Tag Archive | "Social Media"

Interview with Social Media Citizen: Maggie Fox

new_profile_pic_large_largeMaggie Fox is the Founder and CEO of Social Media Group, one of the largest independent social media agencies in the world. While working at SMG, Maggie has helped to create and execute social media strategies for the  likes of Ford Motors, SAP, Thomson Reuters, 3M and CNN. Maggie is a regular  speaker at the top social media events and has been interviewed by The Washington Post, The Globe and Mail, CBC Radio and CTV News. She was named one of the Top 100 Marketers in the 100th anniversary edition of Marketing Magazine. Maggie also sits on the Advisory Board for Social Media Today and My Venture Pad sites.You can follow Maggie on Twitter , Facebook or LinkedIn. Read the full story

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Interview with Social Media Influencer: Tom H. C. Anderson

Tom Anderson

Tom H. C. Anderson is the founder and managing partner of Anderson Analytics, a full-service market research consultancy that takes a “next generation” approach to research by fusing advanced analytics and traditional methodologies with leading edge technologies. Named the “Uncrowned Father of Web 3.0 Market Research” (Research Business Report, 2009), Tom is also a prominent blogger, recognized authority on social media, and the founder of Next Gen Market Research (NGMR), one of the most active networking groups for market researchers on the Web. Tom served as the elected U.S. representative to ESOMAR in 2010, an international professional association for market researchers and is chairman of the Foundation for Transparency in Offshoring (FTO). You can follow Tom on Twitter , Linkedin or Facebook Read the full story

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Interview with Community Manager: Robyn Tippins from ReadWriteWeb

Community manager - Robyn TippinsRobyn Tippins is a community manager at ReadWriteWeb with 15 years online marketing experience. Robyn is an  author of Community 101 book. She has blogged for blog networks and corporations, podcasted for small and large businesses, advised social networking sites, and worked with Fortune 500 companies, including Yahoo!, Intel, MTV, ATT, Fleishman Hillard, Behr Paints, Current TV and Get Satisfaction. You can follow Robyn on TwitterLinkedin or Facebook.

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Interview with Social Media Citizen: Rebecca Lieb

RebeccaRebecca Lieb is a Vice President at Econsultancy, one of the most famous and biggest communities in the world for digital marketing and ecommerce professionals. Previously, Rebecca was a VP & Editor-in-Chief at The ClickZ Network and was running the redoubtable at SearchEngineWatch.com too. She is also an author of the book -“The Truth About Search Engine Optimization”. You can follow  Rebecca on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook or good old Google. Read the full story

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CEO Today: Interview with the co-founder of Flip.to – Brian J. Kent

Brian_Flip-toBrian is the co-founder and product lead of Flip.to. He’s been breathing life into web products for over 10 years as a hybrid developer/designer. As a Brooklyn-born, engineer by schooling, world traveler by preference, visionary by self-proclamation, Brian is a proponent of social media, travel and new technology bridging the two. You can follow Brian on Twitter and Linkedin.

G: Tell us a little about your start-up?

B: Flip.to is a platform that helps hotels & restaurants earn new guests by turning their current guests into a huge team of trusted advocates.

Here’s an example of how it works for hotels. After a guest books a room, Flip.to incentivizes them to spread the word about their upcoming trip and where they’ll be staying. So if you’ve just booked a room at The James Chicago, you’ll earn a complimentary room upgrade certificate in all of two clicks. And the hotel just reached all of your friends, family & followers in a really natural way- boosting brand awareness and deepening their pool of potential future guests.

Just as Flip.to engages hotel guests at convenient touch points (like at time of booking, suggestions when they arrive, a quick review after their stay), Flip.to engages restaurant guests right from their table on their own mobile device. Restaurants learn who their guests are, incentivize happy ones to spread the word, make a personalized connection with their friends and get negative reviews turned into real-time alerts for staff- all in a few swipes and taps.

