Integrating the Social Community in Offline Media

Imagine my surprise as I was sitting in the Philly airport, reading a copy of Lucky Magazine, that I should come across something I love. It's an advertisement from Bing. Yes, I said love. It's a blatant advertisement, and it's from Bing (stop groaning, they are getting better!).

The total win is that they are using the community (aka Blogger Jen Lula) to reach online shoppers. Magazine readers like me who go online to find the products we like in magazines. Priceless.



Bing Social Media Style Magazine

Style Magazine June 2010 p 66

Here is what Bing is doing right (and wrong) and what you might think about in your social and link building plans.

Mix Your Style in with the Medium

Bing's Play: The ad looks just like any other section of the magazine with specific articles of clothing and accessories, cost and designer. It's well integrated with the magazine's feel, but also has a blatent "Presented by Bing" at the top.

If you are doing a campaign with Facebook, Twitter, Lucky, or Men's Health, match your campaign to your company and the medium. You want to be transparent in the fact that you are advertising, but also want to keep the continuity of the publication. Think about adding a blog into your site using wordpress. The best theme is going to be your own site. You want a seamless transition between your site and wordpress. In a magazine, having an ad look something like a page from the magazine with good content is awesome. But make it plain as day that it's you, not the magazine editors. No hiding things.

Involve the Community

Bing's Play: The social part of this is that the advertisement included a shout out to a fashion blogger and included some fashion ideas for readers.

Including a member of the community is a sure fire way to get in with the crowd. But more than that, it opens up the playing field for that community leader. In this ad, Jen will surely add more readers to her blog from this exposure and I am sure will become a Bing user for some time. It's a win-win situation for everyone involved, including the brand. Remember karma is a real thing in business. Show the love, and the love will be returned.

Give them a Reason to Visit

Bing's Play: Included in the ad is a giveaway integration with Bing, Style, and Jen.

Be one of the first 75 readers to upload a photo of your favorite Bing fashion find to and win a studded cluth from Lucky. Visit for expert shopping advice from Jen.

You can't get much better than a push to purchase from a Bing search and then throw in consumer generated content to Style, and reference the expert level advice from Jen. This promotion has it all within 2 sentences. When pushing a social media/link bait promotion, don't make it all about you, and give people a good reason to visit and link to your site. The more it's about them, the better your campaign will do.

Include New, Fun Technology

Bing's Play: In a final knock out punch, they included a mobile 2d barcode to be read by Microsoft Tag on the user's mobile device.

Talking to the younger generation is all about what else their mobile phone can do. This little tag stands out on the page (differentiation, think 1998 when magazine ads didn't always include a URL) and makes the user use a Microsoft service.

Downside: the link goes to mobile Bing only. Now how cool would it have been to include in that tag a link to all the products on the page and where they can be purchased? #justsayin

One Note to Bing

You have search boxes to the products on the page, but they are VERY general searches. How about for a month or so having a one-box type of thing displaying that product for that very general search? Or at least hand coding those glasses into a search for "oliver peoples eyeglasses" because that frame just would not show up for me. Minor fail there guys.

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