I drink therefore I am.
The last time you got drunk probably started out as a great night (how it ended was anyone’s guess - including likely you). But when you went into your local bar, you met up with friends met new friends, talked politics, sports, relationships, sex, sales, and gossip. Maybe not in that order. You were at your local bar relaxed and having fun socially. Facebook is the local bar of the millennial generation – without the nasty hangover.
Keeping that frame of reference is the key to social media marketing success. Think about it: marketing in bars is prevalent, elegant and clandestine. It’s all about product placement and not pop-up ads. Local watering holes are not about eyeballs and impressions they are about fun ties with friends. Bar marketing is the secret to winning influence on social media.
Interruption marketing techniques of old commercial advertising are not part of bar culture. When was the last time you were in a bar and a salesman came and interrupted your conversation? That’s not to say there isn’t great marketing in pubs. It’s all around in the form of product placement. The signs are everywhere – literally.
The biggest problem with Facebook marketing today is that big brands haven’t figured out that they need to treat Facebook the same way Heineken and Budweiser treat bars. The reason they are not yet – but will soon – is that Facebook marketing is so new that if the only tool you own is a megaphone, every thing in marketing looks like a shouting match. Therein lies the key to dominating Facebook marketing.
Solving the world’s problems on bar stool or social media account at a time
Bouncing into your favorite bar with friends on a Friday night and you immediately feel fun, relaxed and engaged. remember the TV show Cheers? That as the ultimate example of social engagement - everyone knows your name, says hello and talks about news of the day. Cliff an Norm’s behavior at the bar holds a much different intention than going out with their wife shopping. If you knew CLiff and Norm you’d know they had a much different mindset and attitude when their seats were on their stools.
Cliff and Norm never expected a used car salesman to jump in front of you and start a pitch like a real world pop-up ad. If he did, they would have bounced them out in a Boston minute. However, when they go to Costco or Sainsbury’s to shop with their wives, they are expecting to try a sample of bacon wrapped turkey legs or something similar. Their intent is to shop. Nobody goes onto Facebook looking to shop. It’s the local bar of the Internet, they want to relax and see what is happening. Marketers have to understand this mindset and be subtle and thoughtful. if they want to effectively market on Facebook.
Social Media Success is Subtle Product Placement
Think of Facebook as a fun meeting place, not a mall, social media marketing should view guests from a different perspective. Take a page from the Budweiser marketing handbook – It is not at all about banner ads and video promos. It is all about social media product placement.
What do the taps behind the bar at any bar say? Stella, Guinness Carlsberg, Budweiser… if you’re lucky Sierra Nevada. What does the neon sign on the wall say? Maybe it’s the countdown to St. Patrick’s Day with the Guinness logo underneath it. Maybe it’s a big poster for the Heineken Cup rugby. The cardboard tents on the table with the scantily clad women and wing specials; you guessed it: Bud logo at the bottom. The tiffany lamp hanging over every pool table in every dive bar – got a beer logo on it. All of these bar marketing tactics have been successful for years because of the subtlety of product placement in a pub. You’ll never see a guy in a cheap plaid sports coat jumping up and down in between folks shouting about the Ford dealer’s excess inventory that really must go! (the equivalent of banner ads). Shouting on social doesn’t work, so put away the bullhorn.
If you want to be successful with Facebook marketing, and social media marketing in general, think about creative ways to get your product logo in front of people where it is authentic to the environment or story. Marketers have been taught to tell a story. The next evolution is letting your clients tell the story and your brand happens to be weaved into the fabric of that story.
I dwinQ therfore I am
- P. J. Sweeney