Facebook closing in on China

"How can you connect the whole world if you leave out 1.6 billion people"- Mark Zuckerberg

I guess it´s just a matter of time. Clearly Facebook is aiming to conquer the 4 remaining target countries China, Russia, Japan and Korea. WITH restrictions and pop-ups saying the government is listening but a little bit is always something.
This article maps out the details, the rumors the facts and the challenges Facebook is facing by entering the Chinese territory.
What’s Really Going On With Facebook’s China Plans


The Actual Costs Of Social Media

18% of TV campaigns produce a positive return on investment. That just doesn't taste so well does it?
Social Media Cost and ROI

I remember when I briefly worked at Live Nation about 2 years ago. A scary experience that I haven´t even included on my CV since I ran away from there like a terrified cat just after 3 months.
I´m not gonna get into the details but basically I found myself in a company where thousands and thousands of euros were going to magazine ads while ZERO euros were going to social media campaigns.
It just didn´t fit me, a surprise to anyone? Didn´t think so.

This post is about what all of this stuff really costs. There are some very different opinions about this depending on who you ask.
Some people say it free, gratis, zero cost and a questionable ROI. They are mistaken.

A social media campaign CAN be exactly as expensive as an Audi TV commercial in prime time Superbowl channel 1. Or it can be extremely cheap and you can end up in the anti-prime-spot 5am on a tuesday on channel 754. It´s up to you!

If you look at This example of social media campaign costs you could easily be scared away. BUT keep in mind this is just for you to get an idea. Then you can pick whatever parts that fit your campaign best. All of this is definitely not necessary.

I just read an amazing book called The Now Revolution (already read it twice!) and an important chapter speaks about where you are on the Humanization Highway as a company entering into social media activities.

The first stop on the road is to start listening to what the people are saying about your brand. You can do that with various tools (free or paid-for tools) and that´s a whole other blog post speaking about that. Secondly is the interaction part. You decide you want to join the conversations, influence and steer some of the subjects that are being spoken about. Facilitate for people to do business with you.
Then comes the third step and thats when you are actually participating in an active, professional and social way. Creating a firm team to provide and create content, create stories, map out a social media marketing plan e.t.c.
The two first stops can be pretty cheap. The costs would basically be the time of a person to dedicate to the job and some basic tools to be able to pull the information you want.
The third step is far from free, but will undoubtedly bring you some type of ROI. Whether that be turning bad sentiment into good, selling a new product or creating a loyalty program and having customers return to you over and over again you will see something good coming out of it, and isn't that why we´re in business in the first place?

The biggest costs will probably be your own or employees time and graphic design/application costs. Oh and advertising of course. A Wildfire or Strutta campaign can easily cost you thousands of dollars but they also have free basic polls that can be a good start.
Start small and watch it grow. There is no reason to jump into the big swimming pool if you don´t know how to swim. Take it step by step.

Below is a link to an article talking more about this subject that I found interesting.
The cost of a Social Media Campaign


Facebook Deals! It´s Live!

LBS and Deals. Am I repeating myself too much? Perhaps. But it´s easy to do that when you speak (or write) about something you´re passionate about.
This morning my man called me and the first thing he said was "With who are you having drinks at 10 in the morning?" Um..drinks? The only drinks I had today was a coffee at home and a glass of water in the office. I was confused for 5 seconds until I remembered I helped him install Foursquare yesterday.
He was obviously referring to the random test check-ins I did this morning while walking to the office discovering loyalty specials just while walking. I apparently checked into  Coppala Bar where you get a free tequila on your 3rd checkin. My twisted sense of humor thought that was funny.

Location is fun. Deals are great. Now Facebook is rolling out their Groupon/LivingSocial version and this is gonna be big. Perhaps even pushing the two already established giants off the market who knows.
The advantage Facebook obviously has is the market share and the already savvy 7hours per month user who prefers to stay at one place instead of moving around too much.

In my opinion one crucial thing for Facebook now is to make the deals relevant to each person. The newsfeed is a sensitive place, we unsubscribe and unfriend people more than ever before. We are getting more and more selective. You clog up my newsfeed either with too many updates or with stuff that is not fun or relevant to me? Bye-bye.
I´m into music and sports. So give me concert deals, download coupons and discounts on sports events.
It has great potential and I´m sure Facebook will kick this off in europe too before we know it.
Read more here: New York Times Facebook Deals

Have a good day and remember to check in :-)


I Like Facebook Real-Time Ads

Facebook owns You. Or if they don't already they will in the future. They're like this quiet mega giant swallowing us all without us even noticing it.

A friend of mine was "hanging out" with another friend yesterday and all of a sudden they realized they were sitting there with their two laptops not even talking to eachother. Instead commenting on eachothers pictures and status updates on Facebook.

Targeted advertising has never been so specific as now, but it will be MUCH more targeted in the future.
Imagine you're walking down the street and updating your FB status to "In the mood for a pizza" and you immediately get an ad saying that less than 2 minutes away there is a Domino's.
Or being at the post office waiting in line, putting "Never gonna go to the post office again, waiting in line forever" and you get an ad recommending you a new pick-up-mail service at home.
Or having waited 3 months for internet installation from http://www.orange.es and being so fed up that you post "Fed up with Orange, need internet NOW" and you see an ad of another internet company offering you 20mb within one week.
Real time ad targeting. The possibilities are endless.
Check this site to see a bit of what's possible already. Notice that you will see your friends on top since the algorithm takes care of that. RELEVANCY.

Some facts:

Facebook.com is the most popular website in U.S. history, by total usage.

Facebook is now bigger than Google in terms of total audience

The average user spends 15 or more hours per month on Facebook.

