Can bad lead to fame? Put the focus on the most important.

Today is June 25, 2011. It marks the 2 year anniversary of the late Michael Jackson’s death. It was a day many will remember as one of the saddest because we lost someone iconic who can never duplicate him.

Today was also a day that I was to attend my first dance class since I stopped dancing in high school. Unfortunately, when I get to the studio, no one was even there. Instead, I came back home and learned the choreography to Ciara’s “Work” feat. Missy Elliot by a dancer named Brooklyn Jai. He is amazing and I found him on YouTube through actress Francia Raisa, who is also a dancer.

Well all that dancing around with no food on my stomach gave me a huge migraine and I had to get out the light. I looked at my phone and thought I saw someone saying Happy Birthday Michael Jackson. That’s when I also decided to say it but then I realized after I tweeted it, today wasn’t his birthday but the day he passed. Too late.

Twitter went crazy with people laughing and responding with very rude comments. One mistake lead many people to retweet what I tweeted. It’s amazing how fast a tweet can travel, especially the ones we CHOOSE to retweet.

Have you ever thought about the many people that are promoting a good cause, or asking for advice, or even trying to find a missing person via social media? I find it unbelieveable how the devil really has taken over the world. People will retweet a stupid tweet until they make fun of a person so bad that they will get so much attention to the point of being famous but won’t retweet to help find a missing person. It can happen and trust me, I do not want to be famous, especially off of tweeting something that was a mistake and isn’t factual. Instead of focusing on “how stupid one person is” or calling someone a “dumbass” off of a mistake, which everyone makes, why can’t we use what we have for a good cause?

I’m sure some of you on Twitter have seen a tweet either from or about @NewsOnLaurenS. There is a girl named Lauren Spierer and she has been missing since June 3, 2011 and a twittername has been established just to help spread the word to find her. How many of you decided to retweet that message you got from @NewsOnLaurenS to get more people aware? Did you care or did you ignore it? What if that person was your friend or relative? Wouldn’t you want people to at least KNOW about it? Don’t let the devil take over your thought process. Trust me, seeing how fast news travels on the internet, your tweets matter!

I know if Michael was alive today, he would want everyone to give back. Well do that! Go volunteer and be selfless. It doesn’t take much to give back. If you could follow @NewsOnLaurenS and just retweet ONE tweet then I know he would be proud.

Help find Lauren by following @NewsonLaurenS and retweet them to spread the word.

R.I.P Michael Joseph Jackson August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009

6 Ways Marketers Should Use Social Media with Proven Tactics to Achieve Success

A couple of days ago I attended an online webinar sponsored by a company called Spredfast. There were two presenters: Jim Rudden and Jordan Viator and they gave great advice that companies can use to reach potential customers via social media platforms. If you’ve seen my tweets with the hashtag #AMASpredfast it’s because we continued the conversation on Twitter after the hour-long webinar ended.

Social media has grown so fast now that companies cannot just throw social media in their strategic planning as icing on the cake. Social media itself requires strategic planning. According to Forrester Research Inc. 48% of interactive marketers plan to increase social media spending in 2011. Social media has now emerged into almost a neccessity to reach out different markets. EVERYONE is leaning more towards social media. It’s not just Facebook and Twitter either. There are so many social media platforms out there catered to specific groups. The website http://www.getreeled.com is a social media site for people who love fishing!

Ok back to the main topic. Spredfast provided 6 objectives companies can follow in order to achieve success in marketing through social media.

Objective 1-Building Brand Awareness

When attending the webinar, attendees took a poll and about 40% of us use social media as a main reason to increase brand awareness. Social media has proven to reach more people, different audiences that companies could not reach otherwise by using standard marketing techniques. Companies can deliver messages to these audiences and can drive traffic to other corporate channels. It is also a good idea to provide details about your company. People follow brands on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter to learn more about the company culture, news, employees, and products/services. It’s important to be SOCIALABLE on social media! Something for B2B companies to pay attention to is something called Thought Leadership. This is basically promoting content, illustrating your expertise and area of knowledge. Don’t be afraid to share tips, industry trends, pictures, and links on Facebook and Twitter that will provide detailed information. This will give your company some creditability.

Objective 2-Making Customer Service Personal

Finding AND retaining customers is very important! Customers appreciate quality such as immediate responses. Twitter can be a great platform for doing this. It’s important to make the interaction experience personal with actual responses from your team. It’s also important to share real-time updates with your customers. Keep them informed on new topics such as new product info. This is called Customer-Centric Announcements.

Objective 3-Event Marketing

Social media is a good outlet to promote events sponsored by your company. I can tell you how many parties I was invited to through Facebook and Twitter. Social media can provide real-time data so if a last-minute change happens, you can let your attendees know of that change so they can be aware of any updates. A greatway to stir up buzz and attendance on Twitter, for instance, is by using the hashtag symbol followed by the name of your event. This will get attendees to trend your event and promote it to their followers, getting them to notice it. Share content from your event. Use it as opportunities to generate Thought Leadership and connect with your community members who weren’t present at the event.

