Can’t Email That Important Client? Facebook Them!

October 7, 2009 at 10:19 pm (marketing, networking, News, social media) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Rose Brand's Crystal Series at the University of Tampa

Rose Brand's Crystal Series of stretch fabric at the University of Tampa

Through my blog and twitter updates I have cited many case studies of social media as a networking and branding tool, way to maintain community involvement and policing, and even a case or two of how it can make you unemployed or put in jail. But I saw a tweet on September 25 that gave social media a true business-to-business validation. The tweet came from @Rosebrand and simply stated,  “Just used facebook to communicate with a client regarding an emergency order. Was not able to connect via phone or e-mail but FB worked!” This got my attention.

Here’s the back story – who is Rose Brand: “Rose Brand is the leader in flame retardant fabric, theatrical draperies and production supplies for entertainment, schools, events, exhibitions and houses of worship.” If you have attended a concert, corporate event, tradeshow, or theatrical performance, chances are you’ve seen their work.

…And now for the story: Toward the end of the day on a Friday a member of the Rose Brand West sales staff received a call from a major scene shop in Las Vegas. They had ordered a large amount of NeoFlex, which can be considered a specialty item due to the specific parts and pieces needed. Unfortunately the contact information on the order, and the contact for the project were not one in the same. Thus conventional communication methods – phone, fax, email, smoke signals, semaphore, etc – were rendered moot. Due to the time difference the East Coast office was closed, and the original sales person was unable to be reached. In addition to these communication problems, the item in question was only available from the New Jersey warehouse. Rose Brand operates two warehouses, one on each coast, but they have a vast inventory so some items are only available through one warehouse.

So how does social media come through and save the day? The client contact in this case is a “friend” on Rose Brand’s Facebook Page, and happened to be online at the time. A quick message was sent via Facebook that explained the predicament. That message led to the acquisition of the proper contact information and then a call from the client – 5 minutes later, problem solved. As a Rose Brand representative stated: “In this case Facebook proved to be invaluable. As the end customer was on location and time was running short, it might have been impossible for the client to be reached during normal business hours.”

Social media for the win!

In early 2009 Rose Brand created a Facebook page and Fan page. The company, and members of its staff, are connected to TheatreFace, ProLightingSpace, LinkedIn, and other social media forums. Like many other companies Rose Brand is finding that there is no exact science to the way social media is used, but the real-time learning and conversations that it provides proves invaluable in the day-to-day, business-to-business world.

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Facebook May Cost Man 10 Years in Prison

September 22, 2009 at 12:58 am (News, social media) (, , , , , , , , , , )

facebook

Back on August 31 I blogged about the Boca Police Department using the twitter handle @BocaPolice to dispense information to the general public in real time, and joked that social media could cost you your freedom. Well, kids guess what happened to one West Virginia fellow?

19-year-old Jonathan Parker likes burglarizing people, turns out he likes facebook, too. He enjoys these two activities so much that he decided to do them in tandem. In all his excitement he remembered to take the $3500 worth of diamonds, but forgot to log out of his facebook account from the victim’s computer – I wonder if his status was “excited about my new bling!”?

The burglary happened on August 28, and Jonathan is being held in the Eastern Regional Jail in lieu of $10,000 bond, if convicted he could get up to ten years in prison.

I guess the lesson here is: always steal the computer …or earn your money like the rest of us.

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How Does Social Media Affect You?

August 20, 2009 at 10:27 pm (advertising, Branding, economy, marketing, networking, social media) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )

What is social media, how do people use it, why do they use it, and how does that effect you as a designer, advertiser, marketer, etc? Watch and learn:

Thanks @saribrooke for the link!

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Online Identity – How We Use Social Media

July 21, 2009 at 5:42 pm (marketing, networking, social media) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Social_media_superhero

The other day I was sitting in a conference and heard a continuous and steady ticking noise – the sounds of twitter and facebook being updated, text messages flying, and emails sending. Isn’t it funny how social norms have changed? In the past it would have been rude to be completely enthralled in something other than what the speaker was talking about. Now, at least in some arenas, it is not only accepted, but expected, that people will be using social media throughout the entire presentation. The job of stenographer has been passed to anyone with a cell phone, laptop, or other portable uploading device.

