Aug 29 2011

Getting Started with Facebook

by Andrew DiFiore

After my presentation on Facebook Advertising ROI at the Stamford Business Networking group, I was asked to do a follow up on Facebook basics. So here it is. Enjoy!

Jan 16 2011

Cisco’s B2B Social Media Case Study

by Andrew DiFiore

When Cisco decided to introduce its new Aggregated Services Router (ASR) exclusively online to reach their target audience (network engineers), the news itself attracted a great deal of media attention. But when the official campaign numbers came out, there were plenty of latte spit-takes from all, even the “gurus” of social media-dom. Here are just some of the highlights:

  • 9,000 people attended the social media product launch event (90 times more attendees than in the past)
  • Nearly three times as many press articles than traditional outreach methods
  • More than 1,000 blog posts and 40 million online impressions
  • One-sixth the cost of a traditional launch (shaving over $100,000 off its launch expenses)

Cisco’s use of social media and gaming channels for its product launch is a shining example of online marketing done right. No newbie to social media, Cisco was not shy leveraging its 22 blogs, 300+ YouTube channels, 100,000+ Facebook fans, or 2 million Twitter followers. Cisco developed content specific to the launch, including a social media widget, a 3D game, and a virtual concert in Second Life featuring eight rock bands.

I was going to aggregate all the details of this case study here but then found Casey Hibbard’s superb post on Social Media Examiner. No point reinventing the wheel so here is the full monty on Cisco’s B2B Social Media Case Study. Enjoy!

May 30 2010

In-Stream Advertising Belongs to Twitter (for Now)

by Andrew DiFiore

Last month (4/13 to be exact) Twitter announced their long anticipated advertising platform: Promoted Tweets.

This month (5/24 to be exact again) Twitter announced a ban on all in-stream ads by third-party advertising networks like,, 140 Proof, PayPer Tweet, and TweetUp (not to be confused with Tweetup the somewhat generic Twitter meetup project). TweetUp, the new kid on the block is the latest start-up of Bill Gross from Idealab, literally launched just hours before Twitter’s announcement.

Twitter decided to ban all third-party in-stream advertising networks in order to “preserve the unique user experience “ and ensure the “long-term health and value of the platform” according to Twitter’s COO, Dick Costolo. In addition, Twitter “bears all the costs of maintaining the network” and therefore deserves to be first in line for advertisers. Makes sense. If anything, Twitter has been late to the table monetizing their micro-blogging platform. Twitter started only a few weeks ago leveraging Promoted Tweets for its advertisers such as Best Buy, Red Bull, and Starbucks. You can read how Twitter’s Promoted Tweets work here .

Although I’m sure the third-party ad networks are not too happy about Twitter’s decision (as are the advertisers that use them), there is plenty of room for these networks, especially those that do search and analytics better. With an estimated 40 million registered users, expectations are high. There are going to be growing pains.

I wouldn’t be surprise a partnership (or a merger) takes place between Twitter and someone like TweetUp. After all, last year Google allowed video ad management company FreeWheel to deliver and monetize third-party video ads within YouTube.

May 18 2010

Social or Anti-Social? The Next Generation of Online Display Ads

by Andrew DiFiore

For those who missed the Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco, here is a video of the Social Media Marketing panel discussion entitled Social Or Anti-Social? The Next Generation of Online Display Ads. The panelists included: Catherine Spurway (PointRoll), Chris Jaffe (Yahoo!), Adam Taisch (Sprout). Moderated by Richard Jalichandra (Technorati).

May 10 2010

Groupable: Virtual Yente for Groups and Corporate Sponsors

by Andrew DiFiore

Imagine an online service that matches groups with corporate sponsorships (and vice versa). Enter Groupable: a social network of self-organized, grass-roots entities looking for corporate sponsorship, and corporations looking to reach potential audiences.

Groupable recognizes your hiking or cooking group has greater power to set trends and to influence others than that of its individual members. The service uses its own proprietary algorithm to calculate a Groupability Index, an influence rating that takes into account Groupable’s sponsorship activity data as well as activity from a variety of social media data points such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Klout, blogs, and podcasts. The index rating is calculated based upon aggregate scores in the following categories: authenticity, engagement, and relevance. This enables sponsors to zero in on the demographics that will produce the greatest return on investment (ROI).


Groupable’s strength lies in its ability to aggregate similar interest groups into marketing packages. Best suited to established organizations that might be seeking sponsors. This works well in the real world (e.g. uniforms for little league team) as much as online (e.g. sweeps prize for popular mommy blog).

“It’s about knowing which groups to engage with so as to maximize word-of-mouth equity,” says Groupable CMO Michael Klausner. “The Groupability Index provides marketers with a single reference point that captures a group’s ultimate influence potential.”