Tag Archives: YouTube

Importance of Social Media Strategy for Small Business in Cincinnati

Giving Keynote talk on Importance of Social Media Strategy at Berry Seminar ~photo via Berry

I recently gave a Keynote Address on the Importance of Social Media Strategy to 250 small businesses from the Cincinnati Region at Xavier University’s Cintas Center on behalf of The Berry Company.  I wanted to share the gist of my talk here on the Blog.  The presentation was taped, and once receive a copy from Berry, I will post that as well.  It includes a Q & A session.

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We don’t have a choice on whether we DO social media, the question is how well we DO it“. 

This quote from Socialnomics author and digital media expert Erik Qualman is even more telling today than when originally published in 2009. Today, Businesses realize that they need to have an online presence. Like it or not, we are living in an online world with current and future customers and clients who have grown up with this technology and for whom interacting with brands on Twitter and Facebook is just second nature.

With the advent of Social media, Small businesses are seeing a leveled playing field, where they have the ability to the same platforms as the big companies and brands.   The R(e)volution has begun and the time is now for your organization to get on board with reaching your target audience where they reside: ONLINE

Social Media Platforms via Mashable
Social Media Platforms ~ photo via Mashable

For those of you who currently maintain a social media presence for your company, you can attest to the fact that it can seem overwhelming.  There are many digital media and social networking choices for a company to use.  The key is in understanding what the tools are, how they work, and how to maximize them for your business.

Stratgey   This is all part of setting a distinct strategy for your online marketing efforts.

Having spent 15 years with consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble in sales and marketing roles, I can tell you that having a Branding Strategy is absolutely critical in your marketing efforts.  I’d like to share an exercise that I use with my clients to ensure consistency and clarity around their brand or business’s online marketing efforts.

C3 Branding Strategy Exercise
C3 Branding Strategy Exercise

After these questions are answered, the results are formulated into a summary statement that describes the brand. This statement becomes fodder for all Social/Digital platforms that are used ensuring a constant message and image is being shared across all channels no matter where a potential customer may find you online.  

Having a social media presence goes well beyond just setting up the various platforms. Social Media is much, much more. It includes the following critical elements: 

Key Tenets to Social Media Success
Key Tenets to Social Media Success by Michelle Beckham of C3
  1. Creating Signature Experiences- providing an online experience that is memorable, fitting to your brand, and brings the customer back to you
  2. Creating Needed Content- we are no longer living in a Broadcast state, nor one with static information- instead a successful brand will provide content that is Needed by consumers. Don’t know what that is?  Just ask them!
  3. Conversations- It’s all about the dialogue and sharing of information between the brand and the consumer. We are no longer living in a Word of Mouth society, but are permanent residents in the new World of Mouth universe.
  4. Engagement- Consists of providing content that sparks some touch. Whether it’s a comment, a Like, a Re-Tweet, or a +1 on Google Plus. When the consumer takes action, that touch has a ripple affect seeping into their own social graph and spreading news of your brand throughout their network.
  5. Relationships- This is what is achieved by implementing focused content and engagement strategies and being fully present on the platform. The worst thing any business can do is, set up the Open Sign and be permanently out to lunch.

When we take a look at how some national and local businesses are winning in the market place in these key areas, we find a variety of tools that you can implement as well.  They include examples from (see video to hear about the specifics for each example):

Red Bull, Ford Mustang, Dunkin Donuts, Coco-Cola, Chick-Fil-A- Western Hills, It’s Working Out Suspension Training, Cincinnati, Ben & Jerry’s, P&G’s Old Spice Brand, Shane Gibson, owner of a Canadian Social Media Agency and author of Guerilla Social Media Marketing.

Tweet from Shane Gibson

The key to an effective social media strategy is crafting a plan that integrates best practices with a mission and vision for each platform.

 The first step on this journey is to become educated on Social Media, even if someone else in your organization will be ultimately responsible for managing your online real estate.  Social Media is a constantly changing landscape and it pays off to stay informed.

