Archive for September, 2010

How to Really Get “Liked” on Facebook

September 22nd, 2010

By Dr. Angela Hausman, Associate Professor at Howard University

“Likes” have replaced “fans” on business Facebook pages. Having more likes is a good thing, and Starbucks is the leading company, with more than 16 million likes. Starbucks is followed closely by Coca Cola, with more than 15 million likes. You can see the rest of the top 25 companies on the TNW Web site. As the average Facebook user has 80 friends, Starbucks’ message reaches more than 1.26 billion people!

How to Avoid the Top Three Facebook Faux Pas

Getting likes involves more than building a Facebook business page and waiting for people to find it. And if you use your business page as just another outlet for your press releases, as many businesses on Facebook do, you’re not likely to generate much interest or get many likes. Similarly, using your Facebook fan page to echo your tweets is a bad idea. Certainly, putting some good tweets on Facebook is fine, but don’t link them so all your tweets are automatically sent to your Facebook page. Buying Facebook fans or engaging in Facebook exchanges (where businesses agree to like each other) are similarly bad ideas, as they deliver fans who are not truly engaged with the brand.

Getting Likes

The key to getting Facebook likes is to give people a reason for liking your brand. Here are some great examples of ways to drive Facebook likes:

  • Support a cause. Pedigree recently launched a campaign to encourage dog owners to like its brand. For every Facebook user who did so, Pedigree donated a bowl of dog food to an adoption center. To date, more than a million bowls of food have been donated—which means Pedigree has added a million new likes. As part of the strategy, Pedigree also encourages sharing the program across about a dozen other social media platforms.
  • Give exclusive content. People want to feel special and love having access to information and products before anyone else. Having this access encourages them to like your brand and increases the likelihood they’ll pass along your information to their friends. Movie producers, book authors, and musical performers use this extensively. For instance, Taylor Swift often gives fans advance access to her music tracks or music videos before they reach the public. And companies are starting to use this tool. For example, Procter & Gamble offered advance access to Pantene for its fans before the product was sold in stores.
  • Host a contest. The Albuquerque Convention & Visitors Bureau hosts a contest on its Facebook page. People who like the page are entered into the contest and have a chance to win two tickets for a hot air balloon ride during the famous Balloon Festival. And Dunkin’ Donuts is using its contest not only to build its fan base, but to attract other fans. Contestants upload a video showing how much Dunkin’ Donuts’ coffee means to them. Winners get a trip to Costa Rica or a year’s supply of the coffee delivered to their homes. The contest encourages Facebook users to like Dunkin’ Donuts, and the contestants encourage their friends to like the brand to be able to vote for their videos and win the contest.

Simply said, likes on Facebook encourage meaningful engagement with your brand. Just make sure you understand how to generate them appropriately.

Do CMOs Really Understand the Value of Twitter?

September 8th, 2010

By Kent Huffman, Chief Marketing Officer at BearCom Wireless and Co-Publisher of Social Media Marketing Magazine

In a recent blog post on Forbes.com, CMO Club CEO Pete Krainik noted, “Most Chief Marketing Officers see the value of engaging with customers—and the value of engaging them where they hang out, talk, and spend their time.” Pete is surely right about that. But then why are only a very small percentage of CMOs active in the social media world themselves, particularly on Twitter?

I attended the CMO Club’s semiannual CMO Summit in San Francisco last week. Again this year, it was an excellent event and was well attended by a nice cross-section of B2C and B2B Chief Marketing Officers from around the country, representing all different types and sizes of companies and organizations. On the last day of the Summit, I was part of a panel who discussed the business impact of social media and community building, including the most effective social media marketing tools. But surprisingly, I discovered that out of the 80-plus heads of marketing in attendance at the Summit, only 16 who carry the official title of CMO for their organizations are currently active on Twitter:

B2C Chief Marketing Officers:

B2B Chief Marketing Officers:

B2C/B2B Chief Marketing Officers:

This is obviously not a scientific study, but two things struck me when reviewing this list: 1) even though there were more B2C CMOs at the Summit than B2B, more B2B CMOs are active on Twitter than their B2C counterparts, and 2) very few “big brands” in either the B2C or B2B world are represented by their CMOs on Twitter. It’s also interesting to note that you can make the same basic observations when reviewing the list of the top CMOs on Twitter that I curate as Co-Publisher for Social Media Marketing Magazine.

So why is that the case? Do most CMOs not understand the value of Twitter and other social media tools? Or do they just not consider them a priority for their careers or their companies?

“Most CMOs barely understand the value of building relationships with customers and giving them a voice, let alone how to navigate and make use of the world of Twitter. Social media marketing to most in the C-suite is still something campaign based, but social media marketing needs to be woven into fabric of all marketing channels, strategically managed from a 360-degree perspective,” said Ted Rubin, Chief Social Marketing Officer at OpenSky and the most-followed CMO on Twitter. “The key here is to convince CMOs to get personally involved in social media by having someone with hands-on knowledge mentor them, so they get first-hand knowledge, build their own personal following, and learn from the ground up. That way, they can properly guide and manage the integration process,” Ted added.

John Dragoon, the Chief Marketing Officer at Novell, noted, “All markets are conversations, and good marketers are embracing new tools to have these conversations. The beauty of social media tools is they allow you to experiment quickly and learn even faster. Active participation is the key to success. And make no mistake—your customers are listening.”