My name is Saul! I'm an award winning Word of Mouth Marketer, Professional Speaker on the subjects of Social Media, Customer Service and best of all... Word of Mouth. I collect Air Force One sneakers and think you should hire me... (as a consultant) to teach you how to get your company doing interesting things!
the smartest man in the world.

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Photos from the Drupal Conference in San Francisco, CA 2010

Tuesday, Mar 03, 2010
4

I don’t think this blog post breaks my one rule of never saying bad things about a brand.


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I have mentioned this before but my only real rule here is the not use my blog to slag other brands etc. I don’t think I am breaking this rule but I was moved to offer a bit of critism towards Chevy and their SXSW campaign of giving cars to social media kool kids so they could drive to Austin and promote the brand and the cars while there and all along the way.

If you read Caroline McCarthy’s piece about it on Cnet you would say to yourself “Self, this is a clever idea!” and it is. Not exactly original but it is clever…only thing is that while clever it is majority flawed…and here is why.
If I was doing this promotion I would have done the exact same thing except instead of sending a bunch of social media kids I would have gotten actual Chevy drivers to make the trip and as a reward I would have treated them to the SXSW experience all on the dime of Chevy (or GM…whoever) and if you wanted to keep the whole SM thing going you could add one Kool Kid to the car and fill the other seats with actual Chevy Owners because by using actual Chevy Owners they are 1-being rewarded for choosing Chevy and 2-will act as a trusted spokesperson while having a good time at SXSW.
Who better to speak about the fun and excitement of driving a Chevy then the folks who drive one everyday and not people who received one for a week as part of a paid promotion.
When companies sit around planning these “influencer” strategies they have to remember that the people who actually use their products and are passionate about the product in question are equally as influential as people with cache.
Response
  1. So true, Saul. I jumped at the chance last year to drive a Lincoln for a week. I had a great time tooling around Chicago and a mini-roadtrip (on my own dime) with some podcasting with constant thank you's to Ford for the car.

    But the truth is – I'm dedicated to using public transportation and can't imagine when I'll be in the market for the car I drove.

    I work hard to help my clients find real fans that use their brand, listen to their music, read their books, etc.

  2. @leah

    and that is why you rock!

  3. I couldn't agree more – focus your energy on exciting and energizing people who already like/love/use your product vs. trying to convert others.

    Many brands offer random free stuff to social media cool kids with the *hopes* of getting social media mentions.

    In reality getting the connected people who already like/use/love you but may be less popular is probably more effective.

    Nothing beats real, genuine excitement and enthusiasm – not even free stuff.

    Great post. You be smart.

  4. Wow I hadn't hears about this. I wasn't able to make it to Austin this year, but sounds like Chevy made an interesting move.

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