Saturday, December 11, 2010

Interesting Social Media Poll Results

There is so much information available on social media - albeit much of it useless.  I get excited whenever I come across actual data that substantiates using social as part of an overall business marketing strategy.  That being said, I am really happy to see that SmartBrief is polling users about their thoughts, feelings and opinions about social - because this is information we marketers can actually use to make decisions!

An interesting poll I saw posted this past week asked readers to select what causes them to unfollow an individual or business on social networks.  While some of the results were predictable others were insightful.

The single most important reason for unfollowing a person or business was that "Their over-communication gets overwhelming" (about 51% had this answer).  Additional answers were as follows:

  • The person or business does not add value to my day with their irrelevant postings (33%)
  • They only talk about themselves or act irresponsibly toward their audience (10%)
  • They rarely communicate or update their networks (3%)
  • They're not open to feedback, dialogue or user-generated content (3%)
What I take from this from a personal and professional level is to communicate daily with a reasonable amount of updates based on the network. Twitter for example is a content sharing network so posting 5, 10 or even 20x a day is acceptable if it is relevant and useful to your followers. On Facebook or LinkedIn, that many updates would annoy people and possibly cause them to unfollow.  

Also, be relevant! It's okay to post updates about what you're eating if you're a person but a business should refrain from such updates...unless your business is related to food. Make sense?

Finally, don't just talk about yourself.  Share and engage in dialogue. That is why people are so enamored with social media afterall. We are social beings. So be social and keep it responsible and you'll be on your way to realizing the value that this media generates.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Online Banner Ad Performance Declines

According to a new report released by MediaMind, average click-through rates on global banner advertising remains flat at 0.09%.  In the report titled "Standard Banners-Non-Standard Results", billions of ad impressions were examined over a two-year period. The report indicated that the use of standard web banners today does not equal the results of previous years, when online advertising was in its infancy. 

Better click-through results can be achieved today through the use of more sophisticated ads including rich media, video and flash.  Once a new media is no longer new we tend to tune it out. When this happens marketers have to look for more innovative ways of cutting through the clutter of the online advertising environment.

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Demise of the Lebron James Brand

Can the brand of a sports superstar be destroyed in one hour? One only has to look at Lebron James to answer that question.  He went from being the golden boy of basketball to being considered by many as a quitter and traitor.  He promised Cleveland a championship and he delivered an empty promise. Fans may have overlooked his decision to leave had it been delivered in a more respectful way.

The new Nike campaign that recaps Lebron's "decision" does nothing to reposition Lebron.  In fact his commercial just makes us Clevelanders relive the disappointment we felt just a few months ago when Lebron stuck it to us. Below you can see Cleveland's response to the new Lebron spot.  Really Lebron? Really Nike? Do you think you can rebuild the Lebron brand to what it was before the "decision". Good luck with that and if I were you I wouldn't count on the support of Northeast Ohio.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Political Advertising aka "Badvertising"

It happens every time an election approaches (especially a key election). Political candidates vie for their positions and the rest of us non-political beings are subjected to some of the worst advertising known to man. Something I like to call "badvertising".  Badvertising is advertising gone wrong. The sad part is that these ridiculous ads are often effective at getting peoples' attention. The fact that they are so bad leads people to remember them and make fun of them and they succeed in getting their message out albeit in a bad way.

This morning I shared a link on Twitter to Adweek's blog called Election 2010: The 10 Freakiest Campaign Ads. You can read their whole article here  It is worth viewing if like me you enjoy making fun of badvertising.

I wanted to share with you one exceptionally bad political ad. Now I am all for hip-hop music. On my running playlist you will find everything from Beastie Boys to Jay-z to Little Wayne. That being said, using a very poorly produced hip-hop video in a political ad campaign is strongly discouraged!

If you're thinking about running for office I applaud you for wanting to get involved! We need good people in office! But I ask you to PLEASE have some dignity and use a professional advertising agency or marketing professional to develop your campaign.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Biggest Brands of Halloween 2010

Yay, it's that time of the year again! You know - late October! Who doesn't love making a complete fool of themselves dressing up for Halloween? It could be the most fun holiday of the least in my opinion.  

It's big business too! According to the National Retail Federation, the average American consumer is estimated to spend $66.28 on their costumes, candy and decorations. This is an 18% increase over 2009. Industry experts feel the increase is likely due to the down economy and consumers wanting to spend a little and have fun this Halloween.

