Facebook Marketing - Interview with the Author, Justin Levy

Posted by Katie Del Angel on Mon, Jun 28, 2010

Last Thursday was a busy evening in the industry,but those of us who attended Justin Levy's book launch party, hosted by MITX, enjoyed an intimate evening of casual conversation, book-signing, and a few cocktails. While there may not have been an official toast, Justin took a few minutes to speak about his new bestseller, Facebook Marketing. Check out what he had to say about Facebook Marketing in this brief interview with a rep from his publisher, Eric Garulay:

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Content Strategy: Understanding Consumption, Delivery & Measurement

Posted by Katie Del Angel on Fri, Jun 25, 2010
With the proliferation of social media networks, in addition to traditional methods of sharing content, the world has become a noisy place. Yesterday morning's MITX event on Content Strategy specified three key areas in which brands and businesses of all kinds can focus to develop a plan to break through to target audiences effectively. Margot Bloomstein, Chuck Moran, Ian Fitzpatrick, Jeff Cram, Martin Hayward, and Rick Allen shared their insights on each of aspect of strategy development.

Context makes content relevant, and it governs how people experience the content.
  • Determining what you have permission (from your audience) to provide, in terms of content, is critical; establishing where you can innately provide value will facilitate authority in your content.
  • Creating identity versus filler makes more of a difference than trying to be all things to everybody.
  • Pumping out tons of content to your target audience isn't any better than pumping out messages to the public in general - figure out what is useful and where.
Methods of delivery should be a direct result of understanding consumption.
  • Determining how to design your content delivery has 2 paths: Decision Support vs. Discovery Support; it's important to understand and consider what behaviors you target audience may practice.
  • Remember that related content should be consistent from any entry point - not everyone will be entering through the front door (every page is essentially a landing page).
  • Create value in your content by helping people find whatever will help them - even if it's not your own content.
Without understand your metrics, you aren't creating a content strategy - it's just content.
  • Take a step back - people love data...until they don't love data anymore. Whatever reporting you do, make sure it will stay relevant and usable.
  • Every piece of content has its own unique DNA; Determine what role each bit plays in your strategy and how people will use it.
Jeff reminded strategists that there should be a clear and direct relation between your business strategy and your site. While creating a content strategy for your business, the panelists agreed that it is necessary to be adaptable; not all users will absorb your content the way you intended.

*You can catch clips the panel discussion by clicking on each focus area above - Watch bits of the discussion on our YouTube channel.

Still unsure where to start? Confused by what the most practical metrics are in your case? Chat it up with our speakers:

Share your comments below!

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Leveraging Social Media in B2B Tech Companies and Healthcare

Posted by Lindsey Thorne-Bingham on Thu, Jun 24, 2010

Social media generates awareness - it builds brand awareness and loyalty, creates brand advocates and helps build networks.  Social media helps companies and organizations measure and track the effectiveness of marketing plans and event messages. And most importantly, gives you another channel to connect with prospects. Though widely adopted in many industries, social media has not fully caught on in B2B technology companies and healthcare; at last week's Designing Social Experience for Healthcare and B2B Technology Companies, Nick Allen and Amy Cueva shared their thoughts and experiences on how implementing social media strategies has impacted these two tricky industries. Why is that?

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Facebook Open Graph - Personalizing the Social Web

Posted by Gena Folts on Fri, Jun 11, 2010

Facebook has been on a remarkable journey - from a dorm room at Harvard to the computer screens of over 500 million users - and now they are making the web more personalized and viral than ever with their new Open Graph.  On Thursday, June 10th, MITX hosted John Maver and Jamie Tedford's discussion of the unique possibilities this new platform at Facebook Open Graph - Living in a Personalized and Social Web World.

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Creating Social Media Marketing Campaigns from the Ground Up

Posted by Katie Del Angel on Wed, Jun 9, 2010
Are you one of thousands in the 90th percentile that are considered "social media lurkers" - observing, and maybe absorbing, but not participating? Dean Whitney's Zero to Social presentation with MITX this morning delineated the step-by-step "How To" for social media marketing wannabe's to navigate the social landscape.

