Don’t Think A “Social” Relationship Is Just For Your Customers

Social Media and Engagement Marketing is a double edged sword for those who don’t know how to execute properly. It can be limiting to most brand marketers without them even knowing it.

Social Media allows brands to reach a new audience instantly and to enhance and create a brand persona. However, a lot of marketers focus only on creating those relationships with their customers and sometimes get blinded by the possibilities. Those that think that way are prohibiting themselves from putting this tool to work for their brand(s).

A powerful relationship that can be created via social media (and is often overlooked) are brand partnerships – also known as “partner marketing.” In a way, it is the new form of brand sponsorships. It allows a brand to create a relationship with an existing brand and to tap into an existing audience.

Five Ideas for a Brand Partnership Campaign

1. Have a brand “sponsor” your contest – this is pretty self explanatory. Next time you are thinking of running a contest, talk to some brand appropriate partners to become a part of it. They win by getting exposure for their brand with your current audience. Make sure you choose a brand that has an audience similar to your contest goals. For example: if you are wanting to expand to a younger audience, think about partnering with a urban product/brand to introduce yourselves to.

2. Get involved with a popular cause – there are many benefits to your brand by getting involved with a cause. However, by doing this and leveraging it socially, you are not only creating a relationship with a new audience, you are deepening the loyalty with your current audience.

3. Syndication strategy – If you don’t have the time and resources to create a full brand partnership campaign, you can always test out the partnership by creating a syndication strategy with a desired brand. Cross-promotion can be done on Twitter successfully by leveraging hashtags to link the branded tweets together. Whether it is agreeing to promote a product or an event, you could see big results from this quick marketing enhancement.

4. Limited time product offers – Set up a limited time discount code/product offer for your brand partner to promote to their audience socially. Allow your brand partner to have exclusive rights on promoting it.

5. Guest Blog – You can get creative with this and it can be a nice addition to your marketing efforts. Creating and managing a blogging strategy is VERY time consuming. Guest blogging is a nice way to dip your toe into the blogging waters to gain the benefits. Star by finding a brand blog that is relevant to your brand or blogging goals. Partner as becoming a guest blogger (or vice versa) to gain awareness with the readers. Work out a monthly schedule to become a trusted voice among the audience and track all referring traffic to determine success.


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The Power of a Mature Fanbase

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Headline “Cheat-Sheet”

I am fascinated by the psychological aspect of marketing. What makes a person buy, click and share? Your content and messaging is what triggers them first. It is what holds your entire campaign together – the voice of your brand. With that said, I thought that these little tips for headline writing might be something worth sharing!

I hope that this will be helpful in your blogging/online writing endeavors.

Thanks to, below is a list of the top headline phrases to use to get the most out of your “stories.”

1. The Shocking Truth About _______

example: The Shocking Truth About Facebook

2. xx Lies That You ________

example: 10 Lies That Advertisers Want You To Think

3. xx Things That _________

example: 5 Things Your Campaign Must Have

4. How To: _________

example: How To Connect With Your Fans

5. Shortcuts!

example: Five Shortcuts to Your Reporting

6. Do You Make These _______

example: Do You Make These Errors When Writing?

7. xx Mistakes You _______

example: 11 Mistakes You Don’t Know You’re Making

8. Top 10 _________

example: Top 10 Rules for Engagement


The Power of a Mature Fanbase

Social media is one of the most vital customer development and customer relations programs for any consumer focused company today. As online purchasing and consumer technology advances, people are turning to online communities for brand education, recommendations, purchasing and customer service.

While marketing is used to drive people to the online communities, the communities themselves are designed to do so much more.  Companies that spend the time, budget and resources to develop a mature fan community are able to reach out to their consumer base instantly. Every fan interaction implies endorsement to their online network. It is faster, more efficient and has more impact than any mass media effort.

First, let me start with defining what a mature community is. A mature community, in my opinion, does not mean you have the most fans out of all of your competitors. A true mature community is more about quality than quantity.

