KickApps SF Summit - "Your brand is not my friend" by Alan Wolk


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This is one of the speaker presentations from the spring session of summit,"Social Media in the Enterprise", held in San Francisco. This event is sponsored by KickApps and Akamai. You can find the video of this speaker at

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  • Nice presentation. I agree with your guidelines for brands on social media, however one key point that was overlooked, yet illustrated in your case studies, is that a brand's communication on social media needs to be on brand, just the same as with traditional media. Brands can deliver entertainment, information, utility or incentives through social media, but everything they do needs to be relevant to the brand, product or category. I love how Schweppes has developed a Facebook profile app manipulator that taps into the current zeitgeist ( but, it is just a novel utility. No matter how cool it is, the Facebook app manipulator is not relevant to the brand.
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  • @Lou H - I hear you re: extroverts, but still, I wonder how large the potential audience is for Twitter. How many people want to broadcast their thoughts to the world or read other people's thoughts? I don't know the answer to that - and even if Twitter only appeals to 30% of the population, that's a huge, huge market. But worth wondering about, I think.
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  • Thank you!
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  • Thanks for sharing this Alan.

    Thought it was excellent.

    Defining traditional media as 'what the brand wants to say' versus social media as 'what consumers want to hear' makes sense. It also calls into question who (or what function) should lead the brand-building quest. We're seeing more companies at least on the B2B side move away from the logo jockeys with the belief that the quest should be driven by content.


    P.S. I would argue that Twitter actually appeals to the introverts of the world who value the means to connect with others minus the awkward inperson ice breaker.
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KickApps SF Summit - "Your brand is not my friend" by Alan Wolk

  1. 1. Your Brand Is Not My Friend<br />Presented by Alan Wolk<br />Kick Apps San Francisco Seminar<br />May 27, 2010<br />
  2. 2. Brands are no longer about selling<br />
  3. 3. They’re about “storytelling”<br />
  4. 4. and “engagement”<br />
  5. 5. and “curation”<br />
  6. 6. They want to be our friend<br />
  7. 7. Your Brand Is Not My Friend<br />But<br />
  8. 8. A Brief History: How We Got Here<br />
  9. 9. Ads used to deliver news<br />
  10. 10. Then they became all about branding and image<br />
  11. 11. Then along came<br />The Real Digital Revolution<br />
  12. 12. Google changed everything<br />
  13. 13. Now we can fact check ad claims<br />
  14. 14. And see what other consumers think<br />
  15. 15. This has resulted in a complete change in consumer behavior<br />
  16. 16. Google<br />Ad<br />Purchase<br />Ad<br />Purchase<br />Before<br />Now<br />
  17. 17. Google<br />Ad<br />Purchase<br />That’s huge<br />
  18. 18. Changes how we buy a car<br />
  19. 19. Before: limited resources<br />
  20. 20. Now: Full range of resources<br />
  21. 21. It’s all about getting them to Google, not the showroom<br />
  22. 22. Once this happened, print and TV couldn’t close the sale anymore<br />
  23. 23. The “magic advertising words” weren’t working<br />
  24. 24. They could offer compelling facts or create an image<br />
  25. 25. (Provided there was one)<br />
  26. 26. But they couldn’t close the sale.So marketers looked at online...<br />
  27. 27. Microsites weren’t working: why would I go to one?<br />
  28. 28. Neither were banners<br />
  29. 29. In 1996, we “surfed” the web, and banners took you someplace just as interesting as where you were<br />
  30. 30. But now that we go online for a reason, we’re not likely to stop what we’re doing to “interact” with an ad<br />
  31. 31. New ways to “engage” customers were needed<br />
  32. 32. Social Media seemed like the next big thing<br />
  33. 33. Everyone was becoming “friends” online<br />
  34. 34. Why not brands?<br />
