Caffeinated Marketing

Gettting through all the noise, one cup at a time

Twitter Lists: A Great Idea October 19, 2009

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

 

How to Speak To A Gen X’r: Copy and Design October 14, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — jenharris @ 1:17 pm

Yes, I DO hate my bank's checking account!

Yes, I DO hate my bank's checking account!

My husband brought home a bank flyer from Addison Avenue, his credit union at HP. (bad cell phone pic on left) and I fell in love with the marketing due to the copy and the design.  Not the offerings (not yet, at least).

I love this marketing and I want to share with you why: I am a Gen X’r gosh darnit and I am sick of seeing marketing material geared to the Boomers-this is FOR ME!!  When I first read the copy, I had to smile and say “all right, all right, all right!” (And if you say it like David Wooderson, even better).  There is nothing on this that would appeal to my parent’s generation. No fluffy words, no coddling about how I am important to them nor that they know who keeps them in business.  All that fluff is just that-a bunch of fluffy no duh.

My friends are going to tell me the soft mushy stuff about a business – I want to know if you know me & what I am going through. Case in point:

“Admit it, you hate your bank’s checking account – it’s time to kick the habit”.

YEA! Tell me like it is!  It’s about time!  The inside copy is just as real when it comes to their offerings about ATM Fees compared to the other guys (aka: the same bank I had in college):

“Get real. We refund all the ATM fees you incur, so you can use any ATM in the US for free.”

Yea, get real big banks! Quit filling me with your magic marketing words that doesn’t distinguish you between every other bank nor me from every other person out there.  Reality is: all banks do the same thing. They keep your money, lend it out and you get the priviledge of keeping it there between pay checks.  But they spoke to me in my language – a no BS, give it to me the way it is, kind of way.

The colors: wow, the colors. It’s a cross between a Pottery Barn catalog (nummy) and a what a hip, post-grunge bar would look like. Boo-ya.

Be real or be the same. I don’t even have to go to the website BankIntervention.com to know that this is the bank for ME!! Thank you Addison, you are speaking my language, reality. (Pretty funny stuff though:  “I learned it from YOU Dad, I learned it to you”) – beautiful.

By the way: this type of marketing is NOT for every business…but Addison has specifically and with-out a doubt decided to go after a demographic that is ACHING to belong to something and have something of our own.  Kudos.

Addison

 

Kuddos to WalMart October 12, 2009

Filed under: My Favorite Products — jenharris @ 2:15 pm
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To my shock and preconceived notions that I have of WalMart, I was pleasantly surprised on my not-so-common shopping trip to the giant superstore on Sunday.

I was power-shopping with three kids (I had miserably failed the previous day and turned around with-out anything in my cart) and I was determined to get my stuff and get out.  First on the list: a shelf that stuff can also hang from (similar to what I did in my daughters room the week prior).  I was looking and looking and looking…and then a WalMart employee actually stopped and asked ME if she could help me find something!!!!!  I explained what I needed and she took me 3 isles over to EXACTLY what I was looking for…I got help at a WalMart with out asking for it! Wow.

Our list was now complete, kids were doing ok and we headed for the check out.  The twins were in the basket (hint: the carts where toddlers can “drive” and not disturb me- IDEAL, just so you know) and the new shelf and eggs were below out of reach of a disaster in the making.  There was a guy waiting, we pulled up and unloaded.  He checked the eggs…one was seriously broken.  He looked at my situation & deep into my eyes of “awwww maaannnn!” and said: “how about 11 eggs for free”.  I wanted to kiss him.  What a great idea – taking care of me, when I needed taken care of.

I will seriously re-consider my aversions to WalMart and take advantage of future interactions with nice employees.  Thank you WalMart.

 

Your Social Media Family Wants you to Listen September 30, 2009

A friend of mine recently told me that a local KTVB, channel 7 reporter did a story where the lead came from her mother-in-law.  Is this normal? Where do reporters/journalists find stories at?  Is it ethical to have your family be your leads on a regular basis? (From what my source tells me, this particular person does this quite frequently).  hehe…I feel so rogue using the words “my source”.

Do you believe your credibility would be tarnished if people found out that you use your “real” family for leads?

What if you took that same zest for listening and did so with your Twitter or FaceBook audience?  How many stories are you missing now because you are not listening?  My thought is that your credibility would be a tad bit stronger and your stories more diverse!  What are you missing by not listening and engaging with your audience?

I see the use of  “extended family” being practiced at our local Fox12 station quite frequently. Quite often when they need an expert to comment on a story, it is a Twitter faithful who gets their voice heard.  Thanks for listening Fox12!

This goes beyond traditional media outlets…if you are a flower shop here in town, what opportunities are passing you by because all you do on your social media networks is push your flowers and when you are open? Not very “social” now is it?

Lesson? Listen and participate and you will be listened to as well.

