You’re one of thousands in a group of social media followers, but believe it or not, companies CAN make you feel special. And they should – you’re loyal enough to proactively follow them, be it via Twitter, Facebook, or any social media channel for that matter, so they should give you some love! But how? I recently read an article that listed numerous tactics that companies can implement to reward their followers for their loyal business.
- Give your customers special offers. Whether that means first crack at a newly released product, a bonus gift for spending more a certain amount of money, or a sneak peek at a seasonal item. Underscore the word special.
- Offer discounts. As added encouragement to customers who haven’t pulled out their credit cards, you can give your loyal social audience a special sale price to help sweeten the pot…and that extra push they need to type in those magical numbers.
- Encourage conversations. Rather than shoving your products or services down their throats, ask your followers questions and engage with them directly. What do they like? What do they want more of? Express to them their value and let their voices be heard.
- Thank you. The two-word phrase that goes miles beyond in emotion. Thank your customers for a purchase, or a piece of feedback that they’ve shared. A simple comment on their social media page can go a long way and demonstrate that every customer matters. If you really want to suck up, try sending hand-written notes. (I’ve received these before, and I’ll admit, it leaves a soft spot in my heart…and wallet…for those companies.)
The list doesn’t stop there – there are countless ways companies can show their appreciation. Personally, I love social media contests. Ask anyone in the office, and they’ll probably tell you that I’m crazy about them, and have won my fair share of prizes. (Shirts, hats, jewelry...we’re not talking junk here, people!) Whether it’s a scavenger hunt for intel on a company’s website, naming the geographical location of a Facebook picture or answering a trivia question about the user conference, the possibilities are endless. Why do I do it? Well, I love competition (and free stuff), but I also love to support the brands that I’m passionate about. Even more so, I appreciate that they take the time to interact with myself and other customers, and pull together creative amplifiers that we can all benefit from.
How do you interact with your audience, and how do you interact as an audience member yourself? I’d love to hear what works for you and your company.
- Mary Evans
My first read of the day was blog Chris Christie's 7 Leadership Lessons w/ Joisey Boys & Goils of #DCTech, penned by the always straight-shooting and humorous Glenn Hellman of Driven Forward. His post muses that bluntness and leadership have a direct connection. It ends with the challenge to Deliver, Count and Matter.
It got me thinking about a range of things. I thought back to Chris Christie's speech two nights ago and the speeches that were delivered before and after. In full disclosure, I'm a registered Democrat, but that doesn't mean much to me these days. I filled out my voter registration in homeroom in high school twenty-something years ago. I've voted on both sides of the aisle.
I've always felt an obligation to watch both conventions, and at least for the last three presidential elections, to do so with neutrality. I remember watching conventions with my dad when I was a kid. Those end of summer nights - the last few that I would get to stay up late. The conventions in those days were about the full pageantry - people would watch from start to finish. One of my dad's favorite parts was the roll call of the states - the ceremonious introduction, where each state presented itself to the convention with the list of things that made it great. It was always delivered by a state native of note and with uprorious enthusiasm. We couldn't wait for Maryland's turn: "Home of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, blue crabs, Francis Scott Key, Babe Ruth, Cal Ripken, Annapolis, the sailing capital of the world, The Naval Academy and The Methodist Church!" My dad would pump his fist with a "yes" after each claim to fame. The roll call process was endearing and authentic, and it created a connectedness to the conventions that I would not have otherwise had.
These days that connectedness is gone, for me anyway. I thought about wanting to watch the roll call this year, but I know for sure that NBC didn't air it - conventon coverage started at 9pm and pre-season football and new television dramas preceded coverage of the major speeches of the night. It's actually a sad statement on the state of our country's engagement in the political process. My roll call these days is found at startup events, like Tech Cocktail, Distilled Intelligence 2.0, and DC Tech Meetups, where burgeoning companies convey passion and purpose when sharing their ideas on problem solving and transformation with the community.
So back to Chris Christie. As I listened until the end last night, my easy conclusion was that his was the best speech of the RNC. In true Jersey fashion, as Glen pointed out, he just said it like it is for him and said it with conviction. He wasn't delivering lines, or pandering to specific voter groups - hell, it took him nearly 20 minutes to evoke Romney's name. He was unapologetically real. You don't have to agree with what he said to be able respect his authenticity.
It also got me thinking of the hightlight of my work week. Public Relations is a roller coaster of a job. The highs and lows come daily, which may be why it makes the "Most Stressful Jobs" list year after year, just behind police officers, military generals, firefighters and airline pilots. We're always in the process of communicating with a wide range of people and trying to do it effectively. In tech PR, we're tasked with making the complicated and sometimes lackluster (but necessary) compelling. The journalists and bloggers that we make outreach to, similar to the American people, are weary of all of the "sell" - in other words, they've stopped watching the roll call.
Earlier this week I pitched a story on a company that's launching next week. The story is great - high school entreprenuers with funding who traded in the typical summer of rising seniors to build a collaboration platform, based on a pressing need, with the goal of transforming education. In tech PR, it's rare that you get such a well-rounded pitch to take to the media. It landed interest quickly and with our first choice of reporter and publication. It was scheduled for the next day.
We spent time the next morning prepping for the interview, mostly because our interviewer would definitely fall into the category of someone who has "stopped watching roll call." He's absolutely over pitched, oftentimes with half-assed promises of technology and people that will change the world. His stories reflect this and are regularly peppered with healthy doses of cynicism. So the team and I talked through all the hard questions that might be asked and how to maintain control of the interview.
The interview took place in-person. The company's 17-year old CEO and equally young Director of Marketing began to tell their story. What transpired was one of the more rare experiences from my 15+ years in media relations. They just told their story. There was no pretention, no jargon bandied about, no competitor jabs, and tough questions were met with straight forward answers. It was a story told with pure passion, a clear understanding of the problem they're solving, and a confidence grounded in hard work and sacrifices on their part to execute on a vision.
It was so pure that I welled up twice with tears and had to turn my head away. It was refreshing, endearing and as authentic as it gets. I felt like my dad, making a mental fist pump "yes" with each turn of the discussion. The reporter felt it too, he was leaning in, writing furiously, and smiling as he took notes. The interview lasted an hour. There was most ceratinly youth at play, but the reality is: They just told it like it is. I have yet to well up as a result of a speech as we near the election.
