Tag Archives: social media

You know where the fish are, now to get them to bite.

The idea of “Fish where the fish are” – listening and monitoring to figure out where your customers are in social media before jumping in – is a basic and important business concept. I remember reading abut this in Chris Brogan’s eBook several months ago, but have been drawn back to the fishing analogy by a number of recent posts that I’ve run across.

I think that the fishing parallel can be drawn even further as more people and brands moving into social media. The rate of change is very rapid right now, at the Social Media Club of Salt Lake meeting this past Thursday, it was mentioned that 6,000 businesses are creating Twitter accounts every day. With that many more fishing setups, there are bound to be more hooks being dropped into the part of the pond that you’re trying to fish in. With more options, fish are going to be more picky. Sure, a fish might still snap up the hook closest to it, but they’re at the point where they’re ignoring a lot of hooks and looking more for the ones with the bait that they’re most interested in. Also, many are at the point where they won’t nibble unless they’re hungry – so both content and timing are more critical than they ever have been.

In order to figure out what will trigger your fish to bite, you need to continually monitor your analytics using short url services like ow.ly and bit.ly. See what posts or tweets people are interested in and test new ones to figure out why. Another shortening service, su.pr, even recommends the best times for you to fish based upon past click-through rates (be aware that this service is still is beta mode at this time, follow @stumbleupon for information on when it will be rolled out further).

There will be days when the fish aren’t biting as well as some when you can’t throw your hook back in quick enough, but the days of only a few people fishing have drawn to a close and we all have to be careful to make sure we’re fishing with the right setup and at the right time.

Photo credit: modomatic

Social Media Panel at the 2009 Utah Tourism Conference

2009UTCpostcarddraftsecondimageI’m excited to say that I have the distinct pleasure of sitting on a what I’m confident will be a great panel at the 2009 Utah Tourism Conference this Thursday afternoon from 2:00pm-3:30pm and again from 4:00pm-5:30pm. The title of the panel is “Using Social Media Technologies to Promote Tourism: It’s Time to Join the Conversation” and I’m looking forward to discussing this topic with Thomas Cooke from the Salt Lake City agency Welikesmall and Jay Evensen from the Deseret News.

Thomas is incredibly knowledgeable about marketing in the Utah tourism industry and also brings great insight into the social media world, I know this from sitting through several marketing meetings with him and most recently we were both at the San Francisco Inbound Marketing Summit. I admit that I’m not acquainted with Jay, but I have seen that he’s been blogging for the Desert News for a year or so with some very good engagement (commenting).

The topic is wide enough that I think that we are going to try to do some basic introduction to the social media space, what it is, why tourism businesses should be paying attention to what’s going on there and how they should then engage in this space. I imagine that we’ll be able to get into more specifics as well, so please bring your questions, concerns and ideas.

If you aren’t able to make it to the conference, we’ll be streaming the panels via our ustream channel at www.ustream.tv/channel/utc-09. Just a quick disclimer, it may wind up being via the camera on my MacBook Pro unless I find an external video camera that I can grab a live feed from, neither of my video cameras seems to work. Hope to see you at the conference or on the web on Thursday!

PS – I have a draft of an inbound marketing for ski resorts post that’s been sitting around on my WordPress Dashboard for a few days, I’m thinking that i may split it into a multi-part post, stay tuned…

Photo credit: Utah Tourism Conference

Inbound Marketing Summit

I’m excited to be heading to San Francisco next week for the Inbound Marketing Summit taking place on April 28-29. Inbound Marketing is an interesting change, because unlike traditional marketing, which focuses on finding customers and pushing messages to them, Inbound Marketing focuses on ways to be found by the customers.

If you haven’t already, you need to pay attention to Inbound Marketing because traditional marketing isn’t working the way it used to:

  • We DVR our favorite TV programs and skip the ads
  • We have SPAM filters that block unsolicited bulk emails
  • Telemarketing has been crippled by do not call lists
  • Newspapers and magazines are going out of business by the day

The answer isn’t finding a another way to push your message, it’s changing how you reach your customers. The way to do this then, is to help your customers find you online through Inbound Marketing. The heart of any Inbound Marketing effort is to create high quality content. This content can reside on a website, a blog or any other sort of media including video, photography or audio. The next step is to ensure this content is findable via Search Engine Optimization techniques so that your content appears organically in searches – which is still how most people find products online. Finally it’s a natural step to use the wide variety of social media tools to provide additional support and context to your SEO efforts. By the way, if my description of Inbound Marketing isn’t completely clear to you, check out this great post by Rick Burnes on the Hubspot blog for a more comprehensive explanation.

