Thursday, June 4, 2009

Tweet Up Power!

Through all the late night twittering, Facebooking, countless emails, and IMs we use in the job place and socially today, it is easy to forget about the power of face-to-face interaction. I recently attended a tweet up held at the Blatz Liquor Store in downtown Milwaukee and saw the power of social networking. I watched as photographers, entrepeneurs, business people, accountants, recruiters, and interior decorators seamlessly networked. The vast array of skill, talent, creativity, enthusiasm, and optimisim in the room was overwhelming.

As I stood off to the side and watched these different people enteract I realized that Twitter and Social media is merely a vehicle for communication. It has enabled people to reach out and communicate with everyone and share what they are doing. I feel that social media has empowered people to be more at ease and comfortable speaking with others and just being themselves. It has also encouraged more peope to step outside of their comfort zone and meet someone they might not normally speak with. Some see this as a business opportunity, others as a fun way to meet new people, and others do it simply because it is popular. Whatever your reason may be it requires an open mind and a willingness to put out your ideas. All of these things are great, but in the end they must be backed by verbal, face-to-face communication skills. Preferable in more than a 140 characters!

I spoke with many people that night and I marveled at the eagerness to interact with others, just as on a social network. The ease with which people shared ideas, thoughts, and opinions; just as if they were online. While I am a newcomer to the social media scene and also to business networking, I immediately see the priceless value of being able to connect your online and personal presence. Your personal brand must be uniform through all mediums, just like an effective business plan.

After the last tweet up I attended on my own I have a new found zeal for networking. The benefits of meeting new people and being able to reinforce your personal brand is critical in today's workforce. The ability to reinforce your well rounded skills and also your personality in an open setting speaks louder than 140 characters ever will. I look forward to attending my next tweet up and all the new people I will meet!

Here are some tips for Tweet Up or Social Networking Newcomers

1. Do not be afraid. Everyone is there to interact so don't feel awkward approaching strangers.
2. Introduce yourself to everyone in the group that you are speaking with.
3. Speak up, if you have an opinion or thought then say it, don't expect someone to ask you what you think.
4. Going along with #3 is be proactive, walk around and approach new groups. Go to others don't wait for them to come to you.
5. Stand close. When talking with others stand close and listen in to what everyone is saying.
6. Meet the hosts and thank them for inviting you.
7. ALWAYS ALWAYS carry your business cards and hand them out!! (Thanks sis)

Monday, May 25, 2009

It's like trading baseball cards.....

Developing an effective, useful, and profitable form of advertising in social media is not going to be easy. Or is it even possible?? Bringing companies' advertisements directly into play on a "social network" may be too bold of an approach for this new environment. I feel that the nature of today's consumer and their "selective hearing" in terms of advertising will be difficult to bypass for marketers and advertisers if a direct method is used.

For many years companies have found ways to bombard audiences with their messages, but they adapted and found ways to block these out. It began with direct mailings which are being phased out by the Internet. Instant communication through email has eliminated snail mail for many companies. Then came the attack of telemarketers and everyone was afraid to answer their home phone at 10:30 AM on a Tuesday because it might be a telemarketer. Caller ID and no call lists have discouraged companies from using this method also. The lovely pop up blocker came along to shoo away those pesky ads bothering you as you surfed the web. Satellite radio promised great commercial free music. Finally the DVR and Tivo have pushed TV advertisements off of its pedestal. What do all these things have in common? It was a one way street, advertisers talked, but did not listen. So how will social media be any different if it becomes inundated with all these "messages?" Will someone develop an ad blocker or will social media just be a fad?

My view is to keep company interaction with audiences "social". Establish a brand , image, and personality that people will want to be a part of. Sell your brand to people and not just target markets. There has to be a communal feeling around your brand that people will feel inclined to join. If it is too "commercial" or "corporate" I feel that people will not trust what you have to say. The social and personal aspect must be there if you want to sway audiences opinions and preferences.

Social media interaction should be like trading basketball cards when you were a kid. When you traded cards you wanted to feel good afterwards, you wanted an" even trade," not to get screwed over. When you traded Derek Jeter for Randy Johnson , everybody was happy, but when you decided to trade Barry Bonds for Roger Clemens...not so happy. The same is true with social media, everyone should benefit somehow from your conversations and brand and in return you should receive positive PR, word of mouth buzz, and profits. If your company wants to reach out, then do it personally. Your messages should show that you are just as interested in your audiences' lives as their pockets.

If you can build a community and following of loyal people through your interactions, then you have created a foundation for new customers. Do not give people a reason to block you out because of your company's impersonal and intangible image. Establish a voice that people will connect, and listen to. Then listen to them instead of just talking and hoping someone hears you! Use the "social" in social media to establish your brands. Listen to your audiences and remember its like trading baseball cards...

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

"The Race" Continues

Lately the value of social media has gone up and every marketing company, advertising agency, application developer and their mom is trying to figure out a formula to monetize this medium. Facebook has recently seen the power of applications create nearly as much revenue as the site itself. I recently received an email from the Milwaukee Brewers to download their banner application for a chance to win prizes. This new trend of advertising, marketing, and engagement is developing exponentially. 

