The problem with marketing on social media is that the campaigns that work are viral in nature. And you can’t create a viral campaign. You can only put your campaign out there and hope it is catching. Here’s recent example of a Twitter campaign:
On a Friday night not long ago, Amanda Palmer, lead singer of the alternative girl band, Dresden Dolls, was sitting at home, alone, when she idly posted the following tweet (without the asterisks):
“i hereby call THE LOSERS OF FRIDAY NIGHT ON THEIR COMPUTERS to ORDER, (this next word I’ve left out for PG reasons) .”
Just the sort of idle, remark you might make on a solitary Friday night.
But, as an Indie musician, Amanda happens to have thousands of followers on Twitter (over 70,000 at last count) and quite unexpectedly her tweet became a rallying cry. Within minutes, replies came pouring in. They created an impromptu group, designed a logo, created a hashtag (#LOFNOTC) and wrote a brief set of declarations and demands (no taxes on coffee or vodka).
Within the hour the #LOFNOTC hashtag was the most popular term on Twitter. People started asking for tee shirts with the hand-drawn #LOFNOTC logo on them. Amanda’s webmaster put up a quick storefront and, by the end of the second hour of #LOFNOTC’s existence, over 200 tee shirts had been sold at $25 each.
That is the lure of social media for marketers: Lightning quick results for very little effort. The reality is that marketing successfully with social media is a bit of a crapshoot: Success is viral – so your campaign either goes viral and succeeds, or doesn’t, and dies. Still, what marketing medium, new or traditional, doesn’t entail more misses than hits?
Here are a few useful links:
For the full story on #LOFNOTC: http://twitter.com/amandapalmer
For the Harvard Business School take on social media: http://hbswk.hbs.edu
For a nice pie-chart on social media marketing: http://www.beingpeterkim.com/2009/03/smm-wiki-analysis.html
For a list of social media case studies: http://www.interactiveinsightsgroup.com/blog1/social-media-examples-superlist-17-lists-and-tons-of-examples/