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Book Review & Giveaway: ‘Perspectives on Social Media Marketing’

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Perspectives on Social Media Marketing isn’t your average social media how to book. It provides easy to digest topics with both an agency perspective and a brand perspective (with a guest perspective thrown in for added viewpoints). Stephanie Agresta (from Porter Novelli) and B. Bonin Bouch (PepsiCo) come together to talk about understanding social media, how it has changed the marketing landscape, how to implement a tactical and strategic social media plan across your organization, how to best measure the ROI of a social media campaign, and more. Each topic has short and concise answers, with concrete examples and tips – so you can start implementing social media marketing in your business today. We have a copy to give away, details below!

Audience: Large Businesses, Small Businesses, Individuals – There’s something for everyone, including start-ups and successful businesses.
Tone: Conversational with some personal views, humor, and case studies sprinkled throughout.

Here are just some of the 89 specific topics included:

  • What is Personal Branding and How Important Is It?
  • How Has Social Media Changed Customer Service?
  • Do Consumers Really Want to Communicate with Brands? Why?
  • What Tools Are “Must Haves” for Every Social Media-Marketing Effort?
  • Should Strategy Come from PR or Marketing?
  • How Can Companies Use Social Media Internally to Improve Employee Morale?
  • Should Your Company Follow People on Twitter, or Just Be Followed?
  • Is There a Direct Relationship Between Social Media and Sales?
  • Is It Ever Too Late to Start Social Media?
  • What Would You Consider to be the Worst Social Media Campaign Ever Run?

An excerpt from the book (reprinted with permission):

Topic #27 What Advice Would You Give a Manager For a Company That Has So Far Ignored Social Media But Now Wants to Get Up to Speed?

B. Bonin Bough: The Brand Perspective
The first step is to make sure you yourself participate in the platform. Don’t kill yourself, though, trying to participate in every platform. Figure out which platforms you care about and focus on those. Also, understand that as an individual, you can be a part of social media without necessarily putting a lot of content into the space. I think one of the best rules of thumb is the 1–9–90 rule. It says that 1 percent of the people create the social media content, 9 percent of people participate in that content, and the other 90 percent are passive. It’s okay to be passive—although as a marketer, you want to be sure you understand the nuances of what it means to participate. I’m not the most prolific Twitter contributor, but I’m a freak about following it, so much so that that I have data visualization in my office that I can follow like a news ticker.

Next, you want to identify people in your business or industry who are influencers and power-users. If you can find folks who represent your passions, that’s even better. Start to fan, follow, subscribe. Search online to find recent articles that talk about the players in your area who are doing social media well and identify experts who discuss social media marketing in general. If you are a brand manager, bring in as many agencies as you can find time for.

I know that becomes very difficult after a while, but bring them in to talk to you so you have a sense of your options. Nobody has the one answer in this space, and you want to understand what all the different players bring to the table. Look for an agency that sounds different and that provides ideas that are not just based around their traditional business structure. And if they are a social media agency, look to see if they understand the scale necessary to drive your business objectives. Do not be afraid to be very clear about the resources that you require to actually make your program successful.

Another important piece that gets overlooked a lot is going to conferences. I spend my life going to conferences—talking to people, mingling with people, meeting new technologies. It’s a great way to be exposed to the culture of the space. For example, if you go to a social media conference, there will almost certainly be a Twitter screen behind the panelists. They are talking and tweeting at the same time. Everybody at the conference has a laptop, and they’re talking and tweeting and reading different things. That level of multitasking is completely lost inside the walls of a lot of marketing agencies right now; that’s a proof point that as a group we aren’t spending enough time at the conferences where new ideas are being formulated and thought about and behaviors are being transformed.

Finally, you want to follow and analyze your competition. You want to identify the best-in-class examples, and you want to find where the gaps and opportunities are. Also, look beyond your direct competitive circles and look at comparative circles. For example, with Gatorade, we are not just thinking about Gatorade and what might be perceived as other beverage competitors; we try to figure out who shares the mindspace of our core targets. In the case of Gatorade, that is elite athletes, athletic directors and coaches, and sideline moms. Who else are they listening to? Are there programs they are part of we can align ourselves with? That’s some of the best advice I can give for getting started.

