Message to Santa…

Eastline Marketing Xmas 2011

Dear Santa,

We have been good girls and boys all year long.

We have made sure all our clients are satisfied, we believe we have spread much love on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other social networks.

We have also successfully made many fans, followers and competition winners extremely happy. We plan on making even more people happy.

So for this holy Christmas, all we want is Peace on Earth and more happy clients.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Yours Truly,

Eastline Marketing Team.

Ten Campaigns that Went Really Viral

communicate_dec_11_levantViral is one of those buzzwords on communicators’ lips these days… Eastline Marketing involved in two of the 10 most viral campaigns of 2011!

Google+ we are not impressed!

Is it just us or is Google+ still not learning from Facebook and Twitter mistakes and shortcomings?

We are completely aware that the newly launched social network is not yet close to competing with Facebook’s empire and Twitter’s rush , but can you blame our disappointment from Google+ newly launched brand pages?

Google+ is indeed satisfying the masses, and with its newly created brand pages for companies, copycatting Facebook’s pages, companies are rushing to advertize their products on Google+.

First of all, the only features are the rich profiles or about page; you can build circles and list your followers accordingly. However, unlike personal pages, you can only add people to the brand circles if they have added you previously to their circle; hard luck for brands and +1 for the consumers who will have a choice if they want to follow the brand or not.

Brand pages can also benefit from the Hangouts, for group video chats also – but we can hardly imagine here CEO running to catch a glimpse of their targeted consumers, or else it’s their social ambassador stuck behind the webcam chatting with the followers. Come to think of it, unless it’s Kim Kardashian or Ryan Gosling behind these webcams, who cares?

Once you connect an email address with a page you can’t change it and you’re the only one that can edit and admin that page. Although Google has promised that there will be multiple admins in the near future, we wonder when, for now this will be a little awkward for companies that want multiple social ambassadors to communicate through the pages.

What’s really ironic also is that anyone can claim to be a brand at Google+, in other words, if brands do not claim their G+ pages, other wannabes can.

Seriously Google+ is that all you’ve got?

iR.I.P: Steven Paul "Steve" Jobs 1955 –2011

In a tribute to the greatest man technology has witnessed, Eastline Marketing goes back in time detailing Steve Jobs’ ups, downs and glory days:

February 24, 1955: Jobs was born in San Francisco to graduate students Abdulfattah “John” Jandali, and Joanne Carole Schieble. Jobs was placed for adoption after Schieble’s father opposed their marriage.

60s-70s: Jobs attended Cupertino Junior High and Homestead High School in Cupertino, California. He frequented after-school lectures at the Hewlett-Packard Company in Palo Alto, California, and was later hired there, working with Steve Wozniak as a summer employee.

1972: Jobs enrolled at Reed College in Portland, Oregon. He dropped out after one semester to visit India and study eastern religions in the summer of 1974.

1974: Jobs took a job as a technician at Atari, Inc., a manufacturer of video games.

1975: Jobs joined a group known as the Homebrew Computer Club. One member, a technical whiz named Steve Wozniak, was trying to build a small computer. Jobs became fascinated with the marketing potential of such a computer.

1976: Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne founded Apple.

1978: Apple recruited Mike Scott from National Semiconductor to serve as CEO for what turned out to be several turbulent years.

1983: Jobs lured John Sculley away from Pepsi-Cola to serve as Apple’s CEO, asking, “Do you want to sell sugar water for the rest of your life, or do you want to come with me and change the world?”

Early 1980s: Jobs was among the first to see the commercial potential of Xerox PARC’s mouse-driven graphical user interface, which led to the creation of the Apple Lisa and, one year later, the Macintosh.

1984: Apple aired a Super Bowl television commercial titled “1984”. At Apple’s annual shareholders meeting on January 24, 1984, an emotional Jobs introduced the Macintosh to a wildly enthusiastic audience. However, an industry-wide sales slump towards the end of 1984 caused deterioration in Jobs’ working relationship with Sculley.

