As we see more and more ad dollars move to online, everyone is rushing to make their mark in the webspace. Of course, the current source of online media right now is social marketing, and one of the most common question for brands in this area is which to use: Facebook or Twitter?
Keep in mind that not only are these two different platforms but that you're also reaching slightly different audiences with each. That being said, depending on your product or service, both or either of these community sites could be a great way for consumers with a common passion for your brand to get together and have you push news to them. Consumers joining your Facebook page is a voluntary move that is incredibly welcome in an age where people are more and more weary of spam and secretly paid sponsorships.
In a nutshell:
- There are about 125,800,000 accounts open in the US. Of that:
12.7 million are 13-17 (10.1%)
31.1 million are 18-24 (24.7%)
31.4 million are 25-34 (25%)
21.8 million are 35-44 (17.3%)
28.8 million are 45+ (22.9%)
43.4% are male, 54.6% are female (the rest of the accounts are not specified)
There are 100+ million registered accounts (most, however, are outside the US). According to ComScore, 30% of their users were under 25 at the end of 2009, with that number having increased about 10% since 2008. Like Facebook (and most social media sites in general), Twitter is slightly more female, but the discrepancy between female and male users isn't as large.
The few facts above touch the surface of what kind of research can be done on these sites, but it is a good start. Things are changing rapidly in the internet world; for example, on Facebook, the 35+ age group is growing the fastest.
Social media is a great tool if used effectively: dog lovers unite under the Dogasaur Facebook fan page, and the health-conscious as well as moms join the Lovin' Scoopful page. Oh, and another thing: it's easier to target peripheral audiences, like supporters of the Special Olympics, using social media if it is done correctly. A couple of months ago I contacted the marketing person running the Special Olympics Facebook page and asked him if the Special Olympics and Lovin' Scoopful could trade shout-outs just because I knew that the Special Olympics has a very broad audience and supporters would like an ice cream brand that donated to a cause they are passionate about:
Users engage by commenting on, “like”-ing and retweeting status updates and pictures while seeing relevant information that they opted in to receive. Tailor your messages to your specific audience via the specific medium; even if your entire audience is a certain demographic, your social media audience may or may not reflect the same. With the internet becoming increasingly available and portable and networking sites growing bigger and bigger, you may want to use the data above to determine how much time you should spend expanding your brand image in these areas.
It's been four long years since the last world cup took place in Germany, when Italy beat France for the prestigious cup! This Friday the referee’s whistle will mark the beginning of the first world cup of this decade, hosted for the first time in the African continent. The 2010 FIFA World Cup will be in its 19th edition and it’s scheduled to take place between 11 June and 11 July 2010 in South Africa. Soccer mania is seen everywhere: outdoor advertising, print, radio, mobile and online, with media spends this year higher than any other year.
Some of the biggest soccer stars today like: Messi, Torres, Ronaldo, Kaka, Beckham and many others will take part on the world's most-watched sporting event. According to the 2006 FIFA World Cup™ / Infront Sports & Media, billions of people watched the World cup, and a good chuck of it did so in 2006 via online, from which we can only speculate that those numbers will rise tremendously this year. Here are the 2006 numbers: FIFAWorldCup.com became the most successful sports event website in history with 4.2 billion page views from June 9 - July 9 — more than double the traffic recorded during the 2002 event. More than 125 million video streams, and more than 73 million page views on the mobile web portal after FIFAWorldCup.com went mobile for the first time. So, this clearly demonstrates that the online medium has grown quite a bit and that there is a huge market that can be prove to be high lucrative to tap into.
New and existing brands that support FIFA are beginning to spend more time and money in online marketing and have come up with many different ways to capture the loyal soccer fans attention to grab a piece of the pie. It’s all about making a good and long lasting impression, capturing the most eye balls and highest participation possible. Smart branding for an event of this magnitude and scale is key!
But before taking a look at the participating brands involved in this whole marketing game, let’s see how the hosting nation is branding itself to impress the world.
In preparation to this worldwide event, South Africa spent billions of dollars to brand itself the best way possible. Five new stadiums were built for the tournament and five existing venues have been upgraded. In addition to the stadiums being built and upgraded, South Africa has also improved its current public transport infrastructure within the various cities, with state of the art transportation systems and projects. Hotels, restaurants, parks and many other hospitality establishments have also spent millions preparing for this big event to be ready to accommodate visitors to full capacity.
South Africa has also implemented safety and security measures for local and international tourists attending the largest event in the world. Overall, the country has invested almost $10 billion, in four years leading this event, which they hope to be a great success and view the whole thing as an investment in the long run. That’s a lot of money for a developing nation struggling with so many internal problems like health and crime. Let’s just hope that what happened to Greece at the Olympics doesn’t replicate here a few years later!
South Africa has put a lot on the line in the name of branding itself to the world the hard way, but are they investing money in social media channels the same way World Cup sponsors have?
Let’s now take a look at how well some brands are doing branding themselves particularly in the online side of the business.
