5 Free Books Are Yours For The Taking

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In conjunction with the launch of my book, Six Pixels of Separation (which will be in stores the first week of September 2009), my Publisher (Grand Central PublishingHachette Book Group) set-up a five-book bundle giveaway, and they were kind enough to let this community take part as well.

Here are the books:

Here’s how to win:

  • In the comment section below name a company (small, medium or large) that you think is using these new media channels in a unique and different way. The five winners will be selected based on what comes in.

Here’s how it works:

  • There are five sets of five books to give away, so each winner will receive one whole set of books (5 books) for the giveaway.
  • The contest is only open to US and Canadian residents (and it can’t be to a PO Box).
  • The winner will get their prizes directly from Grand Central Publishing.
  • The contest will end on August 15th, 2009.

Good luck!

In looking at the mass amount of comments (many thanks all), I decided to ask one of the Twist Image team members to make the selection of the final five.
Matt from our office came forward and here are the 5 winners:
1. Sebastien Provencher
2. Michael Allison
3. Gursham (TVO)
4. Kaksha (Nissan Cube)
5. Samuel Lavoie
Congrats to all!
I will be sending you emails and Grand Central – Hachette will mail you the book packages directly.


  1. Sophos, the computer security multinational, uses blogging, interactive social media and standard web site and e-mail as vectors to communicate computer security issues as they break, while at the same time promoting their brand. Their chief blogger, Graham Cluley, has become a widely quoted spokesman, in both the traditional and electronic press formats.

  2. I think Starbucks has the right idea with MyStarbucksIdea.com, which allows customers to provide real-time feedback and suggestions to the company that it can then act upon.

  3. I liked the Electrolux virtual bake sale campaign with Kelly Ripa to raise money/awareness for ovarian cancer. I believe now they are doing a virtual lemonade stand.

  4. Criticism aside, I think Rogers Wireless have taken a good lead on doing proactive customer listening and customer service online (even though it’s primarily been through twitter and blogs.)
    The amount of customer questions they answered through twitter and @rogershelps during the iPhone 3GS launch were really impressive (like 800-1200 unique customer queries responded to in only a few days).

  5. Though all of the large accounting firms have dipped their toes into the new media water, Ernst & Young actively uses Twitter and Facebook, as well as their own website, to share information and foster a sense of community.

  6. PBS is doing great things with social media/web2.0. Engaging their viewers in two-way dialogue through Twitter, Facebook, making videos and comments available on-line. Seeking input on line-ups and programming, and sharing updates. I’ve been super-impressed with how a non-profit is leveraging the tools out there much more effectively than any other organization I’ve seen to date…

  7. One of the companies in my industry that is using new media in new and inventive ways include:
    Westfield Old Orchard Mall – Their “Virtual Shopper” feature lets a mall become an e-shopping destination (westfield.com/oldorchard)… You can search the inventory of “every store in the mall” (from the general to the specific), see if any item is in stock and put it on hold.
    It is truly a revolution for Shopping Centres, and amazing that Westfield can get their stores to participate in this.
    As a shopping centre marketing director myself (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kildonan-Place/21559622768), I’d love to see this on my mall site.. Ah, budget restraints!

  8. Starbucks is a master of social media. They have tons of Twitter followers and Facebook fans. They had a recent campaign in which folks were told to go out and take pictures of Starbucks posters and share them via Twitter. What a great idea!
    They’re also using videos (e.g., the election night video that was then put on YouTube) which remains largely uncharted territory for many.

  9. Amway Global. They are active on Twitter, Blogs, Facebook, and using their various “offline” initiatives to tie in with the online stuff.

  10. Toronto company FreshBooks is one business I would not know or care about if it weren’t for their social media outreach.
    Last year, as someone with a steady job at an agency with an accounting department, I wasn’t required to worry about invoicing. I just passed the numbers along. During this time, I learned about FreshBooks through Twitter, their blog and through their sponsorship of Podcamp Toronto. I saw that invoicing and time tracking was the service they provided — still, their business didn’t concern me.
    Fast forward five months to me becoming laid off. I had to act — quickly. I was able to score some freelancing jobs and pick up a few clients. “Submit an invoice,” they said. I was such a newbie, but I also wanted the easiest, cheapest and most professional looking solution. There, on my Twitter stream was familiar FreshBooks.
    They had already gained the trust of people *I* trusted, and although they were not applicable to me upon first contact, their efforts had made an impression. It was easier to try them out than to fumble through an invoice in MS Word. Over six months later, I still use them and receive email updates I’ve, incredibly, *opted in* to receive.
    It has now come full circle. I am in a position to recommend their product on a social media site (like this). And from what I’ve seen, they’ve been successful in repeating success with people like me (albeit, more important ones).
    It took time and effort and hard thinking on their part, but it shows that online engagement can pay off if done right.
    I look forward to reading other stories.