It means the majority of your fans are engaged with the brand on a personal and active level. You are able to post educational and brand focused content and it excites your audience. Your page is full of user-generated content.

Users are more than users – they are advocates! You have a good base of fans that will share your content and aren’t just a fan of your page because you are offering a discount upon “Liking.”

A mature community provides:

• Vital consumer and customer knowledge – providing very honest and engaging insights into your customer base instantly using polling, post and web apps.

• A very effective customer relations/care platform – where customers will come to engage your brand directly through social media. This reduces expensive call center engagements.

• Virtual sales force to pre-educate and qualify customers for online sales.  Providing direct access to enriched content, consumer reviews and recommendations prior to making a price value decision at your online store or retail environment.

• Develop consumer advocates who will carry your brand to their entire network. If your current fan base contains 9000 fans, that means you have a combined network of over 1.6 million that will receive a brand impression with every post (each fan has an average of 180 friends in their network). With an average of 1 per day that is over 48 million direct impressions monthly for your brand. Much more cost effective than a print ad!

An enriched, mature community is vital to your future marketing efforts. Before you have a strong branding campaign you should have a strong online community in place to support the brand messages.


The Communication Evolution

Communication EvolutionJay Baer said it best “…businesses have always adapted to the new forms of communication…telephone, fax machine, emails, websites and all other communication modalities, in many ways social media and communicating with customers via social media is the next evolution in the communication technology chain. We have changed our businesses tremendously to respond to telephone, emails, websites, etc. and we haven’t done jack in terms of transforming our business in result of the social media evolution. Not transforming your business to meet the real-time challenges from social web is going to hurt…” – Six Pixels of Separation with Mitch Joel #239

He’s right! Why have brands been so guarded when it comes to social media? It is just another form of communication that our customers are using to record and share their entire lives…why not have your brand be a part of that?

Here are some of my favorite stats regarding communication methods that marketers have used in the past and how social stacks up to that.

Years it took to reach 50 million users:
RADIO – 38 years
TV – 13 years
INTERNET – 4 years
iPod – 3 years
FACEBOOK – added 100 million users in less than nine months!
iPod downloads hit 1 Billion in nine months!
– Source Social Media Revolution

By the way, Jae Baer and Amber Naslund just released their book – The Now Revolution. They claim it is not just another social media book – but more a book about the impact of social media. My digital copy is on my iPad and I will be blogging as I read through it. Stay tuned…


Is Kenneth Cole’s PR Disaster Easier to Deal With on Twitter?

I am sure you have already seen the s*** storm that has been created by KC’s infamous stream of inappropriate and inconsiderate tweets that have caused a commotion all over the world! His tweets are not only causing an uproar on Twitter, the backlash and constant comments have taken over the brand’s Facebook page and caused numerous articles online including coverage by and

To be fair, KC does have some loyal fans that will not be jaded by this offense. You can see this on his Facebook page where fans are stepping up to defend the brand and the overall quality of the products. Which brings me to this question…Is the power of social media a benefit for his brand’s recovery…or a nightmare?

1. Instant retractions can be powerful. Before social media, brands would generate press releases to submit to media outlets. Then, they would just sit and wait to see what the reactions would be for them to then formulate their next steps. KC was able to get a statement up immediately to his “fans” after the reactions began.

2. KC was able to add a personal touch to his apologies. He posted the below comment, which I find to be genuine, to his 130k+ Facebook fans. Social media allows brands to humanize everything that they market, including apologies. KC is able to address every post if he wanted to with a personal message and apology. That goes a long way for brands on social sites. If customers/fans are taking the time to post on their profiles, they expect the brand to address their comments with something other than a standard public statement.

3. Fans can defend their brand publicly. In the case of Kenneth Cole, a small percentage of his online fans are shedding light to this disastrous situation. They are staying loyal to the brand and letting everyone know.

BUT…we can’t forget how KC got here. The power of social media is what got him to this point. He has been tweeting 140 character offenses for months, but his Cairo tweet was enough.

What do you think? Is the recovery dependent on the power of social media or is social media a double edge sword?