BzzAgent Takes Word of Mouth Marketing to the Next Level Wednesday, Mar 2 2011 

Brands like Covergirl, Stouffers, Maybelline, the New Museum of Fine Arts, StyleFind, and more have made use of BzzAgent’s successful word of mouth (WOM) marketing campaigns which rely solely on social media buzz and good old fashioned conversation. You can check out my post about my current work with the BzzAgent Covergirl Lip Perfection Campaign for specifics on how some of the campaigns work.

BzzAgent Clout and Benefits

The site essentially gives users the chance to build clout by performing simple activities like polls, surveys, and BzzScapes (i.e. reviews) in order to earn honeycombs to gain more and more benefits. One benefit includes the ability to earn MyPoints points through simple tasks which can be redeemed for rewards on the MyPoints site (if you aren’t familiar with MyPoints just think of Swagbucks), but the most coveted benefits are early invites into campaigns and increased clout level which can lead to more gifts (which I’ll explain in a minute).

A level one, solitary bee, has the chance to join campaigns when they are open to everyone and as the solitary bee earns honeycombs he/she can eventually get to the social bee status, earning golden keys along the way. Each level increase and golden key affords earlier campaign invites and/or access to new portions of the program .

So, what makes users and brands want to use BzzAgent?

Simple, brands get the killer exposure they want, likely at a fraction of the cost of their typical marketing strategies, and users get free products to try and keep, not to mention of-the-moment information on products that are not widely available to the public yet.

BzzAgent Campaigns

As part of a campaign, a user will buzz-up a product on Facebook or Twitter, publish reviews of the product, post before and after pictures (if it applies), and more, depending on the campaign. Check out a review I posted for my current BzzAgent campaign for StyleFind, here, to get a good idea of the type of buzz an agent creates.

Bzz If…

You like being on the cusp of new products and talking about them via social media.

You are looking to get a wide audience for your product using inbound marketing.

Young Entrepreneurs: How To Be A Redhead Sunday, Feb 27 2011 

One of my favorite new entrepreneur’s of note is actually a sister duo, Adrienne and Stephanie, together the two founded the blog and brand, How To Be A Redhead. The two sisters, redheads themselves, wanted to create a space where women with red hair could come for beauty and fashion advice since the fashion and beauty world at large grossly overlook the small redhead portion of the population, except for the occasional in-vogue red hair dying trend.

In just two short months since the blog began in January 2011 How To Be A Redhead has already garnered a tweet from Real Housewife of New York, Jill Zarin, has held their first redhead photo shoot, acquired two guest bloggers (I am one of the guest writers, couldn’t resist contacting them after seeing the site) and has consistently published daily updates. On top of all of the blog success they have created a few products featuring the How To Be A Redhead logo to get the brand out there, check out their Zazzle store. These two gals are sure to be a huge hit sooner rather than later.

What Stephanie and Adrienne Of How To Be A Redhead Are Doing Right As Far As Social Media Goes:

Keeping a professional and polished looking blog with daily, sometimes twice daily updates.

Creating a brand rather than just a blog.

Tweeting throughout the day on brand related topics and offering tie-ins to their blog.

Keeping a strong presence on other sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn.

Staying in-the-know on all things relevant to redheads.

Offering much needed advice in an overlooked area (i.e. redheads).

Young Entrepreneurs, How To Be A Redhead: Here To Stay

These girls are the epitome of great entrepreneurs and they are using social media marketing to the fullest to make sure their brand forges a place in today’s culture and stays there. Cheers to you both!

These two ladies have been added to the Social Media Salon Fashion and Beauty pages, so be sure to check those two pages before leaving the Salon to find out how to connect with Adrienne and Stephanie.

Get to Know the People in Your Emails with Gist Gadget Monday, Jun 21 2010 

Sometimes getting an email can feel like reading the guest list for a party; half the names on there are ones you don’t know, never mind establishing whether or not each one is relevant to that one particular email. I’ve often thought it would be nice to know a little bit about the people whose names appear on my email, especially when it comes to job related emails.

In my daily Mashable reading I found that there is indeed a way to do that now. According to Howard Greenstein’s June 21st article for Mashable, Gist “tries to tie your social graph from LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Gmail together, and rank the people you communicate with the most.”

Hmm, interesting. 

Following reading Greenstein’s article, I hopped over to the Gist site to check it out. Gist is sort of like the technical app version of the most loud mouthed gossip-y person in a social circle. We’ve all met that woman who knows everything about anyone in a given town or city: place of work, romantic affiliations, and latest business ventures; thankfully that’s no longer needed, Gist does all of this research for you (minus the romantic affiliation question, of course). This handy little app researches anyone listed in your email “From” or “CC” fields and gives you all the pertinent information on them: business news, contact listings, etc. And all information generated by Gist is kept strictly between the Gist user and the email contact being researched.

