Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Thanks for Twick or Tweeting

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009

When one door closes another opens, and we love the quality people we met in those opened doors through the Tetra Pak campaign (along with Organic Valley and Hershey’s). Yes, the campaign is over, and it was nothing short of a success. We were able to inform the public about chocolate milk served in milk boxes, and how the packaging is better for the environment, as Tetra Pak cartons already have one of the lowest environmental footprints within the packaging industry. One hundred MILLION impressions were achieved, and we took part in the #chocolatemilk Twitter trending topic that had people talking for days.

While working to promote this venture, we stumbled across some people who helped us take it to the next level. With their help, we were able to reach many more people than we could do alone – so to them, we say thank you. Please check out the blogs below; you just might learn something!

http://www.artfulcreativemama.blogspot.com/
http://www.centsible-sawyer.com
http://monaevedesignfarm.com
http://www.opentalkmom.com
http://www.savingdollarsandsense.com/
http://www.easyecotogo.com
http://www.mashupmom.com
http://www.greenlivingguy.com
http://www.got2begreen.com
http://www.nourishinteractive.com
http://www.greenscroll.org/blog/

And if you’re looking for some new people to follow on Twitter, add these to your “these people rock” list:

@LisiSilveira
@YourFunFamily
@NinjaFanpire
@Candyloveinpa
@Agneimanis
@Sprocking
@Fullmoonfading
@Mswecker
@CanmoreRabbit
@angels510

And remember, just because Halloween is over does not mean the message should fade. Visit http://www.momsforhealthykids.com to further your journey toward a healthier lifestyle. Share your tips, tricks and treats (had to!) with others. Again, thank you for your part in making this campaign such a hit.

Make Twitter Trending Topics Work For You

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

Those of you who use Twitter know how reflective it is of current events. Results are shown in real-time, so if you want to be in the know right now, simply monitor your home page to learn the latest about New Moon, balloon boy and Halloween. (These are sure to change soon!) Trending topics are nothing new, but we at JB Chicago tried a new approach recently… instead of creating our own, we managed to make one work with us.

October 13th was the kickoff of the #chocolatemilk Twitter party, which was about announcing the launch of a new milk mustache campaign. We monitor Twitter activity and noticed the beginning of this trend. JB employees began to reach out to their influencers, asking them to help the trend gain momentum, as it directly related to our current campaign (example tweet: Trick or treat with #chocolatemilk this year on Halloween!! Support those dairy farmers! http://budurl.com/TWEA). The trend became the number one topic on October 13th.

From there we changed all messaging related to the campaign to incorporate the trend. This meant changing the verbiage sent via a Twitter “machine,” where users, upon receiving a trick or treat tweet, are driven to a landing page where they are encouraged to send their own. The number of these being sent was in the thousands, so the trend continued to hold its own near the top of the ranking. (Though I must admit some of those numbers came from Twitter users who participated simply because they were asking why #chocolatemilk was a trend in the first place!)

The trend began to die down on October 15th, but it spent a good day and a half in the top 10. Through the use of this tool, we brought some big numbers in for our campaign. Just how big, you might ask? After doing some quick math that takes into account that 1900 tweets per 11 minutes is what equates an average trend, we got 40,219,200 impressions. What does this mean for you? Well, you already know Twitter can help in your business outreach…. But trending topics are the things everyone is talking about – and they can help make that outreach increase threefold. So watch them regularly; you never know when one might be right up your alley.

JB Chicago Launches “Trick or Treat” Campaign

Thursday, September 24th, 2009

Without further ado, we are proud to announce the launch of our “trick or treat” campaign for Tetra Pak. Our goal is to inform the public about the benefits, both for children’s health and our environment, of serving chocolate milk in milk boxes. What began months ago is now a reality, and we are so proud of the final product.

Here’s the overview, in a nutshell:

  • Applications on Facebook and Twitter allow users to send a “trick” or a “treat” their friends. On Facebook you can view which of your friends are playing, and the Twitter app includes a ranking of the scariest Twitterers — i.e. who is sharing the most.

  • Our Web app enables you to attach your friends’ faces to the bodies of dancing monsters after they “trick or treat” at their doors. And below is the Trick or Treat Me blog, where parents can find helpful (and healthy) snacking tips — many of which come from the Food Network’s Robin Miller.

  • And the real kicker? Each click within Facebook or Twitter, and each e-mail sent, is a donation to World Wildlife Fund.

