Social Media

How many hits is a link from BoingBoing or Seth Godin worth?

A month or so ago, I wrote a blog post titled "Most Expensive Wi-Fi Ever?" about the cost of internet services at a Toronto-area convention centre.

I submitted the post to StumbleUpon, BoingBoing, TechDirt and Reddit, as I thought all would be places where readers might be interested in this type of insane mark-up. After my colleague Ian pointed out that Seth Godin had linked to me, I dug into Google Analytics to see how much traffic that ended up driving to my post.

As a result, BoingBoing's Cory Doctorow blogged about it on September 22nd, resulting in 1,141 hits to my post.

Mike Masnick at TechDirt wrote about my post on October 25, but didn't link directly to me (I don't mind).

Seth Godin mentioned my post in a recent post he wrote, driving another 678 views.

Reddit drove a measly 61 views.

And Google Analytics reports that StumbleUpon drove 2,437 views of the webpage (even though StumbleUpon itself only reports driving 35 users to the page).

There were also an additional 2,762 views to the post that Google Analytics identified as coming from (direct). While I obviously can't confirm where these are coming from, I have a feeling they're probably spread out across the different sources (my other colleague Kevin Mchugh sent me this link that might help explain that (direct) traffic)

So what does all this mean?

By itself, not much. Views or hits aren't everything these days. A kind word from an online influencer is probably worth a lot more than a link in the long run, thought it might be more difficult to measure.

There is also probably a lot of digging I can do into how long visitors from the different sources stuck around, and whether they checked out anything else on my site. Visitors from one source, though fewer, might end up being more 'valuable' (in this sense, sticking around as long-term readers).

What do you think about this data?



StumbleUpon and TELETOON Retro

The following post was written partially by me and partially by my colleagues at Radar DDB in Vancouver. It also appeared on the DDB Canada blog.

If you've seen the impressive stats in the StumbleUpon infographic that has been floating around recently, this DDB campaign to promote TELETOON Retro's line-up of Super-hero programming using StumbleUpon's Paid Discovery Service will be right up your alley.

The campaign uses Paid Stumbles to drive Cartoon, Comic Book, and Animation fans on StumbleUpon to a few pieces of content, including a promotional video that TELETOON created, and blog posts by various comic book bloggers who've written posts about their "Top 5 TELETOON Retro Villains." While driving traffic to third-party sites may be a tough sell for some clients, TELETOON recognized that these sites could give their campaign greater credibility, and were willing to experiment.

With the appropriate campaign, StumbleUpon can be an amazing way to drive relevant, targeted viewers to content directly through a medium they're already using.

T-Dot Comics - Top 5 Retro Cartoon Villains

TELETOON Retro Promotional Video

The One Thing is a result of the daily 10am meeting held in DDB Canada's Vancouver office, where our digital team meets to discuss new online trends, tools and technologies.

For an archive of the 10am links, visit our Delicious account at

Radar on Twitter:

Take Aways for Posting to Facebook via 3rd Parties

Are you using a 3rd party application to post content to Facebook?  Last week, EdgeRank Checker released a report revealing 3rd party applications like Hootsuite or TweetDeck decreased Facebook engagement by a whopping 70%. The report announced that these applications damage your EdgeRank, the metric Facebook uses to establish post visibility in user feeds, and in doing so prevent posts from being displayed on news feeds. Gah!
Shortly after,  Adage published an article by Michael Lazero, CEO of Buddy Media, clarifying some of the claims made by EdgeRank Checker's report. While the article is somewhat biased towards Buddy Media's 3rd party publishing tool, the data doesn't lie. Below are some of the key take aways:
1. Some (mainly free) 3rd party applications will decrease the amount of engagement on your Facebook pages.  Free applications like HootSuite and Tweetdeck often collapse Facebook posts, preventing many of them from being shown and therefore decreasing engagement - you can't "like" what you can't see! Single tenant branded applications also have the tendency to collapse posts. But all is not lost. According to Lazero, Multi-tenant enterprise products (like Buddy Media) do not collapse posts - and thus do not decrease engagement. Take Away: Check with your provider to make sure posts are not being collapsed.
2. Facebook does not appear to penalize posting via 3rd parties. While Facebook has not spoken on this directly, the data released by Buddy Media speaks for itself. When comparing engagement on posts via Facebook direct, free apps and Buddy Media, Buddy Media and Facebook direct posts scored similarly, while free apps scored approximately 50% lower. Take away: 3rd party posting isn't the direct the cause of lower engagement, 3rd parties that collapse your posts are.

