What’s so cool about Pinterest?

This is what I think is very cool about Pinterest. But before answer this question, have you ever said something along the lines “hey, can you send me the link?” or “sure, I’ll send you the link”. Well, Pinterest builds on the simple idea of sharing your favorite stuff through links. The fun (very smart of the Pinterest guys) is that these links are shared in a very cool visual interface. So if you are interest in sharing your “LIKES” with your friends or the rest of the world, go to Pinterest.com. Continue reading “What’s so cool about Pinterest?”

The A-B-C of Twitter

Different from e-mail and Facebook, Twitter is not about keeping your profile ‘private’, of course you can set it private, but the essence of Twitter is that it is an open source of information. Twitter won’t be your diary; Twitter will be your newspaper.

Let’s start with the Twitter A-B-C, if you know the basic concepts in e-mailing you will get Twitter easily: Continue reading “The A-B-C of Twitter”

How to use Twitter for Research?

While Facebook is about your friends, Twitter is about following people and topics you are interested in. That said, Twitter can also be used as a research tool.

As some of you know, I am a Lab Associate at Walt Disney Imagineering. My current project involves market research in Nicaragua. The big challenge is that all our team is in the US (Glendale, Seattle, Boston, etc.). The plan is to visit the country in the coming weeks. However, how do we stay in touch with Nicaragua while we are working in the US? How can we learn from what is going on in the country in the meanwhile?. I will use our case to exemplify how to use Twitter as a dynamic research tool. Continue reading “How to use Twitter for Research?”

Google vis-a-vis Facebook

This graph summarizes some key highlights of the business evolution of Facebook compared to Google. Now, with this in mind, can you imagine how would a Google + Facebook alliance look like? What will they be able to do with all the information they have? What better services they can offer to users?… Continue reading “Google vis-a-vis Facebook”

Best Mobile Marketing Campaigns: Knorr

Mobile phones are allowing marketers around the world to take a step closer to consumers by making it possible to reach consumers at what I call “the moment of need”. The moment of need is pretty self-explanatory, is being there when the consumer needs the brands, either to use it or to request information related to the category.

When exploring successful mobile campaigns I found a video about Knorr’s mobile campaign “What’s for dinner tonight?”, which is a Mobile Recipe Book campaign in Brazil and immediately downloaded the app in my iPod Touch.  What is the great thing about this campaign. Well, there are a few things I particularly liked:

  • This campaign was designed for a market where smartphones and regular phones coexist, then consumers could be part of the campaign from several kinds of phones, ranging from the cheapest to the most expensive models. The obvious but big learning here is: Ask yourself what kind of phone do your consumers (mostly) use?
  • Given Brazil is still a 80% pre-paid market (consumers pre-paid their minutes), the campaign needed to address the barrier “I don’t want to spend my cell phone minutes in your campaign”. Therefore, Knorr create a tool that can be used totally offline.
  • Importantly, the recipe book is organized by: Ingredients, occasions, cost, calories. From a user point of view, this organization of the data is great as it reflects consumer decisions-tree when deciding what to cook.
  • Content and recipes are shareable via Social Media from the application, encouraging WOM amongst housewives.

Potential:

After participating in this campaign, I found it very appealing as the recipe book was full of nice pictures and organized in a very friendly design. Additionally, after reviewing the categories, found additional opportunities for other mobile campaign related to the non-profit field, such us food banks (what can you cook with what the ingredients we are giving you?) and food stamps (what can you cook with $5.00).

Literally, food for thought.

– Toni Del Rio

VIDEO: Knorr’s “What’s For Dinner Campaign?”

Don’t Invest Money In “Getting” More Facebook Fans

Interacting with clients that hire me to create a Social Media campaign for them, I often find myself explaining the hen-chicken dilemma. How is the hen-chicken thing related to Social Media? Well, companies and institutions usually approach me with the following challenge: “We want to use social media to interact with our consumers/clients/students/donors?”. Pretty fast, their request translates into “We want more Facebook fans. More Twitter followers”. Question is, what comes first? Chicken or hen? Fans or Branding?

