How to Assess Social Platforms

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How do you assess social platforms for your organizations? Every now and then, I get an email about the shiny new object in social media and questions on whether or not we or a client should engage in it. Below are eight questions I typically ask. Feel free to add your questions in the comments below.

How to Assess Social Technologies

  1. Which group(s) in Groundwell’s Social Technographics ladder does the platform cater to (i.e. Creators, Critics, Collectors, Joiners, and/or Spectators)?
  2. Why are people participating on this platform? What are the emotional motivations for participating on this platform?
  3. How does your target audience(s) currently engage in social media?
  4. Does your target audience’s participation in social media reflect the engagement activity on the social media platform you are assessing?
  5. Are members of the new social media platform providing valuable insight about your business?
  6. Can you
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    measure the social media platform’s impact on your business goals?

  7. Do you have resources in place to engage and support users on the social media platform?
  8. And lastly, shout out to Downtown Rob for this last question: “Is this shiny new object that you’re recently heard about going to be around in the next 6 months?”

Memecube: Get a Taste of the Super Optimized Conference Experience

This year I’ve been fortunate to attend a number of marketing and industry related conferences. And while the content tracks differ, the underlying struggle as an attendee has been fundamentally the same across the board: What do I do when there are two equally mind-blowing sessions going on at the same time? 

Normally, I ask myself two key questions. Which session will I walk away feeling 10x smarter? And, what’s the likelihood that I’ll be able to apply what was presented when I come back to the office?

If I’m still struggling, I’ll quickly glance around to see which session is drawing in the biggest crowd — that’s usually a sign that the presenter is a definite must-see. At that point, I know I’m taking a chance and leaving it to Twitter and putting faith in the hashtag gods that someone in the other session will be tweeting every highlight. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t.

Fortunately, when I attended Gamification Summit (GSummit) 2012 last month, I didn’t have to worry. The reason is because GSummit had partnered with Memecube, a robust Twitter client, to deliver a super optimized conference experience. Now, I’ve seen Tweets projected on a wall and have seen images get pulled into a feed but I have never seen anything like Memecube. And although Memecube went down a couple of times because of conference attendees and subscribers rushing to log on, I still thought the platform was impressive.

Memecube Features

  1. It auto-populates speaker Twitter @handles and the conference hashtag. This makes it easy to tweet the event’s most memorable ideas, quotes and memes.
  2. Enable attendees to tweet and retweet others from same platform.
  3. View the conference schedule  easily and check-in to let other attendees know where you are.
  4. It can tie in gaming aspects where attendees can earn badges when one of their tweets is retweeted.
  5. Since attendees had to tweet via the platform, I didn’t come across any hashtag spammers.
  6. And lastly, ALL of the updates tweeted during a session are organized in one place!
In fact, if you want to check out how GSummit and Memecube turned out, you can still visit While you’re there, check out my favorite session at the conference with CEO, Chamillionaire, “Direct to Fan Engagement” with CEO, Chamillionaire. I love what he and Big Door are doing at My only regret during his session was sitting in the back. I wish I was up close so I could be visible in the photo he took of the crowd and posted to Facebook.

Source:, June 2012

Taking Memecube to the Next Level

Overall, I think Memecube is cool and would recommend all event organizers to check it out. In the future what I’d like to see Memecube do is feature photos in tweets. I’ve seen it in other Twitter clients such as Minglestream and thought it was great having the ability to view photos of sessions taking place. I’d also love it if Memecube linked to the actual tweet so I can copy the embed code and paste a tweet in a future recap.

Pepperidge Farm’s Puff Madness Recipe Tournament

Pepperidge Farm’s Puff Madness Recipe Tournament

Every now and then I like to share social media campaigns that really make me smile. This month, I stumbled upon Pepperidge Farm’s Puff Madness Recipe Tournament which I had to share. The company best known for their passion for baking got into the March Madness spirit by launching their “Puff Madness Bracket” where 16 recipes in their wrapped, rolled, stuffed and cups categories battle it out to become the ultimate Puff Champion!

The Puff Madness Bracket was rolled out on Facebook and Pepperidge Farm encouraged over 77,000 of their fans to play along by downloading the bracket online and voting on which recipe they liked the best. It’s been a fierce competition these last few weeks with fans going back and forth on which recipe should win the title and today the final match was announced.

After a memorable tournament with over 500 comments to date, we’re finally down to the last two recipes: Mini-Cheeseburger Bundles vs. Spinach  Cheese Swirls. If you haven’t done anything for Puff Madness yet, today is the day that counts.

Cast your vote at Pepperidge Farm’s Facebook page and stay tuned to find out who the ultimate Puff Champion will be!

