Tag Archives: marketing

How to Successfully Implement a Brand Ambassador Program via The Next Web

How to Successfully Implement a Brand Ambassador Program

Host events like HootSuite

According to a recent survey, branded live events are the No. 1 driver of brand recommendations. These events clock in at 65 percent, beating out even a friend’s recommendation (63 percent) in importance when it comes to brand experience. Knowing this, many campus ambassador programs make events an integral part of marketing efforts in order to attract new consumers. For instance, social media metric company HootSuite empowers users and brand ambassadors to host “HootUps.” These gatherings are put together by campus ambassadors and fans of the company, and involve discussions of social media best practices and networking. The events are branded with HootSuite swag, yet they offer students real-world value and the ability to make great contacts. If your events offer consumers and customers something useful, they’ll be likely to equate your brand with providing concrete value to their lives.

“How to Win the Networking Game at SXSW” Ryan (and Dave) in Wall Street Journal

How to Win the Networking Game at SXSW
Mar 5, 2014, The Accelerators, Wall Street Journal

After eight SXSW conferences, I’ve learned that the hard way. When my company was first getting off the ground, we were completely lost in the shuffle, despite our best efforts. In 2012, however, we had a 28-foot-long, 15,000-pound secret weapon. To stand out amid the gala parties and blow-out bashes hosted by much bigger tech companies, HootSuite decided to take to the streets. We transformed a Ford E-450 shuttle bus into possibly the world’s biggest owl, in honor of our mascot – mounting a pair of giant eyes above the windshield and affixing enormous plastic wings on the sides.

HootSuite’s former VP of community, Dave Olson, inspects the HootBus.

ANDREW LAVIGNE

Cheesy? Yes. Effective, absolutely. By the end of the conference, our logo had been splashed across the pages of USA Today, Mashable and Inc. The conference’s highest profile attendees were clamoring to get on board and party with us. And investors whom I didn’t even know were inquiring about thecompany. In the end, it cost us around $30,000 to buy and outfit the vehicle. Considering that hosting just a single party at SXSW can cost as much, if not more, that’s an absolute steal. This year, in fact, we’re bringing HootBus back for its third ride.

Making Great Swag – soliloquy on a trail, part 3

Dave (L) and Richard Loat shoot swag from atop the Hootbus at SxSW HootHockey event in 2012
Dave (L) and Richard Loat shoot swag from atop the Hootbus at SxSW HootHockey event in 2012 (photo by ?)

Creating memorable, keep-able promotional items can enhance your brand / campaign rather than getting tossed out. On a hiking trail, Dave shares “rules” and considerations from experience, including many examples and anecdotes, ergo:

Rules:

  • Light enough to travel
  • Photo-op-able
  • Sizes suck
  • Quality goods
  • Metaphorically yours
  • Will it fly?
  • Thrifty for lots
  • If you’ve seen it before, don’t do it

Examples:

  • Scarves (muted design, subtlely design, useful in chill too)
  • Flags (simple design, sized to fold, wear like a cape, bonus for decorating event)
  • Beer coozies (low cost, party-friendly, connect to home)
  • Passports (independence, handy for notes, interactive)
  • Pins and stickers (easy giveaways, make a bundle for excitement, mailable, each unique)
  • Temp tattoo (inspired by Sailor Jerry rather than just a logo)
  • Masks (remixed from users, great for events, provides interactive activity)
  • Plush owls (remixed from user, take like a traveling gnome, shoot from cannon!)

Other Considerations: 

  • Design for your audience and crew
  • Workshirts with patches + bandanas
  • Swag-box exchange and unboxing
  • Budget guidelines
  • Making best t-shirts

Breaking rules:

  • Lighters and pint glasses with etched logo (renegade “hippie” culture)
  • Coasters (allowed us to leave bread crumbs, bars/restaurants find useful)

Recorded spontaneously in May 2013 on Varley Trail, Lynn Valley, North Vancouver

Listen to: Making Great Swag – soliloquy on a trail, part 3 (23:37, 192k mp3, 37MB)

 

CMTY Building: Encouraging Passionate Users to Host HootUps

In a spontaneous spiel to colleagues, Dave shares the motivations and practical logistics for organizing Hootups – including sending swag packages and promotional support – and articulates the benefits for the organizer (notoriety and being part of something interesting) as well as resultant perks for the company including signups and culture artifacts like photos, tweets and happy users.

Crowdsource from your Community the Tom Sawyer Way – Community Nuggets Vol.1

Back in January, my fellow community managers at HootSuite and I came together with mycmgr.com to produce a series of info videos called ‘Community Nuggets.’

Below is the one I appeared in using Tom Sawyer as an example of how to effectively crowdsource from your community.

Enjoy: Crowdsource from your Community the Tom Sawyer Way – Community Nuggets Vol.1

For the Record: Community Manager of the Day

My professional journey has led me – and several of my dear colleagues – to a lovely acknowledgement from MyCMgr.com “Community Manager of the Day.” You can read the whole article – “Community Manager of the Day: Dave Olson” – but i’ve excerpted a favourite bit below:

Picture 1

Who has been an inspiration for you as a community manager?
For me, there were three key sources for learning about community building and wrangling:

1. Travelling along with The Grateful Dead taught me the audience is part of the band, so to speak. They encouraged sharing, trading, recording, and loads of instant entrepreneurship with a crazy, spontaneous market outside selling everything from veggie burritos to libations.