3. Content performs better when optimized for specific channels. This should be a no-brainer but a lot of brands set up automatic posting between channels like Facebook and Twitter and are surprised when engagement is low. If you aren't engaged with your content, your audience probably won't be either.  Take Away: To optimize Facebook content, think about the length of the posts, questions vs. statements, timing, etc.
What has your experience been posting to Facebook via 3rd party applications?


Toyota & Saatchi's Cautionary Tale

Sticking with the theme of automotive brands and engagement, you've no doubt seen that Toyota’s 2008 guerrilla marketing campaign, promoting its 2009 Matrix, is once again making headlines, and it aint’ pretty. As a refresher, in 2008, Amber Duick began receiving a series of emails from one by the name of ‘Sebastian Bowler’, a fictitious English soccer hooligan with a fondness for excessive drinking, destruction of private property and  general rowdiness (because these are all traits that every English soccer fan exhibits, of course). The first email Duick received from Bowler was to let her know he was on his way to her apartment – even so much as citing her address – to crash for a while. Additional emails chronicled his trip to her abode, often mentioning his frequent run-ins with the local law enforcement, while another email, this time from a hotel manager, demanded Duick pay for damages associated with a television, supposedly broken by Bowler, accompanied by an authentic-looking e-bill. Not surprisingly, Duick was a tad upset, or in her own words ‘terrified.’

Only after receiving a final email containing a link to a video did Duick realize what was actually happening: she was the target of a virtual prank designed to raise awareness of the new 2009 Toyota Matrix. What a rugged English soccer fan with a penchant for inebriation has to do with the Matrix is beyond me, and quite obviously, beyond Duick as well - a woman who was chosen because she represented Toyota’s target market.  The campaign certainly had a hint major dose of realism to it, something Alex Flint, creative director at Saatchi & Saatchi – the L.A.-based agency responsible for the campaign – boasted about. Now, three years later, news broke that a California court has agreed that Duick can move forward with a $10 million lawsuit against both Toyota and Saatchi & Saatchi. Ouch.

I don’t think anyone can argue that this was a poorly executed idea, one that clearly – at least to everyone outside of Saatchi & Saatchi – wasn’t given nearly enough thought.  But as someone who works in the PR industry, this whole campaign fascinates me for a different reason, outside of its headline-grabbing concept.

Here Toyota was, in 2008, when Twitter only had 500,000 monthly visitors, when Facebook broke its first user milestone of catching up to MySpace, and when the concept of social media, and storytelling marketing was still in its infancy. Despite this, Toyota took a chance on a program, albeit one disconnected from its audience, and ran with a concept that was, to an extent, ahead of its time.

Today, one of the most difficult challenges PR, marketing and advertising professionals face isn’t always coming up with fresh ideas; it’s selling them to clients. Businesses have a comfort zone and it’s when they step out of it that great, award-winning campaigns are born.  To that extent, I applaud Toyota, which for the record, is still with Saatchi, for at least trying something new and taking a head-first dive into the unknown.

As for Flint, he told marketing magazine OMMA (Online, Media, Marketing & Advertising) that the prank campaign should gain the appreciation from ‘even the most cynical, anti-advertising guy.’ Three years, a flurry of negative articles, public backlash, and possibly $10 million later, I wonder if he still feels the same way.

What are your thoughts on the matter?

Why More Brands Should Put Some Heart on Their Sleeves

Brands that tap into the emotional drivers of their audience have a definite advantage over their more rational, Spock-like competitors. We have seen proof of this time and again with brands that develop nearly identical products yet experience dramatically divergent success rates: Nike vs. Reebok, Dell vs. Apple and Red Bull vs. any other energy drink on the market. I also witnessed this firsthand while conducting competitive research on three major car manufacturers: Kia, Mazda and Volkswagen. I was interested in finding out how their social programs stacked up, expecting to see Mazda and Volkswagen take the lead. Instead I found the opposite.

