After years of questioning how brands can monetize social users and how platforms can monetize brands, this paid ad product answers these questions and allows marketing and advertising to coexist with user-created content in the social space. Here are two big reasons why:
The old meets the new. This new product allows advertisers to buy word-of-mouth marketing. Up until now, word-of-mouth marketing has been something that companies have ‘tapped into’ through everything from referral programs to viral campaigns. Facebook will be the first platform to meaningfully make a conversation between friends transactional and measurable. Let me repeat that last part: MEASURABLE.
Losing control. To this point, advertisers have paid for ad products in which they control the promotional copy and message. Now, they won’t. However, this platform allows them to deliver information that isn’t viewed as spam because the information is coming from trusted sources – friends. Advertisers are now offering value to potential consumers and using Facebook as the vehicle to deliver the VALUE. Sponsored stories will serve as the white flag for brands that are ready to accept and embrace that, when it comes to social media, consumers shape your message.
In the pilot cases, Sponsored Stories has already proven an increase in brand lift with increase in ad recall and likeliness to purchase product.
Today, a rotating billboard was revealed in Times Square to highlight celebrities participating in next week’s celebrity Twitter auction, TwitChange. Out of more than 175 celebrities participating, only Digital Royalty celebrities including Shaquille O’Neal, Kim Kardashian and Dana White are featured along with two-time Super Bowl champ and TwitChange coordinator Troy Polamalu. American Eagle donated the billboard, helping a great cause while simultaneously bolstering their own positive sentiment in a very smart public relations move.
No one from the dR crew was in New York to see the billboard’s unveiling (we could be found in Illinois, Arizona and North Carolina) but through the power of Twitter, we were able to see photos of the TwitChange billboard within minutes of the big reveal.
TwitChange is the award-winning celebrity charity auction in which fans bid for a chance to be followed, mentioned or retweeted by their favorite celebrities. All of the proceeds go to a charitable cause. This year’s beneficiary is Operation Once In A Lifetime which supports service men and women in need.
Last September, Eva Longoria headed the first-ever TwitChange celebrity Twitter auction. The campaign brought together more than 175 celebrities with a combined 90 million followers to garner 30 million hits and raise more than $500,000 for troubled children in Haiti.
We are excited that several of Digital Royalty’s clients, as well as dR Founder Amy Martin, who participated in last year’s campaign, are returning for this year’s auction.
Digital Royalty is excited to be a part of yet another bold UFC social media move. The company just announced that it will air two prelim fights exclusively on Facebook, as part of UFC Fight For The Troops 2 this Saturday, January 22. By simply “liking” UFC’s Facebook page, fans will gain free access to the live stream of the fights.
This broadcast marks a pivotal change in sports media – the first large-scale sporting event viewable solely on Facebook.
UFC President Dana White explained, “Facebook is such a great tool for people to stay connected and we’re excited to put two live fights on our UFC page for free.”
Offering VIP perks in return for a simple act of loyalty (a “like”) demonstrates that the UFC is committed to offering value to fans when, where and how they want to receive it. Most brands wouldn’t dare send fans to a social platform over their own official website for this kind of exclusive content. This is an investment unmatched by other pro sports leagues and it’s precisely why the UFC ranks second behind the NBA in total Facebook “likes.”
The type of connection a “like” garners is far more dedicated than that of Facebook users who casually browse pages. According to Facebook, “The average “liker” has 2.4x the amount of friends than that of a typical Facebook user. They are also more interested in exploring content they discover on Facebook — they click on 5.3x more links to external sites than the typical Facebook user.”
The prelim fights will live stream on Facebook from 8 – 8:59 pm followed by the main event airing free on Spike TV at 9 pm. To learn more about the free live stream, main event and accompanying auction for men and women in the United States Armed Forces, visit http://www.fightforthetroops.com.
At Digital Royalty, we believe in the power of social media. When Digital Royalty Founder, Amy Martin lost her iPad on board a US Airways plane, she turned to Twitter to find it and got it back within a few days. We also turn to social media when we’re looking to add to the team. It was Kirsten’s creative approach on YouTube that earned her a spot at Digital Royalty.
Other times, you put a tweet out there, not expecting anything in return from the digital universe. Like when you turn to Twitter to complain about fuzzy vision; which is exactly what dR Founder Amy Martin did. Frustrated not being able to see scores on scoreboards or on TV and not being able to drive without glasses, she wanted to connect with other people going through similar experiences.
With an above average number of responses, it was clear (ha!) Amy wasn’t the only one tweeting with fuzzy vision. The conversation evolved and people began sharing their personal experiences, what they’ve heard about LASIK surgery and what life is like with contacts and glasses. It seemed as if most responders were grouped into two categories: those who had LASIK and those who were considering it but were hesitant. People weren’t sure of cost, recovery time or the process in general. As the conversation continued, a Phoenix-based ophthalmologist, Dr. Jay Schwartz, was listening and chimed in.
Dr. Schwartz and Amy have been Twitter acquaintances for several years since Amy worked with the Phoenix Suns where Dr. Jay is the official team ophthalmologist. With an invitation to come in for a consultation from Dr. Schwartz (along with an endorsement from Grant Hill), she quickly obliged.
A few weeks ago, Amy went in for her consultation. A couple of us from the office went as well so we could document and share her experience with her followers who were part of the original conversation. It seemed to us that most people wanted to witness the experience firsthand through someone else they could relate to.
