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Back in the day, before cable, satellite, HD and giant screens, watching TV wasn’t the same experience. It was subject to poor picture quality, interference from outside signals, and frequent static all viewed on small screens and requiring an antenna to get decent reception even from a local TV station.

For as much as we’ve advanced in technology, consider the challenges we face today. Our cell phone calls are susceptible to dropped coverage and poor sound on PDAs with small screens (which we now love). We’re limited on what we can see and communicate because of tiny, poorly rendered avatars and text character limitations.

While the static early TV viewers grew up with is a thing of the past, it has been replaced with new types of interference thwarting clear communication.

Just a few recent examples:

  • I met someone I’d been following on Twitter. This person’s avatar is a very full facial picture, making it appear he’s a pretty big guy. He may have noticed my look of surprise when in person, he was actually very tiny, and I towered over him.
  • There was an opportunity to see a speaker I follow on Twitter in real life. While his narcissism is particularly obnoxious on Twitter, it was much less so in person. His relentless self-focus was still present, but in real life, it was more comical than it comes across online.
  • The other day someone thanked me for a retweet about leadership. Since he didn’t include the link in the message, and I’d tweeted several things on leadership, there was no context to effectively respond to his comment and start a dialogue.
  • Recently, someone I follow in California checked into Fousquare from a hospital at 4 a.m. Obviously, something serious must have been going on. Yet right above her tweet was a Foursquare announcement that she’d unlocked the “School Night” badge for checking in so “late” on a work night.

In each of these cases, modern day social media interference led to incomplete or difficult to discern “pictures” of others and their actions.

Sure, I love new technology that allows us to communicate and share information in novel ways. Just remember each of them still comes with its own unique static. – Mike Brown

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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5

If you’ve been a Brainzooming reader for any length of time, you’ve seen discussion about Jay Conrad Levinson’s guerrilla marketing strategies. We frequently adapt his standard guerrilla marketing approach to help businesses customize their marketing implementation toolkits. This allows them to take best advantage of low incremental cost resources available to them.

Relative to social media strategy, we’ve modified and narrowed the approach so organizations can more effectively explore resources for dramatically strengthening social media implementations. Creatively mining these ten areas will allow an organization to identify additional ways to activate its social media presence:

  • Address topics your target audience members find motivating
  • Share ways to help audience members be more successful
  • Emphasize basic message points and themes you use elsewhere
  • Contact the people already producing other content in your business
  • Enlist anyone doing informal social media efforts within your organization to help
  • Adapt material from currently existing communications pieces
  • Be visible where audience members are receiving your current messages
  • Piggyback on interactions you already have with targeted audience members
  • Invite natural influencers of the target audience to participate
  • Reach out to other organizations who’d want to partner in targeting your audience

If you haven’t tried these ideas, give them a shot and you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the positive impact they’ll have on your social media strategy.  – Mike Brown

The Brainzooming Group helps make smart organizations more successful by rapidly expanding their strategic options and creating innovative plans they can efficiently implement. Email us at brainzooming@gmail.com or call 816-509-5320 to learn how we can develop an integrated social media strategy for your brand.

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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3

Want to take part in an incredible, absolutely FREE learning opportunity on marketing, research, and the future?

Then join us Wednesday, June 23, 2010 at 9 a.m. CDT for the second virtual event from the American Marketing Association, “Unveiling Marketing Research’s Future Online.”

The initial AMA virtual event earlier this year featured outstanding content, time to learn about an incredible array of marketing services companies, and opportunities to network with both speakers and thousands of other marketing professionals.

Without leaving your office!

All for F – R – E – E!

That’s why the first event earned rave reviews, and Wednesday’s event will be sure to receive the same! While the connecting theme for the event is market research, the learning opportunities extend to other marketing and strategy disciplines as well. The speakers include both top-rated speakers from the 2009 AMA Marketing Research Conference I chaired and new presenters as well.

The incredible speaking lineup includes:

To reserve your spot right now, register at the AMA website. While you don’t have to be an AMA member to participate in the virtual event, AMA members will have even more special networking opportunities available to them.

And while you’re on the AMA website, check out the schedule and speakers for the in-person AMA Marketing Research Conference “Unfiltered Perspectives. Unexpected Opportunities.” This incredible event will take place September 26-29, 2010 in Atlanta.