  11. From what I read in my fb newsfeed intel is using social media effectively; to advertise and share information.

  12. Hey Mitch,
    Best Buy is a company that first comes in my mind for using new media channels in a unique and different way. They understood the importance of a proper marketing mix and used traditional marketing methods such as their Twelpforce TV ads – (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=25zcavXj97I) that showed the power of Twitter and how the technology and their employees can easily help you as a customer.
    Overall, Twelpforce was a genius idea. But other than the tremendous value they
    are adding to their customers through Twitter, their Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/bestbuy) allows you to look up items that are relevant to you and get second opinion from your friends by sharing it with them.
    Best Buy truly understands the meaning of being social and listening to your customers.
    A small business that uses new media well is a healthy fast food chain in Toronto named Freshii (www.freshii.com). They are constantly creating value for their followers on Twitter through daily specials and deals if they mention their tweets.
    Also, I’d like to thank you and Grand Central Publishing for giving people the opportunity to enter such a great giveaway. Looking forward to your book, I’m sure it will be an awesome read.
    All the best,
    Alex “Reading� Ikonn

  13. Starbucks
    Their main goal online is to build and drive brand momentum which can translate to visits or sales. And they’re doing a good job utilizing the new medium to spread the buzz, like the “free pastry” last month.

  14. I think that Harvard Business Review (hbr.org) is doing a great job on several ways.

  15. 857 Days ago, independent filmmaker Gavin Michael Booth and his company, Mimetic Productions, launched an “online sit-in”, using YouTube, Facebook, and now Twitter, to meet 12 of his cinematic heroes, including Johnny Depp and Steven Spielberg.
    Every single day, he posts a video blog designed to make that happen – he last met and now has a working relationship with director Kevin Smith (“Clerks”, “Zack & Miri”).
    In the process, he also convinced a Texas band on Columbia Records to film a music video in Canada. The shoot closed down a main street with 300+ extras at 5 a.m.
    He is currently Canada’s Top YouTube poster.

  16. Freshbooks.com is using social media in a great way. Basically, they do a lot of customer service via twitter, and have a lot of interaction with their clients to keep them engaged. They also use social media to arrange client dinners when someone from their team will be in different locations for conferences, etc.

  17. I’ve been continually impressed with the manner by which the main library at McMaster University uses new media to connect to students — from their blog and twitter updates to them owning an island and virtual location in Second Life where they hold actual “customer service” hours, they have used as many new media channels and streams as possible to both connect with and be there for their clientele.
    The Library at McMaster continues to inspire and motivate me in their endless efforts to just “be there” and available via as many areas as possible for their customers.
    In the past year I’ve worked with them using POD technology (Espresso Book Machine) to allow customers to purchase affordable POD versions of the 200,000 public domain titles in their archives that they are continually expanding in their digital archives. (This, to me, is evidence that they have not only succeeding in applying new media models of communication, but that they are still looking at ways of partnering with others towards improving and re-adapting existing media models)

  18. TVO is has a website http://www.getinvolved.ca/ which they market as “The social network for the socially conscious`. They have different networking categories such as social services & social justice, environment, Youth and Education and Health)
    One interesting thing they do is that they allow People and Organizations to post challenges to others (ie: stop buying made in china, ways to combat diseases, health challenges etc) They have also started tweeting recently.
    Awesome site and it`s socially aware.

  19. I thought that Murphy-Goode Vineyard’s contest to hire a Social Media Manager for 10k/month was extremely innovative.
    Take an industry that has a strong but fairly narrow following, hold a contest to hire the best spokesperson for the vineyard, provide that person with a unique and AWESOME experience, and have them tweet and blog about it while they learn the ins and outs.
    Sounds like a great promotion, a great experience, and a great way to gain earned media.

