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.
— Carisa Gaul (@CarisaGaul) May 30, 2012
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/” As 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! 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:
— Joel Mackey (@webaddict) June 2, 2012
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:
I 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.”
— Red Bull (@redbull) June 3, 2012
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 (@redbull) June 3, 2012
— Red Bull (@redbull) June 3, 2012
Red Bull Follows my account on Twitter (@webaddict) once again proving they are actively listening and genuine. Cool huh?
— Red Bull (@redbull) June 4, 2012
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.