Tag Archives: tactics

Can’t Buy Me Love: A Renegade Marketing Pro’s Tips via Trippeo

My Hootsuite alum comrade pal Adarsh Pallian has yet another start-up biz — this one is a travel-expense related company called Trippeo. He published this article (with assistance from the charming Katie Fritz) in which explores some of my marketing-fu. Shared below for the record with gratitude and appreciation.

Introduced thusly via Twitter:

@pallian pays homage to @uncleweed, master of marketing and good vibes. Get some tips from his recent @Medium post! bit.ly/1URc2VU

Dave O at SXSW 09 – photo by KK

Can’t buy me love: A renegade marketing pro’s tips for making an impression

One of Vancouver’s tech-scene’s radicals used to tout the “cheap and cheerful” effect. Instead of relying on the filet mignon to impart success and influence, renegade marketer Dave Olson preferred to take his clients to underground shows and then chat business over a bowl of ramen. The man knows what he’s doing: after coming on as Director of Marketing for Hootsuite in 2010, he helped grow the user-base to 8 million, and was integral to the development of the quirky, lovable brand.

Of course, in those early days, Hootsuite wasn’t exactly rolling in the cash. Dave and his team needed to find ways to make an impression… while pinching those expensable pennies. These are a few of my favorite cheap-n-cheerful moments from the Master:

Host a dinner party

Personal AND cost-effective. One of the most memorable moments of Hootsuite’s inaugural SXSW trip was the barbeque that they hosted. Austin, of course, is pretty intense about their barbeque, so the conversation was built in. The event was inexpensive, easy to coordinate, and most importantly, an authentic place to chat with potential clients and investors.

Mobilize volunteers

Dave loved to bring enthusiastic people together around a cause, be it a Hootsuite “Hoot-Up,” a day of renegade marketing school, or a community of podcasters. Volunteers have been indispensable to Hootsuite’s success: they have translated websites, thrown parties, shared tips and tactics, and pointed out bugs. In return, Dave and his team acted as references and champions for these volunteers, helping them gain experience and land professional roles.

Say thank you, in person

One thing Dave liked to encourage was “going analogue”. He knew that facetime was the ultimate impression – no number of Mentions, Likes, or Upvotes can replicate a genuine “thanks.” Can’t be there in person? Dave was a big proponent of the quick video that included his team waving and saying thank you! A little goes a long way.

Want more stories from DaveO? He’s logged a great many of his talks on Youtube. You can find his channel right here.

##

Can’t buy me love: A renegade marketing pro’s tips for making an impression — Medium.

Five million customers, no ad budget: How Hootsuite used a freemium model to build its business | Financial Post

An article by Ryan Holmes talking about the tactics and methods Hootsuite used to build with small budgets and big fun including Hootups, community activities like translation project, creative swag and more…

Ryan Holmes | April 10, 2015 1:04 PM ET

Ryan Holmes: With literally millions of apps competing for attention, startups are finding themselves forced to pour ever greater sums into marketing efforts. But money isn’t always the answer…

But more money isn’t always the answer. In Hootsuite’s first three years, we grew our user base from zero to five million people. During that time, our marketing budget was pretty much non-existent. We turned instead to a pair of complementary, low-cost approaches to find and keep customers. It may well have made all the difference.

Freemium economics One fundamental decision made shortly after launching in 2009 was to make our social media tool a freemium service. The majority of our users — and we very quickly reached the million mark — paid nothing. They could (and still can) log in for free to view their social media accounts from one dashboard, schedule messages and see analytics. Companies that wanted beefed up functionality and extra support, paid a monthly fee, ranging from as little as $9 to $1,000 and up for large enterprises with lots of employees.

Why invest so many resources and so much bandwidth catering to millions of free users who would never account for a cent of revenue? For starters, freemium dramatically reduces the need for traditional marketing and sales efforts. Our free users — in steady, predictable numbers — became paid users. Instead of having to sell them on the merits of our product with expensive ads, we let them see for themselves. Our product became our best marketing tool and salesperson. On average more than half our paying customers, including large clients, start out as free users.

Meanwhile, our free user base fulfilled another key function: It kept us honest. Free users are fickle; they’re not locked in by a contract or any other obligations. They can, at any moment, pick up and take their “business” elsewhere. So to maintain and grow our free user base, we had to continually update our product, rolling out new features to stay ahead of the pack.

These same features helped us win and keep paying customers. While other corporate tools were years behind the social media curve, our efforts to satisfy free users meant we could offer big enterprise customers the latest technology.

Seeing value in community But the freemium approach wouldn’t have been as effective were it not for another equally important strategy: investing in a fully functional community department. In many startups, the community team, if there’s one at all, is treated as an extension of marketing or customer support. While their ostensible role may be “building a community” of users, they spend a lot of time pitching products and fielding help calls.

