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SXSW Interactive 2013

Ditch the Headliner! Big Brands Need Small Guys

Brands have traditionally focused on soliciting support from big-name spokespeople for marketing campaigns. The assumption was that paying a lot of money for the right spokesperson was worthwhile due to their embedded network and social status — people 'look up' to celebrities because they want to be like them. This panel will reorient this old school logic by concentrating the core ideas and scaling it vertically for larger reach. We'll propose solutions to attract more fans with less money by empowering the long tail. We'll learn how to maximize the potential of small groups. The panel looks at the formation of social nodes and identifying the 'social leaders'. We'll discuss how non-monetary motivators can solicit better engagement than money. We'll go in depth on the variety of technical tools available for this approach, including the use of Facebook developer tools and the Facebook API.

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  1. What is a "Small Guys" campaign? An overview of how social groups work, how social "nodes" form, and how leaders of these nodes can be identified. How to maximize the potential of small social groups to generate big results. Learning to live where your fans/users are, instead of trying to herd them into new places.
  2. How can brands rely more heavily on social leaders of small groups or "nodes" [ie. indie artists] to yield better results than those with massive reach [i.e. expensive spokespeople]? Can leaders who are lower on the social totem pole carry more weight to encourage action? What are the advantages to tapping many social leaders of smaller groups? Identifying value in the long tail! We'll look at reducing network overlap. Also understanding how relationships differ depending on perceived status.
  3. What simple and effective tools can be implemented in Small Guys Campaigns? Start by harnessing what's cheap and readily available: social media! Focus on developer tools available through Facebook: share buttons, like-gating, open graph. Look at utility of Facebook ad API to reinforce messaging and target the right people. Identifying key drivers across groups; tapping the lowest common denominators. Tools available to the masses such as email marketing, facebook apps, widgets, & banners.
  4. What obstacles do you face in designing these programs? Challenges include personnel management, variability of social leaders, less control, defining the appropriate motivators/prizes for social leaders [hint: it's not always money!]
  5. How do you keep your primary demographic at focus when dealing with lots of little groups? We'll look at how small groups allow brands to spread engagement across sub-demographics, while keeping your core demo in focus.



Glenn Goldman, Product Manager, ReverbNation

Meta Information:

  • Tags: social, marketing
  • Event: Interactive
  • Format: Solo
  • Track: Content and Distribution
  • Level: Intermediate
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