Argyle Social: It’s a Showstopper

It’s rare that I get the chance to review social media marketing software but because I had already written a POV for my co-workers, I decided it wouldn’t hurt to share my opinion here and get your feedback. It’s important to note that I currently don’t use Argyle Social and my opinions here are solely based off of the product demo I received earlier this month. If you’re a current Argyle Social customer, I’d love to hear your feedback on the platform and how it has impacted your social media marketing. With that said, let’s get started!

Argyle Social is a Game Changer

At first glance, Argyle Social is similar to other popular publishing platforms such as HootSuite and CoTweet. You can easily schedule posts on Facebook and Twitter, review engagement across platforms via a single dashboard including your competitors, and access reports all in one suite but there’s definitely more to it when you look under the hood. .

Tie Social Media Efforts to Conversions

Argyle Social

The real beauty behind Argyle Social is its ability to track conversions as a result of social media efforts. What that means is if you published a Facebook status and a user engaged with that update (i.e. Liked the comment, shared it on their wall, left a comment, etc.) then three days later visited your company website and downloaded a white paper – Argyle Social can track that conversion and tie it back to your social media efforts.

How is that possible?

Simple – Argyle Social automatically adds a cookie to users that engage with content published on the platform and leverages  pixels that can be added to any website property. There may be more to it but that’s pretty much the gist of the product demo I received.

How is this actionable?

That means you can sort your content into campaigns or “messaging” and see what type of content resonates most with your target audience. Analyze the engagement, assign values to conversions and report on ROI. In addition, if you respond to ad hoc tweets and include a link, you can track if people that saw that link took action and later visited your website.

Branded Custom Publisher

What’s also interesting about Argyle Social is that you can have a branded custom publisher. Instead of Facebook showing that your status update was posted 6 hours ago via HootSuite it can say, “posted 6 hours ago via YOURSITE.” That will then link to whichever site you want instead of the publisher’s site. Companies leveraging HootSuite to scale social media updates fail to realize that Facebook groups all HootSuite notifications in a newsfeed and collapses them. Facebook users then have to click on “Show more stories on HootSuite” to actually view an update. Keep in mind that the most recent update on HootSuite is displayed first. With a branded custom publisher, I would doubt you would run into that issue if the frequency of your updates are spread across evenly versus every hour on the hour.

Build Brand Awareness with a Custom URL Shortener

From a branding perspective, having a custom URL shortener that provides a link which is easily recognizable from  you or your company is valuable and helps distinguish your brand. Instead of going to to track how many links resulted in clicks, leverage this all in one platform.

Add Your Own Images

With posts you can also link to a specific image that will resonate more with your audience. This is helpful if the landing page you’ll be directing traffic to doesn’t have an image or worse, isn’t optimized with Facebook OpenGraph and as a result, ends up showing a default RSS icon.

Posting Schedule & Frequency

This feature lets you define the parameters for how frequent you want posts to be set live (i.e. post 14 times within this timeframe). Personally, I think Argyle Social replace the arbitrary times and have the posts go live when users are more likely to engage with content. Since the platform already reports on engagement with your target audience, it would make sense to tie in performance with this frequency feature.


The big take away I saw was that Argyle Social is most powerful in weaving social initiatives with targeted messaging campaigns and back up efforts with solid metrics that you and your company can define in a single user interface. This makes the workflow seamless and requires less time gathering reports from other platforms. Do keep in mind however that Argyle Social does not report on buzz mentions or have a word cloud. Other than that, if you were looking for a more robust publishing platform that can offer a whole lot more, I’d advise that you give Argyle Social a second and closer look.

Social Media Rule of Thirds to Grow Membership

For the last three years, I’ve been a part of Ad 2 San Diego, a non-profit organization of advertising professionals ages 32 and younger. I’ve served as the Social Media Chair, the Director of Communications, and this year am currently serving as their Secretary of State.

My primary responsibilities are to design and execute the social media strategy to grow our membership which I am happy to report that we have been able to increase year over year. One of the many questions I get asked from other Ad 2 chapters is, “What should I talk about on my social media channels?” My suggestion — apply “The Social Media Rule of Thirds.”

The Social Media Rule of Thirds

Simply stated, one-third of your content should support your industry, one-third should be about your members, and one-third should be about your club. This rule is easy to remember as it is to apply.

Industry: One third of your content should support your industry.

Technology and business trends are constantly evolving which is why it’s important to stay abreast of industry trends. If you can help your audience put their best foot forward by sharing fresh new ideas to help them add value to their business, they are most likely to be a highly engaged fan.

The easiest way to help your audience stay informed is to share industry specific news, announcements, and events that your audience may find helpful or informative. If you’ve attended a recent conference or seminar, highlight the key take aways and if possible, share a link to the presentations.

