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June 2012

Visit the BEA Show Floor While at BlogWorld New York 2012

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Did you know your BlogWorld ticket also gets you into the show floor at Book Expo America? It’s right upstairs and many BlogWorld speakers are doing book signings or have their books represented there. Stop by and show some support! Here are some views from the BEA show floor this morning:

 

If you’re a BEA attendee, also don’t forget that you can come to the registration desk here at BlogWorld to upgrade your pass and attend all of our educational sessions! We also have a virtual ticket option, which allows you to get recordings from the sessions after the event. And your BEA pass gets you into our expo hall for FREE – so don’t be shy; stop by and say hello to everyone here at BlogWorld!

The Blogworld Daily Wrap-up for Tuesday, June 5th

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I’m here at Blogworld in New York, having a good time, meeting a lot of cool people, meeting some old friends and learning a ton of stuff – particularly about my new interest in podcasting.

Since I am in charge of producing the virtual ticket, I thought it would be cool to give you a rundown of what’s going on at Blogworld and to let you know who we are talking to and what’s going on here in New York in case you can’t be here.

I started the day by coming into the speakers room and hanging out with Srinivas Rao, Father Roderick Vonhogen, Leslie Samuel, and a handful of other cool people. Then I attended a panel session by Mur Lafferty and Rob Walch on conducting interviews – really cool information. I heard Scott Stratton and Jim Krukal face off in what was basically a cage match over the merits of self publishing versus traditional publishing. Check out the audio clip of our interview with Jim, talking about the merits of self-publishing below:

Here’s a behind-the-scenes audio clip of Srinivas Rao chatting with us about the evolution of a platform and when it makes sense to go into multiple forms of media.

And as the host of the Virtual Ticket, I’ve created some killer content today just for the Virtual Ticket holders. If you’re one of them, you’ll find interviews with:

  • Father Roderick Vonhogen, a Catholic priest who has a podcast about pop culture and Catholicism (which you would think would be an odd mix). It just goes to prove that can you use new media in all sorts of applications – not just the ones that we normally think of.
  • Rich Brooks talked about ways to come up for topics for your blog so that you never run out of things to write about in your blog.
  • Rob Walsh chatted with me about how to get the best interview for your podcast.

Here’s another video from the BlogWorld conference floor. If you’re not in The Big Apple, here’s what you’re missing:

I will be posting more updates and interviews for you to listen to each day – both tomorrow and Thursday. And don’t forget, you can still get into Blogworld without leaving your home by picking up a Virtual Ticket. And if you’re onsite, head over to the registration desk and ask for the Virtual Ticket, and they’ll add it for you!

Stay tuned until tomorrow!

YouTube as a Community, Not Just a Platform

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If you’re creating a web series, you’re likely uploading content to YouTube. While this is a great platform to reach new views, if you’re justthinking about YouTube as a platform, you’re doing yourself an injustice. Instead, it pays to think of YouTube as a community. Today at BlogWorld New York, this was one of the topics discussed by moderator Joseph Warshaw and panelists Maria Diokno, Colin Evans, and Donnell Riley at their session, “Social Media for Web Series.”

Growing Your Web Series Through the YouTube Community

Because YouTube is such a large and open community, you can easily connect with others in your niche to grow your own subscriber numbers. The key, according to Joseph, is to network in a smart way, using connections to grow slowly. If you have 2,000 subscribers, start by connecting with people in the YouTube community with 4,000 subscribers – not a million subscribers. As you grow, you an approach people who are more popular, but it makes sense to grow slowly.

Reaching Out to Local People

Don’t forget that even though YouTube is a huge community, you can also make it very “small.” Reach out to local users, because you can easily collaborate with these people. This is beneficial to both of you, since you can easily cross promote on one another’s channels. To go along with this tip, you can also reach out to local aspiring actors, who will often jump at the chance to be a guest on your web series. So, find your local community on YouTube and connect with these people.

This is just a small piece of the tips and tricks these panelists discussed. Want to hear the entire discussion? Pick up a virtual ticket today, and you’ll get recordings of this and all other sessions from BlogWorld New York 2012.

