Posts tagged ‘social media’

New to mobile? Just start!

I attended the Atlanta Internet Marketing Conference on behalf of my employer, Internet Marketing Expert Group on May 10, 2012 in Atlanta. Several subjects were covered, including segments devoted to the somewhat confusing subject of Mobile Marketing. Two of the keynote speakers, HubSpot VP of Marketing Jeanne Hopkins, and Jamie Turner of The 60 Second Marketer, collaborated on a book  called  Go Mobile The authors believe that although many businesses find the concept of social media to be understandable because of their own personal use, the idea of starting a mobile marketing program seems daunting because they are unfamiliar with the tools.

Jamie Turner suggests some actions will help you break the ice. That’s right….just start! I’ll add a couple of my own


1. Read everything you can find about mobile marketing

2. Claim your business on location-based services. If you don’t, you won’t be found.

3. Learn how to run a mobile ad campaign.

4. Accept a few of the push notifications from Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare or your local news stations

5. Get a QR code scanner and scan a QR code.

Once you use the tools, you’ll have a greater appreciation for how they can work in your business.

How are you using mobile?


Digital taking over your life?

When was the last time you unplugged? Could you if you tried?  We once flipped on the radio for the news in the morning, but now we turn on our smartphone.

Thinking that the technology that once served us has become our master, a local radio host challenged himself and his listeners to go on a digital diet…a digital cleanse…. for a week.  You’d need to alert your online communities about a change in your communication habits.

Here are the elements:

1. No use of cell/smartphone in your car. All commutes are phone free

2. A tech curfew is in effect from 7pm to 7am. Phones and computers are down for the day after 7pm. (Did I mention this is just one week?)

3. Have a total time limit for all e-mailing, updating and sharing of 2 hours per day. Remember, this has to be after 7am and before 7pm.

4. No having a digital device out during an in-person conversation.  For one week you will look people in the eye, not look down at your phone. Imagine being fully present in a conversation! It may be a lost art.

5. End the week with a new habit—-a Digital Sabbath.  For 24 hours on the weekend all devices are off.

Could you do the Digital Cleanse? Would you? What if we didn’t count the time we have to spend online for work?

Turns out our host wasn’t completely successful.

Would I do this? I plead the fifth and any other amendment that’s handy.

How about you?



Tweeting to Titanic Proportions: Twitter brings back history

This weekend marked the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic.  The sinking of the “unsinkable” passenger ship, was immortalized in the movie of the same name, which has just been re-released to theaters in 3-D.   Memorial cruises to the place in the ocean where the Titanic sunk occurred, and rose petals were dropped to remember the passengers and crew who lost their lives.  In my area, the Titanic Museum Attraction in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee  held ceremonies. If you’re on Twitter, you may have found an account reenacting the tweets that may have happened as the ship went down…assuming that the internet and Twitter existed 100 years ago (and of course, there would have been internet access on the ship even if it had existed).

An account called @TitanicRealTime appeared, tweeting about the disaster as if it were occurring now. Sponsored by @TheHistoryPress, @TitanicRealTime took readers through the disaster. Here are some samples of the tweets.

#officer Californian ATS has just informed us she has had to stop due to a field of pack ice – I’ve informed the lookouts.”

#firstclass The lights in the lounges have been extinguished and have been moved from the reading & writing room on A Deck. Time to turn in.

#officer 3 gongs coming from the lookout and a report on the telephone – Iceberg Right Ahead. Hard-a-starboard

#engineering Water pouring in 2ft above stokehold plates in boiler room 6 and in the empty starboard side forward bunker of boiler room 5!

#bandmaster No questions, I have received an order to play, and play we will.

You can see all of the tweets on the timeline. In the spirit of all things Twitter, a parody account, @TitanicIceberg was created, and people tweeted their own humorous comments back to the account.

In 100 years,  real time tweets will be able to be unearthed, as all tweets are being archived by the Library of Congress.  We didn’t have Twitter and our present-day social media for the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, but we have to chronicle revolutions and  tornado damage among others, and the next big disaster will be able to be seen in real time by future generations.

Your thoughts?

Burning the Midnight Social Media Oil

A question came up among my Twitter friends about the wisdom, or lack of same, of hiring a Social Media manager and having that person work a regular 9 to 5 schedule. Can social engagement be confined to regular business hours?  Does it depend on the type of business? Would it be different for Business to Business  as opposed to consumer brands?

