Archive for ‘Social Media Networking’

August 2, 2011

Atypical Virgo in Recovery ~ The Importance of Social Network Lists

Over the years, I’ve built some pretty large communities in social media, both for myself and for some clients. As those communities were built, my HAED (hyper-active-entrepreneurial-disorder) brain neglected a necessary task. Categorizing connections into lists and taking notes on their attributes (friends, careers, interests and relationships).

Now, today, I have a problem. It’s simply overwhelming to pay attention to key relationships, when their social networking is scattered amongst everyone’s activity. I miss stuff that I know is key and relevant, as a result.

Over the last couple months, I’ve been slowly recovering a better footing, making sure to list new folks and spending a bit of time going back and doing this with older connections. My favorite list is Met In Real Life; thanks to @RickBakas for that great suggestion.

I’ve developed broad categories mostly related to professions and interests. I look at connection’s profiles to determine where they fit.

What does putting people into lists allow me to do? How is it better for me? With lists, I can go to a category and catchup with what others are up too. It streamlines my “reading of the news” from others. For clients, it’s a great way to categorize current customers, potential customers and other areas of interest.

Are you using lists in your social networking? What works for you to manage all the incoming content?

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June 26, 2011

First Use of Social Media Marketing in 1886 via Telegraph

In some of the latest social media news, Foursquare has partnered up with American Express to offer sweet deals to consumers. The evolution of social media marketing continues unabated and relentless, driven by creativity, emergent technology and consumer demand. But do you know how all this social media marketing started? Try the founder of Sears, Roebuck & Co.

In 1886, Richard Warren Sears (founder of Sears, Roebuck & Co.) was working as an agent-telegrapher at a railroad line in Minnesota. A shipment of 2500 gold pocket watches arrived at the station where he worked. As no one had asked for them and nobody wanted, he decided to buy them all. He then offered the watches to his railroad colleagues, using the telegraph to market… and sold them all at $14, earning $2per clock.

Here is what a sample message might have looked like:

-… . .- ..- – .. ..-. ..- .-.. / –. — .-.. -.. / .–. — -.-. -.- . – .– .- – -.-. …. . … / .—- ….- / . .- -.-. …. / .-. . .–. .-.. -.– / – — / — .-. / .-. .. -.-. …. .- .-. -.. / … . .- .-. …

Here is an audio file of it:

So.. perhaps the very first social media marketing message – 125 years ago? What do you think?

Oh, and here is a very funny Youtube of “Texting in the 1800s”

June 17, 2011

TAXI! One of the Beauties of Social Media

This morning, having breakfast, checking my smart phone, a request through Facebook chat popped up. A friend of mine, in Florida, had left her car and cell phone at another friends and was stuck at home with only a laptop.

“Jeff, can you call me a cab?”

Through Facebook chat on the smartphone, I got the Florida cab phone number and her address, and called her a cab. The dispatcher thought it was hilarious and said it was a first for him. “Hi, I’m calling from Oregon to get a cab…”

May 23, 2011

Tradeshow Social Media: One-third-way through the #NRAShow – Twitter Analysis

The National Restaurant Show, happening in Chicago this weekend, is by far the dominant restaurant/foodservice tradeshow in North America. The National Restaurant Association website states that this show draws, on annual average, 50,000 attendees internationally over four days. This year, they state there are over 1800 exhibitors.

The Assumption

Tradeshows provide a unique opportunity to bring together industries. They offer community-building in centralized real-time, provide buyers with connective opportunities to meet sellers, provide industry specific educational opportunities and.. most importantly, have the potential to leverage all of this to broad-path long-tail effectiveness via the social web. Leverage through the social web:

  • provides exhibitors and attendees greater contact time – before, during and after
  • deepens the educational experience for attendees, both in products/services and in seminars
  • creates a broad path of micro data points, all search engine optimized, for both the tradeshow and exhibitors (and attendees, for that matter)
  • deepens the connective fabric of the industry

We’ve been following the Twitter hashtag for this event #NRAShow, since the beginning and have made some initial observations of engagement by Show attendees and exhibitors.

