Category Archives: online communities

Social Media: From IdeaStorm to DellSwarm

As marketing students we all probably remember the four Ps: Product, Pricing, Placement and Promotion – the traditional model of marketing.bee

Today marketing has been reinvented and the Ps are being replaced with Cs – Collaboration, Creativity, Connection and Communication.  Brands now need to tap into those online community connections and hence the term Swarm Marketing was born.

Recently Dell revealed Dell Swarm a new marketing scheme in Singapore. As discussed by the Ebiquity Blog it goes like this: If you agree to buy a laptop on Dell Swarm, the discounted price drops as others join your “swarm” and also buy.

Here’s how the Dell system is described:

-Start by picking the laptop you would like to purchase. Be the first buyer to join a Swarm and you’ll enjoy a price lower than’s best discounted price (after cash rebates).

-Join a Swarm after, and you’ll enjoy a new, lower price – as will all previous buyers. 

– Once the swarms closes – which is when the limit of 15 buyers or 72 hours is reached, whichever is the earlier, the price is then finalised. This final, lowest price now becomes everyone’s purchase price – including yours!

-To get the maximum discount, grow the Swarm by Sharing with your friends. You can share via Twitter Or post a note on your Facebook® profile and tell all of your friends Point others towards your Swarm using Digg, and other tools. Or simply send your friends an email directly! Not ready to buy yet? You can also choose to Follow the Swarm. You’ll then receive updates via email. As well as through free SMS alerts.

What other examples do you have of swarm marketing? are there examples in Australia?

Could your business benefit from a Swarm marketing approach?


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Filed under digital marketing, online communities, Social Media, social media strategy

Online Review Sites Gain Importance in Tight Economy


I recently read a fascinating  interview from econsultancy with Laura Nestler, Community Manager of Yelp. Yelp is an online review site that started in the US in 2004 and recently launched in the UK with new features. It is interesting to see how the site has been continually developing and adding new elements over the years.5-24-2009 10-03-54 AM

The most interesting aspect of the new version of Yelp is the additional functionality that gives business owners the opportunity to respond to reviewers favourable or unfavourable reviews.  This is a key development and I believe much overdue. The ‘two way dialogue’ model that forms the foundation of Social Media needs to occur to ensure continual dialogue and transparency.

So what else is new for Yelp? as with many online applications they have now launched our most recent iPhone application – Yelp for iPhone – and they expect to roll out further apps for other devices in future.

Review Sites in a Tight Economy

As the economy tightens consumers are spending more time on the internet researching product purchases before they buy.  Online product review sites are one of the leading types of user-generated content on the web today and their role will become increasingly important.

The following figures show the significance of review sites for consumers.

Does your website have a review element?  it might be a great way to start engaging with your customers today.

Review Statistics

  • Review users noted that reviews generated by fellow consumers had a greater influence than those generated by professionals. (comScore/The Kelsey Group, October 2007)
  • 64% of consumers reported wanting to see user ratings and reviews, based on a study of 5,000 online shoppers. (Forrester, 2008)
  • 94% of UK online researchers use online customer reviews. (JupiterResearch/Bazaarvoice, January 2008)
  • 71% of online shoppers read reviews, making it the most widely read consumer-generated content. (Forrester)
  • Article of note: Tips on building your review site

    About the Author: Jenni Beattie is the Director of Digital Democracy a Sydney based Social Media Consultancy .  Enjoy the article? please subscribe to the RSS Feed

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    Filed under online communities, online review sites, seo, social media strategy

    Social Media – Why it’s not all about you.

    How many times have you heard marketers or pr professionals say:

    – “Social Media is so hard to get over the line’  and -‘Its hard to demonstrate the ROI of Social Media’ or

    -‘The CEO is just not on board with the Social Media idea’

    These comments typically come from individuals that do not have the full business picture in mind when they are talking with their client.

    As marketers we often think of Social Media as part of our own personal toolkit – albiet a growing and quickly developing one. Via Social Media we have the capacity to reach consumers,  with some prs still aiming to get a few messages across  (yes very old school) and ideally raise the brand profile and ultimately sell the item that we are marketing.

    So what is wrong with that notion? After working in traditional media, online pr, market research 2.0 and knowledge management it is clearly evident that we need to recognise that Social Media touches all the above disciplines within a business including R&D and CRM.  As individuals within those disciplines we need to step outside our own areas and look at how we deliver business value across many areas of the business  – a much more wholistic approach.

    So how is this relevant to you as a marketer? First understand that the Twitter account that you are trying to sell in for pr purposes can also be used for CRM and that means working with those relevant internally to support customers if complaints arise.  That branded Online Community that you are thinking about will provide ROI for many elements of your business including innovation and R&D. It is not just about your big shiny idea or your pr/marketing silo, or for that matter (and this is positive) the marketing budget.

    Finally social media strategies can be devised and initially implemented by agencies but collaborative maintenance must come from the company itself.   What is maintenance? after the initial burst of creative activity is the hard yakka of continuing the conversation with your consumers, listening to them and embracing what you learn. If your social media marketing agency is simply selling you a one-off campaign and not educating you along the way they are doing you a disservice. Sure campaigns such as World’s Best Job have a finite time period but most customer engagement strategies should be for the long-term.

    Social Media has the power to transform a company,  break down internal silos, deliver excellent ROI, engage with consumers and deliver more relevant products to the marketplace but we need to first recognise its not all about us.

    About the Author: Jenni Beattie is the Director of Digital Democracy a Sydney based Social Media Consultancy . Enjoy the article?please subscribe to the RSS Feed .

    Update May 9 Mashable produced an excellent article using Twitter for customer service well worth a read!


    Filed under Digital PR, Enterprise 2.0, Market Research, marketing, online communities, Social Media, social media strategy, twitter

    Online Community Wiki

    wiki1I love a good wiki. Perhaps it’s my background in knowledge management but I think they are extremely valuable so when I found the UK Online Community Research Wiki I was in heaven.

    The find combines my two loves: Online Communities (OC) and Wikis.  

    The site contains a list of UK Online Communities with the formats as varied as Ning Communities to Yahoo Groups. While the format of the wiki could do with some aesthetic improvements the site itself provides useful content for those interested in OCs.

    I would be interested to see if an equivalent Australian wiki exists – if it does be sure to let me know.

    **Hat tip to Andy Roberts for bringing it to my attention.

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