Reminder: Update Your RSS Feed

24 12 2008

I keep seeing the subscription numbers rise for this blog.  Please remember that  I won’t be posting on this blog anymore.  Update your RSS subscription to my new blog by clicking here: Update to new RSS

I hope to see all of you over there.

Happy Holidays!


Announcement – Setting Sail for 2009 on a Pirate Ship

19 12 2008

Please check out this very important announcement that I have – Setting Sail for 2009 on a Pirate Ship

As part of this announcement, I will no longer be continuing this blog but will be actively blogging on my new blog.  Please take a second to update your RSS feed.

I look forward to keeping our conversations going on over there….


Announcing Social Media Jungle at CES!

8 12 2008

I’m excited to announce that I will be speaking at the one-day Social Media Jungle conference taking place at CES in Las Vegas on Wednesday, January 7th at the Venetian.  The first Social Media Jungle was an amazing day and I hope that I will see a lot of you in Las Vegas for this event.  There is an all-star speaker list (below) with a bunch of topics all surrounding social media.

The official description of Social Media Jungle on the CES event page is:

“The Social Media Jungle at the 2009 International CES brings to light how the advent of social media is changing the way we work and live. Sessions include state-of-the-industry updates and a candid look at how social media disrupts the workplace by empowering companies to lower burn rates. Plus, learn how companies can motivate consumers through social media to drive product sales without increasing costs.”

Here is a complete list of speakers and topics:

8:30 – 9:00: Real-Time Social Networking
9:00 – 9:20: Welcome to the Jungle, Jeff Pulver
9:20 – 9:40: Navigating the Social Media Seas, Chris Brogan
9:40 – 10:00 – Industry Perspective & Update
10:00 – 10:20 – Industry Perspective & Update
10:20 – 10:40 – What to Look for in Social Media Platforms in 2009, Robert Scoble
10:40 – 11:00 – Return on Social Media Investment, Ben Grossman
11:00 – 11:20 – [ break ]
11:20 – 11:40 – Learn, Baby, Learn: Turn Your Social Media Addiction Into An Asset!, Jeffrey Sass
11:40 – 12:00 – Social Media Principles, Chris Heuer
12:00 – 12:20 – Naked PR: What Marketers Need to Know in the Age of Social Media, Susan Etlinger
12:30 – 2:00 [Lunch Break]
2:00 – 2:30 – How Reporters Have to Think of Themselves as an Entrepreneur and a Publisher Using their Company as a Platform, Daniel Honigman
2:30 – 2:50 – New Media Strategy in Challenging Times: Conquering the 3 Screen World: Dean Landsman and Howard Greenstein
2:50 – 3:10 – How Small Business can use Inbound Marketing/Social Media to Help Increase Their Business, Justin Levy
3:10 – 3:30 – The Convergence of CE and Social Media, Jeremy Toeman
3:30 – 3:50 – Managing Your Reputation While Being Genuine and Authentic Online, Dave Taylor
3:50 – 4:10 – How to Botch an Agency Briefing (No Matter How Cool You Think Your Product Is), David Berkowitz
4:10 – 4:20 [break]
4:20 – 4:40 – How Trust Drives Transactions During a Down Economy, Eric Weaver
4:40 – 5:00 – Leveraging Social Media for the Social Good, Rebecca Bollwitt
5:00 – 5:20 – How New Media is Changing the World, Brian Reich
5:20 – 5:40 – Transforming Unemployed BabyBoomers via Social Media, Carlos Hernandez
5:40 – 5:45 – Wrap up

To signup to atted Social Media Jungle or for more information, please visit the Social Media Jungle at CES event page.  The cost of this event is $295 in advance and $395 on-site.  In addition to the actual event, there will also be a meetup later that night…and what better place to have a meetup then on the Las Vegas Trip!

If you are able to come, please please please let me know either in the comments below or on Twitter (@justinlevy)!

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How to Create the Perfect PR Pitch

1 12 2008

One of the biggest complaints you will hear from the blogging community, especially the A-list bloggers, is how often they are pitched by companies and how bad the pitches are.  Many bloggers don’t mind being pitched, if they are pitched correctly.

To help remedy this issue, Jim Kukral has created a free teleseminar which will take place this Wednesday, December 3rd at 1p EST.  I will be joining Jim on the panel along with Lisa Picarille, the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Revenue Magazine.

yps-teleseminarI really hope that you’ll be able to join us on Wednesday as I think it will be a great discussion for all who join whether you want to learn how to pitch better or you’re a blogger who gets pitched often.

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Why Word of Mouth Advertising is So Important

24 11 2008

We interrupt this blog for a very important post about customer service and the importance of word-of-mouth.

Saturday while in Manhattan to take care of some wedding appointments, we decided to head over to Chelsea Market where the Food Network has its offices and most of their studios.  Since I’m at a restaurateur and chelseamarketfoodie at heart, I was very excited to visit Chelsea Market and it had been something I had been meaning to do while in NYC for a while now.  Though there was no access to the Food Network, there were a lot of fantastic little markets and shops.  As we meandered in and out of them we decided to stop at a little tea shop called T Salon.