 

I Love My ShamWow! September 15, 2009

Filed under: Tip of the Day — jenharris @ 10:43 am
Tags: ,

Yes, I love the ShamWow.  If you are a parent with small kids and messy faces, you need the ShamWow.

My fabulous Mother-in-law bought them for us for Christmas this past year and my husband and I giggled…what on earth are we going to use these for?  We don’t wax cars (and according to my Dad, don’t use them on your car – it leaves a film) nor do we drink soda, so there is no chance of it spilling on the carpet – what do we do?  We put them in the closet and they sat for six months.

Our vacation this year was spent at my Mother-in-law’s in Steamboat Springs…and she had the ShamWow.  The little blue towels were being used as an all purpose kitchen towel mainly when it was wet.  We used them on the kids messy faces and they were hands down the softest, easiest way to clean a face and sticky hands after a meal.

When we got home, we broke the suckers out and have used them each and every day since.  They wash really easily and don’t fall apart.  The big yellow towel has been great to use under the dish drying rack as well.

Thank you Judy, sorry we giggled – we love our ShamWow.

 

Relocation Assistance: How Bad Do You Want The Job? September 14, 2009

Filed under: Unemployed — jenharris @ 2:05 pm
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Last week I had my first phone interview for a job that I was VERY interested in. One of the very first questions was “Are you willing to relocate?”  I answered: “Yes, I am.”

In my head I answered: Yes, I am willing to pick my family up to a town where my not-good-with-changes 6 year old would start a new school & get yanked from her new soccer team, a town that is 15-20% more expensive than Boise, a town that a comparable house is about $120,000 more expensive and a town where my husband would have to work from home because there is no facility for him to go to work to. Yes, I want this job, I want to make a difference in your company

“Would you need moving assistance?” Why, yes I would, thank you for asking.

WHOOPS! Was this where my candidacy for this position was 86’d? Should I have answered: “that is negotiable”?

They told me today that they hired someone local. I think this is where I lost the job.  Or maybe I am over reacting because I REALLY wanted this job & the reality is, I wasn’t a good fit.

Good luck to this company and their new Social Media Specialist – I look forward to seeing a multi-billion dollar company get on board and use social media to its fullest extent.

 

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!

 

New Job: Cat Herder August 31, 2009

Filed under: Unemployed — jenharris @ 11:16 am
Tags:

Picture 183Today is it.  Today is the last day before I become a SAHM (Stay At Home Mom)  Me, who would of thunk it?

This might sound cold and I should probably feel guilty about this, but I don’t want to be a SAHM! I want to work, contribute & bring home a paycheck.  I love-love-love-love our twins (Ella’s in 1st grade, so she is not with us all day) but I truly believe that they become better people because they are exposed to so many things that I can not offer them.  I am so worried that they will get sick of me and I will be so tired of being “Mom” that I won’t be a good Mom to Ella, a great wife to Greg & great Mom that I know I am, to them.  *sigh*

But here is what will happen:

I will be an awesome SAHM.  I won’t “work” while they sit in front of the TV or I just let them play around.  If I am going to be at home, they are going to get sick of me interacting and teaching them how to be better people, better artists, better athletes, better 2-yr olds…in the most loving way of course.

So, you won’t hear from me on Twitter, FaceBook, your blog etc as much during the day…but I will still be here.  I will be blogging still, but it might be about my favorite toy, kid event or new shaving product, where I will most likely write out a social media marketing plan for them.  The faucet will never be turned off!

Yes, I am still looking for that full time gig & eagerly wanting to start at the drop of a hat…but my kiddos are now first & I am thrilled to be able to spend this time with them & teach them what I know (twin-twitter accounts?) so stick with me, don’t forget me & I will see you soon.

xoxo
-jen

 

The Twitter Cess Pool August 27, 2009

Filed under: Tip of the Day,Twitter,What were they thinking? — jenharris @ 1:02 am
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Nice, Green & Gooey!  Jump In!

Nice, Green & Gooey! Jump In!

I write a lot about Twitter….as do a bazillion other people, but I had an Epiphany yesterday a while back that I haven’t seen anywhere yet…so please let me know if you think I am way off base or right on.

The Twitter Cess Pool
If you have an Auto DM set up to automatically follow anyone that follows you, have you ever thought of how many people are doing the same thing to you?
My guess is that you also just “push” info and don’t engage much, which means you probably don’t search for listen to people wanting & needing your help either.  Wow, can you say “missed opportunity”?

So, if you are guilty of any of this…either keep doing what you are doing & you will soon quit (C-Ya!) because you don’t “get it” and are not seeing any results from being on this Twitter thing….
OR
you will change your ways by getting a social media strategy, engage with people & listen to the public…aka: your current & future customers.

Good luck…and get in the pool with the cool kids, there is plenty of room!

 

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!