Social media is all about the conversation/engagement thanks to collaborative Web 2.0 tools. Consequently, social media gurus now advise us to find key individuals that have influence over potential buyers. They call it Influence Marketing. I call it Roach Baiting 2.0.
I first learned about roach bait marketing back in 2003 when I read Buzz: Harness the Power of Influence and Create Demand – Salzman, Matathia and O’Reilly. They provided numerous case studies where agencies implemented undercover marketing movements by hiring actors/actresses, models or socially adept people to hype their clients’ products in targeted locations. Clever? Only if you do not get busted! A classic example was when Sony Ericsson hired actors/actresses in major cities to launch their new T68i cell phone that had the capability to take, send and receive pictures. In NYC, posed as tourists, they approached people in Times Square and asked them to take their pictures. Unfortunately Sony Ericsson went public with their campaign. The press had a field day bashing their strategy. One publication even reminded Sony Ericsson that Che Guevara once wrote: “A guerrilla campaign can only be effective if it is a clandestine operation and has the support of the people where it is being conducted.”
Fast forward to 2011. A great story staring Peter Shankman. His Twitter profile reads: My life: Consulting, angel investing, advising, speaking. Founded HARO. Ironman. I'm told I'm knowledgeable about social media.
Last month Peter boards an early morning flight from Newark to Tampa for a lunch meeting. On his return flight, Peter, a steak lover, fan of Morton’s steakhouse jokingly tweets: Hey @Mortons – can you meet me at Newark airport with a porterhouse when I land in two hours? K, thanks :-) Morton’s Hackensack (23.5 miles away from the Newark airport) answered the challenge and showed up with his order. Peter was shocked and started a tweeting tsunami. He got home and posted the story on his blog complete with pictures of his meal and his cat enjoying some small bites of porterhouse steak. How many cat lovers retweeted Peter’s picture of NASA the Wonder Cat? A great move by Morton’s? Absolutely! Especially since they were online listening and realized that Peter and NASA the Wonder Cat had a huge following on Twitter (100,000 plus followers). Welcome to the new world of Roach Baiting 2.0.
In closing, Morton’s if you are listening, I will be celebrating a special anniversary on October 23rd here in Philadelphia.