As this political season forges on, another convention opens and closes next week, and presidental debates transpire, it's a great time for pause and observation. Just like in politics, in business and marketing, we all have our sales to make. We all have a range of audiences to appeal to. Our major choice is in how we do it. Glen challenged DC Tech to "Deliver! Count! Matter!" and I join in saying that when you're in that process and taking your message to the market, take the authentic route - make the people want to watch roll call again.
As my colleague Kate pointed out earlier this month in regards to the Olympics -- major events are now more connected than ever before.
The Republican National Convention taking place this week and the Democratic next week will draw tens of thousands of delegates, volunteers, and media, as well as a global audience tuning in. That’s a lot of people. What’s more, that’s a lot of people armed with data-hungry mobile devices. In fact, this year’s conventions are expected to be the most connected and social ever, with an estimated one terabyte of data sent from each event.
Managing this type of data is no small feat. In fact, the sheer amount of data being produced at the conventions – including videos, photos, blogs, emails, and more – required the convention centers to implement network infrastructures extensive enough to support a medium-size corporation. Cisco, which will be helping connect the events, stated that 70 miles of copper for LAN and 50 miles of fiber for infrastructure were needed for each convention. SpeakerBox client Corning MobileAccess is also helping to support the effort by deploying it’s distributed antenna systems in major locations in Tampa and Charlotte (such as convention centers and hotels), which will provide continuous wireless access and improved cellular coverage.
So what is needed to support the mountain of data that is sure to come and keep our conventions running smoothly? Cisco published this great infographic earlier in the week showing just what goes into connecting the conventions:
There is something nice about the lull of networking events in August, but truth be told, I kind of like that it's short lived. Additional truth be told, I was a little bit giddy to stave off community withdrawl at the August 23rd TechCocktail DC Mixer and Startup Showcase.
Sufice to say, I'm excited to get back to the comraderie, debate, learning and new acquaintances that are intrinsic to the region's event culture.
So, what's on my hot list for September? I'm so glad you asked.
9/8 - Hallway Launch Party
9/10 - DC Tech Meetup: Politics, Advocacy and Government
9/13 - Foster.ly's Female Entreprenuer Study Hall
9/14 - MoDevTablet
9/19 - Three Pillar Global debuts their new office space (you'll have to e-mail me to get in
on this great event. I've got an inside track on the plans, and it's a don't miss).
Hmm, I'm realizing that this only gets me to mid-September. Any suggestions?
While I wait to hear from you, there are other must-do's this month:
Get your tickets for Distilled Intelligence 2.0. Tickets prices will go up as they near October 11th & 12th, so why wait? Startups, investors, and lovers of technology and entrepreneurship..does a crowd get more compelling? The inaugural DI last year was one of the most energizing days of the fall. Don't sleep on the early-bird pricing and you can thank me at the event:)
Get your nominations in for the CIT Gap 50 Awards asap. Community voting on the finalists begins 9/21.
What events are you attending?
Have a great Labor Day weekend and I look forward to seeing you at these and other "back-to-networking" events.
Earlier today, our very own Elizabeth Shea, CEO at SpeakerBox joined Matt Howard, Co-founder and CEO at ZoomSafer and D.P. Venkatesh, Founder and CEO at mPortal, in a webinar to share their inbound marketing success stories and the strategies that drove them. I thought I would share the short of it all with our readers who weren’t able to join in for the live presentation.
Whether you were an early adopter of inbound marketing, looking to revamp your current program or just thinking about inbound marketing for the first time, there were several great takeaways from the discussion. But, I’ll start you off with a great quote that was referenced:
“Not only do leads generated through social and content marketing cost half as much as traditional outbound-generated leads, they also close at higher rate” – Tom Pick, Business2Community (Check out Tom’s whole article on the subject here.)
According to Shea, inbound marketing is all about engaging and giving people or potential customers something they will find valuable. And, social networks have really given us the opportunity to provide this value on a two-way street, something Venkatesh agreed with, noting that the difference between one and two-way communication has really allowed his company, mPortal, to deploy inbound marketing in a way that has really changed things for them.
Howard, whose company ZoomSafer adopted inbound marketing as a start-up, compared initiating an inbound marketing program to joining a gym, stressing, “It’s not easy, you have to invest time everyday to see a payoff.” You can check out his entire blog post on the metaphor by vising ZoomSafer’s blog.
The Inbound Marketing Funnel
The presentation focused briefly on the use of a funnel-model for inbound marketing, which rallies interest near the top with search, content and social media efforts. Once interest is tracked through something like a click on a whitepaper, website visit or connection via a social network, a company can nurture the relationship by using the intel provided to start an authentic conversation or meeting that can help lead the interested party to a solution (hopefully via their product or service). Which then brings us to the bottom of the funnel, where the ultimate goal is to generate customers.
Along with using this model as a guide for your inbound marketing program, Howard pointed to great technology platforms like HubSpot and Eloqua that can help automate the process in a cost effective way by generating great quality data for people already interested in your solution. Venkatesh agreed that those tools and the rich data they generate are helping mPortal to jump directly to the middle of the funnel with more targeted leads.
Search and Content
“Content strategy is about keywords being visible and tagged so you can be found,” said Shea. She also highlighted that content can be anything that adds value, including web content, articles by 3rd parties, eBooks, blog posts and comments, social media feeds and even this webinar (to name a few examples). And, the key to high search rankings? Good keywords, a dynamic, keyword-centric strategy and inbound links from high authorities.
You can check out some great whitepapers on content marketing from the Content Marketing Institute here.
When it comes to content, Shea advised that it is essential for companies to have a blog. Venkatesh stated, “It is no longer a question of ‘to blog or not to blog,’ but what to blog about and how often. Howard agreed, stating that it is impossible to blog too much. The key takeaway? BLOG. BLOG. BLOG.
But, what should you be blogging about? Avoid writing about your products and services, but instead speak broadly to topics and trends that will position you and your company as thought leaders in the space. Venkatesh suggested discussing a problem and pointing out how to solve it sans specific product placement. In his experience, it will most likely bring the reader back to the writer to ask how his/her company can play a role in the solution. And, when it comes to length of content, it was agreed that quality is everything, whether it takes a paragraph or two pages.
Implementing an inbound marketing program takes time and patience. Shea noted that a reasonable time for seeing results could be about 7-8 months. Utilizing a technology platform to assist your efforts can go a long way as well as a strong focus on SEO, blogging and social to funnel in leads. Lastly, Howard noted that it in order to be successful, a CEO must culturally embrace this type of campaign.
