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How “WE” did it! A Case Study Of Social Media Success

Because Social Media is so new, seeing true Return On Investment around Social Media efforts has been difficult to document. There are some solid case studies out there, but we thought we would add in how we at Authority Domains have been able use Social Media to:

  • Innovate
  • Build brand recognition & trust
  • Drive new sales
  • Create new business partnerships

Here is how we did it:

eBook-Communicate Better With Social Media Marketing

communicatebetterwithsocialmediamarketing2Our eBook was created as the byproduct of the entire company collaborating and writing parts of it. We would then go over each other’s work with a second and third set of eyes. The end result was a collaboratively written eBook with a strategy that was created based on real life demographics that would match our hypothetical coffee company.

The book has received some solid reviews thus far. Although I don’t agree with the strategy as a whole, I do agree that the demographics of the tools fit the demographics of a coffee drinker. The eBook also effectively gives newbies to Social Media the education they need to strategically think about how to launch their presence.

Results: Since we launched the eBook two days ago I have seen a fantastic spike in interest in our Social Media Consulting services and new sales as a direct result. Additionally, the book has put our brand on the map for folks who would otherwise not have known about us. Because we put the effort in to create the book, it has helped create a sense of trust in our organization.

Download the eBook for FREE here.

Facebook, LinkedIn & Blogging

We started the following presences:

Authority Domains Facebook Fanpage
Authority Domains Social Media & SEO Consulting
Authority Domains Blog

Our goal was simple. Dangle carrots of lessons learned, best practices or share links to content that we found to be relevant, effective and helpful.

Results: The results have been organic business opportunities, brand awareness, enhanced brand affinity, and yes new sales. Give a little to get a little is the name of the game. The more you knowledge you bestow-the more trust, respect and ultimately business you will get back!

Website

A couple of weeks ago I asked my respected peers to offer feedback on the existing Authority Domains website. The result was some well thought out feedback that has resulted in what our new website will look like in the not too distant future. Have a looksie at the comp:

As always, if you have feedback we take your comments VERY seriously.

Results: We applied the feedback from our friends, prospectus customers and respected thought leaders and applied as much as possible to our Version2. The absolute net result is innovation and evolution based on the feedback of our customers. We have no doubt the new website will serve not only us well-but all of our constituents well. How can it not? They and you created it!

socialmedia2

Partnership

Because of the actions above we have been able to forge very strong ties and Partnerships with companies, resulting in the Social Media Services Group. Thank you to Jeremiah Owyang for the call out and for taking the time to listen to our story.

social-media-services-logo2

Results: A solid partnership with great companies and even better people. We also have a compelling solution to help both service providers and singular organizations achieve true Social Media success with a cost effective-white label solutions.

Summary

I hope that this blog helps organizations, new to Social Media, think about how it can dramatically affect their business, while fulfilling true business objectives. Please feel free to share this case study as you see fit.

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Assorted Musings: Twitter, Jeremiah & Mzinga, Facebook, ITunes Contest, Baseball Predictions

There are many thoughts swirling in my bean on this rainy spring morning! So I decided to unleash some random musings starting with how the Apple stores are now selling iPhone 3G without a contract. Who has a the money in this economy to afford it? Is now the right time?

Twitter– There were as many spam follows from Twitter in my Inbox this AM, as there were birds chirping outside my window.failspam What is Twitter going to do about this? They claim they are taking steps to remedy the issue, but are they really? I had a self proclaimed “porn star” follow me yesterday morning. I don’t think it is working! Just a point, when people have a username spelled out it makes them more accountable. Twitter should encourage people to not create aliases and use their name as their business brand.

Jeremiah Owyang & Mzinga – I am still waiting for the official post from Jeremiah in regard to his meeting with Mzinga this past Monday. Hmm…..

Am I the only person that likes the new Facebook structure? I could care less about changing it back? Although it is important for all Social Networking companies to listen to their users, I feel like this is a case of people getting comfortable. The bottom line is the new structure makes the fan pages far more sticky and I have found myself spending less time, but doing more on my personal page. That is a good thing! This is my request to Facebook to keep on…keepin on!itunesgift1

Authority Domains Contest – I am working with the rest of the design team at Authority Domains to rework the website. So far so good! However, the beauty of Social Media is to ask your peers what they would like to see. Use the wisdom of the masses to craft your vision is simply smart! Have a gander and comment here on what improvements you would suggest. The best idea will net a $20.00 ITunes gift card!mlb

Baseball PredictionsWith baseball starting soon, here is my 2009 predictions:

American League Division Winners:

Red Sox

Twins

Angels

Wild Card: Yankees

National League Division Winners:

Phillies

Reds (yes I said the Reds)

Dodgers

Wild Card: Mets

We will have a classic Dodgers/Red Sox Worlds Series. I think the Dodgers & Red Sox have a great blend of youth and veterans. I think the Mets will be good, but are one stud starting pitcher short. Oh, Manny will have revenge on the Sox in 7 games. I almost forget that very important prediction.


