Tag: Social Media

Timing just may be everything in social media

Social media success isn’t just about what you say, but when you say it.


Let’s take this example:
In terms of specific days and times to post on Facebook, engagement rates are 18{2bbd478b6aadf2a9bb5e10dcf35d17c0d0772390afbaf5ac8145fb1096668903} higher on Thursdays and Fridays.  

Why?  Well, as this Buddymedia study put it, “the less people want to be at work, the more they are on Facebook!”   Makes perfect sense when you put it that way, but there is more to it. There’s a lot of data available to help you track the ROI of social.

Belle Beth Cooper, who calls herself a content crafter at Buffer, breaks down the science of timing in this post that originally ran on Buffer’s blog:

A Scientific Guide to Maximizing Your Impact on Twitter, Facebook, and other Digital Media 

Cooper’s piece made the rounds this weekend after it was resuscitated with a little Twitter love from Fast Company.


FastCompany.com has a knack for finding interesting blogs on smaller sites and giving them a little extra life by sharing them with their own massive audience. (Wanna see how big that is?  Take a look at Fast Company’s Media Kit. (PDF) )

So, thanks, Fast Company, a great resource for smart content.  

You also should head to the source and take a look at Buffer’s blog.  It’s full of tips and strategy for making the most of social media and keeping customers happy.


August Event Recap – Social Media Advice with Neal Schaffer

AZIMA Neal Schaffer Meeting

The August AZIMA event featured guest speaker Neal Schaffer of WindMill Networking and author of Maximizing LinkedIn for Sales & Social Media Marketing, who spoke about the power of social media, and in particular LinkedIn, to drive results for your company and your career. Neal reinforced the importance of businesses needing to not only participate in social media, but embrace it throughout their organization. A few years ago, social media was viewed as a fad – but now its here to stay. According to Neal, more time is spent online than watching TV, especially among 45-54 year olds, so it’s critical we shift our marketing focus there accordingly.

Neal broke down social media strategy into something easy to understand and act upon. According to Neal, the average marketer or company goes through three stages of understanding social media:

  • It’s scary and has no ROI – let’s ignore it.
  • Maybe we should consider it – after all, other companies are doing it, maybe even our competitors!
  • How can we do more social media? Social is great, lets do more!

Once marketers move to third stage and have fully embraced social media, Neal recommends the PDCA approach. What’s that, you ask?

  • Plan – plan your strategy & define your goals
  • Do – execute your plan
  • Check – monitor your results
  • Act – revise your plan based on the results you checked

In the end, you’ll realize just how critical the role of a social media marketer is. Neal believes its so important a community manager should truly be a 6 figure job!

Neal also shared some tips for LinkedIn with the audience – Neal was one of the earliest adopters of LinkedIn and known as one of the original “LinkedIn Lions.” He was part of the open networking movement and built his connections to be as large as possible, generating tons of business leads, consulting gigs and job prospects. Neal encourages marketers to be open & connect with each other on LinkedIn as a great way to generate leads and connect with others.

Arnie Kuenn

In addition to the presentation and usual networking hour, we gave away a free Kindle to one lucky attendee, as well as a few copies of Arnie Kuenn’s new book, Accelerate!, which just debuted recently on Amazon and can be purchased here.

Thanks to all that attended!

Sending Users to Communities vs. Creating Communities

In April, I went to a workshop held in Boulder, Colorado titled “Making Digital Work”. The main theme of the workshop was that marketers should be creating communities around, and improving how communities use, products and services.

It makes sense. People want to be connected and can often be associated through a brand. The majority of brands accomplish this by asking for ‘Likes’ and running some kind of promotion through Facebook, Twitter and a host of other big-name communities.

While this creates many opportunities to interact with a subsection of users, this grouping of communities with third parties (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) can also defragment what should be a whole community under a brand. Rather than always sending users to these others platforms when in need of social integration, why not look at how user communities can be kept together as well as add features to brands, products and services?

Creating a community that adds to your product or service

Garmin is an excellent example of this. Garmin had a similar social setup to most companies. They have Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr and a blog. But, their users were split into these communities and their product wasn’t getting better for it. So, Garmin developed a social experience — Garmin Connect — that fit the culture of their community as well as extended the benefits of their products.

Garmin Connect is an entire social platform for the outdoorsy Garmin GPS users. With a Garmin GPS, walking, biking, running and hiking routes can be uploaded and shared with other users. If a user is looking for a change of scenery or in an unfamiliar location, the user could access Garmin Connect to browse and download routes according to the activity, distance, elevation and time needed to complete. Users can also share and track workout goals and analytics. To date, Garmin Connect users have logged more than 1.15 billion miles.

