Friday, October 22, 2010

Social Media - Are We Truly Engaging Customers?

I had the privilege of meeting a new friend last night and we sparked up a somewhat philosophical discussion about Social Media. We weren't on different sides of the topic; it was more that we both felt equally passionate about the need for companies to see the bigger picture.

Social Media is here and it's not going away. It will only get stronger, stranger, more complex and more interesting. It will be used (in 5 years) in ways that we can't even begin to dream up today. So, we all know we need to do it, but how and why? I recently had a client say, "well, I just need a FB and Twitter." My answer was yes, you do, but not just because your competitors have it. You need it because you are trying to expand and it's a marketing expansion tool (when used properly).You need Social Media to attract more business, engage with your customers and make them feel like they are buying from you because they trust, admire and respect your brand.

At that point, she bought in and was a believer. We took her distributor list and client list and threw them into just to see what was out there. We are now targeting those avenues and have created a communications strategy and marketing goals around connecting those people virtually and engaging them into her brand. For you Social Media wizards out there, this isn't rocket science (I didn't just impress you). But for that 70% of the rest of the world, you don't know where to start. It's not a bad thing, it just means you need to hire a Social Media marketer/strategist, set up properly, ensure it's strategic and then take it over when you are prepared. Not every Social Media strategy will begin this way, this was just appropriate for her business. But, you get the picture.....start somewhere.

Lastly, my friend and I spent a ton of time talking about engaging customers. This is the hardest part of Social Media by far. As a company, you have to decide what your voice is going to be to the world and how many of those voices you will allow. You must, I repeat must, engage customers immediately, if not within 24 hours of them reaching out to you. Even if their comments are silly and humorous, they are looking to engage.... that's the hook.Your Social Media team needs to be set up to handle those conversations and understand how to elevate as appropriate and/or forward to the correct business unit to keep business flowing for that particular consumer.

When starting you Social Media Strategy, please consider what "engaging" your particular customers looks like and what they would be looking to you to provide. What are all the ways that exist in which you can add value to their lives and also do you have the right people in the right roles to accurately follow through on those conversations. Last, but not even close to least, track your ROI. Track your Social Media to ensure that it's working to not only open up communications, but to enhance the experience that the consumer has with your organization. This will result in stronger relationships and stronger brand thus meaning sales for you.

Hope you enjoyed! Stay tuned for more soon.
Thanks for your time!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Paradise Hunting - It Feels Right

Crazy Life Update.......

I am in the middle of crunch time to land my dream job. I have to admit this seems kind of crazy and feels a bit strange. I have always been so responsible and committed to a clearly defined set of goals (in my job searches), that this unknowing and uncertainty is strange. And, getting friends and family (and the general public) to see that about you through a one minute video is not easy. You guys have all been amazing!! On average my votes are going up by 75 - 90 per day...yay!! That is a really amazing commitment on your thank you! I have always found jobs through referrals, but this idea of needing over 4000 or 5000 referrals is a bit!

The experience has forced me to get really creative with what I would call "grass roots" marketing efforts. I have business cards made that I hand to everyone. I have an event on FB (through which I keep bugging you all daily) with over 1100 people linked. I have personally DM'ed each of my twitter followers for a vote. I have sent a Press Release to seven radio stations, five TV stations and 61 blogs (in and around Austin). And, I have lost my entire life with leaving no posts about anything in my regular life, just personal consumption and asking you to vote for me. LOL! So, first, thank you for indulging ;-) Second, if you can think of other marketing avenues, let me know! Lastly, please know that this pushes me way outside my comfort zone, because I am a helper and love to network to help you all find things that you need. It is out of my nature to ask for personal gain. I believe personal gain comes from being a good person.

However, after it's all said and done, this is honestly one of THE most exciting things that I have ever done. I have never felt so sure of my ability to do a job really, really well. I wake up each day anxious to see the votes and my ranking. The process is fun, but mostly it's the thought that this job could really be my next big adventure. It's thrilling and exhilarating to be part of such an amazing journey. And, the more I learn about the organization, the more I get excited to work with them. Check out their site for vacation and investment ideas.

I am still working on Social Media as well. I have two clients who are keeping me really busy and forcing me to work outside my comfort zone through learning new things. Stay tuned for launches of their Social Media campaigns. We are really working on getting them some much needed and deserved PR.

Vote for me here and please pass this link along to your email distributions (if you are so inclined):

Monday, October 11, 2010

I Need Your Vote and Support! Let's Explore Paradise Together!

As some of you may know I am right in the middle of the most exciting journey of my life! Literally, sitting on the computer one day, exploring job postings, this amazing opportunity popped up in my search. After I read the posting, I thought "this can't be true" there is no way they are actually going to pay someone to do this job! Well, it is true and here I am just over 2270 votes later....aiming for my dream job!

Here's the gig....  Paradise Hunter is searching for the next TV Series host. In this job, I will travel around the world to 12 different places exploring the cultures, people, community and the many ex-pats who have already discovered why each place is "paradise" to them. It's a one year deal that pays $60,000 to travel around the world trying to discover "my paradise" as we share all the ins and outs with the viewers (who are also discovering their paradise).

I am currently in 5th place to win (the first round of voting and casting) and need several hundred more to stay in the top five. So, please pass this to your friends and family and ask them to help an Austin gal land her dream job ;-) You can vote once per day until November 5, 2010. Thank you so much for your support!

Vote HERE:

Paradise Hunter Overview Video

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Social Media Strategy - Wild Game Marinades - Local Legends

I am working with a new client whom I adore! She sells spices, rubs and marinades to the fishing/gaming industry. I am intrigued and excited to help her get "social". The fun news is that her target market is easy to identify. The tough part is that it may be limited (yes, I might be stereotyping now) in that a portion of that industry is not social yet and will be harder to reach. However, those that we do reach we will be focused on developing long-term and deep relationships to further her business.

The other interesting thing is that she primarily markets B2B and a large portion of our business plan is to engage more stores who will carry her products. She will sell B2C, but it's not her ultimate goal. We will have to integrate this into our strategy without taking away from her B2B client focus. Hmmmm - stay tuned!

Her products are absolutely fabulous! Instead of masking the natural flavors of wild game, their recipes enhance the essential elements of Duck, Goose, Venison, Elk, Pheasant, Chuckar, Quail, Dove, Grouse, Wild Boar, Wild Turkey, Salmon, and Trout. Check her out at

Okay, so time to get busy, I need to put together an outline for our strategy. We need to identify our objectives, define how it will integrate with her existing communications strategy, decide what her capacity for future will/can be, define measurements (short and long-term) and make decisions on the most important network needs (character, competence, numbers, strength, information, relevance or diversity) (as per Scott Allen; Time to go...lot's to get done quickly!

TTYL - Jenn