Objective 4-Product Launches

Social media is a great way to announce new products from your company or new product updates. It’s an affordable channel to reach huge, active audiences and it builds excitement by seeding the network with information and offering exclusive deals. Your company can grow adoption opportunites by reaching a large, interactive audience at the time of the product launch. This is great because it will give customers a chance to learn about the product before it hit stores or before it’s offered. Provide product demonstrations. Don’t just tell people about the product, SHOW THEM! Contests will also increase opportunities for engagement and participation around product launches with interactive activities. For example, you can get them to Like your company’s Facebook page or follow them on Twitter, tweet photos of previous products to be entered into a contest, or retweet something.

Objective 5-Building Sales Pipeline

Your prospective clients/customers are spending their time on social media. You can effectively drive traffic from those social media sites to your company’s website, afterall, your company’s website is where the magic happens. Lead people here to learn about products and services, to make a purchase, or to convert them into a potential lead. You can use social media to show people why others like you and give them a link to send to your website and show them why they should care.

Objective 6-Community Activation

Engage with the people in your company’s community. Interactivity naturally drives action. It will provide a closer connection between your brand and the community. Pass along rate increases and provides potential for exponential growth of activity. Your company can also provide incentive-based rewards to potential customers. Take Foursquare for instance. You can create a custom badge for when a customer checks into your store or place to obtain the badge. You can also provide pre-packaged content. Send out an email to your customers with sample tweets about your company for them to tweet. Post articles, make it easier for people to share content.

From this webinar, I’ve learned that it is vital to not only gain the awareness from potential customers, but to get them involved so they will remember your brand. Below is the powerpoint slide to the webinar:

The Social Media Pocket Guide

National Restaurant Association 2011

Chicago!!!! That was the location of this years NRA (not national rifle association) trade show. The venue was McCormick Place in downtown Chicago, which is a beatifully huge convention center. Brands from all over the country attended as exhibitors, showing off what they can offer and people from all over the world attended to see what the exhibitors have to offer such as suppliers, distributors, hotel chains, food chains, and many small restaurants.

Good Health Natural Foods was vendor number 6476. Unfortunately our booth was not located in the Natural and Organic Pavillion (like I wished, having more traffic), even though our company is a provider of natural snacks. I had the opportunity to go to help out a co-worker of mine that lives in the mid-west. This was the first time I met her from our company but she was very patient and helpful and we had a great time.

There were hundreds of exhibitors there showing their products or services. Groupon had a two-story booth!!!! There were plenty of mascots there including a talking Heinz robot that attracted people to their booth. It didn’t necessarily bring customers over to try sample products but it’s a good tactic to stand out in a sea of competitors.

Nice mascot, unlike some others I saw. Their booth had a great cinnamon bun!

I met plenty of wonderful people there. Our company’s booth was located across from La Rosa’s Famous Cannolis. They had so many new potential leads with giving out free cannolis! Had one myself 🙂 Another booth next to our was Rumaino Cheese. Founded in 1921, Rumaino cheese is a leader in organic cheeses. Everyday of my four days there, I sampled their organic medium cheddar cheese multiple times during the day. It is awesome! I also got to meet the fourth generation Rumaino, Coby. He and his uncle were at the show manning their booth. Great people the Rumianos and they gave me free cheese to take back to NC! Everyone that knows me knows I LOVE cheese! #win

My experience in Chicago was long, yet short-lived. Although I was in the windy city, I didn’t get a chance to see as much of it as I’d hoped. My days were filled with working. I did however get to shop the entire Magnificent Mile and travel to the top of the John Hancock Observatory. I was 94 floors above the windy city and it felt amazing knowing I had the best view in Chicago. Two things I wished I could have also gone to were “THE EDGE” at the Willis Tower (formerly known as the Sears Tower) and went to The 900 shops. I also had a chance to see the Navy Pier. My co-worker and I had lunch as Riva’s restaurant located on the pier and it was great. Next time, I will get on the Ferris Wheel.

Chicago Skyline from the Navy Pier

The taxi drivers are really nice! They are also the best drivers in Chicago! Traffic, for that particular weekend was amazing and their driving skills impressed me. I also just learned that a childhood friend just moved to Chicago so next time, I will definitely get to see Chicago, at it’s best!!!!

Women and Media

I am taking “Introduction to Sociology” at UNCG and one of our assignments this week was to watch a documentary called “Killing Us Softly” by Jean Kilbourne. Jean Kilbourne has realized back in 1979 that the media has displayed women in a certain “eye” in the media. Advertisements, commercials, and movies are all subject to women display as an “object” rather than a “subject.” Women are lesser than man is in the media. The media degrades women more so than it degrades men.

Look at the image above. Can you see how this can offend women? A man has a woman pinned how and the woman looks as if she is trying to get free, which is why her lower body is off the floor. There are other men standing around her, as if they were waiting their turn. In addition, there are others, plenty of them. Some communicate violence towards women as the one shown above and others portray women as a perfect image that everyone should maintain: flawless skin, certain hairstyles, small waist, and small butt or sometimes and bigger bottom, and big breasts. This is why so many women starting in adolescence are having eating disorders. Before a girl hits puberty, she is comfortable with the way she looks. During puberty, she has insecurities and questions her body because of how the media or how everyone else says their body should be. “You’re too fat”, “you’re too skinny” are terms a girl in middle school should not have to hear from fellow classmates. Why is it so hard to accept people the way they are. Without touch-ups, make-up, and Shapeups, the models and celebrities would be just like 99% of the rest of the world, normal and that should be ok but is it? NOOOOOO! The media holds them on a certain pedestal that if they do not have clear skin, or a small body frame, then they will criticize and shun them.