There is Value in Fun: An observation from SXSW

Posted by Clayton Smith on March 16, 2012

There’s a lot to love about South by Southwest, the 10-day music, film, and interactive conference and festival held every year in Austin, TX. The live music, the keynote speakers, the panel discussions, the post-conference parties, and the sheer energy generated by thousands of social networkers converging to celebrate new app launches and long-established social successes alike; it’s all pretty overwhelming, and it can be difficult for any one aspect to really stand out.

SXSW is generally lauded as the conference for launching exciting new social products. After all, it’s where Foursquare debuted in 2009, and though it wasn’t exactly the network’s official launch, Twitter really started gaining attention at SXSW 2007. New apps and services are unveiled in Austin every year, and marketers spend big bucks to make sure their booths and launch parties stand out from all the rest. But the conference can also be a good reminder that marketing promotion doesn’t always have to be expensive or flashy to add value to your product. Sometimes, all you need is a little fun.

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Topics: Business, business, dashboard, education, facebook, fun, google+, google plus, gremlin, gremln, linkedin, Marketing, media, network, ROI, skype, social, south by southwest, strategy, sxsw, twitter

Piquing Your Pinterest -- How to use the hottest new social network to market your business

Posted by Clayton Smith on March 7, 2012

The concept behind Pinterest is pretty simple; see something you like online, tack it to a virtual bulletin board for all your friends to see. The site design is clean, direct, and easy to use. By all accounts, Pinterest is the simplest social network since Twitter. But for such a simple social site (try saying that five times fast!), Pinterest has generated an incredible amount of buzz in an extremely short amount of time.

The site already has well over 10 million users, and in fact, according to marketing company Lemon.ly, they were the fastest independent site in history to hit 10 million unique page visitors. They got there faster than Facebook, faster than Twitter, even faster than Google+. Clearly, there’s something to love about Pinterest.

If you haven’t used Pinterest yet, it’s definitely worth checking out. You can request an invite, or, if you want access a little more quickly, just find a friend who has an account, and she can send you an invite instantly. Once you’re in, the process is simple; create boards; pin things to boards; repeat. You can find things to pin on pretty much any website, or, if you want, you can search through the items already pinned by other users, then just repin the picture onto your page. Do you like the Muppets? A quick search on Pinterest will bring up thousands (and then some) images of Muppets for you to browse through, enjoy, like, and repin.

It’s a great network for quickly and easily sharing images with your friends, and it’s also useful if you want to keep an online collection of ideas and inspiration. Thinking of redecorating your living room? Start a board called “New Living Room” and pin every piece of furniture, every paint scheme, and every set of drapes you find that you think you might like. Getting ready for some spring landscaping? Create a board called “Landscape Ideas” and pin all your favorite landscape shots from around the Web.

The possibilities are virtually endless.

But how can Pinterest help you market your business?

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Topics: Business, business, campaign, dashboard, education, gremlin, gremln, Marketing, media, pinterest, ROI, social, Social Media News, strategy, twitter

Go, Team! Setting up your department for social media team management

Posted by Clayton Smith on February 23, 2012

Social media is growing up. What began as an amusing method of occasional interaction is now a mass media and marketing communications force to be reckoned with. Today’s social networks boast users from all demographics, and the net is ever widening.

Social media play huge roles in today’s marketing plan, spurred on not only by the widespread appeal of networks like Facebook and Twitter, but also by the relative inexpensiveness of using them as marketing tools. The number of employment positions dedicated solely to social media marketing and content production is surging. A company’s Twitter feed used to be an intern project. Now, in many cases, social media marketing is a team effort.

While this is an exciting shift in the marketing dynamic, it also presents its own unique set of challenges. When you’ve got a few cooks in the social media kitchen, it’s easy to step on each other’s toes, and team management becomes incredibly important. As the leader of a social media team, it becomes all too easy for other members to post content that you feel is inappropriate, inaccurate, or in some other way not in lock-step with your brand. There can be some confusion as to who should respond (or who has already responded) to which Twitter question or Facebook issue, and we’ve all heard the horror stories of company employees accidentally posting their personal tweets to their business accounts. So how do you run a tight social ship?

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Topics: Business, business, dashboard, facebook, gremlin, gremln, Marketing, media, moderate, network, plan, ROI, social, strategy, team management, twitter

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