Archive - March, 2010

Case Study: Social Media Marketing with Boesen the Florist

The team at CreateWOWMedia released a case study today on their work with Boesen the Florist, a Des Moines, IA retailer.

Along with the new case study, they also share a video from the owners of Boesen and their sense of how Social Media has impacted their marketing efforts:

The case study is not only visually pleasing, but there are real-life numbers. Numbers that any small business owner or social media "guru" can use as examples or models.

One key with this project was how the client (Boesen) was able to articulate a goal, a purpose with the agency (CreateWOW). The case study is yours to download for free (might be opt-in logon by now). Use and share as desired.

Disclosure: I've been doing some work of late with CreateWOW. This is a company that gets Social Media is a toolset that helps us build, not a foundation around which we build business.

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3 C’s of Social Media (Video)

I’ve been experimenting with making video readings of some posts and stories that don’t yet have posts.

Here’s a video reading of the post, “3 C’s of Business Blogging

There are a few aspects I’d like to get better at, and just as with writing posts on a blog, practice will improve the outcome.

Using a FLIP camera, it’s pretty easy to create several videos in a short time, then use iMovie or Windows Movie Maker to edit. Upload it and post it.

Related:
- Business Baby Messes Video

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Revisiting: Discovery Along the Blogging Path

Reposted from September 2007

How precious the facial expressions of a business pro discovering new, like-minded blogs. It's like watching a kid unwrapping a birthday present.

And if folks follow instruction, discovery could happen on almost a daily basis.

After writing a post, I teach bloggers to pick a key phrase or two and go on a "blog hunt," using Google BlogSearch and Blog Posting Mantra #4.

Recently, a business leader wrote a post, and we found a key and recurring phrase. We did a Google Blog Search on that phrase – "being open to the possibilities"…and looked for specific nuggets:

Discovery_2

We "discovered" Suzy Strumpke's Core Insight Blog. As it happens, this new blogger is also a coach and resonated with many of Suzy's posts.  But here's how we picked this particular result in the search:

  • Look for a Real Name:  Bylines such as wysidihfao; SmartNSexy or admin give us no clue to whether the blog will be a spamalog or not.  We don't have time to dig ("Find a link in 5 minutes and get out), so we first scan for real names.
  • Look for Relevance: The summary provided in the search results will clue us in to how relevant the result will be to your blog post. Relevance is key! We don't go on a blog hunt simply to link out, but also to extend the conversation outward. Be a resource for your audience.
  • Look for a Blog Site: Depending on the phrase, you may get a newspaper article, job board or other RSS-enabled result.  I suggest finding blog sites for a few reasons, mostly because it's a great way to meet — and introduce your audience to — new people.

Before we even clicked on any of the results, we had eliminated most of them. It took us all of two whole minutes to find Suzy's post – and it was spot on relevant. Just like any other part of the business blogging process, stay disciplined on time — and only click on results meeting the three criteria above.

How do you discover relevant blogs and posts?

Epiphanies of Building Online Community: The Ballpark

Ballpark-2 In the late '80's, I worked in minor league ballparks. Baseball was akin to a religion for me. I was in love with the game – and what the game produced. On the field AND off the field.

While game time was a jazz, an empty ballpark was romantic. It was during this time my imaginosity would be heightened as we cleaned up yesterday's event and prepared for the next event.

I imagined the conversations that took place in the bleachers, envisioned the relationships being built in the corporate box seats, and wondered how many father-son outings cemented long-lasting memories to be rekindled over time.

The 3 C's were always our business balance system at the ballpark. To be sure, there was a ballgame on the field (the content), but what happened in the seats (the conversation) was the real deal. It was my job to create the habit of butts in the seats in our community (the commerce).

Was content king here? Sure. But the conversation about the content, the community built because of and around the content … this was the kingdom our content served. And by creating and enabling that space, we all profited together.

I still love baseball. And I will always be loving building community and conversation around good content.

Photo found on RealFlight

Is Schooling Interfering with Education (Videos)

Many classrooms are still fact-pushing factories, in both practice and design. Below, two videos take on this point: one geared towards classrooms, another comparing public schools and public libraries.

First, Scott McLeod shares this video, An Open Letter to Educators:

Second, this from two years ago (!!), Public Schools vs. Public Libraries

So, with two years separating these videos, what has changed in schools? Anything?

Are we simply pushing facts in our schools? Is our “schooling system” preparing students to be lifelong learners, collaborative citizens, and infosumers?

Or is schooling interfering with education?

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Revisiting: Blog Like a Farmer

Reposted from May 2006 (with minor edits)

1135334147_59f8bc3137 I've always had great respect for farmers.
They live life with a do-whatever-it-takes attitude. More than most,
they understand the Law of the Harvest and the dangers of taking
shortcuts.

Blogs are like F.A.R.M.S. In workshops and working with new bloggers, I often use this along with an acronym.