Before sharing these, a shout-out must go to Paul Barron, for providing a hashtag metric analysis site we could observe. Paul purchased a hashtag tracking service which can be found here for the NRA Show:  http://bit.ly/jOU8JB

»

592  –  Number of Contributors to Hashtag

86  –  Number of Exhibitor Twitter Accounts Using Hashtag

506  –  Number of Non-Exhibitor Twitter Accounts Using Hashtag

»

14.5%  –  Percentage of Exhibitor Twitter Accounts to Total Tweeters on Hashtag

1019  –  Average # of Followers – Exhibitors Using Hashtag

9 – Average # of Tweets During Show – Exhibitors Using Hashtag

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85.5%  –  Percentage of Non-Exhibitors to Total Tweeters on Hashtag

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4.7%  –  Percentage of Hashtag Tweeting Exhibitors to Estimated # of Show Exhibitors

1%  –  Percentage of Hashtag Tweeting Non-Exhibitors to Estimated # of Show Attendees

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Chalkboarder’s Opinions

Exhibitor adoption, as evidenced by the hashtag traffic, is still in its infancy.

Attendees are not using social media to interact with the Show.

Attendees interacting with Show exhibit hashtag useage rate six times that of exhibitors.

Show management could do a better job of marketing the social web interaction to both exhibitors and attendees.

Exhibitors could develop strategies using traditional marketing that drive potential attendees into the social web before, during and after the Show.

The National Restaurant Show has a clear opportunity to exponentially increase exhibitor exposure (sales opportunities) to attendees using the social web in future shows. Effective deployment of a comprehensive strategy should include:

  • Year round social web engagement by Show management with exhibitors and existing/potential attendees.
  • Provide exhibitors with social web tools to increase engagement between exhibitors and attendees before, during and after the Show. Such tools might include:
    • Traditional marketing “pushes” to the social web connectivity with exhibitors
    • Marketing promotions to attendees by exhibitors to connect in social media, via traditional and social web strategies
    • Provide an online database, searchable by product/service category, for visitors to the Show website to find exhibitor social web accounts – significantly prior to the Show

Wrap-up

Nothing beats getting face-to-face at a tradeshow. Social media, conducted well, considerably leverages the opportunity to bring exhibitors and attendees together during a Show. Exhibitors and attendees who have connected and conversed prior to actually meeting at Show time, make the most efficient use of their time, leading to other potentialities to present to both attendees and exhibitors.

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Notes on Data

1. List of Identified Exhibitors Using the Hashtag

Top and bottom four not used in calculations.