Our group totaling 7 people bought a variety of drinks and small items. We thought it would be nice to sit down and enjoy our drinks before venturing back out into the frigid, windy city.  As we sat down we placed a couple shopping bags and drinks on the tables which were set up with couches and chairs around them.  After a few minutes of enjoying our drinks a woman who did not identify herself and was not wearing anything suggesting that she was an employee came over to our table.  She asked us how we were doing and then proceeded to say to us: “You need to remove your bags from my table because they cost $1,500 each”.  As she said this she took a couple of the women’s purses and put them on the ground without asking if it was ok to touch them or anything.  There were several other people sitting around, one who was working on their laptop and another couple who had a bag on another table.  She never said anything to them but instead asked them how their days were going.  After this all happened she proceeded to offer us the services of an on-site astrologer and samples of soup that they were selling.  She acted as if the incident that had just happened about 5 minutes earlier never happened.

A few minutes later my fiance’s mom told us that prior to the rest of us placing our orders, she had sat down outside of the shop on one of the chairs that was there.  There was a sign which stated that you couldn’t sit there if you were talking on your cell phone or had a beverage.  She wasn’t talking on her phone and didn’t have a beverage (yet) so she sat down.  The same woman came outside and told her she had to move because she wasn’t drinking any tea.  The way she spoke to my fiance’s mom was rude and she said she felt as if she was being talked-down to.  Had we known about that none of us would have gone inside and ordered anything from this shop.

Now I can understand how expensive furniture can be and that some furniture can damage easily.  If that is the case, wouldn’t it make more sense to post a sign stating so?  Or she could have come over, introduced herself, asked politely and not mentioned the cost of the tables and we would’ve been more than happy to move our stuff.  But she decided that we weren’t important.  She decided that she did not value the 7 of us, 2 of which work and live in Manhattan, as customers.  She doesn’t care whether we return or not.  If she does care about all of that, then she failed at the chance to have a positive interaction with 7 new customers.

We will never go back into that store or any other locations that may be open or may open in the future.  Why? Because whether she’s an employee, manager, or owner, she is representing that entire company with every interaction she has with every single customer.  Every customer is a chance to build a lasting relationship and to continue building loyal fans of your brand, your product, and your company.  Every single customer matters! Bottom line.  Word-of-mouth is everything!

What are your thoughts?  Have you had a positive or negative experience that has burned a lasting memory?  If you’re an owner, manager, or employee, what do you do to ensure every customer interaction is as positive as possible?

Update: I just wanted to clarify that besides my experience at T Salon, Chelsea Market is beautiful and a great place to go when visiting NYC.  I visited many of the bakeries and other small shops and had a lot of fun. 🙂

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming…

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Photo by: Chris Breeze

How to Measure the ROI of Social Media

18 11 2008

One question that is constantly asked by organizations who are considering venturing into new media is concerning what the ROI for their efforts will be.  Typically they want to turn to this traditional measuring tool to judge whether or not it is worth their time and investment to get involved.  If you are someone who is the social media ninja for your company or consults for companies on social media, then I’m sure you’ve faced this question before.  As Jason Falls explains in a similar post on the ROI of social media:

“The problem with trying to determine the ROI for social media is you are trying to put numeric quantities around human interactions and conversations, which are not quantifiable.”

Just like everyone else, I face this question constantly, especially from my efforts in social media with my Argentinean steakhouse and food blog.  I thought Jason’s quote above nailed everything that I had been thinking because I don’t try to measure the specific ROI on my efforts.  But, it is a lot different when you’re the owner versus when you need to explain it to a prospective client, investor, business associate or anyone else for that matter who is outside of the social media circle.

Last week I had the opportunity to attend Social Media Jungle (full video stream here) which was organized and hosted by Jeff Pulver.  During the conference, one of the speakers was Ben Grossman who spoke on just this very topic.  I really like how Ben addressed the question of ROI for social media by discussing using ROBI (Return on Brand Investment) and ROCI (Return on Customer Investment) as measurements instead of the traditional ROI.

If you have 20 minutes to spare, I highly recommend viewing this video of Ben’s presentation.

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So, what are your thoughts?  What do you tell your clients, friends, family or business associates when they ask you what the ROI for all of “playing around” on social media is?

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Being Better Than Zero and Appreciating It

12 11 2008

One of the things I really enjoy doing is to dig through blog archives and read older content. Why? Because most of the time it is still relevant today. Also, it allows you to see the progression of a blog and the person or people behind that blog.

Tonight I decided to dig through the archives of Gary Vaynerchuk because all of his video blogs are entertaining, informative and motivating. I came across a video where Gary states that “everything is better than zero”. Part of Gary’s point was that you should take everything you can get and be appreciative of it – whether it’s 1 subscriber or 1,000; whether it’s 1 advertiser with a $10 spot or 25 advertisers each with $1,000 spots….whatever it is and no matter the quantity of it, the point is to appreciate it all!

When I first started blogging I wasn’t sure where it would take me but so far it continues to lead to nothing but good things. One of the most important things that blogging and social media has provided me is a group of awesome people who I get to interact with on a daily basis.

So, as I prepare this post in the wee hours of the night since I’ll be attending 3 social media events and hosting a wine dinner in the next 36hrs, I wanted to say thank you to all of you who read this blog and find what I have to say interesting.  You continue to motivate me every day!  It is very humbling to receive comments, emails, pings on various social networks and talking with people in person who tell me that they enjoy reading the blog or what I talk about on Twitter or any of the other networks that I’m active in.  I look forward to continuing to grow this blog and hope that you stick around for the ride!

Thank you, you are all awesome! 🙂

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