Full infographic available at:http://www.cmswire.com/cms/customer-experience/infographic-the-decline-of-outbound-marketing-013308.php
By now you’ve probably heard about Progressive Insurance’s recent public relations disaster and gotten a quick lesson on what NOT to do during a crisis. If you didn’t hear what happened – here’s a quick summary of how the issue blew up in Progressive’s face – and how it could be game changing for businesses determining their “best interest.”
Earlier this month, Matt Fisher posted a blog on his tumblr titled “My Sister Paid Progressive Insurance to Defend Her Killer in Court.” Matt, who is a comedian in New York City, had a decent social media following, and the post spread like wildfire. Essentially, Matt outlined how his sister Kaitlynn tragically died in a car accident in 2010 after another driver ran a red light. Kaitlynn held underinsured driver coverage from Progressive for up to $100,000 to cover expenses in the event that another driver in an accident was underinsured. Nationwide (the other driver’s insurance company) acknowledged fault and paid out the maximum $25,000 they owed to the Fisher family. However, Progressive declined to pay the remaining $75,000 that was due to the Fisher family, claiming fault could not be determined.
Because Maryland law does not allow private citizens to sue insurance companies for refusal to pay, the Fisher family was forced to sue the other driver directly to prove fault. In court, Progressive sent a legal team to defend the driver that killed Kaitlynn - to save them from paying the $75,000. Ultimately, the other driver was found at fault, and Progressive was forced to settle with the Fisher family.
However, the damage had already been done by this point, and chaos broke out. Matt’s blog post and tweets went viral, resulting in the story being covered by The Huffington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, NBC and CBS. On Twitter, as of August 20, over 1,000 people had claimed to have dropped their Progressive coverage. Another 1,600 vowed never to use Progressive in the future. Adding fuel to the fire, Progressive’s tweets responding to public outcry came from the smiling face of Progressive’s fictional spokeswoman Flo – an image that seemed, in the opinion of many, far too insensitive for this serious occasion.
The final cost of the entire ordeal was surely much more than the original $75,000 – particularly if you consider policies lost. Today’s social media provides customers who think they have been wronged a medium to tell their stories like never before. Even though Progressive did nothing legally wrong here, it caught the attention of the public, and public opinion ruled them guilty. Businesses can take Progressive’s story as a warning that it might be worth looking into the social media habits of their customers.
Our inbound marketing webinar is just four days away,
I'm toiling on the content so we'll have smart things to say.
I'm joined by my fun colleagues, Matt Howard and D.P.,
Who will have a lot more to add than just little ol' me.
What's inbound marketing, you ask? Oh geez, oh no!
It's the way to attract customers these days…say it isn't so.
Give them something valuable, something they can use,
To make their job easier, walk a mile in their shoes.
My friends D.P. and Matt are pretty funny guys,
You'll enjoy the conversation, thinking: "my how the time flies!"
Matt says inbound marketing is like going to the gym,
It's a consistent level of effort, it can't be just a whim.
D.P.'s company is ten years old, and it's really hit its stride,
He's getting to the next level with inbound marketing at his side.
Below are some great links we've found to get you in the mood:
Think of Inbound Marketing as a "New Attitude."
So come join us now on Wednesday, we'll give it all we've got,
To make sure you walk away with something really, really hot!
Thank you, I'm here all week.
--Elizabeth Shea, @eliz2shea
Register for the webinar if you'd like to come:
Wednesday, August 29th, 2:00 pm Eastern Time
D.P. Venkatesh, Founder and CEO, mPortal
Matt Howard, Co-founder and CEO, ZoomSafer
Elizabeth Shea, CEO, SpeakerBox Communications
Resources I enjoyed reading (feel free to add your own!):
72 Fascinating Social Media Facts and Statistics for 2012: By Tom Pick, Business2Community, July 23, 2012.
The Most Important Customer Review of HubSpot You'll Ever Read: By Marcus Sheridan, The Sales Lion.
Generate More Leads with B2B Social Media: By Jeffrey Cohen, Social Media B2B, March 29, 2012.
Conferences I found centered on Inbound Marketing Strategies (please add your own!):
Content Marketing World 2012 (Cleveland): Sep. 4-5-6
Inbound 2012 (Boston): Aug. 27-30
Inbound Marketing Summit (Boston): Oct. 23-24
Inbound Marketing Summit (New York): Feb 2013
Online Marketing Summit (Santa Clara): Oct 22-25
We love our clients, and that’s why I have zero shame in promoting one of them in this blog post!
PersonSpot announced this week the launch of its beta social publishing application. Its self-named application is a cool tool for anyone who’s looking to build their brand and share their content. (Come on, in this digital world, who isn’t looking to turn some heads?) With PersonSpot, users can create their own personal, online magazines and share content that they find on the Web, through their social media feeds or even have created themselves.
Because it’s seamlessly integrated with Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, PersonSpot makes sharing, promoting and branding personal interests easy for all of us who maintain multiple networks. You can even add a “Spot It” feature to your Web browser’s toolbar which will allow you to share the content you’re currently reading with your magazine readers or outside social followers. It’s perfect for those of us who read a ton and want a central location to share it with others. If you like to save links and vet the content later, you can keep them private on your magazine until you decide whether to share or delete.
So if you’re looking to boost your personal or business brand, give PersonSpot a try. Visit www.personspot.com and set up your online magazine today.
Ok, I’ll set aside my pompoms now…
- Mary Evans
I had the pleasure this morning of attending a presentation by my CEO, Elizabeth Shea, to the Small and Emerging Contractors Advisory Forum (SECAF) on how to engage the federal community via social media.
It seems that somewhere along the way people started believing that the government isn’t actually using social media. But with more than 3 million Twitter followers, it looks like someone forgot to tell the White House that government isn’t social. Turns out that NASA isn’t far behind with 2.8 million followers, and the Department of Homeland Security has more than 52,000 “likes” on Facebook.
In fact, according to Market Connections 2011 Social Media in the Public Sector Report, 70% of federal agencies and 93% of contractors are using LinkedIn while a whopping 86% of agencies and 88% of contractors are on Facebook.
These stats clearly speak to a point made by B.L. Ochman in BusinessWeek way back in 2009: “Millions of people are creating content for the social web. Your competitors are already there. Your customers have been there for a long time. If your business isn’t putting itself out there, it ought to be.”
So below are some of the key takeaways from Elizabeth’s presentation this morning and some tips for people just jumping into the social fray.
Listen to what is being said. At a minimum the expectation is that you are listening. There are a variety of social media listening posts that can help you learn what your customers want.
Create compelling content. As we’ve discussed many times on our blog, content is king. You either need to curate or create your stance, your value proposition, the reason your customers buy. Social media is reliant on content, and you need to plan a way to create content that is useful to your audience.