  20. I’m going to say my company Torstar Digital. We recruit through our Facebook page, most of our management team is on Twitter – and our sites have accounts as well.

  21. Martell Homes in Moncton NB is changing the home building experience with their use of Twitter and collaborative, web-based project management tools, all with the customer in mind. They’re a great example of an “old school” industry evolving through the use of new media and technology.

  22. Evernote is a great company that I learned about through the new media. They’re extremely useful to me both professionally and personally.

  23. I have to note Microsoft. They changed their strategy these last few year and reallity started to embrace new media. Just look at their hiring process which is linked to their employes blog and other venues.

  24. Dentyne.
    A completely different take on social media. Trying to encourage people to get off the computer and have real face time but doing a lot of it online and on the web. Great campaign.

  25. I would like to nominate ING Direct Canada. They’ve been doing groundbreaking online work for a number of years. They continue to remain ahead of the curve when it comes to communicating with their customers and the public at large through a variety of online channels (their website, online newsletters, Twitter, Facebook). Let’s not forget that there was no such thing as exclusive online banking before ING Direct arrived.

  26. Martha Stewart. Although the Twitter posts about her dinner parties with [name drop here] are starting to make me jealous.

  27. Nissan leveraged social media networks solely to generate interest in their Nissan Cube contest. Not a dollar was spent on advertising.
    The contest invited Canadians to compete for one of 50 newly launched Nissan Cube vehicles by demonstrating both their creativity and facility with social media networking. It generated more than 7,000 entries and earned coverage from numerous media outlets, including the Toronto Star, National Post and Marketing.
    For an automaker, this is ground-breaking as the campaign relied on consumers themselves to create both buzz and content.

  28. I dig of Adidas’ play into the social media space with their Facebook Fan Page: http://www.facebook.com/adidasoriginals
    Though they showcase products on their main wall, they give the back-stories of certain apparel or where it came from in the history of fashion and old school hip-hop. The big community aspect of their pages comes under ‘Your Area’, where they’ve reached out through contests for their fans, as well as ‘pit-stops’ at events such as SXSW.
    There’s a lot of ways to tackle your social media efforts and Adidas is definitely doing it in their own unique way.

  29. I want to nominate VBS.tv, the online video wing of Vice Magazine. Vice started off as a free monthly newspaper that has since grown to a free monthly full-gloss magazine, and I think that VBS.tv is taking that tradition of free consumer media to the next logical level.
    VBS.tv feature a ton of video content that’s truly top-notch, from hipster video blogs to documentaries that go into the Deep South, North Korea, Beirut, and the Sudan to show you a side of life that’s often ignored or inaccessible to the mainstream media. They even recently launched VBS News, a sign, I think, that they’re taking the idea of quality, free video content very, very seriously.
    All their vids are also fully shareable, and as per the rest of the Vice Magazine online experience, users can log-in, and comment.
    So there you have it: VBS.tv, hoorah!

  30. Even though it happened a while ago, I think MoonFruit had a very simple idea. They gave away a total of 20 free macbooks by retweeting something with the word “Moonfruit” or if you used the word in a creative way, you would win one at their discretion. They launched this in celebration of their 10th anniversary by giving away 10 macbook pro’s in 10 days, and later added another 10 macbooks to gain more interest. They received hundreds of thousands of visitors to their website and gained tens of thousands of followers on twitter. Job well done.

  31. As much as I’d love to say “MODERN EARTH.net” – we’re just starting to get our social media strategy under way. Next… the Zekespeak podcast…
    Seriously, my entry is for http://www.Headscape.co.uk – a British web design company that blogs, podcasts, twitters, and connects with staff, clients, fans and industry resources to send in integrated and intelligent message with personality and humor – both are far too rare. Too much new media use is devoid of charm and grace – these guys keep me laughing and learning at the same time.

  32. I’m not going to nominate anyone, but just want to comment that this post really demonstrates the power of “free”. Mitch, what are the average number of comments you get on a post? Ever had more than this?

  33. I will have to say “Design Matters” small company (In Japan – http://www.garrreynolds.com/Design/whydesign.html) by your good friend Garr Reynolds. When I was in Japan, I attended several of Garr’s friends presentations about what they do as designers and using this free method to teach to several people about design was a good way for Garr not only to integrate its student to the world of Design but using this “Presentation Media” method to promote its own message, blog, and book on how important it is to be a good designer in whatever field your work in!

