Category Archives: influence

Cognitive Cooking and #IBMFoodTruck: My Review of #Food at #SXSW 2014

Social activation to drive the menu choice at SXSW2014

Social activation to drive the menu choice at SXSW2014

One of the most impressive displays of data driven innovation and equally of the best stories of social media campaign hacking at SXSW 2014 came from IBM’s Cognitive Cooking efforts.

IBM created a small, rather understated pop-up space just steps from the Austin Convention Center.  Inside there was small food truck serving one of six select menus including #chili, #dumplings, and #burritos. [hearty southern food!]

Serving up #Poutine at SXSW 2014

Serving up #Poutine at SXSW 2014

This was a menu created with the help of Watson – IBM’s renown self aware computational genius of a computer.    IBM input the chemical food structures of over 10K foods (or so I was told at the food truck).  Watson then matched foods coming up with new combinations based on flavour profiles.  Now add a partner like New York’s Institute of Culinary Education – who took the new favourful combinations and made a menu.

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Peruvian Potato Poutine – an IBM Food Truck creation in collaboration with the Institute of Culinary Education and Watson

On the day that I was sampling the #IBM Food Truck Fare, I interviewed the chef to understand if Watson’s involvement took away any of his enjoyment.  The chef revealed that whereas Watson recommended the food combinations, the computer did not give a recipe, amount of ingredients to be used relative to other ingredients nor information on how to prepare the food.  And so he felt there was a lot of territory to explore as a chef.   With that, he gave me a sample of Peruvian potato #poutine.

Well the poutine was a fine combination of potato, roasted cauliflower, spicy tomato sauce and goat or feta cheese on top.  It was amazing!  Who thought to add roasted cauliflower to poutine?  Watson.   As I wandered around the IBM Food Truck, I noticed an extraordinary number of Quebeckers also enjoying poutine.    So I interviewed one to see if the poutine lived up to her expectations..  [coincidentally the wife of someone I really enjoyed working with in the JWT Montreal office]

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Full credit to @TP1 and @nvanderv – who twitter hacked IBM’s cognitive cooking contest by inserting a ‘fake’ entry and winning. Absolutely brillant

Talking to a few IBMers at the booth – I learned the onslaught of Montrealers was no accident.  Having #poutine on the menu was a beautiful hack to IBM’s cognitive cooking campaign.  You see – to add a layer of social activation for SXSW, IBM marketed the six menu choices, each with their own poster, and encouraged South by Southwesterners to vote by hashtag on what menu they wanted for each day.

That’s where @TP1 and @NVanderv enter.  They created their own ‘fake’ poster, entered it into the socialsphere and voila! They gained so many ‘votes’ that IBM agreed to make #poutine.    If you can read French, this is really explained much better in the Minimal Blog “Informatique cognitive et fromage en grain”.  Anyhow – I just love how you can create a campaign but the audience might take over – in a hack that is so much more than IBM could have ever planned.

Measuring non-profit contribution: @JaimeStein ‘s impact on #Climb4Cord

Jaime Stein represents a new breed of non-profit campaign contributors – one whose efforts can be easily hidden by traditional fundraising measurements.

A 2013 Case Study in Non-profit fundraising [or should we call it contribution raising?]

@JaimeStein is deeply involved in #Climb4Cord; a fundraising event where a select group of executives climb Mount Kilimanjaro to raise funds for the Canadian Blood Services ambitious project to raise funds for a national public umbilical cord blood bank.  This event just happened in August 2013 and the whole team raised an impressive $350K.

By traditional measurement, Jaime was listed as the third top fundraiser (last time I checked)  – a wonderful achievement given the aggressive goals and fundraising achievements of his colleagues in #ClimbforCord.  [let’s give pause to recognize all of them who signed up to climb the side of a massive mountain and committed to raising >$1K]

Climb4Cord

I first became aware of @JaimeStein ‘s efforts – as he announced his 6 – 8 month long training program and invited friends to sign up in a Google Calendar for one of his weekly training hikes in Toronto #KiliHikeTO.    I had the pleasure of walking with @JaimeStein on April 11  <- his blog captures this.