Members: One third of your content should be about your members.

Your members are the foundation of your organization so engage in a dialogue with them. Show your members that you value their opinion by using social media to collaborate and drive future events with new ideas. Poll members on what topics they would like to learn more about and include that in your programming.

If you have board members and volunteers that help with your club’s operations, recognize their hard work. I have also seen club’s make announcements when any of their members receive a special award or promotion at work. Lastly, if your club has special membership discounts to industry specific conferences, be sure to share that as well.

Club: One third of your content should promote your club or organization and aim to generate revenue for your business.

Let your audience get to know your club’s mission and provide information on how people can get involved. Take the opportunity to promote upcoming events, highlight the benefits of becoming a member, and what your club has accomplished.

Ensure the long term success of your social media strategy

Most clubs and organizations bypass the first two rules and immediately jump into self-promotion. As a result, their Facebook page or Twitter account comes off as a hard sell and fans start to unlike the club’s page,  hide posts and Twitter followers start to drop off.

In short, to ensure the long term success of your social media initiatives – apply the Social Media Rule of Thirds to your content strategy. If you’re already applying the Social Media Rule of Thirds, I’d love to hear what type of content you’re sharing and whether it was a hit or miss.

[Image Source: istockphoto]

Post to Multiple Twitter Accounts with CoTweet

Matt was a web application created by the Carsonified team that I discovered in 2008 and shared how anyone  use Matt to make managing multiple Twitter account more efficient. Since then, Matt has become a parked domain and the service no longer exists. Fortunately, there have been other social media dashboards that took managing Twitter on a whole new level such as CoTweet.

Today we will cover how CoTweet’s platform can help you manage multiple Twitter accounts and how you can get started with CoTweet today at no cost.

Managing Multiple Twitter Accounts with CoTweet Standard Edition

If you’re on a tight budget, CoTweet’s Standard Edition is something you should look into because it’s absolutely free. This edition is best suited for individuals and organizations that manage only a few Twitter accounts and is managed by a couple team members.

Below are a few noteworthy features that you can benefit from:

Multiple Account Users

Easily add up to five Twitter accounts through a single CoTweet login and post updates all in one interface. Feel free to invite colleagues to join your account to help manage your Twitter presence.

Tweet Scheduling

Prepare your updates ahead of time with this feature. Simply enter your update then choose the date and time you want the post to go live. The only caveat with this feature is that you don’t have the option to bulk upload status updates.

Multi-Account Posting

Have a message that can be posted to multiple accounts? No problem. You can select more than one Twitter account to publish your update.

Click Tracking

View how many people clicked on a link that you posted from the user interface. All urls are shortened with

Monitor Keywords and Trends

Use CoTweet as a listening platform to monitor specific keywords and trends. I like to use this feature when following a hashtag for a conference.

On Duty Notifications

With CoTweet, you can delegate responsibility to someone else on your team. One an individual is assigned to be On Duty, he or she will receive email notifications when updates are sent to any of your Twitter handles.


Sometimes you come across tweets that you don’t have the answer to but someone else on your team may be able to respond. When this happens, you can assign an update to a member on your team to follow up. According to CoTweet, “They’ll be notified via email and the updates will appear in their “Follow Up” queue.” Once a response has been delivered, you’ll receive an email containing their response along with the original update.

Conversation Threading

This feature makes it easy to see which updates have been responded and by whom on your team.

Archive Messages

If you like to keep a record of what updates you’ve received including ones that you’ve sent out, this feature will allow you to do just that.

Rich Profiles

Of all the features that come with CoTweet Standard, I’d have to say that this feature is the one that I use the most. When you click on any username in the user interface, CoTweet will display the conversation you’ve had with that particular person, highlight their most recent updates, and include their Twitter stats (i.e. number of follower/following). Last but not least, you can instantly follow or unfollow people from this convenient panel.

Get Started on CoTweet

Ready to make the jump to CoTweet? Sweet, follow these simple steps below and you’ll be a multi-tasking social pro.

Step 1: Go to

Step 2: Introduce Yourself. Fill in your First and Last Name and then the company that you’re associated with. Leave this field blank if you’re not using CoTweet on behalf of your company and using it for personal use.

Step 3: Create your CoTweet login by entering a valid email address and entering a secure password.

Step 4a: Review the Terms and Conditions. By signing up you agree to CoTweet’s Terms & Conditions.

Step 4b: Then click on the “Create Your Account” button.

