Caffeinated Marketing

Gettting through all the noise, one cup at a time

My Move To D&B Supply March 24, 2011

Filed under: Cool News (to me),social media,Unemployed — jenharris @ 12:13 am
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On Wednesday the 23rd of March, I accepted a new position at D&B Supply as their new Internet Content Specialist!
Great job with a great local company. Funny how things happen…I started pursuing this job in this company almost 16 months ago.
I was unemployed and couldn’t get an interview anywhere in Boise. “In this current economic state” if you were in marketing, you were screwed…especially if you carved out a niche for yourself in this crazy new intranets type of marketing. Ahem.
I had to do something to get the needle to move so I put myself out there and said “I’ll give ‘it’ away for free– if you buy me coffee and my twins chicken nuggets”. I finally had some interest! Most ping backs were from out of town and I helped some via email but the best free coffee talk came from right here in Boise.
My daughters friends dad, whom I spoke with frequently at birthday parties and school functions, was “the IT guy” at D&B and “got it”. He was working to move the company forward in business through the website and new media. When I put out the call for free coffee and nuggets, Joe made a meeting happen -with him, the CEO and the head store manager. Wha? Crazy!?!
I talked their ears off for two hours, drank too much coffee and knew I wanted to work them someday. Down to earth people – aka: normal! I was asked if a job would ever come available at D&B in this capacity, would I be interested? Absolutely!
Fast forward 16 months, two jobs and lots of resumes later, they called. Actually, I got a tweet. 😉 Then email, then interview #1…#2…and then the offer. Wow.
I will be creating content, managing existing content and help gain momentum for bigger things.
I can’t sleep right now I am so excited- and I haven’t had any coffee since 10:15AM! Wish me luck and look out, things are just getting good.

*enter cliche “lets do it” type music here* whooohoooo!

 

Social Media Diagram: Circa 2008 October 21, 2010

Filed under: social media — jenharris @ 11:38 am
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I am preparing for an interview today & ran across Hub Spots Media Diagrams…that they ran across and posted 22 of them in May.

I did this diagram for MPC in October 2008, right before I was laid off (literally days before) and 2 months before they closed their doors.  It was a very wide-reaching plan for the company social media plan that I was developing.  The plan was rogue since the VP of IT didn’t believe in social media at the time and controlled the website, so this was our plan to go “out there” and make a presence for ourselves based on our new internal bloggers and the success of Michael Boss’ podcasts.  It sort of reminds me of looking at my daughters writing two years ago and thinking “whoa, you have come a looong way baby!”  But what is funny is that so many SMB’s are not even close to understanding how this non-linear approach works and how it can benefit their pipeline and business bottom line.

Thank goodness I save all my notes!  This was originally white boarded, diagrammed out on paper then I believe I used Publisher to make it pretty…in a stick figure way.  I printed this out quite large and wrote “THIS IS WHAT MY BRAIN LOOKS LIKE” where people passing by my isle cubicle could see it…

 

 

 

 

 

What I find funny two years later is how we avoided the MPC Corporate website so blatantly! Our “go to” web page all landed on Diigo.  I would have to conclude that I wasn’t buying into FriendFeed at the time & I was seeing that Diigo was going to give us better SEO feedback.  I was obviously throwing “everything” at the wall and hoping that one way would stick.  It would have been so cool to ride this out…hopefully I have my chance here soon.

 

Publishing Your Blog with a Plan February 24, 2010

Filed under: Free Ideas,social media — jenharris @ 11:17 pm

Because of this social media frenzie we are all experiencing, there seems to be a flood of info out there – if you and I were editors of a magazine, we might be fired for our disorganization and lack of flow from page to page.

I admit, I don’t have a personal social media plan (other than getting hired somewhere) but if you are a business and have publishing rights (blog, FaceBook, Twitter, yadda yadda yadda) you should know what is going to be published and where it’s going to be published (because it doesn’t belong everywhere) for the next two to three months.
Here is how I have done it for multiple clients:

I do a POST strategy that solely belongs to the authors of Groundswell: Charlene Li & Josh Bernoff.

It takes about 2 hours and my clients have come out with blog topics for 2-3 times a week for about 8-10 weeks.

After you have organized your blog posts that correlate with your industry, put them where it is appropriate.  Please, please, please: don’t put it everywhere – it doesn’t belong everywhere.  If you haven’t figured out WHERE you belong or WHERE your customers are at – I can help with that too.

How do you come up with your blog posts? If you had a schedule, would it be easier?

 

Social Media Etiquette February 6, 2010

My husband is always giving me a hard time about how many friend requests on FaceBook that I just let sit.  I have been giving these  “friends” a chance to interact before I let them into my life,  but it just doesn’t happen…so NO MORE!

