Loading up my calendar with goodness including: Hockey, Level 1 at Ice Sports (starting Wed.) Sing it Forward at the Vogue (Jan 10) DOA at the Rickshaw (Jan 18) Portage and Main at the Biltmore (Jan 25) Do Less yoga session (Jan 20) Firework Factory retreat in June plus a load of Chiropractor and Massage appointments.
Geo Marketing: Simple Steps to Go There | TalentZoo.com
By Dave Olson, April 12, 2011
Social media is a key marketing tool for any business hoping to expand their customer base and increase brand awareness. For small businesses in particular, learning how to master this medium is essential in order to make the most of your time and resources.
As social media becomes increasingly mobile, the importance of geo-search and geo-location will continue to grow. Potential customers with geo-capable phones are quick to search out venues nearby. Tap into an interested audience and make sure they find you!
Start With Search
The ability to filter search results by proximity is truly one of the most valuable features of geo-location technologies. Let’s look at an example of how narrowing in on nearby messages can benefit you.
Imagine you’re a dentist in Seattle offering a new teeth-whitening service and you want to find an interested audience. There’s no use reaching out to someone who wants teeth whitening in Toronto if you’re on the West coast, and your time is too valuable to spend searching endless tweets and messages in hopes of finding someone nearby. So how do you narrow down the content?
Using HootSuite, it’s easy to search for terms like “dentist” and set the geo-location filter to an appropriate distance. Soon you’ll discover all messages (using this term) that are tagged in your area.
Be sure to try out different search terms. Use your business name and different industry-related words to paint a picture of the conversation around you. Save the search as a stream in HootSuite to effectively monitor and engage in the discussions within your community.
Get to Know the Locals
Once you’ve seen relevant messages from potential customers in your area, it’s simple to reach out and offer advice, promotions or just say “hello.” The real-time nature of geo-located tweets is perfect for making a good impression by answering questions or contributing to the conversation as it’s happening.
Geo is especially useful if you have promotions on. So someone looking for a dentist will be pleased to learn that you might also be offering a 2-for-1 cleaning package to new customers. You can also offer special perks to people playing geo-location games like Foursquare or Gowalla.
And be sure to append your own messages with your geo-location so potential customers can find you too.
Where to Find Geo
More and more businesses are becoming geo-aware. In order to expand, keep an eye out for anyone mentioning your brand, tagging your location, and reviewing your services so you can reach out to others who want to evangelize your business.
Here are just some of the popular options where you’ll find your friends and neighbors hanging out:
- Twitter Locations allows you to add neighborhood or venue data to your Tweets using Twitter’s native geo. This is helpful to those searching for businesses in the area.
- Foursquare is a fast-growing location-based game in which friends follow one another and check in to venues. Businesses can reward players for checking in with incentives and promotions.
- Facebook Places updates your Facebook Wall, your News Feed, and the Place Page; plus there’s a “here now” option so you can see who else is at the same venue, too.
- Gowalla allows you to share highlights from your day-to-day life with pictures, status updates, and more.
- Yelp is a geo-aware consumer-review tool where customers can write recommendations for their favorite venues, and search for everything from hairdressers to grocery stores.
- And Whrrl is another game that goes beyond checking in to incorporate photos, status updates and will track check-in patterns to reveal new hot spots that users might enjoy.
Remember, check-ins are highly visible, so friends and followers will see when someone has checked in at your location. Encourage your customers and clients to check in when they stop by.
Geo on the Go
Get to know geo while you’re on the go. As a consumer yourself, start engaging with the different geo-technologies available to learn how it all works, and see how others reach out and engage with you. This insider insight will help you to make the most out of geo for your growing business.
Finding Signal in the Noise of Social Media | TalentZoo.com
By Dave Olson, Jan. 18, 2011
Social media is an essential marketing tactic for most any business or organization. However, sorting through endless streams of comments and conversations can detract from important business tasks and create a frustrating experience.
So, how can your brand’s voice be heard amidst all the chatter in the noisy world of social media? By following a few simple tactics, you can help amplify positive messages to your audience and filter the conversations to find the gems you seek.
