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)!

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the feed to receive future articles delivered to your feed reader.

Bookmark and Share

Advertisements




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.

[blip.tv ?posts_id=1478625&dest=-1]

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?

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the feed to receive future articles delivered to your feed reader.

Bookmark and Share





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! 🙂

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the feed to receive future articles delivered to your feed reader.

Bookmark and Share





Using the Most and Least Social Networking Utilities as Possible

29 10 2008

Today Josh Whitford takes over my blog with a guest post.  Josh is an Internet Marketeer who focuses on current Marketing Ideas and Unconventional Marketing Techniques.

How is it possible to use “the most and least” social networking communities at the same time?

Management, that’s how.

I subscribe to dozens and dozens of different social networking communities, including hundreds of social

Conversation Prism by Brian Solis and JESS3

Conversation Prism by Brian Solis and JESS3

bookmarking sites. The only way this is possible is through management and automation tools such as Ping.fm. Ping allows you to simultaneously update your Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, Delicious, Plurk, Flickr and WordPress accounts all at once. I even have Ping.fm set up through my Gtalk Google’s Chat program so all I have to do is send an IM to Ping.fm and everything gets updated.

Tools like Ping.fm allow you to maintain a broader presence online without sacrificing the amount of time needed to achieve the same manually. The only down side to Ping.fm is not being able to see any replies people have posted. This problem can be circumvented by subscribing to all your social networking sites via your RSS reader (if you don’t have an rss reader get one right now, they’re free). So, if you do get a comment or reply back from a post you did on your Twitter, you can see that and reply again.

The automation will save you so much time by not having to log in and out of all your various sites to update your status. This allows you to meet other where they are at no matter what network they user or favor. If you can maintain and meet people where they are at they will be more likely to follow you and pay attention to what you have to say.

Another invaluable tool to use to increase your presence online is a WordPress blog and a few optimized plugins. The first plugin is the All In One SEO. This plugin is a quick and easy to use plugin that lets you optimize every post you do in seconds. The next plugin that is a must is Auto Social Poster.

Auto Social Poster allows you to automatically post your current blog post to hundreds of social bookmarking sites if you so choose. Most people will use just a few of the more popular sites like Delicious and Backflip, but you do have the option to add as many as you would like.

The plugin also allows you to randomly select X number of sites to submit to along with randomly selected keywords. This helps you avoid being banned by any bookmarking sites for over use while ensuring adequate exposure to as many sources as possible.

These tools are just a few of the hundreds out there to help automate your presence online. Time is the most valuable thing you have and the less time you have to spend logging in and out of sites, copying and pasting, waiting for slow load times and so on will allow you to become more productive online.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the feed to receive future articles delivered to your feed reader.

Bookmark and Share





Solutions Stars Video Conference Brings the Conference Directly to You

27 10 2008

On October 29th from 1p EST to approximately 3:30p EST, you will have the opportunity to watch 32 leading business, marketing, and social media experts.  The best part is you don’t have to travel anywhere and it’s free!

Network Solutions is hosting the Solutions Stars Video Conference to explain to small business and entrepreneurs how the Internet can benefit their businesses.  This conference will focus on nine content areas:

  • Building Web Presence
  • The Social Opportunity
  • Start with Listening
  • Strategy Drives Outreach
  • You Need Social Networks
  • To Blog or Not to Blog
  • Visibility Through Search
  • Rising Above the Noise
  • Time Demands

While the fact that there is a free conference which you can watch from the comfort of your office chair or couch is cool enough, take a look at a short list of some of the presenters:

If you don’t know who any of these guys are then spend some time going through each of the above links.  Every single person on the list of 32 is someone who you should be familiar with!

What makes this so interesting for me is that the format reminds me of the Pixelated Conference Series that I participated in at the beginning of the month, thanks to Chris Brogan, Mitch Joel and Bryan Eisenberg.  I will definitely be tuning in on Wednesday, will you?  If not then you’ll be missing out a great opportunity to learn a lot about business, marketing and social media in just a couple of hours.  Did I forget to mention that it’s FREE?!?!

To attend all you have to do is return to the Solutions Stars Video Conference site at 1p EST on Wednesday.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the feed to receive future articles delivered to your feed reader.

Bookmark and Share





Did You Know Britney Spears is on Twitter?

22 10 2008

Over the past couple days there has been some chatter in the social media space about Britney Spears joining Twitter (@therealbritney) as part of her new website which just launched.  Well, Britney didn’t just join Twitter but also has accounts on YouTube, MySpace and Facebook.  However, I am more impressed with her and her team’s decision to venture onto Twitter.  Why? Because for the past few years every new artist has a MySpace page.  Unfortunately, it is usually just a PR machine for the artist though there are some artists that actually write their own content, respond to fans, post videos, etc.  We have also seen an influx of musicians sign up for YouTube accounts and start video blogging.  An example of an artist who has embraced video would definitely be Diddy who has approximately 280 videos posted on YouTube.

Ok, back to my thoughts on Brtiney being on Twitter.  The first handful of tweets appeared to be yet another example of a celebrity’s team who sets up an account on a social media site only to use it to post updates about CD launches, appearances, etc.  This led to Gary Vaynerchuk posting his thoughts about it:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

But, then, in my opinion, something interesting and unexpected happened: Britney’s social media director, Lauren Kozag, responded in the comments.  Lauren responded by thanking Gary for his advice and letting everyone know that she was showing the video to the rest of Britney’s team.  Lauren also mentioned that they are actively discussing how transparent Britney should be.  I was extremely impressed to see this because, like many others, I was skeptical at how “real” this would all be.