Twice I have posted on FaceBook that if you are not family, a current or past-life friend or someone that I just met In Real Life – I expect a note from you explaining who you are, why you want to be “friends” and where we might have met if my little brain forgot (coffee doesn’t cure all people!).

If you were to go to a real life networking event and went around slipping your business card into people’s back pocket – would you expect them to call or interact with you? So why is it ok online? It’s NOT! Please reach out to the people you want to befriend – it’s quality over quantity.

A quick note would go something like this:

“Hi Jen! We haven’t met before, but so-and-so said you were super funny and a rockin’ Mom so I thought we could get to know each other better.  Happy Tuesday!”

This goes for LinkedIn as well – it’s just plain common courtesy!

Another tip: write a note BACK to the person who wants to be your friend – again, think “what would I do in real life?”

 

Top 5 FaceBook Marketing Do’s October 19, 2009

Filed under: social media,Tip of the Day — jenharris @ 2:26 pm

1.  Do think outside of your “well, this is what I would do with traditional promotions…it has to work the same on FaceBook, right?” box.  Don’t be a one hit wonder with the SAME PROMO over & over & over.  Branch out my friend, how ELSE can you interact (meaning more than ONE way) with your current & potential clients?

2.  Do send a thank you (and a coupon or customer of the day award or business spotlight) when you receive a friend request…they friended YOU, not the other way around…don’t you think that should be treated with a bit more special sauce?

3.  Do think.  If you are a daycare, don’t talk to people (as the daycare) about the type of drinks you had and how wasted you were the night before.  Come on…really?

4.  Do Interact, interact, interact.  That’s why it is called “social” networking…not “billboard” networking. (see a funny blog from Lisa D Jenkins here that states the ugly truth).

5.  Do have a reader that has a file of all your “friends” blogs.  What a great way to promote your clients and introduce them to others?

6-10.  What do you do on FaceBook as a business that helps promote others or your own business that is not icky and intrusive?

xoxo
-jen

 

Twitter Lists: A Great Idea

Filed under: social media,Twitter — jenharris @ 10:23 am
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I discovered the “lists” feature on Twitter the night it came out…I was “working” – which is difficult to justify when you are unemployed, but I was busy for some reason!

Basically, a mini (but better in its own way) version of a FANTASTIC feature of  TweetDeck, lists!…it’s about time!  I love that you can make the lists public or private.  One of my categories is “BrandsILove” and the fact that ones ego can see how many lists you are on & who they come from, make Twitter even more of a social platform than before.  (I am working on all my lists every day…currently there are only 4 in my “BrandsILove” category).

I was notified by Richard Newman that you are only allowed 500 people per list – honestly, another great idea.  I am a believer that Twitter should be a place to gather & get smarter through the plethora of information that comes through on a minute-by-minute basis  On the business side: Twitter is a place to get to know your current and future customers.  It is not a place to spew the exact same message you put in a mass email or a billboard.  It’s called “social networking” for a reason.

Thank you Twitter for advancing and making the Twitter experience better for all.  TweetDeck is FABULOUS, but it drains my little 4 year old system to where I can not run many items w/o ‘ol Bessie shutting down, so this is great for those of us that use Twitter.com 90% of the time.

Next on the list? I would love to see an on/off button to auto refresh.  Why on/off?  Sometimes I don’t need the distraction of the auto update (ahem: TweetDeck) but it would be great to have for @’s and DM’s.

Cheers!
-jen

 

IT Guys are Great, But Hire a Specialist September 8, 2009

Filed under: Free Ideas,social media — jenharris @ 1:45 pm
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While at Planet Kid on Saturday for the beginning of what we call “birthday season”, I was talking to a parent & what they are doing in their local (large) multi-location, retail store in social media.  A typical I.T guy gets it, but doesn’t know exactly how to sell it (and I mean typical in a very loving sense…I love my IT guys – they are just not typically sales/marketing guys – but just really smart guys in the back who get overlooked a whole lot).

We laughed about how all the crotchety old marketing guys don’t “get it”, yet don’t take the time to sit and listen, watch, observe or engage on why they should “get it”.  His advice: get on Facebook and just try connecting with friends & family.  Honestly, a great start, lets just hope they don’t use this New Media stuff as a venue to take the place of the bus bench advertising.  *sigh*

So what should this VERY established, local, ranching & farming multi-location retail store do?

1. Educate themselves on what social media is and is not!
(Answer: it’s a listening device that will tell you what the public and your customers think of you instead of you trying to guess or predict what they want to hear – and it is NOT a fad…not anymore than that tele thing that came about a few years ago!).