Know your audience and where they reside, this will help you to determine the best platform(s) to reach your consumers. Knowing the correct number of platforms to be engaged in can seem overwhelming, having a strategist assist you in the process can be well worth the expense. I love social media marketing executive and author Brian Solis’s response to the perennial question: How many social media profiles should a brand have?”:

The answer is as simple as it is revealing. Create the number of channels that meaningfully extend the focus of your business… and relevant stories to the dedicated audience they’re designed to serve.  Additionally, only create the number of channels that strengthen the brand rather than dilute it and also possess the capacity to ensure its ongoing relevance.”

Here is a plan I have put together for the Small Business Sector:

  • Create a Plan that integrates with your off-line marketing and advertising programs
  • Determine In-house or Agency management based on skill base, time and/or budget
  • Set Goals & Objectives
  • Create Content Plan for each Platform- Be mindful of language and timing (day/part)
  • Create Engagement Strategies for each Platform
  • Connect all Platforms & Cross Market
  • Monitor the Platforms – Be an Active Listener & Be Responsive
  • Use Analytics to Measure & Make Changes
Lafley Quote Slide via Dave Knox- HardKnoxLife.com
Lafley Quote Slide via Dave Knox- HardKnoxLife.com

~ A.G. Lafley, former CEO of Procter & Gamble

Letting go includes the art of listening. Brands need to create a reputation management program to stay on top of the conversations that are occurring about them; whether they happen on brand-sponsored sites or on someone’s personal blog.  Addressing any unpleasant information directly and in a customer-service focused way will show that you are active and responsive to feedback. Remember the old adage: What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas?  Well, what happens in Vegas now stays on Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn and Blogs and….. you get the point. We are truly living in a ‘World of Mouth’ universe.

In Conclusion here are 6 Steps to Social Media For Business Success:

  1. Be Consistent
  2. Be Authentic- speak in a voice true to the brand
  3. Be Consumer-focused
  4. Be BOLD- this is an evolving playground- jump in and try some things!
  5. Measure, Measure, Measure- if you don’t have an indication of where you have come from, how can you move forward?
  6. Reputation Management: Be on top of your Brand.

We have certainly have come a long way from simply creating a social media presence. Winning in today’s market place involves real interaction with the consumer in a dynamic back and forth conversation that brings value to both parties. Metrics are key and measuring results vs. objectives should be an inherent part of the plan. We must remember however, that success is not in sheer numbers of Fans , Followers or Friends; success should be measured in terms of influence and the number of brand evangelists that have emerged in support of your efforts. Better to have 500 followers singing your praises then 5000 who don’t interact with your brand in any way.

I wish you all good luck.  Enter the Digital Space Boldly!

Michelle Beckham-Corbin with C3: Creating Connections Consulting, LLC

Cincinnati Social Media For Business Intermediate Level Workshop

Cincinnati Social Media For Business Workshop Series

I am very excited to be back next month (April) with another installment of the Social Media For Business Workshop Series in partnership with the Warren County Career Center, a University System of Ohio Provider. The next workshop will be held on April 12th from 1:00 p.m.- 4:00 p.m. and is an intermediate level workshop: Building Your Business/Non-Profit With Social Media: Welcome to the R(E)volution!

March showcased two courses for local businesses and non-profits: an introductory social media course and a hands-on LinkedIn Lab training class. March participants ranged from professional practices in the health and wellness fields, traditional retail businesses, mortgage companies and  educational institutions: quite a variety of backgrounds!  All desired the same outcome: to learn more about the various social media platforms that exist today.

The introductory class was a broad overview of seven platforms, while the April class takes participants to a more in-depth view on four key platforms: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Google.  We will be examining important strategies and measures for each tool and discussing the integration of social media into a full marketing program.

If you are ready to go beyond mere familiarity and want to gain a true understanding of how these tools can impact your business, then this class is for you.  Space is limited and many of the March workshop participants signed on for this next level after having a great experience in the introductory workshop, so register soon if you want to secure a space.

Here’s what some of the Intro to Social Media participants had to say about the program:

I enjoyed both of your presentations and am looking forward to the next two!  Thanks again for your expertise and enthusiasm….”

