‘Social Marketing’ Category

MySpace Shakeup — CEO Steps Down

April 23rd, 2009

As Bloomberg reports: “MySpace co-founder Chris DeWolfe will step down as chief executive officer of the social-networking Web site, after falling behind rival Facebook Inc. ” Rumors are than Owen Van Natta, Facebook’s former COO, might replace DeWolfe.

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How to Become a Rock Star in These (Internet) Times

April 22nd, 2009

In the old days, a musician’s dream was to get signed by a major music label, which was the path to the “topper most of the popper most,” as Johnny and the boys might say. U2 has (or is it have) a new album; they, as the industry wags have been discussing, might be the last of a great rock bands — or at least the last of the successful big label bands. Ultimately that remains to been seen. But it is true these days that the A&R man — the label guy who could bless you with a chance — is no longer the single gateway. Part of the story is how technology has turned a hits business into a niche business. But a more specific example is this: At the end of his book, Click (reviewed here), Bill Tancer told the story of the Arctic Monkeys:

In 2003, The Arctic Monkeys, a “post punk revival” band in England started handing out demo CDs at their shows. They “unwittingly created a new music distribution system.” Fans started file-swapping the music online. The distribution exploded on MySpace and other sites, where “super-connectors” like Tila Tequila passed the song around and around. Tancer also charts the band, Fall Out Boy, as he saw their internet activity precede their climb to the top of the charts in February 2007.

This isn’t just a fundamental change in the music industry; it’s happening just about everythere, from publishing to e-commerce of all kinds of product and services. The corporate middle-man is obsolete. Of course, we expect that such folks will throw obstacles in the way whenever they can. (It wasn’t that long ago when a few of the telecom giants were trying to get legislation defining different grades of internet traffic. Remember that? Commercial traffic was  to have priority over non-commercial/private traffic, or some crap like that). Anyway, we still have our free internet, and all the opportunities it brings.

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Social Marketing: “The Domino Effect”

April 16th, 2009

If you haven’t heard already, Dominos Pizza had a little problem recently. A couple of idiot employees videotaped themselves making a pizza in, shall we say, a not so sanitary way. They posted the clip on youtube (which has since been removed). The story hit the viral speedway; soon five of the top 12 Google search results for Domino’s referred to the incident. A public relations nightmare. Suddenly, long-time customers were starting to question buying pizzas there.

Old-school companies are having to redefine how they communicate. Social — or viral – marketing is, well, spreading, and becoming perhaps the dominate or most powerful marketing force out there. As we suggested in our Easter post, a viral campaign should be a part of your long-term plans; and you should realize it’s not a one-way street.

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Today’s Internet Biz Lesson: “The Easter Bunny Hates You”

April 11th, 2009

For Easter, we decided to post the hilarious violent Easter bunny video. Today’s lesson is that YouTube — or video in general —  is a great viral marketing tool. Can you think of a video you can create that would promote your product in a fun, exciting way, that would build the kind of buzz that money can’t buy. In other words, Adwords is not the only way to build traffic.

BTW, if you’d like to learn how to easily add video to your web pages, blogs, eBay auctions, etc, check this out.

Happy Easter from the www.richdogmillionaire.com gang

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How to Blog Like Hugh Hefner, Or Build an Internet Business Like That

April 11th, 2009

One of us just finished the biography of Hugh Hefner, Mr Playboy: Hugh Hefner and the American Dream. The key take-way — that kept coming back again and again — is that, Hefner was not only the Editor and Publisher — he was also the demographic. In other words, he was putting together a magazine that HE would want to read. In MORE other words, he built a business that he was passionate about. And THAT is the key to success. Look at McDonald’s: Ray Kroc was not passionate about hamburgers; he was passionate about franchising, and one of his executives was passionate about real estate — the result: a $40 billion business.

What we’re saying is, you need to build a business around something you are passionate about. “Naked girls, sounds good!” Yes, grasshoppers, but look at the situation, Hefner saw the opportunity in 1953 — in a world of Esquire-type mags — for nudity, in a cool, sophisticated way. He wrote a whole Playboy philosophy about it. So what are you passionate about? Yes, it can be sexual, but what opportunity can you find today, in 2009? If you blog about your passion — or if you build an e-retail site about your passion — you are automatically WAY AHEAD of your competition, if they are just thinking of it as a way to make bucks. You will eventually make more bucks because you will attract those who have the same passion as you. You will have no problem blogging about your topic late at night, after work (or adding another product to your online store) because you like — love — doing it, just like your readers/customers love it.

Expertise — and eventual success — is simply, ultimately, the result of passion.

