November 30, 2010
Gap Lovin' Foursquare as Part of New Ad Campaign
The ads — which are running on a wide variety of sites including Mashable, Gawker and Conde Nast properties — feature Gap holiday fashions and deals along with the Foursquare button, which when clicked, adds a Gap to-do and enables a 30% discount on one regular priced Gap item.
The ads are location-aware too; users will be able to associate the to-do with a nearby store and be reminded of it when they’re nearby and pull up “Places” within Foursquare. Gap will also be donating $1 for each add to Foursquare’s charity of choice — Camp Interactive — as part of the campaign. Full article here.
November 23, 2010
Ford's Scott Monty: People Trust People Like ThemBelow, Ford's head of social media Scott Monty on the TWTRCON stage, says, "People don't change, they want you to think and feel and be just like them." Globally, trust is down year after year and less than 40% of people trust ads. "Who people trust are third party experts and people like themselves."
Transparency and authenticity are key when you're dealing with human emotions and rather than use robotic language that won't have an impact on people's emotions. He says, "we're training people to talk like humans again." He also emphasized the importance of relevance.
November 22, 2010
TWTRCON San Francisco: Biz Strategies in Real-Time
I've been meaning to attend TWTRCON since its first one now over a year ago, so was thrilled to discover I'd be in San Francisco when their second one hit the west coast last week.
TWTRCON is entirely focused on the business use of the real-time web with social media tools like Twitter a core part of the conversation.
They highlight case studies from leading brands, workshops led by social media practitioners and mini tutorials about real-time tools. They also collect and publish social media business case studies, statistics and videos on their site.
What I loved most about their event is how well it combined great networking and high quality speakers and sessions with "fun." They had beach balls on the tables and introduced a game at the start of the day as a way to meet others and tweet out a little love about the person you just met.
As a non-morning person, I was shocked that I managed to make it there for Laura Fitton's (aka @pistachio) early morning keynote which kicked off the day.
Her message focused around relevance - in other words, don't just go for numbers, go for engagement. And after you kick that into gear and are part of the conversation, remember to use the right analytics tools: links, click throughs, conversations AND context. All are important.
Kara Swisher interviewed Adam Bain on revenue models, digging for more data on how Twitter will make money. It's clearer that revenue is coming - what's the ole saying? Build an audience first and the money will follow and it's not as if they can't tout numbers - real numbers.
Adam says they plan to focus on the product plan in the next year and product growth will be key over revenue, at least in the next twelve months.
On future revenue models, he reminds the audience that with traditional display advertising, .5% engagement is considered a win and with Twitter, they're seeing single and double digit percentages in engagement.
Tons of major brands are already using Twitter and setting up campaigns to increase engagement and get customers on board - it's an organic movement that is only growing, not shrinking. Small businesses are seeing a tremendous benefit as well.
Then, Google's Avinash Kaushik talked analytics. Full of energy and passion, he zipped from left to right across the stage emphasizing all of his key points - with humor.....a lot of humor.
He talked about the whole notion of HITS and tracking hits alone, which he says stands for: (HITS = How Idiots Track Success). He referred to it as a glorious datapuke.
He reminded the audience not to get caught up in straight hits or simple analytics around positive, negative and neutral. Sentiment analysis is key - focusing on people's emotions and how they're feeling and thinking when they retweet or make a comment. It's important to understand the behavior behind tweets purchases and data links, he says.
"In social media, your reward is YOUR reward," she says. In other words, focus on what you care about and talk about that on Twitter and elsewhere on the web.
It can be as simple as helping ten kids out and having an impact on two of their lives in a way that can not only be life changing for them but for you in the journey you take along the way.
They had an interesting small business panel which included Nic Adler from The Roxy Theatre, Andrew Israel from AspenSpin, Akash Kapoor from Curry Up Now, and musician Zoe Keating.
Below, HootSuite's Ryan Holmes, Maksim Ovsyannikov from Zendesk, Sprinklr's Ragy Thomas, and Gigya's David Yovanno talked about real-time strategies and tools now and what's next.
Ford's Scott Monty showed up in a bow-tie and raised the bar for the local geeks who dressed in t-shirts, jeans and sneakers. He shared a few case studies and talked about some of the lessons he has learned through implementing social media campaigns over the last few years.
At the end of the day, people still care about the same things they have always cared about, he says. "People don't change, they want you to think and feel and be just like them." Globally, trust is down year after year and less than 40% of people trust ads. "Who people trust are third party experts and people like themselves," he says.
Transparency and authenticity are key when you're dealing with human emotions and rather than use robotic language that won't have an impact on people's emotions, "we're training people to talk like humans again." He also emphasized the importance of relevance.
Below are a few random shots.....I'd love to see them turn this into a two day event in the future. Kudos to Tonia Ries and her team for an incredibly well-executed event.
Above: Tonia Ries, Fusicology's Zsa-Zsa Rensch and James Bowyer
Thomson Reuters' Alastair Goldfisher, Marie Domingo, Harry McCracken, Renee Blodgett
Above - Marylene Delbourg-Delphis and Rachel Polish (taken by Harry McCracken)
And, unlike a lot of conferences, the sponsors actually made sense and were very relevant for the 'conversation.' You didn't feel pitched and the companies that showed up all had a solution for putting together real-time strategies and solutions in small businesses and corporations.