~Jim F.

“Great job! Great information! Thank you.  I plan to be a pioneer, and I think your seminars are going to be what gets me there.  I’ll see you next month!”

~Julie L.

So what are you waiting for?

Follow this link for additional information and registration for the April 12th workshop:  Building Your Business/Non-Profit With Social Media: Welcome to the R(E)volution!

Bonus Video below discusses recent Facebook changes to Pages (Business Profiles):


Cincinnati Social Media For Business Workshops

Cincinnati Social Media For Business Workshops
Cincinnati Social Media For Business Workshops with Michelle Beckham

Note:  These courses are part of a series of programs C3 developed for businesses to gain a greater understanding in the role that social media can play in building their brands/services online. They will be held at the Warren County Career Center. See link for registration.

An Introduction to Social Media and Business – March 16, 2011
The world has definitely changed! Businesses and organizations who are winning in the market-place have grasped the need to connect with clients and customers on-line. No longer is a one-size fits all- broadcast marketing mentality successful. Businesses are engaging and listening to their customer’s needs and in the process are gaining loyalty, word-of-mouth leverage and increased sales through the use of social media.

This session will provide you with a broad overview on key social media elements: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Blogs, Google, Geo-location, Apps and Mobile Marketing.

Who Should Attend: Anyone desiring an overview on the use of Social Media in Business and Non-profit organizations. This session will demonstrate how businesses are effectively using social media as a key business strategy.
Location: Warren County Career Center
Date: Wednesday, March 16, 10:30am – Noon
Cost: $49
Click HERE to register online for this program,
Or call 513.932.8145

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LinkedIn Basics- Hands-On Lab Training Class: Branding & Being Found Online – March 16, 2011
Whether you are in job transition, looking for your next career move or operating a business, your goal should center on Branding and being found online. In this hands-on computer lab class participants will work on their individual LinkedIn profiles. New users will be asked to arrive 15 minutes early to set up their personal profile or go to LinkedIn.com to set-up with your Name and basic information prior to class. Participants will focus on developing their Personal Brand in addition to creating a stellar LinkedIn profile that is optimized for search engines. Let us help you get discovered and increase your networking and sales abilities!
Class Topics:

  • Overview of LinkedIn & Role in Social Networking
  • How To Set Up an Account
  • Utilizing Key Profile Settings
  • How to Create a Winning Summary Statement
  • How to Optimize Your Profile for Search Engines
  • How to Find Contacts
  • The Correct way to Send Introductions
  • The Importance of the Status Update
  • How to Find Key Groups
  • How to Get Recommendations and Why This is Important
  • How to Search Key Company Info for Contacts, Corporate Data, Hiring Managers, Jobs

How to create a company profile for your business or organization
Location: Warren County Career Center
Date: Wednesday, March 16, 1:30 – 3:30pm
Cost: $99
Click HERE to register online for this program,
Or call 513.932.8145

Warren County Career Center Social Media Program Facilitator:

Michelle Beckham-Corbin

All of the Winter/Spring term Social Media classes and workshops will be facilitated by Michelle Beckham-Corbin, Owner & Principal of C3: Creating Connections Consulting, LLC. Michelle has over 20 years experience in the Corporate, Non-profit and Small Business arenas.  Michelle is a former Sales & Marketing Manager for Procter & Gamble and holds an MBA from Xavier University.  Michelle specializes in Social Media Marketing Strategy and Brand Development. She is a member of the Steering Committee for the digital networking group, New Media Cincinnati and is an active member of the Cincinnati Social Media (CincySM) Group. Michelle is a frequent speaker, lecturer and trainer.  Additionally, she is a published writer, co-author of the Social Media book, “Age of Conversation 3” (Channel V Books, New York, 2010), frequent commenter and Blogger.

Don’t Touch My Junk on Turkey Day

New TSA Policy
New TSA Policy

Woke up one morning this week to the radio talk-show buzz about the new Homeland Security airline pat downs, uhhhh, I mean screening system that was shaking America. Yes, I occasionally do listen to voices and music emanating from that magic box created a century ago and not just from the web, my iPod or Droid.