Official FIFA sponsors and sports/soccer centric brands have invested a great deal of money in social media for this World Cup. All of the official World Cup sponsors (and many non-official sponsors too) have been busy working on the newest application that can connect fans with a global social media audience via Facebook and their mobile phones, the most engaging viral marketing campaign and the most fun and simple ways to engage audiences and get them to participate.
Here is a list of brands that are present at this edition of the World Cup (some of them long-standing sponsors): McDonald’s, Powerade, Continental, Sony Ericsson, Coca-Cola, Adidas, Visa, Budweiser, Emirates, Nike, Puma, Umbro, and many others. However, not all of these made the cut on my short list of brands worth mentioning that have done a great job branding themselves at this year’s World Cup with solid online marketing campaigns and should capitalize from social media. These top player brands include: Sony Ericsson, Visa, Adidas, Coca-Cola and Budweiser.
Sony Ericsson - One of the long-term sponsors of the World Cup.
Power of Twitter - With Twittercup, Sony has proven to keep it as simple as possible, with a smart Twitter campaign that tells us social media and sports are a natural fit. The Twittercup collects and counts fan tweets, creating a competition among attending nations. The good is that since its launch in December 2009, the Twittercup has already amassed 43,000 tweets, the bad is that I cannot seem to easily find this on Twitter only the Sony site.
Visa – They have replicated a social application format used during the Olympics that proved to be highly successful called: social media match planner.
Adidas – A World Cup sponsor heavy weight in so many levels, Adidas has been a sponsor of the game since 1954.
TV Soccer Celebrity Ads – Adidas is relying heavily on a big budget TV ads with soccer celebrities like: Kaka, Michael Ballack, Messi, Villa and Zidane called: Fast vs Fast featuring their F50 adizero boots and trying to spark social media conversation on Facebook. At almost 80,000 views thus far, the video count is quite low for a big player in the game known for killer creative ads.
Nevertheless, Adidas has a huge advantage for being a close and strategic partner of the cup with the match ball for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, manufactured by them and provides with boots and wear to many of the players and teams, giving them perhaps the most direct exposure and appeal to a fan.
Coca-Cola – Another brand heavy weight and present at the World Cup since 1974.
Funny UGC YouTube Video Contest – Coca-Cola has taken inspiration from Roger Milla’s 1990 corner flag dance to encourage users to upload their own unique celebrations on to YouTube, the winner of get to go to the World Cup. UGC funnies have proven to be very successful and the simplest the better, so Coke scores high here. Additionally, Coca-Cola is perhaps the largest brand on Facebook with 5.5 million fans and a huge following on Twitter, where the contest is nicely supported.
Budweiser – A well-known brand with a long standing history of success on branding and a sponsored of the World Cup since 1986.
YouTube Reality Show: Budweiser United – Budweiser held a global audition via YouTube to find 32 fans from respective World Cup countries who will live together in South Africa “Real World” style. Once the Cup kicks off Budweiser will create a YouTube reality show documenting the fans as they play out their rivalries en masse. As their team is eliminated so the house member will be kicked out. The two final fans will go to the World Cup final and the winner will present the Budweiser man of the match trophy to the best player. Facebook will play a supporting a strong supporting role.
This one can prove to be the most creative social media campaign that promises to have a lot of legs, since it uses the two strongest channels in social media to replicate a reality show that was very compelling and successful among fans altogether, and may take reality shows to a new level and platform.
What do you think?
Who is faring the best in Social Media?
How well has South Africa done preparing for this colossal event? Have they neglected social media?
Share your thoughts!
We're moving into an era where the line between companies and consumers is becoming more and more blurred. Social media sites like FB and Twitter allow companies to connect with the consumer quickly and on a familiar platform; review sites like Yelp and C-Net pit consumers against or with companies in order to keep companies on track with good business practices and good products; and of course, bloggers are able to reach the masses and over time become trusted resources for news and reviews.
Bloggers are all the rage lately. Anyone can have a blog with an internet connection. You can blog about ANYTHING (hell, I even have a blog about cookies!). And lots of people love to talk — they just need listeners. There are varying degrees of bloggers, too; each topic will have a few bloggers that rise to the top due to their expertise on the subject, their social network and their ability to communicate to the masses. Bloggers are like middlemen between the consumer and/or customer and the company, but they're usually on the consumer / customers' side.
If people were cities on a map, bloggers with a following would be a big dot with bold names. It is for this reason exactly that in my time here I reach out to bloggers. Recently we sent out a bunch of stuff to women with children who we thought would be interested in the Lovin' Scoopful brand — a light gourmet ice cream brand with less fat and fewer calories and they donate to the Special Olympics — to have an ice cream party. They blogged about it (examples can be found here and here) of course, and the positive reviews helped. Some important things to keep in mind when you're looking to reach out to bloggers:
Ideally it's a win-win-win situation: the blogger gets free stuff and popularity, the company gets information out to a targeted audience with very little cost, and readers get helpful tips and news from a trusted resource. There are still skeptics out there who don't see the utility in blogging or the importance of these online journals; however, incorporating bloggers into your media plan might surprise you.
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