I spent the majority of my time at events, or on the road to the next event, traveling to industry conferences to talk about social media and how technology can simplify the life of event professionals. Today mobile technology can help with every aspect of an event, from organizing a session to selecting the right venue and drinks. Here are three of my favorite apps I that I use when speaking at an event for Goombal.

CrowdMics is the first audio system that turns your smartphone into a wireless microphone for live events. Because one thing is for sure: When it’s time to choose microphone runners for the Q&A portion of a live speaking session, very few hands go up to volunteer.

Who wants to stand around waiting for someone to raise their hand, then try to run to them before they start speaking in a huge room full of people where nobody can hear them, and by the time you reach them, they’ve already finished their question and then you hand them the microphone and they have to start over? (read more…)

Are you struggling with being a social business? Social media has enabled unprecedented two-way connection opportunities between organizations, their customers and prospects. Today everyone wants to be a social business.

However, the pace of growth, engagement and development on social media often leads to a sense of being overwhelmed.

The challenges with being social:

  • Interacting with customers — responding to customer queries in almost real-time
  • The volume of conversations spread across an increasing number of blogs, forums and social media sites
  • Creating content — daily posts on social networks, blog posts, guest articles
  • Responding to customer queries

Despite the above-mentioned challenges, there are some companies that excel at being a social business, and they have a secret ingredient: an army of their supportive customers, or brand advocates, who are enabling them to be social.

What exactly is a brand advocate?

They are your most passionate and often most vocal customers who promote and support your brand. (read more…)

Natanya Anderson, director of social media and digital marketing at Whole Foods Market, says Pinterest creates a lot of great opportunities for brands. For Whole Foods, it drives a ton of traffic to their website, creates almost 11 times as much as engagement with their followers than Twitter, and it’s a great platform for working with influencers.

In her presentation at SocialMedia.org’s Brands-Only Summit, Natanya takes us on a tour of Whole Food’s “Pinterest Parthenon” and its three tiers:

  • Philosophy: Natanya calls Whole Foods’ approach to Pinterest “Lifestyle-Centric Curation.” It’s all about collecting the best and most customer-relevant ideas on the Internet and bringing them together onto one inspirational board.
  • Strategy: Whole Foods aims to create images people will share, like a graphic on brining or a recipe card for potato salad. They also reach out to big Pinterest influencers to reach a bigger audience.
  • Accountability: Natanya says measurement is essential to a successful Pinterest strategy.
  • (read more…)

Crowdtap Back to School Shopping InfographicBack-to-school shopping is back — spending will reach $74.9 billion this year, according to National Retail Federation estimates, making back-to-school the second biggest consumer spending season of the year, other than the winter holidays. The NRF also reports that consumers are planning to spend more across every product category. While this spend increase is great news for marketers, they will also likely need a to adjust their strategies because how their consumers shop has changed. So, how will consumers discover and purchase new products this back-to-school shopping season?

Social media will have a large impact on consumer purchases this season, with 64% of back-to-school shoppers reporting that social media will play a role in their back-to-school shopping.

As parents scramble to prepare their kids for school, they’ll lean on the people they know to discover new products, reviews, recommendations, promotions and, of course, sales. A Crowdtap survey of more than 850 men and women found that 45% of those shoppers surveyed will search social sites for peer product reviews and recommendations. (read more…)

Nirell9781137386298This post is an excerpt from ‘The Mindful Marketer,” (Palgrave Macmillan, September 2014) by Lisa Nirell. Nirell is chief energy officer of EnergizeGrowth LLC. She has helped B2B companies grow customer mind-share and market share since 1983.

It was 1984, and the personal computer revolution was well underway. I was working for one of the world’s first commercially successful PC software companies, MultiMate International. We disrupted the word-processing industry by displacing stand-alone devices from now defunct companies such as Digital Equipment (DEC) and Wang. Will Jones, the CEO, was a fun-loving software genius at heart, and often roller-skated down the corridors of our converted warehouse offices to boost morale.

We doubled in size for several consecutive years and watched revenues soar. As the International Marketing Manager, I did my best to keep up the pace. In those heady days, the priority was closing business and selling as many licenses to my distributors as I could, not managing profit margins. (read more…)