BlogWorld New York 2012: Views from the Show, Day One [Video]

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If you’re at home wishing you we at BlogWorld, we has a special treat for you – a quick video showing views from the show and talking to some awesome attendees and speakers about what they love about BlogWorld. Check it out, and don’t forget that you can still come on down to the Javits Center in New York to join us or pick up a virtual ticket to get access too all of the recorded sessions from the comfort of your own home.

Shout out to Srinivas Rao for helping us shoot this video.

Using Your Podcast Content as a Gateway

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Today, podcasters Jay Glatfelter, Jack Glatfelter, Rob Cesternino, and Zach Logan joined moderator Darrell Darnell to talk about Building a Successful Fan Podcast. One of the most interesting topics they covered was how you can easily use your first or main podcast as a gateway to build your community around other podcasts as well, which is also possible for web series and blogs. So how can you do it? Here are some tips from the guys:

  • Think about what makes your content unique.

One of the most important things to think about as a digital content creator is what makes you so special. Your community cares about more than just your content. Jack and Jay, for example, started another podcast just to ramble, since they did this on their Lost podcast. You need to bring your community together in a way that goes beyond your topic.

  • Be entertaining.

To go along with the first tip, as a podcaster, you need to realize that your fans want to listen to your podcast because it’s from you. Says Rob, “If you’re entertaining and people enjoy listening to you, you can talk about any subject.” So realize that you can promote your content to across the board (as long as it makes sense). In other words, if you have a podcast about gaming, you can use it to talk about your television podcast, as long as you can find that tie-in.

  • Feel strongly about your content.

One of the points Zach talked about was how important it is be passionate about your topic and podcast about things you care about. This doesn’t have to be about charity work (though it certainly can be), but create a campaign for something you care about. When you have a passion for your topics, fans will come together to create a community and you have that common bond, so they’re more likely to follow you to your other content as well.

Of course, this is just a small sample of the content from this panel. Interesting in learning more? You can get access to the session as well at the dozens of other sessions at BlogWorld New York by picking up a virtual ticket (or adding it onto your live ticket if you’re already here at BlogWorld but missed this session). Check it out here!

Tom Webster Talks About the State of Social Media

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56% of Americans have a personal profile on a social network.

93% of Americans have heard of Facebook and 90% have heard of Twitter, (which is significant because only about 85% of Americans have Internet access).

22% of Americans – about 58 Million people – use social media sites every single day.

These are just a few of the stats Tom Webster shared during his session, “The Social Habit 2012: How Americans Real Use Social Media.” Tom works for Edison Research, and his presentation revealed some interesting – and even surprising – facts about today’s social media users.

Twitter’s Interesting Growth

Facebook is still killing it when it comes to social networking, but that doesn’t mean other networks aren’t growing at all. Twitter, for example, has seen some interesting growth. About 26 Million Americans use Twitter, but even more interestingly, people are starting to become more engaged on this network. People aren’t just “silent users” watching that is going on – they are no using the network more to send tweets.

In addition, more than four in ten Americans hear or read about tweets nearly every day in the media, even if they don’t have a personal profile on Twitter. Says Tom, “I have to believe the amount of content that gets shared, the way it gets shared…it’s changing the way we process and learn information.

Following Brands Online

Another interesting group of stats Tom shared was about how people follow brands on social media sites. Most follow on Facebook, which is unsurprising, but what is notable is that people are becoming more aware of how they’re following brands online. Fewer people are simply hitting the “like” button and are instead making a conscious decision to follow brands they like online. 33% follow a brand on social networking sites – this number has doubled since 2010.

Want More Stats?

This is just a small taste of the stats Tom shared, alone with his dissection of what these stats mean. Want the whole thing? Check out our virtual ticket, which gives you access to full recordings of all of the sessions you may have missed at BlogWorld New York 2012! It’s great for those of you stuck  at home or for those of you already at BlogWorld and worried about missing sessions you want to see. (And if you’re on the East Coast and don’t yet have a ticket, there’s still time to head over to the Javits Center in New York to check out Wednesday and Thursday sessions.)

BlogWorld app now available

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For those of you attending BlogWorld New York this week, we’ve just launched a new app to enhance your conference experience! The new BlogWorld app, powered by Mobile Roadie, will allow attendees to find conference sessions, connect with peers, and get the latest news about the event. The app is available for the iPhone, iPad, and Android and is available for free from iTunes.

