Here's an interesting, but badly executed shot from the hip: Apparently, Fleurop, the European brand name under which many florists operate, had decided it needed a Twitter presence to boost their Valentine's Day's sales in the German speaking countries. [UPDATE: This is probably not an official Fleurop account. See below.] While there are various Fleurop (or Interflora, as they are internationally known) profiles on Twitter, only five of them have tweeted over the last 24 hours.
So somebody at Fleurop seemingly came up with the brilliant idea to start @DerValentinstag ("the Valentine's Day" in German) and just randomly follow people (I suppose that's how they came across our Twitter account @amazeelabs). So, what's there? They commenced tweeting on February 12, a Saturday, in order to promote Valentine's Day. Which of course is a bit on the short-term side. All in all they have sent out 49 tweets, more than half of these were Retweets (and some of them weren't even referring positively to Valentine's Day).
So, why is this a fail then? Social Media campaigns can be done quick and dirty, but only under certain circumstances and only if executed well. For Valentine's Day it would've been more sophisticated to build momentum and thus to have started tweeting, let's say, around mid-January, in longer intervals. Then around last week, the Tweet heat would've risen it order to softly pressurize the Valentine's darlings into ordering their bouquets at Fleurop. Then, on the 14th all could've been a celebration of love and roses (or whatever flower you fancy).
If Fleurop had started early, they could've also set up a nice (floral) design of their Twitter page and not just take some pinkish design of a generic Twitter background design page. And what's that half guy doing their in his suit? Handing over flowers to a hidden Valentine, or just checking his mobile for directions? Also, in my opinion, they could've picked a less obvious tag line in their biography statement: "Es ist die Liebe, die die Welt zusammenhält" (Love keeps the World together) overdoes it. Everybody knows that florists are in it for the money on Valentine's Day, nobody would ever hold it against them. But don't pretend you are all doing it for the love, nobody's buying that.
So, if you pretend to tweet about love and all things Valentine, do it right: Do not only tweet about ordering your flowers at Fleurop. Show some love – ask around what people are doing on Valentine's Day, send out love songs and create an overall loving vibe – and then hit your Marketing message home.
I assume that @DerValentinstag will be quiet for about a year, and then start up again – if the account is not forgotten by then. So, Fleurop, if you are planning to do it right next time, take my suggestions posted here – if you like, we at Amazee Labs can even do it for you. Just give us a call. ;)
UPDATE: While writing this blog post, I had asked the guys behind @DerValentinstag if they were representing Fleurop. Their answer was "No". So I started following them and asked via direct message what their affiliation with Fleurop was, then, receiving no answer up to now. Instead the user(s) behind this account sent me a link to a dubious iPad tombola (for which I think I am going to report them). Now Fleurop has asked them from one of their official Twitter accounts to remove the link linking to Fleurop from their profile and have distanced themselves from @DerValentinstag. They, in turn, are now linking to another florist business, Blume2000, who don't seem to be on Twitter. So, while @fleurop_bringts still acted pretty lame during Valentine's Day, at least they are up to speed and realize when they are getting punked by some shady promoter on Twitter. And my whole article is somewhat obsolete. Apologies to Fleurop, still, you can do better on Twitter. If we can help, you know where to find us. ;) – And now, let love rule!
Watch out, Marketeers! Johanna Blakley of the Norman Lear Center brings forth some interesting and provocative thoughts on Social Media and the future of gender differences. Her two main points are: First, Social Media makes you as a consumer more interesting and more powerful, since it is no longer about your age or your sex or your education, but more about what you like and what you do. Second, women are going to grow more influential, since women are more present in Social Media. It seems like Marketing departments around the Globe need to brace themselves for some change!
- ca. 9400 Fans on Facebook (site active since March 2010)
- ca. 6000 of them in the USA
- 70% women
- Average age 45-54 years
- more than 10'000 participant
- more than 750'000 votes
- Average age 45-64 years
- different needs and reaction in different countries
- period of time should be short
- be aware of cheaters
I don't think we've mentioned yet that our team will grow by another person in February, have we? This person is going to be Kathryn, radically doubling the total number of women working at the Labs. What's worth mentioning about her is that she is a young and very talented web developer with a strong Drupal affinity – oh, and she hails from San Antonio, Texas. She will be arriving in Switzerland this weekend together with her boyfriend Andrew, and since they will be away from home at least for a couple of months, they set up this totally awesome blog/website: Our Swiss Life.
