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Posts Tagged ‘Facebook’

How an Organization is Using Social Media to Increase Awareness and Significantly Impact Lives

Wednesday, January 14th, 2009

On-line networks are filled with information about social media and how companies are using it as a way to increase brand awareness and form closer, more meaningful relationships with their customers.  However, the skepticism among B2B marketers remains.  You can Google dozens of blog comments and articles where marketers still don’t associate social marketing with bottom line results.  Marketers are demanding more quantitative data on social marketing.  As a B2B marketer, I am continuously looking for examples of how social media has created an impact, whether financially or socially, and have provided one for my January post.I had the pleasure of chatting with fellow marketer Danny Brown about social media and how he’s using it to get the word out on his latest project www.12for12K.org, a charity organization that focuses on helping 12 charities, a different one each month, for 12 months.  January’s charity, War Child, provides relief for children of war torn countries like Gaza and Afghanistan. 

Q.     What sparked your desire to start the 12for12K initiative, what it is, and why use social media to do it?

A.      I’ve been involved with charities for a while. I don’t know when it was that the idea for 12for12k came to me – maybe it was an epiphany? I guess it started as “What can I do for 12 months?” and then the numbers came – 12 months, 12 charities, 1200 people, $10 per person per charity, $12,000 per charity.Once the idea was in place, I knew social media was the way to go. The outreach you have on places like Twitter and Facebook, as well as the connections that you make and that they make in return, made social media an obvious channel for the 12for12k project. The first week has been slow as people come back from the holidays, but we have some big plans for promotional pushes over the next couple of weeks.

Q.   With all the mixed press out there about social media (i.e., it’s a fad, doesn’t deliver ROI, etc.).  Describe two ways you think social media will endure the test of time and provide value for organizations.

A.    I think the main reason for organizations to get involved and use it is the cost factor. For example, instead of spending $50,000 on a PR campaign, why not spend $5,000 on a coordinated social media PR campaign instead? Use the tools that are available and spread the word that way? Of course, still have some form of traditional PR working alongside it, but nowhere near $50,000 worth.

The other real benefit is the connection social media can offer between businesses and their customers. With the unsure economy and reduced consumer spending, you need to keep your customers – connecting with them via the likes of Twitter and blogging and actually interacting with them will reap its own rewards. I always liken social media ROI to “Risk of Ignoring” – that’s where the value comes in.

Q.  How has social media benefited your own business and how do you measure its value?

A.  From a business point of view, it’s allowed me to get my brand and services in front of people I may have otherwise struggled to (from a logistical point of view). I can have a short bio on Twitter, people know what I do and how I do it, and that’s on view 24/7 to potentially 4 million people. Just the other day I met with a potential new client who found me on Twitter, liked what I was saying and set up a meeting.

Of course, it’s not just Twitter – there’s LinkedIn and FastPitch and many others, as well as using my blog to offer views on something that might help people. As far as measuring its value, it’s a waiting game, and I always advise my clients of this. It won’t be an overnight success; it won’t happen within a few short weeks.

But if you can build solid relationships with people through social media and offer as much of your service as you do promoting it, you’ll build a link that’s hard to break. People will come to you first and that kind of connection and trust is where the real value lies.

Danny Brown is a long-time corporate communications, marketing and promotions professional who has been involved in social media for six years.  He owns PressReleasePR, a boutique agency specializing in search engine optimized press releases and social media PR.   He has guest authored at Web Analytics World , is a blog partner of WebProNews and iEntry, and regular contributor to the  Dad-o-Matic project.

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Anna Barcelos is an AMA member and monthly blog contributor with 15 years of B2B/B2C marketing experience.  She is constantly on the look-out for best practices in both traditional and on-line marketing and likes to share it with fellow marketers through her blog and social media sites like Twitter (@ableo2).  Currently she’s the Director of Marketing & Business Development for a RI-based messaging (email/voice/surveys/SMS/fax) technology company.

Social Networking…LinkedIn and Facebook and Twitter…Oh My!

Monday, December 15th, 2008

As a marketers, let’s admit it, we love to network!  OK, so I will speak for myself.  All these networking tools are a whole lot of fun!  For the longest time I have been hearing the buzzword Social Networking and not really placing great emphasis on it.  Of course the social networking epiphany didn’t actually happen for me until after I started receiving phone calls and emails as a result of it.  For about 14 years, my career has primarily revolved around traditional and on-line marketing for B2B and B2C companies.  I have many contacts in the industry but have mainly had dialogues around marketing best practices.  This past summer, my career evolved into more of a business development role, and I can’t say enough about how social networking has helped me to be more successful in forming new relationships and partnerships!  Clearly social networking has gone corporate .  The trend has really increased in the past couple months, which is interesting, because that’s when I began really getting into it.   Here are the three social networks I frequent the most and what I’ve discovered about each one.  I highly recommend you use all of them and more!

LinkedIn

Yes, one of the classics.  LinkedIn focuses mainly on business networking, and I have found great connections there.  It is also a great place to keep up with people’s careers.  You’re able to make recommendations and write about the latest projects or business ventures you’re working on.   The profiles resemble resumes, which is great for those seeking employment or finding new business prospects or ventures.