All three competitors have social programs that span the usual suspects of social platforms (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, blogs), they all run regular contests and sweepstakes and are all fairly engaged with their audience. But Kia was mentioned over three times as often as any other competitor and had far more on-platform engagement, despite having less than half of the reach of a brand like VW. Why? The reason appears to be that Kia was the only brand that did an effective job of tying their content strategy, contests and brand messaging to the emotions and motivations of their audience.

Kia’s brand attributes hinge on environmentalism and social responsibility. This resonates loud and clear throughout every piece of online content and contest. Social content that touches on these attributes, connecting with the emotions of their audience, receives the highest amounts of participation and engagement. Kia has managed to outshine their much larger, older and well-known competitors by understanding the emotional drivers of their audience (what makes them tick, what they care about) and then developing social and content strategies that align with these values. It’s not brain surgery but it can have a big impact on driving social engagement and relationships.

Are you currently planning content or social strategies? Are they aligned with the emotions and motivations of your audience? Please share your deepest hopes, dreams and feelings with us—it will be good for our blog, and your brand.


Photo Courtesy of Skate_AM12, PhotoBucket

A Social Media Age Divide

Timothy B. Lee (no, not that Tim B. Lee) is one of my favorite pundits bloggers thinkers writers these days. In a recent blog post for Forbes (The Social Media Singularity), he wrote the following great paragraphs:

Like any skill, the ability to find good Internet content gets better with practice. Intellectuals under about 35 have had access to the Web for their entire adult lives. Most of us rely on the Internet as our primary source of information about the world. We’ve all been practicing finding interesting content and sharing it with our friends for over a decade. Many of us are quite good at it.

In contrast, intellectuals over about 45 had already gotten used to a print-centric media diet by the time the Internet arrived. As a result, they didn’t adopt online reading habits with the same enthusiasm. When social media arrived, few of their peers were using it so they didn’t either. And as a consequence, they never developed the kind of Internet-filtering prowess that comes naturally to many people in my cohort.

There are certainly exceptions to both cases, but I think it is a great way to sum up part of what's happening online today.

Read his whole article here.




One of my favorite things about working at DDB Canada is the incredibly talented coworkers I get to spend my day with. I love the projects that I get to work on, but I also love seeing what other teams come up with for their clients. One amazing project that some of the DDB team recently completed was for Canadian Blood Services. The campaign was called Blood Signal and while it was integrated across multiple mediums (print, guerilla, online ads), my favorite part was the Facebook-connect enabled website that they created.

The pulls information from your Facebook profile to create a customized, animated video about how many lives you and your friends could save by donating blood. Seeing your friends faces appear in the places their from acts as encouragement for you to get them to donate blood, and adds social relevance to the campaign.

Check it out yourself at Then go donate some blood.


Killer Facebook Tips - Questions Answered

Facebook has no doubt crept its way into the lives of just about every marketer, advertiser and PR professional. While we all use Facebook every day, there are still a lot of questions and, for lack of a better word, best practices to sort out.  Luckily, I got to discuss some of these questions with Marty Weintraub, author of "Killer Facebook Ads" and CEO aimClear®, an online marketing agency. Q: Do you recommend driving to the Facebook wall or a dedicated tab when posting Facebook ads?

A: There is no real rule of thumb. For the most effective KPI conversion, landing pages need to fulfill the promises of ad copy, keeping in mind the users' interests.  We have seen data to support that Facebook users prefer to stay in Facebook, which means that landing pages within dedicated Facebook pages/tabs  that also include forms or other Calls-To-Action are an excellent option.

Q: What is the best Facebook ad you've seen, and why?

A: I like ads that use people to appeal to the target demographic. For instance, marketing anything to people that are interested in Jesus Christ, where the dude has a beard and dark hair. As a general rule, I like ads where respect for targeted demographic and micro-segmentation is obviously well thought out and at play. For example, I'm a mature male interested in fine wine. I can tell when advertisers are testing whether the word "Merlot" or "Zinfandel" and a picture of a dude my age or a hot 40 year old lawyer lady will earn my click.