Engage with your audience. Social media tools enable you to engage with your audience in a meaningful way. However, it’s not a one-size-fits-all approach. Determine which channels your customers use and meet them there.
Lastly, B2G communications has evolved. While there is still a core set of print publications we work with on a daily basis, there is also a “new” set of online sites that are just as influential. Online sites and networks to follow (or join) to keep up with what’s happening in the government space include: FedScoop, GovLoop, GovConWire, OhMyGov and NextGov.
I wrote recently about the quality vs. quantity conundrum on Twitter, and included some tips on how to get started. Stay tuned for an upcoming post on how to make the most of LinkedIn.
I was lucky enough to score a spot at FedScoop’s event yesterday morning at the Newseum but only lucky enough to be there for the very beginning.
The morning keynote address was given by Casey Coleman the CIO of the General Services Administration. She outlined GSA’s IT transformation describing how the agency has saved money and time through the use of new technology and an adaptive information sharing process.
As a whole, GSA needed to upgrade its technology. She said they were still using Word 2003! The main focus was on modernizing and centralizing technology. They started by analyzing their existing resources then decided what to upgrade, change and get rid of, resulting in the implementation and use of only fully active technologies that made sense for GSA’s goals. This process from analysis to implementation happened in a very short timeframe – only ten weeks!
Additionally, GSA moved to a cloud email solution through Google Apps. The IT transformation team did a good amount of backwork training and prepping the staff before deployment to mitigate problems before they could arise. And they designated certain tech-savvy employees as “power users” to help others get up to speed and create a sense of community during deployment.
Overall, they have seen that IT service desk calls are down. The time they spent training employees has paid off and now the service desk receives calls asking how to do new tasks rather than reporting a problem. One of the main ways that they mitigate problems is via Chatter, a SalesForce tool that allows users to communicate virtually and creates a log of conversations and answers so that service desk and power users aren’t being asked repetitive questions. Chatter has allowed them to create their own knowledge management system based on the technologies they actually use.
Casey said that GSA is really proud of the change management system they developed during this process and that they even rolled out a core competency based on it.
Ultimately Casey said that GSA’s technology refresh was not so much about which technology to use but about how to use technology to best get work done. Through the project they eased help desk concerns, streamlined communication and now use analytics to monitor top issues and provide proactive communication.
If you’re interested in hearing more, you can see Casey’s full presentation here.
Additionally, I got to stay to hear Gigi Schumm from (our client) Symantec talk on BYOD and how it can lower costs within agencies, if safely implemented. She’s recapping her portion on the Symantec Public Sector Blog and her entire presentation is available here.
We like to turn the camera around, so to speak, from time to time and conduct our own interviews with the movers, shakers and influencers in our community.
This Ask the Influencers interview is with Glen Hellman, a notable force in the DC community as well as on a national stage supporting entrepreneurism. He was recently profiled in the Washington Business Journal in Bill Flook's column (requires subscription) with the title: Mr. Cranky: Glen Hellman
SBX: You are an entrepreneur, an executive coach, an angel investor, and a vocal contributor in the DC tech scene. What drives you every day? What do you enjoy the most?
HELLMAN: I love what I do because it has a purpose. I’m an advocate of entrepreneurs, I’m an advocate of DC, and I love real life puzzles or problem solving. Every day I have a new challenge and whether it’s with a client, a portfolio company, or volunteer work, I get to solve puzzles that help entrepreneurs build a better DC business ecosystem.
There’s a Vistage Chair I’ve met, Pat Hyndman. He’s been doing this for 50 years. He’s in his 90s and his mind is a quick, sharp and facile as any 40 year old. That’s because our minds are a muscle and Pat has been giving his mind a strenuous mental work out every time he meets with a client. I’d love to be able to be like Pat Hyndman when I’m 90. I’d love to look back at 50 years of helping great CEOs be better CEOs while keeping myself in the game.
I can’t think of anything else I could do that has this much pay back.
SBX: What do you see for the just-starting out entrepreneur in today's world? Any advice you can share?
HELLMAN: It’s Okay to be smart. It’s not okay to think you have all the answers. Always get opinions, always continue to learn. read, debate, seek peer advice and then don’t get paralyzed by all the different inputs. Use the inputs, be decisive and move forward.
SBX: You believe DC can make its own mark in the technology scene, and that we should be blazing our own trail. How do you think we can do that?
HELLMAN: I think we would be best served if we took advantage of our strengths. We’re a data enriched town…… focus on Big Data. We have some momentum in education technology which is getting big, and healthcare/biotech. Focus on the few industries where we have a competitive advantage and dense centers of excellence.
Let New York focus on Media, and Financial Apps, they have the Subject Matter Experts and Density to do that. Let’s not try to be all things to all people. Let’s not try to take on Silicon Valley on all fronts. Let’s pick a few sectors where we have an advantage and then let’s build up the density and mass required to be excellent.
SBX: You have many opinions on what makes a company great, or "AMAZING" as noted in this blog post. Are there companies locally you've seen be just AMAZING?
HELLMAN: You know there are many of them. That blog just flowed. When I get riled up or passionate about something, I can knock out a blog in 20 minutes. This was a blog with two inspirations. The first one was Dan Berger, CEO of Social Tables. Dan is a brilliant guy. Passionate, knowledgeable, strategic, like most good CEOs. What makes Dan a great CEO is that he’s also a bulldog. He’ll do the ugly stuff, the heavy lifting. He doesn’t understand the word no and he’s not afraid to hear no. It’s like no, is a good thing because it gets him 3 or 4 nos away from a yes.
On the other side, there are a few folks who I’d rather not expose that drive me nuts. They’re all about the trappings of being an entrepreneur and a CEO but unlike Dan, you won’t see them shoveling poop.
-- Elizabeth Shea, @eliz2shea
Potential speakers and panelists are once again vying for a spot at SXSW 2013, scheduled for next March. Since 2007, SXSW has used a PanelPicker to democratize the conference program planning and encourage community participation. Public votes account for 30% of the weighted decision-making process.
Similar to last year, there is a track called “Government and Civic Engagement.” This year, 84 of the more than 3,000 proposed programs are in the government category and the options include some great speakers from both federal, state and local government.
Some of my favorites (with their descriptions from the SXSW PanelPicker site) include:
Technology in government isn't just about putting up a new .gov website, or creating a new platform - it can't be, because the public demands better services where they already are engaging, and they need these services now. This panel will get to the bottom of not just the future of citizen engagement, but the movement to deliver on the promise of open source, mobile citizen engagement right now by any means necessary.