Facebook

Facebook originated as an ideal place for college students to connect.  Over the past years, however, it has also gone corporate.  Although I couldn’t convince the folks at my company to have a presence on it (hello?), I created a profile and am building connections as a result of it.  Facebook is more personal.  It extends beyond just knowing someone on a professional level.  You’re able to display photos of family and friends as well as events you’ve attended with colleagues and friends.  There are a lot of fun applications you can use to “play” with your friends.  I haven’t really checked those out in great depth yet, but they include things like sending a friend a drink or taking quizzes to see if you’re alike.  There are a lot of ads and applications on Facebook.  It doesn’t hurt to check it out to see if it’s right for your company.

Twitter

This one is very interesting (and addictive at times).   Twitter is probably one of my favorites because it’s so amazingly simple!  This simple application enables you to post statements (140 characters or less), whether business-related or personal for all to see.  The way Twitter works as a networking tool is you post items, people will “follow” you if they’re interested in what you have to say, and in turn, you can follow them.  You build your network by following and being followed by people.  You can post URLs of your website, blogs or anything you think may be of interest.  If using it for business be sure to have the user name match the company name for consistency.  It gets really fun when you start getting followed.  For me there is this challenge of building my network of followers.  I have read some great posts and met some interesting people on Twitter.  It’s another great place to plug a new product, blog posting or anything else you feel would help your business. 

There are many social networking tools and web sites.  The walk-away here is to invest your time wisely on the ones that “give back” – whether personal or professional.  Please, always be yourself because people see through that more than ever today. 

Visit my profiles

www.facebook.com

www.twitter.com/ableo2

http://www.linkedin.com/in/annabarcelos

 To leave a comment, please double-click on title.

Anna Barcelos has over 14 years of B2B and B2C broad-based marketing experience, both traditional and on-line. She is the Director of Marketing and Business Development for BLI Messaging, a Providence, RI-based email, voice, survey, SMS and fax technologies company.  Anna is currently a member of AMA, MarketingProfs, and SOCAP. She is also a monthly AMA Boston blog contributor.

Alerting NASA: Planet 2.0 Discovered

Friday, August 22nd, 2008

Imagine a world where your personal and professional contributions are measured by the perceptions of your peers. Would you act differently? Would you become more extroverted or covert in day-to-day actions to avoid getting judged or eliciting potentially negative feedback? Can you fathom a world that no longer measures you on your productivity but rather defines you solely on the assessments of your peers? Could this be the future for all of us in Planet 2.0?

If everything was riding on the words of your peers, would there be a cultural change and would your friends and colleagues become virtual informants? I pose these questions at 2 am on a Friday night (and my first blog submission is already two weeks overdue…) attempting to understand the future implications of Web 2.0. According to Tim O’Reilly, “Web 2.0 is the business revolution in the computer industry caused by the move to the internet as platform, and an attempt to understand the rules for success on that new platform. Chief among those rules is this: Build applications that harness network effects to get better the more people use them, harnessing collective intelligence.” For those of you unfamiliar with Tim O’Reilly, he’s widely credited for coining the term “Web 2.0” amongst his many other achievements.

As a marketer, I am completely fascinated by human behavior, not only buying habits of certain segments but the surge in popularity of viral marketing and the  prominence of highly networked influencers. These people who are classified as “influencers” tend to be just like you and me in physical form and appearance but walk through life possessing clout and credibility that causes others to take action. Tim O’Reilly would be classified as an influencer who through his books and efforts has made certain technologies top-of-mind in many circles.

With my first blog submission, I am by no means attempting to influence you to remove your profile from Facebook or never again critique a book on Amazon.com, but I want you to understand that despite the brilliance of Web 2.0, there are cultural implications of social media that we do not yet understand. I leave you with a question: what are the cultural and social implications of Web 2.0 and does society have a contingency plan or simply a crisis communications plan if as reviewers and auditors of those around us we become too exposed or inaccurately portrayed? The personal brand that you once owned now ceases to exist and metamorphoses into something beyond your control – are you ready for a disaster recovery of yourself? Or, in order to generate positive assessments from colleagues and peers, you start to modify your behavior to such an extent that you eventually lose sight of your own uniqueness. As you can see by these extreme scenarios, the implications of social media are both exciting and petrifying.

My biggest fear is that with all the advancements within social media, we are nearing a long term cultural shift where opinions become the qualifiers of greatness and the human spirit is put into question. Our new web enabled reality is almost like a new planet; let me coin it, “Planet 2.0” for our immediate purposes. Whether it’s a film or book review, Facebook photo, or comment on LinkedIn, your words have the power to permeate cyberspace so be extra careful with your words. The old adage still applies, “the pen is mightier than the sword.” Final comment: social media is viral and operates on a virtual microcosm of influencers. Please take precautions when posting.

AMA Boston creates new LinkedIn and FaceBook groups

Monday, January 14th, 2008

Interested in connecting with other marketers in the Boston area and beyond? The Boston Chapter of the American Marketing Association (AMA Boston) has created two new online networking groups to further expand our professional marketing community.

LinkedIn
We get daily requests from marketing professionals looking to be included in our LinkedIn group called, AMA Boston Marketers. If you’re already a member of AMA Boston, it’s likely that you’re already pre-approved to join our LinkedIN group!

Facebook
If you would also like to network with us on Facebook, join our new Facebook Group.

Myles Bristowe
President-elect, AMA Boston

Join our group on LinkedIN:

Visit Connect.AMABoston.org
AMA Boston • Office: 411 Waverly Oaks Road, Suite 331B, Waltham, MA 02452 • (781) 647-7555

The views and opinions on this blog are solely those of the contributors and do NOT necessarily reflect the official opinions of the Boston Chapter of the American Marketing Association.