For instance, at the start of your blogging season, you may need to
modify your schedule. But as you build your blogging muscles (faster
writing, scanning feeds, discerning signal vs. noise by the headlines),
that time will become gradually decrease.

Farmers are some of the best neighbors a person can have. They share knowledge and collaboration freely.
Blogging is no different. Watch how others blog. Comment on their
posts. Be quick to share praise for those that have helped you along
the way. Don't blog alone.

Patience is a key. I recently worked with one
business leader who had great ideas for a blog. He's a great story
teller. A niche topic. We practiced a few posts, launched the site. He
hasn't written a word since. He's waiting for a response to his initial
post before he writes anything. Says he'll write more posts when people
start coming to his site. Isn't that putting the reaping before the sowing?

Here are some key abilities a blogger needs to Blog Like a Farmer

  • Find-ability: Use social tools such Twitter, Flickr, Zemanta and del.icio.us to make your site findable.
  • Adapt-ability:
    Track your traffic – both your site and your feed – and adapt to what
    your audience reads and clicks. Don't box yourself in to tight. Change
    is growth.
  • Response-ability:
    Comment on other sites, send 'thank you' emails to other bloggers for
    their work, always respond to comments left on your blog.
  • Market-ability:
    Get great at writing headlines. The best way to do that is by writing
    headlines (and posts). Submit your work to Carnivals, or start your own.
  • Sustain-ability: Don't start something you aren't willing to see through to completion. Patience, young blogger. The reaping comes after the sowing.

What are your strongest abilities as a blogger?

Related:

 - Leave Some (S)talk for Others
 - Blogging is Like a Craft Fair

Flickr photo by Steffe

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IDLFO Talk Show on Hold

In light of recent personal developments, I’ve decided to discontinue my short-lived talk show on WorldWideLocalLive.com

I believe there is still much potential there, and that publishing multi-media content (especially if able to capture and reproduce in various channels) is going to be a natural progression for those who have a desire to capture a larger and long-lasting audience.

This decision is strictly based on my own current capacities to continue (or in this case, not) with such a show.

The I Dunno, Let’s Find Out site will continue. Thanks for experimenting with me:-)

Age of Conversation Keeps Getting Bigger, Better and Busy

Age3cover
The 3rd edition of Age of Conversation is upon us. The subtitle this time: It's Time to Get Busy. 

I've been fortunate to been included in each of three issues, and still read and glean from the first two often.

This year, all proceeds go to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Another great job by founding editors Gavin Heaton and Drew McLellan (and to the support team that helped put this together. Also, to the cavalcade of conversation conductors and collaborators (chapter authors):