G: What were the biggest obstacles launching the start-up and how did you overcome them?

B: Like most start-ups, our biggest challenge was getting past that initial inertia when you’re sitting there with only a glimmer of a product and zero customers. Because once the ball is rolling (when you have customers), it becomes easier to build on that traction- both in terms of landing new customers and figuring out what the product should grow up to be.

We started talking to folks in the hospitality industry really early on in the product development process to get their take on what we were doing. It helped validate the direction Flip.to was headed, build some excitement and it’s how we landed one of our very first proponents, who is now heading up our business development. Even before Flip.to was ready to go live, we had signed our first (paying!) beta client.

G: Where should social media be integrated by start-ups? (marketing, customer service and etc)? What are the best ways to do that?

B: Every company needs to take a good look at what their goals are and then match those up to how social media can help- there’s no one-fit solution. For start-ups, doing that is especially important because resources are scarce.

For consumer-oriented start-ups, social media makes sense for customer service provided you can be responsive. But if you’re going to make public the good and the bad about what your customers are saying, you better be on top of it. People don’t expect perfection, things happen, but you can lose credibility if it looks like you’re being unresponsive to issues. For B2B, you should respond directly and give your beta clients direct access to the team.

Using social media for marketing makes lots of sense. Only in the past few years, has it been amazingly easy to reach a large number of people. And social media becomes particularly potent, when folks are pushing out messages about your product or service on their own existing social networks. Flip.to is all about this- the hotels and restaurants using it can reach far beyond their own network by tapping into their guests’ networks, which collectively becomes massively bigger. And hearing something from a friend is always going to be more trusted than from a PR or marketing person.

G: Which social media sites do bring the most value to your start-up?

B: At Flip.to, we’ve found that Facebook has been the most popular place for our hotel’s guests to post about their upcoming trip. It has also generated the most traffic back to the hotel’s site, in terms of visitors and real action. Twitter isn’t far behind, followed by LinkedIn.

G: What are your favourite social media campaigns created by start-ups?

B: You’ll always get my attention if you can make me laugh out loud. Betabrand is a young online clothing company that is proving hilarious, well-written copy is sometimes all you need to get people buzzing. Their “privates” underwear that “promises to block TSA employees from seeing your scanned junk” is a good example of that.

The best social media campaigns feel authentic and for me personally, a little wit goes a long way.


G: What is the funniest/most unexpected thing that happened while developing your startup?

B: The very first incarnation of Flip.to (pre-beta) was to help companies spread the word about new products or services with the help of their employees and customers. We got lots of interesting feedback but as we were kicking ideas around, it felt far more natural for folks to talk about their travel experiences. Plus the marketing budgets for boutique hotels and destination restaurants were hurting after the downturn- helping them turn their guests into advocates just made sense.


A big Thank You to Brian for his great insights!! You can find the rest of the CEO Today interviews  at Social Media interviews category.

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Interview with Social Media Citizen: Joe Pulizzi

joe pulizzinJoe Pulizzi is the Founder of Z Squared Media, a content marketing firm specializing in best practices, strategy, and execution planning. Joe’s blog, the Junta42 blog: Content Marketing Revolution, is recognized as one of the leading blogs on business content creation, marketing and distribution. Joe currently serves as a board member of the Custom Publishing Council and was voted as the “Custom Media Innovator of the Year” by American Business Media. Joe is also co-author of the book “Get Content. Get Customers”. You can follow Joe on Twitter or Linkedin. Read the full story

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Interview with Social Media Citizen: Richard Sedley

Richard-Sedley-Half-PortraitRichard Sedley is the Director of Customer Engagement unit at cScape, an experienced digital agency that delivers highly successful solutions for the clients like Microsoft, Sony, Barclays and Peugeot. Richard is also the Course Director for Social Media at the Chartered Institute of Marketing. He is the co-author of “Winners and Losers in a troubled economy” and blogs at Loopstatic.You can follow Richard on Twitter or Linkedin. Read the full story

