Skype Will Amplify Facebook Word of Mouth in New Partnership

Facebook news is going to be talked about more – literally – thanks to a new Skype/Facebook integration. Recently announced, Skype plans to incorporate Facebook user’s newsfeeds into its SMS and internet chat windows, essentially amplifying Facebook word of mouth.

The significance for brands? While brands will need to earn their Facebook newsfeed mentions, this new Skype integration represents a powerful new opportunity for marketers to reach their Facebook audience in a new setting and be top-of-mind during user conversations.

Skype 5.0 updates include a dashboard redesign with a Facebook tab insertion, linking to personal Facebook accounts and providing a new kind of “Facebook Phonebook” in addition to sharing individual Facebook news feeds.

While comments on Facebook fan page walls have always been important for brands, they’re even more so now that they’ve started to be incorporated in other online platforms.  While this update has flown rather low on the social media radar, it signals a continued effort on the part of Facebook to further expand beyond its original platform. If the Facebook “Like” widget for web was a first step, their upcoming Skype partnership is a natural progression, serving to not only spread the Facebook word, but to also differentiate Facebook from Twitter and other social media platforms.

Smart marketers will continue to brainstorm new ways to earn a Facebook newsfeed mention, knowing that it’s going to be amplified on Skype, and, possibly on various other platforms in the very near future (Hulu? The New York Times? Outer Space?). The true value of word-of-mouth has never been greater.

For more information, please visit Mashable.com.

Jeri Krasnoff contributed to this post.

iPhone in Space!

In what strikes me as perhaps the coolest “bonding with kids” activity EVER, a Brooklyn dad and his kids recently decided to build a contraption that would let them record space from their iPhone using the recorder setting. It may be one of the most wonderfully optimistic and fascinating uses of video/smartphones yet.

No offense, Dad, but, uh,  this is way cooler than teaching me how to make a paper airplane.

Check it out!

Homemade Spacecraft from Luke Geissbuhler on Vimeo.

What Mom(my) Bloggers Want

The New York chapter of the Public Relations Society of America recently hosted an event aimed to glean insights directly from Mom Bloggers – a group that any marketer knows wields great influence.  Through our attendance, we were able to note which current partnership/pitching strategies work – and which need some serious tweaking.

·         The term “mommy” blogger can be a limiting.  Many mom bloggers cover topics beyond parenting and don’t want to be grouped into one category. The word “mommy” also implies a lack of seriousness, which the speakers lead to being taken less seriously. 

·         Take the time to read their blog and learn what they cover. Perhaps seems like a simple add-on, but nothing beats knowledge.

·         Develop relationships. Chat with moms on Twitter and elsewhere so a business relationship develops naturally.

·         Offer “first reviews” of products to bloggers, similarly how we offer exclusives to top media.  Bloggers, as part of media, don’t want to cover stories already getting traction elsewhere.

·         Understand a blog’s true reach.  It’s not solely a numbers game, but also about a blog’s overall influence.

·         Consider events and partnerships that think outside the box and can offer the blogger an incentive for working with a brand. For instance, is the blogger hosting a Halloween invent for blog followers that the brand can offer to sponsor?

·         The line between paid media and earned media is blurring, as bloggers don’t get paid by a parent source for their work.  Think of proper (FDC and otherwise) to compensate bloggers for their work and time that’s not pay-for-play.

No Matter How Cutting Edge Your SM Campaign — Basics Still Vital

I recently visited Saks 5th Ave’s NYC flagship store for the first time — to redeem a foursquare promotion (sponsored by InStyle) which seemed quite creative.  Visitors to Sakes needed to check in at 2 out of 4 hotspot areas within Saks to receive a free Nars lipstick as their prize.

It’s a pretty sweet giveaway and was definitely enough to get me  in house — even though I’d never felt the need to visit the department store previously.  Seeing as how I’m a young professional with expendable income — I’m actually probably an ideal new customer for the brand.  Too bad the promotion and visit to Saks was such an #epicfail.

What happened, you ask? Well, for starters, Saks 5th Ave in NYC has horrible phone reception.  And, in addition to that basic necessity — the promotion in foursquare wasn’t listed under Saks, but instead was listed under InStyle.   So, I had to keep searching and searching within the app for the right check-in.  I even asked the Nars makeup counter if they knew the right name for the promotion.  They did not.  I have patience a plenty, but this was just annoying.

Finally, once I figured out the right name, I found all of the InStyle listings. Standing in place (as opposed to travelling to each floor/store area), I checked into 2/4 hotspots, the requisite to get the promotion.  I was so frustrated, even though I was looking forward to seeing the various areas — I just wanted to get the heck outta Saks as fast as possible.

From there, however, it was a thwarted scavenger hunt within Saks as no one knew where I needed to go to redeem my prize. First, I was told human resources on 10 (11?). Then, once I got there, there was sign to go to 7.  I’m sorry — I thought checking in was the ‘work’ I’d signed up for.

Resolute to get some redeeming value from my trip, I kept going and finally ended up at the right place — some obscure customer service window.  I waited in line for another 10 minutes before I received my prize: a horrible Nars lipstick color — essentially the color of my skin.  Somewhat crestfallen, it was clear that I was never going to be able to use the product.

So, what could have been a really edge-y, hip promotion, building goodwill for both Saks and InStyle instead soured me on both.  The fact that the color was unusable just added insult to injury.   It just stands as a reminder that if basic aspects of a campaign fail — the coolness/innovative factor doesn’t matter a bit.

Really disappointed in ya’ll, Saks  & InStyle.