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Boston’s North Shore on fire, socially speaking

20 Aug

Many North Shore businesses have successful social media efforts underway, building social capital (relationships and influence) as a part of building sales, reputation and revenue.

Who are they?  What works for them?   Find out!  Join us at the next “North by North Shore” digital media, marketing & sales event at Danversport Yacht Club.  For ticket info, click the orange EventBrite button on this site (right sidebar, top of page).


Here is just a taste of what’s happened at recent events:

  • a cleaning company whose YouTube channel has helped build loyalty, goodwill and publicity, making it easier to attract referrals and keep clients.
  • a bicycle shop whose mobile and social efforts include supporting community events, resulting in improved public image, greater brand recognition, and a loyal following among bicyclist community insiders.
  • A bank whose Facebook channel has boosted customer loyalty while helping to raise funds for a charitable cause.
  • An online retailer who, by marketing almost exclusively online, has built a profitable niche clothing business.
  • A non-profit organization whose social community has boosted fund-raising and program publicity effectiveness.
  • …PLUS restauranteurs, professional services firms, educational institutions, professional associations and much more – all mingling under one roof, on one morning!

What else will you find at North by North Shore?

  • Expert review and critique (what works, what doesn’t) of a number of North Shore business’ social web efforts.
  • Like-minded business people who are learning and leveraging lessons from the North by North Shore event series to build their business.
  • Strategic and tactical experts on Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn, mobile, email, blogging, SEO, CRM …

… and much more.

Tickets limited (yikes); time too (double yikes)

As in previous events, we will cap attendance to keep participation and comfort high.  Once we sell out, that’s it, so don’t miss out!  We often get repeat sign-ups from past events  – a good sign – but that, too, limits the number of publicly available tickets. Upshot: hurry!

What’s included

Ticket holders receive a full breakfast at 7 AM, keynote speaker at 7:30 AM, attendance at any two of six breakout sessions from 8 to 10 AM, seating at the 10 AM expert panel joint session, and all session materials (print, online and/or video version).

Use the handy orange EventBrite ticket site link on this site to jump on this unique, acclaimed event opportunity today.  Pass it on!

You may also wish to click the “Keep me in the Loop!” link on this site to stay informed and chat with your colleages as the event draws near.   Our Agendas Page has more details, too!

We look forward to seeing you at the beautiful Danversport Yacht club next month.

Cheers,

Ed

Ed Alexander headshot thumbnail 3

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Liked June 13? Check out Sep 12!

21 Jun

Many thanks to all who attended, helped out, buzzed, about it, and just generally made our inaugural event a big success.   You can see your name in lights on the “Thank You” preso in the online Dropbox folder, along with all the day’s presentations.

We learned a great deal together about social media marketing, and also about what you really need, and what you want to see next.  Over half of the attendees completed at least one session evaluation, and the overall average rating of our speakers was a whopping 4.5 out of 5.   While that’s a nice number, the comments behind the numbers were very revealing.

What You Said

Here’s what we heard:

  • You need more networking time. (Sorry about monsoon; the outdoor patios are great for that)
  • You need breaks between sessions.
  • You want longer, deeper sessions.
  • You want more of the very helpful how-to that you saw in June.
  • You suggested we repeat certain sessions and add some other ones.
  • Fully half of you would prefer a lighter, healthier breakfast; the other half said keep it as is.  Hmm…

Most important: your favorite parts are the sessions that suit your knowledge and needs – novice, practitioner, expert.  Sometimes, though, the match isn’t good.  The remedy:  Our Google Moderator site!  The questions  you ask there are extremely helpful in tailoring the sessions to your needs.  Also, if we can hook you up with an answer or a resource right away, you’ll get served sooner.  A double win for you!

All your suggestions will be reflected in the September 12 Agenda, now under development.

What next?

August 1 at Good Harbor Beach in Gloucester – informal gathering

Rain date: August 2.  We will gather after work hours (business casual is way too dressy) on the North Shore’s most picturesque stretch of sand to enjoy the summer evening, make new connections, brainstorm a bit (not too much, it is after hours), and BYO light fare.  No RSVP, no tickets.  Just show up.  Look for our tricked out seagull mascot banner.  Dress for fun!

September 12 – The Sequel, only better

Now that you know, you know.  Who else should go?   Forward this message, tweet about it using hashtag #nxns, and jump on the Rogue Wave early ticket special, on sale now at EventBriteAs before, tickets are limited to keep participation and comfort high.  Rogue Wave tickets are limited to the first 25 people; maximum 2 tickets per purchase (now, now, no hoarding, please).

And if we can do anything to continue to make North by North Shore a regional jewel of an event, we’re all ears.  Drop a Comment below!

Cheers,

~Ed

Stellar Media Industry Panel Set

7 Jun

Our 10 AM panel discussion on “The Future of Media” will feature 3 prominent people representing the publishing, e-marketing and digital media space, all of whose lines continue to blur!  David Dahl, Regional Editor of the Boston Globe, Erik Shifflett, Senior Marketing Manager for Comcast, and Corissa St. Laurent, Regional Development Director for Constant Contact, will banter with event co-producer David Cutler on the trajectory of this digital media rocket sled we’re all riding.

