Social Media - Listening Pt.2

. Tuesday, November 24, 2009

In the previous post we talked about Google Alerts and how it can be used as a tool for listening online.

Google alerts is great for listening to news stories, blog posts, discussion boards and forums. Unfortunately it is not so good for listening to Twitter.

The good news is, there's an app for that! (I know cheesy, but i couldn't resist)

HootSuite - Developed by Vancouver based company, Invoke media, Hootsuite is a powerful web-based* Twitter client.

*Web-based = No need to download anything

HootSuite Screen Shot

HootSuite allows you to manage multiple Twitter accounts, send tweets, compress links, monitor statistics, and, of course, listen.

By setting HootSuite to what keywords you want to listen to you, you can segment conversations that involve those keywords. For example, our client, the Gastown Business Improvement Association, cares about people talking about "Gastown." We can tell HootSuite to track all conversations involving "Gastown" and we can monitor these in real-time.

This allows us to find any information about what is going on in the community. As well as engaging in conversation when relevant to the GBIA.

You can sign-up to Hootsuite here

Social Media - Listening

. Thursday, November 19, 2009

As mentioned, step 1 in any social media strategy is listen. The question is how?

With so much information flying around the blogosphere and twitosphere how can you listen to all of it? The answer is you don't!

Over the past year there has been an influx of programs that allow you to segment the millions of comments, blog posts, and tweets going on in social media. With these programs you can segment the content so that you only listen to what is relevant to your brand.

Google Alerts -

Google Alerts is a fully customizable notification tool. All you have to do is tell Google what keywords you care most about. (Tip: make sure your keywords are specific or you will get thousands of alerts a day)

For example: I only want to know about the keyword "Gastown Restaurants" Now, whenever someone posts an article on their blog with the keyword "Gastown Restaurants" Google will notify me of that article.

You can customize this to just blogs, news articles, videos, etc. You can also make this an RSS feed so that you can read it on an RSS dashboard. This means you can have multiple feeds on a dashboard such as Google Reader and see in real-time new content relating to your keywords.

You can now:
-Listen to conversations about your brand
-Read blog posts about brand you carry
-Conduct market research about a new product you are thinking of carrying
-Keep an eye on what your competitors are up to
-Find content that your blog readers might be interested in

And the list goes on.

Keep posted to the MarketR Blog for other tools that allow you to listen online.

*Currently the MarketR team is advising clients on how to use online marketing channels during the 2010 Winter Olympics. If you are interested in sitting down with the MarketR team for a free one hour consultation, send us an email today.


Vancouver 2010 - Social Media

. Sunday, November 15, 2009

I was recently at a marketing workshop in Vancouver and the hot topic was social media and the 2010 Winter Olympics. This is a very interesting topic, because Vancouver will be the first Olympic event were social media will be a key communication tool. (Unfortunately, China could have had this title, but chose to continue to control internet in China. )

It was apparent that the moderator of the event had very little experience using social media, when he asked the question "How do we control social media during the 2010 Winter Olympics?"

This is a question that many large companies ask. And this is the reason why many large companies do a horrible job using social media.

Social media can not be controlled.

There is no on/off switch for social media. You can not say this week I would like people to talk about my brand but not next week. You can't say nobody can talk about my brand in a negative manner. Because social media happens.

The question is, will you listen? Or will you bury your head in the sand and hope that social media goes away.

Step one in all social media strategies is listen. The question the moderator should have been asking was "How can we use social media to listen to everyone during the 2010 Winter Olympics?"

The following posts this week will talk about ways to use social media to listen. Only after listening can you engage in the conversation.

*Currently the MarketR team is advising clients on how to use online marketing channels during the 2010 Winter Olympics. If you are interested in sitting down with the MarketR team for a free one hour consultation, send us an email today.


Guerrilla Online Marketing

. Wednesday, November 4, 2009

In September, the MarketR team was asked to put on an event for Toni&Guy Vancouver to promote their latest hair collection.

The MarketR team designed a very successful Online Guerilla Marketing campaign that brought Toni&Guy Vancouver significant exposure, new clients and community engagement.

The concept was to allow people to pay what they want for a new collection haircut. All the donations would be given to the David Suzuki foundation. The event would last one day and it would be on a first come first served basis.

