Posts tagged "YouTube"

Social Media’s role in the tanking Economy

It’s hard to turn on a computer, much less a television, without being inundated with messages about the gloom and doom of our current economic nightmare.  But what does that mean for the Marketing world?  One thing seems clear to me – now is NOT the time to crawl in a hole and scale back on Marketing.  To the contrary – we know from history that most companies will slash the Advertising and Marketing budgets that could turn the situation around and keep them alive.  Like a sea captain caught in a storm, the best chance of saving the ship is to turn directly into the waves.  Sure, the ride will be rough, but it’s the best strategy for survival.

Social Media and Social Network Marketing in particular has a role to play in navigating the troubled waters ahead.  Think about it – people will continue to communicate socially online, regardless of how much the Dow plummets.  Consumers might not have as much money to go out to dinner or take a vacation, but you can bet that they will spend as much or more time checking their Facebook profiles, surfing YouTube, checking out new bands on MySpace, or engaging in gaming and other applications on mobile devices.  So, this begs the question – why pull back now?  Isn’t this the time to put even MORE emphasis on Social Media?  Wouldn’t NOW be the time to show customers that you care about them and you empathize with their struggles?  Wouldn’t it be great to have positive messages about your company spreading in the midst of all the negative stuff that is spreading out there?

Going back to the fundamentals of Social Media – ask yourself what added value you can provide.  Is competitive pricing an option?  How about a contest where people have a chance to win something cool while helping others that are struggling in the process?  Can your company give a little more to charitable causes that help those most in need during rough economic times?  Remember, when times are tough, charitable organizations take a big hit, while being called upon more than ever to provide services to those in need.  If you can champion one of these causes and share this enthusiasm with your online communities, you will have gone a long way toward building goodwill and positive associations that will affect the balance sheet for years to come.

Remember, the volume of messaging will almost certainly slow down as companies scale back on ad budgets.  Seize this opportunity to double down on your Social Media efforts, or if you haven’t yet embraced it, there’s no better time than right now to get in the game!  Show your customers and potential customers that you understand the challenges they face.  They will remember your goodwill when their situation improves, and chances are they will have told a few people along the way.

Is this the Facebook and YouTube election?

We are at an interesting junction in history right now, and it is fascinating to see how social media is shaping the political landscape in this election cycle.  Remember, in 2004 Facebook had just launched and was open to college students only, and YouTube didn’t even exist!  These two sites alone have totally changed the game and we are now in a new era of information sharing.  The old days where politicians got away with the occasional gaffe as long as the media didn’t pick up on it are over.  Now, practically every second of their day is recorded and posted almost instantly on YouTube and Twitter for the world to see and hear.  And of course on Facebook, the sharing of information and personal beliefs is occurring on a staggering scale.  Friends that I would have NEVER had political discussions with are engaging on Facebook.  In fact, instead of a 2-way dialog between 2 people, Facebook enables a multi-way dialog with a vast number of people.

Take for instance the status comments.  When someone on Facebook posts an observation or political view on Facebook, his or her whole friend network has the potential to see it.  If people comment back, not only does the original person receive alerts, but also everyone who comments on it receives an alert as well.  All of the sudden, what we think about the process can be expressed and discussed more easily with much larger groups of people.  Breaking down the physical and geographic barriers has huge implications, as we are not confined to hearing the prevailing beliefs of our particular corner of the world.

I believe that we are in the midst of a major shift in how people perceive politics.  No longer is it just for the older crowd that reads the newspaper and watches 60 Minutes.  Now everyone is talking – the question is: who is paying the most attention?

What do YOU think?  Is social media going to make a difference in this election?

Controlling your message?

I was reading an article on CNN today about political candidates losing control of their campaigns to YouTube.  It must really burn for old school politicians who are used to talking openly when the cameras weren’t rolling.  I can hear the voices in their heads now – ‘You mean I have to actually mean what I say all the time, and not just during an interview?’  Yep – that’s what it means.  It’s 2007, and the cameras are ALWAYS rolling!  There’s always someone with a camera phone or digital video camera just waiting to catch the right moment on video or in a photo.

So it is with brands also.  Many marketers think that they can ‘control the message’ by doing their own ‘viral campaigns’ on YouTube.  I’m talking about the clips that are created by the companies that they hope will spread throughout the internet.  This may work sometimes, but it’s by no means guaranteed!  I think the real opportunity is in becoming a real part of the culture so that consumers spread the word for you.  Yes, this means you have to actually be genuine with your offering and have an above average product or service.

It also means you need to have thick skin, because you never know when someone out there will disagree with your company’s position.  Herein lies the real opportunity!  If something negative gets posted about your brand or company, you have a chance to find out what some people are really thinking and do something about it if you so choose.  Does your offering need some work?  Maybe you’ll find out because of something that ends up on YouTube!  If you really want to ‘go there’, you can create a response video making fun of the one that talks about your company or brand.  Be cheeky!  Engage!  You can’t afford to sit on the sidelines, or get all defensive and whine about something that somebody said about you on the web.  That’s about as attractive as a 5th grader crying to his mommy because he got pushed on the playground.  Dust yourself off and get back on the jungle gym!  Everyone will respect you more for it.