Wichita Tweet Up Covers Consumers As Marketers Topic

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I attended a Tweet up last week in Wichita, KS on our way down to South by Southwest. We talked about the integration of social media in mobile devices, including downloadable applications, using the mobile web to check online e-tailer prices while at a home town merchant, or making social streams from Twitter, Facebook and other networks part of your mobile home page as the Motorola DEVOUR with MOTOBLUR. An interesting take from a couple of folks was that local merchants can monitor the web for the lowest prices online for similar products that they carry in the local store, then be active with the local community online and those merchants will be able to charge the premium while building customer and community loyalty.

Another issue the Wichita covered was about how consumers are being marketers for brands. After all that’s the attraction of social media for many big brands, have customers do with credibility what marketers have tried for years.

Wichita, KS Tweet Up, March 12 from Albert Maruggi on Vimeo.

We raised the case of TGIF’s Friday’s integrated campaign to get 500,000 fans in the month of September for their number one fan/spokesperson Woody on Facebook. If you became a fan everyone would benefit with a free Jack Daniels burger. Woody quickly met his goal of 500,000 fans by mid-September, presenting a problem of what to do with the remaining two weeks, and the ad buy. After the grumbling began online they doubled Woody’s free burger allotment to 1 million.

Tom Shaw writer of the Marketing Executive blog estimates that if 50% of the 500,000 fans bring one person who buys a meal and a drink, it will generate up to $5 million in sales.

We put the question of marketing to your network and the Woody’s example to the Wichita group and the feedback was mixed. Some bought into the idea, if they liked a product they would share it with their network, others took a case by case approach, perhaps sharing with only a portion of their fan/friend/follower base, while others shrugged it off as part of the new dynamic of social media. Give a listen to the video. Apologies for some of the side conversation going on in the background.

We met at the Donut Whole, a fantastic place with outrageous donut flavors like bacon maple and chocolate cheese cake. I’m told by one of the employees that one of the secrets is the fresh spices purchased from a local importer. The donuts are worth the trip even from Minneapolis!

Special thanks to Cindy Kelly @wichitacindy for helping organize the Tweet up. I’ll donate a food item to a St. Paul, MN food charity for every comment we get on this blog.