The social media community is scrambling to discover their right formula to monetize these sites and applications. There are many "pioneers" who claim they have found the secret, but it remains to see if longevity and consistency are possible. As a I browsed some posts from today I came across one that claimed the "hottest new app. for Twitter" so I visited the site. I came across a software application called Hummingbird. This creative tool boasted that it was the "best app" and is for the "big dogs." As I read through the details of the site I quickly realized how far from my reality of Twitter it was. 

I was introduced to Twitter by my sister who is a marketer in Chicago. She explained Twitter etiquette to me and I have used her advice. I have tried to develop actual connections with people by pursuing those with common interests, sharing my knowledge, connecting on a human level, listening to their views and opinions, connecting on a individual basis, and maintain my relationship with them. A site like this talks about doubling followers, becoming the most followed, and entering the "Twitter Elite." While all these things sound great and will probably boost sales or site hits; what about your connections, contacts, and friends? 

The site says "what is it worth to be able to time-warp past years of network building and become a Twitter Elite in a matter of days." In my opinion it is not worth the friends I have made, the people that I have meet face to face and shared our experiences, Tweeple that wish you good luck on finals despite the fact you have never met, or the friendly liquor store owner that tweets about how much time left until you cannot buy liquor in Milwaukee. I truly disagree with the statement that the more followers you have, the more credible and authoritative you are. You are credible when people see that there is an actual person and human connection with all of their followers. 

Social media is not about number of followers or becoming a "Big Dog," it is about having a meaningful, and personal presence in your networks. I hope that as we move forward and explore the possibilities of monetizing social media we remember what brought us here in the first place. Keep your identity! 

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Social Media

I have decided to focus my blogging on current trends in social media. Technology is drastically changing the way we are able to block out messages from advertisers and everyone is trying to find a direct line to their target market . People want more of a connection and a personal aspect to messages. The power of social media for advertisers and companies comes from their ability to have a tangible and human presence that people are able to CONNECT with. I was skeptical at first, but the revolution of how powerful social media is becoming was apparent when viewers could "tweet" with the contestants of Miss USA! 

Now I have read on about the Terminator Salvation using Twitter (@resistance2018) in conjunction with its website to have a game that allows participants to complete trivia to gain points towards prizes. It is interesting to see how popular this will be and the Twitter account already has over 2500 followers. I think that if enough attention is drawn to this effort it will generate a lot of buzz and positive publicity for the new movie. 

If this campaign works it will begin another chapter in social media's evolution. More and more companies will be fusing these types of advertising tactics to give the audience direct interaction and empower them to choose their brand over others. the benefits of the traffic this would create to websites and possibly stores would be crucial for brands searching for an edge. 

Thursday, April 30, 2009


wow has it been awhile! Well things are looking up for me, I have really started to work hard to improve my Twitter skills and I am currently at 150 or so followers. I have been following the media and it is incredible to see how popular it is becoming and also how many ppl in creative and communication business fields are using it. I really want to expnad my blog more and try to branch out into social media. I had a huge project for sharpie pens for a advertising class and I really enjoyed the work we put into it.

I have continued my search for internships and have sent my info out to about 10 different companies from milwaukee, chicago, and new york. I hope to hear back from them and look forward to some interviews. It seems like the economy has made it difficult or more competitive for interns but I think I will be ok. I am excited about a tweetup that my sister is holding in Milwaukee next week and I hope to meet some interesting people. Well, we will see what happens...control your own destiny right??

Monday, March 16, 2009

daily blog

Kinda fell off the wagon last week, trying to get all my school stuff done before spring break. I have three days off work in a row and i hope to accomplish a lot. i have not heard anything from my anf internship so i assume i was not selected. This week I told myself to apply to three new ones before Monday. I need to find something before school lets out for the summer so I am getting antsy. I have gotten a bunch of equipment for my koncordia Kicks Back soccer drive and I will be delivering it on the 27th to the Passback program. Went to gurnee mills this weekend and saw the chipotle down there is actually wind powered. I have been thinking that it would be cool if the Starbucks that I worked at put up some solar panels to help offset energy costs as well as going greener with our new shared planet initiative. well that's all i got for now and hopefully i can keep up more religiously with these posts! BTW Happy St. Patricks day!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

blog numba 2

Well, second post...I am currently still working with Twitter to network. Big sis uploaded tweetdeck for me and makes things way easier. Talked to Lacoste bags today and looking forward to chatting with more ppl. Experimenting with some old bags i found around my house and also making a leather bracelet out of a belt. I can't believe I am going to say this, but I am hoping to dabble with a sewing machine too. School today was such a huge drag. This semester has been extremely disappointing in terms of challenging me. I am taking 18 credits but it does not feel like it..I just am not learning anything useful. I applied for an internship at the abercrombie home office about a month ago and haven't heard anything. I am pretty bummed right now, I don't know whats worse, being rejected right away or limbo. Looking for new companies to work for, I really want to work for a clothing company, motorcycle mag, motorcycle race team doing pr and also soliciting sponsorships. I am also thinking about going into photography, it would be interesting to learn about it and possibly freelance if I am any good ha ha. well I am going to go dig around in my basement now so until next time....