Tag: Twitter

New Castle Follow the Money

When all else fails, buy your Twitter followers

You may be familiar with New Castle Brown Ale’s satirical take on marketing. If not, I highly recommend watching their YouTube playlist. They call out the bullocks with no restraint and regularly newsjack big events. Most notably, the brand produced over eight videos about a “mega huge” Super Bowl ad that was never produced, and never was going to be produced. New Castle then proceeded to create videos about how other brands should have made their ads “mega huge.”

However, it wasn’t until June that New Castle turned their satire towards social media marketing. The brand launched an in-your-face social media campaign that was meant to literally buy Twitter followers. Too clever for their own good (they claim that the marketing team was not willing to put in the time to come up with a better idea), New Castle announced the “Follow the Money” campaign.

“Follow the Money” was designed to earn up to 50,000 new followers for the brand on Twitter by paying each new follower exactly $1.00 in exchange for their following. Being a social media analyst and enthusiast, I did not hesitate to participate.

After watching the video (below), going to http://FollowNewCastleOnTwitter.com (very literal) and clicking the “Follow” button, you then waited. About 6 hours later, you received a direct message from New Castle:

Finally, a DM worth receiving!

Finally, a DM worth receiving!

After waiting some more, you should have received a letter from New Castle around September 8th with enclosed payment for your surly duty — a brand new shiny commercial check in your name on it for the amount of one whole dollar!

Not Good Over $1.00

Not Good Over $1.00

So participants received a one-dollar check and something to blog about. But what did this whole stunt earn New Castle?

First, consider the strategy. New Castle wanted to spend the least amount of money to market their product. Let’s be honest, the new Twitter followers are just a byproduct of this campaign. The real aim was the loads of earned media from doing what every other brand did not have the bullocks (or brand voice) to do. It was a lofty goal, but not one too difficult to execute these days. You just need a wacky idea, a press release, a YouTube video and be ability to fulfill the promise.

New Castle Brown Ale ended up with 45,095 total followers (as of 9/11/14 at 5:30pm EST). Assuming they paid them all, discounting the 15,000 or so followers they had prior to the campaign, New Castle paid a total of roughly $30,000, plus postage and handling. However, the brand’s video received over 39,000 views, and the campaign received a considerable amount of media attention in the form of articles and blogs. In the grand scheme of things, the “Follow the Money” campaign was a relatively small investment compared to past campaigns, and well worth the cost per impression.


Facebook Launches Trending Topics

In June 2013, when Facebook announced the launch of hashtags in the News Feed, it made the promise of Trending Topics as well. They are now live! On Facebook’s blog they say, “Trending shows you the popular topics and hashtags that are being talked about on Facebook. You’ll see stories from people and Pages who’ve shared them with you or have shared them as Public. From the right side of your homepage, click a topic that’s trending to see what people are saying about it.”

In what seems to be a full spread release, Facebook launched trending topics on both the mobile app and the desktop experience. The trends appear above posts with the topics on the mobile feed, and on the right sidebar on the desktop.

Facebook_Trending Topics Side bar

When you click on these, you will get all the relevant post in one stream for that topic.


This has been a long time coming considering Twitter, Google Plus and Pinterest have all had some sort of “trending” feature at an early start. The notion is that it helps content discovery and unites micro-communities. What are you thoughts on the new feature for Facebook?

Other posts you might like:
Budweiser’s Super Bowl Ad Was Genius Marketing

Budweiser’s Super Bowl Ad Was Genius Marketing

During the Super Bowl, Budweiser aired an advertisement that enraged many of the craft beer community. It was an ad that many will regretfully have …

New Castle Follow the Money

When all else fails, buy your Twitter followers

You may be familiar with New Castle Brown Ale’s satirical take on marketing. If not, I highly recommend watching their YouTube playlist. They call out …


Exclusive content done right: Untappd Supporter

There are nearly infinite tactics for content creation and distribution. Any business hopes that content creation will result in revenue of some sort. If you …


Creating Unique Hashtags

Companies want to make big waves when it comes to Twitter, and one way to do this is to use hashtags to create communities around their brands. But there are two ideologies when it comes to using hashtags. The first is to create unique hashtags. This allows brands to lay claim to the viral movements they create on the social platform. The second is to use existing hashtags that have brand-relevant conversations around them.

When many brands first started to use Twitter, they included hashtags in their TV advertisements. This tactic has been particularly popular in recent retail and fashion advertisements. TJ Maxx has #maxxinista, Marshall’s used #fashionfound and Target recently used #mykindofholiday for discounts. Below is the example of #mykindofholiday usage on a graph, and as you can see they have significant spikes.

mykindofholiday-hashtag Continue reading “Creating Unique Hashtags” »


Before You Tweet, Strategize.

