Social Media Marketing

PPC is trying to catch up to Social Media – How Relevant Is Your Guerilla?

So a couple of days ago I asked for your advice to help me come up with a social marketing plan for my new client,

I got some great responses, but the two that stood out the most were from Alex, who said

You could try to set up a Twitter stream with daily cool articles about kids stuff and start to follow relevant parents. How about that?

And from Adori, who said

What about getting parents to upload photos of their cuties in the costumes along with a brief write up of how much fun the day was and how the costume was a trill etc. Parents love to splash photos of their kids around.

Thank you, guys! Your ideas are by far the best route I have so far – and yes, Adori, parents fo love to splash their kids’ pics around. I’ll work with their design team to get that promotion off the ground.

But while I was researching on this topic, I came up with a surprisingly good guerilla advice from a mainstream Google sales guy, at the Inside Adwords blog:

Basically, what Jim Lecinsky is saying is what we all knew: you cant beat your customer over the head with your ad and expect them to drop what they’re doing and run to your site. He says PPC ads should now focus on adding value rather than disrupt their search/navigation.

And I’m back here thinking… isnt that what we call a BLOG? Duh !

So now, PPC is trying to catch up to Social Media and we have to fine-tune our stuff. Or not?

The people at Cute Toddlers have been running a series of content network campaigns, and their results are terribly common – average on-site time: 10seconds / bounce rate: 60%. They dont offer any value, they simply send people to what they’re looking for: costumes!

But, following Adori’s idea, if I had a campaign going where parents would post their Halloween pictures and maybe win free costumes, I could very well run that through PPC and… would my results be any better?

What do you think? Have you re-considered your PPC campaigns? Will my/Adori’s idea work?

Stay tuned… I will post it all here!

Social Media Marketing for an Online Store?

Social Media Halloween? Scary!

Social Media Halloween? Scary!

Guerilleros, today I ask for advice – my social guerilla skills have been put to test and I’m falling short at this moment.

I’ve been given the opportunity to manage the social marketing for an online costume store for toddlers called – tcharan… – Their stuff is really cool (a bit pricey, but so am I…)

They’re brand new online, and according to their analytics, they’ve been receiving a decent amount of organic traffic for keywords such as kids harry potter halloween costumes and cinderella halloween costumes.

They need, however, to increase their brand exposure and want to interact with their customers through Social Media. (Dont we all?)

Their blog is well advertised within the site (on the upper right corner), but receives very little traffic. Apparently, their posts have been indexed, some are even on Digg and Reddit, but far from achieving the social viral effect.

Here’s my issue – social marketing for “real” businesses has the advantage that I can go in and get footage of their service/products, which makes content much more viral-friendly. For an online store, however, I’m coming up blank when I try to create an identity that doesnt consist of “buy our costumes”.

I’ve looked at Zappos and to a certain extent, Amazon, but their approach to Social Media is nothing like what these guys want to do: Zappos has their CEO on twitter, and on a personal blog, which adds a persona, a “face” to the brand. He barely speaks of the company’s products on his blog.

What CuteToddlers has been doing is basically discussing and advertising their costumes on the blog – yes, they add lots of personal touches to the posts, but they’re still salesy. Maybe that’s what I should work towards – getting a social media fan within the company and working with her/him to create a company “persona”.

What do you think?

Leave your comments – they are always DOFOLLOW and approved very quickly.

Is Your Company Stuck With A Social Media Silo?

If your social media marketing is a silo, you're doomed to implode.

If your social media marketing is a silo, you're doomed to implode.

When I read this post over at Label:Indescript about social media silos, I immediately connected the subject to at least 4 business owners I’ve been in contact with.

Justin Boone, the author (and a darn good guerillero), talks about how companies start their social media strategies with a department (read blogger guy) that becomes completely alienated from the rest of the staff and from other departments.

I’d say that’s a better start than having NO SOCIAL MEDIA WHATSOEVER, but there are points to be taken from this when it comes to a powerful social guerilla.

The majority of businesses that decide to implement a blog or create dedicated social network accounts do so with only one objective: create more revenue.