(original content by www.richdogmillionaire.com)

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Facebook Gaming: Texas Hold ‘Em Poker and Virtual Pets

April 6th, 2009

Facebook is emerging “as the world’s biggest gaming platform. It is close to having 200m active members and its most popular application installed by users is a game – Texas Hold ’em Poker – played by 11m people.” As the Financial Times reports,  “The biggest shift is that, in the past, most of the social gaming has been with people that you don’t know. With Facebook that’s completely changed,” says Brian Fargo, a game developer.”

Compare this to the story we reported on here, coming out of China.

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“Changyou is Making a Fortune Selling Items in a Virtual World”

April 5th, 2009

As The Economist magazine reported this week, the first company this year to list on NASDAQ is a Chinese company selling “items that do not exist.” Changyou is an online-gaming business, with revenues of $202M and profits of $108M. The company “provides free access to its games, collecting revenue from the 10% or so of players who are prepared to pay for in-game extras, such as weapons, medicine, and shields.” Popular Chinese games feature elves, dwarves, and ancient Chinese characters. You can get the full Economist story here.

This is not a new business model in China. Here’s an article about how a social site is doing it: “How One Social Net In China is Making a Lot of Money“. In this story, only 10% of the site’s revenue is from advertising. Meanwhile, it sells $750M/year in virtual goods.

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Book Review: “We Are What We Click”

April 4th, 2009

As Bill Tancer says, in the last five words of his book, Click: What Millions of People Are Doing Online and Why it Matters — “We are what we click.” In other words, you can draw a profile of people by looking at online behavior — what they type into search engines, what sites they visit… It is the kind of market research that your grandparents’ generation could only have imagined, even for “real world” applications. For example, as Tancer explains, if you own a store that sells prom dresses, brick and mortar or otherwise, and you assume the biggest promotional or sales season  is April/May, you would be wrong. (For prom dresses it’s actually January.)

Like any good storyteller, Tancer starts his tale with some sex — Chapter One is entitled PPC, as in “Porn, Pills, and Casinos.” Fun fact: the domain www.sex.com has generated upwards to $750,000 per month in PPC revenue. A self-employed software salesman registered sex.com in 1994. The domain was subsequently stolen from him, but he eventually got it back. Another fun fact: Twenty-percent of all email spam is for Viagra.

“How to” questions are nearly 3% of all search-engine queries in the United States. That may give you some ideas when you are marketing your business. The internet has fundamentally changed the nature of marketing itself. As one hotel executive told Tancer, “I use to rely on my brand to keep my hotel full.” Now he spends his time keeping up with TripAdvisor.

Studying the internet like this is new, and potentially very powerful. You can start making predictions, based on what people are doing online. More to the point — as an associate of Tancer says — you aren’t so much making predictions as finding out about stuff before everybody else does. The author explains how he has used his research to pick the winners of reality TV shows. And by examining the early adopters of today’s biggest websites, you could, potentially, predict the big websites of the future. Another important part of internet marketing: the superconnectors of social marketing — the increasing power of sites like MySpace and Facebook.

Tancer is a statistics geek and sometimes his excitement for the stats can get into dry territory, but overall we find this amazing material. He works for Hitwise, a firm that concentrates on this type of research. As we have said before, most of your competitors have no idea about this stuff; they probably don’t even think to care. Meanwhile, our copy of Click is highlighted with all kinds of notes and ideas. POP QUIZ: If you are a common celebrity ( female, particularly), what is the #1 thing you can do that will catapult you straight to the top of celebrity-world? In this book, Tancer reveals what it is…. hint: Paris Hilton did it…

Click: What Millions of People Are Doing Online and Why it Matters

(review by www.richdogmillionaire.com)

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Bloggers, Others Could Be Sued Under New Regulations

April 3rd, 2009

The Financial Times is reporting:

Revised guidelines on endorsements and testimonials by the Federal Trade Commission, now under review and expected to be adopted, would hold companies liable for untruthful statements made by bloggers and users of social networking sites who receive samples of their products.”

“If a blogger received a free sample of skin lotion and then incorrectly claimed the product cured eczema, the FTC could sue the company for making false or unsubstantiated statements. The blogger could be sued for making false representations.”

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“If Your Business Does Not Have a Facebook Page, Now is the Time to Jump…”

April 2nd, 2009

Tyler Olson reports that Facebook has been attempting to improve its B2B value, including an updated fan page: “Businesses now have the ability to send updates straight to the news feed of any person who has chosen to be a fan… Additionally, Facebook is adding an analytics tool called Insight,  so you can better understand the demographic of your fans.” Olson warns though, “that millions of Facebook users are complaining about the latest changes and Facebook has been known to make quick decisions based upon user feedback.” Shout out to Tyler’s website.

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