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Mobile-Friendly Makes Your Business Customer-Friendly

Your audience wants to be engaged and informed.  Establishing and maintaining brand loyalty means connecting your audience to social networks, mail subscriptions and mobile devices. This allows the consumer to receive fast, accurate content through multiple channels, making your business’ customers more accessible. With an audience on-the-go, your company needs a plan to become more mobile-friendly.

Newport Interactive Marketers (sponsored by Designated Editor) is starting 2012 off with all things mobile.  Join NIM as Annette Tonti CEO, MoFuse uncovers the best mobile web practices for advertisers and publishers. Strengthen your multi-channel approach by building effective mobile web content that is convenient and easy to use. “Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly” is an event that is open to the public and begins at 6:00pm on Thursday, January 26 2012 at 41North (351 Thames Street, Newport RI 02840).

You will learn

  • Mobile is Local: What does that mean for marketers?
  • How are people using the mobile web and how will that change in 2012?
  • Mobile Web or App, what is the difference?
  • How do you build effective mobile web content?
  • Every marketer needs to include mobile as part of their multi-channel approach.  Which are the best practices?
  • Why and how has mobile web quickly emerged as the most important landscape for mid-tier and local businesses?

No matter what industry your company is in, there are opportunities for growth on mobile devices. Featured speaker Annette Tonti knows this all too well, as MoFuse defends its reputation for powering mobile sites for customers as different as the State Department and Harper Collins.  They also power mobile sites for thousands of local businesses and marketers who use mobile to build mobile ad campaigns.  From Pandora to Ghirardelli chocolate, both large and small brands are engaging audiences in this new, effective way.

How will your mobile-friendly company engage its audience?

With so many new devices and applications hitting the streets at record speeds, it’s easy for your company to put some of these new devices to marketing use.

  • Build incentive programs (i.e. coupons, contests, etc.)
  • Enable financial services such as PayPal for streamlined billing processes
  • Run surveys – feedback directly from the customer makes them feel engaged and appreciated
  • Promote customer service – build a two-way conversation
  • …and much, much more!

Connect with Annette Tonti via Twitter and LinkedIn before the event, and check out MoFuse, too!

For event details, visit

Interns aka digital natives at the Social Media Social


Interns aka digital natives meet pros at the Social Media Social

By Jaclyn Liva
University of Rhode Island

Social Media is being used in almost everyone’s lives constantly throughout the day. The URI Student-led Public Relations Society recently hosted the first-ever Social Media Social. Several students that belong to the University’s Harrington School of Communication were in attendance, along with many Newport Interactive Marketers members and small businesses looking for interns.

University of Rhode Island Social Media professor Suzanne McDonald, founder of NIM, kicked off the event with an informative speech on how the need for digital natives is increasing. It was a great because the students there are all familiar in social media, aka digital natives. Her presentation is available on SlideShare and focuses on “Crossing the Digital Divide” between digital natives (student-interns) and busy professionals.

The Social was an opportunity for students to socialize with business owners and other professionals who are seeking help with social media for their businesses. Suzanne also talked about how important a LinkedIn profile is to have.

Shawn Simmons, Director Public Relations at StyleWeek Providence, @StyleWeekPR was also a keynote speaker at the social. He discussed the importance of branding yourself and offered tips on how to discover your brand. Shawn advised everyone to keep in mind that what other people say about your brand is much more important than what you design your brand to be.

During the event, there was a live Twitter stream onstage. People were tweeting and retweeting questions for the social media experts panel. And #URI_PRS was trending. One student tweeted: “How important are recommendations from co-workers and bosses on LinkedIn?”  The question was answered almost instantly by one of the panelists: crucially important.

It was nice to see even the keynote speakers tweet from the audience. It made the atmosphere of the Social feel much more open.

The Social Media Social panel featured

These pros deftly handled numerous questions and stressed the fact that everything that is put on the Internet will forever live in cyberspace.

The Social Media Social came to an end with a networking session. This gave everyone in attendance the opportunity to meet, mingle, and explore internship opportunities over free ice cream!

Google+ Twitter Q & A at Newport Interactive Marketers

Newport Interactive Marketers shared best practices and techniques to using Google+ and Twitter as effective social media platforms.

Michelle Quillin, social media maven of New England Multimedia and Matt Medeiros of Slocum Design, shared their experience and expertise with the #NIM group.

What did the #NIM audience take away from this Newport Interactive Marketers session?