I count Jaime among the new breed of social wunderkind – who are as active outside of their emploi as they are inside it.  Folks who expertly leverage social media or technology partnership to advance their personal ambitions  ( like the impressive @sneiditee @hessiejones @mmonaa @helenandrolia @natandmarie or @greenwooddavis ).  Among his many efforts, Jaime participated in #BeerHikeTO evenings with friends, secured awareness, commitment and generous donation from ING Direct and worked with good folks from Roadpost to secure satellite technology ( DeLorme inReach satellite communicators) to test and send progress of his trek back through social media channels.  [Jaime’s blog post on the very cool technology here].   He no doubt contributed to the over 3100 mentions on twitter, 27 blog posts and over 192 news articles covering the climb.  [sysomos for #climb4cord, #beerhikeTO, #kilihikeTO in the last 12 months].  The folks tweet sharing Jaime’s climb messages included some great Canadian twitspokespeople – the @CEO_INGDIRECT, @DaveoHoots, @CTVCanadaAM, Erica @YummyMummyClub.

Jaime created tremendous awareness and consideration for #Climb4Cord – of course, he was the lead for social media efforts for the climb – but still contributions well beyond revenue.  I think someone like Jaime is needed on every major non-profit fundraising (contribution) drive.  The trick will be to identify the ‘influencer’ properly (recommended reading of @DannyBrown @SamFiorella ‘sInfluence Marketing book as a great start)

But in reviewing the donation website, I was stuck that Jaime’s other efforts were not affecting his ‘rank’ as a fundraiser – and yet – by blogging, running Twitter events, inviting Canadians to joining his personal training – he was likely creating far more impact than revenue.    Most fundraising goals are clearly expressed in dollars — and yet, for a non-profit that also relies on generating awareness of a new cord blood bank and encouraging personal cord  (and blood) donations, non-revenue metrics must be valued as much as generating revenue.   I’m certain Jaime’s efforts are not lost on Canadian Blood Services – they have come across influence marketing in its truest form.  Jaime is personally connected to the cause and happens to be a brilliant marketer (in social and otherwise).  It may just be the website and measurement had not yet caught up to fundraiser like Jaime.   Yet, I am left wondering if there are other non-profits who have yet to measure efforts like Jaime’s  – who is ushering in new levels campaign contribution.

Let me know your thoughts.

@LDillonSchalk

3 Lessons: How to Behave in Social Media During a Disaster

The Boston marathon explosions came as a real shock yesterday evening.  Much like many of my social colleagues, I want to write about my thoughts but still I feel quite private and emotional about the loss of life, the terror and the scare.  So I acknowledge this, and choose to keep these feelings to family, friends and Facebook and so purposefully write on another tangent – that is valuable business take-aways.

In a disaster, brands should “sit down and shut up” in social media

Quite soon after news of the Boston Marathon 2013 explosions emerged, @unmarketing tweeted “if you have scheduled brand tweets today, turn them off”.   That hit home for me – as I’m fortunate enough to be deeply involved in a number of brands’ social strategies and community management thereof.

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Admittedly, having produced several very detailed brand playbooks on social management (with sections on guidelines on community management postings & post escalations), I have completely overlooked the idea of including a section on ‘disaster response’.   I actually took the @unmarketing tweet and forwarded it to my staff & clients – recommending strong consideration of a quiet approach.  Stopping any scheduled tweeting is very important as it becomes very evident to the rest of us who is scheduling – which indicates both brand broadcasting and insensitivity to near world events.  His message resonated with many people with 548 retweets and 130 favorites since yesterday.

And so ‘shut up’.. don’t hijack by using an incident as a way to push a marketing message.

Lindsay Bell @belllindsay posted on Facebook another catch by @unmarketing (no flies on him) with Epicurious promoting scones and breakfast recipes around messages of consolidation.  In the amazing commentary that followed from her Facebook friends, one especially caught my eye.   The comment read that brands should ‘sit down and shut up’  then ‘figure out  how you can really help”.

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Responding in a meaningful way means delivering something that helps the situation at hand.  Google is terrific example of large scale immediate response as they relaunched their Google person finder tool.