Stephanie Agresta: The Agency Perspective
If you want to get up to speed with social media, the first thing you need to do is to get started with your own social media efforts. By that, I mean create personal accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. These three platforms are the most widely used. For media consumption, check out YouTube and Hulu and photo-sharing sites like Flickr. If you’re feeling ambitious, try starting a blog and posting a few thoughts. Sites like blogger.com and wordpress.com offer free blogging solutions. Create media and upload it. Share it with your friends. Also, read, read, read! There are so many great blogs out there, and the best part is, the content is free! Check out AdAge’s Power 150 list (http://www.adage.com/power150) for a complete list of top-notch marketing and PR blogs. Also, take note of what people are tweeting and re-tweeting on Twitter. Often, the best content is curated by people who are in your trusted network. Tools like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn basically create a river of news from your friends, colleagues, and family members. More and more, people are using this as a main source of information. Posts on these networks may just clue you into what is going on at a very high level, thereby allowing you to do further research on search engines and professional news sites.


Giveaway!

Here are the rules to win a copy of Perspectives on Social Media Marketing:

  • Leave a comment below, saying what you’d hope to learn from the book, to receive one entry.
  • Tweet about the contest for a second entry.
  • Entries must be received by midnight PST January 18th to be considered.

Win a Weekend Pass to BlogWorld 2010!

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Thanks to our friends at SXSW for helping put together this amazing chance for you to win a Weekend Pass to BlogWorld 2010!

Here are the details:

Write a song with lyrics that incorporate the event names “SXSW Interactive” and “BlogWorld”, record a video of yourself performing the song, and post it on YouTube. Email SXSW a link to the video by Sept 25, using the subject line “SXSW BlogWorld Song Contest 2010”.

Musical genre is not important, but creativity and showmanship are key. Most importantly, it should tell us in a fun way why you you are excited to attend BlogWorld 2010.

I’d love to showcase your videos here, so leave a link below if you’re entering the contest!

How to Throw a Successful Contest On Your Blog

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I love throwing contests on my blog. It’s a fun way to give back to my existing readers, and sometimes obtain new followers in the process. I think my latest contest was a huge success (in terms of what I wanted to get out of it), but some blogs go about it completely the wrong way – asking entrants to do the impossible and pushing them away.

Here are tips on how to throw a successful contest on your blog:

  • Set Your Goals:
    Before throwing the contest, establish the goal of actually hosting it. Do you want to give back to your community, obtain new readers, obtain Twitter or Facebook followers, or something else altogether? This will help you establish the scope and rules of the contest.
  • Obtain Your Prizes:
    Make sure your prize(s) are applicable to your blog topic. If you run a tech blog, you may not obtain interest in giving away a Toys R Us gift certificate! As far as physically obtaining the prizes, you can purchase one yourself, use free promotional material you’ve been given, or search out interested sponsors. In the past I have used ProfNet to ask for giveaways or products to review. For my latest contest I went on Etsy and asked if someone would be willing to donate a product.
  • Set Reasonable Ways to Enter:
    Your entry rules should suit the prize and your goals. If you’re giving away a $10 gift certificate, you can’t expect people to create a video and obtain 10,000 views for your contest! I typically only require a comment to be entered, but I provide additional ways to obtain entries (based on my goal set above). For my most recent contest, my goal was to get new blog followers, so I provided an extra 3 entries if they signed up to follow. I also gave an extra entry (up to 3) for tweeting about the contest.
  • Clearly State All Rules:
    State all rules clearly. Nobody wants to enter, only to find out that you won’t ship outside of the United States! You should also define the start and end date/time of the contest as well as any people who are ineligible to enter.
  • Promote the Contest:
    Begin promoting the contest as soon as you have details – you can begin hyping it up before it even starts! Consider including it in Online-Sweepstakes and other sweepstakes/contest websites to obtain even more exposure. Tweet about the contest and encourage others to tell their followers.

Do you have any other tips for hosting a successful contest?

Nikki Katz is the Managing Editor for the BlogWorld Blog. Feel free to follow her Twitter @nikki_blogworld and @katzni

Image Credit: SXC

Blog World Expo + Southwest Airlines = A Unique Opportunity

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Do you like traveling?  Do you like blogs?

Then you’re going to love this!

We are excited to announce that Blog World Expo is joining forces with Southwest Airlines to find the next Blog-o-spondent.  This person is going to get to travel around to select Southwest cities while creating videos and posting to a blog that will be shared with the rest of the world. Christi Day has been the official Southwest Blog-o-spondent for a while and now it’s time for you to join her!

So how do you enter the contest?

Submit your one minute video audition to the contest site, the rest of the world will then be able to vote on your video (and other submitted videos) through Aug 31st, so try to get your video up asap.  Once you upload your video don’t forget to blog about it, twitter it, and share with the rest of the world.

Once 3 winners are selected they will be invited to join us at Blog World Expo where they will compete in the final round where the winner will be chosen.

Blog World Expo is excited to work with Southwest Airlines to find the next Blog-o-sponded and we couldn’t think of a better place to hold the final competition round than at Blog World Expo in Las Vegas.

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