Branding, customer experience, Facebook, social networks, twitter, web 2.0, youtube

Powerful video: Social Media REVOLUTION explained

Sharing a great video from @1zenmom.    I like this video because it articulates what is hard to explain to some – that is that we are presently sitting in a revolution – a shake-up as grand as the industrial revolution, information age, etc.    Sometimes it is hard to explain how social networks / web 2.0 are shaking up every business model – especially to those who have yet to personally adopt these emerged platforms.

Blogging, Charity / volunteer, social networks, web 2.0

New Client: Toronto’s Scotiabank BuskerFest 2009


I’m elated to have won Epilepsy Toronto as a new client.   My team and I  are responsible for the social media strategy, planning & execution for Scotiabank’s BuskerFest 2009 – planned for Thursday, August 27 thru to Sunday, August 30th at the St Lawrence Market neighbourhood in Toronto.   [Become a FAN on the Scotiabank BuskerFest Facebook Page or join our twitter @buskerfestTO and #BFTO]

Certainly, coming onboard in July for an August festival has a lot of challenges [and so technically, I call this a social networking marketing plan not social media due to what makes for a reasonable focus in a short time period] and yet, I really heartily applaud Epilepsy Toronto.   They are open minded, familiar with social media, time and resource crunched but willing and interested to barrel forth into new territory.  The leadership team also asks very good questions around our strategies and initiatives – which always makes for interesting work.

Being a time sensitive event – BuskerFest will provide a fast and furious window of learning and experience for an organization that is interested in adopting more social media corporately.   If it weren’t for a major event – social media/networking corporate adoption would plug along much slower.   As part of our path, we have acknowledged there will be collective learning internally, among partners, among all of us.  (It feels like early days web 1999!)  One of our marketing goals, afterall, is to set Epilepsy Toronto up for 2010.

I’m pretty pleased with our plans for creating excitement for social media with Epilepsy Toronto’s volunteers – detailed on the facebook fan pages.

Epilepsy Toronto is currently offering its Secondary School BuskerFest volunteers up to 34 hours of community involvement for those who train and work shifts at the BuskerFest event.

We are now offering an additional 6 hour credit (to get students to the full 40 hour requirement) by introducing social media volunteer assignments.

As a member of our social media team, you get:
• Mentorship from a leading social media industry expert
• Training on ‘writing for social media’
• Identification as an exclusive member of the BuskerFest official social team
• Community involvement meeting a team of other secondary student volunteers from across the city.
• Automatic entry into the BuskerFest citizen journalist contest recognizing the most influential social media marketers/journalists.

For me – I’m really excited about the mentorship opportunities.  I’m not talking about mentorship from myself – I’ll do my fair share, of course – but because I have a great social media network and its all about using the network, I’m hoping I can pair up students producing youtube videos with online video social media experts, or facebook enthusiasts with facebook gurus, etc.   The possibilities would just tickle a match maker.

Blogging, housing / home building, Innovation, web 2.0

Home Building 2.0

I’m sitting in my Starbucks office, with a globe & mail real estate section.  Hmm… memories of Great Gulf.   Positive memories.

Having worked as a marketing director in the home building industry,  I see so many opportunities for the game changing marketing.

The home building industry feels like the last bastion of old style marketing & communications [and I’m not bashing my former employer here – they were very gracious with my change agent ideas].   In an industry where the majority of ad spending focused on print advertising, websites are merely extensions of phone numbers.   E-mail marketing are mailed pdfs.  Sales agents want to phone prospects and some DON’T EVEN HAVE EMAIL ACCESS.  [i swear].

True, many Canadian home builder sites have added detailed maps and migrated the silly user registration forms online [i can’t believe marketing spend is influenced by these forms] but how many are really mining customer information better yet conversation to change the game?

Anyone in the low-rise industry might look at high-rise marketing for inspiration  – high rise commands more marketing dollars, flashly campaigns and original creative.  But who actually uses social media to create a lasting impression with customers?

I introduced corporate blogging with my past employer (and did – first in low-rise -thank you very much).  But I left on mat leave before it really attained the vision that I had for it.

One blog that I always liked was Riverfront in Denver.  I spent a lot of time in Denver, visiting tons of condo presentation centres, analyzing websites, etc and Riverfront was very interesting.  The writing style is informal.  Still lots of opportunity.   In Toronto, M5V’s blog is commendable – they are showing comments including the age old – ‘when will construction start’.

Blogging for sharing more marketing information e.g. (*&)(*& press releases – is not revolutionary.  The real opportunity is in satisfying customers along the entire customer experience.  Not just prospects but buyers.  Ah.. I have so many ideas.

Facebook, How to, newbie, social networks, twitter, web 2.0

Keynote: Tim oReilly’s presentation & slides

This is required viewing for anyone passionate about web 2.0 or social media..

Sometimes you listen to a podcast or watch a video and your head starts spinning.  You can’t finish the podcast without taking copious notes, pausing to think about a business idea, and it takes a long time to finish the cast.

Tim OReilly’s Feb 20th keynote address is such a videocast.