These disasters are not times to push any kind of marketing agenda forward.   If there is no meaningful contribution to help the situation, then acknowledge the situation and then go quiet.  Disasters are sensitive situations and certainly not worth capitalizing on nor moving on too quickly to ‘back to business’ commentary, in my opinion.

At the agency where I work, we posted the following comment, which my friend @HessieJones endorsed:

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This was posted early this morning, before the above ‘sit down and shut up’ comments.

There is nothing worthwhile to say when our hearts and minds are elsewhere.  As it turned out, that tweet resonated with the agency’s followers – getting favorited and re-tweeted quite often.  Gaining a response, however, was not the reason for the tweet.   It was a human response to having nothing to contribute.  The account was silent for the rest of the day.

Finally, in a disaster, don’t share the graphic images on Twitter and Facebook.

One of the first tweets I saw of the 2013 Boston Marathon was of an accident scene with a lot of red on the ground.  It took me a few minutes and more reading to figure out that I was looking at a disaster zone.  I doubled back in my tweet stream to make sure that I didn’t re-tweet any images that were graphic.  Fortunately I did not.  What I didn’t like was the sharing of graphic images across Twitter and Facebook.   Indeed some of Facebook friends admitted to unfriending on Facebook for anyone sharing graphic images.

Many brands would not be sharing imagery of a disaster but news publications do.  They put disclaimers of ‘ warning the images that follow are graphic’ – however, I feel quite strongly some images just should not be shared.

I’m still personally mulling over the Boston Marathon disaster and will continue to think of those impacted for days to come.  Still, it helps me to just write about some valuable lessons for brands in how they react in a real world, near world event – if anything, as a distraction.

I welcome your comments and observations (please add your @ handle).  Thanks.

Project Butterfly – Palmerston Group

What does it mean to be social?

This is precisely the question that @danielberkal and Seattle’s Cole + Weber United set out to answer in 2011.
Presented at social media week [#SMWTO], this study is deeply insightful and organized in thought – so much so that I am often sharing the story of Daniel’s presentation around the office and to clients.
What does it mean to be social?  To be interesting and interested.. in an age where social media plays such importance.   In my POV, brands are reaching a coming of age – that ‘doing social media’ is passé and that being social is what’s next.  But how to do this is wonderfully explained by his study.   And it is a presentation that is thought provoking to those who understand a lot about digital as well as for this who know nothing.  It transcends quite nicely.
Conducted in five cities across the US, Daniel & co. invited ten strangers to ‘speed friend’ to understand what makes people want to friend.  Next, he studied individuals with ‘social gravity’ (some would call them social butterflies, and yet, social butterflies do not like that label).  For his team to pursue the butterfly, they asked participants to think of the one individual among their friends or colleagues that people wanted to spend the most time with.  They then only studied individuals who, through multiple, unconnected sources, had been identified more than 3 times.  He goes into great depth into the characteristics and behaviours of people with social gravity – all the while annotating the work through film.   Finally, he takes this study into the online world to compare, contrast and offer valuable lessons for brands in social media.
It is well worth extra effort to see his whole presentation.  In Toronto, he is speaking at NXNE, June 11 – 17.

Klout topic pages – sneak peek

I noticed that Klout topic pages are active today.  Their messaging suggests I have access to a limited release though I do see them advertising topic pages on their blog. 

Here are some screen shots if it is a limited release.

This is a great global read on topics but additional filters are required.  I’d like to know influence in several topics – e.g. Toronto, social media, strategy.  Or be able to select time frames – influence in the last week, 3 mos, year..  I’d also like to see methodology explained better in this section.

Image 1 – my klout topic listings.  To access overall topic – click on the topic.  e.g. speakers

Laurie's klout topic listing -

Image 2 – The global social media topic page in klout

Global social media topic page for Klout

Klout early adopter thanks message

I’m liking these social networks recognizing the role that early adopters play in supporting & growing the company.   I just received a little thanks / achievement notice from @klout.

In March 2011, I received a lovely message [here] from Reid Hoffman, CEO of Linkedin,  @quixotic,  for being among the first 100, 000 out of 100 million members (I’m in the first 0.03% of members).     Though –  I think he could have created a stronger message, upped the game against Facebook and created long lasting buzz by giving the first 100, 000 members some stock options….