Social Influence Marketing

You Can’t Make This Stuff Up

By Paul Konikowski, CTS-D

Last week, a young man who loves body art AND his Pioneer headphones decided to combine these two passions into one tattoo.  He instantly uploaded a photo to Pioneer’s Facebook Timeline (company profile):

Pioneer Headphone Tattoo
Photo courtesy of Tyler Patrick Clancy, who posted his photo to the Pioneer Facebook page

Within the first 17 hours, Tyler’s tattoo photo had received 87 Likes and 181 Shares.  Remember that each time you Like a photo or Share it to your page, it broadcasts to a portion of your Facebook friends and shows up in their New Feed and/or Notifications.  The more Likes, Share, and Comments a given photo gets on Facebook, the more likely it will show up in another’s News Feed.  Users can also adjust how they see Company Updates, as pictured below.

Facebook Interest Lists
How to add a Facebook Fan Page to your Interest Lists

Later that same day, the administrators of the Pioneer Facebook Company page were smart to repost the tattoo photo to their Timeline, which pulled another 1,350 Likes, 55 Comments, and 182 Shares.   All from 2 mouse clicks.

Pioneer did not pay this young man to get a tattoo, nor did they have to pay a photographer to take his photo.  They did not hire a Public Relations firm to put out a press release on a wire service.  They did not host a photo contest on Facebook for the craziest tattoo. They could have promoted this post or used Facebook Ads, but my guess is that they didn’t pay Facebook anything to promote this post.  The buzz was all generated purely from social influence.

But it does not mean that Pioneer’s social marketing team was not doing their jobs.  On the contrary, I would say they were “all over it”.  With over 328,000 Company Page Likes, their strong social community was ready, willing, and able to share Tyler’s new tattoo as soon as he uploaded it, spreading the Love Of Pioneer all over the audio web. Oooo weeee, sticky icky icky!

Traditional marketing efforts do not resonate on social networks as well as social influences and peer recommendations. For example, a stock photo of these same headphones would not be shared to the same extent.

New social media apps like Spotify have featured songs and suggested playlists based on a given user’s music tastes, but its far more likely that a user will check out what his or her friends have listened to before listening to a promoted track.  Users can send individual songs to friends, share them to their profiles, and create custom playlists (much like mix tapes back in the day) that can be followed or even setup for collaboration.  Recommendations and updates show up in a user’s Inbox, without having to send the actual song files around in emails, etc.  Artists and song writers collect royalties based on the number of plays.

Spotify Social Influence

A few months ago, I was invited to a collaborative Spotfiy playlist, where various Spotify users share “new” music with the group, usually on Fridays.  There is an accompanying secret Facebook Group so that collaborators can easily share comments about songs and artists.  This also utilizes the Facebook Notify function on smartphones to let other Group members know there are new songs added to the playlist.

Facebook Group

I can’t tell you how much I enjoy being part of this collaborative Spotify playlist, and how many new bands I have “discovered” from it. Although I only know two group members on a personal level, I prefer hearing “new” music from these group peers rather than commercial radio. I am not against radio, but most of the stations have been bought out by conglomerates who try to choose which music is going to be successful before it even gets airplay. If every radio station was still independently owned, we would have a lot more diversity in the music that we listen to, and a lot more faith in the station operators.

Imagine that: radio DJS that we could trust to introduce us to new music.  They should make an app for that.

Do you use Spotify or Facebook to Share music with your friends or followers?  Email me at pkav dot info at gmail dot com


Facebook: If You Don’t Like It, You Can Logout

Please Stop Complaining About Facebook On Facebook

By Paul Konikowski

Facebook Close Friends
How to add someone to your Close Friends list on Facebook

If you are one of the millions of people “on Facebook” (yes, its kind of like a drug),  you may have noticed that a lot of Facebook users (junkies) tend to complain every time the website makes changes.  For example, the switch to Timeline upset a lot of people who were content with their old Facebook Profiles and Walls.  And lately, many users and especially bands are sharing this post from Dangerous Minds and/or posting a similar meme saying “Facebook, I Want My Friends Back”.

Many are upset that their Friends or Fans are not seeing 100% of their posts 100% of the time. Tell me, would you really take the time to read hundreds of posts each day from all the Friends, Bands, and Pages you have liked over the years? Just like in real life, the more friends you have, the less you see of each of them. The more hobbies you engage in, the less time you spend on each interest.

Facebook Interest Lists
How to add a Facebook Fan Page to your Interest Lists

Instead telling FB they are wrong for trying to prioritize the posts in your News Feed, or that they are wrong for trying to make a profit by using Promoted Posts and Advertisements, you should take some time to learn more about EdgeRank. Go to your favorite Pages and click Add To Interest under the Like button; Unsubscribe from Pages you don’t care much about; label your Close Friends as such, and I guarantee your News Feed will be much more fulfilling.

If you have done all that, and are still mad at Facebook for the changes they have made, just logout, or even better, close your Facebook account all together, and save us all a few seconds each day.

Remember, Facebook never promised that your followers would see all your posts, nor should they; it’s simply impossible. No one is forcing you to be on Facebook; but I for one am glad you are “on it”.

Facebook Friendship Pages
Preview of the next big change to hit Facebook: Friendship Pages. For more info :

Social Media Tools

How To Make Your Own Internet Meme

By Paul Konikowski

If you are over the age of 30, you may have no idea what a meme is.  So let’s start with a quick history lesson: The word meme (pronounced meem) is a shortening of the ancient Greek mimeme, which means “something imitated”.  A meme in its simplest form is an idea passed from person to person, that spreads through society. But nowadays, when most people say meme, they mean a humorous internet meme.

Slowpoke Meme
Slowpoke memes are used with old news, to make fun of folks who missed the boat More on Slowpoke

A typical meme consists of a photo or cartoon along with a caption that acts as the punchline of the joke. The caption is generally placed directly over the photo in white text, and often split into two segments, so that half of the text is at the top of the photo (setting up the joke), and half of the text is at the bottom of the photo (the funny part).

Memes are extremely popular among high school and college students who use Facebook. Memes are often about current events, and generally use a single meme character which matches the joke text. These characters can be celebrities, cartoons, animals, or just random photos of people.  It’s important to match the type of joke with the proper meme character.  For example: Scumbag Steve would leave you the end slices of the loaf of bread, whereas Good Guy Greg would never do such a terrible thing to his friends, or even strangers in society.

One of the most popular meme themes lately has used a black background with six photos to describe what you really do for a living vs. what people think you do.  I made this one using marketing engineer meme

So far, memes have been limited to humor and sometimes political satire.  But who says that they can’t be used for marketing?  What better way to reach a younger audience than through humor that gets passed virally through Facebook and The Twitter? Why not use memes to promote your events, products, services, or causes!

WMC 2012
Most Interesting Man Meme I made about the 2012 Winter Music Conference

The easiest way to make a meme is to use a website like  First, review the meme characters and decide which one fits your joke.  Next, review this particular character in depth to make sure someone else hasn’t created a similar meme.  You want to be original. Then simply type in your text and save it as a jpg image.

Google+ users can also create memes using its online photo editor. From your Google+ home page, click the camera logo to the right of Share what’s new… and choose the photo or graphic you want to use for your meme.  But before you post the photo to your stream, click Add text and type in your joke caption using the three boxes marked Top text, Middle text, and Bottom text.  The default font is white Impact, which is used for most memes, but you can change the font by clicking the T button. Last, use the Center, Left, or Right Justify buttons, if needed.

I also suggest checking out TheDailyMeme to stay current on meme trends and characters.  Don’t be a Slowpoke!