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September 30, 2009

Next 500 days in Social Media, event in review

This article was originally written by me for Apis Design Inc. Visit Apis Design blog to see more articles on the topic of online marketing.

On Tuesday, September 22nd, Robin and I went to one of the Digital Alberta’s monthly mixers. I actually volunteered to  coordinate the event for Digital Alberta by getting the panel members and the moderator together. In any case, it was definitely lots of fun throughout the process. Here are some of the highlights from the event:

A great networking event. Robin mentioned that he actually had a very productive evening talking to people from different walks of life.

Panel composition and the Moderator. A few of the guests at the event commented on the uniformity of the panel. I mean the panel was brilliant and we had a great discussion, but the panel composition could be more diverse next time.

Major points Social Media and next 500 days covered by the panel and the audience

  • Social media is many different things. We have to be able to clearly define it, as well as its individual components such as social media marketing and social networks, platforms.
  • Rene Smid (Executive Director at Digital Alberta) posed a great question about the average time investment required to reach success in social media networks. More in the video that’s coming up.
  • Social media is just a new concept with roots in traditional business.
  • Social media may not be the solution to every business problem.
  • Companies should pay attention to their marketing strategy.
  • Social media is about creating conversations and maintaining relationships.
  • Social media is about sharing value with your network.
  • Social media is here to stay.

The video compilation of the event by Roger Kondrat is coming up shortly, stay tuned!

This article was originally written by me for Apis Design Inc. Visit Apis Design blog to see more articles on the topic of online marketing.

September 18, 2009

Twitterville: Shel Israel in Calgary, event in review

This article was originally written by me for Apis Design Inc. Visit Apis Design blog to see more articles on the topic of online marketing.

A few weeks ago I joined this group on Meetup.com called Third Tuesday Calgary. Last night I went to an event organized by this group. The event was a conversation with Shel Israel, the author of the Twitterville: Global Neighborhoods. Here’s a few takeaways from the event.

Global Village / Global Neighborhoods

Much like Marshal McLuhan with “global village” in the 1960s, Shel talks about the concept of “global neighborhoods” today. Twitter, he says, is a tool that allows us to have small conversations with people of common interest. It’s  like talking to your neighbor over the fence. Twitter is simply a tool to create and maintain those short conversations online. As Shel mentions, Twitter is the closest to face-to-face communication.

The importance of telling stories

Much like Seth Godin in “All marketers are liars”, Shel is emphasizing the art of story telling. His book, Twitterville, is in essence a collection of stories about people talking on Twitter and telling stories; something others can relate to. The entertainment component is part of any successful story we read, hear and share with our friends and colleagues. As Dean mentioned in his You don’t know how to blog post last week, telling stories is super important, if it’s not a story, he won’t read it.

Broadcasting Era / Conversational Era

As we are moving from the broadcasting era into the era of conversations and small talks, the value of relationships and value transfer becomes the primary concern. We are no longer pushing the message as it was done for decades by advertising and traditional media. We are engaging in conversations, trying to help people solve their problems. As Shel mentions, the media as a social institution isn’t going anywhere. It’s valuable and will continue to evolve. There will, however, be a transition, and it’s happening already. The key for media outlets is to get through this transition and emerge into a new format of media; a combination of traditional and social journalism.

As a side note, I purchased the last copy of the book at this event. 12 hours later still excited to have it and plan to read it within next couple of weeks before Shel writes his next book.

This article was originally written by me for Apis Design Inc. Visit Apis Design blog to see more articles on the topic of online marketing.

September 1, 2009
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Kevin Spacey about Twitter with humour

Gosh, wanted to post this video long ago but could not find the time. Kevin Spacey is explaining twitter in plain human language with humour! Hope you enjoy it!

September 1, 2009
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Twitter analysis tools, quick note

I was talking to a friend of mine Ilya Sorokin just this past weekend about creating tools to analyze twitter feeds. Then, accidentally, came across an article presenting a list of tools that allow analysis to parse twitter for meaning. Here’s the article, I hope you find this of value: Tweeting By Numbers: 7 Ways to Become a Twitter Analyst

With such popularity of twitter and immense information concentration in one online tool, it’s hugely important for businesses to dig into the data to understand the brand conversations their potential customers are having. I personally want to know more about tools and analysis results, so please feel free to comment with your experiences analyzing twitter data.

How companies benefit by using Twitter

Just reading an article at iMediaConnection about Twitter Experiments and how companies are using Twitter to get closer with their customers, create and enrich the conversations. I’m still one of those who has no solid idea on how to use Twitter productively for business purposes. Please let me know how your company benefited by twitter. In turn I’ll post my insights on the tool. Below is the snippet of the article with URL.

Article Highlights:

  • H&R Block’s feed is 75 percent @replies
  • Glam Media’s Tinker allows brands to sponsor filtered Twitter feeds about hot topics
  • A mobile L.A. eatery uses Twitter to keep customers aware of its location
  • Microsoft sponsors a collection of tweets from top executives

To read the article: 5 Twitter marketing experiments

Online marketing seminars for small business in Calgary

In November 2007, in an effort to 1) share the knowledge I had at that time, 2) develop my communication skills through presenting to a group of people, I ran a series of seminars to help small business owners establish presence online. The seminar covered a few of the more important topics and answered questions that a small business owner would have about establishing his / her web presence.

The seminars were split into 5 sessions, one session per week. I covered such topics as SEO, online display advertising (variations of banners), basic online campaign planning principles, social campaigns execution, and integrated marketing campaigns (synchronizing traditional and online marketing means. All of this would definitely not be possible without the help from Critical Mass, where I worked at that time.

The seminars took place at Skazka Restaurant & Bar in Calgary, where I had an opportunity to work a few months before. Although the attendance varied between 15 and 20 people per session, the series was definitely achieving objectives set out at the beginning. At the end of the series I ran a short servey to see how I did. Got some very constructive critique on what I could’ve done better.

Below is the set of video sessions from that series. I want to thank Maxim Bentsianov for shooting and converting the video to be publicly available online. To this date we’ve got over 3000 views of those sessions on youtube.com. And at the end of the day RussianHerald.com also benefited by this sort of an educational campaign we put together. I apologize in advance for this series being completely in Russian. I’ll be working on another one covering similar content but 100% in English.