Archives for November 2008

Baby Blanket Bingo: ambitious entreprenuer rides web 2.0 for all its worth.

This is a story of true web 2.0 inspiration.
It’s a simple tale of how one woman with little knowledge of internet marketing is quickly gaining worldwide recognition and big distribution for her small niche product — bamboo baby blankets. Hudson, Wisconsin Entrepreneur Tamre Sutphen, creator of shi shu baby, desgned an elegant new line of hand-crafted Bamboo/Cotton blankets that are soft to the touch, yet free of unnatural and chemically treated fibers. Zosel&Co helped her create a simple e-commerce presence immediately to help fill orders from demanding distributors, and promote the product.
The e-commerce website is just the beginning. Over the past two months since the site launched, this energetic promoter has used simple social media marketing techniques to gain thousands of fans, distribution offers from from major worldwide retailers, and much more. WIth no formal training in internet marketing, Tamre began by communicating directly with her target audiences — Moms everywhere — by perusing the MommyBlogoshere. She posted links, put her products up for review, got feedback from Moms everywhere, and ultimately got attention from major retailers who follow these blogs. Using twitter, she miraculously managed to get major retailers following her, and soon offering her distribution of her line.
Plus, did I mention that she did all of this without even having a blog of her own? That’s our next assignment for Tamre. By posting daily to a blog, and believe me she will, there will be no stopping her.
So what’s the point here? Using social media web 2.0 techniques to create buzz is inexpensive, highly effective and definitely not rocket science.

shiweb

This is a story of true web 2.0 inspiration.

It’s a simple tale of how one woman with little knowledge of internet marketing is quickly gaining worldwide recognition and big distribution for her small niche product — bamboo baby blankets. Hudson, Wisconsin Entrepreneur Tamre Sutphen, creator of Shi Shu baby, desgned an elegant new line of hand-crafted Bamboo/Cotton blankets that are soft to the touch, yet free of unnatural and chemically treated fibers. Zosel&Co helped her create a simple e-commerce presence immediately to help fill orders from demanding distributors, and promote the product.

The e-commerce website is just the beginning. Over the past two months since the site launched, this energetic promoter has used simple social media marketing techniques to gain thousands of fans, distribution offers from from major worldwide retailers, and much more. WIth no formal training in internet marketing, Tamre began by communicating directly with her target audiences — Moms everywhere — by perusing the MommyBlogoshere. She posted links, put her products up for review, got feedback from Moms everywhere, and ultimately got attention from major retailers who follow these blogs. Using twitter, she miraculously managed to get major retailers following her, and soon offering her distribution of her line.

Plus, did I mention that she did all of this without even having a blog of her own? That’s our next assignment for Tamre. By posting daily to a blog, and believe me she will, there will be no stopping her.

So what’s the point here? Using social media web 2.0 techniques to create buzz is inexpensive, highly effective and definitely not rocket science.

Is Social Media the new PR? 3 out of 4 PR Pros seem to agree.