Dean opened the program by sharing what NOT to do's by citing these examples:
  • HabitatUK, a furniture and décor retailer, got consistent negative feedback after using misleading hashtags on their Twitter account (such as #iPhone on tweets for their new line of spring furniture) - Don't mislead! Whatever you say, be true to who your company is.
  • Starman, played by Jeff Bridges in the 80's sci-fi, attempted to drive a car by doing exactly as his human companion did, and failed miserably - Don't try to copycat. Social media campaigns will be on all different levels for different kinds of businesses.
After noting the importance of creating an authentic and unique social media presence, Dean explained the steps to progressively doing so. He mentioned the 3 pillars of marketing: Content, SEO, and Social Networks, and then went into these 6 building blocks to construct a solid strategy:

1. Keywords/Phrases:
Think about keywords and phrases that are relevant to 1) Your company and product (or service) and 2) Influencers in that field. Dean referred to Jakob Nielsen's 1-9-90 Rule, and stressed the significance of reaching that top 10%; by considering keywords that those influencers and early adopters are likely to find, you increase awareness and interest.

2. Website/Blog:
With the attention of those influencers, however, comes the responsibility to remain consistent. Dean emphasized that creating consistent content with keywords and phrases will keep their attention and loyalty, and allow your site to be found in search engines more easily.

3. Conversion tools:
Using conversion tools such as HubSpot to tie lead intelligence to conversions is important in keeping track of efforts. He cited Google Analytics to measure web ROI as well.

4. Content Strategy:
Without a strategy, creating content for social media can seem daunting. Dean explained that keeping a live, steady stream of content is important to improve your SEO, as well as improve transparency & authenticity. He mentioned a few useful tools for keeping up with content output:

  • Editorial calendar: To note all the various touch points with your audience, and schedule accordingly
  • Social media operations matrix: To track the kinds of interactions you have on each social network - he cited the CMO's Guide to the Social Landscape as a good start
  • Content prioritizing scorecard: As Dean stated, "One content idea can lead to many content artifacts...to generate more buzz"; keeping a scorecard of all the great content concepts can multiply your content by showing opportunities for cross-channel communications

5. Operations Plan:
Measure effectiveness of social networking efforts versus the time spent. For example, if one member of your team consistently gets better feedback (more re-Tweets, responses, etc.), increasing their time using social media would be worthwhile in the long-run. Dean later mentioned that without some sort of structure, people will become unproductive. He also stated using 60% of your networking time to promote others will build your network "like a 401k" and generate future support.

6. Content:
Once you've got your strategy, however, knowing what to say and how to say it can be puzzling for social media newbies. Dean outlined this practical and simple way of making content for your blog:
  • Create a slideshow. Use any content you want with important tidbits for your audience. Guy Kawasaki's rule is great here: 10-20-30 (10 slides, 20 minutes of talk time, 30 type size).
  • Make a YouTube video of you presenting your thoughts. There are plenty of chances to edit, so no pressure.
  • Share the video throughout networks. Embed the file in your blog, tweet about your blog post, link your Facebook, etc.
"More people are being influenced by their peers that by brands or institutions" - as we see this with the increasing amount of people appreciating the value of social media campaigns, taking this information to heart is critical, to progressively gain momentum in the social media realm.

You can see Dean's full PowerPoint deck here:
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2010 MITX Technology Awards - Celebrating New England's Finest

Posted by Katie Del Angel on Fri, Jun 4, 2010
MITX's 7th Annual Technology Awards on Wednesday, June 2nd were full of insightful innovation and ardent acceptance speeches. Opened by MITX President, Kiki Mills, the ceremony kicked off Innovation Month by recognizing over 50 finalists and 17 winnersfor innovative business technologies developed in the New England area.

We took a few minutes to speak with some of our gracious winners. You can see what they had to say in the brief clips below.

Daily Grommet (winner of the Innovative Business Strategy award) on why being involved with MITX, and the Tech Awards, is important to them

Episend on how it feels to be a winner of a PricewaterhouseCoopers Promise Award

VisibleGains (winner of the Best of Usability award) on why New England is a great place for innovation to grow

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MITX Technology Awards Finalist Interview: ITA Software on Needle

Posted by Katie Del Angel on Tue, Jun 1, 2010
ITA Software's Needle project was just announced as a finalist in the 2010 MITX Technology Awards in the Technology Enablers category! This innovative platform developed by the Cambridge-based company allows for easier collection and organization of web data. Learn more about ITA Software and their technology in the interview below!
ITA software finalist interview
View more presentations from MITX.

Learn more about ITA and development of the  Needle platform on their website, blog, or Twitter profile! Feel free to comment or ask questions below!
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