People are on their devices and all times of the day and night.  They expect action and engagement when they interact, and Monday morning just won’t do. Pizza arrived cold? I’m telling everyone I know before Monday, and everyone who follows your pizza company’s page. Should that complaint stay on your page until Monday morning at 8am? Can you think of a good reason why it should? I can’t.

There are product categories and demographics which find people online at 2am.  Shouldn’t your brand be available then?

Almost all consumer brands should monitor their brand into the late night. Yes, people do everything from shop for cars to go out for fast food in the evening, overnight and weekends. It may not be practical to have one person cover all of that time. If you are a business owner also handling social media, you have to actually run your business.  This may be a situation where you might want to consider an intern or two. I have monitored my brand even at a baseball game and concert. It doesn’t take being online 24/7 but checking in every few hours can make a huge difference.

Travel and hospitality brands will need to be able to respond 24/7/ If a guest has an unsatisfactory experience and cannot get the issue resolved at the front desk, they may take their frustrations out for all the world to see. This could result in a bad Yelp or Travelocity review.

How have you kept up with social media during off hours?

Cleaning up a PR mess: Pigeon Forge, TN hotel sues

When the most popular travel review website in the world calls your hotel the “dirtiest in America“, you have a big problem to say the least.  The Grand Resort Hotel and Convention Center in Pigeon Forge, TN received the dubious dishonor of being number one in their list of the Dirtiest Hotels in America. The distinction, to say the least, severely harmed business at the hotel, and the owner of the hotel is still reeling from the public shaming.  The effects on business were so great, the hotel’s owner is suing TripAdvisor for $10 million.

No matter what happened, or didn’t happen at Grand Resort Hotel,  where do they go from here to repair their reputation, even if the “award” was unjustified and the bad reviews were due to malice?

I asked Michelle Quillen, Social Media/Marketing Manager of New England Multimedia and Public Relations pro Jayme Soulati of Soulati Media what steps the Grand Resort could use to clean up their reputation (deserved or not, a dirty hotel is what their potential customers now know them as).  Michelle in turn asked her Facebook readers for their take and advice.

Michelle had several suggestions for the Grand Resort Hotel

1) Come up with Room Cleaning Standards Checklist, give it a name reflecting stellar service.

2) Create similar checklists w/same stellar-reflection service name for other hotel services.

3) Train all workers in new standards, get them on video talking about standards, taking pride in hotel.

4) Make video of CEO talking about new standards, & offering free night to any customer whose stay does not meet gold standard in any of those areas. Offer incentives to workers to deliver standard.

5) Finally, plaster that new Stellar Service Standards all over the website, social media, TV.

After making the suggestions, Michelle adds: ” But I agree with the owner, to a point. I don’t trust review sites. Competitors troll them.”

Jayme Soulati said ” Ta heck w/ standards! CLEAN!. Then open up the hotel for the grandest promo ever” Free Night Weekend” and invite guests to stay over free as long as they consider (you can’t force) Yelp, Foursquare, Trip Advisor recommendations.  Also,  launch a photo story board — perhaps Facebook timeline? Launches all the photos peeps take while staying there. I’d also get a top notch quality control inspector to give it the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval and ensure no bed bugs among other things.  Rebecca Griffin adds that a change of name for the hotel could be appropriate. Ugh BAD PR is bad PR no matter how you slice it. My advice is to have them clean the hotel and well, and possibly invite Trip Advisor people to come inspect it. Lawyers are just going to cost them more money in the end.

Gia Volterra De Saulnier of PhinnVolt Enterprises adds that “BAD PR is bad PR no matter how you slice it. My advice is to have them clean the hotel and well, and possibly invite Trip Advisor people to come inspect it. Lawyers are just going to cost them more money in the end”.

From Tristan Pinnock: “Hire some former Marine Corps Drill Instructors to inspect rooms after cleaning. In fact, you could run a marketing campaign on that fact alone”.  (This would be HUGE!)

I’d like to thank everyone who commented in this impromptu discussion; these are all very good ideas.

My take on the Grand Resort lawsuit: It may well be justified, Grand Resort could be 100% in the right, and TripAdvisor and their reviewers could be 100% wrong, but the reputation damage has been done and it will take much time, effort and money to overcome the damage that this black eye has caused. The Grand Resort has it’s work cut out for them.

