Over at Tell Ten Friends...run at Seattle's Canadian buddy to the north, Jordan Behan, in preparation for a presentation, asks for an open source collaboration on how companies can use web 2.0, social networks and what not to market their brand. I figured I'd chime in a few thoughts College Marketing 4.0 style:
Pre-stage- hire some college interns. Offer them wages + chance to get bonuses at set levels of productivity. Have a lot of meetings with them and ask them what they’d like to see. Hire creative kids who want to run things…not be told what to do.
Step 1= Give us something. Create a survey based around your product that outputs something. Then give us the html code so we can put it on myspace. Give us a cool background or feature for myspace. Give us free upgrades to pro accounts on live journal. Offer to cover expenses up to x-amount to shoot a film trailer on youtube. Offer us something. Your product at fair market value isn’t enough…and if it is…then we’re already buying it, talking about it, and you probably aren’t reading this post.
Step 2= Make it free. If you want me to spend my time creating something for you, whatever I get in return has to be absolutely free. Give out free land on second life. Send me free product whenever I talk about your product on my blog, simply to thank me for caring. This is how you build real world clients.
Step 3. Make it Convenient. Whatever you do had better be a no brainer and extremely easy. We’re net savvy, but if I can’t get exactly what I want from your blog (google offers a free blog search…use it), your website, or your social network (and odds are, a social network built around your product won’t work, unless you're Under Armour or Chipotle). It better be easy, basic, and make sense. Don’t expect me to download something to my desktop or browser, and don’t you dare send me e-mails. Mass e-mails that I don’t want are called spam, and the’ll kill your brand.
Step 4. Maximize its Social Capital. This is how you get viral. We LOVE telling each other about cool stuff, so if you don’t run home and tell your kids about what you just built…what are the odds we’ll run and tell our friends? We only spread things that make us look good…either in front of our friends or, more likely, make us look good in front of the opposite sex. Offer to build 5 wikipedia sites for the best comments sent in…so that when I google myself there’s a wikipedia article about my life. Linking a wikipedia article about myself to my myspace page would almost certainly, in my head, make random girls notice me.
Step 5. Listen to us. Listen to your interns. Ask us what you want to know. After you spend all this time infiltrating our social network (and p.s. we spend our time on facebook, the only way to infiltrate that is to offer something SO COOL, that someone wants to send it out to all their friends..this is rare) you better know the answer to: What do you want from your web 2.0 incursions? Ask us why you are or aren’t getting it. Ask if we want to try out some sample product for free and give it to our friends if we like it. If we tell you something about your html myspace offerings, listen, change, and repeat. We’re here…we’re listening…we like to talk. Help us do it.