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What’s in My Purse? Essentials for a Social Media Enthusiast

Jan/Wed | Category: theFunStuff, theTools, theTricks | 

Today Apple announced the iPad – a very cool tablet which has lots of great functionality.  In chatting with people about the launch, I found a lot of discussion about how it was a Kindle killer or a Netbook killer and for me, that’s definitely not true.  I have a handful of gadgets that go EVERYWHERE with me so that at any moment I can connect, engage and share.

So, what’s in the purse of a social media chick that always needs to be prepared?

 

Here’s the list of gadgetry I consider essential:

 

Motorola Droid - phone, camera, navigation system and web good enough for basic connectivity

 

 

 

 

Dell Mini - tiny notebook able to tackle creation of spreadsheets, presentations, and more advanced computing needs…almost as good as my laptop

 

 

Amazon Kindle - for reading books and blogs when I don’t want the interruptions of the web.  Much better than lugging around even one book and easier on the eyes than the computer.

 

 

 

Cannon Elph Camera – great for larger, hi-res photos and even a little video.

 

FlipHD Video Camera – HD video on the go – who could ask for more?

 

 

 

Accessories – wall plug and car charger both with USB adapters (almost all of the devices can be plugged in with this), mini tripod for video and photo (same one fits both), 2 USB cords, 2-3 flash drives (just in case)

 

This little group of goodies plus some lip gloss, my wallet and a few hair ties is just about all I need to get by on a daily basis to be engaging with anyone from anywhere and on any network.  While it doesn’t all fit in a clutch, a nice medium sized purse works perfect.

How about you?  What’s in your social media bag of tricks?

 

UPDATED: FREE Webinar: Social Media Case Studies From CES 2010

Jan/Mon | Category: theTraining | 

UPDATE: Exciting news!  We’ve just gotten off the phone with the social media team at Sony Electronics and manager Sukhjit Ghag and her team members are joining us for the discussion along with Heather Rouillard from Ergotron – another one of the smart social brands that wowed us at CES!  Be sure not to miss out.  Click the image below to sign up for the class.  Password is “CES2010″.

 

As social media becomes a part of the marketing mix for more and more companies, we saw exciting executions at shows like the Consumer Electronics Show which just concluded in Las Vegas.  Join us on this Wednesday to discuss some of the creative ways social media was used and what you can learn from some smart social brands.

What:  FREE Webinar:  Social Media Case Studies from CES 2010

When:  Wednesday, January 13, 2010 at 1 p.m. PST

To Register:  Click here.  (Yes, it’s FREE!)

 

 

 

CES 2010: All the “FREE” Stuff

Jan/Thu | Category: theFunStuff | 

Updated 3:30 p.m. Thursday, January 7

 

As we’re gearing up to attend our first CES (well, Rebecca’s first anyway), we’re preparing to accomplish several things while were there playing with all the new gadgets.  Our goal, in addition to meeting new people and businesses we might be able to help, is to look at who’s using social media well and create some new case studies to share with all of you. 

Last week we been following the conversation on Twitter with the official hashtag #CES and began seeing people using twitter to promote various contests and giveaways.  Promotions are a great, fun use of Twitter – particularly when tied in with in-person events.  So, we thought we’d try to capture all of these for you CES attendees and fans so you can get some cool free stuff (oh, and maybe get some creative contest ideas of your own).

We’ll update this list as the week progresses, but here’s what we’ve found so far.  If we’ve missed something, leave it in the comments. 

 

Company: Ergotron

Giveaway:  15 Neo-Flex® LCD Stand or a Neo-Flex All-In-One Stand each day

 Tweet win: Tweet a photo of you at the booth (#21253) and add hashtags #CES #Ergotron

Full rules and details 

 

Company:  Absolute Software (LoJack for Laptop)

Giveaway:  Free t-shirts for all!

To win:  Visit their booth (#8953) and mention their twitter handle @LoJackforLaptop

 

Company:  Google

Giveaway:  Free WiFi for all!

To win:  Just log on when you get to the show! 