Udemy & User Motivation

I stumbled across the course, “User Motivation,” a lively RSA Animate which was adapted from Dan Pink’s talk at the RSA. While the video illustrates the hidden truths behind what truly motivates people, I was truly taken back by how absolutely clever and entertaining this video was. For instructors that have students that are auditory and visual learners, this is definitely a good example of how to keep your student engaged when teaching online.

Digital Media Dinner – Social Media Branding Recap

The second series of Digital Media Dinner was held last month and focused on how businesses both large and small could strengthen their company’s presence across various social networks, review sites,  in addition to collective buying sites such as Groupon.  The event was hosted by local social media consultant, Melodie Tao (also known as Marketing Melodie) and featured Danny Wurst, Community Manager at Yelp, Kate Grofton, Account Manager at Groupon, and Lee Mills the VP of Marketing at MojoPages as panelists.

To kickoff the event, Melodie Tao presented a high level overview of popular online review sites, location based services, and provided the audience with tips and tricks on how to create and maintain their own Facebook business page. Then opened the floor to the audience to ask her and the panelists a few questions. What I found most interesting was the difference of a Facebook Profile versus a Facebook Page.

According to Facebook’s terms of service, “Profiles represent individuals and must be held under an individual name, while Pages allow an organization, business, celebrity, or band to maintain a professional presence on Facebook.”

This means, should a business create a Facebook profile instead of a Facebook page, Facebook has the authority to delete that profile and as a result, the business would lose their list of friends. So if you’re business has a profile instead of a page – act now and set up your Facebook page. Once you make that change you’ll have access then to view analytics on your Facebook page and take advantage of Facebook’s Like buttons and widgets.

Another key take away that I came home with were Yelp Events. Apparently I have been living under a rock and am not as Yelp savvy like my dear friend Jonathan H. because when Melodie Tao asked who heard about the event on Yelp – almost everyone raised their hands! Yelp Events? Huh? What is that?

Yelp Events features local events that Yelpers can RSVP to and a comment board that the community can participate in. My excuse for not being aware of this feature is because I generally look for events on Facebook and only go on Yelp to read and write reviews. However, since the event, I’ve taken a stab at adding a few San Diego Ad Club and Ad 2 San Diego events to the calendar and it was pretty easy.

Overall, I enjoyed Digital Media Dinner and look forward to the next series. For those of you that were unable to attend, you can view Melodie Tao’s presentation below or on SlideShare.

Credits: Photo courtesy of Melodie Tao.

Tips for Marketing on Foursquare – OMS 2011

Thanks to my current employer, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to attend the Online Marketing Summit (OMS) in San Diego which was held at the Downtown Westin Gaslamp Quarter. I was at the conference most of the time providing attendees with a demo of my company’s software solutions for SEM and SEO and while I wasn’t able to attend a lot of the sessions, I was able to attend a session on how marketers could leverage the location-based social media platform, Foursquare, to target and reward loyal consumers.

Mike Lewis, the speaker and  Vice President of Marketing at Awareness, Inc. kicked off his presentation with a comedy web series on YouTube produced by HubSpot, Inc. called, “Foursquare Cops,” which I had to share (see below). The rest of the presentation is up on SlideShare. If you attended the event, what was your key take away?

Foursquare Cops – HubSpot, Inc.

Top 10 Ways Marketers can Use Foursquare

Presented by Mike Lewis (@bostonmike) at OMS 2011

View more  presentations from Mike Lewis on SlideShare and visit his blog Social Episodesfor more of his insight on social media and its on today’s businesses.

If you’re already on Foursquare, feel free to add me – HeyStephanie. Check you later!

Marketing via New Media and HeyStephanie Meet Again

In an effort to stay abreast of trends in the social media landscape, I enrolled in the Marketing via New Media course through UCSD Extension which is taught byBecky Carroll, author of the The objective of the online course is to “examine interactive marketing opportunities beyond websites, including blogs, vlogs (video blogs), forums, e-mail campaigns, social networking, communities, podcasts, mobile computing, and even virtual reality.” For individuals whose day to day activities are usually fast-paced, this is a great way to learn and embrace the new marketing opportunities within social media on their own time.

I first heard of the new media marketing course in 2008 when the company I was working for at the time, Brickfish®, was invited by Becky Carroll and her students to speak. We presented what Brickfish was and how companies could use our platform to launch a social media advertising campaign. In fact, I blogged about my first encounter with Becky’s class which you can view here: Marketing via New Media Meets Brickfish.

Since 2008, I’ve always wanted to enroll but there was always an obstacle (i.e. work life balance, other extracurricular commitments, etc.) that prevented me from doing so. Now that I’ve finally enrolled in the class and I’m definitely looking forward to what the course has to offer as well as meeting other students in the class that are as passionate about social media as I am. I’ll keep you posted on how it goes.