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Mobile Strategies for Event Marketing | A CrowdTorch Webinar

With the creation of Smartphones comes their respective software: the “mobile apps.”  Mobile apps are designed to make your life easier (and more fun) by providing maps, restaurant reviews, games, news, and a multitude of other interesting features. It is not surprising then that apps for event planning and event marketing have been developed.

Are you an event planner, coordinator, or do you work for an agency that plans large-scale events?  This webinar, Mobile Strategies for Event Marketing, offers some tips on how to use mobile apps for event planning purposes.

Hosted by CrowdTorch, a division of Cvent, Brian Ludwig, VP of Sales at CVent, and Camille Wingo, Sales Executive at CrowdTorch, were the webinar speakers.

CrowdTouch has created customized apps for TOMS, Toyota, and many other notable companies, conferences, concerts, and organizations.

Mobile apps stats for the ‘average’ user

  • 74% of adults own a smartphone
  • 77 minutes per day are spent using apps
  • The phone is looked at 150 times each day
  • 65 apps are installed on phone

Bottom line:  “This is not a fad” says Brian Ludwig: Mobile usage is on the rise and apps are here to stay.  In 3-4 years all large event, tour, and marketing initiatives will have a mobile app.

Benefits of native mobile apps

  • Native App: Installed on phone, not found on web means users can access content anywhere
  • Direct access at the palm of your hand with real-time updates
  • Customized for individual events & personalized experience
  • Social media engagement
  • Provides logistics & analytics for event organizers
  • Eco-friendly:  Reduces printing!
  • Synch-able with smartphone device features: contacts, GPS, etc…

Mobile Apps basics

  • Brand reflection:  Make app content brand-focused and unique
  • Target audience: Cater to audiences’ personal wants from event & make user-friendly
  • Generate $$ through sponsorships: Banners on apps, use logo on apps, personalized sponsor sections
  • Interactive: Maps, real-time weather, rich media (YouTube) and social media
  • Push notifications: Send announcements and updates

Market your mobile app

  • Website: Call-to-action on site for super-easy download of app
  • Emails: Share app with users via email when event is near
  • Blog: Show off app on blog
  • Social media: Share the app on all platforms
  • User ratings: Urge users to provide feedback

Case studies

Big Day Out: A traveling Australian music festival that went to 6 locations.  The app created for this event allowed the user to pick the location they wanted to see the concert in, and the app delivered the details accordingly.  Bonus: Successful in consistent branding throughout navigation.

National Cherry Blossom Festival: User can see every event and sort by date, location, category, and use basic search.  Bonus: Allowed user to create their personalized agenda.

Insomnia: Wanted one “mothership app,” which allows users to access all events and pick what interests them, personally.

What’s next

  • Ticket integration: Buy & share tickets directly on app
  • RFID Technology: “Bracelet” that allows greater accessibility to activities during event
  • Gamification, photo sharing & amplification, lead capture

This short but succinct webinar hosted by CrowdTorch presented the upside of using an app for your event marketing initiatives. With significant success stories and great insider tips, why not try creating a mobile app for your next event?

Social Media Playbook for Business, a video book review

Social Media Playbook for Business, a video book review:

The ideal companion for managers

Tom Funk’s Social Media Playbook for Business Reaching Your Online Community with Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and More is an all-encompassing social media book that covers various aspects of social media: From strategy to platforms to “next level” steps, successes, failures, and future predictions.

Managers who are not directly involved with day-to-day social media may find Funk’s explanations most helpful. He covers social media platforms, competitive analysis, setting up profiles on platforms, and monitoring blogs, etc… Unfortunately, Funk is not very in-depth when discussing what to expect when hiring consultants.

Funk’s book covers everything from

  • Listening
  • Ownership
  • Customer service
  • Legal rights
  • Establishing mission
  • Publishing a plan
  • Goals
  • Tracking
  • ROI
  • & Deciding if your company is right for social media

Funk succeeds in discussing the importance of writing a sound social media business plan.  He explains how to formulate a social media plan like a business plan by translating how social media can benefit businesses in a language more oriented to MBAs than marketing-communications specialists.

