Monthly Archives: January 2010

Four Reasons Businesses Should Be Using Social Media

Written by: Digitally Approved
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Not an actively using  Social Media? Fanscape’s Larry Weintraub breaks down the four reasons businesses should be using Social Media, in this insightful piece for iMedia Connection.

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If you are just dabbling in social media, you may still not be sure what exactly it will do for you or where it fits in to your company structure. You’ve probably created a Twitter account, built a simple Facebook page, and maybe even added a company blog to your website. Good. That’s a great start. Now step back for a minute and think about what this is all for.

There are four reasons to use social media for your business. In no particular order, they are:

  • Marketing
  • PR
  • Market research
  • Customer service

All four of these are geared to do the same thing — connect with your customers and interact with them. But don’t hide behind trendy words like “engagement;” ultimately you want to do one thing: sell more products or services. Let’s take a look at how each of these four components of your social media strategy can help you sell more.

CLICK HERE to read the full  story.

Thinking about the iPad

Written by: Digitally Approved
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The following piece was posted by Fanscape CEO, Larry Weintraub, to his Smart Marketing blog . We at Digitally Approved thought you might like to see what Larry’s thoughts are on Apple’s newest creation, the iPad.

ipadDo I want an iPad? Yes. Do I need an iPad? No. Would I use an iPad if I had one? Probably for about a day.

Here’s why I love my iPhone. Because I can carry one device on an airplane. When you travel as much as I do, you learn to pack as light as possible. The iPhone made it so I didn’t need to carry a phone, an organizer, an iPod, and as many books & magazines as I used to. I’m all about downsizing. Less stuff.

The Kindle was intriguing. But it’s heavy. A lot heavier than you think it’s going to be when you look at it online or when you see someone holding it in their hands. I have to take my laptop on most trips so if I add a Kindle, it’s too much. But I love the concept. I love the idea that all of my books and magazines can fit on one device and I don’t have to carry the weight associated with all the individual literature. So, give me a laptop with 10 hours of life that can hold my books and magazines. Make it super light. Make it affordable. Under $1,000.

Read the rest of Larry’s post

Church 2.0: The Pope Goes Social

Written by: Digitally Approved
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Although he certainly has more “followers” than Ashton Kutcher or Britney Spears, Pope Benedict XVI does not yet have his own Twitter account.  What he does have though is a collection of other social media tools (including a Facebook application, iPhone app and YouTube channel) that are available as a part of the Pope2You project.  Administered by the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, the project displays the church’s recent commitment to using digital communications as a way to spread the Word.

Understanding that in order to connect with his younger and more digitally connected Catholic flock, he must engage with them where they hang out, socially speaking. Pretty progressive and forward-thinking move coming from an organization so steeped in tradition. The Pope and his advisers know that tweeting, blogging and commenting have the potential to reach audiences in more engaging and direct ways than a traditional sermon from the pulpit.  In the most recent Message From His Holiness, the Pope himself addresses the development of new communication technologies and encourages priests to make use of these mediums by embracing the opportunities they create:

“To priests in particular the new media offer ever new and far-reaching pastoral possibilities, encouraging them to embody the universality of the Church’s mission, to build a vast and real fellowship, and to testify in today’s world.”

Pope2You

Coinciding with the Pope’s declaration that 2010 will be the “Year for Priests,” the theme of this year’s World Communications Day (to be held May 16) is “The Priest and Pastoral Ministry in a Digital World: New Media at the Service of the Word.”  The event will bring attention to the unique possibilities offered by modern communications and give priests the information and tools needed to minister in a digital world.  Solidifying the Church’s acceptance of Social Media as a viable communications option, one only needs to look to its early adopters that include Friar Todd Peterson, Bishop Anthony Taylor and Cardinal Justin Rigali.

Social Media and Big Sporting Events

Written by: Digitally Approved
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The Super Bowl has long been considered the preeminent avenue of exposure for television advertisers due to its ability to attract an enormous and diverse audience (95.4 million in 2009).  Although this year’s game is expected to draw an equal number of eyeballs, several prominent brands and sponsors are shifting their advertising dollars from traditional television tactics to consumer-oriented online engagement strategies.