The talk was all about the guy who passed on experiencing the new full body x-ray screening.  When presented with the alternative of a full palm hand check that would include his private area, he promptly declined and told the agents not to “touch my junk!”

We are living in a ”World of Mouth” society in which a smart-phone, in this case an iPhone, can capture video with a touch of the screen and launch it immediately to immortality on YouTube where it has the potential to go viral.  Think Double Rainbow, Old Spice Guy and anything that has ‘Bieber‘ in the title. I am wondering if the TSA thought about this possibility when they enacted the alternative measure of groping, I mean pat downs.

Read John Tyner’s Blog and a full account of his experiences here.

Just this morning, I almost choked in laughter while enjoying  my 100% whole wheat bagel with strawberry cream cheese and Millstone Gingerbread Holiday Coffee while reading Washington Post Columnist, Charles Krauthammer’s column in the Cincinnati Enquirer entitled: “A New Hero’s Cry: Don’t Touch”(11/19/10).

Krauthammer humorously paints airline traveler John Tyner as today’s hero. He states:

“Don’t touch my junk is the anthem of the modern man, the tea party patriot, the late-life libertarian, the midterm election voter.”

He goes on to boldly state that the TSA is bowing to political correctness as they seek to keep our skies safe from terrorists and that we as a people are acquiescing to idiocy and a lemming-like  attitude in agreeing to be scanned, checked and barefoot because as Krauthammer states:

“…. the profile of the airline attacker is narrow, concrete, uniquely definable and universally known.”

Social Media Blog Mashable reports this morning that Geo-location app company Loopt is giving 10 iPod Touches away to anyone who opts in for the full body pat downs. No video required to win.  All one needs to do, is to check in on Loopt and add a statement about being patted down using the Twitter hash-tag: #touchedbyTSA. and send it off to Twitter on National Opt-out Day. Following the hash-tag stream is going to be a sight to see!

I remember 9/11 and the horror that lived with all of us for an eternity. What’s the right answer for safety in which we don’t single people out on the basis of racial profiling?  That is the debate that will take over the web. I for one, am glad that I will not be flying this holiday season.  I would not want to be a participant in either the full body scan or the pat downs- the whole thing just gives me the creeps.   It will be interesting to see how John Tyner’s story unfolds, but we can rest assured that it will all be captured on social media every step of the way.

Here is Krauthammer’s column conclusion:

“This time you have gone too far, Big Bro’. The Sleeping giant awakes. Take my shoes, remove my belt, waste my time and try my patience. But don’t touch my junk.”

So what do you think about this?

 

Creating International Connections

I love meeting new people and speaking to them in a deep and intentional way.  I tend to ask probing questions that go far beyond surface talk, because I truly am fascinated with people and want to know their inner core.  I want to know what they think, what they feel, and what their dreams are. I want to make a connection.

I recently met someone quite famous in a really weird, ‘no one would ever believe it’ kind of way.  The thing is I had no clue of who he was when we met.  As I spoke to him, I automatically began assessing his characteristics, qualities, etc. and I gave him my candid impression of his “personal brand”: rocker, writer, sensitive guy, yada, yada. These were all characteristics that he did not mention himself. Apparently, I was dead on because he was a little freaked by my description and asked if I knew who he was.  Considering that he was from another country, I was quite certain that we had never crossed paths in any way before and he certainly didn’t look the least bit familiar to me.

He told me that he was indeed a musician and a songwriter and gave me the name of his band and one of their biggest hits. I was so clueless that I had to ask which was the band name and which was the song.  Being the skeptic and ardent Googler that I am, I quickly did a search and came up with a very slick video on YouTube for the song in question. Yup, the guy I was talking to looked like the guy in the video sans dark black eyeliner and tight leather pants.  Still slightly skeptical, I half-joked that if he was a celebrity, he probably had a Twitter account.  I assumed he would tell me that he didn’t, instead he promptly gave it to me and suggested I send him a Tweet later.