After sharing photos and tweets real-time during the consultation appointment, Dr. Schwartz came in to talk to Amy about her options and ultimately whether she is eligible for LASIK. We had the chance to show him the conversation that was generated about LASIK. What happened next? Dr. Jay Schwartz sent this tweet:
Of course, Amy’s LASIK story is far from over. She made the decision to have the surgery. The ability to be involved in the sports world, whether reading a scoreboard, running a marathon, or sparring with UFC fighters, without having to constantly worry about her glasses and vision made the decision pretty easy. Her surgery is scheduled for February 11th. After brainstorming a way to bring it to the digital audience live (without the ability to tweet during and after surgery), the idea was proposed to livestream the surgery. After some gentle persuading, Dr. Jay gave us the green light for to show the surgery live on Ustream.
The point here is that social media is about connecting in meaningful ways, engaging one another and telling our stories online – brands, personalities, sports teams, surgeons, or patients. Sometimes those stories, like this one, are about empowering an individual by providing the knowledge and confidence to do something they’ve wanted to do to improve their quality of life.
So, the Mashable Awards are like the Super Bowl of social media. Well . . . kinda. South by Southwest and a few other events are also right up there. Anyway, I was invited to attend the awards last night and if you didn’t see the live stream . . . below were the highlights, in my opinion. Additionally, I captured a few photos to document the festivities.
It was a night for the Birds and the Bed Intruders:
Angry Birds – They received the largest buzz from the crowd last night. Rightfully so, there were 50 million downloads last year. I was fortunate to sit next to the Angry Birds on their fancy ”winner’s couch”. They left me with this souvenir for the Digital Royalty office.
Hootsuite (Owl) – I hung out with Ryan Holmes, Founder of Hootsuite, throughout the evening. Rewind a year, Ryan and I went hiking in Runyon Canyon about a year ago and along the hike he told me about his plans for Hootsuite in 2010. Mission accomplished. With more than 1 million users and a platform we claim as our favorite at Digital Royalty, Ryan was deserving of his award. It just goes to show that everything’s a possibility.
Twitter – This was an interesting moment. Twitter won an award but nobody from Twitter attended to accept the honor.
TwitChange – Well deserved! Thanks to Eva Longoria and 150+ other celebrities who had a total of 97 million+ Twitter followers (many of which are Digital Royalty clients) half a million dollars was raised for children in Haiti. After months of communication, I was able to meet the guy who thought of the idea and made it happen, Shaun King. He accepted the award. Digital Royalty was proud to lend a hand during the campaign By the way, stay tuned for the next Twitchange during the Super Bowl led by Troy Polamalu.
Bed Intruder, Antoine Dodson - As for the Bed Intruder himself. If you’re not aware, a guy by the name of Antoine Dodson was on the news several months back. His serious situation and news segment has turned into an empire for him. See video above. The original Bed Intruder YouTube video has had more than 28 million views and there are countless spin-off videos with millions of views as well. The internet has allowed this to happen for Antoine. Recently, Antoine appeared in one of our client’s video blogs (Dana White).
More than 1,200 people attended and for the past five years, all of us have been saying “This is the year for mobile.” Finally, it happened. Also, the “Social Good” has become a buzz word which is a very good thing.
Up until recently, the phrase “Organic vs. Paid” was typically only used in the Google ad words context. Now that Twitter has made Trending Topics for sale, the conversation has changed. For the right price, you can buy a spot in the popularity contest. Or in this case, on the trending topic list.
For quick reference, here is a refresher on what makes a subject trend organically. (The good old fashion way.) A trending topic is one of the 10 most talked-about subjects on Twitter at any given moment. It can be a hashtag or it can be a word or two.
For a fee, brands can create their own trending topic for a day. These are called “Promoted Trends” and they’re clearly identified by the yellow “promoted” disclaimer right next to the term. This new form of paid advertising has caught on with large marketers and the demand for this top spot on the list is increasing. Promoted trends are especially growing in popularity on premium days like election days, holidays, major sporting event days, etc. For example, Nicorette purchased the term “#MyResoultion” during the New Year’s time frame.
So, if you want a spot on the trending topic list you have two options: Pay for it, or work for it and earn it organically. We have clients who frequently appear on the list – this takes a creative strategy and a trusting client. Here are a few things we keep in mind when we’re aiming to “trend”:
Be realistic. One can’t make just anything trend. It’s not easy to tell a client their idea, product or event isn’t a big enough deal to “trend”, but it’s better to set expectations and know when you need to get creative.
Rely on your foundation of friends/followers to get the momentum going. If you have a strong relationship with a large audience, they’re your team of supporters to spark the process and use the term first.
Timing is everything. Set a specific time to blitz the twitterverse and coordinate with all parties involved. Trends are set based on volume and velocity.
Use a hashtag and keep it simple. Make it very easy for your audience to use your trending term.
Give everything you got. You need to have a great plan and get as many people involved as possible. Offer incentive to your audience for using your hashtag, whether it’s tangible or perceived value. For example, incorporating charities goes a long way.
Determine if trending in a specific market, the U.S. or Worldwide is important.
Keep and eye on the conversation and document the process. The last thing you want to do is to create a perfect storm and not have proof. Once a trend falls off the list, you can’t get it back. The spotlight disappears.