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Bits & Pieces?

Bits & Pieces

Mmmmmm peanut butter

Our friends at Hunger Task Force here in Milwaukee are encouraging people to have peanut butter drives. At the time I’m writing this, Milwaukee has stepped up in a HUUUUGE way, donating 95,156 jars. Yep. Milwaukee pretty much rocks.

We caught wind of this on Twitter, thanks to Julie Larsen other local organizers of #PBrally, an event at AJ Bombers next Monday, February 25, 5PM-8PM. So we’re collecting jars here at Jigsaw, to take to the event. Join us!

Not only is this obviously a great cause…it is also a super smart strategy for Hunger Task Force…focusing people on one simple, attainable item that is very tangible and loaded with happy associations for most people. “Oh, peanut butter? I love peanut butter. And I can do that.” Sticky…memorable. And therefore brilliant. Super smart nonprofit marketing strategy…50 thumbs up (from all of us here).

Props to Hunger Task Force in every way, for all they do, and to all those like Julie and AJ Bombers who are helping organize the community to respond. We’ll see you at #PBRally!

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It’s not new news, but most of the time, even in our changing world—many advertisers still want to talk more about themselves than their consumers. In their version of the advertising strategy, features outweigh benefits in key messaging platforms. Especially with limited dollars, “more bang for the buck” comes with cramming every nook and cranny of a spot with something to say about the product. I’m not casting judgement. I get it—with the pressure to succeed, and success ever more tied to ROI, it’s tough to be a marketer. But I urge us all to still focus on the consumer. Something I think we did well (along with our client) in these recent spots for HSHS (Hospital Sisters Health System) in Green Bay.

You may have read a post here months back, on a 60 second spot we shot with Michael Prince for the brand. Well, these are the harder-hitting siblings of that spot. What we’d call the “service line” spots for cancer and orthopedics. These spots carry some pretty heavy loads—boasting that “we provide the most treatment options,” that “we beat national survival rates” and that “we are among the nation’s best” when it comes to cancer. Product features, not benefits. But notice how the facts are surrounded both visually and verbally with “life”, “hope” and “a new belief.” Things I believe every person with cancer wants as much as the latest and greatest treatment.

By identifying that what we see in a cancer patient is a path to new life, we brought context, benefit and a personal connection to what would be a list of ingredients. Kudos to the team and the client on recognizing the fine balance between logic and emotion, especially when it comes to our health.

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Harvard Business Review has a piece in its latest issue (July/August) called “What’s Your Social Media Strategy?” Except it’s not really about strategies so much as styles or profiles or user types. No one says (I hope) we’re going to achieve this goal by being a “predictive practitioner”. Semantics aside, it’s interesting research that can help companies (and people) better understand and assess their social media styles.

The authors (H. James Wilson, PJ Guinan, Salvatore Parise and Bruce D. Weinberg) analyzed social media practices at 1,100 companies and did interviews with 70 executives. They identified four distinct social media user types, which depend mostly on a company’s tolerance for risk or uncertainty.

The Predictive Practitioner: Do you confine social media usage to a specific functional area, such as customer service or marketing, with little or no cross-functional coordination? Does every social media project have a clear business objective measured with existing metrics? Then you are this type of user, according to this study. My two cents: regardless of which profile you fall under, your social media plan should still be tied to a clear business objective and metrics.

The Creative Experimenter: Do you embrace uncertainty and approach social media more as an opportunity to learn, for the purpose of improving business functions and practices? Do you position projects as “experiments”? Are you not overly concerned with predefining expected outcomes? Then you are a creative experimenter. My two cents: you can be both a predictive practitioner and an experimenter at the same time. True, most times, one style will dominate, but elements of both are certainly beneficial. If the basis of your practice is very predictive, bringing some experimentation and creativity into it may be very invigorating. Being entirely predictive is so…predictable.

The Social Media Champion: Do you have a centralized social media group and leaders dedicated to coordinating cross-functional social media/social business efforts? Does the group develop policies and guidelines for social media use? Do you enlist executive champions and other evangelists, including external influencers, to promote and participate in your projects? Do you share best practices and lessons learned throughout your organization? Then you are a social media champion. My two cents: This relatively advanced social media style begins to truly integrate social into the business and should, at some point, be the minimal “stretch goal” for most (not all) organizations.