By Lauren responding she showed that her and the rest of Brtiney’s team are monitoring online discussions about Britney and are willing to reach out and respond.  This could be great for Britney’s brand as well as being among the first few celebrities to join sites like Twitter and actively use them to interact and not just push out information.  I hope this continues not only with Britney and her team but also encourages other celebrities to get actively involved because they already have the fan bases to drive more people onto sites like Twitter thus taking it more mainstream.  I’d be interested to know how many new people are discovering Twitter for the first time solely because they saw the logo on Britney’s website.

Now I want to hear your thoughts on this in the comments below.  Do you think it’s good that celebrities like Britney Spears actively use social media sites such as Twitter?  What advice would you have for them or their teams if they were to read this?

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the feed to receive future articles delivered to your feed reader.

Bookmark and Share





New to Social Media? Read this first!

17 10 2008

Today I had the opportunity to speak with Jason Falls.  Besides blogging over at the popular SocialMediaExplorer.com, Jason is Director of Social Media at Doe-Anderson, an in-demand national speaker on social media and public relations, and founder of Social Media Club Louisville.  With the extensive resume out of the way, Jason describes himself as being tall, dark and handsome, of course 🙂 .  Actually, he describes himself as a writer, thinker and web tinkerer, sports nut, dad, husband and swell guy to hang out and drink a beer or cocktail with. And not necessarily in that order.

What does a typical day look like for you with your commitments as Director of Social Media for a large agency, active blogger, involvement on social networks, etc?

The typical day is normally a handful of meetings, as much client work (strategic planning, writing and some execution via blog posts, community administration, etc.) as possible and the occasional new business pitch lunch or planning with every other available minute cleaning out the inbox, sharing good content with my friends online and keeping an eye on other top blogs in the industry. Honestly, I don’t have enough hours in the day to do all I need to do so the client work comes first and everything else falls in line in some priority. Almost all of it is so much fun I almost feel guilty getting paid to do it.

One of the biggest issues I hear in regards to social media is the time commitment to manage and be an active member on all of these networks.  What are some of your suggestions and how do you manage this time commitment?

The first thing I would do is determine which ones you get the most value from and which ones you can give the most value to and focus on those. Sure, I have profiles on 20 or more social networks, but I really only use two everyday – Twitter and Facebook. LinkedIn is a third that is almost required because the mainstream folks (potential clients) are most comfortable there since it’s a professional/resume-driven site. But I don’t get inherent value other than friendship connections out of MySpace, so I don’t spend much time there.

The second thing I would recommend is finding utilities that make it easier. For instance, sharing content and bookmarking are important facets of what social media folks do. Mahalo allows you to bookmark and submit material to their community-driven search engine, but also has a utility that allows you to share the same content on StumbleUpon, Twitter, Delicious, Facebook and other social networks all with the single submission. So, I bookmark one article in three or four places, providing value to those networks as well. I don’t browse to or through StumbleUpon everyday, but I still share great content there, so my StumbleUpon influence is still actively being maintained.

Finally, you have to embrace and master RSS. I subscribe to content from over 200 websites but can browse most of that content, deeply reading what looks interesting, skimming some and just headline browsing the rest, in about 30 minutes each day. I don’t miss much and when I see something interesting, I take the time to share it, comment on it, bookmark it or all of the above. RSS changes the way you consume content online and makes your time commitment to do so much more manageable.

What do you see for the future of social media?

Social media is not some purple elephant that will revolutionize the world. It’s one channel in an assortment of communications options. It will get past the shiny new object stage in the next couple of years and become another spoke on the communications wheel, along with PR, CRM, advertising, packaging, direct mail and so on. I’m a believer that it most closely aligns with public relations as a discipline, so I’m hopeful PR professionals will get better (and fast) at understanding and owning at least the responsibility of managing social media within the organizational structure. Social media is something that, if done right, isn’t silo-ed into one department, but PR is the most suitable to take the lead on it. It’s not a fad, but it’s not the second coming, either. It’ll settle into a nice place in the marketing and communications world if it hasn’t already.

What is the biggest mistake that businesses make when getting into social media?

Not coming to bat with a strategic position. Like web development, most people say, “I want one. Let’s build it.” I heard a great analogy to illustrate this problem from Ron Baumgarner at Bitwise Solutions. He said, “If your architect showed up on you property with a backhoe, would you be nervous?” Social media isn’t wall paper or a coat of paint. You have to think it through just like you would an advertising campaign or a direct mail piece.

Who is the audience? Why are you communicating with them? What do you want them to do as a result? How are you going to use the communication to build a relationship with them? What value can you provide? These are the questions that need to be answered before you even start. Put the backhoe away and draw up some plans for the structure, get all your permits lined out, make sure the property can withstand the size and scope of the building then hire the right people to do each of the tasks that come together to make the structure whole. And don’t forget that once it’s built, it needs to be cleaned, maintained, repaired and occasionally remodeled to ensure the residents stay happy.

What advice do you give to someone who is new to the social media world?

Know that if you can’t or don’t provide value to the communities and networks you are apart of, even if that value is just your opinion, you won’t be successful. You have to give to get in social media. Those that give meaningfully earn respect, then over time trust. Having trust breeds influence and gets you where you are a respected member of the community. And all that is true for brands as well as individuals.

Doe-Anderson is a brand-building agency, which closely resembles an advertising agency. They have an approach to building brands using brand enthusiasm as a platform to ignite passion points in people enabling them to spread the good word about the brand and build a community around it. Doe’s Maker’s Mark Ambassadors program is often called the “Gold Standard” word of mouth marketing program.

Social Media Explorer is Jason’s personal blog that he uses as an educational, informational and thought leadership tool to offer up reviews, insights and opinions about social media, public relations, marketing and other forms of communications.

Jason loves meeting new people so find him over on Twitter if you’re not already following him.