 

Company:  Konnet

Giveaway:  Mystery prizes

To win:  According to them:  KonnetTech: #CES starts this week. North Hall Booth 4214 for all that Konnet has to offer. Swing by and maybe you’ll win a prize! http://bit.ly/4zdWbU

We’ll check this one out on the floor and update it when we know more.

 

Company: Wire World Audio

Giveaway:  Free Starlight USB Audio Cable (limited to first 200) AND entry to Platinum Dream Sweepstakes:  $6,000 worth of platinum reference cables

To win:  Print, fill out and present the entry form at Wireworld’s CES exhibit, Venetian Bassano 2601.  Entry is here.

 

Company:  TechRadar.com

Giveaway:  Enter to win Hi-def TV and Sound Package valued at around $3500

To Win:  Enter here. 

 

Company:  Core-apps

Giveaway:  10 codes for the CES iPhone App

To Win:  Follow @coreapps and tweet this: RT @coreapps Want a free copy of the #CES iPhone app? Follow Us and retweet to get a chance to win 1 of 10 free codes for the app!

 

Company:  Seagate

Giveaway:  To be announced.

To Win:  Follow @seagate on Twitter and they’ll be updating with more info to win free stuff. 

 

Company:  PhoneHalo

Giveaway: Chance to win free Phone Halo

To Win: Follow @phonehalo on Twitter and  tweet about #phonehalo or phonehalo.com.  Also visit their booth (#35117).

 

Company:  Intelius

Giveaway:  Dating Game – Dream Date with Hot Model and $150 worth of Vegas Show Tickets

To Win:  Sign up here and nine lucky single guys will be chosen to participate in the game which promotes their new mobile app – Date Check. 

 

Company:  Good Coffee NV

Giveaway:  Trade CES swag for coffee

To Win: Follow @GoodCoffeeNV on Twitter and:  “Trade your #CES swag for Free Coffee!! Now that’s a #DEAL; The better the swag, the more free coffee! Stop by to learn more.”

 

Company:  Kodak

Giveaway:  Mystery prizes

To Win:  Visit their booth on the show floor according to @kodaksave110 on Twitter.  (we’ll try to update this with more info when we get it)

 

Company:  GoGo Inflight Internet

Giveaway:  Free inflight internet for CES attendees

To win:  For everyone flying to #CES: use code 2476864844upq for free @GogoInflight Internet thru 1/7/10

 

Company:  Wynn Las Vegas – Terrace Pointe Cafe

Giveaway: Terrace Pointe Cafe at @WynnLasVegas has a special happy hour menu and free wi-fi 

To win:  Show up.

 

Company:  NTi (NewTech Infosystems)

Giveaway:  Mystery prizes (but promise free stuff all week)

To win:  Follow @NTIus on Twitter

 

Company:  Dolby

Giveaway:  Enter to win a PS3

To win:  All of the details are here but basically, during the show whenever you see a Dolby logo  (outside of their booth) take a photo and tweet it with the hashtag #dolby2.  Follower with the most pics at the end of CES wins.  Official rules are here

 

Company(ies):  Intel and Lenovo

Giveaway:  Chance to win “some cool prizes”

To win:  Show up at the party and find the @IntelGameOn crew – Thursday 7-11 p.m. @ Aquaknox at the Venetian.  More details here.

 

Company:  Pop 17

Giveaway:  To be announced, but sponsored by Ford

To win:  No details yet, but follow @pop17 on Twitter for updates.

 

Company:  NDrive

Giveaway:  Free innovative GPS navigation app with Real Navigation FREE in Apple Store until end of CES

To Win:  Visit the App Store before Saturday.  Follow @NDrive on Twitter for more info.

 

Company:  Intel

Giveaway:  Chance to win a Netbook

To Win:  Check-in with @Intel via @Foursquare while at #CES and enter to win a Netbook! Click here for more details.   

 

Company:  Gunman at CES

Giveaway:  Mystery prizes

To Win:  Check out who’s on the @playgunman hitlist at #CES here.   Find ‘em and win prizes!  There’s an iPhone app for playing too!

 

Company:  Caesar’s Palace

Giveaway: 2 for 1 drinks at Seahorse or Shadow Bar – 4 to 7 p.m.