2. Cub Scouts taught me the importance of skill learning, working with small teams towards a common goal, and celebrating micro-leveling-up by earning badges. My Mom ran the pack and she also taught me about running small businesses and helped start my first media projects at 7 years old.

3. Hitchhiking in foreign countries taught me to be trusting of strangers, open to new opportunities, and to enjoy the differences between cultures. Plus I learned how to hustle to earn money by selling chestnuts, picking grapes, and being a lazy roadie for rock bands, among dozens of other (very) odd jobs.

Conversations with Community Managers – Dave Olson (Hootsuite)

Conversations with Community Managers – Dave Olson (Hootsuite)

Talking Social Tourism in El Paso at #SoMeT12 – Artifacts

I recently presented at #SoMeT12 – a symposium about Social Media in the Tourism industry  – held in El Paso, Texas.

On November 8, 2012 a day after the US election, plenty of stories and hugs were passed around to the delegates representing many countries, regions, cities and so on. It was great to connect with everyone and talk tourism and social media, plus enjoy some Tex-Mex food and a wee splash of sunshine in a historic park.

SoMeT12 Portraits

Read on for some fun highlights of my visit:

Social Media Tourism Symposium Official Recap

Mikala Taylor wrote a detailed re-cap of my talk – here’s an excerpt to set the stage:

One of these kids was doing his own thing: and at SoMeT12 that kid was HootSuite’s VP of Community, Dave Olson. Dressed in a burgundy jacket and sporting impressive mutton chops, Olson woke the bleary crowd at 8:30am with an energetic talk about sparking conversations, and how to create a social media journey.“I’ve been to destinations”, he joked at the tourism crowd, before reminding everyone that travel really is just about “making friends and sharing stories.” “Five years from now,” he said, “the tools will be totally different…Social media is just a weird term of convenience. It’s just about listening.”

SoMeT12 Portraits

Click here for the full article, HootSuite’s Dave Olson: “Social Media is a weird term of convenience. It’s just about listening”

Slides

Here is the slide deck I used during my talk made up of both personal and professional anecdotes including my experiences hitchhiking around Europe, Japan and elsewhere:

Bonus: Check out more DaveO presentations

Photo Gallery 

With an audience of social media enthusiasts, no doubt the tweets and photos flowed on, catch a few below or more at Clemens Schuster’s Flickr Stream (who travelled all the way from Austria for the event):

Screen Shot 2013-01-22 at 4.19.24 PMPhoto courtesy of SoMeT12

Snapshots

I also took a few snaps while out on a walk around town plus a visit to the Hoppy Monk bar on the Mexican border, out for a few tasty meals, and glances at various pawn shops and parks.

Elvis at Dave's Pawn Shop in El Paso

Dave and Elvis in El Paso

Boxing Hall of Fame in El Paso

En Route to Airport in El Paso

See, my tiny old hard shell suitcase with stickers all over it. I don’t travel without it!

Here’s my suitcase and Owly.

Screen Shot 2013-01-29 at 3.53.25 PM

Photo courtesy of @vlpmeriposa

Check out Toque and Canoe’s feature, In the Suitcase with Dave Olson, for my packing secrets.

Visit my flickr set, El Paso Mission, for more photos.

A couple of highlights I enjoyed most were handing out some mad HootSwag and asking the social media savvy audience to tweet my mom (@manorbrooks) during my presentation.

Social artifact roundup with more tweets, blogs etc (some redundancy)

Audio Dispatch

After the conference, I sat down with Catherine Heeg (@catherineheeg) of Customized Management Solutions to talk about the #SoMeT12 conference and HootSuite’s features (we caught up at the airport of all places, and were briefly interrupted by the PA system as you’ll hear in the interview). Read the interview recap at Catherine’s Customized Management Solutions Blog and the interview with Catherine Heeg in podcasty goodness. 

Destination Tourism Marketing Roundup #SoMeT12

Community Building Begins With Listening – GrowVC, Everyone Funding Startups, 2012

I spoke with “Everyone Funding Start-ups” podcast, a project of GrowVC – a global marketplace for equity funding – about grassroots strategies for entrepreneurs, including how to build a community of customers and supporters, plus many adaptable “cheap and cheerful” tactics and tools used for building Hootsuite community internationally.

And/or download: Community Building Begins With Listening – GrowVC, Everyone Funding Startups, 2012 (31:43, 46MB)

Blurb:

This week’s episode of the Grow VC Everyone Funding Startups podcast features Dave Olson (@daveohoots), VP of Community at HootSuite – the leading social media dashboard for managing social networks. Dave discusses best practices for entrepreneurs looking to create, engage and leverage their community of users and supporters. As VP of Community at a company that provides users with tools to better manage their own communities, Dave is ideally positioned to provide listeners with actionable advice in this critical area of enterprise development.

Dave also discusses HootSuite’s tremendous international growth and the advantages and challenges associated with the creation of a global community. As is often the case with HootSuite, the company turned to its community of users to to assist with these inherent challenges.