If you have been alive for the past few days and have come anywhere near anything that resembles the internet, you probably heard about the latest online campaign by Old Spice. It is being called by many the best use of social media ever, and Google’s CFO even called it “The future of marketing”. If you somehow did not hear about the brilliant campaign, let me sum it up for you.
Isaiah Mustafa, AKA, “The Old Spice Guy” had a commercial, which you can see below, that became an instant hit. The company then released yet another commercial, which took off immediately as well. Then came the brilliance.
They took the campaign to the interwebs and opened an OldSpice Twitter account, in which Mr. Old Spice responded to people’s questions/comments on Twitter, Facebook, or Youtube with a personalized and always hysterical Youtube video. The responses were always prompt, always funny, and never ever promotional (at least not in the traditional sense of the word).
With the growing number of spammers on social media combined with the millions who have no idea how to maximize its potential, I thought I would list some things that the Old Spice guy taught us all about how to use social media. So here goes:
- Originality: Twitter and social media in general is a hot trend. Everyone is doing it and to succeed, you need to think out of the box. What Old Spice did, noone has ever done before, but I’m sure many will do after (the spoofs are already starting). Every single video Old Spice made was original, engaging, and just awesome. It’s OK to follow the flock when it comes to trends, but in order to make it in this game, you are going to have to do something different. Take the leap, you won’t regret it.
- Dont talk, Just Do: Did you hear the Old Spice guy call himself a Social Media Guru in any of his videos? I didn’t! How about an Online Marketing Expert? No? Yea, me neither. He did not even mention the words social media throughout this campaign, yet he utilized social media like it has never been utilized before. We, and when I say we I mean all you morons who think having “Guru”, “Expert”, or “Specialist” in your Twitter bio impresses anyone, need to stop giving it a title and talking about the tool. We need to realize that Twitter is a means to an end. Whatever that end is for you is what you should be focusing on and not how many followers you have or how many times you were retweeted today. There, I said it!
- Be Human: One of the main reasons this campaign was such a success, is because the Old Spice guy was accessible. People, at least the lucky ones, knew they could write to him and actually get a response out of him despite his new found fame and celebrity status. This is extremely important, and while some people do not spend the time answering their Twitter replies, the more successful people on Twitter, the ones that truly get it, they answer almost all their replies. This brings me back to the main point here, social media is just a fancy way of saying online communication. It is a new age way of carrying out a dialog. Yes, it has widespread exposure and huge potential for promoting your product, but it all starts with engagement. If you are not talking to your followers, and you are not CNN or Barack Obama, you will eventually see the results in the form of less people talking to you or in some cases actually stopping to follow you.
- Mix it up: It is no secret that to succeed online, you need eyeballs on your site/product/service. What better way to get those eyeballs then to get an Alyssa Milano, Kevin Rose, or Chrstina Applegate to promote it? However, you will notice that for every celebrity Old Spice dude responded to, he replied to at least two or three “regular” people. This is an absolute must. If you have been on Twitter, you have probably seen those people who are constantly writing to Kutcher, Shaq, or any other celebrity, and they do not take the time to write to just regular folk. This won’t work for many reasons, but mainly because a person like that is missing the point. They are not contributing anything to their followers, they are essentially spamming celebrities, and they will never see the results they are hoping for.
- Don’t be Obvious: One of the reasons this campaign took off the way it did is because people couldn’t wait to see what was next. I saw at least two highly influential people in my stream saying they found themselves on the Old Spice Youtube channel just refreshing the page to see if there was another video. Each video was unique, intelligent, and provided some real entertainment for the viewer, which brings me to my next point, humor.
- Humor: Humor sells, people! People like to laugh and that is another reason this campaign did what it did. This dude was hilarious. Now, if I am on the topic of humor, let me say that I follow quite a few comedians on Twitter and with all the tech geeky stuff in my stream, these guys really lighten up the mood. If you are a marketing professional, I don’t need to tell you to use humor in your campaigns, but Old Spice has taught us once again that we need to stop taking Twitter so seriously. We need to stop treating it like it’s rocket science and just be ourselves.
- Don’t Sell, Conversions Will Come: This point is absolutely crucial. Did you hear Mr. Old Spice trying to actively sell you his product? Besides a few “You can smell like me if you use Old Spice” jokes, 99% of the video content he posted was completely not connected to Old Spice. Yes, the product was always in the background (figuratively speaking) but he almost never brought it out to the forefront. People, you should know this by now, but just in case, Twitter is great to promote and sell, but do it wisely. Do not try to hard sell your product on social media and do not spam your followers. Dell does a great job selling on social media by offering exclusive bonuses, and Old Spice set the bar with this new campaign. I am not sure if anyone analyzed their sales yet, it might be a little early for that, but I would definitely buy some Old Spice stock right about now if I were you.
- Real Strategy: Old Spice announced yesterday (in a video of course) that the campaign was officially over. This was of course disappointing to all of us fans who were enjoying the videos, but on the other hand, it showed that there was a real strategy in place. He could have gone on for days without losing any of our interest, but they decided in advance just how long the campaign would run and when that time came, they pulled the plug. Did that cause them damage? Absolutely not! It showed structure and organization. That is the way to promote your product using social media.
In conclusion, the Old Spice campaign will probably be talked about in companies around the world for a long time to come. It will be a hot topic on social media well into the coming weeks and months, which basically means that Old Spice has accomplished its goal, and then some. I am very interested to see what the 6 million YouTube views, the 70,ooo Twitter followers, and the 22,500 comments will translate into when it comes to sales, but I don’t think there will be any surprises there… Most important though? They accomplished all this without calling themselves a “Social Media Guru”, using a provocative avatar of Britney Spears, and even replied to people with less than 100 followers.