Google+ offers

  • Targeted messaging
  • Social circles and hangouts
  • Makes online life more “real” via sharing abilities

Tips for Google+

  • Categorize your circles
  • Use Google+ circles to target specific people and avoid over-posting
  • Follow back every follower and then reassign to relevant circles
  • Google hangouts a great connect face-to-face
  • Look for people who are following thought-leaders

Google+ takeaways

  • For now, it’s best for marketers
  • Will not kill off Facebook
  • Will Google+ outrank other social mentions in search engine results?
    • Google says no, NIM attendees say yes

Interact on Google+ and Twitter

  • Tune your voice to fit various social media platforms
  • Matt’s take on finding your social media voice
The NIM group had varied opinions on the relevance of both of these platforms for their individual campaigns. Try them out and see what works the best with your audiences.  Then cater your voice to effectively reach out  to your intended audiences.

Thanks to @PRNick, @wordtracker, @kristinzhivago, @rrenfreehawes, @ChristiesNWPT, @HeatherCinOC, and  @NewprtBridgeRun for contributing to the dialogue.

Looking forward to more #NIM conversations!

Create your brand story: Newport Interactive Marketers

Jamie Palmer, senior practitioner at University Business Consultants, taught Newport Interactive Marketers how to create an effective and personal brand story for online and offline platforms.

“78% of people are visual … if you can build a story, people will remember you.” – Jamie Palmer

What’s your brand story?  Are you telling it so listeners will engage?

Create your brand story

Return on investment
  • Build trust + engagement  = ROI
  • Once you’ve built trust and engagement, you can sell (softly)

Pillars of storytelling

  • Build structure and reframe your stories based on how the other person responds
  • Keep it simple: Have a specific theme, use strong words, be positive and/or funny
  • Be sneaky: Tell stories that show your expertise without overtly saying it
  • Use chunking techniques: Keep any stories less than 3 minutes, 2 would be ideal
  • Can only have 1-3 characters in your story: Don’t lose your point in character development

Create a metaphor, paint a picture that illustrates your offerings

    • What does the product do?
    • How would I describe the product?
    • How does the brand make me look and feel?
  • Utilize strategic intent


  • Have meaningful conversations
  • Bring in a third party to help tell your story instead of always talking about you
  • Make real-life connections like Newport Interactive Marketers

Twitter tips

  • Sometimes you tweet just to help SEO
  • Be careful what/when you tweet
  • Twitter counter measures counts up/down
Remember: Wherever you go, you are marketing your own brand and creating your own story.  Take Jamie’s strategies to create a story that uses the pillars of storytelling and paints a compelling picture to connect with your audience.

Check out University Business Consultant’s Connected movie trailer

Thank you @seangw, @carloverkat, @KevinTVine, @chrissheehy, @RIBloodCenter, @SidewalkBrand for adding your insights via Twitter to this #NIM event.

Social media and customer service with Newport Interactive Marketers

Combine your customer service and your social media efforts

Opinions?  Everyone’s got one.
Social media? 75% of U.S. population uses it.

Combine the two, and you have the perfect platform for people to speak out, to be heard, and to be responded to.  It’s a smart business move to combine your customer service and your social media efforts for best results in both crucial areas.

Chuck Dennis, Vice President and Senior Consultant for Knowledgence Associates and customer service guru, taught Newport Interactive Marketers how to successfully combine social media and customer service as a business strategy.

What did NIM members learn at the last meetup of the summer?

Use social media for customer service. Why?

  • TRUTH: The lines between PR, marketing, and customer service are so blurred, there’s no separating them.
  • Enhancing your relationship with customers is the key to successful growth!
  • Social media users need customer media reps to interact, and not spew out marketing.
  • Customer service today is about being PROactive and Reactive, not just reactive.

Tips for intertwining social media and customer service

  • Unhappy customer? Stop talking. LISTEN. Apologize for inconvenience. Tell them what you’ll do. Do it.  Ask if satisfied.  Give bonus.
  • People don’t care about excuses, but they love an apology (if warranted) just don’t keep ‘em hangin.
  • ALWAYS respond to customer service issues as soon as possible.
  • Very unattractive and a bad idea to bicker with companies and people on social media.
  • Provide forums/communities where businesses encourage discussions, questions, and comments, but do not dominate the conversation.


  • The big difference of social media is that it is transparent; its on a global stage.
  • Let the public SEE how well you take care of your customers. People are watching, will appreciate the care you show customers.
  • No logo’d hats or pens to fix a customer service issue. Come through with solutions instead.

Stay on top of customer service

  • Look for your name coming up online.
  • Use Google Alerts
  • Use social media monitoring tools such as Hootsuite or Radian6

Social media and customer service in action

Chuck Dennis’ final tips of the night

  • Great service rules still reign
  • Take advantage of current events for cool customer service offers.
    • Example: Drink called Earthquake!

Thanks for the tweets @NEMultimedia @kelly_ahern @PRnick , @buona_vita, @seangw, @roncorr

What are your favorite customer service via social media examples?