To Win: Show your CES badge between 4-7p.m. Jan 7 – 10.  


Company: Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)

Giveaway:  Innovation Movement Sweepstakes to win a Droid and HP Mini Net Book

To win:  Go here and click the button to send a tweet (BONUS:  for every RT with your unique link you get an extra entry!)

 

Company:  Lenovo

Giveaway:  Stumpstakes daily prizes

To win:  Simply sign up on their site here

 

Company:  Sniplits

Giveaway:  2 free MP3 audio short story downloads per person

To win: Visit http://www.sniplits.com and use coupon code: CES2010. Expires 1/16. 

 

Company:  EFF

Giveaway:  Stickers for all.

To win:  Stop by their booth just inside entrance N4 in the North Hall

 

Company:  HP

Giveaway: Free HP Simple Save contest

To win:   First one to say “HP Rocks!!” to @GretaHP gets a FREE HP Simple Save. Stay tuned for clues by following @HP_PC on Twitter.

 

Company:  iPhone Life

Giveaway:  Free copies of magazine

To win:   Visit booth 4642 for free copies of the award winning magazine. 

 

Company:  RadTech

Giveaway:  Win a free Omnistand

To win:Follow @RadTech on Twitter and use #OmniStand in any of your tweets to win one! 


Company:  Petra

Giveaway:  Enter to win $25,000 to celebrate their 25th Anniversary

To win:  Visit their booth at #CES (North Hall GL-1) for more details.

 

Company:  Innovation Movement

Giveaway:  Threadless t-shirts (500)

To win:  Follow The Innovation Movement (@imovement).  Each day of the show, they’ll ask you to find a member of the Innovation Movement team wearing the official Innovation Movement Threadless t-shirt on the show floor. To get your shirt, find that person on the show floor and show them you have retweeted information about the Innovation Movement. Only 500 shirts will be given out at CES, so follow your tweets carefully to make sure you get one! 

 

Company:  CEIVA

Giveaway:  Connected Digital Photo Frames (so cool!)

To win: Full details are here.  CES attendees simply email their photos from this year’s trade show to CES@ceiva.com by midnight PT on Monday, January 11, 2010. Contest entries will be available through www.ceiva.com and continually updated and displayed on the CEIVA Facebook page throughout CES 2010. The winner will be announced on Tuesday, January 12 at www.ceiva.com

 

MORE TO COME…

 

BubbleTweet: Twitter-friendly Pop-up Video

Jan/Wed | Category: theTools | 

Tool:  BubbleTweet

Social Network:  Twitter

Best for:  Short video-based tweets

While watching the social action at CES 2010 unfold, we came across a contest by Dolby which they used a short video hosted on BubbleTweet to tell consumers how the contest works.  This is the first time we’ve stumbled upon BubbleTweet but loved the interface and the way it popped up quickly and was much simpler than having to go to a YouTube or Facebook page to view the video.

This tool is a great way to add a personal touch to your tweets.  If you have something that needs some explaining or a short statement to make, you can upload an existing video file or create directly from your webcam.  If you really love the format, BubbleTweet also has a sister product BubbleGuru which allows you to upload videos to add to your website directly.

We’re going to give this service a test run later this week and we’ll post more on our learnings soon.  Have any of you tried this?  If so, what did you think?

 

Tools: Twollo Delivers on Promise to Turbo Charge Twitter Followers

Jan/Mon | Category: theTools | 

Tool:  Twollo

Social Network:  Twitter

Test period:  4 weeks

Grade:  B+

 

Do a simple search for “more twitter followers tool” and up pop more than 31 MILLION his.  There’s litterally an army of applications out there to help you get thousands of followers.  However, as you know, at the Social Method, we are all about a method.  Therefore, some spambot type tool that follows random people and racks up more numbers than the population of Rhode Island isn’t going to work for us.  Or you.

 

After all, it’s about having the RIGHT followers and following the RIGHT people.  People who care about your infomation and people who are important to your company, brand or product.  Enter Twollo.