Tactics recommended vary from client to client, from brand to brand; but this is my recommendation from a strategic standpoint: Don’t spend your marketing dollars on incentives or promotions to get more Facebook fans, more Twitter followers, just for the sake of it. Instead, invest your marketing efforts in creating a brand that is worth being a fan, that is worth following. Use your Social Media resources to create a social media community that lives up to the power of your brand, where your fans and followers interact with their favorite brand and strengthen their bond with your brand.

Social media is a just one of the components in your relationship with your consumers. If you have a healthy brand, healthy in business fundamentals (pricing, distribution, etc.) you can do magic with the social media. But it is unfair to expect a turn around in the business just by leveraging on a social media campaign, if your fundamentals are weak. Social media for an unhealthy brand is like having people over and serving the most delicious dinner in a table with only two legs. Go fix that table before you put anything on it. Otherwise, they won’t even get to try your food.

Having a Facebook fan page won’t itself make people become a fan of your brand. Fans of your brand however will find it cool to find their favorite brand on Social Media, and will find it rewarding if what is being offer to them in these platforms is as exciting as their favorite brand. That, generates word of mouth. That, generates business.

The Cash Behind Social Gaming: Farmville

Social gaming definitely opens the door to a new market. A few of days ago I ran into this article “Bing Quintupled Its Facebook Fan Base By Bribing People With FarmVille Cash” and it immediately came back to my mind while I was reading this post. In summary, the results of this Bing campaign are strong: 400,000 Bing Fans in Facebook in 24 hours, not bad right?

What are the possibilities of social media video gaming? How high is up? This is a prediction more than a fact. For perspective, taking a look at the Infographics of World of WordCraft, we can see that it took WoW several years to get approximately 11 million users whereas it only took Farmville two months to accomplish the same.

Continue reading “The Cash Behind Social Gaming: Farmville”

Would charging for Facebook/Twitter make it a sustainable business model?

All the following discussion is merely assumptions of what would happen…

Maybe for the people above 25, Generation X or Digital Inmigrants, it makes sense to pay a reasonable amount of money to continue having the service, because:

a) They are more adverse to change, and therefore, they are willing to avoid going through a new learning curve.

b) They are used to pay for content, magazines, books, music (CDs, Vinyl, etc).

However, these are not the people that would make any business model sustainable, if any Social Media platform is thinking of continue existing in the next 10 years, then they should engage the “Digital natives”. These, contrary to the digital inmigrants, won’t be willing to pay for any of this services because:

a) They are not afraid of change, they like trying new platforms.

b) They have grown absorbing free content, wikipedia (vs. encyclopedias), limewire (vs. CDs), youtube (vs. TV).

c) They are more capable of finding new platform to migrate and substitute current, and they will find them.

On this last bullet, I would like to expand. In order for the market to provide alternative free platforms, there should be an incentive for creators to develop a “new free facebooklike model”. What is that incentive? Shouldn’t the business model leverage on that incentive?

I think that incentive is the amount of information you freely provide to social media. If so, why the business model is not behind using this information to reach consumers more effectively. Maybe advertisers should migrating from buying TGRPs from TV broadcasters to buying “more targeted reach” from Social Media.

One final thought, aren’t we already paying Twitter and Facebook with the huge amount of information we give them for free?…

Who owns my information?

twitter-tonidelrio-screenzoomHow much information are you giving to Social Networks?

When asked about the information we provide to Social Networks, most of us think about the marketing insights we give to the system. This information is used by companies to target users based on their preferences: favorite music, favorite brands, favorite food, etc.

The amount of information we “voluntarily” provide to social networks such as Facebook is humongous, and I am not talking about demographic information. First off, we give Facebook a name and a matching face to that name. We talk about our past: childhood, school, hometown. We talk about our present: “Today: Dinner at Lola with Dean & Corey”. We talk about our future: “20 days to Hawaii! Can’t wait!”

We even tell the system who are the most important people in our lives through our pictures and status updates. You think you haven’t done this? Just answer these questions: Have you ever told someone you love him/her on Facebook? Have you ever uploaded a picture under the label “My Family”, “My home”, “Our anniversary” and so on?

If you find this hard to believe, take a look at the too links below:

1) XBox Promotional Trailer of Prototype


Prototype

2) Promotional Trailer of the movie Flash Forward

FlashForward

Both require Facebook Connect and take a bit to load, but I am positive it will make my point across. Enjoy!