Social Media, with its infinite number of media channels reaching millions, is quickly becoming the new way for PR professionals to influence public opinion, polish brands and sell product. If offers infinite opportunities to communicate with slivers of vastly powerful little universes.
I recently ran a short discussion on LInkedIn, and posed the following question on a forum:
PR practitioners: is social media enhancing or destroying your business?
I received the following answers that seemed very positive:
(Enhancing) “Quite simply yes. I run a public relations and social media consultancy and we run integrated campaigns that treat both mainstream media and blogs as important stakeholders/audiences. The importance varies depending on the sector, campaign as well as individual blogs/media/journalists/writers. Just last week we held a preview event to showcase a new TV show specifically to parent bloggers.” — Stuart Bruce, Managing Director, Wolfstar, public relations
“Working at an agency that has been primarily traditional PR until this year, I have seen the benefit to this agency in a number of ways. By focusing on the social media I think the niche is one of the biggest advantages we have. While magazines sometimes are specifically only for one interest, the social media allows us to break our target by age, location as well as industry. Our messages can be more targeted to the most receptive audiences and therefore have the most chance for success.” — John Whitcomb, Social Media Coordinator, Robin Leedy & Associates
“As a PR pro who recently transitioned to social media exclusively, I will say that traditional PR folks need to get on board or risk being left behind. Social media is not going anywhere and it’s an undeniably powerful medium to engage in real time with influencers and audiences in MANY spheres. Best of all, it’s measurable UNLIKE the vast majority of traditional media placements.” — Dina Fierro, Director, Fashion & Beauty at Attention PR & SMM
And then interestingly enough, there’s one PR guy who thinks SM is possibly a fad:
“Until social-media sites are capable of delivering information regarding the demographics of their readers, they’ll always be niche — plain and simple. I know, we’ll probably read a dozen or more stories in the next 12 months talking about some type of revolution, but we’ve heard all that before. In reality, revolutions are VERY few and far between. This very platform is considered Web 2.0 of sorts, but it still involves typing text into a form, something that I was doing back in 1994.
That said, social media isn’t really going to destroy anything. If you represent a consumer product, there may be some blogs that have an audience that’s influential enough to worry about. Most of these are blogs associated with mainstream media outlets, however. For most, blogs are a supplement to their additional media work and something that won’t change the world in the near term. Can those of you who spoke about social media’s unique measurement capabilities explain that? Honestly, I’d really be interested because I’ve not seen ANYTHING reliable. To say that it’s more measurable than traditional media’s a pretty big leap, given that all print pubs have to go through a pretty exhaustive process in regard to readership verification to qualify for 2nd Class postage.” — Cyrus Afzali, President, Astoria Communications

Law_Blogs_PR_thumb

Social Media, with its infinite number of media channels reaching millions, is quickly becoming the new way for PR professionals to influence public opinion, polish brands and sell product. If offers infinite opportunities to communicate with slivers of vastly powerful little universes.

I recently ran a short discussion on LInkedIn, and posed the following question on a forum:

PR practitioners: is social media enhancing or destroying your business?

I received the following answers that seemed very positive:

(Enhancing) “Quite simply yes. I run a public relations and social media consultancy and we run integrated campaigns that treat both mainstream media and blogs as important stakeholders/audiences. The importance varies depending on the sector, campaign as well as individual blogs/media/journalists/writers. Just last week we held a preview event to showcase a new TV show specifically to parent bloggers.” — Stuart Bruce, Managing Director, Wolfstar, public relations

“Working at an agency that has been primarily traditional PR until this year, I have seen the benefit to this agency in a number of ways. By focusing on the social media I think the niche is one of the biggest advantages we have. While magazines sometimes are specifically only for one interest, the social media allows us to break our target by age, location as well as industry. Our messages can be more targeted to the most receptive audiences and therefore have the most chance for success.” — John Whitcomb, Social Media Coordinator, Robin Leedy & Associates

“As a PR pro who recently transitioned to social media exclusively, I will say that traditional PR folks need to get on board or risk being left behind. Social media is not going anywhere and it’s an undeniably powerful medium to engage in real time with influencers and audiences in MANY spheres. Best of all, it’s measurable UNLIKE the vast majority of traditional media placements.” — Dina Fierro, Director, Fashion & Beauty at Attention PR & SMM

And then interestingly enough, there’s one PR guy who thinks SM is possibly a fad:

“Until social-media sites are capable of delivering information regarding the demographics of their readers, they’ll always be niche — plain and simple. I know, we’ll probably read a dozen or more stories in the next 12 months talking about some type of revolution, but we’ve heard all that before. In reality, revolutions are VERY few and far between. This very platform is considered Web 2.0 of sorts, but it still involves typing text into a form, something that I was doing back in 1994.

That said, social media isn’t really going to destroy anything. If you represent a consumer product, there may be some blogs that have an audience that’s influential enough to worry about. Most of these are blogs associated with mainstream media outlets, however. For most, blogs are a supplement to their additional media work and something that won’t change the world in the near term. Can those of you who spoke about social media’s unique measurement capabilities explain that? Honestly, I’d really be interested because I’ve not seen ANYTHING reliable. To say that it’s more measurable than traditional media’s a pretty big leap, given that all print pubs have to go through a pretty exhaustive process in regard to readership verification to qualify for 2nd Class postage.” — Cyrus Afzali, President, Astoria Communications

Leum PR: simple news release distribution via HTML email

Working efficiently is important for a busy firm like Leum Public Relations. And managing multiple media lists and sending news releases via regular email can be an exercise in tedium. With DIYMail from Minneapolis internet marketer Zosel&Co, Leum delivers their news releases and promotions for clients such as Kalihari Resorts, Lienenkugels, Duluth Trading and others through a white listed server ensuring high deliverability, and excellent open rates. Plus, they can easily upload and manage multiple mailing lists, and accurately track all the opens, bounces, and clicks. They also know who opened and responded as well.