Be there Wednesday, June 23 and track all the activity for both the virtual and in-person events on Twitter by following @amamrc and by monitoring and tweeting with the #amamrc hashtag. – Mike Brown

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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We’ve talked before about The Brainzooming™ Group strategy for producing live event social media content. Rather than relying exclusively on content being generated by attendees, The Brainzooming Group strategy focuses on producing social media content through a team covering a conference or industry event across social media channels. In essence, the team we organize is a small news operation reporting on conference events via video, images, audio, and the written word.

At the recent 2010 Business Marketing Association Engage conference, our social media team numbered more than fifteen. It included a mix of business marketers, marketing communications professionals, and social media specialists. With that much talent assembled, we struck a balance between ensuring the event’s coverage from a news perspective (through preparing an extensive live social media reporting primer and editorial schedule), while providing freedom for the social media journalists to interact with attendees and presenters in creating spontaneous content onsite.

Beyond the event’s planned content, the BMA social media team’s creativity produced other great videos. Here are three that emerged from their onsite creativity.

The first video is a recap of the Business Marketing Association Engage conference social team’s efforts during the three day event. It was produced by Tim Dreyer of Zebra Technologies and features team members describing their conference social media roles.

The next video extended our brief post-presentation video interviews by featuring a longer, day-before discussion with author Chris Brogan. It includes a great behind-the-scenes look at how Chris adapted his topic and delivery specifically for the BMA Engage audience. The video was done by multi-dimensional social media team members Nate Riggs and Becky Johns (both future social media luminaries on par with Chris Brogan, btw).

Given the relationship Nate and Becky have with Chris, they also shot this funny video spoof about Help a Reporter Out (HARO) creator Peter Shankman, with Chris Brogan doing a send-up of Shankman’s manic style.

This video has already turned into a skydiving dare between the two social media rock stars, with someone’s favorite charity due for a $1000 gift because of it.

All part of the fun coupled with the real business benefits of bringing together great talent, providing some structure and letting them create rich social media content for and about an event. If you’d like to explore how The Brainzooming Group can do the same thing for your conference, contact us. – – Mike Brown

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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If you’re seeing this video as the blog post on Friday, June 4, 2010, it means things have been hectic at the Business Marketing Association Engage conference and there wasn’t any time to do an update blog. if that’s the case, we’ll get you caught up next week on the last week happenings.

In the mean time, enjoy this cool stop-motion post-it note video. Got to love those post-it notes! – Mike Brown

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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5

I’m excited to see “Trust Agents” co-author Chris Brogan present in person for the second time this year at the BMA Engage conference tomorrow. Having seen him earlier at the Kansas City IABC Business Communications Summit in February, his innovative presentation style is one unlike I’ve never seen, and I really can’t imagine anyone else pulling it off successfully.

Speaking from what seemed to be a handwritten “set list” on a folded up piece of paper, Brogan spent an hour sharing his strategic perspective on how people behave, interact, and expect to be treated. Quite frankly, he struck me like the smart, quiet guy you see in a corporation who observes everything, sees the strategy gaps the big business so obviously misses, and figures out all the answers while hardly ever getting the chance to share them.

Through a patient strategy of freely sharing insights and perspectives from his innovative viewpoint, Brogan has created the opportunity to share his strategic wisdom in increasingly rarified venues. For all the “GET MASSIVE FOLLOWERS, BE A SOCIAL MEDIA ROCK STAR QUICK ” scams floating around the web, Chris Brogan has transferred a consistently, strategically constructed online platform to an IRL business where he routinely gets the chance to share his much sought-after answers.

Among the great strategic insights at his Kansas City presentation about better cultivating and growing customers with the help of social media:

  • A company can best help its people understand what it means to represent the brand by providing some level of media relations training to every employee.
  • The best social media people come from customer service. They’re used to talking with customers and representing the business across many situations.
  • The first steps in social media strategy should focus on prepping for crisis communication, marketing at the time of need, better addressing customer service, and conducting research on customer needs.
  • Don’t spend so much time on yourself. Brogan tries to communicate 12 times more about others than about his own stuff (a remarkable strategy considering some of the authors who pound relentless tweets and Facebook updates all about themselves).
  • A brand lives or dies by its database and how the company cultivates it between the times it is marketing to people.

