Some companies really get it

I post this on twitter:

Then, one hour later I get this message from Twitter:

from Twitter
subject Six Apart is now following you on Twitter!

Hi, eirikso.
Six Apart (sixapart) is now following your updates on Twitter.
Check out Six Apart’s profile here:
http://twitter.com/sixapart
You may follow Six Apart as well by clicking on the “follow” button.

Best,
Twitter

Sixapart makes Movable Type. The biggest WordPress competitor.

Look for people talking about your brand on the internet and follow them! But you should also follow people that talk about your competitor.

Some companies really get it

Officially tagging your business

I just did a presentation for an organization that house a couple of truly fantastic hotels and restaurants in Norway. I was talking about new media, marketing opportunities and the future traveler. The fact that more people in general can reach out with their message can be a problem if you have a bad product or just a bad day. Before you know it horrible images and videos of your establishment is all over the internet.

But if you have a great product the amount of happy customers will outnumber the angry ones. I keep quoting Hugh MacLeod in my presentations and I still agree with this:

“The best way to control the conversation is by improving the conversation.”

And if you run remarkable hotels or restaurants like this group there is a great chance that a lot of people already want to help you improve the conversation. Here’s the result for a search on Flickr for one of the hotels in the organization. Pretty nice. A problem might be that most of the satisfied customers don’t publish their images and thoughts. The angry ones does.

That’s the reason you need to encourage people to give their opinions. Let them publish their images, their videos and thoughts. If you have a great product this shouldn’t be scary. If this sounds scary you need to improve your product.

But you want to find the stuff they’re publishing, so why don’t do like most technology conferences these days? Define a tag for your business? The next time I enter a hotel room I want to read on the TV: “Welcome Mr. Solheim, the official tag for this hotel is…”

Like “FOWA07″ was announced one of the the official tags for Future of Web apps 07. Like “DLD08″ was the tag for this years DLD conference in Münich. Those keywords make it easy for me to find images from DLD08 on Flickr and videos from DLD08 on youtube.

Put it in the information in the room or on the menu in your restaurant. On your web page. On your business cards. That’s utterly cheap and potentially very powerful marketing.

And by the way. That beautiful image at the top of this post is from one of the hotels in the organization. You find the rest of the images I snapped while staying at Kviknes in Balestrand last autumn over here.

Officially tagging your business

Register more than your domain!

I just finished a post (norwegian) about the fact that we registered the name of our Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation tech blog “NRKbeta” on a lot of social networks and places around the web. We did that the second we decided on that name for the blog. And I think that is becoming an important part of your marketing strategy.

I try to be pretty fast on registering “eirikso” on the different services popping up around the net. You never know who’s gonna strike big, and right now it is quite nice that addresses like youtube.com/eirikso, twitter.com/eirikso and flickr.com/photos/eirikso takes you to stuff that I am in control of. Eirikso is my brand on the internet. If you try the same with NRKbeta we’re there as well.

So let’s do a quick test. If you happen to make very nice sports cars you might want someone that visit youtube.com/porsche to find something else? And Microsoft on Flickr? Probably not extremely important, but as big web sites become huge services and places where we spend a lot of time this is getting important. The second race for domain names. At this point http://youtube.com/…whatever company… isn’t close to the importance of http://www…whatever company… but it is getting more important as these giants grow.

And, if you decide to go out there and register your company just to reserve the space, then please put something honest in there. Register at twitter and simply post one single update. “Company nn has registered this user. It’s currently not in use.” or something like that.

My former place of work, the american consulting company called Accenture seems to have done something like that: twitter.com/accenture. Or have they? I don’t know if this is Accenture or just some dude that has registered that user. And that last twit is just plain stupid. You’ll never get any feedback by simply registering a user on twitter and start screaming “anybody out there?”. And my guess is that some clever people at Accenture have registered this one as well. And they don’t have to use it. But at least put in one video and a quick message. Same as for twitter. “This is the official YouTube channel for Accenture. It’s currently not in use.”

And please. Don’t bring back that horrible “under construction”-gif from the late nineties! Register to reserve the space. If you’re going to use it, do it properly, if not be honest and tell people it’s not in use.

Do you have any nice examples of profiles that should have featured something else? Like Porsche on YouTube?

Register more than your domain!

Video fun: the truth in advertising

This post has some videos embedded. If you read this in an email update or your RSS feed reader the videos might not show up. In that case you’ll have to click through to eirikso.com to see them.


(Image: Coca Cola advertising in Romania)

I’ve been working several years within the professional consulting business. Going to endless meetings discussing projects, marketing, design, business plans and you name it. Sometimes you sit there wishing you could say your raw and true thoughts, but you can’t. You have the client in there. You have the boss in there. Etc. But in fiction you can. This video has been out there for two years, but I guess some of you haven’t seen it.

The Truth in Advertising. If you have been working as a business consultant or within marketing it’s worth the 12 minutes. This is what happens if people say the truth. You have the whole cast in here. The boss that has no clue and only wants to add some fear. The creatives that only want to win an award. The lousy director that really wants to do something else but needs his house renovated and so on. Have fun.

You find a low quality 3 minute excerpt here as well. And another similar video called The Truth in ad sales is also on the tube.

These videos illustrate the consulting and marketing business like they’ve always been. But there are big changes going on regarding the relationship between the advertiser and the consumer. Fredrik Hallberg pointed me to this video some months ago and I think it illustrates parts of that change very well.

Video fun: the truth in advertising