We hope our Halloween apps offer a little bit of fun while giving you the opportunity to help others. So please, trick or treat your friends — each time you do, you are donating to the World Wildlife Fund. Play around and enjoy… we sure are.

Facebook: http://budurl.com/JBFBA

Twitter: http://budurl.com/JBTAp

Web: http://budurl.com/JBWAp

Pow, To The Moon…Alice

Friday, July 17th, 2009

Holding up a lighter has long been a staple of any concert-going experience – an experience that has stayed relatively stagnant by wrapping up live music, dancing and outrageously-priced food and drink into one great night. Enter: Twitter. While this microblogging monster is not going to change any of that, it IS adding a whole new element to what many of us previously considered routine. And if it’s any indication of things to come, you might hold off on buying that $250 pavilion ticket – you can simply log onto Twitter and hear the live version, mere minutes after it is recorded.

Leading the charge in this online digitation is Moonalice, a band fronted by venture capitalist and co-founder of Elevation Partners, Roger McNamee. Roger is also co-founder of the band, which played 102 shows in 2008. His Bay Area crew is comprised of GE Smith (former band leader of Saturday Night Live, Bob Dylan, Hall & Oates); Pete Sears (Rod Stewart, Jefferson Starship, Hot Tuna); Barry Sless (Phil Lesh & Friends); Ann McNamee (Ann Atomic, Flying Other Bros.); John Molo (Bruce Hornsby, The Other Ones, Phil Lesh & Friends); Roger McNamee (Flying Other Bros.); and sometimes Jack Casady (Jefferson Airplane, Hot Tuna), with an album produced by T. Bone Burnett. And while McNamee is filling that need to rock on the weekends by manning the guitar, bass and vocals, he and the band are also showing others how they can incorporate Twitter into their music outreach.

How does Moonalice do it? By being the first band to employ the use of Twittercasts, which are live Twitter broadcasts of their shows. Upon completion of a song, Moonalice’s sound team digitizes and uploads it before tweeting out the news. Followers click on a TinyURL link and are taken to a site where they can listen to and download the track – it’s as easy as that. This novel idea is helping the band cover some real ground. After first testing the Twittercast in April, they decided to continue the approach through a couple more concerts. And according to an April TechCrunch article, “because of the live Twitter integration, Moonalice says that its seen 3000 downloads of its music in the past week and a half (from just the tweets and retweeting)” – a number that has surely increased the listenership of this slightly south of mainstream band.

With more than 90,000 followers on Twitter and 6,000 on Facebook, the band has pioneered music broadcasts over social networks. These results are impressive, as is the band’s success at using social network tools to build its brand. In fact, Roger McNamee is currently slated to address the topic of the mobile Web prior to a performance in Bend Oregon this August – which further solidifies him as some on the forefront of this trend. I expect this is one trend that really will take off. Music fans are a crazy bunch, and this is one more way they can get closer to the source… so groupies and SoNet junkies alike, rejoice.

For more information about Moonalice, please visit: http://www.moonaliceband.com/
For more information about Roger McNamee, please visit: http://www.elevation.com/EP_IT.asp?id=102

How to Start Right-er with Dean’s

Monday, July 13th, 2009

$25,000 in Visa gift cards sound good? To 500,000 people, it sure did – and about 50% of the traffic that came to the site was complements of bloggers. This educational site was sponsored by Dean Foods, and the “Start Right, End Right” promotion really put the company’s brands out there. In addition to the multiple Visa gift cards winners received (after entering an entry code, found on the caps of participating milk brands), the site included healthy tips, coupons, custom calendars and fun facts about milk. Add some fun graphics and you get the gist – it’s a branded site that offers helpful health information to families. And it really worked – milk sales went up five percent for the month of January after flat comparisons for months before.

Each of Dean’s 26 regional milk brands across the US had its own branded version of the site, and Kraft Foods worked with each to promote snack suggestions to go with a glass of milk. But back to the aforementioned bloggers, who were a driving force behind this campaign. Dean’s and its allies employed the use of “mommy bloggers,” reaching out to about 30 of the biggest influencers via phone or online conversations in the hopes they would blog about the campaign. “We paid extra attention to the bloggers, early on, and made them aware of the promotion and didn’t try to trick them,” said Rodney Mason, chief marketing officer of Moosylvania, the St. Louis-based agency that handled the promotion. And blog they did… Moms loved the idea, and the educational Web site was a hit for Dean’s.

