Social Media Day: Round Two

July 1, 2011 by  
Filed under All, social media

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!

Social Media News of the Week: May 30, 2011

June 3, 2011 by  
Filed under All, SMNofW

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In honor of this short week, I’m going to try and make this social media recap as short as possible! We’ve been offering Foursquare services to our clients for more than a year and it’s a good thing because location just keeps moving right along. But there are some things to watch out for when using Foursquare for marketing, and Mashable does a nice job of explaining the “do nots” of location-based marketing.

If you’ve ever had the “pleasure” of talking to me, you would pick up pretty quickly that I’m obsessed with the music industry and very interested in how bands can take advantage of social media. Well, D.C.-based band Bluebrain did social just right by releasing their newest album as a location-aware app. You have to check out this video to gain full appreciation!

If your company is on Twitter, then you need to take advantage of their new follow button and put it on your website now! Check out our home page to see an example of how it works (oh, and follow us on Twitter while you’re at it!). Have a great weekend everyone!

Social Media News of the Week: April 18, 2011

April 22, 2011 by  
Filed under All, SMNofW, social media

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It’s time for this week’s social media recap and I wanted to start by saying Happy Birthday to Facebook’s “like” button. It’s been a huge first year for you and I wish you much success in your second year! I also want to give Foursquare a huge shout out for a successful Foursquare Day this past Saturday.  The geolocation app scored over 3 million check-ins on Saturday and I’m proud to be one of those!

Other news this week: Twitter could potentially purchase TweetDeck for $50 million from UberMedia.  This is not a total surprise to me since TweetDeck is the most popular third party client on the Twitter platform. There has been some tension in the past between UberMedia and Twitter so it will be interesting to see how this situation all unfolds!

Since I started my blog today with some shout outs that’s how I will end, as well. Shout out to Groupon for partnering with General Mills on a deal that excited every coupon clipper in America! Buyers were able to get $40 worth of General Mills products and a coupon book for only $20!

Final shout out goes to Dream Theater, an amazing band that I have had the pleasure of seeing several times. Mike Portnoy (a phenomenal drummer) decided to call it quits this year and they’re on the hunt to replace him. They’re using Facebook to let their fans know every detail of the selection process, which is important for this band since they have some of the most dedicated fans in the world. Good luck in the selection process, guys, and I wish you all the best of luck!

Do You Check In?

April 19, 2011 by  
Filed under All, TwitterMoms.com post

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Is Foursquare going the way of Friendster or do you think it has some staying power?

In this Social Moms post, I review my personal “check in fatigue” and what gave me renewed enthusiasm for Foursquare.

Social Media News of the Week: 4/4/11

April 8, 2011 by  
Filed under All, SMNofW, social media

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I have said time and time again that I’m a big fan of location-based apps. Although I forget to check-in most days, I do keep up with all the updates Foursquare, Facebook and many more are making to increase the usability of these applications.

This week I loved reading that the New York public library will invite 500 people for a scavenger hunt using Foursquare. What better way to keep people interested in reading, books and visiting the library then to make it fun and let everyone know they’re keeping up with the times. They are also the first public library to release a Foursquare badge to go along with this promotion!

Facebook finally made an update that I’m really stoked about! Most Facebook mobile updates never work on my phone and I’m one of few who still can’t get Facebook Places on my Droid. Places for your mobile device will now let you checkin to events. I really love this idea and feel like it’s a long time coming. Personally I feel like more people would be willing to share their where-abouts if they were at a concert, exclusive party or large-scale event. Hopefully, this new Facebook Places update will come to my phone this time!

Finally, this week President Obama announced his re-election campaign not on television or in a public statement but on Facebook. Obama has been known to be up-to-date social media wise but this (personally) was an interesting avenue to make such a large announcement.

Although I love that the United States government is embracing social media, I would like the present and possible future president of my country to make a more personal, live announcement not on his Facebook page which, let’s be honest, an intern or aid runs, not him.

Later this month he’ll also live stream a town hall meeting with Mark Zuckerberg on his Facebook page, and I’ll be watching, will you?

Social Media News of the Week – Week of March 7, 2011

March 11, 2011 by  
Filed under All, social media

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This week has been full of updates, especially in the location realm of the social universe.  South by Southwest begins today and if you don’t know what SXSW is then you probably aren’t too interested in social media, film or music. Social media wise this Texas festival is where Twitter, Foursquare and Foodspotting all made their debut.

This year Mashable is partnering with Gowalla to reward those who checkin at the Mashable SXSWi House. There’s a chance to win a Sony Bloggie camera and there are three unique pins you can collect by attending different Mashable events. I feel like this will be great exposure for Gowalla to compete with other location big dogs like Foursquare.