Twitter Account            # Followers  # Following  # Tweets

nutrilabeling                  0                  0                   67

jamesoneida                 5                  16                 12

epicuredigital                6                  5                   73

hubertco                       7                  0                   0

99apps                         25                 0                   24

vinnyoneida                  25                 85                 28

chicagobuffets             27                 87                 80

pepsicofoodserv          36                 259               24

compelcart                   41                 91                 296

winecrusader                 43                 37                 283

manualsolution              54                 103               29

adstonature                  58                 138               64

getpunchh                    65                 76                 148

mccormick4chefs          76                 80                 103

olo                               80                 63                 70

tlpriest                          85                 121               97

magictradeshows          99                 200               211

smrestaurants               130               218               188

culinitweets                   132               138               94

merchantware                136               302               110

expion                          137               41                 292

vollrathco                     151               101               221

finelinesetting               156               421               503

bungemoe                    169               222               269

hennypenny                  174               217               585

scotsmanice                 210               249               312

wineshowcasemag        233               755               4

squirrelsystems             236               455               156

grecian_delight             240               256               505

nrnjobplate                   241               153               1124

usfoodservicesf            257               516               439

ifanca                           258               300               351

cobblestoneoven          263               1172             98

capitolcups                   267               420               823

hospitalitypads             281               1003             33

intlspices                      295               950               80

chefbigshake                320               199               186

wineshield                     323               761               209

idahoanfoods               358               733               328

hobartcorp                    366               190               617

digitalmenubox             374               1012             440

fishbowljoe                   376               482               594

back2scratch                392               313               1289

thermapen                    428               477               480

heartlandhpy                 433               398               673

peoplematterceo           466               362               1029

tsbrass                         467               471               530

turtletransit                    471               942               91

wasserstrom                 480               676               871

oneida_ltd                    507               273               162

gpprofessional             508               678               960

monkeydish                  538               502               741

ssproducts                   540               1999             397

shomack12                   562               746               2980

rewardsnetwork             675               426               792

loveandquiches             691               1042             1048

socialgrub                    755               1263             163

dietzandwatson             758               996               667

openmenu                    786               1469             2237

fohbohgal                     877               488               4488

laudividni                      879               455               861

anchorhocking              881               885               2003

hospitalitysoc               937               1999             47

hospitalityrew                951               2000             30

graciousgourmet           1068             2003             1320

rubbermaidcomm          1186             325               190

fastcasual                     1307             389               1132

safeeggs                      1344             1676             1620

wileycooks                   1405             921               822

calphalon                      1561             1230             250

nrnmarketing                 1796             697               503

flatoutbread                  1926             1848             4778

viennabeef                    2315             1023             2170

eatsauca                       2343             113               75

fishbowlinc                   2514             1892             364

fohboh                         2721             1392             2767

herbalwater                   3563             3290             1644

activeion                       3653             3190             1144

communitycoffee          5626             2741             1539

wheresauca                   7278             90                 2736

elischeesecake             8404             8549             5598

emmaemail                   8709             1516             2342

googleplaces                28159           26                 924

yelp                              43375           98                 1847

livingsocial                   49668           3611             8958

pepsi                            68496           42227            3190

 2. Identifying Exhibitors that were using the hashtag was conducted by reading the tweetstream. A few of the accounts were not “official” exhibitor accounts, but either identify themselves in their Twitter handle, bio or by tweeting that they were exhibiting for a company they work for and gave a booth number.

April 30, 2011

Social Media Profession Saturation?

Is the profession of social media becoming competitively saturated?

Early adoption of social media led to great communicators becoming industry leaders as social media professionals.

Communicational icons, such as Amber Naslund, Brian Solis, Paul Barron and Chris Brogan sprinted out of the gate, blazing a new industry called social media.

As the growth of social media has exploded, giving rise to official professional associations such as Social Media Club and educational programs such as “boot camps” and Portland State University’s Digital Marketing Strategies Certificate, leaders in this industry – the true professionals – have eschewed monikers such as “guru”, distancing themselves from too-narrowly focused “ninjas” and those out for a quick buck.

In a conversation last week with a significant franchisee of Papa Murphy’s Pizza brand (with tens of locations and direct corporate HQ relationship), it was shared that they are approached three or more times a week by so-called social media professionals, offering to “build them a Facebook fanpage”. The franchisee laughed in frustration, stating they had established a strong gate-keeper, because nearly all of these approaches were unable to provide the metrics ability businesses require.

On another front, the critique of traditional public relations and marketing firms was heavy over the last few years – that they didn’t “get” social media. With these traditional communication providers unable to advantage social media for their clients, the clients turned to either outsourcing or handling it themselves. As recently as December 2010, I was approached by a national public relations firm seeking a statement of Chalkboarder’s social media abilities – that they could subcontract for the benefit of their clients. Many of these communication firms have now put serious investment into gaining that social media knowledge in the last 18 months.

My question is this: as traditional public relations and marketing firms increasingly offer skilled social media services to their clients, does this reduct the opportunities for other talented communication/social media professionals? Are brands going to return to their public relations/marketing firms that they have had prior relationships with and eschew social media professionals that “got it” early on? Is the industry becoming crowded? Is there value to membership in a social media professional association like Social Media Club versus more traditional associations like the American Marketing Association or Public Relations Society of America?

An additional question would be – how can brands determine the true reach and effectiveness of social media service providers?

Jeffrey J Kingman, CEO – Chalkboarder

April 10, 2011

Get SMART NW – Social Media Advanced Relationship Training

Just launched and we’re wicked excited!

Get SMART NW was created to solve a problem – a lot of talk about social media, but no actual learning solutions. This program combines hands on learning, worksheet and tips to support your learning process. It’s a big world out there, but you don’t have to face it alone.

We understand that social media is a big ol’ complex world that changes every day. Our nine progressive classes help you learn, enjoy and succeed in social media.

It’s a big online world out there. You don’t have to face it alone. Get SMART NW pairs you with classmates at the same level of social media understanding to create a learning community. Affordable, easy and tailored to your needs.

 

Get SMART today!

We’re very excited to partner with Scene Marketing Group in offering this comprehensive and intensive social media training course.

 

December 19, 2010

Presenting in the Ignite Style

A Different Way to Present Concept


This past month, I was invited to participate in Portland State University’s Digital Marketing Conference Ignite presentations. Having never presented in the Ignite style, I decided to research effective methods of communicating in this presentational mode.

For those of you who have never done nor seen an Ignite presentation, it works like this. Presenters get five minutes for their topic and provide twenty powerpoint slides. The slides are assembled into one combined presentation and they auto-flip every fifteen seconds.

