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Lessons, Tips and Useful Thoughts on Social Marketing [PRESENTATION]

July 5, 2012

The following is a guest post by Autom Tagsa. Follow Autom on Twitter (@autom8).

Introduction

The recent and successful Canadian Association of Exposition Management’s 2012 annual conference (#caem2012) offered me a chance to share the preso below on the topic of social media and marketing. I am honoured to have had the opportunity to speak and am profoundly thankful to both SME Canada and the CAEM for granting me the privilege.

The Presentation

Those who occasionally thumb through my blog will know that the majority of the content in the preso is not terribly new. Nonetheless, the  points serve to remind seasoned SM users while offering pointers and “AHA” moments to those just beginning to sink their teeth into social.

All that I have read, tried, tested, learned, blogged about and assimilated through observation, conversation and practice since 2008 makes up this presentation. Inspiration comes easily with specific points of reference during one’s ongoing journey in social media. This is why I never tire of praising my Twitter follows (yes, y’all rock) for their continued feedback, support and constructive exchanges.

View the Presentation via Google Docs

The menu

AppetizerPersonal branding and some wild Stats

Main course:

  1. Tips on social strategy
  2. Blogging: key lessons
  3. Mobile is here and you’re already behind

Dessert:

  1. Influence vs reputation

Thank you Dennis Shiao (Director, Product Marketing, INXPO) and Joseph Fiore (Owner, RepuMetrix): gentlemen and scholars alike. Thanks again for your invaluable review and input.

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#eventprofs Profile: Jenise Fryatt (@JeniseFryatt) on Event Evolution and More

August 5, 2011

“Events will change, but they will also thrive because nothing is more satisfying than turning our online relationships into real-life face to face friendships”

Introduction

Jenise Fryatt (@JeniseFryatt, @IconPresentsAV) is Co-Owner and Marketing Director for Icon Presentations, an independent audio visual company that provides sound, video, projection & lighting support for events. Jenise is based in Southern California. Online, however, you can find her everywhere.

Jenise founded the #EIR movement by creating the associated hash tag and promoting Twitter users who “Engage, Inform and Retweet.” She’s a power user and influencer in the #eventprofs community, sharing a constant stream of useful resources that rivals the pace of Jeff Hurt (@JeffHurt).

In addition, Jenise is Community Manager for Engage365, an online community for event professionals that focuses on technology and innovation. She’s also a co-organizer for Event Camp Europe, taking place this Fall in London.

Thoughts on: Event Camp

Event Camp is a collection of events that was formed by the #eventprofs community on Twitter. Its mission is “to bring together like-minded professionals, to share best practices, and learn new strategies, for leveraging social media and technology to create enhanced event experiences.”

Event Camp Twin Cities (#ectc11) is fast approaching and Jenise recommends you attend. “Last year ECTC blew everyone away with its masterful hybrid event presentation,” said Jenise. “I’m happy to say that this year I will be sharing improv concepts and a game or two with the ECTC participants,” continued Jenise.

Event Camp East Coast gives event pros the opportunity to experience a completely attendee-driven event.  According to Jenise, “That one changed my life last year starting me on a new career path sharing improv games with non-performers.“

Thoughts on: Hybrid Events

Jenise attended her first hybrid event in 2010 (Event Camp).  She was immediately captivated by the power of hybrid events. “I particularly like what people like Emilie Barta (@EmilieBarta) have done to improve the presentation quality by blending platforms and including remote and onsite audiences as participants in one event,” said Jenise.

Thoughts on: Event Evolution

Jenise is excited by the movement in the event industry to “recognize and make use of the collective knowledge of our event participants.” According to Jenise, “I have performed and studied improv for several years and know first-hand that magic happens when you give a group the proper tools for collaborating and just let them go.”

I expect this model of active attendee involvement to accelerate. Millenials, who grew up with the web at their fingertips, are frustrated by passive audience models. Jenise expects to see “creativity in new technology and formats like virtual events, gaming elements in events and participant driven events.”

Thoughts on: Event Evolution for Associations

“One thing to watch is the threat that these new ways of meeting and collaborating so easily and inexpensively pose to the traditional ways associations are run.  Associations will have to evolve to remain relevant. Events will change, but they will also thrive because nothing is more satisfying than turning our online relationships into real-life face to face friendships.”

Thoughts on: Social Marketing for Small Business

To market a small business online, Jenise partakes in a steady diet of content creation. She maintains two blogs, Sound n’ Sight and Eventprov. She uses Twitter to promote her blog posts – and at the same time, uses Twitter to share related content that clients may find useful.

Jenise guest blogs whenever asked, moderates Twitter chats for #eventprofs and #Engage365 and regularly posts on Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+. Like I said earlier, she’s everywhere. It’s hard work, but it pays off for Icon Presentations. According to Jenise, “We now rank #1 for almost all of our key words. And I have had many business opportunities as a result of my online friendships.”

For other small businesses looking to market themselves online, Jenise has this bit of sage advice: “Change your perception about marketing.  It’s not about one-way broadcasting anymore.  It’s about building relationships with potential clients as well as those who will help to sing your praises.”

Thoughts on: Google+

Jenise has been experimenting with Google+, noting that the most active people are the early-adopter, social media geek types. So far, she likes how Google+ combines some of her favorite attributes of Facebook and Twitter.

