Friday, December 18, 2009

The Social Brand Ambassador

The other day I posted a message on Yammer

I think social media ads will work in an entirely new way where we users will become the brand ambassadors. The future wont be CPMs, CPCs and CPLs based on irritating banners.
The reason for me saying this was coz I think the best way of promotion is through word of mouth. No ad on any medium can ever bring in the trust factor which your word of mouth brings in to your network of friends. I have a set of friends who share the same taste of mine in movies. I normally ask them before going for a new movie and I only go if any of them say its a good watch.

Palery Manikyam Tweet
Now a days, even before someone asks, I share on Twitter and Facebook that I'm watching this movie and right after the show I say whether I liked it or not. This broadcast of mine is actually helping some friend of mine in my list to decide on whether to watch this movie or not and then pass it on to his friends. The same happens before buying a soap, a car or an apartment.

The day brands wake up to social media they will get to do dirt cheap but effective promotion to a targeted group of people who has more chances of buying their products. Its good for us too as they will not only be forced to sell good quality products but also good after sales service fearing negative comments just like how the good word spread like wild fire. Ref: The Kiruba incident

To make this work, the brands just need to make sure that I tweet about the product; good or bad; just to broadcast which may also start a conversation.

How?

For Online purchases

BookMyShow Tweet
Obviously by providing a "Tweet this" button

For real world store purchases

1. May be using Blippy. Blippy is a service which reads my credit card transactions in real time and broadcasts it; it can Tweet and post to Facebook too. Brilliant but very controversial idea coz of security and privacy issues. Like my Who's that girl app!!

2. May be when I check in my location using the Google local store QR code, Foursquare, Gowalla, and Loopt. The moment I check in my store presence it tweets. The QR code can also be on the bill so pointing at it can tweet that I have bought something.

3. May be I can have a SocialMedia card, when swiped at the point of sales would tweet my purchase details. The same way I do with my store/brand membership cards. I will have a lot of control over my broadcast this way and its simpler.

ID Tweet

Why should I tweet about my purchase?

Coz someone will reward me for doing this. But who? The brand of course or the network depending upon the model. All brands reward their ambassadors but in this case it will be peanuts compared to the money they pay celebrity endorsers.

In the above SocialMedia card model, the brand can give me loyalty points when I swipe my card which I can redeem at my future purchases. This way the brand also makes sure that I come back and use whatever they have given me to again buy things from them.

In the Google QR code check in model Google can pay me per check-in (CPCI). Every check in means that I have visited the store and I have tweeted about it.

What happens after that?

My friends who trust my views, see my tweet/facebook post and strike an opinion about the product which will then influence their purchases.

The brand can now advertise their products on Twitter/Facebook to a highly targeted group of people, in this case my friends, who now are more likely to buy their products. It can also work more like a personalized recommendation engine instead of mindless irritating banners.

Three of your close friends watched 3 Idiots and loved the movie. Book your tickets now!!


We all make money!!

Social media advertising model is good coz everyone gains
  1. Me: Get paid or gain reward points for broadcasting my usage/purchase.
  2. My friends: Get trust worthy opinions from me before buying something.
  3. Twitter/Facebook: Will make money as highly targeted and effective advertising platform.
  4. Brands: Spend less money in effective promotion. Make more money by selling more products.
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