Monthly Archives: February 2011

Video: Social Media Etiquette

Here’s some good advice for you and your colleagues. It’s blindingly obvious common sense, but sometimes it’s common sense that’s, er, less commonly used.

Social Media Etiquette

Porsche: Linkbaiting with Delightful Creativity

imageI’m not a true fan of Porsche cars, mostly because I cannot imagine ever being able to afford one. But I am now a fan of their marketing thanks to a very clever bit of social media marketing that brilliantly pushes many of the psychological buttons that today’s consumers respond to.

It all started with Porsche becoming the first car brand to get a million fans on Facebook. The conventional marketing plan would have been to issue a press release from the PR department, with a quote from the Chairman, celebrating this milestone and talking up the many benefits of owning a Porsche car. Porsche, however, didn’t follow this well-worn path. Instead they opted to give a very tangible and inimitable demonstration of just how popular their brand is by putting the names of their one million Facebook fans on a specially customised Porsche 911 GT3R Hybrid (which, I’m told, goes like s**t off a shovel).

Porsche Thank You image

The results? Huge global press interest in this quirky idea, maximum free publicity, an utterly unique and priceless new exhibit for the Porsche Museum, and a very special and unexpected thank you to everyone who’s put on a public display of their fondness for the brand.

And here’s the magical social web bit. What will all of those people do when they receive their personalised message telling them that they’re now part of Porsche history? That’s right, they’ll tell all of their friends, and a new generation of Porsche admirers will be born.

Genius! They’ve pressed all the right psychological buttons by acknowledging their followers, thanking them directly, and feeding their egos by making them feel extra special to the point that they cannot resist telling everyone they know. Plus, everyone who shares this story (like me with this blog post) creates healthy inbound links to the Porsche brand online, boosting their search engine ranking and reducing their search advertising costs.

Like many of the fans whose names appear on this very special car, I may never make it to the ranks of a Porsche owner. But you’ve got to admit, celebrating their social media success this way was a marketing masterstroke for Porsche. Pure social web brilliance!

Advice for Marketers: How not to be unliked

Many online marketers spend their days obsessing about attracting new fans and followers, but new research from ExactTarget and CoTweet suggest that they might be wise to spend more time thinking about how to stop people ‘unliking’ their brands.

The top reasons people cite for unsubscribing from emails is that they come too frequently, are boring, or are contributing to an email overload problem.


The study also looked at Facebook, where the same three complaints are the main reason given for ‘unliking’ brands:


(And shame on you if you can see your own brand in the category that 26% cited (“I only ‘liked’ the brand to take advantage of a one-time offer”), you should know better than to use social channels to create an artificial community.)

Finally, the research examined Twitter use and found, yet again, the exact same three reasons as the main drivers for ‘unfollowing’ a brand:


Here’s a thought: perhaps the reason people find your content repetitive is that you post the same messages to multiple channels, forcing your most ardent fans to see the same stuff numerous times. I’ve always recommended that you should treat every channel differently and respect the nuances that each channel provides. These data from ExactTarget/CoTweet seem to back this up. It’s not just common sense, it’s fact.

One final thought. When a brand relationship goes sour, 17% of email subscribers will continually delete or ignore email from companies they no longer wish to interact with rather than making the effort to unsubscribe. So, not only do they no longer like you, you’re also now spamming them repeatedly. On Facebook, 19% of fans will choose to ignore posts from a brand they no longer like rather than formally ‘unliking’ your page. That’s like having a big fall out with a partner then having your ex- turn up everyday to rub your face in their newfound happiness. Ugly… As ExactTarget points out, in social channels it’s far better to try to keep the romance alive than to suffer the misery of an unhappy break-up.

The Social Break-UP video

Full research available from:

BBC Podcast: The Secret History of Social Networking

It’s not much of a secret to those us in “the business” but I’ll bet even you will learn something new by listening to this three-part podcast series from the BBC, presented by their technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones.

I really enjoyed this short series. Have a listen.


How Facebook follows your every online move

210-facebook_dislike_butonA colleague shared a blog post with me today that shows how Facebook can collect data about your online movements, even if you don’t click a ‘Like’ button or log in to Facebook. It’s a scary scenario, but one that may be being played out right now on your computer.

Of course, we should also understand that the Facebook Privacy Policy clearly states that by signing in and accepting a Facebook cookie we give consent to their receiving information about our online activities at third party sites:

Whenever you connect with a Platform application or website, we will receive information from them, including information about actions you take. In some cases, in order to personalize the process of connecting, we may receive a limited amount of information even before you connect with the application or website.

I’m often asked what’s the best way to protect your personal data when using Facebook and other social networking tools. The only 100% safe way is not to use these sites. Ever. However, if you do wish to use them, as do millions of others around the world, make sure you’re happy with your privacy settings and understand exactly what you’re signing up to before you click ‘I agree’.

It’s a value exchange; you hand over information about you in exchange for social networking with your friends. So ask yourself, are you getting more out of the deal than the social networking site is taking?

Here’s the full blog post from Microsoft’s ‘The Other James Brown’:

Cherry-picking great ad placements online

Nokia boss admits "we're years behind" screenshot

No doubt about it, Facebook offers some of the most precisely targeted banner advertising placements available on the web today. But, while Facebook may be getting all the headlines, it’s worth remembering the immense value you can also get from cleverly placed banner adverts.

The example above is from my company, Microsoft, and illustrates how cherry-picking the best editorial locations for your advertising can give you great standout in the places that matter the most. That’s why you’ll find ads heralding “Less out of touch, more in the know” for Windows Phone 7 alongside an article about Stephen Elop, a former Microsoft executive and now CEO of Nokia, telling Nokia staff that they are “years behind” and “standing on a burning platform.”

Don’t forget the value of traditional advertising approaches on the web. Just be sure to be really smart when picking your placements.

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