You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ category.

So I bought the domain months ago — and finally “got off my butt” to put it to use! I was fed up with the .com version of WordPress and the lack of plugins I could utilize and realized the awesomeness of the .org and all it beholds. I’m sure you all are nodding your heads, “yes, dear – about time.” Well a special thanks goes to a great friend of mine, Shawn McCarthy, because with his web-building skills I was able to get this site launched in no time.

Hope everyone subscribes via email or RSS. Would love to get feedback on what you think and keep up with my thoughts on what’s fresh and new in branding, social media and charitable causes.

Love to all my readers,

Pam 🙂

p.s.

I will no longer be blogging to this site – please move on my new permanent home: http://pamsahota.com/

Unfortunately, there are some individuals who think setting up a Facebook and/or Twitter account is all you have to do to implement a social media plan. This is SO unfortunate!! I shake my head at those who set up their accounts and just blast out messages as if it’s a robot tweeting and posting messages. Using social media isn’t just about blasting out content. What consumer wants to engage with a robot? I want to know there’s a real person there…someone who will respond to questions, comment on posts, pose interesting questions and share relevant content.

Social media is not much different from our regular lives. We interact with others by sharing information, posing questions, and sharing our opinions. I wouldn’t want to speak to a robot in my regular day life, so why would I when interacting with a “person” online? In our regular lives, people appreciate engaging with people and building real relationships. In social media, people value building relationships as well. This cannot be done with “robots”.

Organizations and individuals need to put in the effort to put their social media plan into action. Some of the common tips include:

1. Listen to what’s going on out there (Ex. Use a Google Reader)

2. Curate and Create Content that is relevant

3. Pose questions and reply to others (as in a real conversation)

4. Be polite – aka say Thank you!

5. Be Patient – It takes time to engage and build relationships (as in real life).

As a fellow social media nerd, Tamsen McMahon once said — “social media is a science.” Just like the scientific method you need to:

1. Define the question: Ex. How can we “best use social media” for our business?

2. Observe: Listen and Watch

3. Investigate: Define the scope, check resources, etc

4. Hypothesize: Strategy you’re hoping to implement and possible results

5. Experiment: Design and Execute

6. Analyze: What happened?

7. Retest: Continual process to see what works best for you

Thus, like all relationships and successful plans in our lives, effort is key. To make a social media plan work and to build true relationships — try this thing called, “effort.” You might be surprised with what develops.

Today I was lucky enough to be an audience member at the live taping of HubSpot TV. Not only was it cool because Mike Volpe and Karen Rubin host, but today they hosted as the infamous Lucy and Ricky. But they weren’t the only ones in the holiday spirit, most of the staff was decked out in Halloween attire – from Jersey Shore to Scooby Doo to Pokey from Gumby. It was a sight to behold. Lets just say, I almost cried from laughing so hard. Awesome!

As I watched Mike and Karen, I realized how laid back and enjoyable HubSpot‘s atmosphere is. The team is very welcoming and friendly. And HubSpot TV is not only informative on current topics related to social media and inbound marketing, but it’s entertaining. I definitely intend to keep up with future episodes, as I’m officially impressed on how both Mike and Karen can capture the audience and keep their attention with such relevant topics and hilarious banter.

Cheers HubSpot, you Rock!

p.s. Want to see Photos from today….Flickr it up!

Adam Rosenberg stated, “If you are a social media enthusiast, then by now you already know that if 2009 was the year of the “tweet,” then 2010 is almost certainly the year of the “check-in.” Geolocation apps such as Foursquare, have caused many to wonder if they really want people to know where they are, aside from just what they are doing.

During our first Business of Social Media class, there were many topics discussed, one of them being “privacy.” When speaking of social media, specifically geolocation — privacy tends to be an issue where some people are careful about which side of the line they stand on. Although I am a “social media geek” and use many of the platforms available, when it comes to geolocation, I am a bit conservative. I am weary when it comes to people knowing where I am because of the usual concerns of stalkers and theft. If you think I am being a tad over-concerned, then you may not have heard about www.pleaserobme.com, which revealed the location of empty homes via the use of Foursquare and Twitter. Disturbing? I thought so!