Many of us are fully connected to each other through social media. We can get a minute-by-minute update of conferences or events through the use of hashtags, podcasts, and micoblogs. Not only are these forms of social media developing their own unique set of rules and personalities, but they are reshaping social norms in the real world.

Some of the personalities I have witnessed in social media are as follows:

  • Class President – Organizer of social media meetups, tweetups, mashups, etc. Usually just known locally by the social media groups in their own region.
  • Professional –  Social media is their job. They produce content to drive people to their company’s site, promote their products, etc, but still provide relevant and current information and news.
  • Networker – They are involved in meetups, online conversations, sharing information, and the like. They don’t always create their own content, but can find something relevant to any topic. These people are constantly connected.
  • Reply and Retweet Informant – This person has no original content. Their sole purpose in social media is to regurgitate what someone else said, or comment on what others have posted.
  • Comedian – Their updates are just to get a smile out of readers.
  • Business – Click here and buy, endorse, or promote my crap.
  • Diary Keeper – They let us know every little detail about their meals, workday, bodily functions, or whatever other monotonous thing is happening.
  • Porn – The people that for an unsolicited reason friend, connect, post, and pursue you because they have an army of 22-year-olds who match you perfectly based on God knows what.

I have also noticed that social media is used in different ways:

  • Retribution – To get back at those who physically or mentally harmed you in the past by showing how great you life is now
  • Self-esteem – The people whose online persona looks like they are living the highlife and loving every minute of it. In reality none of it is true, but it makes them feel better.
  • Therapy – These people share their problems with the world; everything is drama.
  • Bragging – Their life is going well, and they want everyone to know it.
  • Reconnect and Friend –  They really do want to know what happened to everyone, and how they are doing.

I think it’s funny how we all hide behind our personally constructed online identities. Like superheroes in masks and colorful costumes, it’s usually not that hard to tell that Clark Kent is Superman with glasses. I’m sure there are more personality types and reasons people use social media than I listed here, these were just the ones I see the most. There’s a great presentation by Social Interaction Design specialist Adrian Chan that describes social media personality types in a more detailed and professional way. It will be interesting to see how social media psychology and etiquette develop over the next few years, and how it will interact and influence our traditional social norms.

What kind of online personality am I? Find out: @IamBartleby

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Tweet, Tweet – The News is Calling

July 15, 2009 at 12:24 pm (Florida, Fort Lauderdale, free, marketing, networking, News, social event, Social Events & Networking, South Florida) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Social_media_header2

What happens when you stuff 100 people into a room to listen to 6 panelists discuss “How Traditional Media is being influenced by Social Media?”

A lot of tweeting!

Last night was the Social Media Club of South Florida (@SMCSF) Meetup held on the 12th floor of Broward College’s downtown building. The panel was moderated by former journalist Agustina Prigoshin (@AgustinaP) and included:

Niala Boodhoo (@nialaboodhoo), The Miami Herald
Chris Tiedje (@ctiedje), South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Mathilde Piard (@mathildepiard), The Palm Beach Post
Jessica Sick, NBCMiami.com
Trina Sargalski (@wlrnunderthesun), WLRN 91.3 FM
Adrienne Roark (@AdrienneRoark), News Director at CBS4

Back in the day we had town criers, then newspapers came about to deliver our daily dose of news. Now a new generation has ushered in a variable feast of town criers through Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and even Flickr. They hawk their own brand of news through every available outlet, from PDAs to computers screens and any other conduit that’s backlit in RGB. So, what does this panel of traditional newsies have to say about the brave new social media frontier?

They almost all agree on several points:

  • That they have gone through a trial and error phase of what works and what doesn’t, e.g. While Facebook fan pages are great, they may cause problems with RSS feeds.
  • Though their circulation is down for physical products, their media reach is actually growing. This is due to the fact that they are reaching audiences who would have otherwise been inaccessible through traditional media outlets.
  • There has been a shift in importance causing reporters to write for the web first, and print second. The reporting staff has adapted to use social media, web, photography, and other non-traditional avenues in their coverage.
  • Social media is a valuable tool in gaining real-time leads and also feedback to how the consumer feels about changes in interface, style, etc.

The panel discussion was very informative. There was a chance to meet with everyone in a face-to-face social atmosphere after the event at Off the Hookah. Due to time constraints I was not able to attend the post-event festivities, but hope to be able to next time.

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