She’s excited by Google Hangouts, the group video feature of Google+. “A few of my online friends and I have been meeting for group video chats for more than a year and have struggled with tech difficulties on several platforms we’ve tried. When we tried Hangouts it was easy and all the tech problems were gone.”

Related Resources

  1. Web site: Icon Presentations
  2. Blog: Sound n’ Sight
  3. Blog: Eventprov
  4. Web site: Engage365
  5. Web site: Event Camp Twin Cities

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Using Social Media Marketing To Drive Your Virtual Tradeshow Leads

September 14, 2010

The following is a guest post from Cece Salomon-Lee.

As a marketer, one of my goals is to generate the right leads for my sales force as efficiently and quickly as possible.  This requires constant evaluation of existing tools — emails, banner ads, and events — as well as new ones such as social media and virtual events. While webinars arguably are a standard part of a marketer’s lead gen toolbox, virtual tradeshows are just being considered. Part of the challenge is how to effectively drive qualified sales leads to your booth or virtual event.

Here are recommendations on how to leverage social media to market your next virtual tradeshow (Please note that these recommendations are for organizations who are hosting their own virtual tradeshows and may need to be amended for those exhibiting within a virtual event):

Identify Online Influencers

Each industry has influencers who yield a lot of sway with potential and existing customers. However, popularity – the number of followers or readers -is not necessarily a barometer of one’s online influence– the ability to drive a community of individuals to an action. Identifying the right influencers based on your objectives and audience will require research and time. When done well, these individuals will write or tweet about your upcoming event.

Here are some recommendations:

Twitter Search: Use keywords to find those who tweet the most about your industry.

Twinfluence: Not only does Twinfluence provides a list of the top 50 twitter users based on reach, velocity and social capital, but also can leverage this to determine the influence of those you researched via Twitter search.

AllTop: While you can use Technorati to search for top ranked blogs, I recommend starting with Alltop, which categorizes blogs under separate topics. This will help narrow down the blogs most appropriate for your virtual tradeshow.

Engage in Conversations

Have you been in a middle of a conversation when a stranger suddenly interrupts and adds his two cents? Your initial reaction probably was “who is this guy?”. Well the same applies to online conversations. It’s important to engage in existing conversations BEFORE jumping in to promote your event and disappear. Rather, take time to monitor and participate in ancillary conversations weeks if not months before your event.

For example, research and join relevant groups on Facebook or LinkedIn related to your company, industry and/or solution. If there is a relevant question, avoid the temptation to market only your company or product. Rather, respond with valuable information that contributes to the conversation. This helps to position you and your company positively.

Advertise Socially

Social networks have a wealth of demographic and professional information regarding its members. This is a great opportunity to create ads that target specific age groups or professional titles.  Facebook allows you to select age group, region and professional title when creating ads. Like Google adwords, you’ll want to create variations of your ads, test and refine to determine the best copy and attributes. If you’re targeting more than one professional level, I recommend creating separate ads with only that professional title to better determine who is clicking through. At this time, Facebook doesn’t provide detailed analysis by title.

While LinkedIn Premium Events service is coming soon, you can leverage the social networks’ Direct Ads service to target the network’s 76+ million members. Options include company size, job function, industry, seniority, gender, age and geography.

Share Freely

With the proliferation of information online, the challenge is to demonstrate the value of your virtual tradeshow to motivate people to register and attend. You can entice potential attendees by highlighting the types of information that is available at the tradeshow. For example:

– Blog Posting: Planning a white paper? Consider sharing a graph from the white paper and soliciting feedback to drive interest.

Slideshare.net: Presenting in the virtual tradeshow? Upload the presentation slides to Slideshare and promote via Twitter, your blog, etc. Then invite people to submit questions that will be answered at the conference.

YouTube: Have a product video? Consider posting to YouTube and embedding it on your website, blog, etc

In each instance, include information about your upcoming virtual tradeshow, such as dates, times, and a unique URL to track conversions.

Measurement and Tracking

So you’re tweeting the event, connecting with industry influencers and sharing content online. The next question is how to you track the effectiveness of your social media marketing?  Most virtual event platforms should have a system for tracking and measuring media campaign effectiveness. At minimum, they should be able to provide a formula for tracking those who visit a landing page and register accordingly.

Assuming the above, I recommend:

1) Creating unique landing page URLs for each channel

2) Shorten the URL via a URL shortener service, such as Bitly, that tracks the number of clicks per URL

3) Measure, evaluate and update your marketing mix based on the a) click-through rate and b) conversion to registrations

Conclusions

One word of warning is to first research and evaluate before plunging in with a social media marketing program, especially when contacting individuals and bloggers or participating in online discussions. While social media marketing takes time and effort, when done well, the results can be spectacular!

What strategies or tactics have you used to drive virtual tradeshow attendance?

Bio

As Principal of PR Meets Marketing, Cece Salomon-Lee has over 15 years experience conceptualizing and executing successful strategies for public relations, customer communications, executive visibility, analyst relations, social media and virtual events.  She has worked with start-up and established organizations in enterprise software, SaaS and digital entertainment, such as Blue-ray Disc Association, Cisco Systems, DreamWorks Animation, HP, Yahoo!, and MapQuest. Follow Cece at @csalomonlee or via email cece@prmeetsmarketing.com.


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