However, as a marketer, I do see the benefits of geolocation apps for brands. Starbucks, and other companies have used geolocation apps to gain further brand loyalty by their consumers who compete to become “mayor” of a specific Starbucks location, and can then receive cool discounts and/or free items. Great marketing strategy, indeed!

In addition, privacy on apps like Foursquare are up to the user, not the app. The Foursquare user decides whether they want just their friends on Foursquare to know their location, or whether they would like to push it out to Twitter and Facebook as well. Therefore, it is not the use of the geolocation app that is breaching privacy of location. You, the user, are deciding who knows about your location when you push your location to a larger pool of people on Twitter and Facebook.

In the end, I think the idea of geolocation is pretty cool, and I would like to invest some time into playing around with it some more. However, being an “Apple geek” as well, I am going to wait until I get an iPhone (I have a blackberry) to delve into the perks and coupons and freebies associated with “checking in” and being a “mayor.”

Until then, I’m checking out…

As I was taking a break from my work and perusing Twitter, I came across a tweet from Scott Bauman: “Starbucks to offer wine and cheese?? http://bit.ly/aKHiD6 Is this the precursor to jumping the shark?”

At first I thought “wow, that’d be a great idea”…as I imagined myself having a glass of cabernet sauvignon while working on a paper or composing a blog post or reading a case. Then Scott, pointed out, “If you really want what Starbucks is “creating,” why not patronize local restaurants, not mega chains?” That got me thinking a bit more.

Is this extension of Starbucks going to harm the brand? Will the loyal coffee consumers and patrons of the comfy couches be dismayed? I like the idea of having the choice of coffee or a glass of wine while doing some work or reading a good book. However, it might be more suitable for a mom n’ pop cafe to offer such in a small neighborhood than the large chain.

As a fellow Starbucks consumer, I am torn about which way they should go with this idea and am definitely interested to see how the Seattle idea turns out.

What do you think this would do for the Starbucks brand? Will this keep you more loyal or turn you towards a different coffee shop?

Unfortunately due to my silly MBA classes, I was unable to attend any of the FutureM events earlier in the week, but I was able to hit up a couple events Thursday night. Holland-Mark‘s Digital Man Mike Troiano spoke about “Scalable Intimacy,” siting their client example Notch Session (which I must admit is some exceptional beer — especially if you want a few without that headache the next morning). The set up of this event was particularly interesting, since it was a contest where the winners received on the spot social media advice from Mike himself. (Full disclosure: I did work for Holland-Mark and loved every minute of it.)

And who were the winners?

3rd Place: Creative Crafts for Creative Kids

2nd Place: Formaggio Kitchen

And the 1st place winner is….United Way of Mass Bay!

All 3 received specific advice on areas they were having trouble in – whether it be content strategy, which social media tool to focus on (depends on where your target market it), etc. Lets just say, the crowd was not yawning, and they were not leaving early. Mike knew how to keep the crowd laughing and entertained while teaching the crowd on how best to utilize social media to your advantage. And if you are now sorry you missed this, you can see check out the full deck from the event.

And as I tweeted from the event last night: “Remember the social, not just the marketing” – Mike Troiano.

After saying “great job” and “c ya later”, I quickly ran off to Mantra where Cyberbrew had been kicked off. There was an eclectic crowd of veteran “cyberbrewers” and newbies (such as myself). Unfortunately I missed the open bar, but I did meet some interesting folks and ran into a few good friends (Jason Rush from Boston Interactive and Joselin Mane from BostonTweetUp). Familiar faces always make an event that much better. While I laughed at the men who “networked” from one female to the other, I drank my glass of wine and chatted away…until next time FutureM, you sure did rock!

