On The Fifth Hour of Set Up.

On the fifth hour of set up M2W produced for me…

Five Golden Rings, with Aerialists A-Swinging

(Aerialists compliments of Cirque Central)

Tip: More than just a pretty face, performers can act as a functional piece of decor.

Promotional Idea: Natural Juice – Smoothie Company. Redefine your taste tests by transforming them into a fantastical journey. Image your current sampling campaign meets a Mid Summer’s Night Dream.

Aerialists in custom outfits can perform on custom cirque equipment that will transform our performers into nature spirits performing in a mythical forest. Higher performers can call attention while performers closer to ground level can provide the ultimate Instagram or Snap Chat post. Guests can snap pictures or videos of our aerialists pouring samples from high up in their mythical trees amidst mid performance.

* Music in Aerialist Video compliments of http://www.bensound.com

On The Fourth Hour of Set Up

On the fourth hour of set up M2W produced for me…

Four Giant Games

Tip: People love simple competitions they can play with friends.  A game like Connect 4 is all that plus it plays on nostalgia and can easily be painted to match company colors.

Promotional Idea: Cell Phone – Technology. Tell the story of how family game night was transformed from a physical to digital experience.  Create a booth that uses giant games to attract attention.  Match the physical games you have set up to corresponding tablets & phones you have on display. Then show costumers how technology can help connect families in all sorts of interesting and fun ways while getting the actual product in peoples hands.

(T-Mobile’s Family Game Zone Activation produced by M2W at Maryland State Fair.)

Three Photo Options

Two Illusionists Performing

& The Perfect Set Design

On The Third Hour of Set Up

On the third hour of set up M2W produced for me…

Three Photo Options

(1) Classic

(Natural Expressions NY to add a little elegance.)

(2) Social

(Sharing Box to spread the word.)

(3) Fun

(NY Drawing Booth for something different.)

Tip: There are endless possible options, but each photo type has a feel to it. Pick the photo option that matches the feel of your event theme.

Promotional Idea: Universal – Any Company. Use your photo booth to help customers engage with your message. Using Pride as an example, you can have customers choose which color on the pride rainbow they are and express why. Two photos are printed, one for the customer to keep and the second can be attached to a piece of decor that becomes the centerpiece of a growing activation.

(T-Mobile’s Voice Your Inner Color Activations produced by M2W at NYC Pride 2016)

Two Illusionists Performing

& The Perfect Set Design

The Fab Five: Five Social Media Tips and Tricks You Need to Know

Over the past couple months, we have seen a significant amount of change in the world of social media: from the birth of Google+ to the constant transformation of Facebook. It’s a testament to the fact that the world of social media will never stop evolving. To help keep you current on some of the things that are going on, I have made a list of five tips and tricks that I think you should add to your social repertoire. Here goes:

1. Google+ Hangouts Directly from YouTube – If you haven’t heard, Google+ is the new social media platform that Google just rolled out last month to compete with Facebook. It is still in limited field-testing, so a finite number of users have been allowed to sign up. However, if you are one of the lucky ones that is already Google Plus-ing, here is a cool tip: If you are watching a video on YouTube (another Google product), you can start a Google+ hangout directly from the Share menu. (For those new to Google+, a hangout is an informal, impromptu video chat session. It’s a way of saying, “Hey I’m online and ready to chat with whoever else is out there.”) This allows you to watch and comment on videos with up to nine of your friends in real time – as if you were sitting in the same room. You can play, pause and stop the video you are watching and the action will be mirrored on your friends’ screens.

2. Uploading Photos Directly to Twitter – Last week, Twitter announced a new, long-awaited feature. You can now upload photos to your Twitter feed directly from your Twitter profile instead of having to rely on third party applications like Twitpic and TweetDeck. All you have to do is click on the camera to add an image to your Tweet. If you are a current Twitter user, you should see this notification next time you log in to your account:

3. How To Customize Your Facebook Status Update Settings – We’ve all been there. The office gossip asks to be your friend on Facebook. You don’t want to say Yes because you don’t want everyone from work knowing your innermost secrets. But, you can’t say No because it will cause tension with your co-worker. So, you begrudgingly confirm the friend request and begin the practice of meticulously monitoring and censoring all of your Facebook activity.

Shouldn’t there be a better way? There is! You can customize who sees certain information on Facebook. Just go to Privacy Setting under the Account menu.

Under Sharing on Facebook, click on Customize Settings (refer to screenshot above). From this screen, you can control how and with whom every piece of information is shared on Facebook: things you share, things others share and your contact information. For each item, you can select to share with: everyone, friends of friend and networks, friends and networks, friends of friends, friends or you may customize a list (see below).