Now it’s time for my two cents: While reaching out to bloggers was a great start, I think the campaign’s effectiveness could have skyrocketed if some simple social networking elements were added. Nowhere on the site are there “Share This” capabilities… which means while bloggers are included, there was no way to incorporate viral sharing on Facebook, Twitter or any other viral sites. Considering more than two thirds of Facebook’s users are outside of college, and 75% of Twitter users are 18-49, the additional spread could have hit double the amount it did. Bottom line? Great start to a campaign involving social media… but had Facebook and Twitter been involved, Dean’s “Start Right, End Right” campaign could have ended even, er, righter.

How To Do It Big (But Right): B2B and Social Media

Saturday, July 4th, 2009

So by now you probably realize the potential social networking holds for both you and your company – but you might be unsure as to how you can really use it effectively. A recent Mashable article (HOW TO: Use Social Media for Enterprise Business by Ben Parr http://mashable.com/2009/06/30/social-media-enterprise/) outlines four of the best ways to use social networking from a B2B perspective. Below are his suggestions – as well of some examples of how we are making social media for us:

1. Build a reputation of expertise.

Blogs, according to Parr, are the best way to illustrate your know-how. Sure, a large number of followers can garner a lot of attention, but if you choose to blog about niche topics, and someone stumbles upon your blog when searching for a relative solution, you have hit the jackpot. Become an expert, write about things people care about and interact with fellow bloggers as well as your readers; before you know it, you can become the go-to resource – something we all want.

We operate three blogs at JB: Mine, the graphic design blog (http://www.cuttothepaste.com) and a marketing “newbie” blog (http://www/marketingnewbiekimberly.com). Though we might not have thousands of followers (yet!), we blog about what we know: design and marketing! We blog about things people want to read about: creative logos, outrageous ads, trends in the industry…. And we acknowledge our readers through comments.

2. Research your customers

Get some background on your customers to help keep you in the loop. This means checking out their Facebook profiles/fan pages, Twitter profiles and blogs. You can not only see how they portray themselves, but also how they interact with their own customers. This can help you get a feel for the company in general, as well as what others are saying about them. It would be wise to also be up on their (and your!) industry-wide trends. Google Alerts is one way to do this.

We are heavily involved in the SoNet arena, so simply by having Twitter and FB accounts, we like to think we know a lot about the trends of the minute. Simple tools such as search.twitter.com, hashtags and Google Alerts help keep us informed – because with social media, things are always changing, and if you are not up with the latest and greatest, you can miss out. We monitor the trends, then respond and adapt accordingly… which is the best approach, in our eyes.

3. Ramp up your networking

This one’s pretty obvious: Networking really can help get your foot in the door. Whether it’s by knowing someone who knows someone who knows someone, meeting up through a Twitter meet up or connecting via Linked In, being involved is important. It can help you stand out from the crowd, illustrating you as someone who is connected and socially apt. And we all know its connections such as these that can establish relationships, which can then lead to the signing of a contract.

Within the past year I have met several great contacts through Twitter. These are contacts that tweeted out things of interest to me, which I then reached out to. Since then, we have shared tips and referred one another to potential clients. Really, it’s easy. Be open minded, reach out to others, say something of value and go from there. Changes are if they are using a social site such as Twitter, and you go about it the right way, they will be receptive.

4. Learn from others

This one is really important, especially since social media is constantly changing. See what others are doing and how it is working for them. Learn from others’ mistakes and incorporate elements of their success into your SoNet strategy. You can do this by following the tweets of industry leaders, getting an RSS feed to top blogs and asking questions. We do all this and more. We read sites such as Mashable to learn about, for example, Twitter’s recent changes; we read tweets about apps we are thinking about adding; and we talk to others about their finding, likes and dislikes.

We aren’t perfect, but our ability to learn while rolling with the punches has gotten us where we are today: A company leading the charge in successful SoNet campaigns. All it takes is a little trial and error and a lot of elbow grease… but once you discover how social media can work for you, it just might make all the difference.

Is Your SEO in the Wrong Hands?

Friday, May 15th, 2009

Over the past few years we’ve built our sites by developing a pretty smart CMS system, and we’ve have always had the ability to manipulate a lot of SEO energy through this method. We could always control the domain, the title tag, the secondary page naming conventions, meta tags and relevant content, but there was always one item missing: the infamous external linking. In the past we contracted out (like many of you guys have, undoubtedly) to a traditional SEO company, hiring them to populate directories and blogs with the relevant keywords while taking folks to the article within the website to maintain the ole point of origin that Google like so much.