- Mamta Patel Nagaraja PhD, NASA
- Justin Herman, GSA Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies' Center for Excellence in Digital Government
- Erie Meyer, Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, and Tech Lady Mafia
- Gray Brooks, GSA Digital Innovative Services Center
There are countless local government projects that are not completed due to lack of funding. These are projects like building new parks, renovating neighborhood pools and adding bike lanes - projects that governments want to take on and citizens want to invest in, but often can't. For decades, we have seen citizens host neighborhood barbecues to raise money to save a park or library - projects that can only happen through government and citizens partnering together. But what do these barbecues look like in the 21st century and what does it look like when vastly more projects have a chance of being funded? Crowdfunding platforms focused on funding local government projects are sprouting up in the U.S. and abroad, giving citizens a direct say in where government spends their money for the first time in history. This panel will discuss the successes and failures of these startups and will answer the tough questions facing these new business models.
- Jordan Raynor, Citizinvestor
- Story Bellows, City of Philadelphia
- Russell Wallace, CivicSponsor, Inc.
- Rodrigo Davies, Spacehive
You may not have realized it, but the U.S. Congress has recently been opening its doors for participation and data faster than at any time in the history of the body. From participatory projects on co-sponsoring and helping to write bills, to analyzing and visualizing correspondence and releasing that data to the public, the U.S. Congress is getting with the program. This panel will discuss how technology is enabling Congress to truly realize democracy in previously impossible ways.
- Matt Lira, Office of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor
- Dan Beckmann, IB5k
- Stephen Dwyer, House Minority Whip
- Sarah Lai Stirland, Tech President
Last year’s keynote presentation at SXSW focused on open data in cities. This year, we thought it would be interesting to see how this idea has evolved. Our panel is focused on trends in city and public sector data. We will discuss how technology and open data have helped improve lives and safety in cities, specifically at-risk regions.
- Marc Maleh, Wieden+Kennedy
- Husani Oakley, Wieden+Kennedy
- Anoush Tatevossian, UN
- Bob Richardson, City of NY
Voting is open until August 31st. Which programs are you voting for?
- Katie Hanusik
Recently my esteemed colleague Pete wrote a post about how when it comes to social media, size doesn’t much matter. When it comes to Twitter followers or Facebook “likes” what really matters is quality, not quantity.
Unfortunately, some people still hang their hat on their number of followers. Earlier this month the White House actually put out a blog post about how their Twitter account had reached 3,000,000 followers. Sure, it’s an impressive milestone but really, who cares? And furthermore, how many of those 3,000,000 followers actually matter?
A quick check on a new service called Fake Follower Check tells me that only 30% of the people who follow @whitehouse on Twitter are “good.” Of the other 70%, 27% are fake/spam and 43% are inactive. While these numbers may not be completely accurate it goes to show, along with Pete’s post (really, go read it, it’s good), that it’s not the quantity of followers that matters it’s the quality.
So what can you do to ensure that you’re reaching the right people on Twitter and not just sending your tweets out to bunch of spam accounts? Below are a few tips.
- Follow the people/accounts you want to follow you. Quality vs. quantity is a two-way street. If you want to reach your target audience you have to seek them out and follow them.
- Avoid sounding like your account is run by your CMO. In general, sales and marketing talk should be avoided and is usually frowned upon, if not vehemently opposed, by the community as a whole.
- Be a part of the conversation. Twitter isn’t just a one-way mode of communication. Once you’ve identified the accounts you want to follow join the conversation and interact with both the accounts you follow and your own followers.
- If you’re a product or services company, be prepared to answer questions. If your followers interact with you don’t just leave them hanging. Make sure you have someone available to answer questions and respond to followers as necessary. But, do not get into a public battle on Twitter. It will end badly. Trust me.
- Listen and share. Sure, Twitter is a great way to share information about your company/product/service with the world but what about what others are saying? Read and listen to what the people/accounts you are following are tweeting and, if something is interesting and relevant, share it with others by retweeting it. Personally, I don’t care for Twitter accounts that use the service solely to push their agenda and never think to share what they hear from the rest of the community. Don’t assume your followers follow the same accounts you do. If you read something interesting about your industry pay it forward and retweet it for your followers to see.
- Know when to be quiet and do not spam your followers. It’s important to consider that Twitter is used by people all over the world and therefore only tweeting between the hours of 8:30am-5pm Eastern Standard Time is going to severely limit who sees your tweets. It’s important to be aware of who follows you and share information throughout the day. However, unless you want to annoy every one of your followers, do not start tweeting a ridiculous number of things a ridiculous number of times a day.
Those are just a few of the basics for making the most of your Twitter account. What are some tips you’d share to help others attract quality over quantity?
Internet communities are often made out to be fonts of collaboration and ingenuity, dedicated to bettering a particular technological or social ideal. While this is the case more often than not, sometimes, communities are very bad places, like Reddit’s struggles with illegal content and the constant specter of Anonymous’s destructive hacking activities. Online social behavior can switch from Dr. Jekyll to a foaming-at-the-mouth Mr. Hyde in a matter of minutes, which PepsiCo found out the hard way this week.
Pepsi decided that to name its new green apple-flavored variety of Mountain Dew, it would turn to the online community, which worked quite well in the past with the company’s Dewmocracy promotion. DubtheDew was to be the new platform for PepsiCo’s social brainchild and, unlike Dewmocracy, it exploded into a horrific-yet-hilarious Internet trainwreck.
On August 13, not long after the campaign launch, the leading names for the delicious new Dew flavor were Diabeetus and Hitler Did Nothing Wrong – certainly not the response that PepsiCo was expecting. As of today, it looks like DubtheDew is down, possibly for good.
So what’s the lesson here?
For starters, the Internet is a fickle, fickle mistress. Just because a campaign worked once does not mean that similar effort will succeed a second time. In fact, BECAUSE it was successful once may make certain online audiences more likely to hijack the new effort, perhaps becoming “Internet famous” in the process. I’m looking at you, 4chan. You too, Reddit.
But perhaps most importantly, the bigger issue that companies need to remember is control. Once a campaign is released into the Wild Wild Web, control is gone, unless certain measures are taken, like automated or manual filtering mechanisms, pre-set choices or audience controls. It’s obvious that PepsiCo did none of these things (at least at first), resulting in the nuclear option being called upon – shutting down the site.