What’s can be learned from this? While a proprietary social network can’t always be developed for a brand, product or service — it’s important to think about how user communities can stay intact while improving whatever it is being sold. If there’s a culture behind a brand, product or service, make a better way for that culture to get together — even if it doesn’t fit within the confines of popular existing social platforms.

Guest Post By: Scott Rostohar Lost Creature (formerly Dojo Collective) | Copywriter for Apollo Group

Intrigued by technology, passionate about the phoenix creative community and plagued by the blank page.

Website: MeMyselfandIdeas.com

Attend the next AZIMA Event Featuring Neal Schaffer

Social media is all the rage lately.  There’s Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Foursquare, Google+ and more.  Individuals, businesses and other organizations, use these platforms and there is a different strategy (or lack there of) for each user type.

Everyday social media users use these platforms to network with likeminded individuals, keep up with friends and family, make professional connections and more. The possibilities are truly endless.

But how can the businesses and other organizations make lasting impressions on users who participate for personal reasons?  By being genuine, transparent and real.  Businesses and brands win over social media users when the brand personality is consistent across all channels – especially social media networks.

Businesses are give an opportunity to connect with customers on a very personal level through social networks, but many fall short or miss the point completely. And you don’t want to be one of those businesses.

That’s where Neal Schaffer comes in.Neal Schaffer

Schaffer is an internationally recognized speaker on social media and President of Windmills Marketing, a social media marketing strategic consultancy.  Schaffer helps businesses of all sizes and industries with their social media strategy and implementation, and he will be sharing the secrets of social media strategy at AZIMA’s August event.

Join us as Schaffer shares how businesses can begin go create a social media strategy.  Learn which people in your company should be involved in social media, as well as how to decide what networks are important for your business to participate on.

Here are the details:

Business Social Media Strategy: From Blogs to Tweeting, How & Why

Speaker: Neal Schaffer

Event Location: Scottsdale Hilton (6333 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale, AZ 85250) A light dinner, and one drink is included.

Time: Doors open at 6:00 p.m. for networking. Dinner served at 6:45 p.m. and presentation will begin at 7:00 p.m.


Student $25 (Enter “STUDENT” promo code)

Members $35 (Enter “AZIMAMEMBER” promo code

Non- Members $45

At the door $55

Register today!

July Event Recap: Getting the Dish on Social Media for Restaurants!

The AZIMA Panel Discusses Social Media Marketing for Restaurants

The AZIMA Panel Discusses Social Media Marketing for Restaurants

July’s AZIMA event “Serving it Up with Social Media” was full of delicious stories about what it’s like to do social media marketing for restaurants. We got to hear from the perspective of national chains like Chipotle and PF Chang’s & Pei Wei, as well as from a local perspective of the acclaimed Phoenix restaurant Beckett’s Table. The discussion was moderated by Ty Largo, a food blogger & marketer of restaurants & hospitality at UP Agency, so we really got to enjoy a discussion full of expertise & knowledge! We also demoed an exciting new app called Chatterplug during the presentation, which allowed attendees to review the event in real time – which tied in nicely to our discussion of online review sites & getting feedback from guests!

What ensued was a great discussion where the three panelists shared stories on what they’ve found works well – and what doesn’t – to connect with their customers with social media. While all panelists agreed that social media can’t replace the importance of one on one interaction, and social media metrics can’t track mojo or the ROI on a smile, they all found social media to be incredibly effective & important to connect with their guests and spread the word about their latest dishes & promotions.

Chef Justin Beckett (@BeckettsTable) is not only a chef, but also the social media voice of Beckett’s Table, creating all of the Tweets & Facebook shares his guests enjoy himself. He finds that people react most favorably to pictures of the food, and he often posts pictures of the daily special, or even before and after pictures of the ingredients and the final dish. He joked that “Every time I post a picture of heirloom tomatoes, people go crazy!” in response to learning what kind of posts get the best interaction.

Chipotle (@ChipotleTweets) connects with their local branch managers to ask questions like: Who are your customers? What do you want to do to connect with them better?  to help identify new marketing initiatives that will help them connect better with their various local markets. They also try to identify brand ambassadors and reach out to them for ideas & inspiration (in exchange for burritos, of course!), and are launching a new program where the local staff & managers can invite loyal customers to receive special perks & rewards. Making local connections is a big part of their social media approach.

