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Innovative uses of social media

Diesel Cam

A lot of people get social media wrong because, like every new bandwagon they hastily jump onto, they see it as the sole answer to all their problems. It’s important to think of social media as a toolset for engaging with your customers in new and exciting ways, rather than just another channel to shout your tired message through. After all, a bad workman blames his tools.

Whilst it takes a lot of creative thinking to break the mould and use social media in a truly original way it’s often the simplest of ideas that work best. It’s about looking at what tools each social network offers, and thinking about what you can do with them.

Some time ago, Beth wrote about how a Texas coffee shop used Twitter to take orders from customers in advance. It’s so simple isn’t it? The brainstorming session can’t have taken that long:

TexasCoffee_Twitter_Brainstorm

 

Last Thursday Beth and I headed down to Brighton for a CIM Sussex seminar on Digital trends and the impact on traditional marketing. In his typically laid back style, Ross Breadmore from NixonMcinnes highlighted some implementations of social media that were really thinking outside the box. Here’s some of our favourites to get your creative juices flowing:

1. Diesel Cam

Trying on a pair of jeans and want your friends’ opinion? Post a picture to your Facebook account using the booth in Diesel store changing room. I imagine the most popular caption is “Does my bum look big in this?

2. Fiat Eco:Drive

Fiat’s Eco:Drive system tracks your driving, relays it back to a central server and then provides you with easy to read graphs and stats to help you monitor your driving performance. It’s all about staying green and reducing your carbon footprint – something that most environmentally conscious people don’t mind talking about. So it’s handy that you can share this info with your friends on Facebook and Twitter.

3. Miista – Cheaper With A Tweet

Hackney based shoe retailer Miista launched a Twitter campaign to beat the January blues. A single Tweet to @miistashoes and the price of your chosen item drops for everyone. As a further twist, the level of discount applied was proportionate to your klout score – a measure of your Twitter influence. Higher Twitter klout had higher klout on prices.

4. IBM

The interesting thing about one of the world’s largest companies is that they don’t have a single corporate Facebook or Twitter account. Instead, they have 17000 internal blogs from employees where they are free to write their own thoughts – as well as strong employee presence on Twitter and LinkedIn. All this helps humanise a huge company.

When given the time, none of these ideas are that hard to come up with. In fact, similar campaigns have been conducted with more traditional methods. Miista have taken the ‘do something for us to get a discount’ idea and applied it in the social media realm. Think about what advantages and tools each social network offers and don’t be afraid to experiment!

Image credit: Diesel Cam on YouTube.