The Social Media Transformer: Do you have a portfolio of social media projects involving both internal employees and external stakeholders, including customers and business partners? Are your social media technologies tightly integrated with how you learn and work? (For example, the article mentions the Cisco Integrated Workforce Experience platform, created specifically to facilitate internal and external collaboration and decentralize decision making.) Do projects typically encompass multiple functions and departments? Do you have group tasked with thinking about how social media can inform business strategy and culture? Then you are a Social Media Transformer, and, I might add, most likely a true social business. My two cents: many organizations (including ours) would benefit from putting additional thinking and action to how social strategies and technologies could truly transform their business.

As a side note, I found one of the most interesting statements in the article to be this: Carefully engaging those who have a sizable influence in social networks can reduce risk. Too often, engaging external stakeholders heavily in social media strategy and implementation is seen as heightening risk.

What’s your company’s social media style? Does it fall neatly into one of these categories, or is it a hybrid? What type of social media user do you envision your organization being in the future?

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OK I’ll admit: I didn’t pay much attention to the U.S. Open over this past weekend. I like golf, I golf here and there — when I can block out 5 hours of my day. I’m a bad golfer, inconsistent and all over the place. I have friends and family who follow golf so I have been hearing a lot about this guy Rory McIlroy and his record setting performance at the U.S. Open. A tournament he eventually went on to win.

Wait, who’s Rory McIlroy?

Something about sports that’s generally universal is this: People love superstars. They want to see the greatest players play great. The story behind the guy who takes his team to the big game and helps him get over the top is as old as sports itself. But in golf, there is no team. There are only singular personalities left to their own devices — and overcome what may be the toughest hurdle in all of sports — to play at a consistently high level for four straight days of a golf tournament and beat what may be your biggest opponent: your own head.

The NBA, MLB, NFL, and even NASCAR have built their brands around personalities. Those players have intense fan bases, along with the teams they play for. It was all very cool when Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, et al were playing great. They were a rarity; they had the ability to consistently perform at a high level and win or at least contend over a longer period of time.

When I looked at the leaderboard of the US Open, i recognized a couple of names, Lee Westwood and Sergio Garcia, who was a younger, exciting player just a few years ago. But generally, the PGA has a list of “who’s that’s?” all over their leader boards. And while the golf is still very good, as a golf watcher, I have no real affiliation or reason to root for anybody. Somebody new pops up every week. Where’s the guy that is going to transcend the sport? While people are quick to rush Rory McIlroy to being the heir to the throne of Tiger Woods, he has only won one major championship and it remains to be seen if he will continue to win like Tiger did. I wish him well.

It would still be interesting to know what the compelling reason would be for me to continue to watch PGA events. Are they banking that people love the sport enough that it will transcend who is playing? Are they strategizing ways to expose these unknown players to a wider audience, mirroring the way Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson and Jack Nicklaus became household names? Or does any of this matter and is golf just happy to go back to being a niche sport?

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From Sue and Addy.

We believe that our shiny new site isn’t just a place for Jigsaw to share our work, opinions, thoughts and experiences as an idea agency. It is another tool to help our clients and interested others navigate through a hyperconnected and fast-paced world where we have 140 characters/10 seconds to get someone’s attention. When one of our clients sent us Eunju Lie’s “When it Comes To Marketing, Twitter Destroys Facebook” in Business Insider and asked for our opinion, we thought to share our answer with everyone since it’s likely that many people might have the same question.

So what is the answer? Is Twitter better than Facebook for social marketing? Some would say yes, others would say no, and we say “It depends.”

How do you decide which platform is a better fit for your organization? We’re going to provide some general guidelines here; however, this is not to say that there are not exceptions. There are many variables and not “one right answer” that applies to all marketing scenarios.

First, define the goal. What are you trying to achieve with your participation in these social media tools? Increase awareness? Traffic? Donations? Sales? Loyalty? Build a community? Provide customer support? Position individuals within the organization as thought leaders?

Twitter is generally a stronger platform for:

  • Driving awareness, because of the way people stumble upon interesting content and decide to follow the originator of the content.
  • Providing customer support, because of its “now” nature. However, some brands, like Samsung, are exploring the opportunities to provide customer service on Facebook too.
  • General online reputation management/thought leadership strategies, including media relations.

Facebook is generally more powerful when used to:

  • Engage and involve loyal customers.
  • Empower ambassadors.