So let's take a look at the biggest brands of Halloween for 2010. Are you ready?

• Lady Gaga - no surprise here as she had a very successful year including a highly-publicized tour.

• Jersey Shore - as if it is not bad enough to just watch the show (which btw is a complete and udder train-wreck albeit one that is hard to not watch), tons of people will be dressing up this year as the crew's Pauly D, Mike the Situation, Snooki, etc.

• Avatar - of course the biggest movie of the year would make the list.

• Other popular movie characters this year include Alice in Wonderland and Toy Story.

• 1980s retro - the 80s are coming back all-around and Halloween is no exception as many people will take this trend over the top with funny hair and clothes.

• The Old Spice Guy - one of the advertising industry's most popular campaigns will come to life with guys dressing up as the guy on the horse.

• Twilight - this one along with vampires in general will be big because lucky us, the whole vamp lit trend continues.

• Horror movie villians - there will be no shortage of Michael Myers, Freddie Krueggers and their other creepy counterparts.

• Funny couple costumes including my new favorite the Plug + Socket.

So there you have it. If you still haven't decided what to be you can opt for one of these popular Halloween Brands. Go ahead, we won't judge you if you dress up as Snooki or Pauly D (snickering). Want to add some good ones to the list? Leave your comments!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Branding Lessons: The Gap Logo

Branding is a complex process for any organization - especially when you're a large, national clothing chain such as The Gap.  Updating a brand requires considerable planning and a strong and strategic implementation. Can some please explain that to The Gap?

Some of you probably saw or heard about the new Gap logo unveiled via social media last week.  At the time I'm sure Gap's marketing execs thought it would be a great idea to use crowd sourcing to have Gap fans come up with a new logo.   As one might expect, the Gap logo redesign "contest" garnered a significant amount of interest from Gap fans, marketing execs, designers, wannabe marketers, wannabe designers, media and social media professionals.

Most people weren't sure why The Gap was changing its logo and why a professional agency wasn't used as opposed to the weak idea of using crowd sourcing for such an important business decision.  A lot of people just made fun of the new logo and the method it was developed.

When a company doesn't approach branding strategically, problems are likely to arise.  Take for example the backlash that The Gap has been enduring since last week.  Already Gap has announced it will stay with its original logo -- proving that the decision to crowd source a new brand identity is not a good one.

I'm curious would you consider crowd sourcing for your company or personal brand? Did you like the newly designed Gap logo or think returning to the classic logo was the right decision?

Friday, September 24, 2010

Sherwin Williams "Bees" Commercial Showcases the Fun of Choosing Paint

I really like the new Sherwin Williams Commercial! The idea of the bees decorating their hive with color is a cute analogy of people redecorating their homes with paint. The use of color is clever and fun. The music is hip and whimsical. Overall I think the commercial has a simple, feel good vibe to it that positions Sherwin in a positive light to consumers.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

High Fructose Corn Syrup Today...Corn Sugar Tomorrow?

The Corn Refiners Association (CRA) has petitioned the Food and Drug Administration to allow manufacturers to use the term "corn sugar" instead of the now mandated "high fructose corn syrup" on ingredient lists, which has received a great deal of negative publicity in recent years.

According to CRA, research indicates that consumers are confused by labeling. Although regular sugar and high fructose corn syrup have the same amount of fructose, nearly 58 percent of consumers believe that high fructose corn syrup has more and is a less healthy ingredient than regular sugar.

From a branding standpoint this is an interesting case of a product (in this case an ingredient) having a negative perception based on consumer perceptions - although it really is not as bad as people perceive. 

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Is Facebook the New Email?

It's interesting how many of us are connected to Facebook for all or most of the day. Of course that does not mean that we're just sitting around Facebooking and nothing else. Most of us are working or doing something else while on Facebook.

In a report by Morpace Omnibus about Multitasking while on Facebook, users indicated they are typically doing other tasks while using Facebook.

The survey used to compile the report asked facebook users to select the other activities they engage in while using Facebook. The results were as follows:

  • 68% check email
  • 55% search the Internet
  • 47% watch TV
  • 35% listen to music
  • 29% talk on the phone
  • 24% shop or do research
This got me thinking. Is Facebook the new email? We're always connected to it online, on our mobile phones, etc just as we are with email. And to take it a step further, in younger generations like my daughter's, they don't even use email anymore. They use Facebook to communicate with their peers. Interesting

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Facebook Ad Sales Growing

According to a new estimate from eMarketer, Facebook ad sales will reach $1.2 billion in global advertising this year. That is nearly double the $665 million in ad sales the social media giant realized last year.

While the growth in ad sales may not surprise marketers, what is surprising is the segment attributing to much of that growth - Facebook's self-serve ad platform, which caters to local advertisers who have gotten away from the old tried and true yellow pages listings. eMarketer estimates that self-serve ads represent around half of Facebook's ad revenues. The other half is from display advertising.

I would expect to see ad spending increase on Facebook for the next couple of years as more companies - especially retail begin to focus more of their media spend on social networks as opposed to television networks and some of the more traditional media. Gap's fall campaign last year is a great example of this shift from traditional channels to social media channels (Facebook and YouTube).

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Brand Loyalty is a lot like Love

Most of us have certain brands that we are loyal to. This got me thinking tonight that being loyal to a brand is a lot like loving someone. You start out slow to see if things are going to work and as things progress and trust is built you become loyal to the one you love. And so it is with brands.

For example if you ask any Apple fan to explain to you their loyalty you will quickly see their loving emotions evoked. Other strong brands that often build loyalty include Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, Nike, Blackberry, Ford, Chevy, VW or just about any car brand, Trek or Specialized or Cannondale road bikes, Garmin, Gatorade, Grey Goose vodka, etc. I could go on and on but you see where I'm going with this.

So the question is do you love the brand you're with or try something new from time to time? The brands hope you remain loyal but just as people sour on relationships so to do brand ambassadors abandon ship sometimes. How do brands ensure their loyal customers stay loyal? As with love the best they can do is treat people well, meet their expectations and continue to provide quality and innovation in product or service.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Online Video Continues to Grow

Want proof that online videos are a good idea for promoting your business, product or service? According to the latest data released from Nielsen concerning June 2010, online video consumption was up 1.3% over June of last year and 4% over last month. That's more than 10 billion videos being streamed within a month!

Additionally average time spent watching video is up 3.1% over June of last year and 2.5% over May - showing that users are watching more intently.

Of course YouTube is the top channel for online video but others following in unique users for June after YouTube were Yahoo, Facebook, Microsoft Sites, Google and Hulu.

It's important to assess where your audience is before selecting specific marketing tactics but if you're audience includes web-savvy teens and adults you will certainly want to consider online video as part of your overall marketing effort.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Imagine Your GPS with the Voice of Yoda! Too Cool!

How cool do you think it would be to drive along and listen to Yoda tell you to hang a left at the next light? Pretty cool, huh? Well TomTom thinks so. I think their new commercial featuring Yoda is fun and will be a good candidate for going viral.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Cleveland, a region built on loyalty and innovation, not a basketball player

So many of us in Northeast Ohio are proud of where we come from. We are passionate about sports, business, the arts, education, food, and other things that make the region so special. Say what you want about the departure of LeBron James...of course it was a big disappointment. It doesn't change the wonderful things about Northeast Ohio. We're not the ones losing here...LeBron lost out.

We have the Cleveland Clinic and a booming healthcare and medical market, are leading the way in advanced energy and advanced manufacturing. We have 29 colleges and universities with more than 200K students in the region. We have a wonderful arts culture across the region. And we still have the Cavaliers team as well as our beloved Browns and Indians. We have a good thing. Let LeBron leave. He will miss the loyalty his hometown fans showed him.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Chipotle's New Ad Campaign: "Food With Integrity"

If you've seen Chipotle ads in recent times it's likely they were witty with bold images of big burritos and funny sayings. The new campaign has a more serious tone and message: focusing more on the core values of the food chain (sustainability, quality ingredients, healthy living).

Chipotle's Chief Marketing Officer believes that it is the right time for the chain to refocus its marketing on its commitment to finding sustainable quality ingredients as more consumers have become interested in knowing where their food is sourced from and/or buying local. Chipotle is known for buying local, farm-raised animals and local produce as much as possible, leading to a high-quality, fresh fast-food experience.

I think this new campaign shows the maturity of the chain's brand. The serious messaging and mimialist graphics really help to position Chipotle as an ideal food choice for health and sustainability-conscious consumers.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Can McDonald's Be Good At Coffee? I think Not!

I was reading an article in AdvertisingAge this morning about McDonald's strides in the beverage market (specifically coffee) and it got me thinking. Can McDonald's, the old tried and true fast food junk giant, be good at coffee too? Then I thought to myself...not likely. Want to know why I think this? Experience!

I actually stopped out of convenience (or stupidity) at McDonald's about two weeks ago and ordered a quick dinner for my daughter and an iced coffee for me. You see I was on my way to a group workout and didn't want to be late and craved the extra energy of an iced coffee on that 90 degree day. Yuck! Just the thought of the coffee makes me regret the decision of not running into Starbucks or hitting a Dunkin on the way. I'm sorry McDonald's but you cannot do coffee like the companies that specialize in coffee. Stick to burgers, chicken nuggets and fries.

Now I realize that some people will like McDonald's coffee and that's okay. I am just not one of them. There is absolutely no way you can be a Starbuck's loyalist and also go to McDonald's for coffee thinking it is just as good. Dunkin, Carobou and any other speciality shop in my opinion is also hands above the wannabe-gourmet coffee they serve at McDonald's.

Now my final point for McDonald's is this: you can't be good at everything. Basic branding principles say you should focus on what you do best. Here's an idea...give up on coffee and become a fast food innovator by adding a decent veggie burger to your menu! It is a product that fits into your overall offering and would help you attract more health-conscious consumers.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Cheers to Trader Joe's for Making Grocery Shopping Healthy & Fun!

I am so enamored with the Trader Joe's brand. What's not to love about affordable organic foods, a great wine selection and the fun, laid-back atmosphere of the store?

I have yet to be disappointed with anything I've purchased there and have never had a bad experience shopping there. The service is always good.

Bravo Trader Joe's for making the grocery shopping experience fun and interesting again. I hope to see more stores and overall success for this gem of a company. And I look forward to the new and interesting products I will find as a result of being a loyal shopper.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Green Companies & Brands Valued in Consumer's Eyes

I was driving around in Virginia Beach yesterday and saw a sticker someone had made on their car that said "Boycott BP". Sure we're all disappointed and frustrated with the oil spill and damage it is causing to our fragile ecosystem, but I think consumer sentiment goes even beyond disappointment. Consumers are taking an active role. Many consumers simply won't in many instances tolerate companies, products - brands that are not green or at least attempting to be more green.

I wouldn't call green a fad. I really think it is a way of living. A consciousness of the consumer that the little everyday decisions they make regarding what products or services to buy can make an impact on the health of our planet. This does not mean we all have to be treehuggers (no offense to those who do hug trees) but rather it suggests that we can do things a better way by becoming more green in our own lives. To companies the significance is that having policies for environmental sustainability and creating products that enhance environmental sustainability may be a large part of their success going forward.

Some examples of green companies, products, trends that are popular with consumers are listed below:

• Eco-friendly cars like the Prius, Insight, Hybrid vehicles

• Eco-friendly soaps & cleaning products like Method

• Organic foods from grocery stores like Whole Foods, Trader Joes and shopping at local markets

• Recycling at home and in the office

• Carrying reusable shopping bags and/or using paper bags since they're more eco-friendly

• Companies that make organic clothing, shoes that use recycled rubber like Teva, etc

Of course not every consumer is interested in the green influence but many are. And as marketers we can't ignore the heavy influence the green movement has on our market and our planet.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The King of Brands in Sports & Cleveland

How popular do you have to be to have your own appreciation day? Where a region (such as Northeast Ohio) cares so much about your contribution that they will go to almost any length to keep you local? Well, if you're Lebron James a.k.a. King James this is your reality.

On June 19th The City of Akron, University of Akron and a number of other sponsors and supporters will gather in Akron at Infocision Stadium to show their appreciation and admiration for the King. Why would a community do such a thing? Because for years, Lebron has been an integral part of our community. An Akron native, he leads our beloved Cavs and continues to support causes throughout the community and bring recognition to the region for sports excellence.

Lebron is a more than a professional basketball player. He is a symbol of hope and a source of energy for our region. He is the King of brands in basketball and the King of brands in our community. Losing him would be an immense loss. For information about Lebron James Appreciation Day, visit and if you're available that day go out and show your support!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Love the Nike+" I Am Not A Runner" Ad

I just saw the Nike+ "I am not a runner" ad and laughed out loud. How funny! This ad made me think of when I first started running again four years ago. I remember thinking how hard it was and asking myself why I was doing it. Then of course I acquired what I believe will be a life-long case of running fever. This commercial captures the love/hate relationship that new runners and even some veterans have with the intensely demanding sport. Well done sure do know running!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Rise of Foursquare

How do we know that Foursquare has gained momentum and credibility as the next big social network?

First of all, big consumer brands are getting on board with the technology. Just this week Starbucks announced that it is integrating Foursquare into its Frappacino "Have it Your Way" promotion. Foursquare mayors at Starbucks nationwide are receiving a substantial discount on the beverage through the end of the promotion.

Second, Facebook is looking at geo-location as the next phase of its mega platform. If Facebook is on board with the technology that speaks volumes. There are even rumors of Facebook buying Foursquare though I haven't heard anything to substantiate those rumors yet.

Also, the movers and shakers of business and marketing have adopted the technology. When the influencers are on board the masses usually follow as we saw with the explosive growth of Twitter last year and Facebook's non-stop growth.

Finally, if you do happen to get on Foursquare you may just get sucked in from the sheer fun and competitiveness of the game-like app. Just today I became mayor of a couple of venues and unlocked some new badges and I find myself liking it more and more.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Twitter Tops Social Tools for Social Media Marketers

According to research conducted by Social Media Examiner and reported by eMarketer, Twitter tops the list of most used social media tools by marketers.

The survey, which was administered in January of 2010 asked marketers to identify which tools they use most. The results were as follows:

• Twitter - 88%

• Facebook - 87%

• LinkedIn - 78%

• Blogs - 70%

• YouTube or other video site - 46%

• Social bookmarking sites (i.e. Delicious) - 27%

• Forums - 26%

• Digg, reddit, Mixx, etc - 22%

• Ning sites - 17%

• MySpace - 11%

If you're in marketing and not sure what to think of Twitter or how to effectively use Twitter, my advice is talk with Twitter users and solicit their feedback. I'd be happy to talk with anyone about my thoughts on why Twitter is the preferred network for marketers, including myself.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Dairy Queen Uses Integrated Promotion for Blizzard's 25th Anniversary

I don't always think of Dairy Queen (DQ) as a savvy marketer but I really like their current campaign strategy for the 25th anniversary blizzard promotion.

First of all, the DQ blizzard is a favorite of mine and probably a million others. It is most definitely a DQ cash cow. I am confident that I have been loving the DQ blizzards for the 25 years they've been around!

Now onto the marketing strategy, which integrates old and new media channels. There is a TV ad, online social media effort asking consumers to create Happy Birthday videos for the Blizzard and submit on YouTube. DQ will select the Top 100 videos and reward customers with $25 gift cards. Additionally, DQ is promoting mobile sampling events to happen at various DQ locations where they'll be passing out free product.

This is a good example of an integrated campaign that incorporates online and offline media. And it's a feel good campaign to help DQ customers connect with the brand. Seems like a winning campaign to me.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Does Your Company Have a Social Media Policy?

Does your company have a social media policy? For smaller companies the answer could very likely be no, but developing a policy may protect your business.

Even if you're not currently using social media as part of your overall marketing strategy, please keep in mind that your customers and employees are using it and you should at minimum be monitoring what's being said.

Here are some questions to consider in developing a social media policy:
  • Who if anyone specifically is responsible for managing your business' social media. Whose managing the Facebook page, Tweeting, etc?
  • Who is responsible for developing and approving content or else defining in the planning stage what topics are permitted to be shared? 
  • What are employees allowed to say and what must be kept confidential? For example in the healthcare field there are strict patient privacy laws called HIPPA that prohibit sharing patient information with anyone not authorized to receive the information.
  • Are there any restrictions for employees (i.e. some may be allowed to use social media at work due to nature of their roles but for some it may not be necessary)?
  • Who will develop out the social media policy and how will it be shared with employees? In writing? In meetings? Both?
If you don't have a social media policy in place I encourage you to think through these questions and start formulating the framework for your policy. It's an important step in protecting your business.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Ohio Department of Health Ad Campaign = Fail

Really Ohio Department of Health? I'm going to have to call this new ad campaign promoting breast milk a fail. Some even consider it an epic fail - including my teenage daughter and her peers who quote say "it's nasty, nobody wants to look at breast milk"! I have to kindof agree that the message and the image are not very attractive. Is the milk all over the baby's face really needed to convey the point? What's next...showing the breast?
So this is my little plea to the Ohio Department of Health. Please rethink the branding for this campaign. How about something like Breastfeed your baby for optimal health and just show a healthy, happy baby? This campaign is just bad. 

