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How @Redbull’s social marketing on @Klout failed in the real world

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Red Bull Social Media Marketing

Since I joined Twitter in 2007 social media marketing has come a long way with most brands and companies now on Facebook & Twitter. With Klout launching in September 2009 it has also come a long way with big events like their major algorithm change in October 2011 and big time investments from venture capital firms to the tune of $30 million dollars. To me, social media marketing is at the biggest peak I’ve seen it and it’s fantastic.

Rebull has actually been doing a great job marketing itself in social media with being active in all kinds of sports & events to get themselves in front of their demographic. One recent marketing launch of Red Bull was their Klout promotion of Red Bull Total Zero. People that had enough Klout influence in the right niches were delivered a four-pack of Red Bull Total Zero.

My fiance Carisa Gaul actually received one of these Klout Red Bull deliveries which she shared on Instagram a couple days after we got it.

I actually retweeted Carisa’s tweet with: “@webaddict: Can’t wait! RT @CarisaGaul: Received my @RedBull @Klout. Bet @KaylaGaul & @webaddict will enjoy this.” I had friends reply back that had also received their Redbull Kout promotion pack in the mail too. One of my very influential friends @heykim replied to me on Twitter with: “@heykim: Drinking mine now ! RT @CarisaGaul: Received my @RedBull @Klout. Bet @KaylaGaul & @webaddict will enjoy this. http://instagr.am/p/LQ9ygQSqSc/” Red Bull Total ZeroAs I sit here, right now, I’m drinking one of the cans we have left of Red Bull Total Zero and it tastes great! You can’t beat zero carbs, zero sugar and zero calories. For me, at 32 years old, I actually have to watch that kind of stuff because the pounds can show if you’re not careful. Carisa Gaul & I are big fans of buying energy products from 5 Hour Energy to even Kirkland’s (Costco) competing Energy Shot. We also have Red bull and Carisa’s sister Kayla Gaul has been getting me back into buying it. My point? I’m the target demographic for Redbull. I have a well paying salary job, I’m socially connected with 110,751 followers on Twitter, my Klout score is okay, sitting at 51 overall points and I’m also the Executive Editor at z6mag.com. z6mag.com sometimes reaches 500,000 unique visitors in a good month. I also work full-time at an Advertising Agency called PlattForm Advertising which was just named on the 2012 Champions of Business by KC Business Journal.

 At the @Dancefestopia concert in Richard L. Berkley Riverfront Park in Downtown Kansas City, I saw that Red Bull is one of the big sponsors there. There’s a $150 Red Bull VIP Tent that gives unlimited alcohol, Red Bull & Vodka on the drink menu, a tricked out Red Bull truck with built in video games, sound system and flat screen TVs. The Red Bull truck has an open top where they can hand out drinks, Red Bull and are supposed to interact with concert goers you’d think. I provided a picture below, sorry for such a bad shot but I think my lens was smeared with dance sweat & my hand was shaky because I was tired and needed some Red Bull! Red Bull Truck At Dancefestopia After a lot of dancing and partying to bands like Iggy Zelea, New Boyz, 2 Live Crew and Flo Rida we were tired, dehydrated and beat. We were relaxing, checking out the rest of Dancefestopia and ended up by the visually stunning Red Bull truck watching the flat screens & video gaming. A Red Bull employee, standing in the truck, just kept handing out tons of Bud Light beers and we were like, “Hey that looks fun.” Also, full Red Bull samples were being handed out to people walking up to the truck. I figured I could use a Red Bull & thought maybe since we follow Red Bull on Twitter, they’re paying to ship Red Bull to our house, we could get a sample Red Bull and share it. I went and stood up next to the truck and the guy in the truck shunned me and ignored me. I asked a guy if he worked for Red Bull standing on the ground and he said, “Yeah I do.” I asked about the Red Bull and why the guy in the truck was ignorning me and he informed me this was all just for Dancefestopia Arists & Friends. Now mind you, this was not in a VIP area backstage, it was on the main lawn of the concert area at Dancefestopia. To be completely honest, the guy was pretty withdrawn and rude to me altogether. I figured a Red Bull brand agent would be nice, full of energy and selling the Red Bull life and drink to me. I finally tweeted this:

My friend @heykim responded on Twitter with:

 

My friend @heykim responded, “yup.”

