Visa has launched a Facebook application to join the growing ranks of major brands looking to leverage their growth and bridge the gap between traditional main stream media and new marketing. This can be potentially groundbreaking. Just for signing up your small business, Visa is giving away $100 in free advertising credits on Facebook adding up to a $2 million dollar advertising spend on Facebook. Visa is hoping to build a network and an application that will empower business’ to grow, manage and connect with other business owners, vendors and customers by giving them tools, resources and ideas to mesh thier business’ traditional needs with the new wave of consumption we are seeing in the social space. I don’t know aout you but this excites me. Any web technology that enables B2B, eCommerce and community excites me but this especially because Visa is such a large brand and powerful utility for any business.
What Visa is doing is one of many examples of brands that are executing carefully planned marketing promotions in the social media space. While a lot of business’ and brands are still asking, “Is Social Media going to make me money?” my advice is to benchmark, trend and study what other brands are doing. SMO is not like a Meatball Sundae. You can’t just add topping to your ‘marketing sundae’ and expect it to taste good. Like anything else, you get back what you put in. If you simply create social profiles, widgets, applications and advertisements for your brand or business and just walk away from it expecting it to grow, that will send a signal to your audience that you don’t actually care what their needs are. Additionally, if your product doesn’t display your company’s commitment to excellence then it won’t matter what kind of vehicle you add to the mix. Consumers and opinion leaders will see right through it and they will write about it in their blogs. Brands should carefully and cautiously plan their PR 2.0 campaigns and make sure they have a team who truly understands this space because social media and new media marketing most certainly is not a fad that will go away but will continue to prove to be a bridge between traditional and new.
Here is a very short list of brands that I see really executing well with online promotion.
Starbucks launched a social network site called My Starbucks Idea which personifies the good old suggestion box into a living breathing thing. They also launched Headmix shift exchange. I worked at Starbucks as a Barista when I was in college and it was one of the best jobs I have ever had. Changing shifts was a really frustrating process for associates and managers. This is a great idea.
No one can satisfy all of the people all of the time but Comcast is definitely trying to take advatage of social computing and brand measurement that can be gained from actually listening to what people are saying about them online. Comcast cares. Chances are if you are microblogging on www.twitter.com and complaining about your cable service with them, or even your cable provider in general you might just get an @reply or a follow from www.twitter.com/comcastcares trying to assist.
If you know of any other brands who are doing it right in social media please share your examples and stories.
- Visa taps into Facebook following
- Facebook and Visa Team Up to Target Small Businesses
- Capital One Takes Aim With Slingshot
- Ongoing list of Social Media in the Financial Industry
- Visa Flashes Its Credit Card On Facebook: $2M Ad Spend, Plus Promotional App