Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Raising brand awareness of Facebook via games

There were some fantastic sessions at yesterday's Social Media in a Corporate Context conference. However, I want to discuss one case study mentioned during the event, simply because it impressed me the most.

Claudia Bach, marketing and PR manager for Reckitt Benckister, was giving a presentation on engaging with Generation Y (social competent youths) and the ways her company (more famous for their separate products than their own brand) had embraced social media in order to encourage graduate recruitment.

She made reference to a Facebook game that the team at RB had created. A company making a Facebook game? For recruitment? Colour me curious.

The title, inspired by the rise of Zynga offerings such as Farmville and Mafia Wars (simple adventures which give users a sense of achievement) simulates life as an employee at the company.

Stick with me here.

The title sees players complete tasks in order to progress up the career ladder. Users answer emails, take calls, make decisions; all the while earning experience points. It sounds dull. It's not.

The aforementioned game sees you enter the company at a low level. From there, you eventually rise up into the managerial stratosphere. It's all very nicely presented and users can customize their office with a variety of swanky chairs, computers and desks (all purchased via experience points you get for completing a task).

So what makes the game so clever?

Here, RB are distilling their corporate culture into a fun and friendly format. It's easy to write blogs and tweet in order to get your brand message into the public domain. With this game, RB actively encourage users to behave and think like an employee. Players get rewarded for following company ethos and philosophy as they progress through the title.

It's a very clever way to sell your brand and firm to an audience. You can learn more about the company without having to scroll through reams of 'about us' text on their website and, given the audience and their attention span, this is critical.

They've also created the perfect tool for the audience; Facebook is the ideal channel for their target market. The progression/reward format also encourages repeat play as well as adding a competition element between friends.

What's more, the game is fun. While answering work emails and phone calls may not be interesting behind your real desk, here you're given the opportunity to make snap decisions with the future of your company at stake. It's engaging and makes you feel that, if you worked for RB, your opinion will be just as valued.

Finally, the title effectively makes users aware of the company and what it does. There are numerous references to brands and products throughout the game. It's a subtle awareness tool designed to tell people what the firm does and the big-name products you could be working on.

If this doesn't get your social media juices flowing, nowt will I'm afraid.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

How I Met Your Mother/Microsoft Product Placement

Yesterday's broadcast of US sitcom How I Met Your Mother had more than a few nods to Microsoft-related products. The interwebs spotted them. As did Manchester SEO.

Bing Maps


Xbox 360

Monday, 4 October 2010

The seven deadly sins of a social media strategy


Do not be lustful for the content of others. If you admire a piece of work, credit the author or website rather than passing the news off as your own. Lust clouds the judgement, causing those under its gaze to lose sight of the real goal: writing content good enough for others to lust after.


The gluttonous social media account fills its feed with updates. Be wary of constantly posting content, lest your followers or fans become weary of your presence. Feed your status bar with relevant information at regular intervals and all shall be well.


Greed can consume a social media profile. But the greed for followers, fans, comments and website traffic can become tragic. Heed this: do not succumb to the whims of the weak-minded social media profile with constant RT-to-win competitions, for they are annoying. Create sustainable relationships on Twitter or Facebook and the numbers will follow.


It is easy to be envious of the work of your contemporaries. But do not let that envy prevent you from taking part in social media. Good social media campaigns comment and RT on the fruitful labours of others. Do not allow your envious pangs to cloud your judgement in your quest for success.


Pride is one of the worst sins for a social media account; a profile which does nothing but blow its own trumpet and celebrate its own client wins, staff expansion and account successes. But, be warned. A boastful social media account is not an engaging one. You are more likely to draw in friends with your modesty and humility than you are with your pride.


The sloth account does not care for @ mentions or direct messages and it has no desire to respond to comments or questions. It would merely like to be left alone. Be not slothful, for a slothful social media strategy is not a successful one. Answer your messages with the promptness you would care for your own enquiries.


Temper your mood before committing fingers to keys. Remain pleasant in the face of criticism and listen to the opinions of others before unleashing your wrath onto the heads of those who follow your messages. Be reasonable and understand that no good comes from a blasphemous tongue.