Archive for Social Media Marketing

Web 2.0/3.0/X.X??? This One’s for the Marketers

Expert online marketer Andy Beal was not only kind enough to sit down with me for an interview, but was also kind enough to mention Road Trip 2.0 on his much-acclaimed website, Marketing Pilgrim. For those of you who may have ended up here from the Marketing Pilgrim post, welcome!

Imagine this:

You’re driving around Boston on Lifecation. You’re looking for the best Irish pub in town, and have no idea where to start or who to ask. You prefer a bit of a dive bar with sports playing on multiple TVs and a late 20s/early 30s crowd. You are looking for a hotel in a specific price range, and would like for it to be near the bar…you don’t know how late of a night it’s going to be, since the Red Sox are in the World Series, after all.

As you drive into the city, your GPS/Cell/WiMAX Phone displays a comparative list of bars and hotels within 5 miles of each other. Each bar/hotel combination also displays the level of matching criteria based on your previously-input requirements. A dive bar with sports on multiple TVs, but with a college crowd, might display as matching 67%. It may be paired with a hotel two miles away that meets your price range, amenities, and availability at 90%.

A couple of blocks later, you happen upon a bar and hotel combination that are both 90%+ matching your criteria and within a mile of each other. You set it to book your room, park at the hotel, check in, and head straight to the pub just in time for the opening pitch.

Andy mentioned the fact that so many people are trying to define Web 3.0 as Web 2.0 becomes more settled into our marketing psyches.

In my opinion, Web 3.0 is in the works and it’s a combination of three key things that are happening:

  • Microformats
  • GPS/Geographic Location
  • Open Wireless Networks

What Are Microformats?

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Andy Beal Video Interview: Online Reputation Monitoring, His Upcoming Book, and Traveling with Geekery.

Before we left Raleigh/Durham, Andy was kind enough to join me for a video interview. He’s making great progress in the realm of online reputation monitoring and management, and is quite possibly the top expert in the field, earning him the ability to co-author the upcoming book, Radically Transparent: Monitoring and Managing Reputations Online.

He and I worked together for several years and he has since gone on his own and now runs MarketingPilgrim.com, an online marketing blog with over 7,000 subscribers. I could go on and on and on with his credentials of speaking engagements, consulting, and groundbreaking blogging efforts. But, what I love most about Andy is his unshakable integrity and great conversations.

To see some of the great things that he’s contributed to the marketing community, check out these links here:

Without further ado, the first in our video interview series:

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Social Media Marketing Efforts for RoadTrip20.com, Part 01

One of the things that we’ve loved about this trip is being able to test some ideas and concepts for getting the word out about the website. As some of you know, I’ve become very interested in social media marketing and the future opportunities that exist in that realm…both for businesses and consumers.

Despite only two months from coming up with the idea of the trip to our departure, we pushed hard to also create presences in various realms of social media. While we’re not necessarily looking at road trip blogging to be our primary source of income, we did feel that the entire process, lessons, and adventures might be compelling and interesting enough to entrepreneurs, marketers, travelers, and other mobile lifestylers that we wanted people to be able to find this information if they were looking for it.

We also wanted to learn what works, what doesn’t, and what we didn’t know would work and did.

So, here’s our marketing/social/internet geekery that we have setup.

Social Networks: MySpace and FaceBook. Since we’re quite familiar with each site and already knew several people on there, it has been relatively easy to get started on those networks. In the coming weeks, we will also be utilizing each of the services’ groups functions in order to find other “Friends” who may be interested in what we are doing as well.

Photo Sharing: Flickr. We actually debated between using Flickr or using Google’s Picasa. I personally use Picasa because I love their photo management software. But, when it came down to it, Flickr just has more features and more ways to bend and break and shape their data and access. It was ultimately a combination of extensibility and network size that won us over.

With Flickr, we’re tagging each image with the city and state that it was taken, what the photo is of, and any other local landmarks. Despite being only 6 days into the trip, we’ve already had a couple of people find our images through this tagging, mark photos as favorites and comment on them as well.

Video Sharing: YouTube. This decision was pretty easy and straightforward. Yes, we have the option of going to Metacafe, MySpace Video, etc. (And still can distribute our videos there.) With limited internet connections and upload speeds, we decided to go solely with YouTube because of the size of their network. Surprisingly, the same day we posted our first video, we received a message from Passport America, offering us a sponsorship with a free membership offering a 50% discount to their network of RV parks.

Blogging: WordPress. The ability to utilize the largest network of plugins, along with a high-featured and high-supported platform put them square in the lead in our decision. For anyone looking to start a blog, I would absolutely recommend them. Alexi is relatively new to blogging and has often been amazed at the ability to quickly implement features and launch our blog.

So, those are the highlights of our social media marketing efforts. As they expand, we’ll keep everyone posted. Since we’re also just getting a lot of it off the ground, we’ll also let you know of how things grow and any tips and advice we may have for your campaign.

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