 

Twollo (pronounced “tee-wallow”) advertises itself as the leading way to automate getting more targeted followers – more followers, keyword based, fully automated.  And…we agree!

 

A few weeks ago we signed up with a basic membership to give it a try for just $5.99/mo.  After signing up, we selected a couple of key words that fit those we were looking to reach.  For us, people talking about “learning social media” “social media training” and others were among the terms we were after.

 

Once you’ve defined these terms you simply set the limit of how many people to follow per day.  We keep ours at 20-30 so we can check each one and ensure they are indeed the right people.  They offer a simple control panel to allow you to see the follows done as well as take a look at those not following you back.  It’s also easy to edit, pause or delete your key words from this home page.  If someone pops up that you want to ensure you don’t follow, you can also add their Twitter handle into the “Do Not Follow” list.

 

The only thing we wish the tool had was the ability to unfollow someone directly from the “Follows Done” list – it’s a bit inconvenient to go back to the front page to do this.  Also, the “Follows Done” list is ordered oldest to most recent meaning you have to scroll through all of them to get to the latest.  The other way would be more convenient.  However, small things in comparison to the usefulness of the tool.

 

For those interested, give it a try with their free trial at Twollo.com.  They also have a tutorial video to help you get started:

 

Let us know what you think and if you’ve found other great tools for increasing your twitter reach.

 

 

Everyone Needs a Jingle – Even Social Methodologists!

Jan/Sun | Category: theIdeas, theResources | 

Sometimes you just luck out and that’s what happened last month when we were working on Twitter and happened to see a tweet about Lovejingles launching a new initiative to create a jingle per day – for as little as $1.  Being the inquisitive types we are, we clicked the link and saw that only two people had signed up – meaning they would remake your jingle for $3!  (It went up $1 each day).

 

Problem was, we didn’t have a jingle, but they still didn’t let us down.  If you were willing to add a zero to the end of your number – $30 instead of $3, they would create a custom jingle for you!  $30 for our own jingle?  We thought about that for less than a millisecond and signed up! 

 

Immediately we recieved an email that they were looking forward to working with us and that we should let them know what we wanted in the jingle.  Just one quick note to them and all that was left to do was wait, and now the waiting has come to an end.  Without further ado, we are thrilled to present:

 

the Social Method Jingle!

 

 

 

Thanks LoveJingles!  We’re totally smitten with it.  The “weird” doctor is a perfect fit with our self-proclaimed geeky personalities and we laughed and smiled the whole way through. 

How Do Your Social Media Objectives Stack Up?

Dec/Tue | Category: theJustification | 

In working with clients big and small, one question is almost always the same: 

What can social media do for my business?

Our usual response is to ask them “What do you WANT social media to do for your business?” in return.  This can be a hard question to answer for newcomers to the space because they are still learning what the potential of a solid social media strategy is, so answers vary.  A popular answer is always “make money” or “sell product” but there are many other objectives you can strive to achieve through social media.  Today we discovered through one of our favorite social media minds, Jason Falls at Social Media Explorer some data recently released by Business.com on the Top Social Media Success Metrics:

 

This survey included more than 1,400 businesses, 69% of whom engage in social media marketing, and provides a great piece of data to benchmark your own program against.  Where do your priorities stack up?  Are you missing anything or do you need to rethink your focus?

A list like this also provides great insight on what can be gained through a strong social media strategy.  Interestingly, the all important “revenue” is ranked about halfway down and we see the generation of web traffic, engagement with prospects and customers and brand awareness as the highest priority overall. Which tells us that there are quite a few companies out there that really “get” social media.  They are understanding the value of creating and cultivating community – bringing people to a destination and then engaging with them. 

The only topics we thought were missing were internal uses for social media – engagement, brand ambassador building, communications, etc.  This could be due to the size of the companies that responded or the way questions were asked, but it’s something we challenge our clients not to forget.  While we know the customer is #1, happy, informed, excited employees are equally important.  Just today Drew McLelland shared a great MarketingProfs post on this:  Marketing Starts at HomeAmber Naslund of Altitude Branding also has a great series on Internal Social Media with excellent ideas of how to focus these efforts and leverage your team for results.