  34. It’s always fun commenting on your posts free books or not. You give us a lot of food for thought and don’t think otherwise even if you don’t always get as many comments as you’d like.

  35. I think Auction Direct USA — @auctiondirect — whose new media efforts are led by Eric Miltsch, is engaging customers in highly effective ways. Eric and his company are truly changing the way people buy used cars, and their adept use of new media channels is driving that change.

  36. I agree, I love how the Dentyne campaign capitalizes on the lingo of social media, and turns it on it’s head to illustrate how these expressions came from real, live face time.

  37. Here are my top 5 pics, one for each book in the giveaway each using a different new media tool:
    1. BestBuy for facebook social shopping – Here’s my blog post about it http://creativethirst.com/blog/?p=57
    2. BlendTec for viral video – http://www.youtube.com/blendtec
    3. Comcast for Twitter – http://twitter.com/comcastcares
    4. March of Dimes for Flickr – http://www.marchofdimes.com/pad/contestRules.asp
    5. Coca Cola for the blog (collectible coca cola memorabilia) – http://www.coca-colaconversations.com/

  38. Hi Mitch,
    Dunkin Donuts is doing some pretty cool stuff across the board, especially their “dunkin run” application http://www.dunkinrun.com/
    For a brand that’s still got an old school image (to most people I talk to), they are cutting edge in new media and have successfully integrated the strategy to drive sales and loyalty at retail. I don’t even like the coffee, but you’ve got to give them props for online marketing.
    (sorry if someone mentioned this already – but no time to read all the comments today!)

  39. Apple/iPhone/iTouch/iTablet (or whatever the name gone be). For sure. No competition so far for the iPhone and best use of anything social networking has to offer today.

  40. I’d like to recommend House of Anansi publishers as a company who uses new media really well. Not only do they blog, use Facebook and Twitter, but every Friday they put together a playlist on Blip FM and get authors and fans to nominate songs. It’s really fun and interactive.

  41. The new Famous Footwear campaign is quite impressive – from the in-store and cable tv ads thru to online videos and tweets – the ice cream truck mass appeal is a strong multichannel campaign.
    Even though it is old-hat for them, American Idol continues to be a star in the use of new media.

  42. I have two entries I think are nailing the new media space:
    O’reilly media: they are making strong use for online, video, products in various formats, webinars, twitter promos, and attracting followers on networks such as FaceBook. Udos!
    On a smaller scale, Provenance Digital Media is making a name for killer animations and twitter campaigns. http://www.provenancedigital.com/
    Great contest, by the way, I’m clicking through checking out a lot of the suggestions.

  43. Shine Dental, in Winnipeg, is the first medical business I’ve run into using email to manage their appointments and client relations. I’m sure it’s not the only one to do so, but it sure impressed me.

  44. I think the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), especially its radio division, is taking some positive steps through blogging, Twitter, and of course podcasts. Shows like Spark are really tapping into multiple social media channels and using the knowledge and ideas of their listeners to create interesting and enjoyable content.

  45. I’ve become impressed with the Austin Statesman newspaper. While they don’t have to be engaged in order to have a built in network, given the traffic they would receive regardless, they have many individuals involved with social media outlets to promote the brand while delivering the news. They even have individuals who are able to follow up on various stories and editorials to bring a more relevant, personal touch to their stories.

  46. I help a wonderful neighborhood NYC Italian restaurant called Patsy’s with their social media efforts and I think it’s remarkable for a family business that’s been in operation since 1944 to be open to and engaged with these channels. They fundamentally care about community and understand that it’s important to share, converse and create value. Whether in the restaurant or on a social network, they make everyone feel like a part of their family. And that is unique and almost as satisfying as the meatballs.

  47. Our local real estate broker CENTURY 21 Judge Fite Company has embraced the new web 2.0 and social media marketing. After service to north Texas for over 70 years the company understands the importance of building relationships with their clients and potential customers. This belief is evidenced in their multiple web 2.0 sites and blog. Please see:
    http://www.facebook.com/JudgeFite and fan page century 21 judge Fite company

  48. I like the way @bbgeeks is not afraid to reach out, interact and actually be social on a social network. They are personable, witty and established themselves as experts on a topic they built their business around. Well done.