So what do you think? Should Red Bull be seamlessly connecting their marketing strategies and give out samples of Red Bull to people that interact with their brand at the concert? I feel at the very least they should sell it at their Red Bull truck, I sure would have bought it.

Now apparently, I’m not as cool as the Dancefestopia Artists and their one-thousand friends, but I am cool in the real world. I’m influential, so is Carisa Gaul and Red Bull probably spent $10 – $15 on the marketing effort to connect with us and ship us a 4-pack of Red Bull in the mail.

Red Bull’s Twitter account says, “Got a big idea? Share it at Red Bull Launchpad – your dream could become a reality.” I see the future of social media marketing at Red Bull as something like the following:

Red Bull QR CodeI would have seen a QR Code or Touchscreen / iPad at the Red Bull truck. I could log in or scan in as a fan of Red Bull. We sync our Klout connection that is already made through the Klout website. We get options to take pictures of ourselves at the Red Bull truck and just click a button to send it to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Twitpic and more. For promoting the Red Bull brand on different properties with videos & pictures you earn points for free samples. Incentivized brand promotion with samples they are giving away anyway. I also see branding for Red Bull’s new push on their Red Bull Total Zero product with a Red Bull employee touting the benefits & asking me if I want a small sample or want to buy a big one. The marketing budgets that Red Bull drops on campaigns should be seamless through all their strategies and outlets in my opinion.

I’m a 32 year old male that is spending money on energy drinks every week and there’s a lot of them out there these days. Carisa Gaul and I were excited about getting Red Bull Total Zero through the Klout program and we were starting to buy more Red Bull. I might just think twice next time at the store and pick up a Rockstar Energy Drink instead though? No, I’m not butt hurt that I didn’t get free Red Bull at the concert, instead, I’m disappointed how far social media marketing has to go. To me this shows how @Redbull’s social marketing on @Klout failed in the real world.

Red Bull Responds:

To keep this simple I’m going to just embed Red Bull’s responses to me on Twitter. I have to commend them, they not only responded but listened and responded a couple times. Red Bull has proved their campaigns may not be seamless but they are certainly not asleep at the wheel. Thank you Red Bull for being “real.”

You know a lot of brands can tell you that they’re listening in social media. But the truth is, sending an @ reply to a user in response to something they’ve posted or said isn’t exactly listening or even really caring. You know one clue that showed me Red Bull was actually listening? They favorited specific tweets I made on Twitter, one being the post that you’re reading and also one where I was touting Red Bull the day before we hit the Dancefestopia concert. This isn’t something that is publicly displayed, so to me at least, it really shows their heart is in it and they’re GENUINELY listening. Kudos Redbull!

Red Bull Tweet Favorites

 

Red Bull Follows my account on Twitter (@webaddict) once again proving they are actively listening and genuine. Cool huh?

Red Bull Follows

And one more instance of Red Bull proving they’re not asleep at the wheel but incredibly engaged with their Energy Drink fans, followers and influencers. Super cool, make sure to follow them @RedBull.

Red Bull Favoriting and Listening

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0 Comments

  1. Sam

    June 8, 2012 at 10:13 am

    Klout is cool but they certainly are not the first to come up with the iPhone app, there’ an iPhone based platform called SocialLadder that not only tells users how influential they are, but also shows them the transactions that affect their influence score. Even better, it connects the users with exclusive offers and incentives that really make it cool to be social influencer – its all done right through the app.

  2. Lori Kober

    June 2, 2012 at 7:56 pm

    Had to be in the Top 100 redbull influencers on Klout to get the 4-pack delivery. Had to be part of the Dancefestopia VIP for the onsite free samples. Seems both had special requirements so where’s the fail?

    • Lori Kober

      June 2, 2012 at 8:01 pm

      Correction: Top 1000 Redbull influencers received 4-packs. Top 100 influencers received thumbdrives

  3. Web Design Norwich

    June 2, 2012 at 6:40 pm

    Red Bull utter fail – unhip, untrendy, and clearly not understood. Those guys in the truck were rude, therefore so is redbull.