Speaking of Foursquare, last week founder Dennis Crowley sat down to talk with TechCrunch about the future of location and Foursquare. The interview is quite interesting and makes even more sense now that Foursquare 3.0 has arrived! The 3.0 upgrades are phenomenal and give more incentives for customers to check-in.

Besides being able to earn rewards for checking in with friends or in a swarm check-in, there’s now a loyalty and flash deal aspect to the app. What’s even more exciting to me is that it will recommend places and things to do, and there’s also a partnership with American Express in the works. These were all needed updates and came at the perfect time for the big SXSW show.

Another location based app, SCVNGR, has followed in Foursquare’s footsteps by upgrading their application. They added LevelUp, a local deal, to their check-in repertoire and are heading to SXSW with 1,000,000 users! What a week for location!

***On a side note if you’re looking for an internship, Charlie Sheen is hiring one. Just send a link to your resume using #TigerBloodIntern and you might just have a chance to watch him go up in flames live and in person!

The Latest in Social Media: Groupon & Foursquare

March 2, 2011 by  
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Lyn spoke for a second time with Mike Switzer, host of the daily South Carolina Business Review radio show on South Carolina public radio, about the latest trends in social media and reassured businesses they can be profitable with the right approach to social media. Listen to the 10- minute interview.

February Social Media Star: Scott Wise

February 21, 2011 by  
Filed under All, Social Media Star

Social media is a powerful tool for business that’s transforming how restaurants market to their customers and increase foot traffic on a daily basis. Scott Wise, president and CEO of A Pots & Pans Production, which manages seven restaurants in Indiana, has increased event attendance by 400% with the use of Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare and email blasts in just a year!

Scott, who is known for his entertaining personality on Twitter, jumped on the social media bandwagon long before it was the cool thing to do, starting with MySpace and email blasts. He’s a big proponent of Foursquare, and has run some pretty outrageous promotions, attracting a lot of attention. One of our favorites was renting a boat to set next to one of his restaurant locations, tagging the location as “boat” on Foursquare and then inviting people to come get their boat badge! Some other favorites include a contest inviting people to post a picture of themselves sticking their tongues to a pole like the movie “A Christmas Story” and also inviting them to jump into Indy’s White River Canal and get a photo.

Read more from Scott to find out how one businessman who truly gets social media has used these tools successfully.

What is your job/company/profession/title?

President/CEO, A Pots & Pans Production – the management company that runs our three concepts (7 restaurants):  Scotty’s Brewhouse, Scotty’s Lakehouse and Thr3e Wise Men Brewing Co.

My job:  the details – making sure every food item, drink item, atmosphere and marketing promotion has my approval. I work on the marketing campaigns. And, I’m the Director of “Motivation, Morale, Inspiration & Company Growth” :)

What was the first social media technology you used?

Don’t laugh…  MySpace. Back when MySpace was Facebook and Facebook was only for college kids.I’ve also been using emarketing blasts the longest – probably eight years or more. We have collected about 33,000 email addresses and still hold contests with our staff to get the most comment cards filled out by guests, but they are only valid with an email address that allows us to enter them into our database. We send weekly campaigns.

What is your favorite social media tool?

I think it is a combination of Facebook and Twitter. Twitter is great for quick conversations and I can take care of problems, comments and questions a guest has and usually influence an immediate purchase or take care of a complaint on the spot. I think to use social media properly, you must use all the big three to fully reach your clientele: Twitter, Facebook and emarketing blasts. (I think blogs and YouTube videos are great to incorporate too.)

How have you used social media for your business/company and how has it benefited?

We have seen increases of 400% in event attendance with the use of Twitter and Facebook over just using email blasts in the past year. Foursquare is the easiest to use. It doesn’t have as much flexibility and we would love to do more with it, but it is a great form of the modern day customer loyalty card on your phone and without a key fab or card you must carry.

How much time would you say you spend a day engaging social media?

A lot. :) 25-30% of my day. Thank god for TweetDeck’s Tweet Scheduler. I often schedule 90% of my tweets the day before or from 6-7am.

How do you incorporate it into your day so it’s not a time waster?

See above. I try to take about five minutes every hour to see if I need to comment on any questions from guests and then move to my next task.

Is there a social media tool/technique that you think is underutilized that you would like people to know about?

I think that Google Alerts or any Twitter Alert service are both underutilized. Many people don’t take time to look up your handle and may have a bad experience they post on any one of a 1000 social networks. It is your job to scour the web and find them so you can respond. We like to know when we make mistakes:  we like to fix them, educate our staff and make our customers happy. We can usually turn the worst customer experience into our most raving fan.