In addition to increased brand awareness, these tactics can quickly turbo-charge lead generation and establish “early warning systems” to get you in front of potential public relations disasters.
Most of these tactics can be rapidly engaged using HootSuite’s social media dashboard, which has been created specifically for spreading messages and tracking results from a single web interface.
Before you get started, set up a Twitter account and Facebook page for your company—if you feel like you’re late to the party, these tips will help you make up for lost time.
Start by Listening
For most businesses—particularly small businesses—finding and connecting with an audience is the key to success. Effective outreach can result in new customers and valuable media attention. The alternative is empty stores and quiet phones.
The good news is that small companies without the large advertising budgets and PR resources that larger corporate brands enjoy can use social media to reach specific, local audiences.
Let’s use the example of a yoga studio in Portland, Oregon seeking new customers. Using HootSuite, the first step is to set up a search stream for “yoga Portland” to capture all Tweets with these words.
Once you see mentions of these words, follow the people discussing yoga and add them to a Twitter list. Then, begin to reply to their updates with advice, opinions, and tips—just avoid giving them a sales pitch.
Doing this will build awareness as people see your thoughtful remarks and click through to your profile (through a branded profile icon) to learn more about your yoga studio.
Outreach to Influencers
Now that our fictional yoga studio is following a few hundred yoga enthusiasts in the area, the next step is to gently offer services. A great way to do this is to send personalized offers via Twitter (or Facebook) to key influencers.
Here’s an example:
“Hi @yogageek, noticed you enjoy Kundalini yoga. We’d like to invite you for a complimentary session at #PortlandYoga—think you’ll love it.”
You can identify key candidates by clicking on profiles and noting their “Klout” score, which is a measurement of influence and reach. Additionally, see how often they discuss yoga with their audience. Do they have a yoga blog? Great. Do they seem to be followed by many other yoga fans? Awesome.
Once they’ve attended their complimentary session, encourage them to share their experience via Twitter, Facebook, and/or their blog. Follow up with a comment and a sincere “thank you.”
Amplify by Sharing
On Twitter, you’ll notice the “retweet” option. “Retweeting” refers to people sharing your message with their audience to further increase your message’s reach. Each RT or Reply is a tacit “thumbs-up” for your brand. When you thank a retweeter for mentioning you and share their updates, you produce another impression of your business name and related culture.
Did you notice the “#” sign in the example message above? In Twitter-speak, that’s called a “hashtag.” By adding a descriptive hashtag, you can set up a search stream to track everyone who shares your thoughts and offers. Plus, it provides an instantly clickable way for your followers to see more messages containing that topical tag.
Instant Focus Group
Whether it’s a pricing change, new product, or service offering, making the wrong choice can be expensive. Sometimes, business owners are “too close” to the process to make objective choices. By building an online audience and asking their opinions, you can make informed choices that are more likely to resonate in the marketplace.
Your Facebook page is a great place for gathering feedback. The process can be as simple as posting a message with two options and asking which the reader prefers, and why. You can even incentivize responses by offering a promotional prize or special offer to all who answer.
Along with learning what the marketplace thinks of your brand, you can compare brand perception by monitoring competitors’ brand names and related terms. Learn what your competitors are being praised for, as well as what their stumbling blocks are. Use this information to position your brand and set yourself apart.
Early Warning System
Runaway rumors, negative comments, disgruntled customers, bad reviews—all of these can drive an entrepreneur to distraction. If you don’t reply quickly, the story can get out of control. Let it linger and it can impact your search results and change the public narrative about your company.
Mitigate PR conundrums by keeping constant watch over brand names, product names, and even executive names on the social web. By following what’s specifically being said about you, your brand, and your organization, you have the invaluable opportunity to directly address falsehoods, correct misconceptions, and quell rumors to set the record straight.
Play the Party Host
Amplifying your brand online is like hosting a party—there will inevitably be people who are rude or frustrated mixed in with folks having a good time. Your role is to keep things civil and moving towards your desired outcome of brand growth. Above all else, keep the conversation going.
If you diligently respond and engage in a consistent manner, you’ll ensure that the tone of the party stays in line with your brand’s principles and image. And remember, just like any party, you can never fully predict how it will go. Someone always spills a drink, maybe the neighbors make a noise complaint, but your party will be judged more for how you handle any little hiccups than for the actual mishaps.