    Why did they hire such a rude person? Probably because he was as rude as the person who hired him.

    Shame on Redbull! Sort out your PR…

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2.2 Million More Patient-Victims Of AMCA Data Breach Came Forward

Clinical Pathology Laboratories blamed AMCA for not providing them enough information back in June.

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Photo: Thirteen Of Clubs Follow | Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

A month after the medical collection portal owned by the American Medical Collection Agency (AMCA) fell victim to a data breach that has affected more than 20 million of their users from different blood testing laboratories and medical institutions around the country, a new AMCA partner lab came forward and said that their clients were also affected by the data breach.

According to Clinical Pathology Laboratories (CPL), 2.2 million clients may have had their names, addresses, phone numbers, dates of birth, dates of service, balance information, and treatment provider information stolen from the previously reported data breach involving AMCA.

Last month, data were stolen from users of the AMCA payment portal that was used to pay for laboratory fees by more than 20 million victims. These data include their names, phone numbers, dates of birth, home addresses, social security numbers, credit card numbers, and other bank details.

The list of impacted testing laboratories includes Quest Diagnostics (11.9 million patients), LabCorp (7.7 million patients), BioReference Laboratories (Opko Health subsidiary, 422,600 patients), Carecentrix (500,000 patients), and Sunrise Laboratories (undisclosed number of patients).

This time, Clinical Pathology Laboratories (CPL) says that an additional 2.2 million victims of the data breach come from their client list, and another 34,500 patients had their credit card or banking information compromised.

The company blamed the late announcement from CPL to AMCA for not providing them with enough information regarding the breach when it was first disclosed in June.

“At the time of AMCA’s initial notification, AMCA did not provide CPL with enough information for CPL to identify potentially affected patients or confirm the nature of patient information potentially involved in the incident, and CPL’s investigation is on-going,” said the company in a statement.

As of today, it is still unclear whether AMCA nor its partner companies have reached out to their clients to personally notify them about the data breach. Back in June, AMCA first disclosed that only 200,000 clients had their data compromised. However, reports from its partners have confirmed that the victim tally reaches 20 million.

AMCA and partners were slapped with lawsuits

AMCA, Quest, and LabCorp in June were slapped with at least 19 lawsuits concerning the data leak. More than 19 class-suite actions have been filed against the three companies for their involvement in the breach and their inability to fulfill the promise of protecting their clients’ sensitive information.

According to one of the lawyers in one of the lawsuits hurdled against the involved companies, healthcare providers are one of the most susceptible entities, but they have lackluster data protection systems.

“Healthcare companies are especially susceptible to data breaches not only because they aggregate a tremendous amount of important and sensitive data, but also because they tend to be less focused on cybersecurity protection than other industries,” said John Yanchunis of Morgan and Morgan, one of the firms who filed lawsuits against Quest Diagnostics.

Yanchunis said that these companies “know [that] they are at an increased risk and yet have not taken the proper steps to protect their patients’ data.”

AMCA filed for bankruptcy

Amid the data breach that centers the American Medical Collection Agency, the company has filed for bankruptcy and laid off more than 70% of its workforce, as cost in mitigating the impacts of the leak has to lead the company to lose a massive amount of money.

According to the company, the data breach “resulted in enormous expenses that were beyond the ability of the Debtor to bear.”

“Almost immediately upon learning of the breach, LabCorp unqualifiedly and indefinitely terminated its relationship with the Debtor,” the filing reads.

“Soon after, Quest Diagnostics, Conduent, Inc., and CareCentrix, Inc. which together with LabCorp were the Debtor’s four largest clients, stopped sending new work to the Debtor, and all terminated or substantially curtailed their business relationships with the Debtor.”

Cybersecurity experts have estimated that the company most likely to spend at least $400,000 for cyber forensics alone. Add to that the cost of IT support, severe restrictions that were put in place to protect AMCA’s network from further intrusion, looming court cases, and the loss of valuable business partners; it is most likely that the company was driven to the abyss of bankruptcy by the data breach.