PF Chang’s (@PFChangs) & Pei Wei (@PeiWei) reply to every tweet and try to connect with as many of their fans as possible, which is impressive for a national chain with over 20,000 followers on Twitter and almost 250,000 fans on Facebook! They find that coupons, such as the free lettuce wraps coupon that is currently on their Facebook page, are very effective at driving people to the stores through social media. They find that “one page, one message” is best when it comes to managing multiple locations so that they can control the voice and make sure no well-intentioned but perhaps less-skilled restaurants are posting updates like “nom nom nom nom nom.”

What was interesting was that all three restaurants  – PF Chang’s, Chipotle & Beckett’s Table – had just one person who was doing the heavy lifting of social media, and they all admit it’s no easy task and still playing catch-up on some social media fronts! Despite the challenges, you could tell that all three panelists really enjoyed their job and had a lot of passion for what they do, which was inspiring to restaurateurs and marketers alike.

And of course, all of that talk about food sure made the crowd hungry, but not to worry as Chipotle & PF Chang’s handed out coupons for free burritos & lettuce wraps, respectively, to everyone in attendance!

Event Photo Credit: Mark Goldstein

Does Proving Social Media ROI Have You Stumped?

Although social media has undoubtedly become an integral part of a holistic online marketing strategy, establishing its value hasn’t been particularly easy for even those employing the tactics. Quantifying the return on effort/ investment from social media marketing has escaped both brands and practitioners alike. Scott McAndrew will cite real world examples and approaches being used by local interactive marketing agency, Terralever and the household names that they work for to demonstrate it’s worth.

Register now to hear from Scott McAndrew, the VP of Strategy at Terralever, who’s Scott’s years of dedicated experience in interactive marketing helps define the focus and methodology for client initiatives. With a career encompassing the fundamentals of design, marketing and technology, Scott works to ensure Terralever’s approach is aligned with each client’s overall business goals before tapping into a wide range of both tried, tested and leading edge interactive marketing techniques. He and his team also oversee all ongoing marketing and strategy retainers in order to provide performance-based reporting, analysis and prescriptive direction to guarantee sustainable, progressive results.

Attend this enlightening presentation on Social Media ROI, Tuesday April 12th, 2011 while seizing the opportunity to rub elbows with some of the brightest minds in the industry at the Scottsdale Hilton located at 6333 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale, Arizona with networking and cocktails starting at 6:00PM and light dinner being served around 7:00PM. This light meal and one drink is included in the cost of the event which is only $25 for students, $35 for members, and a discounted rate for pre-registration of $45 for non-members. Otherwise, you’ll pay $55 at the door so don’t wait. And, on top of all of that two lucky attendees will win tickets to the next SEMPO AZ meeting on Wednesday, April 27 to discuss Local Search with Google’s Frederick Vallaeys.  Only those attendees present at the Arizona Interactive Marketing social event will be eligible to win! We’ll see you on Tuesday the 12th of April to tackle social media ROI! Get your tickets now!

Mission to Meet AZIMA Members: Part 10

Can’t believe this is the 10th edition of my mission! I’ve met some great people along the way, and I am looking forward to meeting even more.  And, the tables will be turning soon, as someone will be interviewing me about my AZIMA experience.

This week featured AZIMA member is John Wolfe!  John manages his own blog where he discusses social media, public relations and digital media.  He loves to expand his network, as he attends local events as much as he can!

He said he loves AZIMA events because of the caliber of presenters and attendees, and the food isn’t bad either! 😉  Also, by attending monthly social events, John said he stays up to speed in all that is going on in the interactive marketing industry.

Who is excited to hear Danny Sullivan‘s presentation Oct. 12?  I know I am!

5 Simple Things I learned at #SMAZ 2010

Guest Post By: Sarah Geiger, Co-founder of AZPRC

Last week, I joined several other Valley professionals at this year’s Social Media AZ (#SMAZ) at Tempe MadCap Theater. Most were interested in learning the same thing: how to use social media effectively. Noticed a wide spectrum of experience at this event, yet we all meshed well together! I would place myself somewhere in the middle, however I learned a few simple tips to help develop content strategy. Our own Arnie Kuenn shared useful tools during his session”Winning Tactics for Content Creation,” and did a great job plugging AZIMA!

    • Content is not created equal. It is important to develop relevant content for each strategy (Local, Mobile, Social, Search)
    • Use Google Analytics, to find what your audience is really looking at. You can become Google Analytics certified through their free training system Conversion University.
    • Plan your content strategy on a quarterly basis. Revaluate and revisit target audience.
    • Develop consistent, relevant content in multiple channels.
    • Keynote Speaker, Greg Chapman, Sitewire, presented “Taking the Customer Lifecycle Digital” and said there are 5 stages to the customer lifecycle: Awareness, Consideration, Interaction, Loyalty and Advocacy. Develop strategy for each stage of the customer lifestyle. Each level requires different messaging to retain customer base.