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Interview with Social Media Citizen: David Siteman Garland

DavidDavid Siteman Garland is the Founder of The Rise To The Top, the web show for entrepreneurs, forward-thinkers, business owners and marketers, as well as The Rise To The Top TV show on ABC. David contributes as a writer and business/entrepreneurial commentator to CNN, CBS Bnet, Small Biz Trends and Personal Branding Blog.  David is also the author of upcoming book – Smarter, Faster, Cheaper: Non-Boring, Fluff-free Strategies for Marketing and Promoting Your Business. You can follow David on Twitter or Facebook. Read the full story

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Interview with Social Media Citizen: Paul Dunay

Paul DunayPaul Dunay is Global Managing Director of Services and Social Marketing for Avaya, a global leader in enterprise communications, and author of 3 Dummies books: Facebook Marketing for Dummies, Social Media and the Contact Center for Dummies and Facebook Advertising for Dummies. Paul’s blog Buzz Marketing for Technology  has been recognized as a Top 20 Marketing Blog for 2009 and 2008, a Top Blog to Watch for 2009 and 2008, and an Advertising Age Power 150 blog in the “Daily Ranking of Marketing Blogs”. You can follow Paul on Twitter, Facebook or Linkedin. Read the full story

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How Effective is Social Media as a Fundraising Tool?

As more and more businesses are jumping on the social media bandwagon, it’s only natural that many non-profit organisations regard it as an essential tool in their fundraising arsenal. However, while social media on the whole does confer myriad advantages on charities, what non-profits should understand and be aware of from the outset is that its use does not directly translate into increased funds and donations; rather social media is far more effective in raising awareness of causes on a much larger scale, and establishing relationships with donors (existing and potential) which can later be leveraged to solicit funds, implying more of an indirect link to fundraising efficacy.

For one, most of the success stories we hear about non-profits using social media to raise funds tend to revolve around large, highly-recognizable entities which most often have their brand equity to thank rather than the ingenuity of their social media campaigns. As well, where smaller organisations are concerned, they tend to raise significant amounts of funds usually during major one-time events, such as the recent disasters in Japan and Haiti, as opposed to on a continuous basis.

To complicate things further, in order for any social media initiative or campaign to be successful, significant investments in time and staff are necessary. While this might not prove difficult for larger organisations, many smaller ones, especially non-profits with tight marketing budgets simply do not have the means of making such investments. Without devoting the necessary time, money, and staff into devising and executing an actionable social media strategy, any efforts on the part of organisations are destined for failure.

In addition, it has been well-recorded that many of the most popular social networking sites such as Facebook, and the platforms they have engineered to facilitate online donations (e.g. Facebook’s Causes) have, generally speaking, not produced significant financial results to date. As well, the overall lack of performance indicators on these sites makes it increasingly difficult for non-profits to measure the success (if any) of their fundraising initiatives, leaving many charities ‘lost in the dark’ as to what to do with respect to their social media strategies.

These points aside, on a recent trip to Toronto I visited the founders of many small charities, and not only did I witness an overwhelming rate of failure where social media fundraising was concerned, but also the unanimous belief in the ineffectiveness of social media as a fundraising tool. Almost all the charities I visited believed that social media was more effective in raising awareness of their causes and connecting with potential donors than in directly raising money online, and that traditional, offline channels would continue to generate the bulk of their revenues.

Thus, it may be wise for non-profits to reconsider exactly why they want to use social media and develop a clear strategy for doing so rather than blindly assuming it to be essential. If fast and hard cash is what your non-profit is after, stick with the tried and trusted methods and channels that charities have been using successfully for years. However, if you’re looking to significantly raise the awareness of your charity and cause on a scale otherwise unattainable (given the same set of constraints) and wish to create and maintain meaningful relationships with donors, both existing and potential, it may be time to hang on to your hats and jump on the bandwagon after all.

Joobin Bekhrad

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