Our community department, by contrast, didn’t have direct sales or support responsibilities. Their primary mandate was to help people who already knew our product connect with one another. In the early days, they set up social media accounts in a half-dozen key languages, sharing updates with users around the world.

At the same time, they led a crowdsourced translation effort that saw our tool translated into more than a dozen local languages, from German and Italian to Thai and Chinese. (Amazingly, translations were volunteer-driven — motivated by love of the technology and a liberal helping of swag, i.e. stickers, T-shirts and cuddly stuffed animals inspired by our owl logo.)

Online efforts were supplemented by old-fashioned face-to-face events. In emerging markets, the community team helped users organize hundreds of free meetups (branded as “HootUps”), where people could get together and trade product tips. Ultimately, a network of hundreds of volunteer “ambassadors” around the world took shape, enthusiastic users who agreed to spread the word in their countries. Many of these ambassadors were bloggers, consultants and marketers whose own agenda of developing a large online following aligned well with ours.

Cumulatively, these projects gave us entree into new markets, initiating the viral chain of adoption in other countries and spreading our product beyond its original North American user base.

Source: Five million customers, no ad budget: How Hootsuite used a freemium model to build its business | Financial Post

NXNE Interviews: Dave Olson of HootSuite Talks Social for Bands and Fans

After spieling at NXNE 2012 in Toronto with “Social Media in Revolutions and Disasters, I shared some stories and thoughts about social media –  specifically for bands and their fans – in a series created by Intel.

Dave Talks Social Media for Small Business in a Bank Webinar

Under the auspices of my day-job, i shared some handy tips in webinar – promoted by a bank – designed to help small businesses learn to quickly adapt social media tools and web best practices into their marketing, operations and business development plans. It’s devoid of wild stories from foreign lands but my hair is perfect ;-) and i do some Q&A.

Please share with your pals who are trying to prioritize their marketing activities and keep their biz rolling.

NOTE: Video Removed by the Bank, leaving here for notes etc.

Dave Spiels Social Business

And, at the risk of being a sell-out, here are my notes from the gig. Here’s a resource guide too.

Tutorial with Dave Olson, Community Director, HootSuite

In 15 minutes, learn how to:

  • Build an effective social media marketing campaign
  • Respond to what is being said about your brand and business
  • Set up an online page and maintain your online presence
  • Use social media to drive traffic to your website and engage prospects
  • Distribute your targeted messages using multiple online channels
  • Advertise online on a small budget – get the top result spot on search engines

10 Tips to Tune your Online Social Strategy 

Aim: Provide practical, tactical tips they can use right away to grow business using social media/web tools.

Slides:

  1. Social  listening – set up persistent real-time search for brand mentions in Twitter – even geo-locate your searches  i.e. mentions of “accountant” or “tax” or “bookkeeping” ONLY in Halifax)
  1. Twitter conversations – be prepared to reply appropriately (draft messages, set policy, know tone and limits, build a team)
  1. Twitter community – become an expert by building lists of industry influencers, your teams, your brands etc.
  1. Facebook precense – set up a page to provide: resources; unique calls to action; and conversation – stay active, don’t feed the trolls
  1. Tracking results – see which channels deliver traffic to web site and which convert into customers with social stats and integrated Google Analytics
  1. News Alerts – get updates emailed when you brand is mentioned via Google news alerts and social mention – mitigate misinformation, outreach to prospects/media/partners
  1. Search Engine Optimization – you need: quality inbound links; tuned copywriting; clean code + sitemap
  1. Google Ads and Search – Organic (free but unpredictable) vs Adwords (paid and semi-unpredictable) – budget and balance is key
  1. Defining Strategy – decide where you needs are: do you need customers? do you need to provide more customer service channels? do you need to build brand awareness? build a toolkit for your needs looking 6 months out
  1. Understanding Social media ROI – the pay off is across channels including customer support, lead generation and mitigating PR conundrums

a few notes about marketing tactics

for pro marketing work, i mix old school/new school PR/marketing into a formula designed to:

1) tell a story with interestingness

2) amplify the positive reactions

3) mitigate negative with nuance

4) magnify to appear larger/mightier /different

5) show we are aware through (obsessive)

participation

a few tactics:
* write press releases like a jouro article

* provide images resources widely/freely

* publish early and often to “host” conversation

* reward helpers with cultural treats

* provide channels and “listen” to gripers

* but ignore trolls (even when you wanna kick in balls)

* for event: spend little, talk lots

* show up online as many places as possible

* track search/has/social trends and hop aboard

* define best practices and (pretend to be) thought leader

* know google-fu and spend time on semantics

* establish a distinct voice and vocab across team

* set up processes to manage/log/magnify coverage rapidly