Five reasons why your company should begin participating in social media now.

Participating in Social media sites such as Linkedin, Facebook and many others, is simply a must these days, particularly if you need to broaden your network, explore new trends, share new ideas, and most important, generate new leads. I’ve been doing it for months now, and have done all of the above.
Quite frankly, I’m hooked. And the benefits of participating on forums, and discussions have helped me create relationships with induvuduals at companies that I never would have dreamed of. Here the benefits I’ve discovered:
1. A great mentoring environment — This BTW, is a two-way street. Especially on Linkedin, you simply present a pressing business question, and you’ll get lots of interesting answers, usually sent to your email if you wish.
2. Inside Sales Info — If you need a specific contact at a company of your interest, Linkedin saves time. You can reach the right people instantly and make things happen.
3. Educate, Share, network, mentor and your next clients will come from a place you never expected. Many swear by Twitter, the 21st century gossip social site. They’ll read a few of your tweets and find you.
4. Staying in touch with important business contacts. Being connected through social media allows us to deliver information that is relevant to their business.
5. Selling or testing a product? Ask your connections to be your instant focus group, give you feedback to improve features, services, or whatever. People on social media site are very generous with their thoughts and opinions. Test ads, copy, proposal ideas, whatever. It is really helpful, and takes very little time.
But don’t take my word for it. There’s so much information on the subject, you can’t keep up with it. If you’re looking for dozens of ways to use FaceBook go to Facebook Ideas Galore. Or here’s a must read article on using LinkedIn 10 ways to Use LinkedIn

social_media

Participating in Social media sites such as Linkedin, Facebook and many others, is simply a must these days, particularly if you need to broaden your network, explore new trends, share new ideas, and most important, generate new leads. I’ve been doing it for months now, and have done all of the above.

Quite frankly, I’m hooked. And the benefits of participating on forums, and discussions have helped me create relationships with induvuduals at companies that I never would have dreamed of. Here the benefits I’ve discovered:

  1. A great mentoring environment — This BTW, is a two-way street. Especially on Linkedin, you simply present a pressing business question, and you’ll get lots of interesting answers, usually sent to your email if you wish.
  2. Inside Sales Info — If you need a specific contact at a company of your interest, Linkedin saves time. You can reach the right people instantly and make things happen.
  3. Educate, Share, network, mentor and your next clients will come from a place you never expected. Many swear by Twitter, the 21st century gossip social site. They’ll read a few of your tweets and find you.
  4. Staying in touch with important business contacts. Being connected through social media allows us to deliver information that is relevant to their business.
  5. Selling or testing a product? Ask your connections to be your instant focus group, give you feedback to improve features, services, or whatever. People on social media site are very generous with their thoughts and opinions. Test ads, copy, proposal ideas, whatever. It is really helpful, and takes very little time.

But don’t take my word for it. There’s so much information on the subject, you can’t keep up with it. If you’re looking for dozens of ways to use FaceBook go to Facebook Ideas Galore. Or here’s a must read article on using LinkedIn 10 ways to Use LinkedIn

Shi Shu Style: Simple, Inexpensive e-Commerce Store.

Shi-Shu Style E-commerce website

When opportunity knocks, you better be ready. Hudson Wisconsin Entrepreneur Tamre Sutphen had desgned an elegant new line of hand-crafted Bamboo/Cotton blankets that are soft to the touch, yet free of unnatural and chemically treated fibers. She needed an e-commerce presence immediately to help fill orders from demanding distributors. ZoselCo helped create a simple store using Yahoo Commerce in less than two weeks on a very tight budget.