  35. 35. Your Brand Is Not My Friend™<br />
  36. 36. Social networks are today’s malt shops<br />
  37. 37. It’s where we go to hang out with our friends<br />
  38. 38. We don’t want to be interrupted by salespeople<br />
  39. 39. But there are some brands people want to hear from<br />
  40. 40. They’re called “Prom King Brands”<br />
  41. 41. There are the usual suspects<br />
  42. 42. Sports teams<br />
  43. 43. TV shows, movies and music acts<br />
  44. 44. 99% of brands are not “Prom Kings”<br />
  45. 45. But they can still play in social media<br />
  46. 46. They just have to do it differently<br />
  47. 47. Traditional media is about what the brand wants to say<br />
  48. 48. Traditional media is about what the brand wants to saySocial media is about what consumers want to hear<br />
  49. 49. Social media always involves an exchange<br />
  50. 50. Prom King Brands provide “coolness” (aka “social currency” or “whuffie”)<br />
  51. 51. But if you’re not a prom king brand, you can provide one of four things:<br />
  52. 52. Entertainment (Something I’d want to see even if a brand wasn’t sponsoring it)<br />Information (Exclusive information I feel good about knowing)<br /> Utility (Something that makes my life easier)<br /> Incentive (Literally a coupon, a discount or something else of monetary value)<br />
  53. 53. Here’s How Those Exchanges Work:<br />
  54. 54. Entertainment<br />Entertainment can be:<br />Anything featuring celebrities or entertainment properties you have a deal with<br />Third party content that has a tie-in to your overall marketing strategy<br />(That means if you’re a serious insurance company, a comedy video is a no-go)<br />Your own TV commercials (if they’re something people would enjoy watching) <br />Beware: it’s tough for agencies and brand managers to judge this<br />
  55. 55. What Would Maxwell House Do? (WWMHD)<br />
  56. 56. Maxwell House has an endorsement deal with comedian Nancy Nevins who has a well-known routine about how crabby she is before her first cup of coffee. <br />A 3-minute live clip is posted to the Maxwell House Facebook page. The clip also appears on their YouTube page, their blog, their website, and is promoted via their Twitter stream<br />Entertainment: WWMHD<br />Watch Nancy Nevins do her “Coffeeless Morning” routing live at The Comedy Shack in Atlanta <br />
  57. 57. Information<br />Information can be:<br />Facts or useful information (e.g. reviews) that your audience would be interested in<br />You can utilize third-party vendors for this<br />The information needs to tie in to your overall marketing strategy<br />Access to “behind-the-scenes” footage, exclusive clips, or advance notice from celebrity endorsers or properties you have a sponsorship deal with<br />News related to your product or category<br />
  58. 58. Maxwell House hires celebrity chef Umberto Toscano to create a series of recipes using Maxwell House coffee. The deal gives them access to behind-the-scenes footage from Toscano’s widely viewed show and that footage is posted exclusively on the Maxwell House Facebook page. <br />Information: WWMHD<br />Watch exclusive behind-the-scenes footage of Viva La Cucina! with Umberto Tuscano<br />
  59. 59. Utility<br />Utility can be:<br />Anything that makes the consumer’s life easier: recipes, how-to videos, a way to buy things off a social site<br />Anything from a PDF to a website to a widget to an app <br />
  60. 60. Maxwell House hires celebrity chef Umberto Toscano to create a series of recipes using Maxwell House coffee. <br />The recipes are posted on the Maxwell House website, on their blog, on a special YouTube channel and on Facebook and MySpace. There’s even an iPhone app. <br />The Maxwell House twitter account lets people know when a new video has come out and users can comment on the videos everywhere using Facebook connect.<br />Utility: WWMHD<br />
  61. 61. Incentive<br />An incentive can be:<br />Coupons or discount codes<br />Group discounts<br />Contests and promotions with financial incentives<br />Be careful not to make it seem like you’re bribing people to join you<br />That seems as desperate coming from a brand as it does from a person<br />
