Persuasive Picks for the week of 06/06/11

PieBy the numbers: Social media’s slice of the marketing pie
Get up to speed on how companies with small, medium and large social marketing budgets are spending their money via these highlights of several recent Hubspot, Nielsen and Altimeter reports compiled by Dan Taylor – in this post on TheNextWeb.com.

4 Ways Video Can Help Your Social Media Marketing Success
This Clickz.com post from Liana Evans provides some practical advice for creating useful video for your business rather than shooting for the that virtually unobtainable “viral” brass ring.

How Southwest Airlines Is Connecting With Customers Via Social Media
Last week’s picks featured a look at how JetBlue has been finding success with their social media efforts. This week you can also take a peek at how they’re doing it over at Southwest – via this video post over on SocialMediaExaminer.com.

56% Of Content Shared Online Occurs Via Facebook
Not using Facebook as part of your social marketing strategy yet? You might want to reconsider it. Get a quick rundown of some pretty impressive stats when it comes to sharing content online – via this AllFacebook.com post from Jennifer Moire.

Facebook And Twitter: What If The Real World Was Like Social Media?
This week’s round of picks wraps up with this very funny video from the English National Opera that shows what things would be like if you applied your online life to the real world. Enjoy!

Photo Credit: Salim Virji

Jennifer Aniston Goes Viral with ‘Smart’ Sex Tape

What do you get when you throw a gorgeous actress into a room with adorable puppies, a cute lip-synching kid, dancing babies and double rainbows and then give it a title that makes people stop in their tracks and do a double-take? A viral video that’s the talk of the Internet this week, with 4.7 million views and counting on YouTube, that’s what.

SmartWater hit a home run with spokeswoman Jennifer Aniston’s cleverly-titled “sex tape” spoof, a nearly three-minute ad that showcases the key elements that make viral videos spread like wildfire. The premise goes something like this: Aniston, coached by a team of “three lovely Internet boys” attempts to make an advertisement for the bottled water go viral – or, as she says, “apparently, um, turns into a virus.”

Dancing babies seem like a good option, until they start grinding on one another, prompting Aniston to ask, “Where’s the mommy?” She then apologizes to one fan, an unsuspecting victim of her crotch kick, explaining, “Apparently, that’s worth about 100,000 hits.” The former Friends star even pokes fun at herself with a parrot, which instead of saying “I love SmartWater” squawks, “Rachel, I love your hair.”

The video ends with Aniston asking, “Is it hot in here?” and shocking her Internet gurus by tossing her hair in slow motion before sexily sipping SmartWater, even letting a few droplets fall onto her chest. When asked what she thinks of the “sex tape” title, she says, “I love it!”

And apparently we all do, as the explosive number of views indicates, bringing the video to official viral video distinction.

But beyond gimmicks and clichés, what really makes a video become an Internet sensation? Here’s why we think SmartWater struck (liquid) gold with this one:

  • They took a chance: As we all know, you can’t make something go viral. If it’s good enough it just happens. But you never know until you try.
  • They thought outside the “bottle:” Ever thought there would be a viral video about water? The folks at SmartWater knew they’d have to step it up and think creatively to get people talking.
  • They lightened up: By teaming up with current viral stars and even poking some fun at herself and her own brand, both Aniston and SmartWater come across as refreshing (pun intended) in the video.
  • They kept a few key things in mind: It’s what every ad should be – simple, fun, memorable and appealing to the eyes. And the call to action? After watching Aniton’s slow-motion hair-tossing sequence, I’m betting more than a few folks will be reaching for that water to cool off.

What do you think – do you like the video? Is it worthy of its viral video status?

Raleigh’s Social Media and Tech Community share 2011 Predictions at TIMA Summit Party

Last Thursday night I attended the TIMA Summit Party – the only afterparty for the Third Annual Internet Summit in Raleigh, North Carolina. Quickly becoming one of the largest internet conferences on the East Coast, the Internet Summit was a near sellout this year with an estimated 1500 attendees!

Bringing together Internet executives, senior marketers, entrepreneurs and investors, this years speakers represented companies like Google, Microsoft, Salesforce.com, Yahoo!, Go Daddy, AutoTrader.com, and more. Speakers presented on topics ranging from Social Media, to Mobile, Online Video, Cloud Computing, Real-time, Analytics, Online Advertising, and E-commerce.

The TIMA Summit Party was also a huge success! Hosted by TIMA and co-sponsored by DesignBox – who provided the awesome venue – and MediaTwo Interactive, some have said this year’s party was one of the best events tied to the Tech/Social Media community of Raleigh.

The following video offers a small taste of how great the event was and features a few of the party attendees sharing their predictions for 2011. What do you think will be the hot trends for 2011? What do you think about some of the predictions shared in this video? Share your response in the comments section below – and thanks for watching!

Claire Russell and Wayne Sutton at IMS10 – Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, MA – Part 2

In Part II of my interview with Wayne Sutton, we talk all things geolocation and location based services. A self-proclaimed location based services “geek”, Wayne is the Business Development/Marketing Strategist for TriOut, a location-based services application developed to help individuals explore the Triangle area and discover its cultural treasures.

During this interview, Wayne shares great insight on the location based services market landscape, how it works and what it means for consumers. And, most importantly, what retailers and brands need to think about when considering a location-based campaign as part of their marketing strategy.

Marketers – considering geolocation or location-based services as part of your future marketing campaigns? Which services are you reviewing and why? How will location tie into your online and offline initiatives? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!

Claire Russell Interviews Wayne Sutton at IMS10, Part 1

Last month I attended and presented at the Inbound Marketing Summit 2010 in Foxboro, MA. It was great to be back in Boston, catching up with friends and colleagues. But a true highlight of my visit, ironically (since we live in the same area), was finally getting the opportunity to catch up with Wayne Sutton – or SocialWayne as he’s known here in ‘The Triangle’ of North Carolina.

For those that may not know Wayne, he holds nearly 10 years of experience in technology and social media. He is the Business Development/Marketing Strategist for TriOut, a location-based services application developed to help individuals explore the Triangle area and discover its cultural treasures. Wayne is also a consultant, helping start-ups and established businesses succeed in understanding how to best communicate their brand strategy through social media, as well as location-based services.

In this first of a two-part series, Wayne shares three tips for new entrepreneurs thinking about launching in today’s market:

  • Hire good people you can trust
  • Build a revenue model that adds value and solves a problem
  • Try not to spend or take money if you don’t need it

He also gives his take on the Raleigh tech/social media scene.

I hope you enjoy the interview  – our Part II interview will feature Wayne talking about the impact of location-based services on corporate marketing strategies. What should marketers be thinking about as they plan their 2011 Marketing budgets? We’d love to get your thoughts/advice.