The event was promoted primarily online with a few ads being placed in the university newspaper and the 24 Hours. The company raised $1,200 for the David Suzuki foundation and had over 30 people lined up outside the salon waiting for a haircut.

*Note: Toni&Guy was able to raise more money for charity than what they spent on marketing. Unfortunately this is not always the case for many fundraiser events.

The event was covered by the 24 Hours, Miss 604, HummingBird604, Vancouver is Awesome, MartiniBoys, Vancouver Magazine and MallVibes. The event was also talked about on Twitter and Facebook.

Market Research:
All attendees to the event were asked how they heard about the event. Out of the 30+ attendees only 2 had seen the ads in the 24 Hours and University Newspaper. Most attendees stated that they saw posters on the street, paired with Facebook ads and people talking about it on their online social networks. Others said they saw it on popular online blogs.

Toni&Guy spent over 75% of their marketing budget on traditonal marketing. In the end it only brought in 2 new clients. The other less than 25% was spent on posters and online marketing that brought in roughly 30 new clients.

Yes, traditional reaches a very large audience. But online reaches the people you care most about. When done right, online is focused and targeted and reaches only those individuals in your target market.

Offline/Online Integration

. Monday, September 28, 2009

How do you integrate online applications into an offline community event?

This is the question the the Gastown Business Improvement Society asked the MarketR team when they were planning the 1st Annual Gastown Blues and Chili Festival.

The event would bring together 20 Gastown Restaurants to compete for the Best Chili in Gastown award. The main voting would be done by a panel of celebrity judges; however, there would also be a people's choice award.

The MarketR team decided to integrate the people's choice award with Twitter. This allowed people on the day to use Twitter to vote for their favourite chili.

A large LCD screen was set-up to display, in real-time, the number of votes for each restaurant. Participants could vote online or at the People's Choice Award booth.

The live-voting was a huge success with participating restaurants checking the screen and encouraging people to vote. The live-chart could be viewed online allowing attendees to check who won when they got home. Over 100 people voted for their favorite chili and the Gastown Business Improvement Society is looking at using the live Twitter voting at other Gastown event.

Contact MarketR to see how you can integrate online applications at your offline event.

Leverage - VFS District 9

. Monday, August 24, 2009

Online marketing allows small-medium sized business to leverage events, awards, training programs, and more without breaking the bank.

Read more posts about online marketing and leverage

There has been a lot of buzz lately about a sci-fi movie called District 9. The movie has received one of the highest ratings on and has received rave reviews from movie critics. Even more surprising is that there are no A list actors in the movie and the director has only directed 2 low budget movies.

How do you leverage the fact that the movie director, Neill Blomkamp, graduated from your school's film program?

This was the question that VFS had to ask themselves. Most large companies, who tend not to think outside the box, would send out a generic press release to traditional media. This strategy would work for about 3 days. The problem with this is that it is short-term, and VFS's target audience spend more time reading blogs and on Twitter than reading newspapers.

So VFS decided to create their own microsite highlighting all the VFS graduates who worked on the district 9 movie.

"Neill Blomkamp, director of this summer's must-see sci-fi thriller District 9, got his start at Vancouver Film School. That's not all: much of the talent behind District 9 originates at VFS, including co-writer Terri Tatchell, Visual Effects Executive Producer Shawn Walsh, and 40 other members of District 9's visual effects team."

The microsite is filled with facts about the movie and video on the behind the scenes of District 9. The site also incorporates the VFS twitter and Facebook page, encouraging viewers to follow and become a fan of VFS.

From the microsite viewers can learn more about VFS and the programs they provide. There is even a competition for visitors to input their email for a chance to win District 9 merchandise.

Why this strategy works?
This strategy provides VFS with long term leverage of the District 9 movie. The site will always be on the Internet and can be viewed by potential students from all over the world. Technology, and movie blogs picked up the site and promoted it on their sites to viewers that fit perfectly with VFS's target market. The strategy can be measured easily. VFS can see how many visitors go to the microsite and from there how many visitors view more info about VFS. They can measure engagement through the sign-up form, Twitter and Facebook page.

Is your business doing great things in the local community? Do you have a training program superior to your competition? Have your employees accomplished outstanding feats in their industry?

Make sure you leverage by using online marketing tools. To learn more contact MarketR

If you thought social media was a fad. Think again.

. Friday, August 14, 2009