Saturday, October 30, 2010

LileStyle Social Media Video Series: How to update your Facebook with your smart phone.

We are so very excited to start this new video series to help others use social media to their advantage. Our first episode was inspired by our many clients who have smart phones, but haven't yet figured out which applications to use to update their social media accounts. We're starting with Facebook, and our next one will be about Twitter and we'll be taking questions from all of our readers and using those to create future videos.

Big thanks to Hannah Jorgensen, the actress you see in this video. She is very fun to work with and we really enjoy having her work with us. Hannah is an artist down to her core, so if you are looking for someone with a HUGE amount of creativity, she is your gal.

Using smart phones to update your social media sites is instrumental in helping you provide live social media support for your events or trade-shows. We use it all of the time to keep people informed in real time and it has proven to be quite successful.

If you have a question about social media that you would like to see demonstrated via video, please email or post them down below in the comments section.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Can social media make you or your business omnipresent?

Omnipresent, or the ability to be in all places at once, seems like a big word to describe you or your business, but when you use social media correctly, that is exactly what you can become.  We've been in the social media business since 2007, although I've used social media for personal use since 2005. MySpace was all the rage and  a fun way to get our viral comedy skits out to the public. I swore then that I wouldn't hang out on Facebook because it seemed to be too "young" and "college oriented", but soon we were surfing page after page because the content was so interesting and MySpace had become too creepy with their videos of pretty young girls, flirting into the camera.

These are exactly the same reasons why a lot of small business owners today have yet to embrace social media. Quite honestly, they don't feel "social" and wouldn't go out to make new friends like the young "kids" tend to do so naturally.  I've met a lot of these business owners at various networking events held through our local business associations and I know the type. They sit around at their booths waiting for people to come and ask them questions. They have heard us networkers say time and again, get out from your booth and go meet people! Get excited about your business and what you do and what you can offer to people!

Now imagine if you were omnipresent and you were able to stay at your booth to talk to anyone who asks questions AND you could be at all of the other booths to talk to those people? This is exactly what social media can do for you.  It allows you to interact with people not just in your town, or City (although for small businesses, this is exactly who they want to interact with) or anyone who is interested in the same things that you are.  Social media allows you to  find people with like interests and makes it easy for you to interact with them.

Let's take it one step further. If you were able to be at all booths at one time, would you only choose to be at one booth and not at any of the others? You could, but that wouldn't be very smart and I'll tell you why. If you have the ability, then what does it hurt to get to know everyone there? You have no idea what those new personal connections could do for your business. We are all human and when you start to connect with people, you begin to see the further connections that they have with people that aren't even there. You can start to understand this person and who they know and what they do and who knows, perhaps you have an idea or two to share that can help this person in some way?

Sounds like a lesson in making new friends right? Well that is exactly what you do when you are involved in social networks. You make new friends, you meet new people, you learn new cultures, you get a few surprises but most of all, you grow your own network.  Social networks aren't just about the bottom line, although any business owner would be crazy not to pay attention to that, it's also about the reputation of you or your brand. It's about showing everyone your personality or simply giving your brand a personality that someone can get to know. It's putting a human face on your business.

The fact is that most people are using social media of some sort to find information and if you aren't there, you are getting missed by someone. You can be on all of these networks, and grow connections at all of those places, and know all of the things that you need to know to make yourself feel... well... omnipresent AND omniscient!  Isn't that a great place to be when you are running your business?

So, by selecting Facebook as your only "booth" and choosing not to be at any of the other booths like "Twitter" and "Foursquare" and "LinkedIn" is not being very smart about utilizing all that social media has to offer. 

We really recommend being in all places at the same time and there are lots of ways you can do this. Programs like the one we use, Tweetdeck, or even Hootsuite and Ping can help you keep daily updates (although it is much more authentic to each community if you update each place individually) and they all offer great ways to announce important events. But the most important thing you could do in all of these places is to start having conversations! Real ones, like the kind you would have at a networking event. Listen to your contacts, share a little about you, go for it and put your best foot forward.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Why you should use social media support for your events.

Thousands attend events and trade-shows each year and make great advocates for future events.
Live social media support during events and/or trade-shows can greatly increase your social media presence. It sounds pretty obvious when you put it in black and white, but so many people experience this “aha” moment when they hear all about live social media support and why it's so useful for events.

Recently we had the opportunity to provide live social media support for Mishka Productions and their Celebrate Your Life conference in Chicago. The conference featured some of the world's most influential spiritual speakers and drew people from all over the world to spend three enlightening days listening to these authors speak about improving their lives.

While we were there to hear some of the speakers, we found ourselves constantly uploading pictures and videos throughout the event and even posted comments from attendees that we ran into. We took pictures of authors signing books, people meeting authors, people hugging people, just basically anything that we felt the rest of the world needed to see.

After the event, we looked at our statistical data on Facebook and was very impressed! Our interaction levels grew by over 600% during the days of the event (mostly picture and video views) and our unique page views went up by 100%. Unique page views are a great thing because they mean new visitors! Our follower numbers were on the up as well. Overall, it was very evident that live social media support was a huge boost to Mishka's presence on the social scene and we were happy enough about that so we decided to do it again in November for the conference in Phoenix.

It's easy to see with this screenshot, the overall effect that live social media support had on our interactions.

This time we are going to be adding in a lot more bells and whistles. Our dedicated team will be collecting comments, pictures and video to constantly upload to Mishka's social sites throughout the event. We are even announcing to the crowd about our efforts to make sure more people interact with us. We have created a hashtag on Twitter for #CYLPhoenix to allow twitterers an easy way to interact with us while they are at the event. All of these things will increase visibility of the event for people who are unable to attend or who hadn't decided yet if they wanted to go.

Since LileStyle is also a video production company, we are bringing our professional video production kit and will be setting up a booth at the event. This video booth is meant to capture in high-quality video all of the attendees experiences and testimonials. We'll also be interviewing bloggers and tweeters to see how they are enjoying the festivities and we'll provide those videos to them so that they can use them in their blogs.

These are just a few great examples that one could use to bring social media to their live events, but not everyone has a dedicated social media team and video production crew in their back pocket. So what about the little guy and smaller events?

Finding one or two volunteers with a smart phone is an excellent way to start. Use the smart phone to upload pictures to your Facebook page and Twitter page throughout your event and encourage others to do the same when you see them with their phone. Make sure that your volunteers are identifiable as a social media support member. T-shirts work great, or just having someone who is personable and likes to talk with people.

Also, make sure that everyone who attends your event knows that you are on Facebook, Twitter and wherever else you are at. Print the information on your brochures, or make sure your event information includes social media sites.

Set up a small table dedicated to your social media presence. Use it to promote yourself by creating a giveaway to anyone who stops by and is already a Facebook friend or Twitter follower. An extra promotional goody can work such as pens, magnets, etc. Make sure its special and unique to only your Facebook and Twitter followers.

Use FourSquare to allow people to "check in" to your special social media table to get a unique goody. 

We'll be posting more articles about live social media support as we draw closer to the big event. You can follow our live social media efforts for Celebrate Your Life on their Facebook page, or follow them on Twitter.