The “New” New Thing is Over Before It Starts?

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Are you on Google+? I joined a few weeks ago after receiving a slew of invites from friends, Google Buzz connections, Google Wave connections and everyone else.  So far we like the UI, the circles and the privacy, but usage is trickling down.  I know it is for me, because frankly, I don’t have time to update Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or my blogs (hence the 6 month hiatus).  How on earth can anyone keep up with status updates and have time for friendships in real life?

There are lots of opinions are mixed in the industry as well:

So what gives:  is Google+ the new black?  Or is it the new taupe?  Or is it just out?

 

The Farmer’s Market meets Social Media

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I typically visit the farmer’s market weekly.  Last summer, or maybe the summer before I discovered Blue Chair Fruit, a local jam/spread/marmalade maker.   They make the best jam I’ve ever tasted, I am sure I am know to the Blue Chair team as the girl who stops by every week to try all of the samples.  ;) (I like the stone fruit and berries the best so far.)

I’ve chatted with the owner/creator, Rachel, regularly about her upcoming book, all of the flavors and the typical banter.  It’s great to be able to meet the purveyors, and that is one of the main reasons I go to the market (and of course the fact that is fresher and tastier).

A couple of weeks ago, I noticed Blue Chair was on twitter and facebook.  I “liked-ed” them on Facebook and the next week when I was at the farmer’s market,  Rachael commented “Hey, you are our newest facebook fan!”

Facebook moved from online to reality!

A few weeks later, I gave Blue Chair a shout on twitter.

Twitter Conversation with Blue Chair

And sure enough, at the market I met Jamie, and she was holding 2 jars for me.  :)

We all know twitter is a great way to connect with people online, but it great to take that connection offline too. If you have a business where you meet your customers in person, encourage them to follow you online and off.  And reward them for participating in the conversation.  Your customers (and your revenues) will thank you.

Social Media invades Retail

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Earlier this week, as I was headed home, I passed EA Active.  EA is rolling out a few pop-up store/demo stations to lure fitness-minded women into buying video games this holiday season.  I like the concept of the pop-up store, it reuses vacant space and offers retailers a low-risk way to try something new.  Pop-up streetfood malls anyone?

This store opened a few weeks ago, and is shiny an new the same way current retail stores are: clean lines, modern furniture, etc.

I hadn’t passed this location since it was completed, and I did a double take when I saw this sign in the front window:

Facebook, Twitter links critical to EA store signage

Facebook, Twitter links critical to EA store signage

Twitter and other forms of social media have been critical to the success of new school food carts.  Local businesses use Yelp, respond to reviews, and place targeted local ads.  Big Business is using Twitter as a customer service channel.  And now, as witnessed above, brick and mortar retail is using social media to connect after hours.

Two questions:

  • Who’s next?
  • B2B marketers, what are you waiting for?

Even though I didn’t win the contest…

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So I have been pretty excited about the Palm Pre since CES.
1. It has a keyboard
2. It is on Sprint, my carrier
3. Synergy sounded awesome
4. Multitasking or Synergy. A toss up.

So after sitting on the wait list for 2 weeks, I finally got one. Look for tweets and posts as I get adjusted. Changing from a Palm Centro and an iPod touch too a Pre.

So far: notifications are awesome. Quite possibly my favorite feature. Email, twitter and web are great! Multitasking and card are also pretty killer.
Not so great: the USB slot cover, the difficult to use cursor for preciseness. Here is where a stylus would come in handy.
Haven’t tried: cut and paste.

Try it: Twitter’s not just for trendy techies (and celebs)

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So I wanted to call this post “to tweet ot not to tweet,” but that is clearly played out.

After being a pretty avid user for the past 6 months or so, I thought it was time to save some observations and tips.  I first joined Twitter to update my Facebook status without using a data plan from my cell phone.  (Yup, I’m cheap.)

Here are some upfront notes:  my tips are aimed at people who are using twitter for b2b marketing, market research, networking or personal branding the tips might not apply to you if you have different goals and objectives.

Let’s get started.  Here are my tips on using twitter effectively:

Choose your name wisely. With your online identity you have a couple of choices.  Use your real name, use your nickname, use your hacker name, or be random.  If you are trying to brand yourself, I’d stick to something that is a lot closer to your name and a lot further from Britneys1stfan.  But don’t forget that in Twitter characters count.  So if you have a 20 letter last name, please don’t follow the first_last format.  Considering that every reply or direct message much include your username, you don’t want to eat up 40 characters on the name alone.  Try to stick with something in the neighborhood of 20 characters or less.

Follow your interests, not the crowd.  There are zillions of “best people to follow on Twitter lists.”  They usually include celebrities:  tech, pop culture or business.  These lists are irrelevant if those people don’t discuss stuff you care about.  Seek out people that discuss the topics you are interested in.  Use Twitter search to look for conversations using keywords you are interested in.  Look at your favorite blogs, magazines, newspapers, organizations, and people to see if they are on Twitter.  That’s who you should follow — not the 100K+ follower-club members because they are on the list.

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Webinars + Social Media = 75% more attendees

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I wanted to follow up last week’s post on landing pages, webinars and social media with some final results.  Last week I focused on the improvements in landing page conversion. This time I will focus on actually event attendance and registrations.  The good news is social media leads to more leads.

Part one: overall stats

Here are the stats from last week updated with the final results from the event.  Plus a few bonus stats.

  1. The blog and the email drew equivalent visitors and pre-registerants.
  2. Email receivers > landing page visitors? 3% This seems to stack up in the average for B2B
  3. Conversion rate of blog visitors > landing page visitors?  40% — 13X improvement in response rate
  4. The conversion rate for blog readers > pre-registrations?  26%
  5. The conversion rate for people who didn’t visit the blog, but went to the landing page was 22%
  6. The overall conversion rate for the landing page was 34% (better)
  7. People who clicked on the landing page from the blog registered 67% of the time
  8. 50% of attendees came directly from reading our blog post
  9. # of pre registrations vs. the previous, similar campaign? 75% more
  10. 80% of new suspects were from the blog.  3% from paid search.  3% from Natural search.  The rest from our website.

    Part two: profile of blog readers

    After tallying up the results, here is the pattern from the blog readers.

    1. They were likely to visit the landing page vs. people who received an email for the event.  (Email recipients were opt-ins that requested more info on the topic or to hear about our upcoming events)
    2. It took 18X more impressions (email receivers vs. blog visitors) to get to the same number of pre-registered people
    3. The social media efforts increased the number of pre-registered people by 75% Yes, I mean 75% more people (compared with a similar previous event)
    4. Most of the new “names” came directly from our blog and had no previous interaction with us, or our website.
    5. 50% of these newly acquired suspects attended the event

    What I’d love?  A better way to connect blog traffic sources.  search.  incoming link.  The good news: we are getting much closer to end to end marketing analytics. Online, offline and social media.

    Is it worth an extra 90-120 minutes of prep time to double your webinar attendance, by using social media?

    You betcha.  ;)