  49. I think Dunkin Donuts! I made a comment on their Facebook wall about a bad experience I had and with in a couple days I had a direct response, an apology and a resolution. Not to mention some coupons. Didn’t expect much to happen, just wanted to vent. I had planned on calling corporate, but this beat having to go through those hassles of finding the right channels to complain to. Social media rocks!

  50. 1)Net-A-Porter, http://www.net-a-porter.com/am/Home.ice
    Established in 2000, this online luxury retail store.
    2) Outnet.com (sister to Net-A-Porter) http://www.theoutnet.com/
    Purpose: sells discounted designer goods.
    Both sites are using new media channels in a unique and different way, and are fundamentally changing the habits of women who purchase designer clothing.
    If you have never heard of these sites think of them as though they were an online magazine, like Vogue.com. The difference is every outfit you see can be purchased immediately, at a click of a button and delivered gift wrapped to your door.

  51. I think that a local Domino’s Pizza franchise owner, with the Twitter handle @DPZRAMON, has been using social media in a very proactive and assertive way, actively engaging with customers and prospects, and because of his personality and use of the medium, is winning Chicagoans over, in a town wary of chain pizza vs local favorites. He is aggressive about promoting his products and even giving product away creatively, last week giving a pizza to locals who came in with a parking ticket. He has created mini “photo ops” in his stores, encouraging people to take pictures or video while they wait for their order, with the goal of getting his brand uploaded to Youtube or Twitphoto, and then Tweeted about. Very inventive and progressive.

  52. why this price is just for people in North America??
    I’m from Chile and I living now in Sydney and the name of your new book sound very interesting!!
    About your question, I think Threadless.com is one of the company who are using this new tools in a fantastic way. One of the most proactive websites in the world.

  53. Hi, as a small business owner, of Green Spot antiques, in Cambridge, Ontario, Canada, we have looked at social media as our tool of the future , whose primary goal is to create the Face to Face encounter with our customers.
    Almost ALL our online efforts are targeted towards bringing our customer into our store, to meet with us, discuss antiques, talk about choices, finishes, and history.
    We have leveraged a NING social network site into an online sales/promotion venue at Green Spot LIVE – Shop-Ning, http://greenspot.ning.com
    We provide simple store and business info at http://greenpotantiques.com
    We cultivate and nurture an online community called Antiques RE-Cyclers – Salvage Chic at http://greenspotting.ning.com
    And we author various blogs, and are active on twitter at http://twitter.com/greenspotting
    We have seen traffic flow, the PHYSICAL kind, result from these endeavours, and sales have zoomed.
    Our primary activity, as a retailer, is to service our client’s needs, and using social media has lead us to a very proactive approach and brought us ALMOST as close as a physical encounter with our client as possible online.
    Funny how using Technology with a worl-wide reach,to create a group of customers can be bent to further your LOCAL reach. From the storeis i’ve read above, a lot of the BEST comments come up about merchants using SM to reach their locals.
    I think that’s the future of SM, a thousand million small merchants reaching out to their local audiences and customers in an engaging fashion.
    OOPS, isn’t that almost a description of a small well-run family Mom&Pop operation?
    Nice to see some old tried-true values returning.

  54. I was surprised to receive a tweet from Fuze the other day. They apparently were searching Twitter for uses of their brand name. Since I had recently tweeted about drinking a Fuze, they sent me a non-canned reply and offered me coupons for more of their drinks. The correspondence went to email, and I queried them on Twitter the next day and received a reply. This use of social media was intimate and relevant to me. Although I knew that the people replying to me were being paid to do it, I appreciated the effort. Fuze didn’t treat online communication as a oneway channel, but instead started a conversation and consequently built brand loyalty within me.

  55. I’d like to differentiate using social media as another channel for advertising than using social media for energizing services in a useful and proactive way.
    Benchmark for the travel industry – @Jetblue

  56. I think that the obvious answer is CNN. They are communicating with there public in a variety of ways including Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, text messaging and email. Many of their stories and specials are based on viewer feedback and questions. And manyof their on air personalities like Rick Sanchez annd Ali Velshi are accessable through multiple avenues. CNN also sets up webpages and hotlines for specific topics and feedback like the voter hotline during the 2008 presidential election. Good stuff.