So in planning an interactive online campaign, be prepared and take the right precautions, or you might up sending a pop star to North Korea or launching a Holocaust-themed beverage.
Last month SalesForce put together an infographic on what the perfect Facebook post looks like (see it larger here). It got me thinking about how companies interact with fans on Facebook and how some leave completely different impressions.
If the point of brands posting on Facebook is to CONNECT with their customers and prospects, why do so many posts come off as forced? For the most part, it seems like some brands have a message to get out and that’s all that they think about.
When we post status updates for ourselves, we go through an internal process of deciding what is appropriate to post – or at least we should! We think about what our friends will like, comment on, be interested in, or find funny before we take a status update live. So why don’t we do that with brands? SalesForce’s blueprint is designed to help brands engage with the audience rather than talk ‘at’ them.
PR Daily recently published a blog post on How To Write for Facebook that outlines eight steps to think through before posting for a brand. For me, there are three things everyone should think through before they post for a brand:
- Think about the action – What do you want your audience to do? How do you realistically get them to do it? Do you need to offer an incentive for a bigger action like downloads? Or are you just trying to write something that will receive likes and shares? Make sure you tailor your content to the outcome you’re trying to achieve.
- Make it easy – Tell the audience exactly how to participate in your contest, download your app or post photos to your page. If it seems too hard, it won’t happen.
- Forget your content plan – Well, don’t forget it completely… Understandably, you have a message to get out but make sure to mix those brand support messages in with more lighthearted engaging posts. No one wants to follow a brand that is basically using his or her news feed as an advertising platform. Think about your target market and post other relevant content that they may find interesting.
And last but not least, I firmly believe this to be the golden rule for all online conversation: Use proper grammar, spelling and punctuation! When representing a brand it is imperative to use the correct version of a word (you’re/your) and to use fully spelled-out words (though/tho).
Any other rules you all follow when posting on Facebook?
Also, if you’re interested in more info on content and inbound marketing, attend our webinar on August 29th. SBX CEO, Elizabeth Shea will be hosting a webinar on inbound marketing with special guests Matt Howard, CEO of ZoomSafer and DP Venkatesh, CEO of mPortal.
Our upcoming SpeakerBox webinar got me thinking about how other marketers are using Webinars and to what effect.
Forrester Research recently published a report entitled, “Top-Performing Tech Marketers Use Webinars as a Portal to the Buyer’s Journey.” The gist of the report is that Webinars are one of the most popular digital marketing tactics, used by 93% of technology marketers. Not surprisingly, most marketers are using Webinars for lead generation and awareness-building.
For attendees, Webinars can prove to be beneficial, although perhaps not necessarily influential. While attendees rate Webinars as most useful during the information-gathering stage of the buying process, attendees also rank them as the least likely resource to influence decision-making compared to printed publications, in-person events and email newsletters.
These results differ slightly from the 2012 B2B Content Marketing Report, published jointly by MarketingProfs and the Content Marketing Institute. Results from this survey indicate that 90% of marketers use some form of content marketing, which accounts for more than 25% of marketers’ budgets. On average, most marketers use eight different content tactics to meet their marketing goals, including case studies, whitepapers, blog posts, events and videos.
However, according to the 2012 report, Webinars did not fare as well in terms of implementation – but, ironically, better in regards to effectiveness. According to that report, only 46% of marketers claim to be using Webinars – which places this tactic ninth in the ranking of most popular content marketing tactics. In the 2010 survey, Webinars ranked eighth, with 43% of marketers using this tactic. In spite of this limited usage, marketers ranked Webinars as one of the most effective tactics, second only to in-person events. In fact, the perceived effectiveness of Webinars increased more than 25% over the 2010 report.
Like many of those surveyed, we’re big believers in a diversified content strategy. If you’ll excuse the shameless plug, I hope you’ll register for our upcoming Webinar – “Inbound Marketing – Getting Found with Creative Content” on Wednesday, August 29th at 2:00. See you there.
-- Katie Hanusik
(photo courtesy of DownEU)
These days social media is so big that even some of the U.S.’s most prestigious universities are devoting precious resources to studying trends, usage patterns and impact of services like Facebook and Twitter. Case in point: recently, New York University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology got together to study the social media habits of a sampling of 1.3 million Facebook users to determine what’s more effective: the number or types of followers a person or organization has?
In other words, does size really matter?
The results were both surprising and not. The surprising part involves who the study finds more influential and less susceptible to be influenced. The not so surprising part is that it appears it’s sometimes better to target certain groups of people, rather than large hordes. The reason this isn’t surprising is that it adheres to something which we, as marketers, have known for a while now – in both social media and PR, it’s not always about how many people you’re going after, but the quality of those people and their ability to influence others.
The basis of the universities’ study was a commercial movie app that was provided to 7,700 Facebook users. Invitations to download that same app were then randomly and automatically sent to everyone in the users’ networks. The results of the study were gleaned by who responded to these invitations.
Leaving aside potential spam issues, the effort did result in some interesting (albeit generalized) statistics, including:
Men are, on the whole, more influential than women (ladies, please don't kill the messenger -- I'm just reporting this stuff)
People age 30 and older tend to be more influential, but less susceptible to influence, than those younger than 30
Married people are the least likely of any group to be influenced
So while Ashton Kutcher (for example) may have millions of Twitter followers, who is to say that those followers actually have any direct influence on what other people in the social media-sphere think about anything? Certainly some do. But I’m willing to bet the overwhelming majority do not.
The main takeaway here is that, like all communications efforts, social media programs should be closely tracked and monitored. Not just the sheer numbers, either; it’s too easy to get hung up on how many followers and “likes” your company as. Rather, marketers must try to determine exactly who is following and liking these pages. Once that’s done, try to get a conversation going with them; after all, social media is all about interaction and building relationships. Who knows? These could be the exact type of people – the exact type of influencers -- you need to spread your brand and message to others.
- Pete Larmey
Apple TV users, rejoice! Hulu Plus is now available on the device, competing with the streaming of my not-so-favorite Netflix. (I was a loyal Netflix customer until the company decided to hike their prices overnight and botch their communication efforts.) I quit the service and turned my rental money toward Redbox and my cable’s OnDemand service. But let’s be honest – those options just don’t quite cut it. Often times I can’t find what I want to watch, or I honestly don’t have the energy to drive to the nearest Redbox. But yet I never resorted back to Netflix – maybe it’s just my pride getting in the way, but the way they deployed their pricing model just left a bitter taste in my mouth. With that said, of course I was excited to read that Hulu Plus is now available on Apple TV. I was never one to enjoy watching television on my computer (and rarely do it on my iPhone…traveling is my only exception), so I have been waiting for another service to be added alongside Netflix.