May 24, 1985: Apple’s board of directors sided with Sculley and removed Jobs from his managerial duties as head of the Macintosh division. Jobs resigned from Apple five months later and founded NeXT Inc. the same year.

1985: After leaving Apple, Jobs founded NeXT Computer in 1985, with $7 million. A year later, Jobs was running out of money and with no product on the horizon, he appealed for venture capital. Eventually, he attracted the attention of billionaire Ross Perot who invested heavily in the company. NeXT workstations were first released in 1990, priced at $9,999.

1986: Jobs bought The Graphics Group (later renamed Pixar) from Lucasfilm’s computer graphics division for the price of $10 million.

1990: The revised, second-generation NeXTcube was released in 1990, also. Jobs touted it as the first “interpersonal” computer that would replace the personal computer. With its innovative NeXTMail multimedia email system, NeXTcube could share voice, image, graphics, and video in email for the first time.

1990s: Jobs met Laurene Powell at Stanford business school, where Powell was an MBA student. They married on March 18, 1991, and lived together in Palo Alto, California, with their three children.

1993: after having sold only 50,000 machines, NeXT transitioned fully to software development with the release of NeXTSTEP/Intel. The company reported its first profit of $1.03 million in 1994.

1995: After years of unprofitability selling the Pixar Image Computer, it contracted with Disney to produce a number of computer-animated feature films that Disney would co-finance and distribute. The first film produced by the partnership, Toy Story, with Jobs credited as executive producer, brought fame and critical acclaim to the studio when it was released in 1995.

In 1996: NeXT Software, Inc. released WebObjects, a framework for Web application development.
1997: After NeXT was acquired by Apple Inc. WebObjects was used to build and run the Apple Store, MobileMe services, and the iTunes Store.

In 1996: Apple announced that it would buy NeXT for $429 million. The deal was finalized in late 1996 bringing Jobs back to the company he co-founded.

1997: Jobs became de facto chief after then-CEO Gil Amelio was ousted in July.

March 1998: Jobs terminated a number of projects, such as Newton, Cyberdog, and OpenDoc. Jobs also changed the licensing program for Macintosh clones, making it too costly for the manufacturers to continue making machines.

With the purchase of NeXT, much of the company’s technology found its way into Apple products, most notably NeXTSTEP, which evolved into Mac OS X. Under Jobs’ guidance the company increased sales significantly with the introduction of the iMac and other new products.

2000: At Macworld Expo, Jobs officially dropped the “interim” modifier from his title at Apple and became permanent CEO.

With the introduction of the iPod portable music player, iTunes digital music software, and the iTunes Store, the company made forays into consumer electronics and music distribution.

2003 – 2004: as Pixar’s contract with Disney was running out, Jobs and Disney chief executive Michael Eisner tried but failed to negotiate a new partnership, and in early 2004, Jobs announced that Pixar would seek a new partner to distribute its films after its contract with Disney expired.

October 2005: Bob Iger replaced Eisner at Disney, and Iger quickly worked to patch up relations with Jobs and Pixar. 

January 24, 2006: Jobs and Iger announced that Disney had agreed to purchase Pixar in an all-stock transaction worth $7.4 billion. When the deal closed, Jobs became The Walt Disney Company’s largest single shareholder.

June 29, 2007: Apple entered the cellular phone business with the introduction of the iPhone, a multi-touch display cell phone, which also included the features of an iPod and, with its own mobile browser, revolutionized the mobile browsing scene.

August 2011: Jobs resigned as CEO of Apple, but remained at the company as chairman of the company’s board. Hours after the announcement, Apple Inc. (AAPL) shares dropped five percent in after-hour trading. The relatively small drop, when considering the importance of Jobs to Apple, was associated with the fact that Jobs’ health had been in the news for several years.