He does an excellent job explaining web 2.0 concepts in a very easy and compelling way.   He gives a very good shakedown on how this ‘new world’ has taken shape and why it is important.  And you can see the video and get the presentation slides to boot!

Excellent fodder for sr. mgt or executives that need to educate themselves on web 2.0.

Blogging, Innovation, social networks, web 2.0

1, 433, 939 starbucks fans but no corporate voice – go wild

Welcome to the Starbucks Facebook Fan discussion page – go wild. 

First of all – I’m fan of Starbucks.  I joined the “Starbucks Fan” facebook site because I should own shares for how much I’ve dropped in lattes, americanos and blueberry scones.   And whereas I do try to prefer the local yokal, small biz, organic fresh roaster ,  Starbucks’ free wi-fi two hours really seals my allegiance to the coffee king.   I love getting a free coffee coupon if my order is forgotten, and my daughters’ drawing is still taped to the back of my local Starbucks espresso maker. Its my office, my newspaper site, my cup of sanity with the kids.  

So join I did, added a wall post and watched it disappear after a refresh.  Hmm.. obviously there is protectionism on wall posts. 

Then I pursued the Starbucks discussion board and found “disappointed by Starbucks” – a discussion started by Florida’s John Parkes on February 9, 2009.   

There is a bit of John Parkes in all of us.  He loves Starbucks – wishes it was what it once was.  He posts and re-posts with the constructive, supportive criticism that can only come from a heavy user, loyal consumer.   Crap – he is just the kind of guy that oozes innovation.  His discussion posts are long – several paragraphs.  Over 33 people have commented and added their own voices.  He answers and reanswers  – all the while adding the kind of posts that qualitative researchers would die for.   Thru it all – I couldn’t see any corporate response.  None.   So I asked John if anyone from corporate ever answered his posts.  He admitted a few employees tried but as far as he can tell – no one from corporate office did.  It appears that the discussion board is completely unmoderated – at least in this thread.  So what is the point??

Interestingly – every time I added a comment to John, his “disappointed with Starbucks” discussion floated to the top of the discussions because the forum is organized by reply recency.  So that means his discussion has been at the top of the discussion list over 50 times.

John speculated that the Facebook fan site may not be ‘starbucks sponsored’ but with over 1MM fans,  join our Starbucks twitter feed, and corporate video section, it no longer matters who is sponsoring the site.  [added note – there is a community link from straight to the facebook fan page – and so it appears that community participation is valued..].

Get in there Starbucks!  If you don’t have one already – get a coffee lover (both employee experienced and customer only experience) and create a country specific starbucks community chief [or advisory board].   Pick up groundswell and read up on Charlene Li’s pages (great section on Bob Lutz’ authenticity).  Hey – I know business is hard right now – store closures, the lay offs etc.  But it might be the best digital head count spend you make.   Your fans want you to.

Add to: Facebook | Digg | | Stumbleupon | Reddit | Blinklist | Twitter | Technorati | Furl | Newsvine

social networks, web 2.0

Future of Social Networks

Charlene Li from Altimeter Group hypothesizes that social networks will become like air  – a hypothesis that I would have to agree with.  

I’ve always believed that consumer behaviour leads corporate behaviour – and the social networking of facebook, myspace and twitter will mesh into corporate offerings as the usage of these tools continue among corporate canada/america.  

Charlene asks people to send their own ‘social networks like air’ ideas.  Here are mine.

  • Similar to what Charlene suggested – high levels of integration between social networks
  • I will look at my gps or google maps and see where my friends are, on a permissioned basis, who is in the park, who isn’t.  Similarly, I will be able to travel the world and be able to see where my global network of friends are and arrange coffee in paris, etc.
  •  I will own the ability to further segment my friends on my social networks –  I will be able to set up a radius of friends – family, best friends, mom friends, kids friend parents – rather than one big LUMP friend group.  
  •  My family circle will deliver me daily updates – consolidated from all sources and will auto print out at home for my morning coffee read.
  •  Wikis will become more common place and “users manuals” will be written by users – one word, one problem at a time.  The first section to be developed will be the trouble shooting section.
  • I also see the personal and private ability to set the hours of my participation.  I might choose to go off the grid from 10pm till 6am.  And I could do this centrally from my home, with one click or touch.
web 2.0

Mesh conference available online

Whew!  Thank goodness.    MESH TV is here and ready for download.   Check it out to get up to date p.o.v’s on web 2.0 and social media.  Video burns my ipod batteries quickly but makes a great companion.

I missed MESH this year as.. crap..   I transitioned from full time mommy, to pink slip’d on mat leave to surprised full time pogey forced self employed business woman who caught a cool gig with an amazing e-learning company using social media and is starting to enjoy prospects.  Anyhow – I was itching to catch up at MESH but didn’t make it.

MESH is a fantastic conference held in Toronto, covering a broad range of social media 101 and beyond.  It rocked my boat in 2005 when I was beginning my research on web 2.0 at IBM.  

In picking up my favorite podcasts on itunes, I noticed “Mesh TV” is available.   And Sacha Chua’s panel on learning 2.0 is up there in full and so am delighted to have a good deal of the conference available.   Pretty high quality video and sound to boot.