Will I subscribe to the $7.99/month service? (Which, mind you, is the same price at Netflix’s streaming service.) I’m not sure – I need to do a bit of research and see what it offers. (I’ve experimented with some other streaming services, and unless you only like to watch B/C rated movies, or short-run television shows, you can easily be fooled into something you don’t want.) But I will tell you that I’m a sucker for Apple TV and its capabilities. I refrain from buying movies in hard-copy form anymore, I love showing pictures to friends and family on the big screen instead of booting up my computer or pulling out a photo album and I of course play my iTunes through the system on a regular basis. I can do everything all through the little black box, and I love it. So of course I’m tempted to start streaming movies through it too, and I’m wondering how many other Apple TV users will agree. It’ll be interesting to monitor any dips in customer numbers amongst competitors, and to see if Netflix takes another hit in consequences from their goof last year. I can’t be the only one holding a grudge, right?
- Mary Evans
For too long, our social media activities have been under threat. Not by malware or by unscrupulous data mining, nay, the greatest danger to our online habits comes in the form of babies. Or rather, pictures of babies, if the response to Unbaby.me is any indication.
A browser plug-in, Unbaby.me essentially rips and replaces pictures of babies on Facebook feeds with, and I quote, “awesome stuff.” Currently, this means pictures of kitties, but the code is flexible enough to support RSS feeds of other images, like puppies or Minuteman rockets.
The plug-in is apparently crushing it, with over 2,000 likes in its first 30 minutes of availability and is already cruising past 55,000. But what does this say about social media habits in general?
In my mind, Unbaby.me is the next evolution of social add-ons or potentially even value adds for established networks, like Twitter or Facebook. Imagine if Facebook offered you a pay-for-filtering option – maybe $5/month – that would allow you to specify content that you want to see in your feed versus hiding specific users. Or, if targeted ads continue their insidious growth in the social world, maybe there the soon-to-be value-add will be an ad blocker, available for a low monthly cost.
Unbaby.me is a funny, some might say disturbing, bit of software that serves what may be a niche need. But I think content filters are one of the many ways forward in social media, and could leave us with a new method of monetization for social network operators.
What do you think? Are you up in arms about hidden babies or the lack thereof?
Search engine optimization (SEO) is something that many marketers seek to incorporate into their marketing mix, but only a few seem to truly and deeply understand. Many people still assume that simply incorporating a few keywords into a website will result in a #1 ranking on Google within a matter of a couple of days. Still others feel that SEO is akin to some form of black magic, having heard or experienced horror stories of sites that have been penalized for incorporating improper optimization or “black hat SEO” procedures.
In short, many still do not understand that SEO is a legitimate marketing strategy that can help raise an organization’s online awareness. If done correctly, that is.
But is there a correct SEO method? Like every other type of communications device, there are several different approaches to SEO, and these can vary based on many different factors (the size of a site, for example, or the types of products and services that are being promoted). And while it’s true that search engines like Google will change their search algorithms on a regular basis in order to keep their search results fresh and honest (thereby keeping website owners and SEO experts continually on their toes), there are certain basic rules and guidelines that can safely be followed to form a sound foundation for any burgeoning SEO program.
These guidelines will most likely always come back to the same tenets: keywords, content, and links. Since time eternal (well, since Google began indexing sites, anyway), these have seemingly been the backbones of any successful SEO program.
There’s more, of course. Much more, in fact. And we’ve attempted to lay at least some of it out for you in a new white paper: No More Hocus Pocus: A Beginner’s Guide to Search Engine Optimization.
This white paper is designed to give a perspective on some of the building blocks that should be considered when embarking on a SEO effort. It provides information and examples on effective site optimization -- as well as providing some perspective on what not to do.
In 2008, Google posted that it had indexed 1 trillion web pages simultaneously. Google no longer issues such information, but if that was four years ago, consider how many pages the Web giant is indexing in 2012! That will give you an idea of how much competition is out there online for site visitors. That’s an indicator that SEO is no longer a “nice to have;” instead, it should be considered an imperative part of an online strategy if you’re expecting your site to get discovered.
This SpeakerBox SEO white paper and guide is designed to get you pointed in the right direction.
After writing my recent blog post reminding everyone about the importance of getting out into the local tech community, I couldn’t resist filling everyone in on my latest outing. This past Wednesday night I headed into Clarendon to check out MoDevDC’s latest get together at the new Capital One Labs space. Not only did I get to tour their awesome spread, but I also got to view some product demos and listen to a panel of mobile commerce rock stars to learn more about the space and where it’s headed.
The event kicked-off with a couple of demos from white label payment solutions leaders Paydiant (presented by David Gray, technology innovation and strategic alliances, Capital One) and SeQRPay (presented by Bryan Colligan, founder, SEQRPay), who showed the crowd that wallets and credit cards may soon be a thing of the past. Their presentations gave way for the main event, the panelists for which included (from left to right in photo):
- Chris Clark, moderator and senior product manager, Capital One Labs
- Gill Haus, senior vice president of technology, RideCharge
- Sameer Saddiqui, director of product and social commerce, Gannet (DealChicken)
- Bryan Colligan, founder, SeQRPay
- Jeremy Rephlo, senior product, Capital One Labs
The major point the group wanted to make was that commerce is everywhere. While the technology for mobile commerce is here, it’s all about adoption. It is essential that companies focus on merchant adoption of mobile commerce solutions so consumers are able to use these solutions. Once this happens, smartphones are all we’ll need for a trip to the store. But they stressed that different use cases require different technologies and that companies must keep their unique audiences in mind at all times. For example, according to Saddiqui, when Gannet launched DealChicken, their social commerce daily deal site, they had to take into account that most of their audience still read newspapers, so their mobile payment approach had to make sense for that consumer – most of which are using email to purchase deals.
Another discussion topic included web vs. native mobile applications. Most panelists were on the native track, insisting that it increased user experience and addressed the critical ease of use required for inspiring in-moment purchasing and managing corporate customers.
After the short panel, things opened up for questions. You can check out the full panel and Q&A online to get answers to questions about security concerns, adoption and predictions for mobile commerce.
Pete Erickson, founder and president of MoDev, one of the largest developer groups in the country, and founder of Disrupthon, was the man in charge of putting this event together. MoDev has grown exponentially since 2008 and has resorted to wait lists for their events (they’re that awesome). Their next DC event, MoDev Tablet, will be held September 13-15. If you are interested in attending, I’d recommend signing up soon, as it looks like tickets are selling out quickly. Hope to see you there!