October 5, 2011: Apple Inc. announced that co-founder Steve Jobs had died. He was 56 years old at the time of his death.

World Apocalypse without Facebook

Rumor has it hacker-activist group Anonymous will attempt to shut down Facebook on November 5, 2011, accusing the social network of invading users’ privacy – frightening!

For couple of years now Facebook has raided our lives, altered our social communication manners and revolutionized our marketing strategies.

But what happens if the Anonymous group succeeds in shutting down Facebook? My-Oh-My! It’s indeed the end of the world.

Imagine socially you will no longer be able to spy on your ex-boyfriend/girlfriend–Indeed catastrophic. Imagine parents will no longer know where their teenage children have checked-in — Tragic. Most importantly you will no longer know who’s dating who and who broke up with whom! SHOCKER!

Clearly we underestimated the power of this spying network…

Unfortunately the world of online marketing will get shut in the face. Brands will no longer be competing socially for the best viral effect and televisions advertisement will reign again.

No more pages to like, brands will no longer be able to communicate with their fans and groups will no longer spam their members! (Wait that’s not bad now is it?)

Oh my god. Have you also forgotten about the events and the invites! How will you be updated on the latest event and its whereabouts?! Does this also mean you will no longer be able to embarrass your friends and tag them with annoying pictures of them acting stupidly? Sad, so sad.

It’s indeed the end of the world.

Blocking Social Media at Work

A common practice among many employers/organizations in the MENA region (as well as all over the world) is to block access to social media networking sites. Even with the emergence of the importance of having access to Social Media networks (SMN) in the workplace, for various reasons, some employers don’t seem to be quite convinced yet of the benefits. Yes, there are quite a few.

The major thing it says to an employee when a company bans the use of SMN and free Internet surfing is that they, in fact, think of you as a child, or an idiot, or both perhaps. Not an adult that is there to perform his or her job because you are fully capable of doing so, without having a chaperone holding your hand. With the rampant use of all sorts of smart phones nowadays, anyone can check their Facebook and other Social Networks on their BB’s, IPhones and other devices. It must be said though that in some cases, some employees do ‘use and abuse’ said privilege. However, in most cases the pros outweigh the cons.

Studies have been done showing that when employees take a break from work, surf the net, and spend a few minutes on FB or twitter, their morale and self esteem actually increases. Also, as far as marketing for your company goes, Social Media is proven to be one of the most effective means of doing just that, for a much cheaper rate than other marketing means. There is no better way to learn the ins and outs of Social Media Marketing than to actually use it on a daily basis, whether on a personal or professional basis.

Blocking these Social Networks may mean missing many opportunities for lots of productive and collaborative work in these organizations. There is always a small percentage of people that will waste way too much time on these platforms doing nothing productive, but there are way more people that can actually benefit from having free access to them. Don’t you think?

Buying Facebook Likes is Smart – NOT!

Online marketing has fulfilled its purpose for quite some time now, and in Lebanon it’s gradually starting to grow with communities engaging online and making some campaigns go viral with innovative marketing ideas.

However and unfortunately some newly established Lebanese online marketing companies have failed to understand the concept and the purpose of the campaigns and how to attract the targeted engaged consumers.

Companies are buying Facebook likes, Twitter followers and so on thinking that the more fans they have the more successful the campaign is, and that is a fail of marketing and ethics. Nonetheless, let us see this through; we went through some local brands’ Facebook pages and checking their likers we noticed how many fake profiles were out there while the majority weren’t even Lebanese. So how is this helpful for the brands to expand and get their message across?

It is crucial with online marketing to set a specific demographic target because you will be more focused on what type of customers you want and means to attract them. Failure to settle your target will increase risks of failure when promoting your products, services or business in order to engage your fan base. Moreover there is no benefit from online marketing when it comes to increasing your fans and followers when they do not match your targeted consumers.