Of course, to cut cost, AMCA has also laid off employees and only retained those who are significant in the legal battles it faces, including the lawsuits and its request for bankruptcy. AMCA’s current employee count is down from 113 to 25, which practically cut of 78% of its human resources. Fuchs has asked the court to consider a motion which will ensure the firm’s remaining staff will be paid during the process.

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Treasury Chief Says Crypto Is A “National Security Risk”

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Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin | 7/25/17 (Official White House Photo by Ricky Harris)

A new jab was thrown against Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies from the US government after statements from the U.S. Treasury Secretary branded the industry as a “national security threat.”

Facebook’s announcement of Libra has brought crypto and blockchain technology in the center stage, as governments around the world have heightened their scrutiny on the alternative financial system that the industry is offering.

Government executives and high ranking officials have raised concerns on the volatility of the technology, and how it is being used by malicious actors to facilitate illegal transactions such as money laundering and illegal drugs.

Now, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin chimed in the conversation and echoed earlier apprehensions versus Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. The Secretary warns that Bitcoin, as well as, Facebook’s plans for Libra, pose a “national security issue” for the United States.

“This is indeed a national security issue,” Mnuchin told reporters at a press conference yesterday. “Cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin have been exploited to support billions of dollars of illicit activity like cyber crime, tax evasion, extortion, ransomware, illicit drugs, and human trafficking,” adding that Facebook’s Libra “could be misused by money launderers and terrorist financiers.”

Mnuchin echoed other politicians stance on Facebook’s Libra venture and said that he was “not comfortable” by the idea of it.

Trump vs. Crypto

In a series of tweets on last week, the POTUS said that he is not a “fan” of cryptocurrencies, asserted that America has only one currency, criticized bitcoin, as well as told Facebook that they need a banking charter if they want to launch their newly announced crypto-based money called Libra.

Trump said cryptocurrencies are not money, and “Unregulated Crypto Assets can facilitate unlawful behavior, including drug trade and other illegal activity.”

“If Facebook and other companies want to become a bank, they must seek a new Banking Charter and become subject to all Banking Regulations,” said the president.

Related: Trump Vs. Crypto: Dollar Is The Only Currency Of The USA

According to the President, the dollar is the only currency in America, and Libra, among other cryptocurrencies, are not “real money.”

“We have only one real currency in the USA, and it is stronger than ever, both dependable and reliable. It is by far the most dominant currency anywhere in the World, and it will always stay that way. It is called the United States Dollar!” Trump said in a tweet.

Trump’s anti-crypto stand was agreed upon by Mnuchin saying that “the president does have concerns as it relates to bitcoin and cryptocurrencies—those are legitimate concerns that we have been working on for a long period of time.”

Democrats vs. Crypto

Joining Trump’s army against cryptocurrencies and Facebook’s Libra plans are Democrats from the Senate who recently circulated a draft proposal that bans big tech companies from issuing digital money.

The bill, which was bluntly named as “Keep Big Tech Out Of Finance Act,” circulates among Democrats majority that leads the U.S. House Financial Services Committee, proves that the US government is not joking about its position against Libra and other similar ventures in the future.

Read More: Democrats Move To Ban Big Techs From Issuing Digital Money

According to the proposed bill, no tech company should be allowed to issue any form of financial services. “A large platform utility may not establish, maintain, or operate a digital asset that is intended to be widely used as a medium of exchange, unit of account, store of value, or any other similar function, as defined by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System,” reads a copy of the bill obtained by Z6Mag.

Furthermore, while the bill does not specify any company, it clearly refers to Facebook, and it’s planned blockchain-based currency, Libra. The “large platform utility” is defined as a technology company with “[an] annual global revenue of $25,000,000,000 or more” and one that is “predominately engaged in the business of offering to the public an online marketplace, an exchange, or a platform for connecting third parties.” This definition seems to be crafted to include Facebook rather than exclude other companies.

It is also worth noting that the proposed legislation also prohibits “large platform utilities” from affiliation with “persons who are a financial institution.” This further includes Facebook’s proactive workaround against possible future laws that may prohibit them from owning Libra.