Gimme the app!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Watch BlogWorld from Home with our Live Stream!

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As you know, BlogWorld is the place to be to get to know your favorite bloggers and online personalities! Whether you can be there in New York or not, we’re going to make sure you have a chance to get to know a lot of the speakers!

How?

Rick and Dave at BlogWorld have asked us to come stream from the stage at the Podcasting Pavilion. So John P (www.gplus.to/johnpoz) and I (www.gplus.to/calilewis) will be streaming Geek Beat LIVE all day for two days straight… and we’re going to have some fun!

We hope you’ll drop by if you’re attending in NY, but if not, you can join us online! We will be paying attention to you guys in the chatroom, so be sure to chime in with your thoughts and questions!

Wednesday, June 6th

10:00 am – 4:30 pm Eastern

Thursday, June 7th

10:00 am – 3:00 pm Eastern

www.geekbeat.tv/live

If you’ve never seen Geek Beat LIVE, here’s a clip. See you guys soon!

Big Brands on Pinterest You Can Learn From

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Many brands have followed their customers onto Pinterest – has your business taken the plunge on Pinterest yet? Is there something holding you back? Perhaps seeing how your peers are benefiting will help you to reconsider.

Our BlogWorld Expo Social Media Business Summit panel in New York next week, How Big Brands Are Using Pinterest to Drive Business, focuses on big brands that have been on Pinterest since early this year. Please join us on June 7th at 2:30 PM.

There is much to learn about how to succeed on Pinterest from our panelists Benjamin Moore Paints and Sony Electronics.

Big Brands To Watch on Pinterest

Benjamin Moore and Sony, along with the following brands, are not just strong on Pinterest, their brands are integrated across social platforms. You’ll find them doing noteworthy things elsewhere. Sony on Google+ has more than 42,000 followers which is a home run on that platform. The Benjamin Moore Facebook Page has over 200,000 likes, lively engagement and a unique Experts Exchange app.

The brands below had market listening skills sharp enough to see that they were getting pinned by consumers. This led them to explore joining their customers on Pinterest, jumping sooner rather than later.

By visiting the Pinterest pages for the following brands, you’ll see how they are able to use images effectively to extend their brand personality and the stories surrounding their brand and products.

This list focuses on fast moving consumer goods producers, durable goods, and retail brands with physical products that sell through brick and mortar locations. I believe a large range of businesses can benefit from what they have learned. I have excluded media brands because – although many of them are large and successful on Pinterest – it is difficult to imitate what they do without being in possession of their media assets.

American Eagle Outfitters
Anthropologie
Barney’s NY
Benjamin Moore
Bergdorf Goodman
Coca Cola
Dunkin Doughnuts
Fossil
Gap
Kate Spade
Kraft Recipes
Martha Stewart
Maybelline
Michael Kors
Michaels Stores
Nordstrom
Panera Bread
Sephora
Sony Electronics
Starbucks
Whole Foods

The following are some notable examples that are outside the above definition, but offer valuable Pinterest lessons for brands:

Birchbox
Chobani
Daily Grommet
Gilt
High Point Market – Style Spotters
ModCloth
Paula Deen
SouthWest Airlines
Warby Parker

Most of these brands have an advantage of being in the industries most pinned. A noteworthy exception is Sony Electronics which is succeeding in spite of its category.

Some Big Brands You’d Expect To Be On Pinterest But Aren’t Yet

Ford
Proctor & Gamble
H&M

I asked Ford Motor Company’s Scott Monty about Pinterest and he kindly responded, “We don’t plan to have a Pinterest account until we’re a little more comfortable with the TOS (Terms of Service) on the site.” I suspect that this approach may apply to quite a few big brands.

In Proctor and Gamble’s case, consumers are pinning many of their brands including Old Spice and Herbal Essences even though the company has no presence on Pinterest from which to engage them.

Sadly, while these brands are dragging through internal bureaucratic channels to decide if they should get on Pinterest, their brand user names are being snatched by third parties. In the case of some fashion brands, such as AnnTaylor, an individual who appears to legitimately be called by that name registered that Pinterest page. FairWinds Partners, a domain strategy consulting company, researched which names had been taken by brands, third parties and which were still available.

