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 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?

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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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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.

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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?

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Finally back!

1 10 2008

Yes, yes I’m back and still alive! Unfortunately I had a business emergency that meant I had to leave BlogWorld Expo early and fly to the Philippines.  After a week of 20+hr days, the issue is basically resolved and so I flew back yesterday.  Unfortunately while I was there I didn’t have time to do much of anything else except the occasional call home.  But, now that I’m back it’s time to get on track again.

Today I wanted to bring you a video which was released while I was in Manila from my friends over at HubSpot.  It’s a funny video on inbound marketing vs. outbound marketing.

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When Your Brand Becomes the Product

15 09 2008

Red Bull was founded by Dietrich Mateschitz and officially launched in 1987.  Ten years after its launch Red Bull was finally brought to the United States first being introduced in California.  In 2000 Red Bull had approximately $1 billion in worldwide sales.  In 2006 more than 3 billion cans of Red Bull were sold in over 130 countries.  Red Bull now accounts for approximately 50% of the energy drink market in the United States and up to 80% in other countries with an approximate 65% overall market share.

Those are just some quick and dirty facts about Red Bull to help frame the what is really interesting about Red Bull.  I think one of the most interesting aspects about Red Bull is how their brand has become the product (energy drinks).  Even though there are now over 150+ competitors in the energy drink space, most people I know still refer to energy drinks as Red Bull.  Red Bull is commonly mixed with Vodka and is one of the main ingredients in drinks such as Jagerbombs.  Even when a bar doesn’t offer the brand and instead uses a competitor, you will still hear people request Red Bull and Grey Goose or Red Bull and Vodka.  In my opinion this is one of the best things that can happen for a brand.  Since the brand becomes the product, the demand for the brand increases.

One of the reasons for Red Bull’s success, besides being the first to this niche market, is how good they are at buzz marketing.  Red Bull sponsors events such as windsurfing, snowboarding, cliff-diving, break dancing, art shows, music concerts, video games and several other sporting/social events.  Red Bull also hosts the Red Bull Flugtag which can be best understood by watching this video:

So what can we learn from Red Bull? Of course, most of us can’t afford to sponsor extreme sporting events, art shows or the like but we can do things differently than the rest of our competition.  Try to be the first one there.  If not, then do it differently then those before you.  Try new things.  Explore new options.  Don’t do the usual.  Don’t be like everyone else.  Don’t be afraid to fail.  Be interesting.

Red Bull is known for always trying to market their brand differently in new and creative ways.  It is because of this that the brand has not failed or fallen off even though it is now in an extremely competitive space.

Now I turn it over to you – what are other products that you can think of where the brand has become the product?  I can think of a few but am interested in others thoughts.

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Photo by Dawn Ashley

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