We could have left it at that and gone our merry ways, but curiosity got me and I later found the Twitter account he mentioned and sent an @message to him. He immediately followed me and fired back with a response. Did some research and discovered that he was truly the lead singer and front man for the group that he mentioned. Apparently they were very hot in the 90’s, disbanded for a time and reunited in 2007.  They have released 4 albums; received two Juno nominations; and one of their albums has received platinum and gold awards.

Their music has been described as Industrial Alternative Rock which means, according to a musician friend of mine: “..a mix of techno and heavy metal. See Nine Inch Nails and/or Marilyn Manson.” They have a pretty keen social media thing going on: MySpace, Facebook Page, Twitter and a very cool engagement campaign on Indie GoGo where fans can contribute dollars to the band’s next EP release in exchange for a hierarchy of fan goodies (signed CDs, limited edition T-shirts, personal phone call, show tix, etc.).

My new Twitter friend comes across as being very intelligent and creative with a keen sense of what is important to him: entertaining audiences and sharing his creativity vs. a focus on purely making money.  He is sensitive and articulate and was a pleasure to bump into. Really glad I did.

And the mystery Tweeter is?

Meet Trevor Hurst of Econoline Crush

Be part of the action on their new EP

Listen on MySpace

Check out the EC vid below:


The ‘Jessi Slaughter’ Story: A Horrifying Example of Viral Cyber-bullying

Have you ever come in contact with something on-line that just completely made you shake your head and wonder ‘What the h***??” I stumbled upon a post recently about an on-line bullying incident that caught my eye due to my work with parents and schools on internet safety and reputation management programs/presentations for tweens and teens.

The story reads like this:  an 11 year old girl with the on-line name of “Jessie Slaughter” and too much time on her hands, created several videos that sparked the biggest example of on-line bullying ever seen.  She was harassed about her alleged sexual experiences (ummm, eleven years old…….) and relationship with singer Dahvie Vanity as reported by Gawker.com (note: StickyDrama is a tabloid site from Stickam-live streaming video- consisting of self-submitted stories from the site’s community, rumors and gossip written by and about tweens):

“Earlier this month, Sticky drama—a crowd-sourced gossip website for 13-year-olds who loiter in mall food courts—dubiously linked her to the lead singer of emo band Blood on the Dance Floor, Dahvie Vanity.”

This led to the video she created to address the “haters.” One direct quote from her “Haters… Piercings… StickyDrama (kerligirl13 reupload)” video on YoutTube just makes my jaw drop:

“…if you can’t like realize that and stop hating, ya know what, I’ll pop a Glock in your mouth and make a

brain slushie…”

Releasing that video unleashed a torrential bullying maelstrom. She has received death threats and the event has spawned several YouTube video spoofs of her original videos as well as average citizens weighing in with their thoughts on the situation in blog posts and video replies.

A second video in which her dad angrily and publicly threatens the harassers only added to the backlash. Warning- this is very upsetting to watch.

As of this writing Google is showing 2.8 million results in search on her moniker.

Jessie Slaughter
Google Results for 'Jessie Slaughter'

It horrifies me that this situation could have spiraled so quickly into a viral phenomenon and social meme. There are a number of things here that are just so innately wrong, for example:

  • Parent awareness (or lack thereof) of Jessie’s on-line activities
  • Level of profanity coming from this child’s mouth
  • Subject matter (murder, sex, etc.)
  • Angry father addressing on-line audience in a subsequent video
  • Viral back-lash and posters who say she deserves all of the harassment
Comment posted on Gawker.com web-site.

She and her family recently appeared on Good Morning America (GMA video) to discuss the situation.  The bottom line is that despite her actions, she is still an eleven year old GIRL- unfortunately many couldn’t see this. The story of Jessi Slaughter is an example of just why it is so important for parents to be in tune with what their children are doing on-line and to open up discussions on appropriate use of social media sites and subsequent reputation management.  Unfortunately for her, these 15 minutes of Warhol fame are going to affect the rest of her life.  Hopefully this story will make a difference in the life of your child.

Get involved.

Get educated.

Protect your kids.

Copyright Michelle Beckham-Corbin ~2010 ~ All Rights Reserved