10 tips for winning Facebook Pages

There’s a helpful post by Rob Salmon on the IAB Social Media Council blog on how to deliver effective Facebook Pages.  He shares 10 tips which Randi Zuckerberg, Head of Consumer Marketing at Facebook, presented at the recent ‘Facebook for Good’ conference. I’ve summarised the 10 tips below but for more flesh on the bone check out his blog post.

  1. ‘Create a public page not a group.’
  2. ‘Customize your Facebook page’
  3. ‘Come up with rules of engagement’
  4. ‘Encourage community interaction’
  5. ‘Be authentic’
  6. ‘Get immediate feedback’
  7. ‘Leverage the power of video’
  8. ‘Get creative!’
  9. ‘Make it go viral!’
  10. ‘Use insights to guide decisions’

And you thought Philips Carousel was impressive…

I really enjoyed Philips Carousel when it came out 12 months ago and felt it thoroughly deserved all the accolades, not just because of its inventive cinematography but also because it showed just how powerful online video can be as a brand building and buzz generation exercise when executed well.

So like the rest of us, I was looking forward to the next iteration of this campaign and pleased to say I wasn’t disappointed!  Instead of approaching one director, Philips have teamed up with five directors from Ridley Scott Associates and challenged them to create a cutting-edge short film in any genre they liked.  The one stipulation they had to follow was that they all had to use exactly the same script!  It’s quite an ingenious way to articulate the core proposition that there may be numerous ways to tell a story but only one way to actually watch them – on a Philips TV.

For your viewing pleasure I have included all five films below or you can view them in HD in the Parallel Lines microsite here.  Enjoy.

One of the things I particularly like about this campaign is the way they’ve seamlessly integrated multilple disciplines and digital platforms to maximise the social capital of the campaign.   Each platform within the mix fulfils a very specific role to the overall campaign whether that’s to build anticipation or hype around the launch event, encourage consumer participation and collaboration or facilitate the conversation in social media to extend the overall life of the campaign.   I’ll attempt to explain each role in turn from what I’ve gleaned so far.

Building anticipation through blogger outreach

So to build anticipation for the launch, Philips have undertaken a blogger outreach campaign where they’ve sent out intriguing boxes to influential film bloggers.  Inside each box was a note from RSA Films founder Ridley Scott inviting them to work out what the script is and attend the premiere screening.

Hosting the event on YouTube

To celebrate the premiere on 8th April, the homepage of YouTube featured the first ever media player in cinematic 21:9 format featuring scenes from the ‘Parallel Lines’ trailer.  From here consumers could access the dedicated Philips Cinema YouTube channel where the films can be watched on Philips unique ‘Ambiplayer’.

Encouraging participation through crowdsourcing

This year, they’ve also introduced an interesting crowdsourcing element to the campaign where consumers are invited to submit their own short film via their own branded contest channel on YouTube.  I think this is a very clever idea.   No doubt most submissions will be complete dross but I’m sure we’ll see some very intriguing and original interpretations from budding film directors, keen to get the exposure in front of their peers and Sir Ridley Scott!

Extending the life of the campaign through Facebook.

Finally, Philips have also created a dedicated Facebook page to support the campaign which is proactively moderated to produce lively debate and keep the conversation going.  It’s  already attracted a captive audience of 50,000 fans and shows promising signs that it will capture the buzz and generate further excitement around the campaign, not to mention a healthy pool of potential new prospects.

Credits: The Parallel Lines project was developed at DDB London. Digital agency was Tribal DDB Amsterdam.  PR Agency was One Vision.

Vodafone Zoozoo campaign gains cult following

This entertaining campaign by Vodafone was brought to my attention by Interactive Marketing Blog and is proving to be particularly popular in India by all accounts. It’s a series of ads created by Ogilvy & Mather (India) which aims to dramatise various service features including voicemail, cricket score alerts and musical greetings to name but a few. You can see a collection of the amusing clips here.