Optimizing content is one of the largest tasks on social media. Everyone is trying to get the farthest reach with their content. Twitter is one of the simplest and easiest to optimize. It has minimal features and is touted as being a pivotal part of information sharing for many industries. As marketers we often find infographics that describe tactics to take that get your tweets retweeted. I take issue with these graphics for two reason. 1. They ignore your following and are generalized for all tweeters, no matter the amount of followers or industry. 2. They ignore the content itself – the actually composition of your tweets. So before you tweet or optimize your tweets for retweets, strategize. Continue reading “Before You Tweet, Strategize.” »

Good Content Spreads

Why Good Marketing Spreads on the Internet

We all know that Al Gore invented the Internet to connect people from all over the world. So, if the Internet is for connecting, why do so many businesses fail to achieve this goal? Some may not know the recipe for marketing success. Others may not know how to tell their brand’s story.  While many still think that going viral is the key to success.


The main reason businesses don’t connect? They don’t take a holistic view of all of the many web channels. They don’t realize that…the web is a living, breathing, integrating machine.

To get a holistic view, let’s start with the basics. Okay?

1. The web is alive.

The Internet is alive and well. Just like Frankenstein. But a lot less scary. small_3126384890

If you’re a small business, don’t be scared to make an impact. Respect the digital medium. And make it come alive by repeating the famous quote of Regis McKenna: “marketing is everything and everything is marketing.”

Here are a few other tips:

  • Learn how to communicate in an honest, authentic way that resonates with your audience. If you don’t have time to learn, or can’t do this yourself, hire a specialist.
  • Paint your walls with colorful content.  And no, this doesn’t mean create a beautiful logo (although that always helps). It’s more along the lines of creating engaging experiences within every interaction you have with your customers. It goes a long way.
  • Don’t shout to your customers. Talk to them like they’re people. After all, they are human, right? No? Then you belong at the end of the internet.

2.    The web is ubiquitous

You can’t go anywhere without seeing the Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube logos. They’re everywhere. Which is why your business needs to be everywhere (that makes sense for your business).

If your business does not yet have social media accounts, work with a marketing or media agency to get up and running. Here are a few basic ways to stand out and get off the ground:

  • Create a custom landing page for Facebook
  • Get a Twitter custom background and secure your Twitter handle with the name of your company (do it right after you read this post! need help? just ask!)
  • Being ubiquitous does not mean repeating the same updates on each different channel. It’s great that you created a shortcut for yourself. Awesome. But therein lies the problem. Each social media platform has its own, unique way of communicating – which is why you should not link your Twitter account with your Facebook, or vice versa. (more on this in the next post!)

3. The web is informal

In college, we learned how to use big words. Yep, just like ubiquitous. The reality? It’s not that impressive with Google at our fingertips. Unless you’re an SAT company (and even then!), don’t try to impress your customers with big words. It’s better to be authentic than academic [tweet this!]



Here’s how to be casual, cool, and collected:

  • Write to the reading level of a 5th grader on the web. Yes, Wrinkle in Time style. This may or may not require 5th grade humor (use at your own discretion)
  • Informal does not mean lazy. I repeat: Informal does not mean lazy. Being informal requires a lot more work than being formal. Why? It’s about doing more with less. This takes…work! Lots of it.
  • Informal can still mean academic. You can offer an academic approach minus the academic style. There’s a difference. An academic approach educates and informs, without being unnecessarily wordy. Kinda like this post, eh?

Why do you think things spread on the Internet? Please comment below.


dgray_xplane (creative commons)

foxtongue (creative commons)

bruno postle

This post originally appeared on the Vocus blog.


Your Twitter Analytics are Broken!

Earlier this week Twitter released their analytics platform to the public. It’s a nifty tool, that allows you to see your 30 day follower gain and loss. It shows your last 500 tweets with stats like link clicks, faves, retweets, and replies. If you’re really jonsin’ for some info it will even show you the demographics and interests of your followers.

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

Aside from the analytics being behind many third party options (even free ones), the analytic might actually be broken. The most important information about your content, besides the resonance (number of retweets per tweet per 1,000 followers) is how many people actually clicked on your links! This is the number one action that we as brands, marketers and “internet celebrities” want our followers to take. Its shows that we can drive action and spread information. So, I compared the Twitter Analytics to my Buffer App report and there is a big disparity!

Click to Enlarge

Although many of my “Top Tweets” from Buffer were also under the “Best” category in my Twitter Analytics, some were not. Such as my tweet to Dabney Porte on Naomi Simson‘s LinkedIn post.

Click to Enlarge

Secondly, none of the clicks tracked by Buffer App through Bit.ly were tracked by Twitter. At first I thought this was a case of a bit.ly intercepting the click data, but even with links that come from Instagram, Paper.li and others that weren’t put through bit.ly show 0 clicks.