The "relevant" companies included folks like CoTweet, HootSuite, Objective Marketer, ThreadMarketing, tap 11, Foursquare, Sprinklr, ZenDesk, TweetReach, Fliptop and others.
November 22, 2010 in America The Free, Conference Highlights, Events, On Blogging, On Branding, On Social CRM, On Technology, PR & Marketing, San Francisco, Social Media, Videos, WBTW, Web 2.0 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
November 11, 2010
Improving Online Engagement at all Levels
David Spark covers the Enterprise 2.0 conference in Santa Clara this week. The recap below is specifically of a panel that discusses engagement and tips for better engagement across 3 types: Situation engagement, Desire engagement, and Lack of vision engagement.
A recap of his tips from the panel below. Original article can be found on his blog.
- One way to initiate the community is get buy in from the top and let executives make public fools of themselves so others feel more comfortable. For example, at one organization the community manager got the top executives to dress up in silly outfits, such as astronauts, and post them on their profile for the community.
November 08, 2010
You Don't Need Everyone to be a Customer, You Just Need the RIGHT Ones!
It's about time someone with a loud voice said, "it's really okay to charge folks." The "let's perform magic for nothing" makes me a little stir crazy at times in Silicon Valley, where a lot of social media start-ups and purists somehow think everything should be free.
The details? 37Signals put a $9.99 price tag on a piece of software. Make no mistake, there are plenty of iPhone apps in the App store that don't charge a thing, and others that cost $9.99 on the high end.
The article talks about a product they released called Draft, which cuts out a bunch of steps people would have to do, saving them a pile of time. The concept? Sketch out an idea, tap a button, and automatically upload it directly to a Campfire chat room -- no Sharpie, no paper, no scanner, no waste, no extra steps. Just draw, tap, done.
Draft is apparently the only drawing app for the iPad that works this way. In other words, the app can have a significant positive impact on your productivity. I guess his point is - isn't that worth something?
Says Jason, "we think free is a business cancer. Offering some stuff for free is fine as long as you have something else to sell. But "we'll give it all away for free and figure out how to make money later" isn't much of a business model in our minds." He adds, "we have no interest in participating in a race to the bottom." Instead of going for the land grab, they created a small island.
Hear hear Jason and team and hats off to ya! What companies need to remember is that you don't need EVERYONE to be a customer, you just need the RIGHT ones.
October 26, 2010
Squidoo's Megan Casey: Game Mechanics Will Change Your Business: #biztech
Squidoo's co-founder Megan Casey says she wants to change our views on game mechanics, how we think about them in the traditional and non-traditional sense. In other words, instead of putting the idea of game mechanics in a box in the corner, understand how you can use the dynamics of gaming to grow your user base, get buzz for your brand and better engage your audience over the long haul.
At BizTechDay in San Francisco last weekend, she strongly encouraged everyone to think about the concept of game mechanics to grow their business.
“We want to change the experience you offer your business and to your customers," she says. "You are trying to run serious businesses, I understand that, but you can really tap into what I call the spill-over."
Examples include behavior from simple games like tennis and kung-fu to how people are playing Farmville and warcraft.
She says, "I want to challenge the assumption that game mechanics only belongs in the world of gaming companies. It’s basic motivation, trying to encourage people to use your service -- to use it often and to love it."
She says that she agrees that most people who are using game mechanics today are not using it very well. For example, 20% off signs are old, stale and ignorable – it’s gaming blindness in the same way there’s ad blindness.Going shopping is a kind of game you can offer customers as a way to better engage them and remember you, i.e., you can only buy a pair of jeans unless you show up physically and with a friend. This is a great example of a game mechanic to drive people into your store and offer customers points for coming in (with a friend -- and the friend gets points too).
Huffington Post is using game mechanics by giving you a badge if you’re a frequent commenter. Or Twitter tools to help you get more followers. She says, “I’m interested in growing your community, whether it’s an online or offline company. And, it works for big and small brands alike."
There are 5 simple game mechanics Megan says. If you can successfully implement these examples, you can change the day-to-day engagement from customers and/or visitors. Imagine what you could do if you could grow your site traffic or customer base by 20% a month? she asserts, which is Squidoo's growth rate today.
1-Train People How to Be Great - All you need is a community of 2 people. If there are two people, there’s one loser and one winner. In other words, it doesn’t matter how big you are. You need to have step-by-step things to do on your site that gives customers feedback every step of the way.
Reward them for doing something, i.e., if you upload your photo, you get 20 points. Giving them something back makes them feel rewarded and good for doing something. People want something to do and when they do it, they want to get feedback in real-time, whether that’s a coupon or a badge or a gift.
2-Give them something to do every day (engagement) and give them a quest (i.e., game mechanic)
3- Identify Your VIPs / Influencers. Foursquare is a good example. Engage them and offer them something of value.