Now that my guerilla is expanding into the fascinating world of “real” business (read offline companies), I’ve found that all these companies really know about social media marketing is that it’s “cheap” and can go “viral”.

Why They End Up With A Social Media Silo

The real benefits of creating an active community start when there’s a commitment throughout the entire company to share, engage, and participate in a public dialog.  A good guerilla is never won by one lonely guerillero, but by a tactiful team.

And I’ve experienced lots of lost battles when:

  • Companies fail to communicate with the social media deparment

The poor “blogger guy” is left hunting for material to post, and is left out with the task of tracking customer feedback and analysing google and twitter alerts.

Or, what is worse:

  • All of the social media material comes from the marketing department (the billboard approach)

That happens more often than necessary, but it seems to be that corporate mentality impregnated on offline people; old ads, product releases, listing of properties… The entire community is now a giant billboard!

Stimulate The Social Spirit

Turn projects in development over to the SM department, let them post updates. Collect feedback, and apply their comments into the design.

Integrate multiple areas of your company by asking them to report daily activities to the SM team. Motivate the staff to post their comments on the company blog and to interact with each other within the corporate Facebook page.

And one more thing:


There are tons of ways to measure social media buzz, to ignite content syndication, and those are valid strategies to evaluate strategies. Hiring a web analytics expert is also a good idea.

But enough with the constant cry about time and effort wasted: if these companies havent noticed yet, online content doesnt “die”, and even though it may not be immediate, a solid online participation will pay huge dividends as online usage wont stop growing anytime soon.

Okay, Social Media & Guerilla Marketing? Yeah, Here’s How!

Hand Grenade Guerilla Marketing

The Social Media Guerilla Logo

First of all, a quick explanation on Guerilla Marketing, from the one-and-only wikipedia:

“Guerilla Marketing is an unconventional system of promotions that relies on time, energy and imagination rather than a big marketing budget.”

How about a budget of $ 0.00, and results like this, or this ?

What if I were to tell you that Social Media Guerilla elected President Obama?

The possibilities are endless, and the results are extremely tempting.

So, what does it take?

Social Guerilla Marketing Starts With Syndication

Who turns any Guerilla content Viral? You. Me. Users!

And how does any content spread on the internet?

It starts with ignition:

  • submission to social bookmarking services
  • submission to news/media rating services (Digg, Social Median)
  • a tweet

Which is all very simple; the kick comes when nobody rates, or bookmarks, or retweets your content.

For the viral effect, a key factor in the formula is Syndication.

Content Syndication is how your Guerilla content gets to the first page of Digg, which leads to several retweets, which all together creates copious amounts of traffic.

And as we know, traffic is good for two things:

  • MONEY – either selling stuff or selling space on your website to promote stuff, traffic is a major asset (when steady)
  • INCOMING LINKS – the more attractive (Viral) your content gets, more and more website owners will link to it in an attempt to enjoy some of the buzz you created. Search engines feast on incoming links, and your other content gets a nice bump on SERPs because of all that love you spread.

Okay, everybody knows that…

But how to get people to syndicate your content?

To answer a question with another:

How many friends do you have?

Just like word-of-mouth, the initiator usually tells a close friend, who tells another, and the entire chain is set.

Online, it’s all a matter of having the right friends – the more, the better.

Friends are created on social networking sites like Facebook, or MySpace (if you’re under 14). Those are great to meet and interact with people, but they are useless for marketing.

Good syndication-friends are created at services where user-voting determines the visibility and the quality of the content. We’re talking about Digg, Del.i.cious, Social Median, Reddit, etc…

The trick is not just to ‘add a friend’ but to lead attract that person to reciprocate, gaining a ‘mutual friend’ status.

This means (depending on the quality of your content) that your friend is more likely to vote positively for a content submitted by you.

So, forget about Facebook?

Why not?

From now on, your focus as an Underground Social Guerilla (USG) is to:

  • Create high-quality content
  • Create a powerful content syndication network

With the first task, there’s not much anybody can do except recommend good readings.

But for the latter, you can kick-start your syndication here

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