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MEIEA Conference Recap

Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

Several months ago, I was asked to moderate a panel at the MEIEA Conference for Advanced Social Media Strategy. It was a great opportunity and I was thrilled to be asked to moderate. The conference coordinator asked me to put the panel together as well, and frankly, that was the hardest part! None of the panelists were compensated for their time beyond admission to the rest of the conference so imagine my surprise when all of my top candidates for the panel agreed to sit on it. Here they are:

Fran Vincent – Retro Island Productions/MySpace for Musicians
Katherine Stimson – Bennett Law Office/Suman Entertainment Group/Farm to Market Music
Janet Hagan – Social Deviants/Naxos of America
Tony GrotticelliTOGA Entertainment

Each panelist I invited has exceptional experience in social media marketing. Fran even wrote MySpace for Musicians, and the 2nd edition is about to go to print! (Highly recommend the book for anyone looking to get into MySpace – she even has medium-advanced HTML code and actually EXPLAINS what it means in lamens terms. I do own the 1st edition and have used it for many projects).

The questions I had for the panelists were all questions that Janet and I receive on a nearly daily basis. You have profiles – now what? What are the tools that you use to maximize your time spent online? What is the next big thing?

Now what? – Have a plan. Know why you’re on the networks. If your fans aren’t there, why are you wasting your time? If your fans are there and want to interact with you (as evidenced by their timid interaction on your profile), then how do you interact with them? Every company should have a marketing plan in place – social media is no different.

Helpful tools? – Tools I use to help streamline my social media initiatives are:
Twitter: Hootsuite | Posterous | Bit.ly | Ad.ly
Facebook: Hootsuite | Mashable has great articles on what applications to add to your facebook page that will not only enhance content you post, but will keep fans coming back
MySpace: MySpace for Musicians (disclaimer: I know Fran & bought the book!)
Discovery: Search.Twitter.com | Technorati | Google | BlogCatalog
Blogs: Google Analytics | IceRocket.com | Digg | Delicious | StumbleUpon | Technorati

Bloggers you should follow: Check out Mashable’s article
Video: MeFeedia | Vimeo | YouTube

NBT? – Location based applications! Enter Yelp, Hot Potato, and FourSquare. I personally am an avid FourSquare user, and there’s nothing better than checking into a location and getting the inside scoop on what to do and not do at that location. I’ve gotten some pretty great food recommendations that way!

Other companies are starting to use location based applications to enhance their incentive programs. Others are using them to shout out to their fans to increase brand awareness. Still others are incorporating them into a larger strategy where fans communicate to each other at live events over those platforms, and exchanging pictures, comments and experiences at the live event with everyone at a location. Use your creativity to tap into the potential of social media, especially location based apps as they are the future for at least the next year.

What apps are you using? Have you jumped on the FourSquare/Yelp bandwagon yet? Is there anything out there that you’re using?

Posted in analytics, blog, delicious, digg, Facebook, foursquare, google, mashable, mefeedia, myspace, posterous, social media, stumbleupon, technorati, Twitter, vimeo, yelp, youtube | 3 Comments »

My best friend’s sister’s boyfriend’s brother’s girlfriend heard from this guy who knows this kid who’s going with the girl who saw Ferris pass out at 31 Flavors last night. I guess SOCIAL MEDIA is pretty serious.

Friday, December 11th, 2009

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it”
— Ferris Bueller
Technology (specifically, the technologies that propel social media’s progress) moves pretty fast, too. Some would argue, that if you do stop and look around, you will definitely miss it. Thing is, you don’t want to miss the point of slowing down to look around.
I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that there are NO experts in social media. Pipe down. Yes, there are wise ones who have grown with the mediums and certainly know more than most how to find method within the madness (Do I need to mention Chris Brogan in another post? I didn’t think so). However, I would argue that precisely because there are new technologies within new social platforms across the social ‘verse announced daily it seems, that there might be passionate hunter-gatherers out there who love to be first to try the new app or whatever so they can conquer and share the social (r)evolution, but that doesn’t make them an expert. It makes them an explorer — the ones who bravely go where others fear to tread…at least first.
The good news to my claim is that this means that anyone can become an expert. Participate. Explore this new frontier with us. Discover something we haven’t, or find ways to use the tools in a different way to suit your needs. In the words of Timothy Leary “Tune in. Turn on.” And to avoid the urge to “Drop out,” slow down, and enjoy this new social world around you. Take the time to dig in. Or, to use yet another analogy, avoid the shallow end.
When you’re out there trying new things, be authentic. Admit that you don’t know it all, and start conversations with others to find answers. Share knowledge. And finally, make it part of your daily routine. You need to exercise your social muscles so they don’t atrophy…and so you’ll be ready when that next new thing comes along and you have to incorporate that into your world of social tools.
Sooo, anyone have anything to say about this? Anyone? Bueller?

Posted in Advice, delicious, digg, Facebook, marketing, myspace, social media, Social Networks, Twitter, yelp, youtube | 1 Comment »

Virtually Confused

Friday, October 16th, 2009

When Janet approached me with this blog idea, I honestly thought “damn. Another blog to keep up with.” But then I realized that I maintain a company’s online presence, a couple of different band’s presences, but NOT MY OWN? What the heck happened? When did I become so benevolent? Answer: never.

So a bit of background on me and then we’ll get on to the good stuff. I’m a 24 year old woman from Texas who loves good food, good wine and interesting people. I’ve been to 3 of the 7 continents and still think Colorado is where I’ll eventually retire (if I don’t go to Oregon to start a vineyard/B&B in my “retirement”). I also love a man in uniform! I know just enough to get me into trouble, but not enough to cure mankind of hunger, poverty or loneliness.
Now on to the good stuff.
A question that pops up alot is “How do I decide which social network to join?” There are literally thousands of social networks out there and new ones start up every day! The great news is that you can find virtually any group you want to connect with out there on the web. Alternatively, you can even start your own network and I guarantee you someone else out there will be interested in it. Take a look at your ideal consumer. What is he or she into? What do they care about and why? Where are they hanging out online?
If you’re pitching a cupcake company, you’d probably have a pretty good idea of your perfect customer: moderate disposable income, sweet-tooth, has love of food. Actively seek out those types of foodies and try to connect with them on any of the platforms out there from the major social networks to blogs to even interactive recipe websites. See what they’re talking about and why! If you check out Ning.com and don’t find anything, you probably don’t need to be there. Alternatively, if you find out there are already built in audiences on Facebook, make sure you’re active and offering helpful advice to other group members!
Don’t feel like you have to be on every major social network. In fact, being on every network and having a weak presence on each could be more of a detriment to yourself or your company than having one where you are a powerhouse. Unless you’re prepared to staff an entire department of Gen-Y kids dedicated to updating everything, being on every network is a waste of your time. You should focus on your key networks and leave the rest up to your superfans or tribe members. Let your fans evangelize for you! That’s the beautiful thing about social media and the viral nature of it all. You don’t have to be in control! Simply guide the creation of your message and the rest naturally falls into place.

Posted in Advice, blog, blogging, brand, delicious, digg, Facebook, marketing, myspace, Social Networks, Twitter, youtube | No Comments »