I recently returned from a 2-week trip to Buenos Aires with the most interesting professor in the world and several students from the University of San Diego’s MS in Global Leadership program. They were studying business strategy in the global environment and I had the chance to tag along.
As a digital marketer, I like to pay attention to how businesses are using technology in their marketing mix. In Buenos Aires I wasn’t surprised to find that traditional billboard advertising was very prevalent. I also wasn’t surprised to see that most (if not all) contained some sort of URL. It was extremely rare, however, to see a Facebook URL or icon – or any other mention of social media – in traditional advertising. I also don’t recall seeing a single QR code. Not much of this came as a surprise, since the country is still considered to have a ‘developing’ economy.
What did surprise me was the extensive use of Facebook pages by the local government (of all people!). In fact, “el Gobierno de la Ciudad” does a great job with Facebook pages. In nearly all of the public spaces, plazas, monuments, and parks, I saw signs like this one that directed visitors to a Facebook page that included a map of the area, photos, and lots of information.
As a first time visitor to the Facebook page, I was directed to a “Welcome” tab, which had a prominent call to action – “like us!”
Since returning home, I’ve done some digging and found at least 55 different pages created by the city of Buenos Aires. Many of these pages have quite a bit of activity from different visitors – well wishes, comments, and questions. What’s great is that the community administrator does a nice job of responding and really being part of the conversation. They’ve actually created 55 different online communities for these public spaces. It’s interesting to note that these aren’t all huge parks and major attractions, but rather small neighborhood public spaces. Additionally, many of the Facebook pages include links to SlideShare presentations, YouTube videos, and other rich content.
So the city government in Buenos Aires has Facebook pages dialed in. Maybe private industry will follow. What overseas ‘best practices’ in social media have you noticed?