Morgan does a great job of relating social media concepts, tools and potential to the goal of portraying a brand or client in the best possible way on the web. “You can’t just do PR and you can’t just do social media,” he says, “because everything has to work together.”
As we are finding with Twitter’s trending topics notifications and hash tags, social media and twitter in particular can be a powerful way to spread ideas. They go “from one person’s idea to a mainstream news story over the course of minutes,” says Morgan.
Filtering those ideas from the background noise is a challenge, and Morgan says that it is up to the individual to accomplish because you can’t automate it. So you have to become engaged and grab a hold of the all powerful CONVERSATION.
Is it REALLY all about Conversation? (yes it is…)
“Conversation means actually engaging with the people who want to engage with you,” says Morgan. Though it isn’t always important or even necessary to have a conversation per se; there are plenty of special cases where information sources, agencies, companies and especially celebrities do just fine without really worrying about conversations.
Still, as Morgan says, “you need to be involved in the conversation instead of having things pushed to you all the time.” Most users are seeking real interactions. Often those interactions occur with or even around a brand.
Social Media As PR
That can be intimidating not only to a lot of PR and marketing professionals, but also to CEOs. Morgan adds, “that should energize companies and really scare them.” Though many companies have stepped into social media to react to emergent issues, it is a far better policy to engage before trouble arises. You can easily quell the bad (if you do it right (OK, and are lucky)) and accentuate the positive.
As we learned from Krista Parry, companies can have a lot of success putting their own info out there for users to find, by posting breaking news and info on blogs and podcasts. “The great thing about using a podcast or videocast for that,” says Morgan, “is you can have everything you want to say encapsulated there.” There are people out there who are super interested in a topic and will seak out lots of information and eventually become defacto experts, sources and influencers, “and you want to be able to provide those peole with as much information as you can,” says Morgan.
Great to meet you Josh, and thank you very much for inviting me out to speak to your class!
Note: In the audio version of this episode you get a few extras. 1) A lot more insight from Josh into how businesses can benefit from using social media for PR (and that’s not just lip-service either, he actually does it), 2) a segment where Josh asks me about my observations on the use of technology I observed on my recent trip to Morocco, and 3) a stumble where my sleep deprivation and jet-lag leads to a funny quote regarding the CDC and swine flu.
In this episode of Horse Power I get a few minutes to speak with Alan Hall, Founder and Chairman of Grow Utah Ventures, a group dedicated to finding, training and helping entrepreneurs get their business started and grow in Utah. Hall and Grow Utah Ventures promote entrepreneurism in the community through education, networking and speed pitching opportunities. In this video Hall talks about the components of a good start-up and how he can help entrepreneurs get their business started and their products to market. (There are a few more details in the Audio version, click here to subscribe to Horse Power in iTunes.)
Alan Hall is also Founder and Chairman at MarketStar, a successful sales and marketing outsourcing company that he started in his basement in Ogden. Hall is involved in almost every level of entrapreneurship promotion in Utah, from finding venture capital dollars to having simple conversations with new entrepreneurs and answering questions. Our President, Steve Spencer, caught up with Hall last year at a Funding Universe speed pitching event and was very impressed with both his knowledge, passion and ability to help new entrapreneurs find direction.
Hall is taking his show on a much longer road over the next year with Grow America. Thanks for taking the time to talk with me Alan. It was great to meet you!
This isn’t just an adventure. Doug and Michael are out to raise awareness and support for
Macmillan Cancer Support. For years, Doug has been working to raise awareness for environmental, educational and charitable causes, and has always used technology to get the message out about what he and his clients are experiencing and observing. That has included webcasts, photos, voice recordings, and text updates. But we thought they should kick it up a notch and be more social.
Social Media for Expeditions
Doug has a handheld PDA that links up to a satellite phone so that he can send images and messages back to Ice Axe Headquarters in Truckee Ca. There Karyn Stanley, Ice Axe Managing Director, posts the updates to the website, which we built on the WordPress CMS.
Doug and Michael are also sending Twitter updates of their adventure as they get closer to the pole through the ice and open water of the Arctic Ocean. I’m digging following the challenges and trails of their trek on twitter!
You can listen to audio updates that they call in using the file and media sharing service drop.io. This service receives and records the calls, creates an embeddable audio player, and produces an iTunes subscribeable feed so that you can sync the updates to your phone or ipod every day.
The images Doug and Michael are sending back end up on Flickr.com where you can view, bookmark, share and comment. There are some amazing images there!
And all of this is happening, albeit with a little help from basecamp, as the expedition is unfolding, rather than days or weeks after. While we wish we had been hired to tag along and be the tech geeks for the expedition, once we set it all up and got it live, Doug and Michael are able to easily send updates and Karyn is posting them from home — all on their own! On top of that, they now have multiple avenues for commenting and interaction with their growing community.
If you love adventure, please check out what Doug and Karen have been able to do for Education, Environment and Charity with Ice Axe Expeditions. And please also take a minute to look at the important causes they are working for on the True North and the upcoming Two Feet on the Table (launching in April 11th) expeditions. There’s a lot more content and media we’ll be adding to this site in the coming months.
We’re really into ski resort marketing @ Twelve Horses, so I was stoked to get a chance to talk with Krista Parry, Director of Marketing and Communications at Park City Mountain Resort about the things they are doing to not just reach, but actually connect with their customers via social media online. (I was DOUBLE stoked to shred some awesome pow and groomers with Eric Hoffman too!)
Lots of Ski Resorts are using social media to market online, but Krista and Eric, Interactive Marketing Manager at Park City, recognized early on that the web was going to change the way they managed the PCSki message. They stepped in with a blog that they could use to communicate mountain information directly to customers and visitors who needed to know. What they found was an audience with a great desire to consume information and an ever increasing interested in exchanging information.
Since then, they have engaged their audience on Twitter, Flickr, Youtube and even created dedicated channels that communicate directly moms, a core segment of their customers. Their microsite which can be found at smowmamas.com helps mothers plan ski vacations for their families at Park City and gives them specific information to their needs and interests from real moms who write about real experiences. Eric has a great post on ski resorts using Twitter on his personal blog. There are some great comments there about how resorts are using twitter and social media for PR, marketing and engaging customers.
It was also my first time skiing at Park City, and @photo_John, @Jenni_LMT and I were happy to find some steep technical POWDER infested terrain to go along with all the moderate groomers on the mountain. It was a great day!
@pcski on Twitter: 956 Followers, 898 updates, Tweetstats for @pcski.
Park City Blog: 4 authors with profile pics, Video and Flickr slideshows, 19 comments on page 1 for 10 posts.
PCMR on Flickr: 18 sets, 2 friends (wha?), 404 items since NOV 2008.
PCSKI on YouTube: 11 videos, 1531 channel views, 4839 average views / video.
In Social Media it’s good to know what the “gurus” are saying and what the new tools are, but it’s far more important to know what the people in the trenches are doing. Krista, Eric and Park City are a team to watch. What do you think is good or bad about what they are doing? What other examples of Brands using social media effectively are there out there? What new directions are we going to see ski resorts (or any brand for that matter) take in the next year?
Twelve Horses combines award-winning web design with extensive blogging
experience to provide you with the strategy, tools, and tricks for
search engine optimization and differentiation from competitors.
We provide custom designs using Wordpress along with reliable web hosting,
implementation and strategic consulting for businesses of all sizes.