Interview with Dave Olson, Community Director of HootSuite Media, Inc | MikeShakin.com
15th November 2010
Today’s guest at MikeShakin.com is Dave Olson, Community Director of HootSuite Media, Inc. Hootsuite is my favorite Twitter tool. I appreciate that Dave took time to answer my questions. I also appreciate help of Mike Abasov, Marketing Ambassador, HootSuite Media Inc., to organize this interview.
Thanks for talking with us, Dave. Let’s start with what Hootsuite is. In a world of Twitter clients, what does the new and improved Hootsuite offer that is different or better than any of the competing tools available?
HootSuite is designed for social media managers and agencies who need to manage multiple accounts collaboratively with teams. We also aim to make a tool which allows you to manage all aspects of a social media powered campaign in one dashboard. This means you can broadcast messages across networks, monitor conversations with searches, understand audience behaviour, analyze click stats and much more – all from one tool. In other words, it’s specifically designed for professionals using social media to power outreach efforts.
How long did it take to get Hootsuite from brainstorming to final product? What was the hardest part of work?
The product is never “final” per se, and it was only a few months from idea to first version. We iterate rapidly with new versions almost monthly and frequent releases of apps and platforms.
A few months after the first release, came HootSuite 2.0 which added the columns layout among other tools. This year, we’ve released team collaboration tools, a new HTML 5 version and too many tools (including influence measuring, Google Analytics integration and customer insights) to list. We’ve also started on a crowd-sourced translation project to add more languages. So we’re never done, and the hardest part is wanting to go faster, faster, faster…
How did your team go about determining what new features were needed for the next version of Hootsuite?
When deciding and the new features for future updates, we look at feedback ideas submitted by users at feedback.hootsuite.com, as well as usage patterns by existing users. We also spend a lot of time talking to agencies and businesses using HootSuite to hear what they want next but always keep focused on adding features which make sense for campaigns success.
One thing that drew me to Hootsuite was it’s clean interface and intuitive usability. Can you share a bit about your design, usability, and testing process for the next version of Hootsuite?
Our creative director takes the lead on the layout and design and tries to “make it make sense” to everyone. We extensively test and experiment in-house – acting as our own focus group -and adjust rapidly when needed whether to fix layout browser bugs or rearrange things which people are having a hard time finding. For example: Moving all the menus under the “Owl” button in HootSuite 5 was a big change which confused some customers at first, but in the end, this choice was powerful as it made customer support easier, the interface cleaner and gave another compelling brand impression.
What do you think of the current market for Twitter applications?
As more and more companies start to realize the power of Twitter and other social networks for marketing, they need the right tools to manage them. And while official Twitter web is changing and becoming more complex, it doesn’t target this kind of audience.
Additionally with programs like Promoted Tweets and Trends, Twitter is working with 3rd party tools to provide a revenue share and closer technical cooperation.
There are certainly many choices for Twitter tools, but we think it’s important to think beyond Twitter and consider other networks where desirable audiences hang out – this includes building for established networks (i.e. Facebook, Linkedin), adding regional specific networks (i.e. Mixi in Japan), and different platforms (HootSuite is now free on 5 mobile platforms).
Dave, thank you so much for giving us an insight into Hootsuite!
Hazy with a sore throat, Uncle Weed documents journies to the legendary Salt Lick bar-b-q for a slice of rural Texas, plus breakfast oysters, trip to riverside green belt, and rocking out to Black Joe Lewis and the Honey Bears at the Twitter party at The Parish. Plus riffs about drought, reasons for free beer, Big Muff guitar pedals, and forgetfulness, and plans a scant agenda of conferencing and recording.
Get a fork for Fleeting Memories of Bar-B-Q and Soul – Choogle On #90
+ snippet by The Sure Things at The Dakota in Toronto, ON
Uncleweed.net for more writings, podcasts, paintings and photos
This is Acoustica, the awesum German band we partied with at SLC 2002 http://ow.ly/DwEt Seems they are coming to Vancouver #2010 too