The custom list is where your power lies. This is where you can choose to share information with friends but then you can list anyone that you want to exclude from the list under the Hide This From section (see below). So all of your friends except for the office gossip will see your posts. Who ever thought Custom Privacy would be such a beautiful concept?

4. How To Customize Your Facebook News Feed Settings – On a related note, say that the office gossip posts twenty times a day about things that you could care less. You can’t remove her (or him) as a friend because, as stated previously, you don’t want to ruffle any office feathers. But, you can’t stand having your News Feed cluttered with meaningless information. Here’s what you do: Click on the “x” next to the post in question.

This will bring up a menu where you can specify one of the following: Hide this post, Hide all by [person’s name], Hide all by [application’s name], or Mark as Spam. If you choose to Hide all by [office gossip] you will no longer see any posts by this person. You will be happier and that person will be none the wiser. Everyone wins!

5. “On This Day…” Facebook Gets Nostalgic – I have saved the best for last today. There is a rumor floating around that Facebook has started rolling out an update to user profiles. Whenever you are on a Like page or another Facebook page other than your own, you will see a section on the right called On This Day. The section will show what the currently logged in user posted on the same day in a previous year (provided that you actually posted something).  This feature could potentially be quite hilarious or severely humbling depending on the nature of your posts.  Has anyone experienced this new feature yet?

So, there you have it: The Fab 5. I hope this has been informative, entertaining and/or insightful. Please comment below – I would love to hear what you think about all of these features.

 

Unplugged

I have written before about being a Crackberry-aholic. I truly am always plugged in. Between my Blackberry, laptop, iPad and such I am always in tune with what’s going on at work, in the social elements (Twitter, Foursquare and Facebook) and I’m always reachable. But recently I had the chance to truly “UNPLUG” from the world and let me tell you I think it saved my life.

 

I took a vacation and spent six of those glorious days camping with my husband and son. We had no electricity where we were staying so needless to say I had no TV, no cell, no laptop, no internet, no Twitter and no text messages at my disposal. I thought I would have major withdrawal symptoms since I live on my phone and computer. What would I do with nobody reaching out to me to solve a problem, or someone needing me to approve a project item? How would we survive with no DVR or TV? I wasn’t sure but I was game to find out.

 

Day one was a bit tougher than I thought. I kept reaching to my pocket for a phone but it wasn’t there (I did have it charging in the car in case of a medical emergency).  I had to resort to just truly enjoying my vacation and the wonderful world we live in. The state park we were at was huge and there was plenty to do that didn’t require my phone or laptop (which I left the laptop at home as well).

 

For the next five days I managed to read six books on my Kindle (ok it’s techy, but was better than six hard back books), I played eight hour of cards with the family, I spent two hours daily swimming in the river and we managed to go hiking twice. All of it without my technological plug in to the rest of the world. At the end of our six day stay I truly didn’t miss being plugged into the world.

 

I continued that unplug mentality for the remainder of my four days off before returning to work.  In my 10 days away from work I had only made a handful of calls to my family and friends on the phone. I didn’t rely on my faithful friends Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare to share my who, what, when and whys of daily life.  I didn’t send 1001 emails and I managed only 10 text messages the entire time off. I had truly unplugged from the hectic world we lived in and it brought sanity.

 

I know most people don’t care that I got to unplug but since being back for less than week I have already noticed certain things in life.

  1. I don’t check my emails on my phone in the evenings as much. I have learned to turn off work after a certain time and know it will still be there in the morning.
  2. The click, click, click of people who text or email on their phone is rather annoying sound. (I didn’t really hear it previously.)
  3. I realize more often when people tune out of conversations to return text messages and emails instead of realizing it can wait another 10-15 minutes while we enjoy the face-to-face company we are having right now.
  4. I enjoy the quiet of life now. Just being and enjoying the beauty and sounds of the world around us is so peaceful and enlightening and I look for more opportunities to enjoy it.
  5. And finally sometimes we just need to be. Be in the moment and be with the ones we love. I truly valued the time with the family. I honestly miss playing Uno for hours with my little one while being in a tent.

 

I believe every once in awhile we must all unplug. I have challenged myself to unplug daily in some way shape or form. I challenge you to do the same.

The Ever Changing World of Social Media

Just when you thought you had Twitter down, a basic understanding of LinkedIn and you finally know how to upload a video to YouTube, the world goes and changes everything! From plug-ins to location-based marketing initiatives to the move to higher bandwidth, there’s change afoot in the world of social media. Star Hall at Entrepreneur.com put together the top social trends of 2011 that I’m now sharing with you. This isn’t to scare you into not using social media – quite the opposite actually. This is to give you the knowledge and power to move forward with your social marketing plan with confidence.