So, look, he's an impressive guy.
In between two Red Bull-fueled marathon sessions of Call of Duty, his royal Zuckness somehow found the time for a brief Facebook earnings call last week, in which he eloquently (if not perfunctorily) voiced the central Catch-22 of the social media economy:
"We don't build services to make money," he said. "We make money to build better services."
A few days later, as Facebook shares plunged to their new all-time low, BBC News reported that 8.7 percent (or 83 million) Facebook accounts are believed to be fake.
In the same report, BBC noted that the vast majority (perhaps 80%) of Facebook advertisement clicks are also thought to be phony -- triggered by bots.
So much for the Facebook business model, I guess. But that's okay, because Zuckerberg doesn't care about making money. He only cares about making better services... through... money...
Which raises the age-old paradoxical question at the core of this issue: Would we (consumers) ever consider actually PAYING for web services if it meant they’d be less terrible?
Put a pin in that for a second while I tell you about Dalton Caldwell.
Caldwell (the subject of a TPM Idea Lab article by Carl Franzen) believes that websites and apps like Twitter and Facebook (free for users because they can make money by selling advertising) represent:
“A dynamic that skews the incentive of those websites and apps toward providing more products for advertisers and a better experience for them than for actual users. The result is that users will eventually grow disenchanted with the service, and early adopters will leave, a major paradox, given the fact that larger user numbers are exactly why advertisers would want to pay for ad space on the websites themselves.”
In other words, it’s the old vicious circle that Facebook created. But Dalton has a plan:
“Caldwell is fundraising online to start a new version of his App.net website that will, in effect, offer the basics of Twitter’s functionality — the ability for users to short messages and follow each other in one-way, or asymmetrical relationships... for an annual user subscription fee of $50.”
Says Caldwell himself:
“My thesis is that the communications infrastructure that Twitter has enabled is orders of magnitude greater than what they’re doing with it."
And you know something, I think he might be right.
After all, Twitter’s been making some pretty dubious moves lately – everything from placing new restrictions on the use of its API, to shutting down negative tweets about platinum sponsor NBC’s Olympics coverage.
But how bad would “Big Twitter” have to get before you'd consider paying 50 dollars for a less crappy version?
Caldwell points out that we routinely pay ACTUAL MONEY for most of the non-Web technology services we consume. For instance, would it be worth paying nothing for phone service, if (in exchange) we had to listen to a 30-second Claritin ad every time before dialing?
I talked about the power of “free” in my last series of posts. But my super-top-secret-blog-informant points out the darker side of free:
Long before Instagram, he recalls, Kodak had some pay-for-photo-sharing tools online in the late 90s. But they were quickly displaced by cheaper (and eventually free) services with the same functionality, but much lower quality and utility.
So, in general, it’s not good for the "free market" (zing!) when poor-quality free services drive out high-quality paid ones.
On the other hand, Instagram is free today, and it's a heck of lot more useful than that old Kodak junk. So perhaps it’s just the long arc of business evolution.
Kathryn's readers, what say you?
True Fact of the Day: Asbestos Man didn't achieve the height of his popularity until after the discovery of asbestos.
As professional communicators, we're often tasked with interpreting the zeitgeist (which is a German word that means "God bless you").
Corporate communications don't typically seek to influence culture, but merely to leverage it, to bask in its profitability, to identify with its prevailing narratives.
But how we (mere mortals of the communications world) stay abreast of these changes is the big secret. And here it is:
I'm not making this up: (Daredevil villain) Turner D. Century rides a flying bicycle with a "time horn" that kills anybody under 65 years old.
Back in the late 1930s, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster created a superhero who stood for truth, justice, and the American way. His arch nemesis was a mad scientist named Lex Luther. Seems sensible enough, right?
It's 1938. We're on the cusp of the nuclear age. Hitler is (we now know) experimenting with dog telepathy. So sure, the villain of the zeitgeist is an atomic scientist with some crazy ideas about the future.
Now fast-forward to 1986. Superman is still fighting for truth, justice, and the American way. In fact, he's still fighting his arch nemesis Lex Luther. Only now, Luther is an evil corporate plutocrat who may or may not have been managing Bain Capital during the 2002 Olympics.
I'm still not making this up: (The Flash villain) Roy G. Bivolo (A.K.A Rainbow Rider) slides down rainbows he shoots from his goggles. To overcome his foes, he affects people’s emotions by coating them in color.
Wait, how did we get from mad scientist to corrupt billionaire? It's the zeitgeist, man.
See, we didn't fear Dr. Strangelove in the 1980s; we feared Gordon Gekko. So naturally, Luthor had to be "rebranded."
Which brings us to modern day. The new Lex Luthor won't hit theaters until next summer. But perhaps we already have our villain of the zeitgeist in Batman's Bane.
Even before the Aurora shootings, people were eagerly politicizing the meaning of Bane and the "message" behind the movie.
But like I said, corporate communications rarely seek to influence culture, only to profit from it. Which leads me to believe that Bane isn't a commentary on inequality, the exploitation of class warfare, cold fusion energy, or even good old fashioned terrorism.
Perhaps he's not a commentary on anything, but rather a simple reflection of what society fears most -- cargo pants.
I'm really, truly, honestly not making this up: Spiderman baddie Hypno-Hustler uses the power of disco to take over people's minds. Spiderman defeats him by... wait for it... covering his ears.
What do you think? What does Bane tell us about the current era? And if not Bane, which supervillain best encapsuales the contemporary culture?
I've been meeting with a slew of companies looking to kick their marketing programs into high gear this fall and inbound marketing is high on their radar when it comes to strategic activities to consider.
If you're contemplating it too, SpeakerBox is hosting a Webinar on this very topic on Wednesday, August 29th at 2pm. Inbound Marketing: Getting Found with Creative Content.
We are big believers in inbound marketing at SpeakerBox, and work with several clients to support their inbound marketing strategies.
Matt Howard, Co-founder and CEO of Zoom Safer and D.P. Venkatesh, Founder and CEO, mPortal will join SpeakerBox CEO Elizabeth Shea for the hour. They all made the decision to invest in inbound marketing campaigns and have seen the pay off. They will share insights on how to define a strategy, create a content-rich site and develop meaningful metrics.
Full details are available on the registration page. Don't think twice about signing up - it will be the perfect discussion to conteract the slow down of summer and get your marketing strategy in gear for a busy fall.