4- Get your best people to delight in a new game, such as being mentors in your community. It's important not to confuse this with being an evangelist. A mentor is someone who has risen through your community to such a level that the only thing of interest to them is to raise the level of engagement of everyone else who is new in the community. Suddenly, a new behavior emerges; people start training each other. Alcoholics Anonymous is a great example of how this behavior works effectively.
5-Co-op. Co-op is the jeans example referred to above, i.e., you can’t do something unless you do with it someone else. For example, if you run a well known tea shop, you could tell your customers, i.e., on this day, come to our shop between 5-7. If you bring another person during that window, you will both get a gift. Ask yourself, what is it that you have that is so fundamental that people will get excited if they participate?
October 25, 2010
Clara Shih: The Next Decade is the Relationship Web, Are You Ready for It?
The below video captures Clara Shih's talk on the Facebook Era at BizTechDay in San Francisco this past weekend. She says, "understand your target market and do your social graph homework." Key takeaways:
- She dives into connections online and what they mean, how to understand how Facebook and Twitter are changing people's behavior, expectations, and relationships - and what that means for your business.
Her insights unveil how real companies are succeeding at sourcing leads and engaging customers on Facebook.
She also addresses how you can do more with less, and how to better leverage the power of your networks to improve your productivity on and offline.
October 25, 2010 in America The Free, Conference Highlights, Events, On Branding, On Technology, PR & Marketing, San Francisco, Social Media, Videos, WBTW, Web 2.0 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
October 24, 2010
Anita Campbell: Small Businesses Are Not Homogenized Milk: #biztech
She starts with some stats on the small business/SMB market which she reminds gets labeled in countless ways depending on the source.
There are 27 million so-called small businesses in the U.S. alone, 21.4 million are single person or owner operators, not employees.
Of that 27 million, there are 5.4 million with 20 employees or under and 600K with 21-500 employees. In the marketplace, a lot of vendors define small business in different ways, as either less than 50 employees or less than 100 employees. Microsoft defines it as under 50 employees and SBA’s definition is between 500-1,000 but since this has to do with government contracting so it’s not really relevant.SMB tends to mean 100 employees up to 500 or 1,000. The real emphasis is on the M which is mid-sized business. She says, "don’t get confused by the definition of small business, i.e., whether it's an entrepreneur, a startup less than 5 years old, SMB (100-1,000 employees) or a micro-business. Tons of terms define small businesses.
But, she says, "small businesses are not homogenized milk." Some do's and don'ts when target small businesses with your product or service:
DO: segment and define your target market by industries, behaviors, needs, size (employee and news) and age (startups versus mature busineses)
DON’T: assume small businesses are all the same. PRICE isn’t everything when targeting small businesses.
DO: be price sensitive; create migration path for companies
DON’T: assume price is everything, but do give them something back.
DO: appreciate sophistication
DON’T: stereotype by owners age or number of employees.
DO: make the sales price easy. Sell growth without expense. Do sell quality of life for owners/managers. And do demonstrate ROI.
DON’T: sell based on reducing staff, don’t use tech lingo or corporate speak. Don’t deliver lengthy proposals, reports and presentations. Keep in mind that their time is very limited.
She also gives the audience 17 places/ways to find and target small businesses
1. From other small businesses – referrals
2. Partners who already have small business customers
3. Trusted advisors, accountants, consultants, lawyers et al
4. Search engines
5. Evening TV – cable TV ads and drive time radio
6. Social media – Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn
7. Coaching/biz owner organizations (YEO, NAWBO)
8. Family members
9. Integrated solutions (see TheSmallBusinessweb.com)
11. Social activities (church, children’s activities, sports)
12. Chamber of Commerce, i.e., Rotary (real estate)
13. Service on charity boards
14. Maintain connection with corporate coworkers
15. Networking events such as meet ups
16. Vertical industry associations
17. Online communities
Ben Parr: Social Media Is About People, Not Tools: #BizTechBen Parr of Mashable stressed the need to engage in the social web if you hope to succeed as a small or large brand at this weekend's BizTechDay in San Francisco. Key takeaways include:
1. Go to where your customers are....and more and more people are hanging out in social networks....on the social web.
2. Don't let someone else tell your story. The key thing to social is that YOU can tell your story directly.
3. Great ideas solve two problems: a problem that affects people - "if you think that you can just build it and they will come, it's BULL," Ben says. The second problem you can solve is distribution and social media is a distribution channel, an ultimate one.
4. Lastly, he says, "if you think of social media as tools, then you are a tool. Social media is about people. Social media is about communication. Social media is about engagement."
Bottom line, in order to build a remarkable brand, you have to build a channel first and engage that channel in interesting ways and often. A video clip of the last part of his talk below.
October 21, 2010
Southwest Airlines Talks About Their Social Media Strategy: #BWE10Southwest Airlines was a sponsor and exhibitor this year at BlogWorldExpo in Las Vegas. Christi McNeill from Southwest Airlines talks to me about their social media strategy, why she blogs and tweets and how they use social media tools as a company. Their social media team is only two, but they're active with over 1 million followers on Twitter and in the top ten in travel for 'influence.'