Facebook is now the largest seller of display advertising in the U.S. generating a staggering 770 billion page view per month.

Successful concepts and services that other companies do, Facebook already does or will do shortly after it's been introduced.

Facebook Events (evite)
Facebook Causes (various)
Facebook Places (foursquare)
Facebook Deals (groupon)
Facebook Credits (paypal)
Facebook Messages (email)
Facebook Mobile
…and the soon to be announced Facebook phone (iphone)

I had a discussion with a friend about this subject the other day. Maybe you've seen the invitations from people all over Facebook telling you to change your news feed settings so that you see ALL your friends instead of only "the friends you interact with the most". Some people were so angry when they realized this default setting. I was not. I totally prefer 10 times to see a smaller portion of the friends I'm actually interested in seeing. Yes, you're right, maybe I should "unfriend" the people I have no interest in but hey, once in a while I check their stuff too and in this sense I have a bit of Facebook-conflict-fear. "You unfriend ME, WHY?!" "Um..well I just didnt wanna see your updates every day".
The point here is I like to see a selection that fits me. I like for someone, Facebook or whoever to facilitate the ads that fit me the best.
Yes Facebook gets a TON of information of me, and YES Facebook owns my pictures for 25 years. SO WHAT?! What are they possibly gonna do with my pictures? Sell them? No. Use them in a porno magazine? No.
If they can make my life easier by offering me a place to fix my bike and maybe even with a discount JUST after I update my status "My bike just broke" I'm ALL for it.
It's almost impossible to NOT see ads in todays world. Now, if I'm gonna see ads them please target me with ads relevant to me.


LBS Start Executing!

Location Based Services (LBS) are everywhere. We're talking Facebook Places and Foursquare mainly here, or at least those two are my personal choices.
Now this new study is showing us that 40% of smartphone users have adopted location based services. That's a big chunk of people.
So how can marketers integrate LBS into their Marketing Plan? First of all sign up, read, learn, check out what your competitors are doing. Secondly, register your business, claim your places and start thinking what strategy is best for you, what are your goals? What do you want to achieve?
Is it to make your customers return and maybe then offer every 10th check in a discount? Or is it to get new customers and perhaps offer a reward to the people who refer new customers? Do you wanna create an email database and ask people to leave their email addresses? Are you launching a new product and wanna get people to try it out with a Test type of promotion?
Then another piece of important information: A campaign doesn't carry out itself by showing up in one channel. Integration of your promotion on all channels is essential. SHOW people what you're doing on your website, on Twitter, on the TV add spot even! In your physical stores, post a note "CHECK IN ON FACEBOOK AND GET ACCESS TO EXCLUSIVE PROMOTIONS".
There is lots of stuff to do, but start thinking about it now if you haven't already!


Doing Social Media Right

Today I watched a webinar with two of the most famous social media gurus right now. Mike Stelzner and Mari Smith who both are active consultants and professionals in the social media jungle.
The subject was "How 9 companies do Social Media Right" and it was extremely interesting to see the examples they showed.
I´d like to just write down what struck me the most this time. What I thought was most innovate and creative.
First of all, hands down to restaurant  San Chez Bistro for allowing people to reserve a table through Twitter. Great innovative thinking and just what people like me need. To all restaurant owners: More of that please!
Next up Ford Motors. Its no brain surgery that Ford is famous for having done social just right for quite a while now. This example was their "Stories" tab and the "Idea" tab. This basically is a way for people to share THEIR stories about their Ford Explorers or Escorts. The idea tab is similar to what Starbucks does with My Starbucks Idea where people can actually contribute with ideas about how to make the coffee better. Awesome work!
 Martell Home Builders build new homes and have a widget on their webpage which shows where exactly on a map your closest contractor is. GENIUS for brands that deliver Pizza or flowers or Cupcakes. Ge-location, I´ve said it before and I´ll say it again. Rocks!

Then we have Zappos.  2 things I love: The CEO is actively tweeting, Go Tony! Secondly they promote a Fan Of The Week which I find absolutely great. Voting, Engagement, Activity isn't that what Social Media is all about?

These are the take-aways:

Develop USEFUL content
Profile your raving fans
Make your content easy and sharable, and FUN!
Build community
Encourage fans to share stories
Make involvement fun
Try Fb e-commerce
Think outside the box
Create special offers for fans


How To Grow A Community Online

The Amateur Approach To Building Online Communities

How To Grow A Community

Parfume Brands Being Social

Two perfume brands doing Social Media just right.
Oscar De La Renta gives away samples of their new fragrance. Just like their page and leave your digits and you´ll get it in the regular mail. I already signed up for it.
Oscar De La Renta-fragrance launch Facebook

Marc Jacobs did some great things last year too:
Marc Jacobs in Social Media

Facebook launches Check-In to Events

This is freakin´ brilliant. Me triple like this one.
Facebook launches "Check into events"

What does this mean to brands? Well first of all it gives an incentive to use FB Places more.
The viral potential is huge. Take a sports event for example. Football game, 100.000 people at the stadium, checking into the game, finding out who´s nearby, finding out the merch store offers a discount on the Messi sweater, only Today.
And then we have the numbers... from 200 to 250 million:
"Mobile continues to be an important priority for the company. Facebook revealed last week that 250 million people are actively using Facebook via mobile devices on a monthly basis"
The Power of Check-Ins

Facebook to focus on Mobile this year

We heard about this a while back CTO Mr Taylor at FB announcing it´s commitment to mobile, but this article gives some example of what we can expect. Personally I´m the heaviest believer in FB Deals. It attracts me, once it´s rolled out in the rest of the world it will help me and makes my life easier and more exiting. Here you go: 3 Facebook Mobile Trends to Watch This Year
Read article here