Adam Joseph

Priyanka Sachar

Mark Earls

Cory Coley-Christakos

Stefan Erschwendner

Paul Hebert

Jeff De Cagna

Thomas Clifford

Phil Gerbyshak

Jon Burg

Toby Bloomberg

Shambhu Neil Vineberg

Joseph Jaffe

Uwe Hook

Steve Roesler

Michael E. Rubin

anibal casso

Steve Woodruff

Steve Sponder

Becky Carroll

Tim Tyler

Chris Wilson

Beth Harte

Tinu Abayomi-Paul

Dan Schawbel

Carol Bodensteiner

Trey Pennington

David Weinfeld

Dan Sitter

Vanessa DiMauro

Ed Brenegar

David Zinger

Brett T. T. Macfarlane

Efrain Mendicuti

Deb Brown

Brian Reich

Gaurav Mishra

Dennis Deery

C.B. Whittemore

Gordon Whitehead

Heather Rast

Cam Beck

Hajj E. Flemings

Joan Endicott

Cathryn Hrudicka

Jeroen Verkroost

Karen D. Swim

Christopher Morris

Joe Pulizzi

Leah Otto

Corentin Monot

Karalee Evans

Leigh Durst

David Berkowitz

Kevin Jessop

Lesley Lambert

Duane Brown

Peter Korchnak

Mark Price

Dustin Jacobsen

Piet Wulleman

Mike Maddaloni

Ernie Mosteller

Scott Townsend

Nick Burcher

Frank Stiefler

Steve Olenski

Rich Nadworny

John Rosen

Tim Jackson

Suzanne Hull

Len Kendall

Amber Naslund

Wayne Buckhanan

Mark McGuinness

Caroline Melberg

Andy Drish

Oleksandr Skorokhod

Claire Grinton

Paul Williams

Gary Cohen

Armando Alves

Sam Ismail

Gautam Ramdurai

B.J. Smith

Tamera Kremer

Eaon Pritchard

Brendan Tripp

Adelino de Almeida

Jacob Morgan

Casey Hibbard

Andy Hunter

Julian Cole

Debra Helwig

Anjali Ramachandran

Jye Smith

Drew McLellan

Craig Wilson

Karin Hermans

Emily Reed

David Petherick

Katie Harris

Gavin Heaton

Dennis Price

Mark Levy

George Jenkins

Doug Mitchell

Mark W. Schaefer

Helge Tenno

Douglas Hanna

Marshall Sponder

James Stevens

Ian Lurie

Ryan Hanser

Jenny Meade

Jeff Larche

Sacha Tueni and Katherine Maher

David Svet

Jessica Hagy

Simon Payn

Joanne Austin-Olsen

Mark Avnet

Stanley Johnson

Marilyn Pratt

Mark Hancock

Steve Kellogg

Michelle Beckham-Corbin

Michelle Chmielewski

Amy Mengel

Veronique Rabuteau

Peter Komendowski

Andrea Vascellari

Timothy L Johnson

Phil Osborne

Beth Wampler

Amy Jussel

Rick Liebling

Eric Brody

Arun Rajagopal

Dr Letitia Wright

Hugh de Winton

David Koopmans

Aki Spicer

Jeff Wallace

Don Frederiksen

Charles Sipe

Katie McIntyre

James G Lindberg & Sandra Renshaw

David Reich

Lynae Johnson

Jasmin Tragas

Deborah Chaddock Brown

Mike O'Toole

Jeanne Dininni

Iqbal Mohammed

Morriss M. Partee

Katie Chatfield

Jeff Cutler

Pete Jones

Riku Vassinen

Jeff Garrison

Kevin Dugan

Tiphereth Gloria

Mike Sansone

Lori Magno

Valerie Simon

Nettie Hartsock

Mark Goren

Peter Salvitti

Revisiting: Why It’s Okay to Miss the Bullseye

Dartboard_3Reposted from November 2008

In marketing, we hear a lot about target audience and get concerned whether we're hitting that target. I'll agree that we need to be aware of who we want to build relationships with most, but every relationship you build in social media can be valuable — if building relationships and connections is what's important.

Back in the day (and still today in LODBAU*, USA), target audience was a key phrase. After all, we need to know how many qualified prospects would see that half-page newspaper ad or hear that 30-second radio spot. While the term 'target audience' is still important to think about, 'key relationships' may be more important to think about.

I encourage my students and clients to look at social media and social networks like a dartboard. Even if we miss the bulls eye, just about everything outside of our target has some value. And eventually, it all adds up. But first, we must join the conversation.

If your business sits along Main Street in Smalltown, USA, your target audience is probably the folks living in Smalltown. But developing conversational relationships with like-minded people well outside of that target will help you in several ways:

  • By those connections (both with the person and most likely, hyperlinks to each other), your learning and influence network grows.
  • By the relationships, collaborative opportunities will become present.
  • By the conversations, you become smarter and better in your business.
  • By the activity, you and your business become more findable.

So, don't be afraid to miss the bulls eye. In fact, sometimes it's better to do so.

*Land Of Doing Business As Usual

Revisiting: Wallflowers – Still an Important Piece of Conversation Space

Reposted from Sept 2008

Marcia Hersh recently ranted about feeling like a wallflower of the blogosphere anxious to get on the dance floor.  Well, Marcia – just by blogging – you’re tripping the lights fantastic.

WallflowerIt’s my belief that wallflowers (and wallflower season) are an important part of the conversphere (the online conversation space). A couple of years ago, I asked (and answered), “Are Wallflowers Part of the Conversation?” My contention then (and still now) is a resounding “YES!”

Wallflower Writers
If you’re a new blogger or twitterer, this space is like farming. Every new blogger goes through a ‘wallflower season.’ Plant some seeds, continue loving it, even spread some fertilizer now and again.  Eventually, you will reap a good harvest of conversation.  Remember, that everything you post is an individual-archived page that lives forever – so don’t fear nobody’s reading. If they don’t today, they may tomorrow.

In Marcia’s wallflower post, she mentions a top edublogger Yes, Marcia,she is a role model for blogging.  But did you know that you echo her very words just a year ago. She wondered if anyone would comment; if anyone would link; if anyone would subscribe to her RSS feed; if anyone would even read her blog.  Perseverance is a Habitude – and this edublogger has plenty of that.  I think you do too.  So keep at it.

Wallflower Readers
If you’re not getting comments on your blog or links to your blog, it doesn’t mean folks aren’t talking about you. I find this especially true in education, where even the most avid bloggers still don’t practice reading RSS feeds (and they should).

In Marcia’s wallflower post, she also mentions Vicki Davis (another great model for great blogging). I’ve been talking about “Cool Cat Teacher” as an example in workshops and coaching sessions for two years. Offline. I think I made my first comment on her blog this summer.  Was I a wallflower? Yes. Did I help spread her gospel? Absolutely.

Wallflower Writer and Wallflower Readers.

Both  are important parts of the conversation.

Welcome to the dance, Marcia:-)  I think you’re doing super so far!

Photo on Flickr by unukorno

 

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