This means, as the presenter, that you can’t control the advancing of your topic slides – they change every fifteen seconds. Talk about presenter pressure! I already knew that I wanted to talk some smack to the USA restaurant industry and did some research through Google and YouTube on effective Ignite presenting skills.

The key lessons I learned from this research (which caused me to chuck my first draft) were these:

  • Go thematic. When preparing your presentation, stay in a generalized topic, meaning, don’t try to push a lot of details.
  • Use imagery. The slides are there to reinforce what you are speaking too.
  • Put tiny clues into your slides to keep you on topic; maybe one or two trigger words.
  • Be a storyteller. Structure your five minutes like you were telling a story to peers at happy hour.
  • Stay away from a bulletized presentation style.
  • Practice, practice, practice. Stand in front of bright lights when you practice. Don’t worry about messing up – in fact, what counts is your ability to recover if you get stuck.

Here is the Youtube video of my Ignite presentation at PSU’s Digital Marketing Conference 2010. I planned my target audience to include social media, as a way to get exposure for Chalkboarder. Mind you, by mid-way through my presentation, my microphone hand was noticeably shaking. It had been nearly thirty years since I was on a stage that size with lights that bright.

Another of my favorite presenters from the day…

Paul Ting: Add Some Australianisms to Your Social Media

I want to give props to everyone who organized and ran Portland State University’s Digital Marketing Conference, especially those involved in producing the Ignite Series. They all worked supremely hard to deliver professional results.

Here are all the other links to the Ignite presentations from that day:

Jennifer Wakayama: Ugly Kitchen Contest
.
Andy Van Oostrum: A Planning Framework for Personalization
.
Don Bourassa: Location Based Services for Great Advertising
.
Kim Stetson: Digital Organization
.
Mary Nichols: Social Media for Product Development
.
Matt Selbie: Customer Retention & Marketing
.
David Smith: Convert Listening to Revenue
.
Taylor Ellwood: Imagine Your Reality Business & Social Media
.
Charlie Levenson: Everything I Learned About User Experience
.
Bret Bernhoft: Free Tools
.
Ayleen Crotty: Customer Superstars
.
Jennifer Hancox: Digital Marketing for Restaurants & Bars
.
Jeff Simmons: Grassroots Marketing Through Social Media
.
Lydia Smith: One Path, Many Ways: The Camino Documentary
.
Siouxsie Jennett: Google Adwords vs Facebook Ads
.
Mark Brundage:  Building Communities to Create Growth
.
Mark Wills: Everything You Need to Know About SEO
.
Kent Lewis: A Path to Retirement Using Social Media
.
Kate Ertmann: 3D Trends Marketers Need to Care About
.
Rhiannon West Chamberlain: Social Media & Travel

.

Everyone did a fantastic presentation. I believe for most, it was our first Ignite experience.

November 1, 2010

Tap Me On The Shoulder – Building Village

This past weekend Chalkboarder produced broad-path Social Media On Demand for our client Coffee Fest Tradeshow in Seattle. Over 8000 attendees and exhibitors gathered together at the Washington State Convention Center Friday through Sunday, making it one of the most successful shows Coffee Fest has produced in their 59 shows.

On the Friday of each Coffee Fest (there are three to four a year around the USA), Coffee Fest hosts a happy hour for exhibitors and attendees. These happy hours are crowded and very lively.

Friday night at the happy hour, I received a tap on my shoulder. Here is the dialogue:

Tap: Are you Jeff that gave the seminar on social media last fall here at Coffee Fest?

Me: Yes, I am.

Tap: I want to thank you! I wasn’t in social media and sat in on your seminar a year ago. Because of your presentation, I got into social media. You are responsible for adding $9000 a month revenue over the last nine months to my business!

Me: (genuine surprise and pleasure)

Tap: Do you want me to sell Chalkboarder for you in Los Angeles?

You can imagine my reply to this gentleman. I am truly humbled that a simple (and now I know, relatively uneducated) presentation on my part, impacted this gentleman’s business so positively. I’m pretty satisfied to hear this news, that my simple words and demonstration could bring such change to a small business.

By the way, if you are doing business in Southern California and thinking about social media, I can provide a reference to you.

October 13, 2010

Early Adopters (Restaurants) Sprint Ahead in Social Media Marketing

A majority of restaurants face serious risk as consumers increasingly shop for dining via mobile devices. A majority of restaurants risk ignoring the opportunity to drive sales by not adopting proven strategies that embrace this societal shift. They run the risk that society will view their late-game entry into social media as non-compelling, boring, or worse, spammy.

