What a fun night last night! nearly 50 Wilmington residents assembled at Howe Creek offices near Mayfair to listen to some top notch Twitter advice. For a new twist, we also streamed the Meetup in live broadcast using UStream.tv, and had 10 people watching live from various parts of North Carolina, including Colorado!
Our focus on this Twitter MeetUp was to field questions from the audience people had about Twitter, then our stellar panel answered them.
Questions ranged from “Why use Twitter”, “Using Twitter for business” and “What are your favorite applications for Twitter." Some applications discussed last night included Twollo, Tweet Deck, twhirl, and Twitter grader. Do you have a favorite Twitter application? We want to hear, please leave it in a comment below!
One other neat announcement was Shannan Bowen telling us about the Star News launching a new section of their site listing their Twitter users, and local “tweeps”, here it is: http://www.starnewsonline.com/section/news41
Special thanks to our panelists Bruce Brown of Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Realty, Steve Harrell of Sophic, Shannan Bowen of the Wilmington Star News, and William Lang of Port City Color Copy handled the Ustream PC and fielded questions that came in via the Internet. Oh, I was there of course, Ty Downing with Perspective Internet Marketing and SayItSocial.
For those of you who came out last night, (over 60 people) our Wilmington Twestival was an incredible display of how social media can impact people, and organizations for the good. Twestivals were held simultaneously last night (February 13, 2009) for Charity: Water, in an effort to raise awareness, and donations for cleaner water in under-developed lands. Twitter was the main “tool” of social media we used to organize this event in literally 10 days..amazing. Pictures of last night are at bottom of this post, if you have any to add to this, send them! Leave comments too.
How much did our Twestival Raise?
We just got our final donation called in this morning from Ana Dawson, with Pre-Paid Legal Services, she and her associates donated $220, and plan on giving a total of $500.00! So with that amount and 100% donations off ticket sales last night we will be able to donate $1,205.00!!!
Our goal was $4,000, but in all honesty, we met, and exceeded our goal. This amount will help fund clean drinking water for 1000’s of people, Wilmington, we should be proud! Remember this was a global event, I can’t wait to see the total numbers from the over 180 cities….Be sure to visit the Twestival site, and Charity: Water site for details soon.
I have been getting a lot of DM’s about the earlier Consumer or Prosumer post. The consensus was, ok but “what do I do now if I see that I am old school’? and “How do I change it”? First, I commend you for your honesty (more business leaders needs more humility when it comes to examining their business model and accepting that changing to a social media system is going to be disruptive to the current one in place, but it is critical) and second, you ask very good questions.
As those of us who run businesses, we find ourselves in the most anxiety filled time in modern history; along with that, there are a couple of obstacles we have to acknowledge first before proceeding. Today’s climate is hard on us as business leaders, with uncertainty at every turn, the complexity of adjusting to new demands, increasingly shorter product lifecycles, competition, etc., there are the facts., which can lead some to succumb to the “eat or be eaten” mentality. Ahh – what to do??? Please step away from the ledge… slowly…. thank you. Here are just a few helpful suggestions, to see things from the Prosumer’s perspective that may help us tweak our operation and get us on the right path without having to do a lot of heavy lifting:
Well, which is it? How do you view customers and your relationship with them amidst this great shift in consumer behavior?
“What is the difference between Consumer and Prosumer?”, you may ask. Is this just semantics; more Internet ‘mumbo-jumbo’ or propaganda to keep us as business owners in the dark as to where our marketing dollars are disappearing to? You ask very good questions!
By definition, Consumer is: “One that consumes, one that acquires goods or services for direct use or ownership” or put another way, “A heterotrophic organism that ingests other organisms or organic matter in a food chain.” It’s all about the sale, who cares about the person. Ever been on the other end of that? Wow, what a selfish, demeaning view of our valued customers, definitely web 1.0!
Now a Prosumer is: “One who is converse to the consumer, denoting an active role as the individual gets more involved in the process.” That’s right, we are interested in others 1st, sharing, giving, earning their trust. Hmm… you mean customers have feelings? Opinions? They are not just mindless “organisms” who just “consumes” matter? (Yuck – who would want one of THOSE in your store.) You better, if you want to have a store in the near future.