Both platforms are quite effective for:

  • Building relationships and loyalty among existing customers/users: especially for passion brands. People like Facebook Fan Pages because they already like the brand IRL; this is really the sweet spot of Facebook as a tool. However, a positive, fast response to a customer on Twitter can convert a dissatisfied customer to an advocate.
  • Event promotion: Both tools can be effective here, depending on who the audience for the event is. Twitter is the better option if the audience is tech savvy individuals or to capture the attention of people who are making last minute plans. Facebook is much better for general audiences. Facebook also has a live stream box in partnership with Ustream, which can be used to broadcast events.
  • Fundraising: Twitter can also be an outstanding fundraising tool, because of its inherent nature as a grass roots conversation. However, Facebook, too, can be used very effectively for fundraising purposes. You can empower people to tell your story on Twitter or use Facebook Causes to increase donations.
  • Traffic: One the one hand, Google ranks tweets in real-time search, which is how Twitter can help you increase traffic to your website, as long as you don’t spam your followers with self-promotional tweets only. Remember to write for the user, not just the search engines. On the other hand, Facebook drives more social traffic to websites. Although Facebook drives more social media traffic to websites, it is important to understand that the traffic doesn’t come from a link on a corporate Facebook Fan Page, but from the links people share with their friends. You can take advantage of this by creating amazing content and making it easy for the visitor to share the content.

What about driving sales? Tougher question.

Both platforms provide many opportunities: JetBlue shares discounts on Twitter while Delta sells tickets on its Facebook page.

Dell Computers has sold >$2MM in computers through it’s Twitter profile; however, it is important to note that they spent several years building social credibility online before that occurred. It didn’t happen overnight.

The book #TwitterWorks details how restaurant AJBombers and pizza truck Streetza Pizza grew passionate, loyal followings and sales in large part through participation on Twitter.

This year we also saw the rise of f-commerse. Brands like Levi’s use Facebook’s social plugins to increase reviews of products, which also increases sales. Disney Store has a store locator on its Facebook page. Munich allows fans to customize sneakers on Facebook and buy them from the site. Pampers’ fans can buy products straight from the Facebook page. The social giant can increase not only online sales, but also offline. Many fashion brands show their newest collections online and drive foot traffic to stores.

You can engage and involve (potential) customers and develop relationships with them on Twitter to increase sales. Or you can provide utility by moving the shopping experience to Facebook.

Where does your audience want to engage?

The next important factor in selecting a social network for marketing purposes is, of course, identifying the audience and understanding how it uses these platforms. Does the audience prefer Facebook to Twitter? Does it use both platforms? If so, what are the differences in behavior? What kind of content does it prefer to consume? What kind of content does it prefer to share? Why does it share?

One in ten people on the planet has a Facebook account and some people use it more often than others. But Facebook is the network for our IRL relationships: people we already know, like and trust, not to make new relationships, which is what Twitter is great for. The micro-blogging platform is also used to nurture already existing relationships, but its users are much more likely to engage with strangers with similar interests and discuss products, services and brands. Twitter users also tend to be younger, urban and more technology savvy than Facebook users.

It is important to note the increasing numbers of people accessing both social networks via mobile devices which affects how much time they spend on these networks, how often they go online, what content they are more likely to view and share.

Forrester Research provides useful information on how different demographics use social media in its Technographics Profiling Tool. However, there isn’t yet a lot of concrete information on specifically how different audience segments use the two major social networks.

Twitter and Facebook as Advertising Platforms

Another opportunity both networks offer is advertising. Although Facebook approaches ads more traditionally than Twitter, it allows for very narrow targeting so you can reach those five people in Richland Center who are under 30 and interested in collaborative consumption. Twitter’s advertising platform is based on resonance and engagement. It provides more than one advertising option: promoted tweets, promoted accounts and promoted trends.

Facebook and Twitter are both great tools, what makes a difference is how you are going to use them and how many resources you have available because it is not enough to just have a Facebook Fan Page or a Twitter account. What is even more important is that Facebook and Twitter are not the only social platforms. Instead of asking “Should we use Facebook or Twitter?”, ask “Which platform(s) serves our needs best?” and “What is our strategy for how we will engage and involve?”

Enough from us. What is your answer?  Twitter or Facebook? Which one is better for social marketing?

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