JetSetZero: Where Social Media meets Adventure

3 09 2008
The Field Team of JS0

The Field Team of JS0

Since January of this year I have had the amazing opportunity to work with the Jet Set Zero (or JS0 as we call it) team in creating, brainstorming, and mapping out the innovative concept of using social media and HD footage to document traveling around the world as cost efficient as possible.  Departure time for the field team has finally arrived, and in less than 12 hours they will leave Seattle for Vietnam, their home for the next three months.  As they embark on the traveling aspect of the project the “Engagment Team” of which I am a part of plan to heavily promote the project using social media to get the word out that following Jet Set Zero is worthwhile.  Ever wanted to travel, but haven’t had the time or the means to do so? Follow JetSetZero to find out how they make the adventure happen.

JetSetZero: The Story

JetSetZero on Flickr


Engagement vs. Marketing

29 07 2008

Being the new kid on the block, I have found that when discussing iRM’s objectives with people I tend to oscillate between the words “engagement” and “marketing.”  Initially, when cultivating this passion of helping other use Social Media to expose their brands, I used the word “marketing” almost exclusively.  I mean, after all, that was iRM’s mission: to help people market their brand using Social Media.  However, as I continue to meet others who share my passion as well as understanding my clients a little better, I’m beginning to think that “engagement” better fits the bill.

In “The Art and Science of Social Media and Community Relations” by Brian Solis, he opens a dialogue around marketing using Social Media.  Unlike traditional marketing where you are targeting a demographic and talking “at” people, using Social Media as means to reach a wider audience means actively participating in the communities.  You are not simply throwing out content and expecting the masses to lap it up.  Instead, you are a part of a ecosystem that thrives on sharing information in order to move closer to a collective resolution.

By moving into this space, small businesses as well as larger companies have a chance to have a conversation with the very people who interact with their brand.  The looming concern is the time that needs to be spent in these Social Media Communities.  For example, when I was introduced to Twitter, I assumed it was just a glorified Facebook status update tool.  I signed up for an account and rarely checked it.  It wasn’t until I started following and observing people, whose blogs I read, that I began to see the power of this tool.  Now, it has become a staple in my own Digital Ecosystem as I deem it highly useful for sharing quick bursts of information.  Also, I found that I wasn’t simply marketing to people about my passion (iRM), but I was engaging with them on helpful tips, advice, and sharing stories about being new entreprenuers.  Soon, people began to follow me, and a sense of community began to take shape.

Social Media Communities: More than a page

23 07 2008

When most people attempt to use Social Media they assume that simply building a profile or page is sufficient. While the creation of your Twitter account or Facebook page is important it will remain useless until your began to engage in the community of which you have subscribed to.  For personal profiles interacting seems to come without a problem.  Friend requests flood your inbox along with annoying application invites. Around every corner is a link to join a new sub group or take part in a discussion thread.  However, placing your brand in a Social Media community warrants an entirely different approach to community interaction.

Recently reading Web Strategy by Jeremiah about questions that players in the AR and PR industries have in regarding Social Media interaction there was a point that stood out to me: Computer-to-Human vs. Human-To Human interaction.  Most companies have relied on computer-to-human online marketing to suffice as their Internet presence.  A sleek website that is easy on the eyes, content rich, and exhibits seemless navigation has often been the standard for a successful company website.  However, with the emergence of Social Media as a rising force contributing to online marketing, companies are scrambling to get into this space.  Facebook has become a platform that a number of companies have been flocking to because of their Pages feature.  For no cost at all companies have a chance to interact within the Social Media space hoping to market to the masses virally.  For some, the results are less than desireable; little to no “fans” on their page and not much interaction overall.  While there could be many factors contributing to this one question that needs to be addressed is does the page foster computer-to-human interaction or does it cater to community?

Social Media Communities are different because they thrive on the real-time interaction of the people who share the same common interests.  Users viewing a constant static page will eventually become disengaged thus rendering your page crippled.  The goal here is to provided content that encourages your “fans” or “followers” to keep coming back and interacting with their peers regarding the different facets of your brand.  Also, this content also needs to be updated on a regular basis in order to substain traction.

Once you begin to gather a following of dedicated users then your community will start to grow virally as your creditability will spread “word of keyboard,” and more people become interested.  A final tip I would offer would be to keep providing content, even if it traffic seems slow, as it may take time for your community to ramp up.  If you are passionate about wanting to create a social media community surrounding your brand, then the followers will start to trickle in.