So now we ask you:  What are your social media success metrics?  Is there anything else missing from this list?  Share your thoughts in the comments.

Creative Targeting of a Redefined Consumer

Dec/Fri | Category: theIdeas | 

 

 

It has been said by many recently that online consumers should no longer be viewed as consumers, but instead, participants. Participants of your brand to be precise.  Consumers wish to be treated as your brand’s lifeline, taking it upon themselves to redefine their role.  I would argue that although the shift is to engagement and participation, they are still consumers and the opportunity to gain loyalty is stronger than is has been in 30 years.

My father mentioned recently that in his youth (1940’s), one simply turned on the radio, opened a print publication, and if you were lucky to have a TV, turned on one of three stations, and were handed only a few brands in each category from which to choose.  Once that decision was made, there was little information that would alter said decision and consumers became fiercely loyal, giving their chosen brand 20 to life.  Brands, like wardens, set the rules and had little to fear.  That is of course until the last quarter of a century when consumers changed brands like celebrities change spouses, driven by the brand’s greed as they oversaturated the market.  To keep a loyal following required a greater effort from brands, which of course did not always pay off.

Today, the anecdotal prison has run amuck and the control of power has been permanently transferred.  Consumers are now in control of what content they engage, eagerly becoming influencers, and are once again becoming a brand’s best advertising.  Yes, if you are the negative type, or run a poor campaign that ignores the key rules of social engagement (like transparency), then this new world should scare you.

For everyone else, this is an enormous opportunity.  Consumers are not only participating in the brands they prefer, but also brands they do not.  Use that to your advantage.  Consumers research others experiences to help form their own decisions.  Use that by rewarding your loyal influencers.  Intelligent marketers will invest heavily into how best to reach their loyal consumers, communicating 1 to 1, empowering them to influence others.

Someone reading this will reply that there is greater risk.  “What happens if there is negative content published?” It will happen, and you must embrace the good with the bad. Figure out what to respond to and what to ignore.  Most importantly, don’t hesitate, or you will be the only one still sitting in your cell while everyone else is out running the joint.

?

 

RANT: Stop Tweeting Your Own Horn

Dec/Fri | Category: theRants&Raves | 

Maybe I just don’t get it, but seems strange to me to retweet when someone gives you a compliment.  I must have read 10+ tweets today alone that said things like:

 

RT @Complimentor:  @me you are so awesome.  Great meeting you tonight.

RT @Complimentor:  @me loved your blog post – it was so insightful.

RT @Complimentor:  @me Woohoo, you rock!

 

Seriously, am I just missing this?  It’s a real question.  Please tell me if I am.  However, it seems so odd to be retweeting things like this mostly because they violate two content rules we try to adhere to: add value & be real.  There is definitely no value to your twitter followers with this post.  And, it’s not “human” – if your boss complimented you, would you running around the entire office yelling, “boss lady says my copywriting is flawless” to all of the other copywriters? Yeah, probably not.

 

So why do it on Twitter?  Maybe you could just get a t-shirt instead and wear that at home so just your family is tortured by the overshare of how much you rock.

 

 

The ONLY way I could MAYBE see this type of retweeting working is to retweet and add value to the tweet.  Maybe something like more like these:

 

Made lots of connections and new friends at#tweetup RT @Complimentor:  @me you are so awesome.  Great meeting you tonight.

Thanks for reading my post on narcissism at www.myblog.com.  RT @Complimentor:  @me loved your blog post – it was so insightful.

Thanks, but it was your guidance in this post www.greatblogpost.com that got me going.  RT @Compleimentor:  @me Woohoo, you rock!

 

Now these deliver a bit of value to me – I can see what they are referring to and why it contains good info to retweet although a reply rather than a retweet would probably be more appropriate.  More subtle posts like this tend not to bother me as much either:

 

RT @Complimentor: @me Great blog post on tips for not being an arrogant jerk on Twitter www.goodblog.com

 

It adds value, telling me people (perhaps important people) have read and liked your post so I might want to as well. 

 

What do you think?  Am I missing something here or is this annoying to you too?