So hopefully you can see why I’m excited to see where the great slate of speakers at the Inbound Marketing Summit think that Inbound Marketing is going in the coming months and I’ll be sure to put together a post or two to sum up what I hear.

Photo Credit: psd

Social Media Bites

I had the pleasure to have dinner last Thursday with two lovely Park City PR mavens, Krista and Libby, along with the enigmatic Peter Shankman of Help a Reporter Out. Our dinner at Shabu was delicious and stimulating in it’s own right, don’t miss the sweet miso glazed black cod, but the conversation was even more so.

Our chat was a great mix of stories, both personal and professional, some of which I’d get racked over hot coals if I mentioned here! But to me, the key ingredient was the fact that everyone was extremely passionate about what it is that they do and how they do it. It’s refreshing to know that people like Peter, who are leading the charge in social media, are so passionate and do really practice what they preach.

I’ve also had the good fortune to be able to meet and chat (briefly) with Chris Brogan, Frank Eliason and Gary Vaynerchuk and each one was likewise amazingly interesting, intelligent, approachable, helpful and genuine in person. So, I guess that what I’m trying to say in this post is, go ahead and take a bite out of social media, I know that it will treat you well!

Photo Credit: Flowizm (this pic is of the dish Shabu Shabu, not the restaraunt Shabu here in Park City)

Social Media Happenings in Utah – January 09

I attended the 1st ever Social Media Club of Salt Lake City meeting last Thursday and was  happy to see the larger than expected turnout of very excited group of people that filled the room to overflowing. And, the best part is that there’s more to come, and there are also more great events happening this week!

On Inaugural Day,  there’s a Salt Lake City Sundance Tweetup at the Beehive Tearoom starting at 7:00pm and features a “guest speaker” with lots of other Sundance connections as well.

Then, on Thursday, the 22nd, there’s another Sundance Tweetup, this one being the Charity Tweetup at Sundance, which is happening at the Legacy Lodge at Park City Mountain Resort (where I work, hint, hint). The cool twist on this event is that it has  a suggested $5 (min.) donation, but all of the door will go to a charity that will be determined based upon a vote of all attendees. There’s will also be a quick panel and plenty of Tweetup goodness. PLUS, and I still haven’t had any takers on this – I’m looking for some ski or snowboard Tweeples to join me on the slopes for a #SkiTweetup! Don’t worry about ability, I can ski really slowly if need be, I just figure it’s time to Tweetup on the slopes – @freeskier41 – you listening, my man (I know you don’t need to go slow)?!

BTW, just noticed that the PodCampSLC twitter account just tweeted back into action – it’s not until March 27th, but it’s sure to be another great Utah social media event to attend!

Photo Credit: magerleagues

Yummy and Delicious

I’ve been using the Delicious social bookmarking service for nearly two months and I am really enjoying it. As a matter of fact I wish I could convince more of my peers to jump on and use it because of how easy and helpful I think it is. Here’s what I like:

  1. I can access all of my bookmarks from any computer and I won’t lose any if I change browsers or my computer crashes!
  2. Use tags to filter and sort bookmarked pages.
  3. Tags are automatically suggested based upon your existing tags as well as those that other users use for a page.
  4. Sharing of  bookmarks with friends that are in your Delicious network is as easy as clicking on the network for:<username> tag.
  5. Installing the Internet Explorer or Firefox add-ons takes the whole Delicious experience to another level of ease and usefulness, personally I love the feature that alerts you when someone bookmarks a page a tags it for you.
  6. I enjoy browsing through Delicious just to see what other users have bookmarked, kind of like StumbleUpon but without the slot machine pull aspect (although I have been known to stumble a bit every now and then)!
  7. It’s also fun to find the Delicious account of someone you know or are interested in and check out what they’ve bookmarked. Please feel free to browse mine at http://delicious.com/eric_hoffman
  8. And you always have the ability to keep selected pages private.

There are many other social networking tools out there, but Delicious is quick to learn, easy to use and very helpful, I give it a solid A.