Gist is offering this gadget for free right now but plans to begin charging for the application by the 4th quarter of the year.

Gist is compatible with the following programs:

Outlook

Lotus Notes

Gmail

To learn more about Gist, visit their website.

Sources:

All information obtained from Howard Greenstein’s June 21, 2010 Mashable article, entitled, “Why Feedback and Filters are Necessary in Social Media.”

and

The Gist site.

Diaspora*: Funding Complete Monday, May 24 2010 

The four NYU students  who have pledged to develop an alternative social media platform to Facebook have gained the necessary funds to begin work on the code.

It’s no secret that there is growing displeasure with Facebook’s lack of privacy and May 31st marks the official Facebook exodus date when many current users plan to shut down their accounts.

Word of Diaspora* has come just in time, and though the foursome had already set themselves an incredibly short 3 month completion date goal, many Facebook users are wishing the new open web social media platform was ready yesterday. We’ll all have to wait with bated breath until the end of summer when Diaspora* is slated to be finished and available.

Diaspora* should prove to drastically change the world of social media, allowing users to personally decide just how much privacy they want to give up or maintain. And unlike Facebook, the creators of Diaspora* plan to make the code public, so that anyone can have use of it and expand on it.

Bravo guys, I can’t wait to see the finished product!

The creators of Diaspora*:

NYU students Ilya Zhitomirskiy, Dan Grippi, Max Salzberg, and Raphael Sofaer.

Read more about Diaspora* here.

New Social Media Salon Links Up + Check Out My New Associated Content Article Sunday, May 9 2010 

Hi All,

Check out the new links posted on the Visual Arts + Marketing & PR pages!

Also, have a peek at my new Associated Content (AC) article below:

Betty White Gives Saturday Night Live Its Largest Audience in 18 Months, Thanks to Facebook Users
In December 2009, Facebook user David Mathews, created a Facebook fan page entitled, Betty White to Host SNL (please?)! Last night, all 513,253 Facebook fans got their wish as Betty White hosted the May 8, 2010 Saturday Night Live show.
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Facebook’s Impact on E-Commerce Saturday, May 8 2010 

With Facebook’s recent domination over the internet, I can’t help but ponder yesterday’s Mashable article discussing Facebook’s Open Graph system and its impact on e-commerce.

What won’t Facebook impact in the coming decade? They’ve taken over Google’s territory, replacing the search and link systems with their clever like button, and now stand to possibly oust Amazon as the leader in e-commerce. Yes, the latter is just speculation at this point, but all signs seem to be pointing in that direction.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not down on Facebook, more so just marveling at their ingenious marketing strategy over the last year or so.  It will be interesting to see how far Facebook’s personalization reach will extend to and how many other companies will mimic this marketing strategy.

For more information on this topic, please check out Mitchell Harper’s recent post on Mashable.

Let me know what your thoughts on this.

Mashable’s Pete Cashmore Discusses the Open Web and Facebook Privacy: Apple vs Adobe and Facebook vs Google Thursday, May 6 2010 

My Newest Blog Find: Artist Laura Godfrey, LJG Art & Illustration Friday, Apr 30 2010 

I have made a discovery tonight! While playing around on the internet, I spotted a fantastic new artist, Laura Godfrey. I came upon her somehow or other on Facebook, checked out her FB group, LJG Art&Illustration, and was pleasantly surprised.

How can I put this best… I love art, but for some reason, me and modern art just don’t tend to mix. Whether it’s YouTube art or a local exhibit, modern art for the most part tends to play up the ugly and grotesque a little too much for my taste. If I have to attend another gallery opening featuring a real dead bird in a bird’s nest or a painting of a sickly looking woman with blood dripping off her limbs, or art made from trash, I think I’ll snap and hold someone hostage. Kidding, but you get the idea. 

Godfrey’s art, on the contrary, offers a return to traditional aesthetics of beauty, with a modern fashion-inspired slant. 

The above image is one of Godfrey’s acrylic paintings, done on stretched canvas, and currently on sale on her blog.

Godfrey is a bona-fide entrepreneur and woman on the move; her Facebook page advertises several sites, one of which is the Love Art&Illustration (LJG) blog, a new favorite of mine. Check out her blog LJG Art&Illustration and her Facebook Fan Page to learn more about this up-and-coming new artist. And give her some love if you like what you see because she’s trying to build up the FB page.

Godfrey specializes in:

Paintings

Greeting Cards

Wedding Invitations

Guestbooks

and more.