Q: What are your thoughts on sponsored stories and video units? Have you had success with either of these?

The ability to sponsor stories about your brand that have surfaced organically in the Facebook News Feed, as a result of users interacting with them, is a very important breakthrough in social PPC. We've had a lot of luck. It's cool to take natural user interactions and pay to blow them up.

It's important to keep in mind that sponsored stories are not the same as ads and that you include them in your Facebook campaign to amplify your target audience's actions. I'd recommend testing sponsored stories on your Facebook assets, side by side traditional Facebook ads promoting the same assets. Observe the results and decide for yourself based on testing your actual situation.

Q: What are some tips you can offer to increase engagement and interest in branded Facebook pages?

A: The art of composing an effective headline transcends Facebook Ads. Whether the KPI is to increase engagement, earn fans, or sell toasters, it's all about boiling down the value proposition or tease thereof to a few short words and packaging it in the right tone.

Literal headlines straight up say what the ad is about, in clear terms, without metaphor or allegory.  "Friend us here and we'll give $50 to charity." Sideways headlines are logical extrapolations of inferred targeting. "Don't Be a Clockhead." The ad’s copywriter needs to summon a well-steeped understanding of both the product and its target market. Instead of being literal in the headline concept, a sideways concept reaches for a snippet that could appeal to users’ personalities, perspective, sense of humor, or an inside joke that only users of the product will fully understand.

Q: What about using creative v.s. copy to drive engagement?

A: The role of the image is to somehow cut through the clutter of an average Facebook page template, attract the user's attention and  speak to that social segment.  Eye-poking creative has good success when married with strong copy that includes user benefit, an offer and a call to action.

So there you have it. Hopefully that helps answer some burning Facebook questions! If you're interested to know more, Marty will be speaking at the upcoming SES conference in Toronto!


A Guide To Community Building

For the last few months my colleague, Ujwal Arkalgud, and I have been researching the communities of Digg and Reddit to determine the role that culture plays in online communities. We went into the research unsure of what we would learn, and came out with some pretty amazing and useful findings. First, we found that culture absolutely plays a role in the building and proliferation of online communities. More specifically, there are specific counter-cultural elements pertaining to design, social interaction and structure that are essential for every online community.  We have seen these elements manifest themselves in older communities like the WELL and as well as the leading communities today like Digg and Reddit.

Second, we found that the further an online community moves away from these core counter-cultural characteristics, the weaker the community becomes.  As communities approach the 'break point' they begin to take the form of groups, content distribution and syndication networks.

Based on these findings, we were able to pin-point 6 key counter-cultural elements necessary for an online community to be successful, and use them to develop specific recommendations for  building or activating an online community.

Check out our research report for the full lists, findings and full research.

Evolving the Presentation

The other day I saw Nick Parrish of Contagious Magazine speak here in Toronto. While I thoroughly enjoyed his talk, one thing struck me: Here we are celebrating whole new ways of communicating, marketing and advertising, yet the way we talk about them hasn't changed. When is the last time you went to a presentation that was something more than a guy (or gal...or even a Guy Gal) behind a podium (or holding a microphone) and standing next to or beside a screen displaying their slides? Sometimes there is video. Sometimes, cool demos.

The last big change to the way we presented was with Twitter. Rather than having to wait until a more formal question and answer period, or leaning to the person next to you to whisper your opinion, you could take to the internet and communicate with the rest of the people in the room about what was being said on stage. For many conferences, this Twitter backchannel was as important was what was going on at the front of the room.

However, it still feels like an add-on, and has changed the audience's way of experiencing a presentation rather than the way the information is being presented.

Prezi shows promise as an alternative to Powerpoint and Keynote, but it is still just another way of putting information up on slides (it's the unique transitions between slides that makes it stand out). Plus, I've heard Prezi gives people motion sickness.

Live streaming and the TED-like practice of putting everything online has given more people access to presentations, but it certainly hasn't changed the presentation format.

So what's the next big step for presenting? We know our content is interesting, but how can we utilize some of the new media technologies we talk about to deliver it in a more interesting way? How can we engage the audience while still sticking to script and not getting distracted? If the content is the problem, how can we make it better?