After attending numerous social media networking events such as the 140 conference, and now Podcamp (and soon to attend FutureM), I can officially claim my “nerd status” without rebuttal. Although, I was only able to attend the 2nd half of this weekend’s PodCamp conference (can you blame me for wanting to run the Susan G. Komen 5K on Saturday as well?) — it was well worth the commute over the bridge to lovely Cambridge.

I joined my good friend, Sean Zinsmeister as we hopped from David Wells (Social Media for Social Good) to Paul Gillin (B2B Social Media – Really!) to Morriss Partee (Geolocation) to Chrisopher Penn (Podcasting 101: 5 years later) to Lane Sutton and Avrom Honig (Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare — It’s Taking Over Our Lives).

I definitely enjoyed David’s talk as I’ve worked for a local nonprofit (Commonwealth Shakespeare Company) for about 2 years, where I also utilized social media platforms in order to spread the word n’ do some “social good” for a non-profit that has given such cultural enrichment to the community of Boston.

Paul was more than informative on how B2B’s can and should be using social media platforms to their benefit. Having worked for a digital agency in Boston I realize that utilizing social media platforms is not just a good idea, but imperative.

Morriss hit a hot topic with geolocation. Although I am not a big fan of letting people know where I am via Foursquare and other geo apps, I realize the impact these apps are having on businesses. If a business utilizes an app like Foursquare or Gowalla in a way that consumers are pumped to participate and use it, then it can reap great rewards for that business.

Chris, entertaining as always, kept the audience laughing and intrigued by the different tools that podcasters have at their disposal for delivering their content to their audience. Who knew it could be so easy?

Last but not least Lane and Avrom were the perfect duo — they created quite a discussion regarding privacy and young social media users. How will the new generation of teens impact social media in the future? Guess we’ll have to wait for Lane and his fellow teens to show us.

After a jam-packed day — I am looking forward to seeing these speakers and those I missed again at a future conference. Until then — I salute my fellow social media nerds that I am not only impressed with the work and involvement of each person at these conferences, but look forward to see what develops next…

Do you subscribe to magazines the old-school snail mail way? Or do you get the digital version sent to you via email? I cannot help but still enjoy turning each glossy page filled with a ridiculous amount of advertisements…and then the other day I was trying to decide whether or not to subscribe to Fast Company. I paused when I was about to subscribe via snail mail thinking I can get all the cool articles right on the website and via email rather than having 50+ issues stacked up on my nightstand collecting dust, as they hope to be opened and taken on the T on my way to be work. It is a never ending battle for me as I do not see myself w/ an iPad (yet), so as for now I am becoming a fairly regular digital reader (thanks to Google Reader) but also enjoy my stack of magazines that I can just throw in my bag on the way to work, dinner, and/or on my future apartment balcony where I sit on my lounge chair taking in the short yet splendid Boston summer.

Where do you stand?

Want an opportunity to donate clothes or “SWAP” them with others? These events have been occurring in Toronto and Montreal Canada (among other int’l locations) and now it is here in Boston (June 5th and 6th). Thanks to Sarah Martin for putting it together here in Boston and of course all the volunteers. And if you still want to help out you have an opportunity to do so still.

Fan Page
Volunteer Page

I’ll be there. Hope to see you there too – a great time, a great experience, for a great cause.

I frequently wonder how people find the time to research and write daily blog posts on relevant topics. I write a weekly blog and this past week I have fallen behind, due to being an overzealous full-time MBA student and feeling like a massochist, for not only having 1, but 2 consulting gigs, a fellowship, and helping a school organization. When would I find the time to eat, sleep, exercise, and breathe, let alone blog? This week I do not have the slightest clue. So this is my applause to all those who write daily blogs that are interesting, relevant, and thought-provoking. I commend you, and I thank my friends/readers for suggestions on upcoming blogs for me to write. I promise, to catch up and write a kick-ass post, next week!

Stay tuned…