Journalists on Social Media Networks

Have you ever sat down and wondered who in the world makes the most use of Social Media in current times? Maybe it has always been so and it’s just become really noticeable now, but due to tumultuous events in the world, namely the revolutions in the MENA region, Journalists seem to be all over Facebook and Twitter. Not only that, they also take the most advantage of what is said and posted on social networks the most in their work.

Even though the recent events have succeeded in making anyone on Twitter a ‘Citizen Journalist’, hundreds of professional Journalists are turning to tweeting and blogging, sharing their views and opinions online, and using these means to verify information they receive as well as sourcing stories.

According to a survey done about this, it seems almost half of those Journalists (47% to be exact), use Twitter to source their stories. A third of them (35%) turn to Facebook, and the rest (30%) use blogs they are already familiar with. Surprisingly, research also found that about 47% find leads to stories through blogs they have never visited before… Thank you Twitter.

In past years, PR agencies played a big part in supplying news to Journalists and news channels. They still play quite a big part and are just as important as online sources. However, having a solid (social) network, good blogger relations and a strong content strategy will definitely get a Journalist far.

Do you think Journalists have it easier these days than they did say, 10 years ago?

How do you think the news world has changed because of Social Media Networks like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube?

Marketing with Twitter

In the MENA region, we always seem slower in catching up with the rest of the world when it comes to many things, but specifically in technology and its many sub branches. In Lebanon, we have yet to have fast internet, but that’s a whole other story. Those of us working in the field of Internet Marketing have come to see just how important Twitter is as a means of promoting ideas and organizations.

Just taking into account the sheer number of people using this social media platform on a daily basis (Twitter now has 106 million users sending out 55 million tweets every day) you’ll soon see why it’s something that no internet marketer should ignore for very long.

Anyone using Twitter as a personal account squeaks with glee every time they get a follower on twitter. The most obvious advantage to having a huge list of followers is more followers means more potential customers or clients for your website or business, which in turn means more sales. Making and keeping your tweets relevant and articulate, keeping in mind your clients wants and needs.

Another benefit of having a large number of followers is that it is seen by many as a good indicator of social proof. Social proof is important in that if someone goes to a website and sees that the site has zero comments, 142 followers etc…, they are going to assume it’s pretty much a dead site. On the other hand, if they see there are thousands of followers, hundreds, or thousands of readers and so on, they will be more inclined to invest the time to check out the site and give it the attention you need.

More companies and individuals in the MENA region need to step it up and start having more of an active presence on Twitter. Get active, stay active, and nab those clients waiting to be nabbed!

How better than to have proven effective and constant marketing and advertising, 24 hrs a day, and well, for free!

Blogs and Advertising

For many of us, the idea of just sitting back, writing down your thoughts and ideas, and making enough money to sustain yourself doing that is the ultimate dream. This is what many bloggers out there are doing, and quite successfully.

Some of you will simply be looking for a couple of hundred extra dollars a month to pay internet bills or otherwise, while others will be looking to make thousands of dollars a month doing something that they love and are passionate about.

Blogs like Lifehacker and Mashable have succeeded in profiting from having advertisers use their platform. They make millions of dollars per year through banner advertising. Certainly, that means they must be doing something right.

Potential advertisers can easily access an advertising page on these sites, giving them traffic information, statistics, as well as their media kits and rate cards. There is a lot to learn from big sites like those, using what we learn to our advantage in our own ‘little’ blogs.

In addition, it is particularly clever that they both use Social Media to promote their posts and articles, through their Facebook pages, and Twitter accounts. The more people that read their posts, and share them through Social Media networks, the more traffic they get, and thus, the more appealing to potential advertisers. That is also a lesson to learn.

This all brings up a few curious questions though, such as:

  • What makes a blog successful in your opinion?
  • Is it writing about a topic that interests you, or a topic that interests the majority of the people online, and then ‘pretending’ it interests you to get more readers and followers?

Share your views!