This guest post comes to us from Brandmovers Co-Founder Hector Pages
Approximately 42.5 million people enter online sweepstakes every year and millions more participate in SMS and social media contests. In fact, contests and games are the most popular brand tactic used to grow followers and fans in the social media space. Twenty-four percent of the U.S. online audience play branded social games at least once a month with 68.7 million U.S. consumers expected to regularly play branded games of chance by 2012. (ComScore)
Contests, games, and sweepstakes are a key component of the social media marketing movement because they target specific demographic segments, cross diverse brand categories easily, and -- most importantly -- provide a measurable return on investment while creating meaningful engagement with consumers.
Here are the top five tips for success in online promotions.
We have to wonder where this one's going. After all, Twitter is already filled with all kinds of useless crap about the mundane things people insist upon tweeting. Now we have to be notified every time someone decides to take a drink of water?
OK, so it's really not that bad and it's all for a good cause. In Brazil, people don't drink enough water so bottled water company Bonafont created the Tweeting Fridge, a miniature refrigerator sent to one of the country's top celebrities that would post a tweet to the celebrity's timeline every time the celebrity opened the fridge and took a drink of water.
Bonafont has plans to send more of these mini refrigerators to other celebrities to keep the message going.
- With the recent expansion of anti-smoking laws in New York City, Reynolds is out with a new print campaign touting the smokeless Camel Snus.
- Prague agency Loosers tricked an entire country with a fake campaign just to call attention to the prevalence of website hijacking.
- Oakland A's make the argument peripheral vision is key to playing great baseball
- Mercedes Benz...powered by Tweets.
- T-Mobile seeks social media shop.
Agencies Mizbala and twentythree created an eerie location-based campaign for If I Die, a Facebook application that lets people record a message that will only be published after they die. Of course, no one think they're going to die anytime soon so people needed a bit of prompting.
Mizbala used th APIs of popular location services such as Foursquare, Gowalla, Facebook Places, Twitter and Google Latest to track checkins all over the world. Once they located a person, they'd place a call to the location the person had checked into and asked to have the establishment to put the person on the line. Once they had the person on the line, they'd leave a creepy message and tell the person to go to the If I Die Facebook app.
You can check out the demo call to Mashable's Adam Ostrow in this video to see what it's all about. Did the campaign work? Oh yes it did. Without any advertising, the campaign received lots of press in newspapers, blogs, radio and TV coverage which resulted in an 800 percent increase in recorded messages being left on "If I Die".
But ask yourself. Do you really wants to be found this easily?
On the heels of Google's IO event, The Daily Beast reports Facebook hired PR firm Burson-Marstellar "to pitch anti-Google stories to newspapers, urging them to investigate claims that Google was invading people's privacy." It is also reported Burson offered to help an influential blogger write a negative op-ed article about the search giant.
Everything blew up in Facebook's...um...face when said influential blogger outed Burson publicly and USA Today picked up the story.
For its part, Facebook confirms it hired Burson but claims it did so because it feels Google is doing nefarious things when it comes to privacy and because it isn't happy with Google's use of Facebook's data for its own social networking service.
Approaching bloggers, Burson wrote Google's Social Circle is "designed to scrape private data and build deeply personal dossiers on millions of users--in a direct and flagrant violation of agreement with the FTC."
Check out the rest of the saga here but it really boils down to this; grown adults acting like fickle, vindictive children with no self-esteem who will stoop to playground antics to get their way. And that's not business. That's childish.
Facebook management system Buddy Media has acquired Spinback, a social commerce and analytics company. The acquisition gives Buddy Media the capability to bring its social media management and metrics outside the world of Facebook to the greater web.
Of the acquisition, Buddy Media Founder and CEO Michael Lazerow said, "Tens of millions of websites have added sharing buttons. Very few of them, however, can actually tell you how many sales were driven by these buttons. With this acquisition, Buddy Media can now answer the question 'what is the ROI of social media?' better than anyone else in the market in a holistic way, both on Facebook and off, and on Twitter and email."
To convince mothers in Brazil that feeding their children Actimel from Danone for breakfast was a healthy choice, the brand created a line of toasters that would cook personalized messages into toast and gave these toasters to influential moms around the country along with a package of Actimel.
To encourage those moms to spread the words on social networks, the brand promised to send additional packages of the product if the moms posted pictures of their specially messaged pieces of toast on Facebook, Twitter and other social networks.
Did the effort work? Danone claims the messaging reached 1.2 million mothers. Here's a video overview of the campaign:
Corona Extra and MTV have teamed on a new Facebook campaign recently launched in Europe called Experience The Extraordinary - The Challenge. The Challenge is a contest that lets people describe and share their dream experience. Corona and MTV will then make it happen.
Here's a video describing the campaign campaign.
- If you're into tongue, cricket and veal brain tacos, you need to hunt down the Dos Equis Feats of the Brave taco truck currently touring the streets of New York.
- A new trade association made up of media-auditing firms has formed to establish ethics and best practices for this niche of the advertising world.
- "Talk to the Bird" is a campaign for Gigaset, a German phone manufacturer, which shows the bird talking to callers from around the world. Why? We have no idea.
- DeVito/Verdi has created a caption contest for Duane Reade called New York's Least Pretentious Caption Contest. Each week New Yorkers will have the chance to enter and vote for their favorite captions. Then on June 1st, 2011, a final vote will determine the best caption among all finalists.
This guest article is written by David Murton who has been helping companies build and maintain their online relationships with customers since 2006. He is also a professional writer and blogger, with a particular interest in the open source Drupal platform. On a more personal note, David is an avid piano and accordion player, drawn especially to music of the classical and romantic periods.
Lo, it is written: the first shall be last, and the last shall be first. And, with celebrities now increasingly following their own followers on social media - the world's hippest new hit series - Matthew 20:16 has come to pass.
But Twitter 'twasn't always such. Back in the medium's early days - say, back when your current vehicle had about twenty thousand fewer miles - it was common for celebrities simply to treat social media merely as an extension of traditional media. That is, as just another billboard to plug their next film, book, or show, or to announce their latest political cause or adoption of a developing country's child.