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Using SNS (Social Networking Services) To Stretch The Traditional Spend

I recently had one very refreshing conversation with a marketing director in the FMCG industry.  This particular individual was very clear about the role of social media in their marketing plan – it had one core purpose: to communicate their brand to a younger audience (future customers) by exploiting their traditional marketing material through social networks.

They gave one fantastic example of how this worked!  They had created and aired a TV advert for a product range in 2010.  Not entirely happy with the production, they returned to the drawing board.

Here’s the brainchild that was born:

– Use the same footage from the advert that was aired in 2010 but change the soundtrack from the current one.  This would ‘liven’ things up and try to make the advert more Irish.

– They created a Facebook competition where upcoming Irish bands could submit original tracks for the competition.

– The winning piece would be used in the advert; the individual would get paid and then the rights would also go to the artist.

After all of the hullabaloo, the advert was first released on Youtube getting almost 40,000 hits before making it to TV.  This worked so well when you think about it: they were getting thousands of views on their old TV advert because people wanted to see what it was originally like.

They were creating brand advocates who now associated this brand with Irish music; it was a fantastic CSR activity and they were getting 100,000s of Euros of free PR as a result of excitement about the competition.

Here’s a few more basic ideas perhaps for you on how to stretch your traditional spend:

Crowdsource Creativity:

Very simply: ask, don’t tell!  Telling people about how you’re the greatest and cheapest out there is boring and pushy.  Ask your network for what they like/don’t like or for ideas  e.g. why not post up an image of a draft press advert.

Rather than saying, “here’s our latest deal” simply give a prize for writing the best tagline for the advert and include it in the final version when it gets printed in the paper– this means you’ve already got views and you’re building the level of engagement.

Pairing Up with non-competitors:

Could you link up with a company that’s not a competitor and ask them to indirectly promote your material e.g. get the company to post that they love your range of products and vice versa.  It has more credibility if you both ensure that you state you have no commercial link to the products/services.

A way to stretch your traditional spend would be to get the company to refer to an advert etc. and state, for example,  “Loving the office chairs that this company has in the paper today.  We could do with some of those down here” and so on.  Far more effective than personally posting with a real sales message and a good way of B2B networking.

Brands with Character:

I think there is one Irish company in particular who have used social media to bring their brand’s character to life: Tayto.  When you think back, even to the days of Bebo, the campaign to find Mr. Tayto a ‘missus’ was incredibly effective.

It’s a great way of pushing a brand without pushing the product down someone’s neck.  Referring to billboards, events etc. using the character’s ‘voice’ to engage people with the brand is clever, funny, interesting, engaging and stimulating.

Social networks are not just another channel if used correctly.  Do you try to stretch your traditional spend using social media?  Any examples/suggestions for me?

“Image from 3DSguru/Shutterstock.”

ME: Marketing Manager, SaaS; co-founder of; Social Media Junkie; MSc in Strategic Management; Opinions my own and they may offend (not intentionally of course).

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  • Hi Connor, great post and thanks for providing a super example! The key take away for me is interaction.  In other words, don’t treat social in isolation or think of it as something completely different. When I consult with clients, I always start by asking them: what are the existing business goals and how are your traditional sales and marketing supporting these. Social are layers of sophistication and tools that can be added to achieve these quicker, faster and better.

  • Connor Keppel

    Spot on Niall – hard to add to that really!

  • Liam De Paor

    Very interesting Connor

  • Connor Keppel

    Thanks Liam!

  • I am surprised Mr Tayto didn’t go for President!

     I fully agree with your post, and you provide an excellent example and some great insights into the importance of not only interaction, but INVOLVEMENT in a  project. A total win / win situation for all concerned, thanks Connor

  • Ciara Duggan

    very thought-provoking…

    were you talking about Glenisk?

  • Nishadha

    Very interesting post. I didn’t know that authors have different ranks for different topics. I’m wondering whether it can hurt to write about multiple topics.

  • Nikko Marasigan

    Author rank will be the game changer for the average writer, content authors, bloggers that produces high quality content. Here are some blog posts about Author rank everyone should read: – A comprehensive guide about Author Rank – Steps on How to prepare for the Author Rank – A great visualization about Author rank

    Be prepared everyone 🙂

  • Hi Niall!
    This topic seems to be all the rage these days and rightly so. Thanks for the overview and for leading us through this simple but important process of claiming our content on the Web.

  • Martin Lindeskog

    Niall: Thanks for explaining the autorank in a simple way. When do you think that Google will do this automatically? We are more and more drawn into Google’s ecosystem. 😉 Have you heard that Bing and Klout are joining forces? It will be an interesting battle to watch! 😉

  • ElliStGeorgeGodfrey

    Niall, thanks for the easy to follow instructions. It can be daunting to access some of these tools if you’re not naturally a techie. I’m looking forward to seeing how AuthorRank changes how people find and engage in my content.

  • Me too, I think it could be very interesting indeed!

  • Good question Martin, I’m not sure that they really can without the content creators involvement somewhere along the way. If Google really want to, this now offers them an option to make G+ much more important. I’m not sure with Klout, while I like what they are trying to do, it remains limited in my opinion.

  • Thanks Heather, glad you liked and I hoping you are keeping well!

  • Thanks for the links, Nikko! I’ll be sure to check them out.

  • Mmm, good question! My read is that you are better to stick to a narrow focus with author rank.

  • Thanks Anton!

  • My pleasure, Connor!

  • Niall
    I have postponed G+ thus far as it was an echo chamber for so long. Now though, you’ve given me a reason to go there, so I will!
    Thanks Niall
    ~ Helen

  • Good stuff, delighted I could influence your social media journey 🙂

  • So, Niall, how does Author Rank compare to Bing’s tag feature? I did a post on that recently, but it seems to be more of a social feature since it’s tied to Facebook membership. As for claiming the enormous amount of content I’ve got out there through Author Rank, it’s definitely on the agenda!

  • I think Bing’s tag feature is more to do with social search than SEO. Thanks for reading, Shawn.

  • Niall – great tutorial. Before today, had not even heard of Author Rank. Thanks for the tips.

  • I learned something today, thanks Niall. I finally have a reason to join the G+ brigade

  • Sure Steve, of course you can!

  • Thanks Bengii.

  • My pleasure, Warren!

  • Essential stuff, Niall. I think that the more businesses learn about the importance of establishing authorship using their true identities, people will be more encouraged in writing content of higher quality. Thanks for posting this!

  • Fantastic article. Very succinct and easy to follow. I just successfully linked up three sites where I have written articles.


    – Nate Wright –
    Small Biz Triage

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