  57. Livestation (www.livestation.com): easily accessible, all of the world information, all the perspectives at once.
    Akoha (http://community.akoha.com/help/learn/): An amazing concept; the art of spreading joy and happiness.
    LonelyPlanet (www.lonelyplanet.com): Although making plans over the ipod-version doesn’t feel as adventurous as flicking through the conventional hard copy lonelyplanet – the concept is handy and useful!
    Apple (www.apple.com): The name says everything.
    Fast Company (http://www.fastcompany.com/fast50_09): The answer to your question.
    (It is no more a secret, I really want those books…)

  58. ALS Canada is a small not-for-profit organization that has been using new media to spread awareness of this relatively unknown disease. ALS is a fatal neurodegenerative disease is commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. ALS affects more than the 2,500 – 3,000 Canadians that live with the disease.
    ALS Canada (@als_canada) is well-known on Twitter. Doing much more than just asking for donations, ALS Canada is using new media to build a relationship with our followers. There is now an ALS community on Twitter.
    We have involved our followers in awareness and fundraising campaigns. Many other ALS groups and individuals affected by ALS across the country also play a prominent role in promoting awareness. ALS Canada has been a leader in encouraging people to use new media in order to promote awareness and connect a community nationally.

  59. Rural libraries of the U.P. are launching a marketing campaign that includes social media and new marketing tools to engage youth who do not typically use their local libraries. The project will help redefine the role of libraries in an instant information world and address consistently low numbers of youth who self-report that they read for pleassure.

  60. Hey Mitch.
    Great contest idea!
    I have to say that I’ve been blown away by Ford’s work with new media.
    My family has worked for The Big Three for more than three generations and I was basically born with “Ford blue” running through my veins. There would regularly be debates about Union policy over Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner. My grandpa would always remind me of his A-plan discount if I was ever in the market for a car. I’d watch my cousins take jobs on the line right out of high school.
    However, even with all of this, I never felt connected to the brand.
    It wasn’t until recently that my opinion started to change. I saw glimpses of new products within the communities where I was active. Representatives of the company were communicating directly with me, instead of at me, on Twitter. I could ask real questions and get real answers.
    For the first time in my life, it felt like they were marketing to me. They turned me into a fan.
    As result, I think my next car purchase is going to be a Ford.

  61. Sorry about that, but that was my publisher’s decision (I told them I’d get some comments like this πŸ˜‰ I am now looking into doing a contest that will be open to everyone in the world… hang tight.

  62. Buy.com, without a question
    Buy.com has become one of the biggest multi-faceted retailers on the net with Amazon, Overstock, and EBay because of their use of everything on the web. They have integrated Web 2.0 in everything have done including Tweet-n-Seek campaign which attracted over 250 thousand visitors. They have also integrated video reviews in many of their product offerings. Their “Buy TV” section allows users to get a first hand look at products in use and allows better selection.
    In addition to that, they use Intelligent Offer campaigns similar to that of Amazon, as well as comparative shopping tools and user reviews. All this allows Buy.com to be a top Internet Retailer.

  63. The Douglas Mental Health University Institute (www.douglas.qc.ca) uses web 2.0 to destigmatize mental illness, educate the public and become a leading reference in mental health. The Douglas uses it all: blogs, flickr, twitter, facebook, youtube, podcasts… Pretty surprising for a public sector organization.

  64. BestBuy via their TWELP ads. A great way to bring non-Twitter users to the concept.

  65. My choice is FMWalsh & Associates (http://www.fmwalsh.com). FMWalsh is a company that helps people grow, individually as employees, new/small business owners, and corporations.
    The “Are You Kidding Me?” blog section is outstanding. It’s their use of Twitter and Facebook plus their RSS feeds that promote and direct you to these new blog posts and resources such as their ebooks. Their use of social media is a great way to promote their services but also provide just enough information to keep you hooked and wanting for me.

  66. My nomination would have to be the full service ad agency BooneOakley.
    They successfully integrated the social media tool, Youtube.com, with their creativity to produce a one of a kind web experience. As a follow up to the website, they created a virtual store utilizing zazzle.com to build upon the success of the “Billy storyline”. Very impressive.

  67. The food they serve might be horrible, but one of the most innovative brand I can think of is BurgerKing. I’m glad no ones named if before (I love books!)
    Their Subservant-Chicken peice released few years ago was creative and has been widely distributed virally. This was a very original use of artificial intelligence mocking a weird webcam-chat session.
    More recently BK’s Sacrifice-a-facebook-friend campaig also made a lot of noise and interfered with the social dynamic on facebook by asking users to delete few facebook friend in exchange of the well-known sandwich. Over 200,000 friends where dropeed(virtually) for the sake of free food.