The results published on May 15: only 28 of the Interbrand top 100 brands have registered their brand names as Pinterest usernames. The other 68 brand names have been registered by unrelated parties. Of 285 major fashion brands (including apparel, footwear, and retail), only 75 of these have proper Pinterest brand username registrations with 40 brand names still available. The remaining 60% of the fashion brands are being used by those with relationships to the brands. No company wants to lose control of their brand name. One good example is the Pinterest user name “Prada” which pins both Prada and competitors – obviously not a positive for the Prada brand.

How To Use Pinterest Before You Create a Profile

Here are a few ways to investigate if your company’s products are being pinned on Pinterest. First, check to see if images from your website are being pinned on Pinterest. Just go to: pinterest.com/source/[yourdomainname]. Sometimes consumers and prospects pin your product images from sources other than your website, including their own camera. In these instances, you can use the Pinterest search function. As with Facebook search, to enhance results, you can alternatively try a Google search or create a Google alert such as ‘[your product name] on Pinterest.’

Looks like you are being pinned? Now it’s time to get serious. If your lawyers have delayed your entry onto the site, I recommend that you set up an account with Curalate to track the conversation about you. Their photo recognition based system can even pick up pins of images from your website via Pinterest to Twitter that don’t mention your product. Curalate can also track your brand photos that have been pinned from Tumblr and other blogs, so long as those images originated on your website. At a mere $99/month for their enterprise version, it adds a valuable listening tool even if you only consider being able to respond on Twitter. For many brands, signing up for this analytic tool is a no-brainer once you have an account on Pinterest.

Next you should make sure that your website is pinnable. You can test it through an existing Pinterest profile such as those belonging to your staff or agency. If you have a flash-based site that blocks pinning, you might consider setting up a separate gallery of images that can be pinned.

To learn more, read my article Why Your Business Should be on Pinterest.

EDITOR’S NOTE: If you’re a content creator who’s excited to tap into the power of Pinterest, you’ll want to download a free copy of BlogWorld’s 100-page ebook, “The Ultimate Guide to Marketing Your Blog, Podcast, and Videos with Pinterest.” Download it now.

 

Book Review – Customer Service: New Rules for a Social Media World

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If you have a business, you need customers. Plain and simple. Ironically, most consumers these days complain that customer service is at an all-time low. If you’re a smart business person, now is the time to turn that trend around and start setting yourself apart from the competition!

For those new to the social media space or who want to amp up their customer service efforts, I highly recommend you check out Peter Shankman‘s latest book, Customer Service: New Rules for a Social Media World (Que Publishing, 2011).

Probably best known for founding Help a Reporter Out (HARO), Peter’s someone who has made a career out of thinking differently. In this book, his version of thinking differently is reminiscent of a time when people saw people as humans and not merely as numbers. From identifying the different types of customers you’ll encounter online, including the complainers and the braggers, Peter tells you how to deal with each of them through your social channels. He also discusses how to drive revenue, keep an eye on the competition, utilize freebies, identify how your customers like to be communicated with, and how to monitor what people are saying about you. However, he also emphasizes all the human elements of customer service: how to acknowledge customers, show appreciation, create brand loyalty, and what to do when something–anything–goes terribly wrong.

There are also seven valuable case studies that profile companies who are succeeding in the online space by thinking outside of the box and offering value. My favorite is the story of Bravo! Italian Restaurant and Bar.

Some business books are a labor to read, but Peter’s is incredibly user-friendly. For a book that offers great advice, insights, suggestions, and is incredibly educational, it’s a surprisingly easy read.

So, in short, if you’re not maximizing your online efforts to connect with your customers, engage them, excite them, and make them lifelong fans, you need to pick up a copy of Customer Service: New Rules for a Social Media World. And, although, lots of social media books become outdated within months of publication, I have no doubt you’ll want to keep this one on your book shelf to reference time and time again.

BlogWorld’s own Shane Ketterman recently interviewed author Peter Shankman and they talked about all things social media, including pinning, poking, and Peter’s Top Ten Tweet of 2011 (which yielded some incredible customer service and amazing PR for a social media savvy company!). Be sure to check out the video below.

EDITOR’S NOTE: To see Peter live and in person, be sure to see his session When It Gets Real: What Happens When Your Fun Little Personal Brand Has to Grow Up at BlogWorld New York on June 6th!

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