A social media business plan, like a business plan, should include

  • Competitive analysis
  • Operations plan
  • Goals
  • Objectives
  • ROI
  • Knowing the difference between earned vs paid media.

The chapter on the future of social media was highly engaging and scientific, covering the topics of

  • Social shopping
  • Neuro-linguistic programming
  • How social media is likely to integrate with our everyday expectations
  • How social becomes the new “normal”

Tom Funk’s Social Media Playbook for Business Reaching Your Online Community with Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and More combines the creative and analytical aspects of using social media to succeed in your campaigns.

Follow Tom Funk on Twitter

Social Media Playbook for Business Reaching Your Online Community with Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and More

By Tom Funk

Published February 2011

Best for:  Managers or business owners interested in learning more about how to combine social media into their businesses, or people who are generally curious about creating a successful social media campaign.

Make your business socially, behaviorally, emotionally intelligent

Chip Conley

When analyzing consumer buying behavior, folks down at the South By Southwest Interactive Festival found themselves at the crossroad of psychology and business, with Chip Conley acting as the crossing guard.
Chip Conley is the CEO and Chief Emotions Officer at Joie de Vivre Hospitality, a company he founded two dozen years ago. Chip’s years of experience and best-selling books helped him to create his talk, “Emotional Equations to Connect With Your Customers,” which aimed to help business leaders understand how to be more emotionally intelligent in the workplace.

Unpack your emotional baggage

  • Despair = suffering minus meaning. Suffering is a constant, meaning is a variable. Meaning lessens suffering.
  • Fear is used systematically to control, suppress and get people to do “something.”
  • When going through bad times, a company is a sweatbox.
  • Study: Women who had teen depression vs those who did not – the former were much better able to handle being a widow later.
  • Stress early in life builds long-term courage and resilience, builds emotional muscles.
  • Anxiety resolution: Chart what do I know/don’t know, what can I influence/can’t.
  • Disappointment = Expectations minus reality.
  • Disappointment is usually the result of poorly managed expectations.

Happiness and business practice

  • Happiness = wanting what you have/having what you want
  • Happiness = practice gratitude/pursue gratification.
  • Happiness = wanting what you have divided by having what you want.
  • Solace and comfort comes from consumption, replacing religion?
  • Bhutan – forget GNP – try gross national happiness.
  • Hedonic treadmill, whatever we get is what we want, we want more, which yields unhappiness.

Our basic needs to survive, succeed, and transform

  • Meet expectations, meet desires, meet unrecognized needs, but unrecognized needs will become expectations.
  • Transformational companies focus on the unrecognized needs of their customers.
  • Between stimulus and response is a space to choose our response.
  • We all aspire to self-actualization, but how do you make it for a company? Many great companies used it.

Buying behavior

  • Buying behavior is driven by unconscious thoughts. 95% of thought, emotion & learning happen w/o consciousness.
  • Identity affirmations play a huge role in consumer behavior. What does the product say about me, self-actualization.
  • People identify with things they aspire to be. Shopping is buying identity.
  • The more options we have, the more opportunity for regret.
  • What does a self-actualized customer looks like?

4 ways to succeed

  • Help meet goals
  • Allow expression
  • Feel part of bigger cause
  • Offer real value that they hadn’t imagined
 Want to learn more about Emotional Equations? Check out Chip Conley’s Prezi presentation for free.

Boost Rankings by Optimizing Your Website Speed | SEMNE

A fast website makes users feel empowered; a slow website is simply agonizing. In a time-poor society, users and consumers want  to use fast, responsive sites. As website owners team up with developers to prioritize strategy, speed is consistently the most important factor. At a recent Search Engine Marketing New England event, Jonathan Hochman made the case for website speed optimization and how you can boost it for your site.