Everyone could use a reminder, and if you are not already following these simple tips, here’s a refresher on how to develop content strategy.

I am looking forward to participating in the next #SMAZ, it’s well worth it!

Get to Know Jeremy Vaught & Kevin Spidel

If you haven’t registered yet for tomorrow night’s monthly AZIMA Social Event you better get to it! The event is shaping up very nicely! Right on the heels of the August 24 Primary Jeremy Vaught (Republican) and Kevin Spidel (Democrat) will talk about how Social Media is being used in political campaigns. The event is going to be set up as if it is a political debate and promises to be both informative and entertaining! In preperation for the event, I thought I’d needle our two presenters with some quick questions so that we can all get to know them just a bit better.

Quick Interview with Jeremy Vaught:

Elise Redlin-Cook: How did you first learn of AZIMA?

Jeremy Vaught: I’m pretty sure it was Twitter. I had seen it here and there, but I really took a look last year when Pam Slim was the speaker. She is one of my favorite people.

Elise: What inspired you to become involved in politics?

Jeremy: To make a difference. I’ve always been very interested in watching politicians and following along with what is happening. But at some point, I decided that simply voting wasn’t enough.

Elise: How long have you been an AZIMA member and/or attending our events?

Jeremy: Don’t tell anyone, but I’ve never actually attended an event. There have been a few time I’ve thought about it, but I’m on the West side so it is always a trek.

Elise: LOL, I understand! So which, if any social networks do you care to connect with others on?

Jeremy: I am most active on the biggies Facebook (facebook.com/jeremyvaught), Twitter (facebook.com/jeremyvaught), and LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com/in/jeremyvaught) I’m also connecting on my blogs, jeremyvaught.com and my new one intentional.ly. But I pretty much connect everywhere.

Elise: MAC or PC? Care to elaborate?

Jeremy: This past February I just bought my first MacBook Pro. Before that I was on Linux since the early 2000’s. Linux is fantastic, but Mac people are so fanatical, I had to see what all the hype is about. And honestly, I love it. It has a lot of the advantages of Linux, with none of the many detriments of Windows.

Elise: Nice, and are you driven by any passions outside of social media marketing?

Jeremy: Absolutely! My family, building my business, politics of course, and continual self-improvement.

Elise: Are you working on any interesting projects that you’d like to tell us about?

Jeremy: Outside of Web Strategy for John McCain, Kevin and I started a new podcast at PoliTechs.TV that I’m looking forward to seeing where it goes. And in addition to my consulting business, Vaught Consulting, I’m starting red7squared which is going to be a Software-as-a-Service suite of tools that I’ve written for use on the McCain campaign, and more going forward.

Quick Interview with Kevin Spidel:

Elise Redlin-Cook: How did you first learn of AZIMA?

Kevin Spidel: From a friend who is also very involved in the interactive community @BrianShaler.

Elise: So, What inspired you to become involved in politics?

Kevin: When I was young (1994) I was impacted by the fact that the news media cared more about affairs of a President and an intern then that of a Genocide happening in Africa (Rwanda.) I was appalled and sought out communities doing something about the genocide. I found Amnesty International. During my activism, I found out that change cannot happen here at home without local elected leaders that are doing something. I began getting involved in local campaigns at the age of 18.

Elise: How long have you been an AZIMA member and/or attending our events?

Kevin:For a few months now, and am proud to be part of GannettLocal who is a sponsor of AZIMA.

Elise: Which, if any social networks do you care to connect with others on?

Kevin: I tend to focus more on LinkedIn and Twitter

Elise: Me too. So how about it, MAC or PC? Care to elaborate?

Kevin: PC by design. Secret MAC lover, but never made the conversion plunge.

Elise: Haha, you’ll never go back 😉 Are you driven by any passions outside of social media marketing?

Kevin: Building community is one of my core passions. Online or offline. Social and professionally.

Elise: Are you working on any interesting projects that you’d like to tell us about?

Kevin: Currently I am working on www.voicesofarizona.com which is a free speech community forum for voices within Arizona to discuss issues of the day and to celebrate respectful discourse and the diversity of opinion. Jeremy Vaught and I have started a podcast called PoliTechs.TV which focuses on new media within the political space. I am also working as the Community Architect for a startup division of Gannett focused on localized multimedia marketing for small and medium sized businesses called GannettLocal.

My thanks goes out to both Jeremy and Kevin for taking the time for us to get to know them and I am excited to see them at tomorrow’s AZIMA event “Social Media and Politics” , at the Scottsdale Hilton 6:00 p.m!  I hope to see you there!