After a few tries at this, and after becoming a little more educated on backlinking, a few things occurred to me:
1) I was trusting our client’s verbage to be controlled by thirty interns typing to get my site noticed by Google, but these individuals had little regard for the clients USP or messaging concerns. That’s a very scary thought.
2) SEO consists of directories and blogs… well heck, that sounds a lot like social networking to me.

With that in mind, I began on a pilgrimage to put the SEO back in the hands of the message providers and evangelists within the company — no longer in the hands of a group of 20-somethings on their way to the closest watering hole at 5:01 pm. With just a bit of a time committment and a quick lesson on how to navegate and use these sites, employees be empowered to do it themselves. Harnessing the power social networking tools, which are working conjunction with the website, and empowering the client to spread the message to their followers (and Google) — welcome to Do It Yourself SEO!

The Death of the Database

Friday, May 1st, 2009

My developer and I were banging skulls recently, discussing the goals for revamping one of our client’s online sports radio sites. He mentioned that in order for site users to get the premium info they wanted, we would need to ask for an e-mail and mobile number. He felt that that method was necessary in order to reach out to these folks in the future and create a metric for success.

I started thinking about the lack of necessity when it comes to gathering e-mail addresses and mobile numbers; rather than hinder any traffic, we should give them everything for free – the need to give out personal contact information simply doesn’t exist. What is important is giving access to people in the method they desire. It’s my belief that 10,000 e-mail addresses, accumulated in a company database, are less valuable than 2,500 RSS subscriptions, 2,500 e-mail subscriptions, 2,500 Facebook accesses and a captive audience. Why annoy your audience with interruption marketing when you can provide users with the info they want, when they want it and how they prefer it? Meaning, if they want to be notified of a Cubs win or the pregame lineup, give it to them in an RSS feed or post it to their Facebook account when they allow access – don’t inundate their inbox or their cell phone with messages that are reminiscent of SPAM.

The database is dead, but access to information is alive and thriving…

Puzzle Piece #7: Strategy

Monday, April 13th, 2009

Once you have all your profiles set up and some knowledge about each site, you need to broadcast your info to reach a waiting audience. The following are the recommended steps to get the most out of social media.

1. Blatant advertising is not appreciated or respected.
For every article you post that was written by your company, post 10 from another source that are relative to your audience. We recommend Alltop for industry-specific articles people will actually want to read.

2. Use budurl.
It not only shortens long URLs, but it also keeps track of numbers as far as how many people are reading your articles. It will quantify your traffic and show you what is (and isn’t) working.

3. Build relationships on each and every site.
Posting information is not enough. It’s important to converse with people by posting on others’ blogs, writing @replies on Twitter, answering questions on LinkedIn, etc. Engage with others – it will pay off.

4. Blogs: get your posts out to a larger audience.
You can autopost your new blog entry through your statuses using ping.fm. If you use this site, it can also track your numbers via budurl.

Other option: Use pingvine.com. This site enables your blog’s RSS feed to automatically update ping.fm (thus, less work for you). This will still update all your statuses, but it has a downside: You can’t use budURL in conjunction with this site, so you cannot track the number of viewers.
To use: Go to pingvine.com and select ping.fm. Enter your blog’s RSS feed (the same one entered into FeedBurner) and your ping.fm application key (click on “application key” to get yours). Now when you update your blog, it will update all microblogs on ping.fm.

Puzzle Piece #6: Reputation Monitoring

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009

Social media allows people to voice their opinions to millions of listeners. Wanna know what they’re saying about you? Use the following sites to monitor your online reputation.

Google.com/alerts. Subscribe for this service via e-mail or RSS, and updates about you or your company can be sent directly to your inbox.
Technorati.com. This site, according to Schawbel, is the “largest blog search engine in the world.” It can track any blog that links up to yours and send you RSS updates when someone is talking about your company.
Backtype.com. If searching for your company amidst blog comments is your concern, this is your site.
Backtracker.com. Discussion boards are a go-to to people looking to vent —and have others share their similar experiences. Get an instant update if you and yours are mentioned.
Search.twitter.com. The URL says it all: Use this to search for any tweets related to your business.
(They are some of the best, based on the blog post titled “5 Free Tools for Personal Reputation Management” by Dan Schawbel.)

Our fave? Trackur.com. It scours the Internet and provides extras (like charts and filters) that other sites don’t.

And remember, if someone is talking badly about you or your company, instead of simply taking offense and dwelling on negative comments, address them — and take the criticism for what it’s worth: a chance to grow and learn.