The bigger issue is that when you click “Download CSV” the only information you get is the Tweet ID, Date/Time, Message, Faves, RTs and Replies. It doesn’t include your follower data or your click data.  Twitter has a long way to go with its analytics before they have a platform that can give you deeper insights into optimizing your twitter activity. Where is the RT/original tweet ratio, conversation/push ratio, reach/impressions, even a most used word cloud would be nice – especially for the “Best” category.

CompfortablySmug Apology

ComfortablySmug Apologizes for Misinformation

During Hurricane Sandy, @ComfortablySmug sent out a series of tweets, which received many retweets, that were entirely misinformation. He made claims about the status of power, flooding and other public services. He blatantly abused the anonymity the internet provided. As reported by Buzzfeed.com, this man also sits on the congressional Campaign for Christopher Wright as a consultant as reported by Buzzfeed contributor Jack Stuef.

What @comfortablysmug didn’t count on, apparently, was losing that anonymity. Based on photos he censored and posted to the account but I found unedited elsewhere, @comfortablysmug is Shashank Tripathi, a hedge fund analyst and the campaign manager of Christopher R. Wight, this year’s Republican candidate for the U.S. House from New York’s 12th Congressional District… He’s listed here by a local Republican group coordinating volunteers for a Romney phone bank. He’s 29 years old.

At 7:24 PM on October 30th, he sent out an official apology. He has also resigned from the congressional campaign of Christopher Wright.

Delivering Message

3 Rules for Delivering Your Passion

Everyone has a passion and often times we want to share this passion with others. Your message is important to you, but when you are delivering your message to others, you must consider where you deliver it, to whom you deliver it to, and how you deliver it. I was on the subway platform this week and I witnessed a woman going about this all wrong.

This woman was standing at the top of the stairs on the subway platform, and as everyone walked by she spoke, in the sweetest tone you could imagine, “Follow Jesus and you will go to heaven.” A valid message, but poorly executed. Most people ignored her. The few that did look her way often looked away as soon as they made eye contact. The worst execution of this message was that she even said it to a group of Hasidic Jew teens.

I stood and I watched as dozens of people came up the stairs to wait for trains and exited trains to go down the stairway and she continue to repeat the message to everyone. She didn’t seem to be connecting with anyone. So how could she have done it better?

Here are three ways:

1. Start with a Conversation
The end goal of her mission is to get people to believe her message, but she skips over all the reasoning. Brands spend a lot of time crafting the perfect message to push into the marketplace, but it is often not received. Today’s technology can leverage your message to start a conversation, which can be continue somewhere else with the people who want to talk with you. This gives you the opportunity to discuss your reasoning, values, goals and garner buy-in from your audience. With social media, even if you only convert a few people, with this method you will have people who have converted because they believe in your message. These people are more also likely to share it and, over time, this will build.

2. Know your Audience
Make sure you are starting a conversation with the right people. Pushing your message on people who are to devoted something else, only positions you for a debate. Converting people who have already bought into your competitors is the most difficult path. It is much easier to converse with people on the fence, answer their questions and help them make a decision. Almost every social media platform can assist with this task.

3. Know your Environment
This woman stood at a bottle neck of the subway traffic during high density travel times. Much like brand XYZ jumping on a social platform and expecting everyone to listen to what it says. It is disruptive, but irrelevant to the audience. Your message must be delivered in a place where people are willing to listen or prepared to listen. Just because you’ve identified a place with high traffic, doesn’t mean that it is the right place for your message. A better qualifier for the placement of your message should be reception, not traffic.

Of course, these rules only apple when you know your values, have goals, and are ready to converse with your audience. Gone are the days of pushing your message on to people. Your marketing is now a conversation, with informed people looking for more answers.

Applebees Tweet

Applebee’s Successfully Uses Sarcasm

The big name restaurant chain gets the last laugh after comedian Rob Delaney tweets about his experience in one of their establishments.

The tweet stirred up a flurry of feedback, everything from praise to jealousy. Studies show that the top two reasons user follow a brand online is for either coupons/giveaways and exclusive content. However, this customer service offer was just a joke. Applebee’s successfully used sarcasm on the internet and only upset a few people.

Apple Announcement Gets Prodded...

iPhone5 announcement gets prodded…

Samsung is also running a really big ad on Facebook’s home screeen (pre login). With the stats update similar to the Tweet.

Recently Apple won the $1 billion dollar award for Samsungs infringement on their patents. Although, it is NOT true that Samsung attempted to pay Apple in $0.05 cent coins, Samsung certainly isn’t bowing out of the fight with the tech giant.

Today the iPhone 5 will be announced by Apple. Do a quick search for “iphone5″ on Twitter and you’ll see Samsung lurking. Great marketing!

So how about you? Apple or Android?

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