Equestrianism, acrobatics and social media, oh my! Did you ever think you’d see all three of those words in one sentence? I sure didn’t until a week ago when I had the honor of being a VIT (Very Important Tweep) and featured guest at Cavalia. The Cavalia Tour Publicist did an amazing job at successfully utilizing Social Media to create buzz for this event. My thoughts on the social media presence and overall success of this event felt like dejavu as I compare it to another epic tweetup I attended last year for Nordstrom Rack. At the end of my Nordstrom Rack tweetup recap, I listed 6 things they did right and lessons that other businesses can learn when promoting an event. I was impressed that Cavalia not only did all 6 of these things, but they went above and beyond in every area.
Let’s review the steps for successfully promoting an event through social media while I share my experience at Cavalia with examples of what they did right. If you have an event coming up, you’ll want to make sure to follow these steps:
1. Invite your target audience to the event- Cavalia is a show for all ages! It’s very family friendly, but it’s also mesmerizing for adults and kids alike. If you invite the right people to the event, they are more likely to have others in their circle who are the ideal audience for you.
2. Invite Social Media influencers to create buzz- Cavalia did their due-diligence by researching the San Diego social media scene and then inviting the taste-makers and social media socialites to the very special tweet night. They even created a special page on their website about the Tweet Night.
3. Create an easy to follow event hashtag- From the very first email I received promoting the event, the #CavaliaSD hashtag was mentioned and they continued to emphasize it to ensure everyone tweeting would be able to easily follow the event and create buzz. They even compiled a recap of popular tweets from the event.
4. Make sure you have enough staff to handle the event- From the moment I stepped into the VIP tent, the staff made me feel like royalty. The check in area (where most events are understaffed leading to a long line) was efficient. The dining area and bar were staffed with servers and busers who made sure the area stayed clean and stocked. There were ushers everywhere directing everyone to the right location. Overall, the event staffing was done so well that there was never a moment I needed to ask for anything because everything was always taken care of.
5. Be generous with giveaways- If you’re inviting bloggers and press to an event because you want to promote your business, it’s important to be generous so attendees feel welcomed and appreciated. Cavalia definitely went above and beyond with their generosity. Not only did each VIT receive an invite, they were also allowed to bring a guest. They provided a hosted buffet dinner, hosted bar and hosted dessert buffet during intermission. If that’s not enough, the Cavalia staff provided complimentary parking passes for everyone. For an extra special treat, we had an opportunity for a backstage tour after the performance. We got an up close and personal visit with the stars of the show and also learned interesting facts about the production.
6. Treat all customers/attendees with respect- This goes back to my earlier comment when I mentioned that Cavalia treated everyone like royalty from the moment we entered the event. A great product or service might earn you a customer. But it’s amazing customer service that will encourage people to spread the word and keep people coming back time after time.
Aside from the social media success that Cavalia created, the show itself was stunning, mysterious and captivating. I was in awe of the production elements including the visuals, sound and of course the sights of beautiful horses and stunning acrobats.
I really am truly fortunate for so many amazing events I get to experience. It makes me even happier to know that not only am I enjoying myself, but at the same time I get to teach others about effective marketing and social media while sharing my fun adventures. Thank you again so much to the entire Cavalia staff. It was a wonderful night and I look forward to my next social media adventure. You can be sure that not only will I share my adventures with you, but I’ll also provide you with marketing insight at the same time!
Happy Halloween everyone! This post comes at an appropriate time because today I’m blogging about some of my favorite treats: wine and food!
Fresh & Easy is a newer name among all the grocery options in San Diego. It wasn’t until this year that I went to Fresh & Easy for the first time. I heard many commercials for the place, but there isn’t one in my neighborhood so I never went out of my way to go. I first tried some food and wine from Fresh & Easy earlier this year thanks to my social media buddy @JenBoydSD. Jen is very involved in the community and is a leader for Social Media Club San Diego. Fresh & Easy reached out to influencers and asked them to host a Taste and Tweet. Twitter has already provided me with many opportunities to enjoy food and wine on the San Diego Bay and taste the Gaslamp while teaching you marketing lessons so when Jen asked if she could host the first Taste and Tweet at my place, of course couldn’t turn away more wine, food and a chance to connect with my social media friends.
I have since hosted 3 Fresh & Easy Taste and Tweets. Here’s how the wine tastings work: They send the host a gift card to cover the cost of the wine and a couple snacks. They also send information about a hashtag, tasting order and suggested appetizers. We are given a specific date and time to host the wine tasting. This way, everyone hosting can taste and tweet at the same time.
This is such a clever way for a grocery store to promote themselves for many reasons so I’m sharing some takeaways that other brands can learn from the Fresh & Easy Taste and Tweets.
1. Provide Value- We are all tired of companies asking us to retweet something for no good reason. Fresh & Easy provided us with something of value to tweet about and they made it very easy by giving us a relevant hashtag, food, wine and great company to create buzz with. If you’re going to ask customers to use a hashtag or encourage them to tweet something related to your brand, make sure you’re providing value not only to your customer but to potential customers who may read all those tweets.
2. Be Generous- Give away your product and view it as a marketing investment. Many times I see business owners being very hesitant to let people try their product because they see it as wasting money. When it comes to consumable items, sometimes the best way to attract customers is to give them an actual taste of your product. Fresh & