It’s 9:17 am on the first morning of the 2011 Internet Summit in Raleigh, and Christian Sullivan, Community Relations & Engagement Supervisor at Ignite Social Media, is currently giving a presentation on Creating World-Class Social Media Campaigns. She started off with two examples from Mountain Dew and the Groupon-Gap deal.
What’s the connecting link between all successful social media campaigns? Creativity. As Christian put it, “creativity is the new equalizer to big budgets.”
Other reasons that these campaigns were successful was that they were fully integrated – social media with PR with traditional marketing, etc. Not just social media as a stand-alone.
Examples she gave of successful social media campaigns:
- SAM-e Good Mood Gig by Nature Made
- Levi’s “Like” Store
- 2011 Ford Explorer Reveal
- Samsung Smart Minute
- #CatchtheTablet by Sony
Take home message:
- Consumer is in control, so give them a reason to WANT to talk about your brand
- Creativity resonates and is more important than big budget
- Serve the masses
Questions from the audience:
- Q: Can you give some examples of B2B companies using social media successfully? A: Yes, Ignite Social Media is an example of an agency that is practicing what it preaches and using their blog, back links and other social media efforts to drive awareness and traffic to their site, in particular, organic search traffic on the word “social media agency.”
- Q: What about the use of QR codes in social media? A: There has been success there, for example, she says she’s seen convenience stores do a good job of tying their in-store experience in with their online experience on Facebook.
- Q: If you are a small company and you don’t have the resources to hire someone dedicated to your social media efforts, where do you recommend to start with social media? A: It will depend on the company. Do a search online to determine where your audience is and start there. Are they on Facebook or LinkedIn?
- Q: Google Plus. A: User interface is easy to use. Excited to see what the outcome will be. Not enough info yet to know if it will be successful, but it has potential. Note that you can’t run promotions there (yet). No tab structure (yet). The SEO value is enormous IF anyone really decides to start using Google+.
Helpful tip from Jim – If you have many Facebook pages because you’re trying to target at a local level, you can use a tool called Expion to help you push custom Facebook tabs to multiple pages at once.
Then he bashed LinkedIn. He’s right that it doesn’t give you much room for creativity and visual branding, but what he failed to point out is that it can be highly effective for a B2B. Also, from talking to a lot of small business owners, I can say that LinkedIn is a great tool BECAUSE it doesn’t offer a wide range of features. Get in, get down to business, get out. No bells and whistles.
Christian and Jim are right Facebook allows you to build much more creative and complex campaigns, but what I find is that running campaigns through Facebook requires a much higher minimum budget than other tools because you have to do a lot of custom work to get around Facebook’s strict promotions guidelines. If you have a big budget and a developer with free time, then you can definitely do a lot with Facebook. But, if you’re limited by time and budget and have a B2B audience, there are highly effective ways to use LinkedIn for your business.