I definitely don't have the answers, but I'm going to look for them.


GroupMe, GroupYou

Ever since its official launch at SXSW this year, there's been a ton of buzz about GroupMe. In case you're a bit late to the party, GroupMe is a social app that lets you create groups with your friends to share texts, photos, locations and conference call. It's also free and works with any phone that can text. I downloaded it for my iPhone recently to use at Coachella (woot!), and I've since started adding all of my friends who are going with me, so that we can easily stay in touch when we're all off  dancing to our own beats.  There's a ton of potential from a personal perspective, but there are strong business implications too.

GroupMe has the potential to play a big role in community development and communications. They recently released Featured Groups, which helps brands connect directly with members to share information, news and promotions. So far, there are only 5 brands with this feature.  As GroupMe users create groups around one of these brands, the brands can engage with the group by sending messages, photos, answering questions or posting special promotions directly to each group.  This is a pretty cool feature, and really allows companies to interact with people who they know are passionate about their brands, building stronger ties with their biggest fans and growing awareness through Word of Mouth. I'm sure it's only a matter of time until GroupMe resolves any kinks this first group may experience and opens Featured Groups to more brands.

Another potential use for GroupMe are small closed communities.  Brands who host closed advisory panels may decide to test GroupMe to send members updates and  and  host regular conference calls. Depending on the size and preferences of the group, members can also send messages to one another,  building relationships and solidifying the community itself.

Currently, GroupMe doesn't allow groups larger than 25 people and recommends smaller groups to prevent message overload. However, if the digital prophets are correct, and group messaging is the next 'big thing', then it is only a matter of time before platforms like GroupMe expand, offering more options for brands and branded communities.

Are you currently using GroupMe? What do you think?

What do you think of advertising on Reddit?

I've been increasingly interested in exploring advertising options on social media sites over the past year or so. Facebook ads whetted my appetite, I'm fascinated by the possibilities of StumbleUpon's Paid Discovery service and now I want to learn more about advertising on Reddit. If you're a Reddit user, how do you feel about Sponsored Links at the top of your favourite website?

If you're an advertiser, have you advertised on Reddit before? How did it work out for you?

Thanks to everyone who responds!


Your Profile Photo Sucks

We've all got one of those online friends whose profile photo just sucks. Maybe it was a bad hair day for them, maybe it was a bad angle or maybe the light was bad. For whatever reason, it just isn't a good photo.

You have no idea why they chose it as a profile photo. Maybe they were in a rush. Maybe it was the one they had on their desktop when they started their account. Maybe someone else told them it looks good.

The problem is that if you tell them their profile photo sucks,  they might take it the wrong way. They might not understand that you've only got their best interests in mind.

What's the best way to tell them? How great would it be if there was way to tell them their profile photo was awful without letting on that it was you?

The Facebook Response Ratio

I've come to love Facebook Insights these days. They can provide you with an incredible wealth of data, particularly about what type of content resonates best with your fans. One of the ways that I've been measuring this is by the Response Ratio: The number response a post has received (comments + likes), divided by the number of fans the page has (often I then multiply this final number by 1000 just so its easier to work with...I'm sure there's a mathematical statistical term for this).

While Facebook provides you with the number of impressions your post has had, and the Feedback percentage for this post, you can't easily get this information for pages your competitors or pages in the same category. However,  Response Ratio allows you to do this, so that you can easily compare the amount of engagement your page has compared to similar ones, regardless of fan size.

Part of what started this thinking was a debate we had at work about how much engagement National Geographic's Facebook page has. Their status updates average something like 3,000 comments and Likes each. This sounds huge, but not compared to their 4.5 million fans.

In fact, despite the amazing content that National Geographic is sharing, their level of engagement is much lower than that of the average brand page (at least, the ones Radar DDB is working on ;-) ). An example of the Response Ratio for their last ten updates is as follows:

As you can see, there are a couple of troughs and peaks. The big spike at 9 is for a post they had linking to a photo gallery Iceland, while other spikes represent a post linking photos of pagodas in China and a post linking to an article about Pi Day. The low point for National Geographic? A link to a picture of a man with his cattle.

