SMO to boost Online Marketing
The global adoption of Social Media and its rapid development is not purely due to how easier it has made it to connect with our friends; it has much to do with the huge commercial online marketing benefits that come with it. The innovative ways in which companies are now engaging with consumers means new incredibly interactive ways of promoting a product.
These campaigns now have the potential to go viral. Something with little budget can explode across the web, being shared on a number of different websites and available from multiple networks of people to access. Utilising social networking sites with a unique idea has seen this viral nature go from much more than the humble chain email or the funny YouTube video, to incorporate new sharing tools and a variety of different platforms.
People now spend over 700 Billion minutes per month on Facebook. During this time over 20 million applications are installed every day. Taking advantage of this, the campaign for Microsoft’s search engine – Bing saw them offer virtual cash within popular application Farmville in exchange for clicks on their Facebook advertising banners incorporated within the game. The simplicity of this interactivity is something that can give an edge to the strategy. We are increasingly seeing this spread across all industries with many bands offering free downloads in exchange for ‘Likes’ on their fan page or any form of content and access to website features in exchange for a simple promotional Tweet.
Twitter’s hashtag (#) feature has created the opportunity for anyone to create a viral topic of conversation for the entire world online. Another simple idea which has seen increased publicity for anything from a brand to a Z list celebrity (albeit for positive and negative reasons).
The more bold and engaging campaigns are the ones that can take off and create a real buzz. The key seems to be translating what works best in the real world to an online format. Recently in New York, Subway challenged the public to compete against a top chef to create the ultimate breakfast sandwich. As well as holding the contest in Time Square, sandwich lovers were also able to log on to Facebook and submit their ideas with the winner enjoying free Subway sandwiches for a year.
The nature of these campaigns means that once an idea has been done it is hard to recreate successfully as consumers seek a unique experience. However, this only creates a healthy competitive market where optimising the social media experience is essential to every company.