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Boston Marathon Brand

Wow! What an exciting day for running and runners everywhere! Especially for those running in the 114th annual Boston Marathon and those there to cheer them on! While I wasn't there to run or physically cheer for my friends - I was there in spirit and know many other people were too. The Boston Marathon is widely recognized as one of road racing's premiere annual events for a number of reasons including its longevity and also the need to "qualify" to be able to participate in the race. With such wide popularity and prestige, a limitless amount of runners would LOVE to be there to participate but alas NOT EVERYONE can run it due to time and capacity issues. To Boston Qualify aka BQ is considered prestigious for serious amateur runners who have trained hard (sometimes tirelessly) to be able to participate in such a world-class running event. Even watching the event online as a spectator was awesome because the runners and crowd exude energy!

While other marathons such as New York and Chicago have gained clout, Boston is still by far the rolls royce of marathons as runners from all over the world come to compete for the chance to be recognized. Boston is the power brand of marathons and I hope to be there running it and experiencing it firsthand in 2011! Fingers crossed!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Promoted Tweets New Twitter Business Model

Twitter will be placing ads called "promoted tweets" on the network on Tuesday of this week. First the ads will show up in search results and later in users' Twitter feeds on as well as within thirdparty clients such as Tweetdeck and Twitterberry.

Twitter's first advertisers are Starbucks, Bravo and Virgin America - all users already heavily engaged in Twitter along with other social media sites. Twitter COO Dick Costolo has stated that Twitter is not in a rush to profit. According to him the goal is to roll the business model out slowly to see how users react to the ads.

To start advertisers will bid on keywords on a cost-per-thousand basis although Twitter is developing a model called "resonance" that may alter the pricing structure based on impact (how much a tweet is retweeted, marked as a favorite and how much a user clicks through to a link). Ads that outperform typical tweets with a lift in resonance will stay on the network while those that do not outperform typical tweets will fall out. This ad program differs from Google and other SEM platforms because Twitter will only display one ad at a time.

Watch for the promotional tweets this week and stay tuned for more updates on how the ad program develops and performs.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Insightful Social Media Demographics

A co-worker was asking about recent social media stats this week so we did some digging. Here's the latest and greatest in terms of what social media sites are used most heavily, what age groups are dominating social media and what they want.

Most popular social sites:

• Facebook with more than 400 million active users
• Twitter with 75 million+ registered users (although we know not all users are active). Twitter estimates 50 million tweets per day are being sent by its members
• LinkedIn with more than 60 million users
• MySpace with close to 60 million users

Age Groups:

A recent study by Royal Pingdom pulled together statistics for 19 different social networks including the popular sites listed above plus some of the second tier sites including Hi5, FriendFeed, Tagged, etc. The results show the age group usage of social media as follows:

• 35-55 = 25%
• 45-54 = 19%
• 25-34 = 18%
• 0-17 = 15%
• 55-64 = 10%
• 18-24 = 9%
• 65+ = 3%

When looking at Facebook and Twitter's heavy users, the percentages of users 35 or older exceeds 60%. Bebo and MySpace as expected are made up largely of younger audiences aged 17 or younger with 35-45% falling into that age group.

Other interesting social age stats:

• Average LinkedIn user is 44
• Average Twitter user is 39
• Average Facebook user is 38
• Average MySpace user is 31
• Average Bebo user is 28

Social Content:

Online advertising network Chitika analyzed the interests of social networking sites. The results seem consistent with what we know:

• Myspace Users are generally interested in: video games (28%), Celebs and entertainment (23%), Business and Law (10%), Tech and Community (tied at 8%) and other (23%).

• Facebook Users are generally interested in: News (28%), Community and Other (tied at 17%), How to/DIY (13%), Shopping and Celebs/Entertainment (tied at 9%), Tech (7%).

• Twitter Users are generally interested in: News (47%), Other (23%), Tech and Celebs/Entertainment (tied at 10%), Movies (6%) and How to/DIY (4%).

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Who Knew Paper Towels Could be So...Hip?

OMG! Love it. Who knew that promoting paper towels could be so hip and fun? I love the nerdy scientist meets inner rapper concept. Very fun way of showing off the product and reaching out virally to the younger generations.

Friday, March 26, 2010

What Happens on Facebook...Stays on Facebook!