  68. Hands down it’s the United States military that using the new media channels in unique and different ways.

  69. Proctor & Gamble is doing a lot of innovative things in social media. One example that sticks out was a personal experience I had when I mentioned praise for the Tide To Go pen on Twitter. I was contacted by their team and they sent me a handwritten thank you note along with a sample of the Tide To Go mini-version of the pen. I was also asked to share praise for them on getsatisfaction.com – a big brand like Tide using getsatisfaction? I thought that was only for tech/startups. Brilliant work by the Tide team.

  70. The National Basketball Association (NBA) seems to be doing a solid job with social media. This week, for example, I’ve received through facebook and twitter links to short, themed 80’s highlights, as well as “best hair of the 80’s” photos and polling. Among the benefits of this particular (80’s) effort: connects people to the history of the league, reminds you why you ever felt connected in the first place, gives new life to archival material, etc. Many/most of the current players have individual fan pages and twitter feeds (for better or worse!) with interviews, highlights, etc. So … the NBA.

  71. Of all the companies I’ve seen using social media lately, I’d recommend Joe Woelfle’s Blatz Liquor in Milwaukee as one that is using Twitter well. The @BlatzLiquor tweetstream is filled with @ messages, RTs and original tweets. Easy to tell there’s a human behind the account. (The Blatz Market & Liquor blog is at http://www.blatzcave.com/)

  72. I’ve got a few ‘best practice’ examples I use when people ask me:
    1. I love how FreshBooks.com is using Twitter, IM, real-world events and it’s newsletter to drive home it’s strength in customer service. They’ve taken something mundane and dull and turned it into a product (service?) that people are not only excited to use, but tell others about, too. They back it with any communications channel you can think of for when you get stuck AND do things like mail their customers crackers and flowers to help continually build buzz.
    2. Starbucks makes my list too for better itself and others with the web. Between Starbucks.com (And @Starbucks), MyStarbucksIdea.com (And @mystarbucksidea) and now with their V2V.net stuff, I’ve been really impressed with how much they’re listening and adapting directly to feedback. I recently spotted notes at a few stores, too, suggesting I find the local store on Facebook and V2V which was pretty impressive, too.
    3. Lastly, on a developer side: Adobe AIR. They launched with an incredible road tour in North America, then a rail tour in Europe, showing developers how to use AIR. You could track the bus (or train) using Twitter, follow it’s pictures and videos and then connect with the people actually building AIR and stuff with it. Since then, they’ve all remained active on Twitter, Facebook and all over the blogosphere with updates and goodies for devs.
    I could probably come up with a BUNCH more – and could certainly find a lot of single-use cases where a company wow’d me with a specific incident… But I’ll ust leave it at these three for now.
    Looking forward to the book, Mitch!

  73. Pepsi Raw UK is using social media in an unique and different way. Their latest trailblazer Soda-2-Twitter stunt include a Twitter URL Tag on the can of each bubbly drink. Pepsi Raw asks consumers to log-on to the microblogging website and share their thoughts on their new soda in 140 characters or less.
    Pepsi UK is using Twitter as a focus group to test the appeal of their new product at a very effective cost plus their innovative approach creates lots of buzz leveraging grealty brand awareness which is a real challenge when launching a new product.

  74. Pepsi Raw UK is using social media in an unique and different way. Their latest trailblazer Soda-2-Twitter stunt include a Twitter URL Tag on the can of each bubbly drink. Pepsi Raw asks consumers to log-on to the microblogging website and share their thoughts on their new soda in 140 characters or less.
    Pepsi UK is using Twitter as a dynamic focus group to test the appeal of their new product at a very effective cost plus their innovative approach creates lots of buzz leveraging greatly brand awareness which is a real challenge when launching a new product.

  75. I’m going to go with Apple on this one.
    -They’ve done an excellence job using social media to promote product and lifestyle of their products.
    -It reaches their target market (obvious by the number of followers, friends, etc).
    -They invest in social media to make their’s great.
    -They realize the value of social media.
    In addition to what Apple does themselves, they have put their brand out there in a way that has allowed other people to use soical media to promote their brand. Apple wins in my book because they create conversations that create conversations that create conversations. Social media at it finest.

