Archive for April, 2009

Worldwide Social Media Strategy Workshop Makes its First Stop in Birmingham, Alabama

By April 21, 2009

Go to http://smcwbirmingham.eventbrite.com/ to register. Use the discount code STIMULUS for 33 percent off! The Birmingham Social Media Workshop will be held on Monday, April 27 in Birmingham Alabama. After taking the pulse of the market, reviewing the result of the Social Media Buyers Guide and discussing anecdotal evidence, we came to realize pretty quickly […]

Go to http://smcwbirmingham.eventbrite.com/ to register. Use the discount code STIMULUS for 33 percent off!

The Birmingham Social Media Workshop will be held on Monday, April 27 in Birmingham Alabama. After taking the pulse of the market, reviewing the result of the Social Media Buyers Guide and discussing anecdotal evidence, we came to realize pretty quickly that almost everyone is in need of a clear strategy for integrating social media into their marketing and communications mix so companies can start to engage. It was also clear, that the biggest challenge social media champions face is selling it internally and educating coworkers, so our plan for this latest series of workshops pretty much wrote itself.

You will benefit from the experience and creative insights from some of the leading practitioners in social media for business. Join Mack Collier, Scott Schablow, Ike Pigott and Chris Heuer for a full day workshop where you get to leave with the framework for your social media strategy and insights on how to sell the plan to management so you can begin to make it real.

So roll up your sleeves, this isn’t a bunch of pseudo-celebrities trying to show you how great they are while talking about how many followers they have on Twitter, this is about you making social media an integrated part of your business strategy. We are doing a WORKSHOP so that you can put social media to work for you. In fact, when you register, you can tell us what you are specifically trying to accomplish and we will work to tailor the final agenda and related discussions to your specific needs.
So what will the Social Media Strategy Workshop look like?

We will start the day discussing the impact Social Media has on your business and why so many people are turning to social media for an up turn in their business during the economic downturn. How does social media change things? What exactly is it? What is possible and what is not? How can it help your business? Why is everyone talking about it? What are the most important principles you need to understand? What’s the different between a status update, a Tweet, a poke, a nudge and all those other silly sounding terms?

After a brief introductory presentation addressing these key questions, each of our workshop leaders will host smaller conversations in breakout groups so we can more directly support your specific needs. Each workshop leader will then host a conversation that includes some presentation materials as well as demonstrations of important services, software and web sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Delicious, YouTube and more. We will also highlight important areas of focus which may be a part of your final strategy including:

* Review of current marketing plan (do you have your’s? bring it.)
* Building and maintaining relationships
* Looking, Listening and Responding
* Producing Media
* Engaging with the Market
* Managing Community
* Social Media Campaigns
* Metrics and ROI
* Becoming a Social Organization
* Social Media Campaigns
* Measuring Influence and Maximizing It

After lunch we will review case studies from leading companies such as Dell, H&R Block, GM and Zappos as well as from smaller everyday folks applying the same insights in distinct ways. While the cases are all unique to the specific situation at hand, they do offer incredible insight into the perspective required to be successful. Participants are encouraged to share their own case studies as part of this discussion too so that we may learn from each other throughout the day.

The remainder of the afternoon will focus on developing a social media strategy for you to take back to your business. In addition to discussing in-depth details behind key strategic decisions you need to make, we will also discuss how you can get support for these activities within your organization. So you will leave at the end of the day with a strategic plan and a plan for how to begin putting it to work within your organization.

Participation is limited, so if you live in or near Birmingham, we hope you will consider spending the day with us figuring out how to apply social media to your business. It’s a transformational step for you and your career as well as your business. So, please register today and join us in Birmingham on Monday April 27. http://smcwbirmingham.eventbrite.com/

We are also currently still seeking sponsors for the workshop. If you are interested in sponsoring the event, $5,000 will make you the title sponsor for the workshop. If you are interested in supporting your local community and you are looking at buying 2 tickets, you might be interested in becoming a participating sponsor for $1,500 which includes 2 tickets for you and your company in addition to 2 tickets for a non-profit organization and traditional workshop sponsorship coverage. Contact us for more details.
Monday, April 27 at the McWane Center in Birmingham, AL, 9am-5pm

Questions? Email Scott.Schablow@gmail.com

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Facebook + Twitter + LinkedIn ≠ Social Media

By April 20, 2009

So you’ve decided that social media would be good for your business and you’re testing the waters.Good for you. You’ve set up a Facebook page, a LinkedIn Group and a Twitter account. Those are plausible tactics using the most popular social networking tools. So you’re done right? You are now using social media to market […]

flitterinSo you’ve decided that social media would be good for your business and you’re testing the waters.Good for you. You’ve set up a Facebook page, a LinkedIn Group and a Twitter account. Those are plausible tactics using the most popular social networking tools.

So you’re done right? You are now using social media to market your business. Or are you? Does a mere physical presence and occasional post to a social network constitute an effective social media campaign for your business?

The answer is a resounding NO. When I speak to businesses about social media many of them respond proudly that they’ve got social media covered. “We’re in Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter,” they proclaim! They are mistaken and uninformed. Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter are NOT all there is to social media marketing.

If you have begun using popular social networking tools for your business I congratulate you. You ‘get it’ in terms of the value of conversing and engaging with your customer. What you don’t get is the value that experienced social media marketers can add to the equation.

For instance, did you begin by developing a social media strategy? Does that strategy support your brand message and does it integrate seamlessly with your offline efforts? An effective strategic plan is imperative to your online success.

There are many issues to consider to effectively leverage your presence in social media. I’ve listed some key considerations below, but there are many more that depend specifically on your particular goals, objectives, and most importantly your audience. Have you thought about:

• How can you determine which tools and tactics are the ones that are the best match for your brand?
• How are you going to use social media to build your brand and bolster credibility among customers?
• What can you do to maximize cohesiveness and build synergy between the social networks you are involved in?
• Among the tools and tactics you’ve identified, in what order should you begin your participation?
• How do you ensure that you are reaching your target audience within each social network?
• What are the online protocols for each social network and what unspoken rules must not be broken?
• How should you best budget your time to get the most out of your social presence?
• What kind of tangible results should you expect? Prospects? Loyalty? Sales?
• How will you measure success and ROI?

If you didn’t think of these questions, much less answer them, you may actually end up doing more harm than good. Social media can reap great benefits for your brand and your business if done correctly. It can just as easily tarnish your image in an instant. If you are interested in venturing into social media for your business, seek the assistance of a qualified experienced social media marketer.

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