Don’t be like these two

If you have your ticket, you’re in!  If not, we have less than 50 left as of this writing, so don’t miss this rare opportunity to listen and discuss ways your business can stay ahead of the change curve.  Visit our EventBrite ticket page to secure your seat today!

Cheers,

~Ed

Mass Innovation Nights at Cummings in Beverly June 13

4 Jun

In our never-ending quest to cross-promote all that is good, right and worthwhile for business leaders on the North Shore,  you should note that June 13 is worth spending the DAY.   After our event ends, there will be cash mob, field trip / learn live sessions throughout the North Shore area, culminating with a MASSinnovation Nights event at the Beverly Cummings Center.

The good people over at Mass Innovation Nights have mentioned us in their June newsletter.  You can learn more about this very cool event at:

http://myemail.constantcontact.com/This-Week-s-Innovation-and-Networking-Opportunities.html?soid=1109133276670&aid=xCCO4YKXUz0

Come out to Danversport and Beverly for a day of innovation and learning!

Cheers,

~Ed

@fanfoundry

http://myemail.constantcontact.com/This-Week-s-Innovation-and-Networking-Opportunities.html?soid=1109133276670&aid=xCCO4YKXUz0

Social Media Guru? Prove it! Here’s How

1 Jun

Dear business owner,

If a  search on Angie’s List fails, where can you turn?  As a child of the 1960s I recall the advice of former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger who, in dealing with “Cold War” nuclear detente issues, issued the simple phrase to characterize all negotiations:  “Trust but Verify”.  When you see the phrase “expert” or “guru” in a consultant’s biography, don’t you (too) mutter to yourself: “prove it, bud”?   Urban legend defines an “expert” as someone with at least 10,000 hours of high-intensity practical experience.  Hmm, working full time (2,000 hours per year), that means you’d have to be at it at least 5 years full-time to justify your “expert” label.  By the way, IMHO the “guru” label may be intended as a snarky, funny label, but please drop it.   “Expert” will suffice – if you qualify.

How can you verify that the marketing guru proposing to help your business is genuinely knowledgeable and qualified?  Thanks to the Interwebs, we have multiple ways of observing whether that person selling their services actually walks the talk.  Expertise today borders on transparent – or at least less opaque.  Try this:

  • LinkedIn – Why LinkedIn? Simple: it’s been around long enough.  Check your prospective consultant’s profile for Recommendations from former bosses and customers – not just from peers.  Oh, and check out the LinkedIn profile of the person who wrote the recommendation too, to get a sense of whether they  know what they’re talking about too.  What’s that, you say?  Neither the “expert” nor their “reference” has a decent LinkedIn profile?  Red flag!  Why?   Do the numbers.  There are 310 million US citizens, about half of us are working age (~160M), and over 400 million LinkedIn members, half of whom are in the US .  Statistically, that means anybody who’s anybody in business – at least in the US of A – has a LinkedIn profile.   If your prospective social media guru has no LinkedIn profile, exactly what do they know about being visible online?
  • Smarterer (http://www.smarterer.com) – a simple testing site that assesses each applicant’s knowledge on a battery of social media and marketing tools, technologies and platforms.  Ask your prospective consultant to show / link you to their Smarterer.com badge(s).  The numerical score is a rough equivocation of their prowess.  Hey, it’s only a number, but at least it’s a consistent measurement.  What, no Smarterer.com badge?  Insist they get one, then call you back when they have it.
  • Social Presence – do they have a blog?  How often do they blog?  Do they have a social media presence of any sort?  How well maintained is it?  (Commenter:  Julia Campbell of J Campbell Social Marketing)
  • Klout.com Score – This single numeric measurement of your online reputation has come under a lot of scrutiny lately and, just like a Smarterer badge, it’s just a single measurement.  But it beats having no measurement at all.  Keep in mind, however, that even having a mid-range Klout score (30 or above) is an indication that at least your social media expert has a digital “pulse”.
  • Paid audition – try carving out a discrete set of chores, or ask for  work delivered in natural phases, with your payments linked to successful completion of each gated phase of the project in question.  In other words, pay for performance….not just activity.  Mind you, actual results do take time.
  • “Viral” promises.  Does your “expert” actually promise to deliver a “viral” marketing result?   Anybody can no sooner promise viral results than a biologist can instruct an actual virus whom to infect next.  Hope is not a strategy.  Great content that is worth sharing gets shared, but it’s the eye of the beholder that matters, and no social media expert actually has mind control over your audience’s eyeballs and mouse clicks.  And having had a “viral” success in the consultant’s portfolio is – at best – proof that they learned something, but it cannot assure you they can make lightning strike twice.  Don’t buy on the promise of replicating a viral response.  Buy on the promise that the knowledge gained from that experience can be applied to your situation.  But a promise of Viral marketing?   Myth:  busted.

What other methods have you found to vet the qualifications of your marketing consultants?  Leave a comment and let’s list them here!

Cheers,

~Ed

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