  62. 62. Maxwell House has a Twitter account and runs a contest through Twitter, giving a month’s supply of coffee to the 25th person to tweet the date and place Maxwell House was first introduced.<br />Incentive: WWMHD<br />MAXWELLHOUSE: New Contest: 25th person to tweet date & place MH was born wins month’s worth <br />of coffee #mhcontest<br />BOND006: RT MaxwellHouse: New Contest: 25th person to tweet date & place MH was born wins month’s worth <br />of coffee #mhcontest<br />IMPOSSIBILITY: @MaxwellHouse: Hoboken NJ in 1896?<br />
  63. 63. A Few Basic Rules of the Road:<br />
  64. 64. Step 1: Identify what your customers needs are<br />
  65. 65. Step 2: Figure out how to solve those needs<br />
  66. 66. Step 3: Approach people as a brand that is selling something to them, not a buddy who is sharing something with them: they know the difference.<br />
  67. 67. Step 4: Use social media for a valid business reason, not just because everyone else is.<br />
  68. 68. Real identity<br />Real identity<br />Comcast Cares is a great customer service story<br />
  69. 69. Step 5: Don’t push it<br />
  70. 70. (Give them the “candy” and get out of the way. No “capturing names” or other annoying tactics)<br />
  71. 71. No hard sell or upsell.<br />
  72. 72. Step 6: Make everything as easy to find and as easy to share as possible<br />
  73. 73. Case Studies<br />
  74. 74. Quick Case Study #1: The Mad Men Get It<br />
  75. 75. Mad Men has been one of the most buzzed about shows on television<br />
  76. 76. Social media program is anchored by the AMC web site<br />
  77. 77. Blog links out to other social content (iPhone)<br />
  78. 78. Pump content<br />Active message boards - some threads have hundreds of comments<br />
  79. 79. Wonder where all those MadMen icons came from?<br />
  80. 80. AMC’s Mad Men Yourself game proved a smash hit<br />
  81. 81. Artwork by Dyna Moe<br />Over 500,000 people have downloaded the avatars to share on their social networks<br />
  82. 82. Mad Men’s Facebook page has over 275,00 members<br />
  83. 83. Games<br />and<br />quizzes<br />Clips from <br />this<br />season<br />The Facebook page actively promotes other platforms<br />
  84. 84. Mad Men has an active Twitter account that links to AMC’s site and articles about the cast and crew<br />
  85. 85. But the real activity on Twitter comes from fans<br />
  86. 86. Last year, a group of random fans began tweeting as Mad Men characters<br />
  87. 87. This is the kind of love entertainment properties can own. But they need to work with fans, not against them.<br />
  88. 88. Quick Case Study #2: Red Bull: All About Sports<br />
  89. 89. Lots of content<br />Lots of fan interaction<br />Almost 3 million fans<br />Red Bull has a dynamic Facebook presence<br />
  90. 90. Polls<br />Free music<br />Links to athletes<br />Highlights of events<br />Lots of relevant, unique content<br />
  91. 91. WebTV on Facebook<br />TwitterFeed of athletes<br />
  92. 92. Photos from brand<br />Over 2,500 fan photos<br />Photos from athletes and from fans<br />
  93. 93. View guest list<br />Links to upcoming events<br />Fans can RSVP to upcoming events on Facebook<br />
  94. 94. Similar content re: athletes<br />Red Bull maintains consistency on MySpace<br />
  95. 95. Retweets from their French account<br />Tweets from their athletes<br />They are consistent on Twitter<br />
  96. 96. Videos about Red Bull athletes<br />They are consistent on YouTube<br />
  97. 97. Videos<br />available<br />here<br />too<br />Red Bull<br />TV<br />clips<br />And on their web site<br />
  98. 98. More Videos<br />Facbook<br />link<br />And on their web site<br />
  99. 99. Red Bull gives fans a lot of exclusive content and is consistent throughout.<br />
  100. 100. Quick Case Study #3: Sarah Palin: You Betcha!<br />
  101. 101. 6K+ comments in <br />less than a day<br />1.5 million followers<br />Palin has a very popular Facebook page with very engaged fans<br />
  102. 102. 8,000+ likes and 1,000+ comment in 3 hours!<br />
  103. 103. Her followers leave lengthy comments<br />They defend her from critics<br />Her fans have formed a strong community<br />
  104. 104. Fans are finding their way to the sub-pages<br />She shares relevant links with her fan base<br />
  105. 105. Her Twitter page is frequently updated, with links that are relevant to her audience<br />
  106. 106. She is an almost non-stop topic of discussion on Twitter<br />