Photo Credit: Autumn Sweater

Social media peeps are cool

081218-blogThe Park City Mountain Resort blog that I helped to launch, and am a contributor to, was reviewed today by social media guru Mack Collier as part of his Company Blog Checkup series and I’m happy to say that we did came out pretty darn good! Of course, I wish we could have aced the “check up,” but I knew that our blog could use some improvement and also that I’m not always the one to see the changes that could or should be made. Here’s the summary that Mack gave us:

Content: 27 (Out of a possible 35) – I like how the blog is currently positioned to cover the current slope conditions. I would like to see more videos as I think these are also a promotional vehicle for the resort.

Comments: 31 (Out of a possible 35) – Very active comments section. I’m not completely sold on bloggers replying directly to each comment in the comment, but the sheer volume of comments from the readers, and the promptness of replies from the bloggers, is impressive.

Posting Schedule: 8 (Out of a possible 15) – Looks to be decent now, but big gaps in the offseason, would try to work on closing those.

Sidebars: 10 (Out of a possible 15) – Pics of the bloggers at top of blog makes this score. Also like the weather-related links.

Total Score: 76 (Out of a possible 100)

The rest of the post is very informative too and has given me some great ideas for continuing to evolve and improve our blog.

It’s well worth mentioning that the reason Mack reviewed our blog, was because of a referral from his friend Sean Howard, who had written a post called The Role of Messy in Social Media on the MarketingProfs Daily Fix blog on which I had left a comment. Sean looked up our blog, thought that Mack might like to review it, and was kind enough to pass along a note which got the ball rolling. This just affirms what I’ve been learning about social media and the people that participate in it – they’re really cool!

Social Media Happenings in Utah

Some neat things are happening in the social media world here in Utah, with a number of meetups/tweetups and more coming up in the next weeks.

Tomorrow night in Orem, there’s a Tweetup at CoworkUtah. Jack @coworkutah has a slate of top notch Twitter users that will share their tips on Twitter and the CoworkUtah crew will provide pizza and beverages. Directions and more info is downloadable via this event pdf.

Even more exciting is the first ever meeting of the Social Media Club of Salt Lake City on January 15, with monthly meetings to follow on the third Thursday of every month.  Social Media Club is a national organization, based out of San Francisco, with numerous local chapters throughout the country, and their tagline of, “If you get it, share it.” is what they’re all about.

Down the road a bit more is the 2nd PodCamp SLC, scheduled for March 27. There are not a lot of details on this event yet, but the organizers of the 1st ever PodCamp (which was held in Boston) Chris Brogan and Christopher S. Penn, are two of the more interesting people in social media today and I know that any event following in those footsteps will be very interesting.

I highly encourage anyone who is at all interested in social media to attend one or more of these events because one of the most important facets of social media is meeting the people that you are interacting with online and learning from them (and with them) in face to face settings.

(Yummy) Photo credit: edseloh

In Person Social Networking in Minnesota

Minneapolis Ski and Snowboard ShowI spent the past few days in Minnesota, helping to staff Park City Mountain Resort’s booth at the Minneapolis Ski and Snowboard Show. If you haven’t been to a ski show before, let me set the scene: a mix of booths from local resorts, destination resorts, ski & snowboard manufacturers, a tooth whitening company (that was weird), a collection of outdoor gear for sale from a local retailer, a ski ramp, a terrain park ramp and a trampoline show (that was weird too). The cool part is, this eclectic mix attracts casual to diehard skier and snowboarders who come together to get themselves psyched up, and in some cases geared up, for the coming season.

I hadn’t worked a consumer ski and snowboard show in five or six years, so it was great to have the chance to chat with so many of these folks. As I was talking, many of my conversations lead me to think about what the social networking tools that are now available to us are – simply another way to engage prospective customers. And what do you do with your customers? You talk with them, find out what they want and then try to provide that good or service as best you can. This isn’t a cake walk, its long hours and you tend to repeat the same selling points time and time again. But, if you have a product you believe in and put in the effort to really engage each person that you talk to the process is really the same whether it’s at a ski and snowboard show in Minneapolis or using social media.

Anyway, this truly was a great trip because I finally got to see not one, but two Minnesota Wild games at the Excel Energy Center and they won both, hurrah!