The Social Media Minute for January 18, 2011

by

This Social Media-Made Commercial Brought To You By HP – Via YouTube

HP will be staging a live commercial on Jan. 21st showing off its new ePrint feature that allows mobile device users to upload photos on-the-go to web-enabled HP printers.

We’ve said it here before but it bears repeating: companies need to be their own broadcasters, generating their own useful content, and their websites are their broadcast networks for said content. But being the former broadcast journalist that I am, I realize that I need to update that statement to include “and their social media platforms can be their network affiliates.”

Case in point: the news this week that HP will be going back in time to stage a live commercial, just like the good old days when Ed McMahon would read ads for Alpo dog food during “The Tonight Show.” Only this time, the players are comedians Rob Riggle and the Upright Citizens Brigade, and the venue will be YouTube. HP is showing off its new ePrint feature which allows mobile device users to upload photos on-the-go to web-enabled HP printers. The commercial is set for 3-5 p.m. Eastern time this Friday, Jan. 21st.

Read More

The Social Media Minute for January 14, 2011

by

More Restaurants Making Room At The Table for Social Media

Social media can indeed help restaurants boost bottom lines, but the idea is to build a community of satisfied diners.

Phone calls from survey organizations that come during the dinner hour usually occupy a special place in the Annoyance Hall of Shame. But the one I received earlier this week was actually about dinner – or rather, the restaurants I choose to eat at with my family.

The pollster was wondering if I used social media and mobile applications to determine which casual restaurants I frequent. Brand names of restaurant chains were never mentioned; Facebook, Foursquare, Yelp and the restaurant’s websites were of more interest to her. She wanted to know if I based my decisions on reviews and recommendations that come from the commenters on social networks and location-based services; if I checked out menus that restaurants put on their sites; how many times I used social media during the course of a week or a month. (Full disclosure: I never told her what I did for a living; I wanted to see where the questions were leading. Besides, I needed an idea for a blog post; sue me). I thought it was interesting that she never asked about location-based discounts and incentives for check-ins. I volunteered that I’d be willing to consider those if they were offered by more family-friendly restaurants.

Clearly, whichever restaurant chain company or other entity which hired the survey organization is keeping an eye on consumer trends and wanting to (ahem) digest more customer data. Individual restaurants are also willing to experiment with use of mobile apps, discounts and the like. A recent Atlanta Journal-Constitution story detailed how some restaurants there were partnering with social coupon sites like Scoutmob and Facebook apps like Bartab to fill more dining room seats and bar stools. A mobile app, PlacePunch, actually scans all the major location-based services for restaurants to see who’s visiting their eateries and announcing it to the world via their smartphones. The restaurant can then send discounts to those who visit them the most.

All of this merely serves as an appetizer; social media can indeed help restaurants boost bottom lines, but the idea is to get deeper into the dinner conversations and build a community of satisfied diners – and allow those customers who, for whatever reason, weren’t satisfied to help restaurant owners/managers improve their service and thereby head off any negative reviews.

An ecosystem of apps and services is building up around the restaurant industry, and the establishments themselves can do their part by tracking comments and recommendations, reward frequent visitors, make their websites more mobile-friendly (no more PDF menu files, please!), and offer up some tasty content for the real foodies among the population.


Splashcast: Linking Up With LinkedIn

by

Nobody’s made a movie about it yet (as far as we know) and its CEO has yet to appear on Time Magazine’s cover as Person of the Year. But LinkedIn has more than 90 million members worldwide, and it claims to have executives from all Fortune 500 companies included on that list.

So what exactly does the social network targeting professionals offer to small/medium-sized businesses? Splash Media social media manager Manuel Tellez – a veteran of LinkedIn branding campaigns – highlights the do’s and dont’s in this Splashcast hosted by Renay San Miguel.

For more Splashcasts, visit our channel to subscribe: http://www.youtube.com/SplashmediaLP.

The Social Media Minute for January 4, 2011

by

More Gadgets, More Video, More Storytelling Opportunities in 2011

Pre-show hype for this year's Consumer Electronics Show consist of talk about Samsung and Toshiba tablets as well as more social media/web video integration.

The focus of the technology world moves to the Nevada desert this week for the 2011 International Consumer Electronics Show, and you can be sure that thanks to traditional media and blogosphere carpet-bombing coverage of the event, what happens in Vegas will not stay in Vegas.

Most of the pre-show hype has centered on Samsung, Toshiba and other hardware companies using this year’s CES to introduce their own tablet computer alternatives to Apple’s iPad. But content announcements are also forthcoming, and some of those are expected to highlight more social media/web video integration into traditional delivery platforms such as internet-enabled TV’s and video game consoles.

Read More

The Social Media Minute for December 31, 2010

by

After Social Media’s 2010 Coming Out Party, It’s Time To Get To Work In 2011

If 2010 was the pitch meeting regarding social media – the big Request For Proposals, if you will – then 2011 will be the year for delivering on that promise.

The “Best Of” and “Top 10″ lists continue to roll out in the blogosphere along with the final hours and minutes of the year 2010. Some are busy forging their New Year’s resolutions out of iron and steelĀ  – or in many cases, stitching them together out of easy-to-break kite string and Elmer’s Glue. Here’s my contribution for 2011: I hereby resolve never to write a blog post headline that begins with a number, as in: “7 Ways To Improve Your (Blank)” or “Five Tips For Doing This-Or-That.”

The “List” or bullet-point method of writing blog posts received a thorough workout in 2010, especially in that part of the blogosphere reserved for social media observers, marketers and media-types. It’s understandable, I guess; those of us in the information/communications business like to boil down topics, problems and solutions into easily digestible themes, and lists are guaranteed link-bait. Personally, I blame the 1970s-era bestseller, “The Book of Lists,” along with the overall media tendency – especially during the decade now coming to a close – to whittle down everything into sound bites and blurbs.

So I won’t add any lists to the inevitable end-of-year recounting of social media’s impact on business and marketing in 2010; better minds than mine have no doubt enumerated best practices and success stories for the past 12 months, along with the mistakes and stumbles that have come with incorporating this new and revolutionary communications mode into existing traditional strategies. Everyone should know by know that social media is here to stay, customers won’t be giving up the newfound power they’ve acquired thanks to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and blog posts anytime soon, and many businesses small and large have been made aware of that by now – some of them painfully aware, other pleasantly surprised, I’m sure.

If 2010 was the pitch meeting regarding social media – the big Request For Proposals, if you will – then 2011 will be the year for delivering on that promise. And it won’t strictly come from the use, misuse or overuse of the aforementioned social media tools and platforms. Tools are only as good as the people wielding them; it will be the creative marketing minds within companies, and the agencies working for them, that will soon be hard at work coming up with innovative strategies and tactics that will realize the potential of social media: bringing businesses and customers closer together, and impacting bottom lines.

That’s what the companies convinced to use social media in 2010 will be looking for in 2011, with the hopes that their subsequent success stories will make someone’s “Best Of” list this time next year.