How many of us had a wild friend or two from high school or college? Most of us will laugh and answer "I did". In the good old days those pictures of you drinking shots and giving people the bird were fairly safe from public view but in the Facebook age your privacy is...well how can I put this...nonexistant! What happens on Facebook, Twitter or any other social network you're affiliated with stays online and it can come back to haunt you. I have heard stories of people losing their jobs, significant others, friends, etc because of social networks.

So here are a few tips for keeping your public profile on social networks clean:

• Be careful who you friend. Don't allow just anyone to friend you and if you do friend someone who makes stupid comments or acts like an idiot...simply unfriend them. It's not like they will hunt you down and confront you over it.

• Watch what you post. Leave the college frat pictures in your memory box and also monitor what your friends post and if you're tagged in an unflattering photo or shot or tweet, untag or delete it. Also watch your content. If you're a professional connected to clients you should especially watch.

• Do talk about your work although be sure not to discuss confidential information to your network and do not make fun of your boss, co-workers, etc as they may be watching.

It all comes down to common sense. Think before you post and you will not have to worry if what happens on Facebook or Twitter is known to all.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

In Response to Pepsi Comment

For some reason Blogger is not letting me post a comment on my own blog but I want to respond to the very insightful comment that was posted anonymously this morning.

I think that Google and other "online" companies advertising in the Superbowl says advertising in the Superbowl is still one of the best ways to mass advertise. Just that it is up to the individual companies as to whether they are seeking that mass "top-of-mind" awareness that you get during the Superbowl and the week or two after versus a longer term customer relationship strategy like using social media.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Pepsi: Refreshes its Advertising Strategy and Goes Social

For years companies (including Pepsi and Coke) have spent millions and millions of dollars advertising their brands during the Superbowl. While many companies including Coke still chose to do that this year, Pepsi was not one of them. Coke spent the money on the bowl while Pepsi made the decision to invest $20 million in its social media efforts. This decision means many things for Pepsi and where advertising is heading today.

First, the decision to not advertise in the Superbowl and to instead commit $20 million to social media says that Pepsi is still after all these years embracing its "cola of the new generation" positioning. While Coke continues to go with the tried and true Pepsi is leading the way in new media - a better place to reach its target audience of hipsters.

Second, this decision proves that the power and value of social media as an advertising strategy is growing as other companies like The Gap have made it a central part of their advertising strategy and the main media for reaching its target audience. I believe we will continue to see more consumer products brands taking this approach although it will not work equally well for just any brand.

Finally, as brands like Pepsi continue to market to the customer through social campaigns and channels, we'll see that those consumers who are not as engaged in the new media will hear about it from their friends and colleagues and quickly find that they are missing out.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Social Media ROI

I've heard many people on both the agency side and client side say that it is difficult if not impossible to measure ROI for social media. I've also heard it said that social media only works for consumer marketing. I wanted to take a few moments to put in my two cents.

So let's start with the most fundamental question. Is social media a viable marketing tactic for your business or your client's business? You can qualify this by answering a few questions: What are your goals for social media? Can you have a social media account or do you need to go through legal, corp communications channels first? Is it okay if everyone knows about the updates you'll be sharing? etc.

Now, it is difficult to simply measure buzz and translate that into ROI. You'll need to set targets: mentions in blogs or social networks, inquiries, increased links, search rankings, leads from the social media sites you're using such as Twitter, Facebook or Linkedin, more media placements, etc. The best way to go about measuring ROI is to decide what your goals are and then measure your baseline. Once you have your baseline you can continuously monitor your progress.

You can measure and track some of these goals manually and there are also monitoring tools from companies that you can utilize for tracking the more difficult areas such as mentions.

As for Consumer versus B2B. Both need to be participating in some form of social media. A manufacturing plant that makes machine tools for example may not benefit greatly from having a Facebook presence but if they have a blog, a twitter account and participate in Linkedin and industry portals the benefits would be plenty.

It's really all in the planning. As with traditional advertising you need to have a strategy and track your progress to be successful.

Monday, January 18, 2010

New Runners Social Media Site: Dailymile!

Those of you who know me or follow my posts on social media probably already know that I'm a little fanatical about running. I basically eat, sleep, work, spend time with my family and run. So I was quite intrigued when I heard about a new social network dedicated to training and socializing about running. It's called Dailymile ( and it's easy-to-use, fun and motivational for anyone looking to run or just be fit. Go ahead...check it out!