All posts in Marketing

  • Rise of the Twitter bots

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    I was working on a post tying together Twitter bots, Mitt Romney’s recent surge in Twitter followers and Isaac Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics when I came across Hootsuite CEO Ryan Holmes’ smart article on the rise of “tweeting robots.” I may, yet, go back and finish my post but because I need to head out the door for work, I think I’ll just excerpt Holmes instead:

    Then there’s the sci-fi stuff: the latest generation of social bots and virtual agents showing up on Twitter and Facebook.  These tools don’t just optimize content; they make it.   In their simplest incarnation, Twitter bots are computerized scripts that automatically follow users who use certain keywords.  The newest social bots, however, take this to another level —  participating in convincing conversations and often drawing legions of followers.  Google (GOOG) product manager Greg Marra earned notoriety building @trackgirl, who infiltrated the ranks of hardcore runners, even attracting sympathy messages when she “hurt her ankle.”

    But how far is too far?

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  • Sears wants to eat your brain

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    When I think of Sears, I think of those Levi knockoffs my mom made me wear in middle school. I think of boring, not-so-flashy, moderately priced clothes and reliable tools and appliances. I don’t think zombie viral marketing.

    Surely, when one of America’s stodgiest brands rolls out an undead advertising campaign, it’s a sign that the whole zombie phenomenon has jumped the shark.

    The downside to this campaign is that it opens the door for some jokes at your brand’s expense (the undead aren’t known for their taste in clothes). The upside is that creating a zombie shopping section is a sure-fire viral hit. Or maybe not. Its “Fitness for zombies” YouTube video had a mere 84,00 views as of the morning, even though the campaign was launched days ago. It’s also interesting that while there is a Twitter link on the Sears zombie page (with a puny 700 followers), there is no Facebook tie-in. A search on Facebook for “Sears zombie” doesn’t turn up an official page, either.

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