Lyn Featured in “Get a Handle on Guerrilla Marketing”

August 3, 2011 by  
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Our very own Lyn Mettler was quoted in MSN’s Business on Main, an online community for small businesses. In the article “Get a Handle on Guerrilla Marketing,” Lyn discussed how social media can be a great tool for guerrilla marketing. See what she had to say.

Step Ahead Takes Facebook Step by Step in Charleston Seminar

August 2, 2011 by  
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Convinced your business needs to be on Facebook but not sure HOW to accomplish that? Or, do you have a business Facebook page but you’ve been stuck with only 20 “likers” since you started the page a year ago? Let us walk you through the start up and management, step by step. No convincing you WHY you should use Facebook, we just want to focus on the HOW.

After hosting a broad Charleston Social Media Step by Step seminar this spring, we got lots of requests to spend more time on specific tools, so we’re starting with the king: Facebook!

In two half-day sessions this month, Aug. & Aug. 23, you’ll learn everything from the basics of page set-up and posting etiquette to more advanced information like page customization, Facebook analytics and all about apps. You can attend one or both sessions based on your comfort level in the social media platform! We’re also offering several 30-minute one-on-one sessions after the seminar for those who would like more personal attention.

We love talking about social media and these seminars give us a chance to share some of our Step Ahead secrets to success when it comes to social media management. Seats are limited so make sure to sign up soon! Both sessions will be hosted at the Charleston Digital Corridor Flagship downtown Charleston at East Bay and Calhoun.

Click here to sign up and for complete details. Hope to see you there!

Social Media Day: Round Two

July 1, 2011 by  
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Yesterday was the 2nd annual Social Media Day, and for all of us in the social media marketing field it’s nice to have that recognition. I (personally) spend the majority of my life in Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and writing blogs so it was nice to actually get out from behind the computer and be social!

This year we held our get together at Uno Mas in Mount Pleasant, keeping to our Mexican food theme (last year was at Taco Boy)! We had a great turnout, great food and even better happyritas!

Thank you to all those who came and a big thanks to Dine with Sal and everyone at Uno Mas for hosting the party! Here at Step Ahead we’re already looking forward to next year.

*** For more pictures visit our Tumblr account!

Holy Twitter!

June 29, 2011 by  
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We all know that if you want to stay connected online with friends or colleagues, the place to do it is through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, blogs and other social media tools. But what about staying connected to your church? Or the Pope?

On March 14, the rumors were confirmed that a Facebook profile had been created in honor of the late Pope John Paul II. The Vatican launched JPII’s page as a part of their social media initiative to create an online presence for the Catholic Church. Now, another Pope has decided to create his own social media presence.

Yesterday, Pope Benedict XVI made history by becoming the first Pope to utilize Twitter by sending a tweet with his iPad to promote the Vatican’s new website. The tweet said “Dear Friends, I just launched Praised by our Lord Jesus Christ! With my prayers and blessings, Benedictus XVI”

Although Pope Benedict may be new to social media, the Catholic Church is not. With more than 40,000 followers and some 1,200 tweets, The Vatican’s Twitter account is thriving along with the launch of their new interactive website.

News.VA is a mothership of real-time information for the Catholic follower. It’s comprised of the latest news from The Vatican Radio (with plenty of social media sharing options for readers), a real-time Twitter feed, a Vatican Events page, a Facebook updates section and a YouTube video channel.

This past year, the Catholic Church has truly brought religion into the realm of social networking. With this “old school” institution embracing and understanding the importance of new media, it seems that online networking has no limits. If the Pope can tweet, well so can you! No more excuses…

Step Ahead Welcomes Two Summer Interns

June 28, 2011 by  
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We are pleased to introduce you all to our summer interns, Isabella and Katie. Here at Step Ahead we feel very lucky to have their help this summer and hope to teach them a great deal about social media and public relations!

Isabella first learned about Step Ahead Inc. through her Public Relations Writing course. Holly spoke to her class about social media and Isabella jumped at the chance to work with us (I mean, who wouldn’t? ;-)). During her time with Step Ahead, she hopes to pick up some valuable PR and social media skills that will help her after she graduates. Isabella is going into her senior year at the College of Charleston.

Katie is a Communication Studies major at the University of Georgia who is taking a chance in the Holy City this summer. After utilizing social media to promote an event on campus, she realized that it was something she was passionate about because it works! Katie hopes to gain an applied understanding of public relations, social media and online marketing that she can utilize in her professional life.

Welcome ladies!