What every website owner should know about speed

  • If your site is penalized 100% of the time you will be notified in Google Webmaster tools.
  • Amazon reports that .1 of a second in load speed causes 1% loss in sales.
  • Browsers only run between 2 and 5 simultaneous requests (for images and data etc.)

Be selective when choosing hosting

  • It’s OK to complain if your site isn’t loading fast enough! The worst possible hosting is your own IT department.
  • Users recommend BostonComputing and TigerTech because they are good for WordPress and offer quality support.
  • Mediatemple and RackSpace also good hosting choices, but they are a bit more expensive.
  • Double your WordPress speed with W3 Total cache plugin. This tool allows you to turn on page caching and minification, which can double the page speed
  • Don’t self-host video, embed from Wistia for better quality and analytics. It’s not free, but can learn more and is compatible.

What affects website speed?

  • The number of lines of code (although this matters less than other factors)
  • Ad scripts being served from Google Adsense servers
  • Page size
  • Flash video player from YouTube
  • Images from Blogger Photos and other sites

 What is a CSS Sprite?

  • An image sprite is a collection of images put into a single image. A web page with many images can take a long time to load and generates multiple server requests. Using image sprites will reduce the number of server requests and save bandwidth
  • Those looking to hire a developer should hire those who know CSS Sprites. Experts say developers should absolutely know sprites – should be standard nowadays.

Quick fixes help and code tactics count

High-impact, easy-to-use tools

  • Use content delivery network Cloudflare (free) to speed up your website’s load time! Users says comment spam and site scraping will be reduced.
  • Linux servers are faster than Windows. There may be a correlation to self-hosting and Windows
  • Measure website speed with Pingdom tools (you want 1.5 seconds or less). Users say it has great data speed when tested correctly.
  • Yoast works especially well with WordPress. This tools helps users optimize speed with the help of a plugin developer.

Special thanks to insight from SEMNE friends @seangw and @fairminder!

Small Organizations Can Create a Big Social Media Presence

Aimee Roundtree

When time, money, and help are hard to come across, it’s time for organizations to incorporate strong social media strategies. Many small brands are seeing big success with social media, whether for outreach, education, PR, or promotion. South by Southwest Interactive provided tips on how to create a strong social media presence.

If you want to do big things with social media at your small organization, you have to be creative and flexible, use what works, and know thyself to create a campaign that’s effective and works for you (and most importantly, your audience), according to Aimee Kendall Roundtree, University of Houston-Downtown Associate Professor in the Professional Writing Program. Highlights from Big Social Media Results for Small Organizations:

Social media for small organizations: Best Practices

  • Invite participation
  • Set and know your metrics and perform sentiment analysis
  • Know you purpose and set policies and training programs invite participation
  • Set smaller goals and achieve them
  • It’s good for small organizations to be talking about news, events, and partnerships with other organizations
  • Track interactive patterns, build metrics and tools as you need them.
  • Do what works for your organization, which may be unique to your audience and brand
  • Being adaptive is a best practice because money and time are the biggest barriers
  • Hashtags build community structure, be sure to put your mission first
  • When establishing strategies, small organizations should use messages for content, not memories
  • Small organizations can often do well by amplifying user-generated content

Make the voice of your organization heard through social media

  • 73% of small orgs using social media. Of those not using, 81% plan to start
  • For small organizations, often the best social media posts don’t support the strategic plan or goal
  • Use social media to embody the organization. Share daily goings-on and be intimate in a brand-appropriate way
  • Film events, share anecdotes and other clips to help feed social content. This helps a small organization to show activity
  • Be aware: Despite organizations’ goals/purpose, users can change direction through contributed content

 Be brave when branding your organization through social media

  • It’s OK for small organizations to wing it! Just use your intuition
  • When it comes to social media, intuition can be more effective than best practices
  • Don’t be afraid to say what you need to say, provide real content about what’s happening. Be concise and consistent
  • Consider the ant: How is it that ants accomplish so much without someone telling them what to do?

Thanks to @akroundtree, @ACDunbeck, @inthekisser, @mirandaLwilson for your insights!