Nonetheless, the bill is still in its earliest phase yet, and many could happen to move forward. For it to become a law, it still has to withstand the possible opposition by Republicans in both the House and the Senate.

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Senator To Facebook’s Libra: ‘Can People Trust You?’

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Photo: BTC Keychain | Flickr | CC BY 2.0

When it comes to Facebook’s Libra, the US government has made one thing clear: they don’t trust the tech giant and its plan to release an alternative financial system based on the highly debated blockchain technology.

In a Senate hearing today, a Facebook executive was grilled by lawmakers in the Senate Banking Committee over the plan to issue its digital currency and its possible effect on the global banking and financial ecosystem.

Facebook announced a month ago that it would roll out a new form of digital money, called Libra, which the tech superpower claims to be a stable coin. Unlike its predecessor, Bitcoin, the Silicon Valley giant claims that Libra is a cryptocurrency backed by real-world money and government certificates, and is also supported by a group of corporations such as Mastercard, Paypal, and VISA.

Libra is set to be available for circulation early next year, but a few weeks following Facebook’s announcement, staunch government opposition has proved difficult for Libra to push through with its most ambitious plan.

“Facebook has said ‘just trust us’” Senator Sherrod Brown, Democrat of Ohio, said at the hearing. “And every time Americans trust you, they seem to get burned.”

Many governments around the world have echoed concerns on how Facebook will handle such an ambitious feat. Many claims that because of the company’s reputation in data security, it is hard to trust Facebook in handling people’s money.

“Trust is primordial”

“Do you really think people should trust Facebook with their hard-earned money?” Senator Brown asked Facebook’s exec, David Marcus.

As a response, Marcus said that the company would do its best to protect people’s money, as well as, prevent fraud and other illegal activities that malicious actors may carry out using Facebook’s Libra.

One of the significant critiques against Facebook’s digital money comes from the fact that cryptocurrencies are not well regulated and criminal element can leverage the technology and use Libra for money laundering and other forms of illegal payments.

“We’ve made mistakes in the past,” Mr. Marcus said. “We have been working, and are working hard to get better.”

“Trust is primordial,” he added.

Keep Big Tech Out Of Finance Act

The Senate hearing comes a day after a copy of a draft proposal in the Senate penned by Democrat senators surfaced that practically bans major tech companies from issuing digital currencies.

Read: [Breaking] Democrats Move To Ban Big Techs From Issuing Digital Money

A new draft proposal for the bill, bluntly named as “Keep Big Tech Out Of Finance Act,” that circulates among Democrats majority that leads the U.S. House Financial Services Committee, proves that the US government is serious about its position against Libra and other similar ventures in the future.

According to the proposed bill, no tech company should be allowed to issue any form of financial services. “A large platform utility may not establish, maintain, or operate a digital asset that is intended to be widely used as a medium of exchange, unit of account, store of value, or any other similar function, as defined by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System,” reads a copy of the bill obtained by Z6Mag.

Global fiscal and legislative resistance vs. Libra

Furthermore, while the bill does not specify any company, it clearly refers to Facebook, and it’s planned blockchain-based currency, Libra. The “large platform utility” is defined as a technology company with “[an] annual global revenue of $25,000,000,000 or more” and one that is “predominately engaged in the business of offering to the public an online marketplace, an exchange, or a platform for connecting third parties.” This definition seems to be crafted to include Facebook rather than exclude other companies.

It is also worth noting that the proposed legislation also prohibits “large platform utilities” from affiliation with “persons who are a financial institution.” This further includes Facebook’s proactive workaround against possible future laws that may prohibit them from owning Libra.

European officials have also expressed concern regarding Libra, citing that the system, if widely adopted, could shake the global economy and rival national banks. French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire sent a letter to officials from the G7 and International Monetary Fund calling for a group to examine Libra’s impact on the global financial system. Le Maire said that Libra must not become a “sovereign currency,” while a German politician noted Facebook’s potential to become a “shadow bank” to the global financial system.

Aside from European officials, Japanese lawmakers are also investigating the possible impact of Facebook’s Libra in global banking and financial systems ahead of the G-7 Meeting of the country’s finance ministry to be held in France this week.

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