Best Buy Gets Friendly with Online and InStore Magazine

Advertising has always been about making a connection with your audience, but thanks to social media, being conversational has become even more important. Best Buy is embracing that concept with the official launch of “Best Buy On,” a chatty tech and entertainment online magazine that will also provide in-store video content.

The tricky part of this whole venture is providing interesting content that doesn’t come across as advertising. Best Buy says they’re also straying away from traditional reviews, lest they get themselves in trouble with their suppliers.

Here’s how they describe the venture:

Astroturfing: Maybe it’s Not as Bad as it Seems

Astroturfing is defined as the act of creating a false sense of grassroots support. The two most common examples are politics and online reviews. For example, a Senator receives a flood of letters that appear to be a spontaneous response to a political event but the letters are actually from an organized group who will gain something by swaying the vote.

Online, it could be a series of very positive product reviews that seem to come from Average Janes when in reality they were posted by an employee of the company.

Apple Gets Hit with Privacy Suit: A Poem

Twas the week after Christmas and all through the land, millions of folks were making merry with iPads in their hands. In their pockets were iPhones, both fresh from the box. This Christmas was the best, they shouted, it really does rock!

But off in the distance they heard a small sound, the noise of a lawsuit slapping Apple around! They’re stealing our info, the lawsuit did shout. Leaving folks all to wonder what the fuss was about.

It’s the apps, said the lawsuit, they’re selling us out, they’re smashing our privacy of that there’s no doubt. Our names and locations, age, gender and more, if the app companies want it, we should show them the door! Apple can’t be allowed to sell our info this way, without our consent and without giving us pay. It’s our information and we want it kept quiet, so the court needs to stop them so no one can buy it!

Are You Still Using That Old Phone? Mobile Marketing Goes for the Throat

“Are you really still rockin’ a flip phone?”

That’s an ad you might see if you try surfing the web with your Motorola Razr phone only it’s being sent to you by Nokia. It’s called “intercept campaigning” and according to an article in today’s Wall Street Journal, it’s becoming very popular among cell phone companies as they all vie for a piece of a pretty small pie.

Says, Phuc Truong, managing director of Mobext:

“The [wireless] market is saturated, and pretty cutthroat. There’s not that much room to play. You can go after a new segment that doesn’t have mobile phones, or you could refine and search for users that just are getting out of their two-year plans.”

FCC to NBC: No More Exclusive Video Deals

Comcast cleared one more hurdle last week in it’s bid to acquire control of NBC Universal. FCC chairman Julius Genachowski gave the deal his blessing as long as they agreed to certain conditions. Conditions that certainly took the merry out of Hulu’s Christmas.

Says the Wall Street Journal:

According to people close to the FCC negotiations, those conditions would require that Comcast make NBC Universal and its other Comcast-owned video content available to pay-TV competitors at reasonable, nondiscriminatory terms. He also wants to impose conditions that would require Comcast to offer NBC Universal programming to other online video providers.

Right now, Hulu is the preferred carrier of all NBC programming online. They do syndicate out the video feeds to other third party sites, but they still get a piece of the pie and control of what and where it goes.

Twitter Says No More to TwitterMoms

Two years ago, Megan Calhoun launched a website devoted to connecting mom bloggers through Twitter. Thousands of moms signed up and with that came the brand names, eager to catch the ear of this influential segment of the online population.

She called the site TwitterMoms and I joined up back in August of 2009. Since then, I’ve been involved in a wide variety of marketing programs which were offered exclusively to members. Most of these were pay or gift for post opportunities where I was rewarded for writing about a product on my blog.  According to the website, more than $160,000 was rewarded to community members over the last year. A portion of the money was given to charity, and many members added their voice to stories for NBC/iVillage, the LA and New York Times and other media outlets.

Facebook and Google Expand on Social Shopping

I don’t think of shopping as a social experience, unless it’s a day at the mall with my friends. But when I’m online trying to fill a particular need, I’m not all that interested in sharing my choices with those who follow me on Facebook. Apparently, I’m alone in this because Google and Facebook are both working hard to make shopping a big part of their business.

Back in November, Google bought Boutiques.com. This site groups high-ticket fashion items by celebrity then uses a Likes and Dislikes algorithm to determine which tops, dresses and shoes are good for you. There’s an option to follow each of the celeb boutiques and every item has a share button so you can show those sweet $800.00 shoes to your boss on Facebook to explain why you need a raise.