(If anyone from the hotel is reading, thank you, and if you would like help putting these ideas into effect, contact me at BradLovettMarketing  AT


New Facebook layout: First impressions




Facebook rolled out a new layout, which many U.S. users woke up to this morning.  Anytime Facebook makes changes, there are howls of protest, and this time was definitely no exception.  Indeed, the changes are some of the most drastic ever. I just somehow knew my vast reading audience (ahem)  was waiting to hear what I had to say about it,  (cough) so here are my first impressions. The short version: Google Plus and Twitter meet Facebook.

Positive: Subscriptions. Facebook users often were dissatisfied that updates on every Farmville, Mafia Wars or Disco Ducks appeared in their newsfeed. They also were sometimes not happy that Facebook’s algorithms were such that friends who posted infrequent updates or whose interactions were infrequent were shuffled to the bottom of the stack. Now with Subscriptions, a user can control how often they see updates and on what subjects. It’s also possible to subscribe to another user’s public updates (specifically tagged as public) even if you aren’t friends.  This changed rolled out for me over the weekend, and made a huge difference in my feed. I got to decide who were my top contacts.

The newsfeed photos are the same size as those in Google Plus, which is OK with me.


The split top-and-bottom screen with your top and most recent stories I can get used to, but I liked it better when I could switch between the two versions.

Negative: The ticker on the right hand side. First, it moves so fast it is distracing and eye-fatiguing. Fortunatelely, there are work-arounds that will remove that Twitter in hyper-drive from your feed. One of those is an extension in Google Chrome.

Many posted outraged comments about these aggressive changes, as well as pictures and “trains”. These will be as successful as they were the last 10 times Facebook made changes, and I rpedict when the next cjhanges roll around, there will be people forming groups and demanding a change back to what it look like today. Even if there is “a million strong” to change the layout back to the last update, there are 750 million users.


Social Media meets 9/11..what would be different

The 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2o01 brings a mixture of emotions. The memories of that horrible day may be fading, but to the families and friends of those whose lives were lost or forever changed, it has to be as though the events happened yesterday.  I was in the broadcast industry at the time, and though I was in Dayton, Ohio, producing traffic reports for several radio stations,  we were our own nerve center for our city as the events unfolded. I read a couple of interesting posts that ponder what it would have been like if the social media we have today would have been around on that fateful day.

Washington Post publisher Katheryn Weymouth is glad that today’s social media did not exist in 2001, stating:

Most of us learned about the events of that day in one of four ways — by television, by radio, by newspaper, or by a phone call from a friend. And while we are all incredibly grateful for the ways in which technology has enhanced our lives, I think we are also grateful that we didn’t live through 9/11 with all of that technology.

We didn’t have to see live video footage shot from inside the collapsing buildings and uploaded onto YouTube. Cellphones didn’t have cameras back then. … Can you imagine how horrifying it would have been if we had tweets from the victims on the planes or in the offices, or if they had posted to their Facebook pages?

… Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and all the technologies that have yet to be invented make all these events more real, and more horrific. Television pales in comparison. (reported by Jeff Zonderman in Poynter).

Another view comes from a poster in Zombie Journalism, who says “what if?”. What if we did have those final tweets and Facebook posts. Passengers on the doomed aircraft tweeting about what was happening? I would even ask if the F-1s could have been dispatched sooner. One can imagine a memorial wall with last tweets from the aircraft and the burning buildings

In my little world in Dayton, Ohio; we had to at least wonder that with Wright Patterson Air Force Base nearby, if our area could be a target.  I remember rumors of a plane crash in Dayton (not true); huge gas lines as drivers feared a huge spike in prices, and general uneasiness.

As it was, the cellphone became much more of a neccessity after 9/11. The social media were online chat rooms and forums; nothing like today.

If it had existed, my Foursquare checkin at 5:30am would have been “I’m at Metro Networks, 3085 Woodman Dr., Kettering, OH”. I’d have tweeted some accident info and the news of what happened at the World Trade Center and Washington, as well as what was happening locally. We’d have come together even better than we did…or not. (#tcot and #p2…political hashtags.. would have continued screaming at each other).

Never forget.

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