2.  Hire someone part-time to evaluate where you are at & what you should be accomplishing in 3, 6 & 9 months…and have THEM be the person who executes, guides & manages all of it.
(Answer: hire someone INSIDE! When you hire someone on the inside, they are taking stock and ownership of YOU and your company)

3.  Be open to change! Think about it…the kind of marketing you have been doing…was it the same type of marketing that was done 30 years ago?  Do you still have cash registers from 1979 too?  Didn’t think so.  Evolve with all parts of your business – you will be rewarded.

The first steps in change are always the most difficult.  Take a deep breath & get educated.  Change is good!

 

When CEO’s (or News Directors) “Get It”: Fox12 August 18, 2009

In November I was asked to be KTRV’s “Twitter Correspondent” during the Presidential election coverage.  Their thinking was “Why continue to have the same ‘ol stodgy old Political Science Professor every year saying the same thing, when we could interact with the public instead?”

We did a video on how to sign up for Twitter and told viewers to do so at the beginning of the special Presidential Election coverage.  We asked questions via Twitter and on air and showed those comments during the coverage.  This was groundbreaking in Boise…a very big deal.

Since then, Fox12 always has the best stories with local Tweeple as the experts.  They are the hip cats in town.

Although News Director, Kelly Cross, might not be the CEO, he is in charge & leads a crew of hip anchor Tweeple.  Here are his answers to the same questions I asked Rick Lierz about what he is doing to lead the charge with Social Media.

When did you first see the possibilities of integrating social media into Fox12?
You and Bob J. really gave me my first exposure to the notion of integrating social media into the world of local television news.  The work you did in conjunction with my local news team in covering the general election back in November really showed me the potential such an integration could have.  I also was lucky enough to have a good friend (@schlanghole), already immersed in social media, who pushed me to get more involved specifically with Twitter.  He convinced me to plow through my reluctance and become an active member of the Twitter community, and he showed me how to be involved.  He gave me a set of guidelines that really make sense, and clarify how to and how not to successfully integrate s.m. into the tangible world.

What have been the very first steps – tools, training, educating, convincing, rules etc?
Getting my coworkers involved has been interesting.  It’s been about a 50/50 split between those who readily jumped into s.m., and those who consider themselves too disconnected to try.  Those who’ve expressed an interest in being more active have gotten support, encouragement, and guidance from me.  In truth, my crew has done an excellent job of really engaging the other people out there on a personal level, as well as pumping information out when it’s timely and relevant.

Now that you have taken the first steps…if you were to do it over again, what would you do differently?
If I had it to do all over again, I’m not sure what I’d change….I admit I’d love to take back a handful of tweets that seemed o.k. when I sent them, but in hindsight made me feel embarrassed or ashamed.

What tools do you see being the most effective for your overall purpose of using SM?
From a professional standpoint, Twitter has been easily the most effective s.m. tool for us.  We have a very good balance between social and business engagements, and I feel that overall, we are way ahead of the curve in terms of local media outlets using s.m. effectively.  In sheer volume, I’m sure our competitors on Fairview are still bigger…but I would argue that we bring a far more genuine and appreciated approach to s.m. and that the local Twitterverse would agree.   From a personal standpoint, FB has been a great platform for reconnecting with old coworkers, classmates and friends…I think it’s less effective from a business/social mix standpoint.

What is your favorite tool to date?
Twitter

Who do you recommend the most to others to follow or friend?
My recommendation to others is to follow if you’re looking to engage, inform, and learn at a fast pace….and friend if you’re looking to reconnect with your past.

What are your 6 mo, and 12 month goals?
My short and long term goals right now are unclear in terms of s.m.  – except to say that I want to be ready when the s.m. world evolves and the ‘new’ Twitter emerges.  Getting on the bus early is a must.

Future…if you had unlimited resources?
If I had unlimited resources, I’d retire and let somebody else figure it all out!

 

Advertisers “Using” Social Media August 16, 2009

Wheres the Strategy?

Where's the Strategy?

Mashable reported the other day (while I was on vacation) about a study from the Association of National Advertisers came out with a study saying 66 percent of marketers are using social media. Socialmedia411 calls this BS, and I agree.

Saying you use social media because you have a Twitter account is like saying you market to baby boomers because you have pencils with your logo on them at the local all you can eat buffet.

My definition of “using social media” is that you either have a full time, professional, with more than two years experience (which is a lifetime in social media marketing) that is implementing a strategy…yes, a strategy.  Not just tactics.

You have goals, objectives, measurement tools and accountability.  You have the understanding that social media is NOT a tactic, but rather a culture that your organization has internalized, adapted and leads their industry as thought leaders.