In this (very small) sample, our basic analysis says  that National Geographic fans are interested in compelling photo series, rather than articles or single photos. If we extended our reporting period to the last month (instead of the last ten posts), we'd probably be able to build a much better picture of the type of content these fans enjoy. Comparing the National Geographic page to similar pages  (for example, Discovery Channel's Planet Earth) and doing an analysis of the Response Ratio might even give some insight into what types of new content National Geographic should be posting.

In the below chart, I also looked at the Fox News Facebook page

So what was that post on the Fox News Facebook Page that got so many comments and likes?

And with that, I think I've proven my point that the Facebook Response Ratio is a valuable tool for measuring the types of content that resonate well with a page's fans.

However, it will always be necessary to measure the sentiment and types of responses that a page's are updates are getting. While on-page engagement is great, it might not necessarily be the right type of engagement for a brand, nor will it necessarily drive business results.

Do you think you will use the Facebook Response Ratio? Are there any other ways to measure the success of yours or competitor Facebook pages, besides pure fan numbers?


PS: If you like this post, you might like this other post I wrote about the Best Time To Post On Facebook

Data is so hot right now

Infographics are hot right now - it sees like everyone is getting in on them. And why not? They're fun. These days though, I'm more interested in the data behind the infographics. Maybe it is just because I've been heads-down doing a ton of online research to inform creative ideas for clients, or maybe its just because I like data. I especially like the large data sets that are made easily accessible thanks to social media.

Here are a couple of my favorite pieces of data mining (and I think all of them could make for great infographics):

TorrentFreak predicts Inception will clean up at the Oscars

Per their blog post: "After crunching the numbers, taken from thousands of publicly available torrents, this awards race turned out to be an easy win for Inception. With a staggering 13,780,000 downloads Christopher Nolan’s movie was the clear winner." Note: based on previous years, these torrent-based predictions don't necessarily hold true.

Stumbling During the Super Bowl

StumbleUpon is easily my favourite social media site/tool/distraction, and it was really cool to see the way they analyzed the way people were using the site over the course of the Super Bowl.

Music Download Analysis Reveals Mood of Bahrain

I loved this post that BoingBoing made over the weekend about judging the national mood of countries based on the music that was being downloaded. How has this changed over time? What would it look like compared the current economy?

Comment Profanity By Lanuage

In this little study, someone compared the amount of swear words included in different types of computer code.

Have you seen any other cool bits of data mining and analysis like this?


Choose Your Own Streets Adventure

I'm a big fan of both The Streets and interactive YouTube videos so I was pretty excited to see the promo video for The Streets' new album today. The video series is like a choose your own adventure, with the user deciding how The Streets' Mike Skinner goes about his day. The cool part is that some of the story lines lead you to song samples from the album. Finding the first one was neat, but having to go through parts of the story again to find all of them was a little bit annoying.

Check it out!

Pure Performance

Sometimes you get handed a project at work, and you're the only one on it. You see it through from every step and when its finished, for better or worse, it was all you. Sometimes though, you're just a small cog in a big machine, a player on the team.

Either way, it feels amazing when things come together and you see some success.

When you're working in social media, sometimes that success looks like seeing your clients' content on some of the biggest blogs in the world, then shared across dozens of different social networks.

Sometimes it is just hundreds of thousands of views.

Sometimes its both:

And the making of:

A lot of hands when into making these videos and letting them out into the wild, but I think most of the credit goes to creative forces here at DDB Canada.

Facebook Newsfeed: Breaking your brand on through

Facebook is a big part of the online marketing mix. When it's the right platform for your brand, Facebook fan pages can have some pretty amazing results in driving the awareness and engagement of your brand. That said, its only effective if your brand's posts, pictures, links and updates are actually being noticed. Since a majority of people don't check back onto fan pages daily, it's essential for your posts to appear on their news feeds to capture their attention. If you're a veteran user of Facebook, you know that not every post you submit gets seen by all of your friends, and that Facebook runs on specific (and secret) algorithms to select which posts it shows and to whom. So what can marketers do to increase their chances of showing up on more walls? I came across this Business Insider article entitled How Facebook Decides What To Put on Your News Feed. Although their experiment was based on personal profile postings and news feeds, to some degree it should hold true for fan page posts as well.