Where can people find you online and via social media?

Twitter: @brewhouse

Facebook: Facebook.com/ScottyBrewhouse

Foursquare: Foursquare.com/brewhouse

Website: scottysbrewhouse.com

Website: scottyslakehouse.com

Website: thr3ewisemen.com

Social Media Week: The Future of Social Media

February 11, 2011 by  
Filed under All, social media

Lyn: “Where We’re Headed”

This is always one of my favorite topics, as in the world of social media this is an ever-changing ever-evolving target. Certainly the two trends that emerged in 2010 that I think/hope will gain popularity in 2011 are location based tools and social buying.

Location

Foursquare, Gowalla, SCVNGR, Yelp and the like are all tools that allow you to “check in” wherever you are via your smartphone. I think it’s an amazingly powerful marketing tool for businesses who want you to come to their location. You can offer deals to people for checking in, encouraging them to promote your business to their friends, follow them on Twitter so you capture them forever and help drive traffic to your location during slow periods. One of the best tools I’ve ever seen for driving traffic. I think as soon as the discount shoppers realize that they can cash in on special deals just by checking in, more businesses will offer deals and off it will take…

Social Buying

Do I need to say anymore than Google offered 6 billion to buy Groupon? That speaks volumes. However, despite that some people think this is just a trend that will die away. Do I think so? I think if this industry can keep focused on the one deal a day concept and not overload us with all kinds of different deals that dilute the offers and confuse, they’ve got a good deal going J! However, if it becomes overwhelming and cumbersome, they’re dead in the water. We’ll see…

Bailey - “It’s All About Mobile”


I hate to admit this, but my brain doesn’t work well when it comes to predictions. My hesitation in disclosing this is due to the fact that people who predict what will be next are usually the ones who create some of the most amazing technologies, companies or products. My brain wants to take concepts that are popular now and perfect them, so that’s how I’ll approach the future of social media.

It’s all about the mobile! I read recently that soon more smart phones will be bought than laptops and that made my jaw drop. Although I am surprised by this, it does make sense, as we do so much on our mobile device. We’re telling our friends where we are, making payments, playing games and downloading every app imaginable all on our mobile devices.

Mobile platforms are growing so popular that the new Apple Operating System will be app based, making our iMac or Macbooks look like our phones. My point here is that there’s so much room for growth in this mobile world, and that is our future.

All companies having a mobile website or mobile app, companies expanding their marketing campaigns to include using mobile games and all retail stores taking mobile payments is where the future is. I personally can’t wait to see what all is in store for mobile and how it affects social media!

Social Media News of the Week: Jan 31- Feb 4

February 4, 2011 by  
Filed under social media

The week started out with a few main topics of social media conversation: Mark Zuckerberg and Jessie Eisenberg on SNL, the Taco Bell meat scandal and the protests in Egypt.

Saturday Night Live opened the show with “The Social Network” star Jessie Eisenberg talking to SNL cast member Andy Sandberg about how they’ve each perfected their Mark Zuckerberg impersonation. In what looks like a total surprise to Jessie, the real Mark comes out and the 3 “bergs” go back in forth in awkward small talk.

On a more important note, Taco Bell was slammed with a lawsuit alleging their taco meat was not made entirely of meat. To me this is a “duh” moment. Don’t most people in America know Taco Bell is not the place to eat when you want grade A beef? Rather where you go when you’ve had too much to drink J? Taco Bell is firing back using social media, including YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, to plead their case. Lucky for them, there’s been a lot of other things going on this week helping their story to get swept under the rug.

The protests in Egypt have been at the forefront of everyone’s mind with most people just genuinely concerned for the Egyptian people. While most of us are worried about the outcome of these protests, Kenneth Cole saw this as an opportunity to promote their new spring line on Twitter. Check out the tweet that stirred up a lot of trouble for the fashion giant! My person opinion is that is prime example #1 to not have an intern handle your social media!

On a lighter note, Foursquare released University badges for all colleges nation-wide so you can tell everyone just how much of a book worm you really are! The big game is this weekend and everyone is talking about which $3 million 30-second spot will be the best commercial. There’s speculation that there will be an Angry Birds spot with the opportunity for viewers to download a whole new level to the game! You’ll also be able to check-in to the 1st national check-in spot: Super Bowl Sunday. This is a “try-out” for Foursquare and they’ll also be testing redemption codes for certain badges. I’m hoping this works well for the location-based application.

On a side note: I have to admit that I’m very pleased  to see that Oregon Trail is coming to Facebook. Brings back great memories of my childhood!

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