Authentic Uses of
Social Media and the
Adrienne Bartlett, Director of Marketing
2008 AMA Symposium
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Let’s Set Expectations
How Did We Get Here?
1970’s “Application and Catalog”
1980’s Marketing and Direct Mail
1990’s Branding and more Direct Mail
2000’s Authenticity and Social Media
Sharing & Connecting
Web 2.0 is about making connections & sharing
Thoughts. Pictures. Videos. Places. Products.
Think this way:
1.0 = passive
2.0 = active
(making the web more like a
conversation than a library)
Producers & Consumer
Talk the Web 2.0 Talk...
quot;Right now, your customers are writing about your
products on blogs and recutting your
commercials on YouTube.
They're defining you on Wikipedia and ganging up on
you in social networking sites like Facebook.
These are all elements of a social phenomenon -- the
groundswell -- that has created a permanent, long-
lasting shift in the way the world works.
Most companies see it as a threat.
You can see it as an opportunity.quot;
Social Media is not about
It’s about people’s desire to
connect with each other.
How does it differ?
Depends upon interaction
It’s about them
Built around discussion and participation
Uses technology as a conduit
“Social media describes the online
technologies and practices that people use to
share content, opinions, insights, experiences,
perspectives and media themselves.”
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
76% of US college marketers say they
plan to use SM strategies like social networks,
viral campaigns and video contests
Source: Academica Group, 2008
In a world increasingly filled with
deliberately and sensationally
staged experiences --
an increasingly unreal world --
consumers choose to buy or not
buy based on how real they
toxic levels of
perceive an offering to be.
Business today, therefore, is
about being real.
Original. Genuine. Sincere.
Source: “Authenticity: What Consumers Really Want,” Pine and Gilmore, Harvard University Press
When everything is perfect,
we all look the same.
“In the era of social media, people use technologies
to get what they need from each other, not
Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies ,2008, Harvard UP
Charlene Li & Josh Bernoff
What are you doing to
facilitate that process?
Today the most important conversation
is not the marketing monologue but
the dialogue between your audience.
But at a cost.
Trends show skyrocketing use.
Social media campaigns can be targeted:
Consider what happens when
your competitors harness the
power of social media
(while you cling to “traditional” methods)
Remember, you’re not in control.
Remember, they don’t trust marketers.
Remember, they are talking about you anyways.
Remember, they want to figure out the truth.
Remember, their parents are talking about you too.
“It's a pretty safe bet that all marketers now know
engaging in social media can be a gamble.
But the question is whether opting out is really a
Social Marketing Do’s and Don’ts, ADWEEK, October 8, 2007
Social media can start a firestorm of criticism.
If you have enthusiastic supporters,
they will rally to your defense.
Better to have your message reflected,
than be silent (in most cases).
Are you listening?
Prospects, applicants, current students and alumni
are already talking about you online.
Pay attention -- there’s no excuse!
Free feedback -- close the loop
Use social technologies to
energize, support and embrace
A Few Ways to speak
Blogs & Diaries
Entries should be short
More than just text - add pictures!
The best bloggers have interesting things to tell
Set expectations - don’t censor
Encourage interaction through comment posts
Offer RSS feed option
What are Universities Doing?
Still in “testing” mode
Effectiveness is still unknown
Sports, Music, Department “Talkshows”
Events & Presentations
“Really Simple Syndication”
Syndicate Content in Various Forms
Helps cut through the clutter
“Feeds” for affinity groups, such as,
students, parents, prospects, etc.
are especially effective for pushing
out content for specific audiences,
much like that which is published in
The Lawlor Group “Focus” June 2007
Feed to release emergency information
Feed to relay updates to policies,
programs or events
Great social media
campaigns are supported
by great email campaigns
7 Ways to Embrace Authenticity and
1. Tell (real) stories
3. Offer opportunities to share/comment/interact/upload
4. Invite participation -- give visitors a voice!
5. Include viral components (keep them coming back)
6. Provide value -- “what’s in it for me?”
7. Give up some control
Not your mamma’s marketing and PR;)
Don’t obsess about being “on message”
Don’t break the bank
Don’t force it
Don’t be afraid to try
DO tell your story authentically
DO make it easy to share with friends, family, colleagues, etc.
Source: Adrienne Bartlett, 2008 ;)
Why Social Marketing?
More time spent on your site
More viral components
More likely to enroll