1. Location-Based Marketing: Location services will grow in popularity as people get more comfortable checking in to a business. This will be the result of enhanced safety features — such as privacy options that block your location from public view — and more enticing brand offers. It’s time to acquaint yourself with sites and applications such as Foursquare, Facebook Places and Gowalla. These sites will help you better target prospects’ likes and interests, pique interest and influence purchase decisions by offering discounts, promotions or giveaways when they “check in” to your business.

2. Video Platforms: YouTube might be one of the largest user-generated video-sharing sites on the Internet today, but other platforms will begin to surface that are more business-focused, easier to market videos on and not as crowded. Sites like Viddler, Vimeo and Dailymotion will gain momentum with a stronger focus on live streaming on sites such as interactive broadcast platform Ustream, or streaming straight from blogs.

3. Text Campaigns: As the mobile arena grows, small businesses will continue to move marketing campaigns to mobile phones. Start by incorporating a mobile widget onto your site to help collect mobile numbers through an automated system and create campaigns specific to area codes or regions.

4. For Cause Tweet-a-thons: A Tweet-a-thon is a fundraising campaign on Twitter for which users encourage their followers to tweet about and donate to a particular charitable cause over a specific period of time. These initiatives will gain in popularity as savvy entrepreneurs capitalize on the relationship-building advantages of social media and the good publicity that comes with giving back.

5. The Move to Higher Bandwidth (4G): Say goodbye to 3G. The use of higher bandwidth will not only be a necessity but a demand from busy consumers. Widely becoming recognized with carriers such as MetroPCS, 4G speed allows marketers to get the message out faster with quicker download times. Jump on this bandwidth wagon early and incorporate it into your 2011 marketing plan.

6. WordPress-Based Websites: Open source publishing application WordPress will become the platform of choice. Why? It makes it easier for websites to implement search-engine optimization at little to no cost with plug-ins, which add specific capabilities to software applications. To stay competitive, I recommend that you consider moving your website to a WordPress platform. These sites are user-friendly and do not require knowledge of HTML code.

7. Plug-ins: The use of plug-ins will proliferate, with thousands of new options surfacing monthly. An increasingly popular plug-in is Scribe which monitors and scores your keywords and updates to your site automatically to increase results with your search-engine optimization.

8. Review Sites: Websites dedicated to customer reviews will dominate the social media landscape. Consumers want to be heard, and more importantly they want answers. Sites such as Groubal.com, will achieve this by consolidating common user-submitted complaints and presenting those petitions to businesses, demanding answers for their wrongdoings. Consumers are even creating blogs specifically about teaching people how to complain effectively. This is another reason to monitor conversations about your products and services online. Moving into 2011, make sure you have a plan for how to respond to positive and negative reviews. Remember to respond immediately. Reviews will start to spread like wildfire with these sites.

9. Monitoring Conversations: Show your customers you’re listening and responding. Set up online monitors for your company. You can choose social-media dashboards or keyword-alert services. There are free service sites Hootsuite and Tweetdeck. These dashboards not only allow you to monitor but participate in live conversations. If you haven’t set up Google monitors yet, they’re free. Go to www.google.com/alerts.

10. Presentation Platforms: As teleseminars become overused and tired, interactive web seminar platforms will step in to fill that market need. New presentation platforms such as SlideRocket.com and Prezi.com are incorporating easy-to-build presentation tools with social media, live feeds and video. People online want to see the presenter, not just listen over a bridge line. Choose your presentation platform for 2011 and make sure that it not only streams well but also allows for immediate interaction and cutting-edge presentation tools.

 

Do Something Different

Do something different.

 

I recently had the opportunity to work with a client that needed to “do something different”. The market had been overly saturated by cookie cutter, in the box campaigns and for this client the norm simply would not due.

 

M2W was hired to build a program that would launch this new brand into the market with a splash. Utilizing branding, social media, CRM direct marketing, experiential marketing, and campaign development/deployment we built a program that did just that.

 

Within the first few weeks after the campaign launch the client’s phone was ringing off the hook, but interestingly enough not just by their potential customers. Big leaders within the industry were taking notice and were calling to congratulate our client on the inevitable success of the campaign. It’s not everyday that you get a phone call from top executives of one of largest apparel manufacturers in the world.

 

It’s still too soon to see how successful the campaign will be in the long haul, but we are very optimistic about the future success of our new found client and their initiative to “do something different”. No problem…we can do that!