Text Me…and You…and You Too

June 14, 2011 by  
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It’s Friday night and it’s time to find out what all of your friends are doing. Usually texting your entire social circle takes half the night, but now a new app quickly gaining popularity makes texting all of your friends a breeze.

GroupMe is a new app created for Blackberry, Android, iPhone and, shockingly, any phone that can receive text messages. It’s part of a new breed of apps called “group texting” that’s all the buzz in the social media/mobile world.

GroupMe is free and allows its users to basically turn their phone into a chatroom with their chosen groups. All you have to do is add your friends’ numbers, and when they accept, everyone in that group can respond to each other all in one text!

This application also has some special features available for Smartphones, such as location tagging, which can be helpful when you need to know where people are. Location tagging and the ability to call or text many people at one time make this app very useful during emergencies. In fact, GroupMe’s use skyrocketed 200% in Alabama during the recent tornadoes.

So next time you need to know where all of your friends are or just want to invite them to a party, use GroupMe and save yourself some time, and some texts.

Continuous Learning

May 24, 2011 by  
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This week I filled out a member spotlight form for the Charleston chapter of the American Marketing Association. One of the questions was “What is the best advice you could give a younger marketer?” My response: Do your best to keep up with the constant changes in social media and how people consume information. Your clients depend on you to be the expert on these marketing topics.

Keeping up with the ever-changing world of social media and new methods of marketing and PR is practically a full-time job. I’m constantly bookmarking articles, websites and making notes of new tools I want to investigate.

It’s great to see colleges and universities helping students stay current with social media tools and how they work in the business world. A couple of months ago, I read an article in The Wall Street Journal about students at Emerson College in Boston who work with large companies like Sprint, Levi Strauss and Mattel to conduct research and assist with online marketing efforts. They gain experience with “clients” and exposure to products like analytics program Radian6, which they’ll most likely be using as professional marketers.

Over the summer, many firms – including ours – will have interns and this is a great chance to continue that “real world” exposure. Engage those interns in more than busy work and filing so they can see how your business operates day to day and how you interact with clients.

As we all know, that kind of learning is infinitely more valuable than anything you can read in a textbook.

Step Ahead Steps Ahead … Next Door

May 12, 2011 by  
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Last year, the Charleston City Paper ran an article about how we were growing and busting out of our current space. We were on the lookout for a bigger office to accommodate our growth – and we found one! Right next door…

The fabulous Flagship project managed by the Charleston Digital Corridor was such a success that they decided to add another incubator office space for those companies who had outgrown or were too big for the original Flagship. Enter FS2 (or Flagship 2).

Right next door to our old space, FS2, located at 78 Alexander St., offers larger offices and more space for Charleston’s many growing technology businesses. We picked our space in FS2 and just moved in last week.

We’re so excited about our growth over the past three years, and a new office space is the perfect way to help us continue to grow and keep pace with our favorite social media tools.

Please come by to check it out! We’re happy to give you a tour anytime.

Happy Anniversary Step Ahead Inc.

May 10, 2011 by  
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Dear Step Ahead,

Today is our 1-year anniversary and I can’t even begin to explain how much fun I’ve had with you over the last 365 days. We’ve gone to fun events together that I’ll never forget like the Internet Summit in Raleigh, N.C. We’ve had early mornings, late nights and fun weekends together!

There are a few things that you’ve taught me that will stay with me forever:

1.) TweetDeck is a life saver

2.) Dropbox is amazing

3.) I might not be a writer but I am a blogger!

4.) Always back up your hard drive

5.) Follow up is key

6.) One day we will take over the social media world!

So, again happy anniversary, Step Ahead — you’ve been a great job this past year and I look forward to many more years with you!


E. Bailey Surrett

Our Favorite Forty Under 40 Winner

May 4, 2011 by  
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Last night we had an absolute blast watching our Charleston executive director, Holly Fisher, receive her 2011 Forty Under 40 award from the Charleston Regional Business Journal. Forty deserving winners, all under the age of 40, were honored for their professional success while also making time for their community through service.

All of us here at Step Ahead know that Holly does an amazing job not only in pr and social media but also in her involvement with Metanoia, the Ruth Rhoden Craven Foundation, Charleston Young Professionals, Society of Professional Journalists and the list goes on. We are in awe :).

And to make it even sweeter, one of our clients won as well, Tina Whetzel of CrossFit Mt. Pleasant!

Alhambra Hall in Mount Pleasant, S.C. was a gorgeous setting for this fun event and also the perfect place to also “party down” for Holly’s 35th birthday, which happened to be on the same day! We are so happy to have her on our team. Congrats Holly!

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