Apart from being absolutely beautifully designed (and running on HTML5), it is going to be interesting to read and see what two Texans are thinking about us strange, mountain-hugging Europeans. We are so looking forward to having you, Kathryn and Andrew!
So yesterday, Foursquare announced that it had grown by 3400%. A number, which reminds the elders among us of the good old Communist propaganda (yeah, I stole that one from @moritzadler), but it is impressive nonetheless, considering that Foursquare now has over six million registered users. Which is, by the way, about ten times as much as one-time contender Gowalla.
With only one other serious rival in the market, Facebook and its Places, it will be interesting to see which way location-based Social Media will go in 2011. Since I have uttered my doubts about services like Foursquare and the likes in the past, stressing that the masses are simply not eager enough to share such private information as their whereabouts, I must now admit that I possibly was wrong on that.
It seems that users of location-based services are about as careless (and I don't mean that in a judging way, because I fully count myself in here) as they are with their Facebook privacy settings. I can only speak for myself, but I don't really care about most places where I check in (with Foursquare, for the most part), except for those whose mayorships I want – which reminds me. Hang on.
So, what is the benefit of location-based services, what's the status quo? For now, it seems to be mostly play: Check in, receive an award. Like a mayorship or a badge, or various items, if you use Gowalla. So, is this all about social prestige? Not really, parading your badges or showing of your mayorships doesn't really go a long way. So is it the deals Foursquare offers? One chocolate muffin for three check-ins at the baker's around the corner?
It might be, but we're not quite there yet. At least in Switzerland. Over the time I have been using Foursquare (and Gowalla, and FB Places, over the course of most of the last one and a half years) I have seen none but two "nearby specials", one from a coffee spot and one from a travel agent's (and who spontaneously decides to go and check in and book a last-minute vacation, even if its 10% off?).
Here's the problem: Deals are scarce and often not overwhelmingly attractive. And while Gowalla also offers special deals, the most promising contender – remember, they claim to have more than 200 million mobile users –, Facebook, doesn't even do deals yet.
So, two things need to happen in 2011 in order to finally lift location-based Social Media into the digital mainstream: Either practical services are added to the existing services (like being able to reserve seats in a movie theater ahead of checking in and whatnot), or Facebook starts to heavily invest into Places: with all the brands already building a name on the platform itself, Places could become an interesting Marketing tool, if Zuckerberg's developers started investing in it, making it more sexy to use.
What are your opinions? Do you (still) use location-based services? If not, why not? If yes, what do you like about them, what not?
And just for sheer entertainment: Foursquare's numbers in one graphic.
User experience (UX) design is the discipline of creating a useful and usable website or application. With their book A project Guide to UX Design Russ Unger and Carolyn Chandler provide UX designers with a compact (255 pages) all-rounder for all aspects of a UX oriented development project. From wireframing and prototyping to project management and search engine optimization: It's all in there. Whatever your role in human-computer interaction: Recommended!
Just a short shout-out: One of Amazee Labs' good friends, David Butler, recently had the great idea to map out the Swiss Startup scene, in the form of a Twitter directory. Now the Startup Chart is up and running, but David still needs your input: If you do know Startups, VCs, meetups, conferences and co-working places, from any branch, from any part of the country, hint him to their Twitter profile, so he can add them.
I came across this movie a couple of times over the last days, and "Catfish" seems to be an interesting catch. It is a documentary, apparently, although disputed, 100% real, about a guy who falls in love with a woman via Facebook. That's just how it goes, sometimes, but of course we should be aware that things are not always as they seem. "Catfish" is telling exactly this story, as the documentary filmers follow the main character Nev deeper into the Social Media love void. Talk about trust, privacy and possibly digital fraud – "Catfish" is a thriller of our times.
I've heard various people say that the film is best viewed when knowing very little about its plot, so I'll leave it at that. If you want spoilers, you can check out the Wikipedia article, otherwise, you absolutely need to check out the sweet movie website. Very playful, Web 2.0 all the way. – When and if the movie will come to Switzerland, I don't know, but it seems it already is available on DVD.