Thanks for listening to my soapbox rant of the day.  Lesson? Have a strategy & take it seriously, this is NOT a fad.

 

When CEO’s “Get It”: Franklin Building Supply & Social Media August 7, 2009

FBSFor the past four years I have been talking to CEO’s, Presidents and high level executives about Social Media as to why they should be paying attention and start dipping their toe in the water.  Well, thanks to TwitterOprah Ashton Kutcher the last 6 months have been a blast talking to people not about why, but how soon can we get involved!  Twitter just made social media easier to understand the voice and the speed at which information can travel.

When I first met Rick Lierz , the CEO of Franklin Building Supply, he was eager to learn about Twitter & the bigger picture of Social Media.  He has learned so much in such a short amount of time and is so excited to move his company forward, it literally makes me tear up!

To my delight, more and more CEO’s are “getting it”.  To be honest, if the CEO of the company doesn’t “get it” you either enter into the SM school of dentisry you move on to another company that has the understanding that if you don’t evolve and change, you die.

I wanted to share a new blog series with you that dives into the minds of these CEO’s and what makes their Social Media plans so great.  Rick was the first person that I wanted to highlight, because there is a plan & you can see it in his eyes that he “gets it”.  I believe he has the potential to lead an industry that is traditionally non-geeky and not so “computer savvy”, yet it relies on all the components of social media: relationships, friendships and camaraderie to get a deal done.  Quite the undertaking, but I have no doubt he will succeed!

When did you first see the possibilities of integrating social media into Franklin Building Supply?
Fairly recently, actually.  I was firmly of the opinion that things like Facebook and Twitter were somehow bad, mostly a fear that they would suck time out of the productive business work day if we acknowledged its existence at work.  The economy turned down in our industry nearly three years ago, and as it went from bad to terrible, we began to experience a complete reset in old beliefs and norms.  For me, the reset included a reevaluation of how we define customers and how we communicate with the world.  I have to admit, learning about social media was the biggest surprise for me in this total reset.  It is very exciting.

What have been the very first steps – tools, training, educating, convincing, rules etc?
We are still pretty early in the process.  The first thing I did was learn about Twitter.  I’m still an analog by nature, so I took a beginner Twitter class at Consilio.  That helped me enormously with the philosophy of social media, which was the key to my understanding the role SM plays in the bigger picture.  From there I expanded my own tool set into Facebook.  I had been on LinkdIn for a while, but didn’t appreciate it before.  And You Tube became something more than an occasional diversion, as I studied how all these tools fit together.  The next step was to gather some receptive people in our company, what you can evangelists, and begin to scratch out a plan to make SM a regular part of what we do in the company.

Now that you have taken the first steps…if you were to do it over again, what would you do differently?
I would do it sooner.  We are still early enough in our evolution that I can’t yet tell what mistakes we’ve made.

What tools do you see being the most effective for your overall purpose of using SM?
Twitter, a web-based community for the public as well as one for employees, a mix of blogs and industry based educational information sprinkled among them, YouTube to share our experiences and have fun.  There are so many free resources out there to help a company communicate internally and externally.  It is an exciting time.

What is your favorite tool to date?
I am enjoying Twitter and I see its promise and relevance, but I can’t claim to be good at using it yet.  I still struggle with the concept that what I have to say isn’t very interesting, so my tweets are sporadic.  I am most excited about launching communities that are interactive, which is still in development.

Who do you recommend the most to others to follow or friend?
Find other business folks who clearly get it.  Their tweets will tell you.  If it’s all about their products or service and not about an ongoing relationship, then its just white noise.  I learned the most early on from the CEO of Zappos.  His tweets are funny, serious, entertaining, teaching, inspiring, and he does a great job of making followers feel like a part of his company.  There are some great local business folks to follow.  You just have to get on and experiment.

What are your 6 mo, and 12 month goals?
By the end of this year, I would like to have a public community and a private community launched.  Before that time, we need to complete our development of policies for social media and begin, through evangelists, to encourage use of the tools available right now by employees throughout.  Of course, a fair amount of education will be in order.  Our industry is evolving, but is still very much analog in nature.  A year from now, I would like all employees in the company to be looking to the private and public communities in the first instance for their information about the company and to be interactive in the ongoing effort to improve what we do for customers and each other.  I would also like to see the public community growing steadily in participation with people from outside the company.  Those are the big picture goals.

Future…if you had unlimited resources?
If we had unlimited resources I would hire someone to be our SM leader, to teach and train and evangelize and get the entire company to the next level of understanding and use more quickly.  Unfortunately, it may be some time in our industry before we can afford such a resource.

Thank you Rick!
-jen