics and over 900 "Wall posts" (Wall posts are comments that will appear for all group members to see) discussing events that Coors is sponsoring, photos and events. 

The brand message is obvious as the main page of the group introduces the group as a place for exclusive offers, event information, photos, games and of course the ability to add membership to your Facebook profile!

This is a brilliant use of social media to communicate with a target audience.  The brand started the conversation and continuously feeds it with offers and brand messages– but the users create the content, talk about the brand and virally distribute the group to all of their friends.  Over 27,000 group members means over 27,000 people actively engaged with the Coors light brand!

In summary, the tides are turning in consumer marketing and customers want to be engaged in conversation, and trust the opinions of like minded communities of people.  Media has truly become "We" Media in comparison to the Mass Media of the past.

At the very least Monitor the Social Media Environment – make it your best Focus Group!

Alicia Whalen is the co-founder of "Couple of Chicks.Com" an Internet Marketing, Distribution & Revenue Measurement Company.

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