  107. 107. Why is Sarah Palin a social media phenomenon?<br />Consistent message<br />Strong POV<br />Accessible personality: her fans view her as a friend, not a politician<br />Palin communicates exclusively via social media: she does not maintain a website or a blog of any sort.<br />
  108. 108. Quick Case Study #4: Think Local: Pump Energy Foods, NYC<br />
  109. 109. The Pump is a small chain of health-conscious take-out restaurants based in Manhattan<br />
  110. 110. The Pump pushes its social media links from its web site<br />
  111. 111. Their blog has a distinct POV & also shows where to find them on other social media sites<br />
  112. 112. Free samples<br />More free samples<br />Contest<br />Charity promotion<br />Pump uses their Facebook page for promotions<br />
  113. 113. Free samples<br />Trivia contest<br />They talk to fans on Twitter & promote giveaways<br />
  114. 114. Serena <br />Williams <br />gets lunch <br />at Pump<br />They use YouTube so fans can see news about them<br />
  115. 115. Pump’s promotions help local fans develop a relationship with the store and use social media to spread the word to their friends<br />
  116. 116. Quick Case Study #5: Moderated Conversation: Nexium<br />
  117. 117. Nexium has moderated conversation on Facebook<br />
  118. 118. Nexium isn’t always consistent with posting, and participation is low, but it’s a start <br />
  119. 119. With close to 3,000 fans, the brands is making some headway with consumers.<br />
  120. 120. Five quick case studies, five unique plans. Try something similar, and you’ll start to see results<br />
  121. 121. Soon enough, they’ll start to like you<br />
  122. 122. They may not always talk to you, but they will talk about youWhich is exactly what you want: <br />
  123. 123. To be part of the conversation<br />
  124. 124. But what then? How do I know if “being part of the conversation” is worth it?<br />
  125. 125. Determining Social Media ROI<br />Rule #1: There are no rules.<br />You can use social media to do a world of things<br />Sell things<br />Build awareness<br />Increase loyalty<br />Customer service<br />Reputation management<br />Become a thought leader<br />
  126. 126. Step #1: What Are Your Goals?<br />Once you know what your goal is, you’ll be able to figure out what success looks like.<br />You should set short term goals and re-evaluate every three months or so.<br />Digital media changes so rapidly, it’s important to stay on top of things by closely monitoring the landscape <br />One thing to consider is were your goals realistic? Did you set the bar too high or too low?<br />
  127. 127. Don’t be afraid of squishy metrics: sometimes having people think well of you is enough<br />
  128. 128. Be leery of people who tell you they can measure sentiment: it’s a hard thing to measure unless you do a lot of it by hand<br />
  129. 129. Social media is not “free”<br />
  130. 130. There are costs involved: time costs money.And the more successful you are, the more time you will need to invest.<br />
  131. 131. Pick the platform or platform that make sense both in terms of your audience and your bandwidth<br />
  132. 132. (Having a Facebook page that gets updated once every three months is a lot worse than not having one at all.)<br />
  133. 133. ExperimentTake ChancesHave Fun<br />
  134. 134. Some Quick Predictions:<br />
  135. 135. The Facebook privacy issue goes away quickly<br />
  136. 136. everyone<br />One word. Big problems.<br />
  137. 137. Twitter relies on extroverts<br />How long till we run out of extroverts?<br />
  138. 138. Location Based Services can give me a reason to share where I am and what I’m doing.<br />
  139. 139. The Next Big Question: How much do I want marketers to be able to anticipate my needs?<br />
  140. 140. “Web 3.0”<br />“Web 3.0”<br />“Web 3.0”<br />“Web 3.0”<br />“Web 3.0”<br />“Web 3.0”<br />“Web 3.0”<br />“Web 3.0”<br />“Web 3.0”<br />“Web 3.0”<br />“Web 3.0”<br />“Web 3.0”<br />“Web 3.0”<br />Creepy or Useful?<br />
  141. 141. Time will tell<br />
  142. 142. thank you san francisco<br />
  143. 143. Questions?<br />
  144. 144. Alan Wolk<br />Consulting:<br />Email:<br />Blog:<br />Twitter: @awolk<br />Hive Awards:<br />To get a business card, text “wolk” to 50500<br />