Are you using the tools of the social web yet? Even more important, are you doing so with effective and well designed strategies? Are you chatting up your fans/followers about your community, about their interests or about shared passions? Are you sharing local news from your community, such as local events outside your operation?

Brand owners and managers have to consider how entry into the social web is viewed by the broader community. In the last year, effective social web strategies for driving business have shifted. In the early days, simply broadcasting (or “shouting”) daily specials sufficed. Today, that’s considered spam. Jumping on Foursquare and rewarding “mayors” was fairly simple and effective during the newness of their web-launch, but today, if a restaurant simply jumps in without strategy, they’re behind the times.

As the use of social media by American restaurants has progressed, a clear trend has emerged. Those that embraced social media (less than 10%) in the past two years are sprinting ahead in diverse and sophisticated tactics and strategies, while those that held back run a risk of appearing unknowledgeable, un-savvy and “soo” Web 1.0.

Early adopters such as AJ Bombers, a popular restaurant in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, increased their sales by nearly 100% in the last year by effectively using social media. Two of the best food trucks in Portland, Oregon (Whiffies and KoiFusion), attribute 80% of their growth in the last year to effective social media. Success stories like these demonstrate the power and allure of social media strategies for foodservice operators.

In a study published last fall, Chalkboarder analyzed the “virtual ease of entry” (how easy it is for a new or existing customer to enter your restaurant virtually) into 2200 popular restaurants in fourteen major markets. One year ago, less than 10% had adopted Facebook, less than 6% had adopted Twitter and less than 2% were blogging. Of the 2200, less than 65% even had active websites. The base information of Chalkboarder’s study was confirmed a few months ago by Fast Casual Alliance, who hired Forrester Research to do a similar assessment. The numbers haven’t changed in a year.

Statistics from Socialnomics paint a vivid picture of the opportunity the social web offers this industry. Fifty percent of the world’s population is under the age of thirty; ninety-six percent (96%) of these millenials have joined a social network. One out of eight USA married couples met through social media. Eighty percent of companies use social media for recruitment. The fastest growing segment on Facebook is females aged 55-65 (household decision makers). Fifty percent (50%) of mobile social web traffic in the UK is on Facebook. Youtube is the second largest search engine in the world.

There is still massive opportunity to reap the benefits of social media. Fundamental strategies of talking online with fans/followers, publishing community news and sharing features on your distinctive brand proposition — apart from the food and beverage — are the main drivers. Build on these fundamentals and sustainable community happens.

For restaurants that have not adopted social media, caution and research is in order. Avoid the risk of bumbling your foray into social media by seeking consult with a reputable social media strategist (perhaps over a few dinners in trade). As with any new-course business strategy, observing and researching a definable course takes a little time, but the return is measurable.

 

October 11, 2010

It Takes Two

It Takes Two

It takes two to tango is an idiomatic and well-worn expression in the United States. Often spoken when describing personal relationships, it is also used to describe peer or business relationships. As brands have jumped on the social web express, how many have signed contracts with or hired web community managers and assumed that these individuals or outsourced providers can take the ball and run with it, without support?

We’ve learned at Chalkboarder that some clients are a “bear” to fully collaborate with. It seems no matter how many times a week we seek raw content from these clients, it’s damn difficult to get collaboration. The reasons are varied, of course. Some clients are simply so busy managing day-to-day operations that social community management and content production is a big after-thought.

Other clients have assumed that, since they have a community manager, that’s all they need.

I’ve spoken with other social web managers who’ve experienced this as well. One, a mentor and friend, recently told me one of her clients cut short the relationship, stating that they were going to do it on their own. My friend described to me how the former client had, in her estimation, only used her minimally, despite repeated requests for raw content and collaboration.

If you’ve hired a web community manager, are you giving them all the tools and ingredients they need to do outstanding work for you? Take a look at this – don’t assume that just because you hired a manager that the social media show is a wrap. Hiring a web community manager without providing collaboration and raw content is a lot like a restaurant hiring a talented chef into a well equipped kitchen, but then not supplying food ingredients for them to work with.

If you truly desire to take advantage of the social web, you have to provide good quality raw content to your community manager. Better yet – flood them with good raw content. They’ll generate wildly distinctive and effective dialogues, build communities and drive sales if you do.

I’m curious how many other web community managers struggle with this?