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What are you wearing?

Magazine publisher CondéNet, who purchased the application “What are you wearing?” earlier this year, has found success linking the application to Facebook reports Media Week.

The application allows you to tell your network of friends what brands of clothes you are wearing. Already, 90,000 users have added it to their facebook accounts and it is growing at 1,000 per day. Today’s most popular brand is Zara, which the following people are wearing.

Within the application there is a banner advertisement which is currently advertises the Guess brand’s Club G via the CondéNet owned Flip social network.

CondéNet has also released a spin-off application known as What are you wearing for Halloween.

Perspective: Currently Facebook are allowing applications to run their own ads, and this creates enormous opportunity for brands to leverage the social network to reach consumers. This could be by creating an application related to the brand essence, or by sponsoring an application. People are using their facebook accounts to express things about who they are and what they like, so it makes sense to provide tools that aid this expression. If you are looking for ideas for your brand, start by checking out some of the best Facebook Applications.

Social Media spend set to increase

Marketing Spending on social media will surpass traditional marketing spend by the end of 2012, according to a study conducted by TWI Surveys, writes New Communications Review.

260 senior PR and Marketing Communications professionals were surveyed and the results surprised even me.

– 81% of survey respondents said they will spend at least as much on conversational marketing as traditional marketing by 2012.
– Two-thirds of respondents plan to increase their spending on conversational marketing in the next 12 months.

The top obstacles to increased spending on conversational marketing, according to survey respondents:
– Manpower restraints: 51.1%
– Fear of loss of control: 46.9%
– Inadequate metrics: 45.4%
– Culture of their organizations: 43.5%

I would add to these obstacles the following :-
– Agencies do not have the necessary skills to capitalise on emerging marketing trends
– Changes in ownership and consolidation of the large social networks

Perspective: I have always been one to research and explore emerging marketing trends, and whilst I agree that social media spend will account for an increasing portion of marketing spend, I am not sure it will overtake traditional marketing within 5 years. There will also be a convergence in the media channels which will make it increasingly harder to categorise something as traditional or emerging. What I am convinced of is the need for brands to start experimenting with how to engage consumers where they will no doubt be spending more and more of their time.

Creative Crowd Sourcing

Genius Rocket, is a community designed to allow companies with Creative needs to connect with Creative resources, who submit creative entries which are then scored by the members of the Genius Rocket community.

The concept is valid, but whether the site is successful will depend on the quality of creative talent it can recruit, and then whether it has enough “assignments” to allow this community to be rewarded. I suspect agencies and perhaps small businesses will be the main users of this site seeking cost effective creative input.

Perspective: Crowd Sourcing is a topic that i am convinced will grow. It’s also interesting to watch the various implementations of how sites like Genius Rocket execute this. So far, they seem to have implemented a rather simple rating system which allows the community to rate various entries. I think these systems are prone to abuse until you get a large critical mass of people are active. Otherwise, the submissions who have the ability to call for votes from their friends will bubble to the top. I think with Creativity, you ideally have a process where people can collaborate and build on the best ideas.

To Stacy from Stacy – free chips!

Stacy’s chips .. (part of Frito lay), couldn’t afford to provide a sample of their chips to everyone in the US .. that would be 300 million chip packets. So instead, they sent a sample pack to everyone called Stacy .. which was 133,000 people.

As well as receiving the Brand story, the Stacy recipients were invited to share their sample with their friends with the following message.

“We hope you enjoyed getting your free box of Stacy’s Pita Chips as much as we enjoyed sending them to you. If you did, why not share the joy by sending a FREE gift box to a friend? Since we’ve already sent them to every Stacy, you’re free to send them to Bill or Mary or Cheryl or John—or whoever you think would enjoy Stacy’s chips the most.”

stacys

The Stacy Consumers were impressed, and many of them not only shared the sample, but also shared their story online. Like Josh, and Ryan (husband of a Stacy), and this Stacy, and no doubt many others.

Perspective: This is a great example of a brand creating an unexpected positive experience for consumers, that not only rewards, but provides the tools to share that experience when the samples are spread. Positive experiences do make things taste better, and when something tastes better, we tend to repurchase!

DIY goes web2.0

Renovation has got to be one of the most talked about topics, and so it’s no surprise to see a social network built around sharing advice.

Refurber is a well laid out site, and built on the same platform as Minti (the parenting advice social network).

refurber

Refurber has some cool features such as Latest Activity which shows by timestamp how long ago the social network was updated and by who. It’s a good indication that this social network is very active.

The company behind Refurber is Vibe Capital and they are also offering the network engine to people wanting to build an advice driven social network. An example is Building London.

Perspective: Social networks will continue to appear and over time, there will be a place for just about every conversation. So think about the category your brand is in and explore what social networks are emerging. Make sure you establish a program to monitor the conversations as this is a valuable source of research. Then, figure out ways to engage in the conversations, such as establishing advice services, or sponsorship of existing social networks. Conversations in social networks are growing .. is your message being heard?