Pepsi, FedEx and GM have all pulled out from Super Bowl commercials this year, while brands like Doritos hope to repeat the success of their Crash the Super Bowl campaign.  At the 2010 Winter Olympics, Visa, one of the event’s largest sponsors for more than twenty years, is expanding their advertising to a multi-platform strategy with a heavy digital focus.  Sony Ericsson, the official mobile sponsor of the 2010 World Cup, has forgone all traditional advertising in favor of a fan-centric approach that reaches out through online channels.  If 2009 was the year that big companies began embracing social media, then 2010 looks like the year that they will be getting engaged in social matrimony.

CTSB Screen

As the official soft drink of the NFL, Pepsi made a drastic and progressive decision to forgo all Super Bowl television commercials in favor of their $20 million Pepsi Refresh Project digital advertising campaign.  After voting on the site goes live on February 1, the project will give grant money to the winners with the best ideas to “refresh” their community.  This marks the first time a major NFL sponsor will not be airing commercials during the Super Bowl.  Even in a deflated market, 30-second Super Bowl spots are selling for $2.5 million to $2.7 million, making the reach and measurability of digital word-of-mouth strategies that much more appealing.

Pepsi SM Idea

Just days after the Super Bowl winner is crowned, the opening ceremonies of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games will commence.  This year, major sponsors like Visa have developed campaigns that encompass a variety of digital channels.  They will be utilizing microsites to showcase interviews and personal stories of athletes, along with downloadable athlete widgets and posts on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.

From a news media perspective, Web 2.0 and social tools have allowed nearly anyone to become a “reporter.”  For that reason, the IOC has created a rule that only accredited media members may act as journalists with rights to publish audio and moving pictures from the games.  There will apparently be a few exceptions to this rule though as the Vancouver Organizing Committee launched a competition for area students to become a reporter during the games.  Using social media tools like videos, web invites, blog posts and photo journals, the winning students will be filing stories, conducting interviews and hosting an interactive website with other participants from around the globe.  The project, called Students Live, can be followed on Twitter @studentslive.

StudentsLive screen

Sony Ericsson, the official mobile sponsor of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, has followed the suit of Pepsi, Visa and others by going completely with an online approach to customer engagement.  As a truly global event, the audience of the World Cup is hard to target by geographic region and television broadcasts don’t draw the same amount of viewers as the Super Bowl and Olympics.  This is where social media and online channels step in, providing Sony Ericsson with the ability to engage customers and generate conversations that penetrate national and social borders.  Sony Ericsson has already launched a Twitter-based competition between fans of each participating country, a ticket giveaway promotion and a World Cup branded search engine termed the Worldcupopedia.

World Cup Screen

Adoption of new marketing strategies will always lag years behind the technology itself, but the recent moves by Pepsi, Visa, Sony Ericsson and others indicate that companies are adapting to the changing landscape in full force.  These shifts in advertising budget are merely the precursors to an entire paradigm shift that will continue to see more large companies incorporating word of mouth strategies and social media as a genuine part of their marketing mix.

Who knew driving could be so…well, social

Written by: Digitally Approved
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Driving around the City and experiencing excruciating traffic is nothing new, but something I have noticed more and more of these days, is that we are being deluged by drivers’ complete lack of regard for anything or anyone around them.  I know I can’t be the only one here seeing this sad trend. Whether it’s people chatting on their mobile phones or those just in a hurry to get to point B, people are paying much less attention to their surroundings and how their poor driving effects the entire commute of those around them.

It’s frustrating indeed, but just when you think that honking, screaming and “gesturing” are your only options, along comes what will likely become my best online friend ever, CarPong.

CarPong Home Page

The premise of this new social site is simple, yet effective: write a message to other drivers utilizing their license plate as their contact and post it to the CarPong site. The thought is that by signing up and others signing up, messages will be delivered and received.  Sure, it can also be used as a new social dating tool to inform the hotness that’s driving right past you that you’re interested, but it can also be used for more pure intentions…publicly shaming those that cut you off,  the eventual right-ers and those drivers that just think they are always more important that everyone else.

CarPong Recent Messages

Who knew driving could be so social. Of all things, why didn’t I think of that.