Do I have your attention yet? Well I should.
What is the holy grail for an integrated social marketing professional?
"Well, Justice, that would be the magical moment when my audience posts something amazingly positive to their followers regarding my customer."
But this is impossible for so many reasons – right? Every marketer wishes they had the ability to have their "perfect message" shared through social media. Of course you can't control what the user says. But wouldn't it be great if you could.
FanWise was developed by Starmark International, an advertising agency where I served as vice president of interactive and social creative director a few years back. It is the brainchild of one Brett Circe, who is now the president of FanWise and the long-standing CMO for Starmark. The service was born of the question all social media marketers ask: "How do we control what’s being said about us on social media?" For years it wasn't possible. Now check out how the impossible became a reality.
Nothing to slow you down:
Without sounding like a raving lunatic about this product, I can safely say it has made extreme evolutional progress since I was part of the development team. Moreover, the FanWise team did a marvelous job removing any roadblocks to entry. Think of roadblocks to entry as things such as:
- Forcing someone to download an app
- Making your user fill out a form prior to a trigger event
- Security checks such as Captcha
I cannot begin to tell you how huge just tackling that speedbump is in the world of social media. Regardless of which channel they engage with, social media users are often actively multimodal – and blessed with a short attention span. Making your audience jump through hoops will fractionalize participation.
What is FanWise?
Well for those of you too busy for the 90-second video above, FanWise is a social rewards system for the consumer. It also is an administrable, controlled, social messaging environment for the social professional.
- I approach a device such as a soda machine, snack vending machine, or arcade game.
- A label on the machine notifies me there is an opportunity to get free credit on the machine if I access the system with my mobile device and utilize either Facebook or Twitter (insider secret: Instagram is coming online soon) to make a post.
- I choose the channel, and then see a list of first-person messages in the form of brand posts and calls to action.
- I select the post, submit, and the system responds with a credit on the machine.
- Booyah! Free Cherry Coke Zero (or whatever) in my hot little hands immediately.
This social messaging process has taken approximately less than a minute, and your brand impression has now grown based on the user's follower count on the channel. No app to download, no profile to fill out, no figuring out a complex user interface.
Real numbers. Real Impressions:
Through FanWise, your message could reach 100k brand impressions in one or two days, depending on your spend. And the time to reach 100k is less and less every day as the system goes online in more cities throughout the United States. There also is an international model in the works.
The best part of this type of social graph messaging is that after a user posts, the positive impression is as large and global as her follower base.
So what could you do with REAL social messaging power like this?
- Create 'trending' content within a hashtag or category
- Call immediate attention to an event in real time
- Control negative sentiment by burying comments with positive messaging
- Use during a product launch as a pre-, during and post- messaging tool
- Broadcast timely, impactful messaging
- Announce new content on your website
- Optimize sentiment
From a marketer's perspective, you have a lot of interesting things going on. First and foremost, you get an administrative dashboard where you can create the brand messaging presented to the user. And just like buying online media, you will get analytics against each post that you create within the system; thereby allowing you to optimize the most effective messages.
No black hats allowed:
There's another crucial aspect to FanWise from the media buying perspective — this process is done without any black-hat initiatives. Meaning that nowhere in the process is the user being forced to say something they don't want to convey. The user's motivation is transactional in nature. Moreover, the user is given multiple messaging options so they can best align themselves with a brand or message that speaks on their behalf.
Now let's go through a quick Q&A:
- Does the tool provide analytics – yes.
- Does the system provide a breakdown of the most popular messages – yes.
- Can I target the messaging by location, age or gender – yes.
Is this some fly-by-night social product? No, not at all. After two years of rapid expansion and mass adoption, this service is poised for success. An array of clients including theme parks, JetBlue, and the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitor's Bureau, are already using it.
What prevents folks from posting over and over? The FanWise system limits posts and rewards to prevent spamming and abuse of your brand message.
- Can implied endorsements influence people's’ purchasing decisions and the value of your brand — yes.
The pricing is a Cost-Per-Thousand-based (CPM) system, just like any other interactive network. The key differentiator it's like pay-per-click, but you only pay when your message is shared across the users channel.
And now it's shameless plug time, folks — I've been chosen to represent this product in-market. That's right, you heard it correctly. You get to deal with THIS guy! Please e-mail me if you want to see a full demo. I will be happy to walk through the program and then construct the most cost-effective solution based on your marketing needs.
It's entirely possible, and even likely, that a user at a vending machine will post on behalf of a brand they have never liked or followed previously. Through FanWise, they are given the opportunity to like or follow the associated brand. In addition, they get the residual effect of any re-Tweets, shares and other engagement that may come from the user's followers. These are VALUE-ADD game-changers.
None of the secondary or tertiary action is part of the pricing model! This is fantastic from a marketing perspective, as you optimize the effectiveness of your messaging to incite additional sharing and exposure at no additional cost.