In September 2008, a group of Twitterers based in London UK decided to organize an event where the local Twitter community could socialize offline; meet the faces behind the avatars, enjoy some entertainment, and tie this in with a food drive and fundraising effort for a local homeless charity. The bulk of the event was organized in under two weeks, via Twitter and utilized the talents and financial support of the local Twittersphere to make this happen.
Fast forward a year, and on February 12, 2009, 100+ cities around the world will be hosting Twestivals which bring together Twitter communities for an evening of fun and to raise money and awareness for charity: water.
This is a big deal. Today, Mashable announced a global media partnership with Twestival to help ensure this is another success, where 100% of the funds raised from the campaign will go directly to support charity:water, a non-profit organization that aims to bring clean, safe drinking water to people in developing nations. This evening, SMCKC met to discuss particulars and had enjoyable time. Thanks @joey96, @markvanbaale, and @smptoday. (We missed you Cindy!!!)
Find a list of all the cities around the globe hosting a 2009 event at http://twestival.com/
I have been chewing on this for some time and is partially the reason why I have chosen to attend SOMA, because I want to really understand this, and I have also grown cold to much of the empty advice out there, along with all the spam I get promising me that I can “Use Twitter to make Millions Today!” or “From Facebook to Your Checkbook in 30 minutes!”, (Yuck, I am making myself sick.)
So, I was happy to see this important subject on our agenda in class last week, and we began dissecting this idea, and will further this week.
The session started off with a truism; “What you can measure you can manage, and what you can manage get’s done.” Obviously, we know that. To be effective as a social media consultant, more is needed than just getting 1,000’s of people on your wall, page views, video downloads, popularity rankings, or the number of DM’s you get each day. It’s about measuring personal interactions, what method of user-generated content is working and which isn’t, then adjusting. Online consumer response and market interaction is much more dynamic than the old school ways of SEO, they just don’t work. (BTW: clarification – SEO and social media – not the same thing)
Finally approaching release, I was able to get a beta of the new version of Twhirl and compare it with another tool I like TweetDeck. (You can get on the beta of 0.8.8. here). Already today, in about 12 hours 2000 (yes, 2000!) from more than 30 countries have downloaded the preview version of our new Twhirl.
For a comparison of Twhirl and TweetDeck, this article is pretty balanced in it’s side by side analysis, even though in the end (prior to the enhancements in 0.8.8., Twhirl still was the leader).
Obviously today, was a busy day for my friend and founder of Twhirl, Loic Le Meur and the whole team @seesmic.com and yet he was able to send me this video message of how it went today before he boarded a plane to Europe. You are the man, Loic!
I’m happy to announce that Tim, our social media leader here at Perspective, will be attending SOMA Leadership Class this semester beginning January 23, 2009! He will be getting certified as an expert in the social media field and look forward to his input into exactly how to help business leaders understand the impact (and importance) of social media, how to develop and implement a real social media solution, building and launching an online community, and much, much more. Check out the very comprehensive curriculum here.
Congratulations Tim! We look forward to your blogging about what your learning and helping us all become even better equipped in this exploding segment. Tim has been dedicated to this area and is developing into one of the most sought after Social Media Experts in the nation. Here at Perspective, we to are expanding our services and focus onto social media consulting to meet the need of business who want to be more successful in this new era.
I attended a very education webinar today, put on by Xeequa. I found it to be very helpful. Axel Shultze, CEO, convincingly explained and showed how consumers have become increasingly resistant to traditional forms of advertising . For us as Internet Marketers we have to learn from this as well, that we can’t any longer ‘hope’ that we attract customers with something they are rejecting in the marketplace. (Thanks again Axel for your outstanding efforts in the area! When I grow up I want to be just like you.)
Today, all of us are getting educated through the Internet, actually the “Social Web” (whether people call it that or not), by reading blogs and IM from our mobile devices, checking our social networks, join forums, participate in groups and virtual communities and listen to the opinions and read the reviews of people we trust. An astonishingly increasing number of product or brand decisions are pretty much made before a sales process even starts, almost entirely before someone would enter a physical store or company. We all have done our research well before that time using our Social contacts via the web and what SM tools we have grown to rely on.