1.  Provide compelling content that inspires your fans to click on your fan page - this includes links, pictures and videos. Links trump plain text, and photos and videos trump links. The article explains that Facebook operates on a user engagement and clicks, because they increases the amount of time people spend on Facebook. So, the more posts you have that are inspire engagement, the more relevance your posts will have.
2.  Comments go a long way to helping  your post appear on more news feeds, and generating more click-throughs to your content. Ask open ended or opinion questions  to encourage comments on your Facebook posts.
3. Inspire people to visit your page.  Post links to your page on other channels or provide content that encourages sharing. This one may sound obvious, but the more traffic your fan page gets, the more relevance it will have, and the more it will appear on your fans' news feeds.
4. Avoid only targeting people with a lot of friends. It is harder to get onto the news feeds of people with 500+ friends, than it is to break through onto feeds of people with less friends. To help build momentum invite people from both ends of the spectrum.
How do you get your content noticed? Any tips or secrets you wish to share?
PS: Don't forget to become a fan of BlogCampaigning on Facebook! Same great content, different platform!

Negative Comments Can Have Positive Results

Most companies have realized that digital communications and social media tools are here to stay. They accept that they will need to embrace online strategies or go the way of the dodo, but many are still scared.  Can you really blame them? I can't.  No matter how succinct a company's launch into social media may be, it's unlikely they will completely avoid negative comments or  haters of their brand.  But this is not necessarily a bad thing. Negative comments or feelings can go a long way to actually help a company move forward with a successful social media program.
I recently worked with a client to launch a new product using a number of social media channels. Part of their program involved seeding content on  content sharing and community based sites. On some sites, the content was rather well received, and got positive reactions from bloggers and online media. On others, however, the content did not meet the standards of the community members. They felt the content provided too little value and made sure they told us so.  Confronted by negative feelings, we had to act fast to address their concerns.
We wrote a response thanking those who had spoken up for their feedback. Negative feedback is just as useful as positive.
We then wrote direct messages to the specific members who were most vocal, asking them for more input: What kind of content would they like to see? What questions (if any) did they have that we might be able to answer? Would they be willing to discuss industry topics in greater depth to help develop content that would provide real value to their community?
Unfortunately the community members didn't continue to engage with us after their initial round of commenting. However, we learned some really valuable information about the community and industry.  This community site is absolutely one we want to work with going forward. Even though their comments were negative, they are engaged and passionate.
No brand is hater free.  Negative comments are always a strong possibility. It's what you do with them and how you learn from them that will decide if your social media campaign will flourish or fall flat. Social media is social - good or bad, all comments count!

Fashion Friday: Traditional German Drinking Hats

On Thursday afternoon I joined my Toronto Tribal DDB/Radar DDB colleagues at a local pub to wind down the work week. After ordering a pint of Labatt Blue, the owner of the bar brought over some samples of a German wheat beer, and told us that if we ordered a pint we'd be entered into a draw to win an authentic German drinking hat as well as a sausage on a bun.

I liked the sample, and was planning on ordering a pint of the beer anyways when the waitress told us that the owner was mistaken: I wasn't entered into contest to win the sausage and hat. They were included with the beer!

As Ed Lee pointed out, this is one particular case where these types of free promotions were worthwhile for the brewery: I Tweeted about it (mentioning Jens and Malte in my Tweet, two German friends who are probably likely to at least try drinking this beer if they hadn't already), and Ed posted a picture of the deal on his influential and widely-read gastronomy/business blog "Marketing Chef."

So how was it?

The sausage was well cooked, with a great sauteed onion and mustard topping.

The beer, Weinhenstephan, was amazing.I'm a fan of these "Weiss" beers and this one was particularly good. I'd definitely order it again, even without the promise of a hat and sausage to accompany it.

And the hat? Pretty awesome.

It might not become part of my everyday wardrobe, but I like to think I pull it off pretty well.

What do you think? When is the right occasion for wearing a traditional German drinking hat? And what do you think about theses types of give-away promotions? Are they worth it?


PS: Thanks for reading another edition of Fashion Friday on BlogCampaigning!