Social Media Masterclass

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The past three days I kind of hosted a three day masterclass about Social Media. Although I think most of the content on the internet is in some way social (diaologue = interactive), it gave great insights to the options we have these days for Digital Interactive Branding.
Speakers were Ralph Beuker (Design Management), John Meulemans (Some like it social), Yme Bosma (Hyves), Ingmar de Lange (Hyves), Rene Jansen (Winkwaves), Pieter Waller (Bacardi), Jeroen de Bakker (2010 Amsterdam), Paul Blok internet Guru and myself as host and kick-off speaker.

Things that stayed top of mind most are the following conclusions.

Although the largest communities (another word for social media) may vary per country. The largest worldwide are Facebook, Youtube and LinkedIn. Twitter is upcoming champion. The largest community in The Netherlands is Hyves. An overview per country can be found here

Most cases, where social media was used as a branding tool, were about Hyves, Youtube, Twitter, Linkedin and Facebook. I guess the biggest networks rule.
Good targeting is key by the way, so in most cases specific consumers or communities within the social networks were targeted. For Bacardi the target group was always older than 18 for Dutch campaigns. They presented an impressive case, promoting cocktails in general and Mochito specifically through the Hyves network in 2008. The latest example of innovative use of social media was Martine & Youtube. If you’re over eighteen, you can see it below.

Other cases (branded utilities / widgets / apps) came from Amstel (Teamlink) and Wieckse Witte (zonneradar), which I also describe in my book.

The three days were divided in three categories: short, middle-long and long-term. It was interesting to see that according to some speakers, using social media didn’t need a strategy, you just need to do it. Others said it was good to define your objective, get a clear vision of your target consumer/community and think about your relevance within the community to add value in order to start and build a relationship.
I always compare acting within social media as going to a birthday party where you don’t know anyone. If you behave too remarkable you might be ignored, if you are coming on too strong, you will scare people away. There should be a good balance between giving attention and asking for it.
The whole social media model is based on PULL instead of PUSH anyway. By being remarkable (a good product, a funny campaign or a great game) people will notice you and start talking about you. Brands can become friends!

The most important thing that the crowd (‘students’) where looking for was a model or structure how to place things in the right context and helping them to make the right choices.

Therefore I kicked-off with my CoCha model which is based on the belief that internet is not a medium itself (it’s more a multi-medium since you can watch TV and listen to the radio on it, etc. etc.), but merely a connector of all digital data (content).

The mode is stated below. A presentation and explanation of the model can be found on www.brandnewgame.nl or anywhere else on the web, just search for Cocha-Model or BrandNewGame.

Apart from my own model, two speakers referred to Forrister‘s POST model, which comes down to the same in a way. The POST model stands for:

  • People (consumer / crowd / community in a certain context)
  • Objective (what goal do you have in mind) – This is the starting point for all our actions I believe.
  • Strategy (how will you accomplish your goals – in other words: what content will you create and which channels will you use to achieve your goals)
  • Technology (choose your engine / platform / device)

General goals that were heard and are ‘critical for branding’ are:

1. Be REMARKABLE – otherwise you will not be noticed and will not be considered different from any competition
2. Be RELEVANT – add value to the consumer’s life, the crowd or community you are visiting. Respecting the set of rules (culture) within that circle of play.
3. Build a RELATIONSHIP – to ensure long lasting commercial potential. A focus on quick wins will not get you loyal customers. According to Forrester there are three ways to achieve your goals:

Through Paid media, Earned media and Owned media (Brand Broadcasting). The first two forms will generate short term effect with short lasting results. The latter can have long lasting effect on emotions if you succeed to be remarkable and relevant!

For more information about what Digital Interactive Branding can do for you, visit BrandNewGame and check the News & Information section.

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