10 Essential Traits of a Social Media Manager

Dec/Wed | Category: theIdeas | 

Source: DannyBrown.com

Over a cup of coffee with Keith Pape of a-p studios yesterday, a discussion emerged about how hard it can be for companies to find someone reliable out there who can become the “owner” of their social media efforts.  Today a simple Google search for “social media consultant” brings back more than 2 million hits and feel confident saying, most of these people are not qualified – not even close.  Most of them are like this guy – selling social media snake oil to the highest bidder.

 

So we’re left with a dilemma – how do you find someone reliable to run your social media?  Well, to really answer that question, I think you first have to look at the traits this person should have:

 

1.  Ability to write - Can they make a point, craft a story, engage you with their written communication both in short form (140 characters or less) and long form – like a blog. 

2.  Ability to use a basic still and video camera - this may seem basic, but we’ve been at this a long time and can say without reservation that photos and videos draw people in – it’s what makes them want to look.  So, your person should be able to operate these and upload them to a website. 

3.  Utilize Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube - they need to at least have a working knowledge of these and have interest in them.  If they say, “I just don’t get Twitter” or “I’m morally against Facebook” then they may not be the best person for the job. 

4.  Love of conversation - they’re going to be talking to people all day on your behalf, so make sure they like people and like to talk with them and learn about them.

5.  Passion for your product/brand/industry - this is the one I would say you can’t go without.  1-3 can be taught, but passion is something that can’t be.  They have to embrace what your doing and be excited about sharing that.  This is the type of excitement where having to keep something secret tortures them. 

 

Once you have found a person(or a few people) that posses those qualities, you need to do your part too.  This means ensuring they are people you can entrust the following to:

 

6.  Ability to make content decisions:  they need to have the ability to make content decisions so that they can be focused on creating and building – not waiting on approvals.  This can happen within some guidelines but ensure the process is fast and efficient – social media happens in real time.

7.  Access:  Access to people in the company and information needed to answer questions.  Be sure they are comfortable searching out the answers and getting customer inquiries handled efficiently and that the other players in the company understand the need to be responsive to that person.

8.  Clear understanding of business objectives:  make sure they understand the path down which you want your company to travel.  If it’s sales focused, they can create content to drive people to product sites.  If it’s awareness they may focus more on general content about your brand.  You need to have the vision to guide them though.

9.  Guidelines:  you will need to provide clear guidelines on appropriate content and inappropriate content.  They need to understand what’s sharable information and what needs to be kept within company walls. 

10.  Tools:  empower them with the time to learn about social media and a budget to get the tools they will need – monitoring tools, subscriptions, etc.  (these can range in price, but as little as $200 per month can cover it and make your new staffer much more efficient).  Social media is one of the fastest growing tool sets ever and staying on top of it requires dedicated time each day.  Allot a budget so that they can attend at least 3-4 seminars a year to stay current on trends and generate new ideas.

 

We always recommend looking within your current employee base first – is there someone that meets these criteria (or most of them) that could be a potential candidate?  Give them a chance.  Sometimes you’ll find your talented and most “in the know” person at your company is the office manager or the receptionist – or even your product manager.  Of course, if you have a marketing team, talk with them.  This might be something they can handle, but still be sure they possess all of the traits above. 

 

Another thing to consider is a consultant or an agency that can assist you just at the highest level, particularly if this person’s manager has little social media experience themselves.  These consultants come at price, but ensuring you have the right strategy and have a gameplan to work from can potentially allow you to hire someone at a lower salary for the job.  Some consultants (like ourselves) can also be available on an “on call” basis so that if your new social media person has questions they have a place to go for answers and guidance – like an experienced big brother.  Some consultants or agencies offer the full-service approach too, but it’s not something we recommend.  It’s very difficult for someone outside your company to be fully dedicated to knowing all about you and everything your doing and maintaining excitement for it when they are likely managing several other accounts simultaneously.  It’s a model some have found success with, but it isn’t always easy to keep these outsiders informed.

 

That should help get you started finding or creating your own social media guru to passionately share your brand with the digital world.  What other traits would you recommend for someone looking for a social media manager?