Some executions work better than others in conveying the service benefits but there’s no denying there’s an irresistable charm to these sketches and the rather alien-looking characters. It’s no wonder they’ve amassed a cult following already. As well as a YouTube channel which is now the second most subscribed channel in India, Vodafone have created the Zoozoo facebook fanpage which has attracted no less than 137k fans so far, generating a fair amount of engagement. You can view all the ads, vote for your favourite clips, download ringtones, screensavers or wallpapers and even partake in a quiz using their Zoozoo facebook app.

Vodafone Zoozoo facebook fanpage

Vodafone Zoozoo facebook fanpage

Is this a good example of using social media marketing to support the above the line? On the whole, a resounding yes. There’s no doubt that the social media elements of this campaign will help to build brand equity and affinity. Instead of passively watching the occasional ad on TV, consumers can now engage with the content, demonstrate their allegiance and actively voice their enthusiasm.

The two social media environments also help to aggregate content, making it easy for fans to engage with the whole campaign and consequently familiarise themselves with the wider range of product benefits. Furthermore, I’m sure the fanpage has attracted new followers through peer-to-peer recommendation who may not have otherwise come across the campaign.

However, despite its apparent popularity, the fanpage appears to be little more than a campaign showcase. For a fanpage to have longevity and remain truly active, the community really needs a reason to create content so that it builds momentum of its own accord and that’s what’s currently missing in my view. Whilst instant polls or asking viewers to talk about their favourite ad has its place, it’s hardly going to fuel discussions for the long term, let alone drive footfall to the Vodafone stores.

One way to make this fanpage work slightly harder would be to provide some additional info and advice around the actual features communicated within the ads. Whilst I admit it’s a fine line to tread, this campaign fanpage could helpt to educate the audience further on the various Vodafone service offerings being promoted in the campaign – perhaps in the form of discussion threads – provided it’s done tactfully and with a degree of restraint and humility.

Evicting social network squatters

Username availability for ‘BRANDX’


No one likes squatters – they overstay their welcome, they don’t return your calls, they leave mess everywhere and more often than not, they smell.  But squatters don’t just reside in abandoned properties, they can also be found all over the world wide web in social networks, having deliberately or innocently poached your brand name as their username.  The cheek of it!

To be fair, these ‘e-squatters’ may be well-intentioned brand enthusiasts eager to start communities around your brand. Or they may just have chosen your brand name because it has some other connotation to their lives. e.g. someone called ‘Innocent’ on a dating network is more likely to be a fruit cake than a fruit smoothie!

Worst case scenario is that some disgruntled customer or activist adopts your username to undermine your brand, as South West Trains will testify.

South West Trains Twitter Account

Which brings me to an important point.  Whilst you’re spending months developing and finessing your award-winning social media plan to engage consumers in social networks, you could find that some Jack Jones has nabbed your brand username from right under your nose!

Admittedly, sometimes this can work to your favour – Coca-cola’s fanpage on Facebook was created by two guys who loved coke and it’s now the biggest fanpage on Facebook with 3.3 million subscribers.   However, in the majority of cases the username account is quite likely to be fairly inactive,  underperforming or a digression from your brand or social media strategy.

And there lies the problem.  Inaction now could result in any future plans you may have to participate in social networks becoming seriously compromised.

Prevention is better than cure

Fortuantely there’s a way of checking whether your usernames are still available across all the networks by visiting checkusernames.com.  This site lists all the social networks and indicates where your chosen username is registered already.

For brands who find themselves in a situation where they want to evict Twitter squatters there does appear to be a simple process of contacting Twitter who will try to reclaim your username unders certain conditions. This process is clearly explained in a useful post by TheNextWeb.

However, prevention is usually better than cure.   So it’s probably prudent to register and reserve your brand names in some of the main social networks just to keep your options open. You don’t have to keep it publicly active but at least you’ve prevented the potential of some squatter sabotaging your most precious property of all: your brand.