  76. Here is a great resource to look into:
    Social Media Case Studies SUPERLIST via the interactive insights group.
    – 23 Extensive Lists of Organizations Using Social Media
    Here: http://www.interactiveinsightsgroup.com/blog1/social-media-examples-superlist-17-lists-and-tons-of-examples/#ixzz0OB6tsSIa
    My favorite and what I think is one of the most creative uses of social media is the Blendtec “Will It Blend� videos posted on YouTube. Relatively cheap way to gain massive exposure!

  77. AMC TV and as a specific example, their social media work/ad campaign integration for the original series Mad Men. The avatar creation website was the icing on the social media strategy cake for me. Most of the various movies, shows and areas on their site have some level of sharing/community aspect but Mad Men’s site seems to be the most exploited right now given the premiere this weekend. AMC social media activities also appear to be very deliberate and apart of a larger marketing strategy (rather than what I’m seeing a lot of companies do nowadays: making social media THE marketing strategy). AMC isn’t creating accounts and profiles on every medium just for the sake of doing it and advertising that they are “out there” for all of the programs. The AMC product offering is niche, and so is their approach to social media (thus far and in my opinion).

  78. I’d like to comment on how charities are using new media.
    Obviously I’m bias because I work at Kids Help Phone, but we are using Twitter, Facebook and MySpace to reach out to various stakeholders. Through public awareness youth can hear about our service. We’re able to engage adults and parents so that they can learn useful information as well as get to know us as a trustworthy and helpful resource for themselves and a child or youth they know.
    As an organization who helps youth, we’re always trying to find better ways to connect with youth through interactive media online. It isn’t easy for a lot of adults to keep up with the latest gadgets and technology and we’re here to help them understand what kids and teens are doing online and ways they can help promote online safety.
    But we’re not the only ones out there. There are so many innovative ideas coming from the not-for-profit sector. When you have little or no budget, you tend to get pretty creative and that’s where social media is handy. If you can create a video to put up on your website – great! It’s a personal message that adds life and visual appeal to your organization’s image. If you need to respond to a crisis or relay important information – no problem! Get on Twitter and let people know; send a message to your Facebook group; update your website’s homepage to reflect what’s going on.
    Just two examples of other great charities are ALS Canada and the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation who have established a presence in the social media arena.
    What’s also great is that we’re coming together to share information and ideas. We follow each other on Twitter and we admiring and celebrating the accomplishments we’re all making to better serve the community.
    So I hope these count as companies because we’re out there too and we’re having fun and learning lots!

  79. Check out comcastcares on twitter – it’s pretty amazing how well they’re using the channel – well branded, and well managed, it appears to be doing a lot to change the company’s image of poor customer service.

  80. I think Mayo Clinic is using social media in a unique way. They’re ahead of the healthcare industry where social media is concerned. They’ve got Lee Aase on staff who determines how Mayo uses these different methods to connect with peers and their patients.

  81. I almost hate to bring them up, but I think that CNN has done a great job of using the Web, especially the interactive, social aspects of the web. I’m not a big CNN fan, but I follow most of their people on Twitter, and interact every so often. They’ve even got people who aren’t on camera interacting with folks on Twitter. Many of the people they have on Twitter do more than just reTweet breaking news, too — Don Lemon and Rick Sanchez are two people who really get social media, or at least seem to.

  82. I know that a lot of companies are hesitant to enter into this realm for fear of opening the doors too broadly. I am encouraged working for a company like Cerner in Kansas City, which is working diligently to connect WITH their customers through Twitter and Facebook, to tell their story to customers on YouTube, but also to connect customers together through the new social network created, uCern.
    This is an exciting new time, especially in Cerner’s industry of healthcare. As a part of the team that is working to engage customers in new ways, I’m looking forward to expanding our use of these technologies even further.

  83. WINNERS!
    In looking at the mass amount of comments (many thanks all), I decided to ask one of the Twist Image team members to make the selection of the final five.
    Matt from our office came forward and here are the 5 winners:
    1. Sebastien Provencher
    2. Michael Allison
    3. Gursham (TVO)
    4. Kaksha (Nissan Cube)
    5. Samuel Lavoie
    Congrats to all!
    I will be sending you emails and Grand Central – Hachette will mail you the book packages directly πŸ™‚

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