Netvibes Is Aces Over Google Reader

I recently migrated from the Google Reader dashboard to Netvibes, based on the recommendation from AJ Ghergich netvibes-logo-bis(@authoritydomain on Twitter). I have to admit that I am quite a big fan. Here is how I have set it up:

Home– The General page harbors access to my blog page, weather, stocks, Facebook, LinkedIn, Youtube, and Twitter. Although I use Digsby for my IM, Facebook, LinkedIn & Twitter needs, it is nice to be able to click on a tab and see all services from a birds-eye view.

Social Media – I have a social Media tab that holds all of the fine folks I follow on a daily basis. I additionally added the RSS feeds of keywords that are of interest to me on Twitter. I highly recommend this course of action through: http://search.twitter.com I also, have key Twitter folk RSS’d.

News – I love the CNN news widget. I also have a FOX widget up to get the conservative perspective. Slate has a stellar widget that is quirky and different. I am also very fond of WorldNews.com, and immediately added Whitehouse.gov to watch what Obama is up too. I have a Reddit widget that keeps me informed of hot topics being bookmarked. Wallstreet Journal widget is there too!

Sports– I have the ESPN Widget and the RSS feeds for the Mets, Giants, Islanders, Celtics and Duke Basketball from Sportspyder.com

TV, Movies & Music – I won’t bore you with what I have here. But I have organized all the nerdy sites I frequent into one spot. One nerd site I should mention is Aintitcool.com. If you are a movie buff it is a fun site that is not politically correct.

Tools & Technology – I loved the Wired and Techcrunch widgets. I have a few other RSS feeds that are interesting to me, such as platform providers, etc.

The net sum is:

  1. The assortment of widgets that Netvibes provides is robust and they all work splendidly.
  2. It takes a 30 to 45 minutes to set up.
  3. I save at least an hour a day being able to read only what I want- instead of having to surf to see what is new at the destinations that are important to me.
  4. As I mentioned earlier, Netvibes is the perfect birds-eye view of what is important to me online.

I hope this recommendation helps folks become more productive with their day! It certainly has deeper functionality than Google Reader does. Thanks AJ!


Making Conferences More Social- Part 1

 Apple’s recent announcement that it is leaving MacWorld (after this year’s event) sent shock-waves through the conference industry. Having worked in the conference world from 1999 to 2006 and having associates still residing in the industry, it got me thinking about how conference companies can choose to either evolve & innovate or become irrelevant.

There will always be a place for face to face interactions. After all, we are social beings! But as the economy goes in the tank and alternative forms of communication become the norm, conference companies are on the verge of joining the endangered species list. What about the popularity of Tweetups? Everyday my administrative assistant, Digsby– lets me know about Tweetups all over the country. With that realization and my past successes setting up social communities around conferences, I decided to post a series of blogs on the topic.

The following is part 1 outlining how conference creators can utilize social networking to not only stay relevant, but be the leaders of much needed change.

Pre-Event Best Practices

  • Create a destination community attached to the conference website-same branding. This requires an investment in a vendor provider. The free services just cannot offer the security your constituents demand and should expect.
  • Select a vendor that has an idea share tool.
    1. Empower the attendee and speaker base to create session ideas for the upcoming event.
    2. Be flexible with the tracking to accommodate popular session ideas.
  • Create a Community Manager position that is exclusive to being the leader of the online event experience-not the face to face experience. I cannot stress enough, this does not come as an add-on from the existing resource pool.
  • Seed message board threads with questions attached to event threads. Meaning each session should have its own message board thread.
  • Encourage the speakers to be proactive within the community by asking questions. Make it clear what the benefit is for them; deeper conversations onsite with the introductions already out of the way.
  • Use the member profile as a way to ask (optional) business intelligent questions to enhance the user experience.
  • Open channels of communication. Create groups on Facebook, LinkedIn, MeetUp and yes…Tweetups.
  • Engage the vendors to open their marketing channels in return for additional exposure on the community.
    1. Conference companies can sell sponsorship for Ideashare for example, or trade out the real estate for exposure.
  • Create a Content schedule
  • Create a Recognition Rewards program for 3 groups:
    1. Attendees
    2. Speakers
    3. Vendors

These are the first steps of transforming the conference experience from a three day event (on average) to a 365 day experience. It will also help in acquiring brand loyalty, market intelligence, innovation and alignment with recent social networking trends.

In Part 2, I will talk about transforming the face to face experience to not only include your social networking community-but make it the centerpiece of the conference value proposition. I always welcome comments with additional ideas to include in a summary at a later date.


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