His most important statement? The importance to Brogan of keeping people who matter to you when you don’t need anything at all from them. It’s an important life lesson, irrespective of whether you use social media or not.  – Mike Brown

The Brainzooming Group helps make smart organizations more successful by rapidly expanding their strategic options and creating innovative plans they can efficiently implement. Email us at brainzooming@gmail.com or call 816-509-5320 to learn how we can develop an integrated social media strategy for your brand.

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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For the second year in a row, The Brainzooming Group will be producing the social media content effort for the national Business Marketing Association Conference in Chicago which starts Wednesday afternoon, June 2 and runs through mid-day Friday, June 4.

The lineup of presenters includes:

You can download a copy of the conference brochure to get a better sense of what happens when throughout the three-day event.

Under the conference’s “Engage” theme, we’ll lead a team of great business marketing, communications, and social media professionals covering the conference through live tweeting, blogging, video, photography, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Foursquare, among other things!

A wide array of social media efforts will provide a content-rich experience to both attendees and those who can only attend the BMA conference virtually. Our team will be adding to the conference by allowing you to:

  • Track Presenters and Presentations: All social media feeds from this stellar B2B learning event can be found at the conference’s Engage aggregator site. You can also track tweeting activity here or on the main Brainzooming page. The conference Twitter hashtag is #BMAEngage. We’ll also be using codes for specific sessions to focus the broad content.
  • Spread the Learnings: When you see information that resonates with you, share it with your own network through retweets and other social bookmarking.
  • Participate in LinkedIn Discussions in the BMAEngage Group: LinkedIn members are invited to join the BMAEngage group on LinkedIn. You’ll be able to participate in extended discussions with presenters and other group members on the B2B marketing topics addressed throughout the event.
  • Share Your Own Perspective on B2B Topics: We’ll be linking from the main site to B2B and other relevant marketing topics on the web. If you’d like to share your perspectives, leave a link to your blog post in the comments section here, and we’ll get related links shared on the conference website. You can also leave comments on the BMAEngage Facebook wall, in addition to checking out other attendees, discussions, events, and content about the conference.
  • Follow the Business Marketers Tweeting about the Conference: Through an online application called BlastFollow, you can follow everyone tweeting with the #BMAEngage hashtag. Simply go to the Blastfollow website, enter the conference hashtag (#BMAEngage), your twitter id and password, and BlastFollow does the rest.
  • Get the Full Conference Twitter Transcript: Visit What the Hashtag? to download a pdf file of tweets for the entire conference or any date range.

For those who are able to attend in person, there are even more ways to get engaged with social media effort:

  • Tweet with Us – Do your own live tweeting during the event using the #BMAEngage hashtag. When you do, there’s a great chance you’ll see your tweets on screens throughout the venue. We’ll be using the Wiffiti application from LocaModa to post tweets and share them with conference attendees.
  • Shoot Your Own Videos and Photos to Document the Conference – Just as with blog posts, we’re eager to have attendees share videos and images of presenters, other attendees, and the event. You can stop by the Engage Social Media Station to upload your videos and photos or send links to BMAEngage@gmail.com.
  • Check in on Foursquare (and Let’s All Get a Swarm Badge) – We’ve set up a FourSquare location specifically for BMAEngage at the Swissotel. Be sure to check-in daily, to let everyone (including your boss) know you’re present and accounted for with all the great sessions at BMAEngage.
  • Learn and Share Your Knowledge with the Social Media Team – The social media team is comprised of some great marketing, communications, and social media professionals. The conference provides a great opportunity to network, share best practices, and talk about new ideas on various topics. You’ll be able to pick out the social media team with our black “Engage” shirts throughout the conference.
  • Let Others Know You’re Engaged in Social Media – The social media team will have “Engage” buttons for anyone who’s tweeting, blogging, or creating other attendee-generated content. Simply stop by the Engage Social Media Station or hit up one of the social media team members for your button…once you engage in social media!
  • Join Us for a Pre-Conference Tweetup Tuesday Night – For anyone at the conference or in Chicago on Tuesday, just us for a Pre-Conference Social Media Tweetup at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, June 2. It will be at the Palm Restaurant in the Swissotel. Anyone at the conference and friends of the Brainzooming blog are welcome to join us!

Remember you can track the live tweeting activity below or on Twitter with the conference hashtag #BMAEngage and find all the conference’s social media feeds at the main website.  Get Engaged! – Mike Brown

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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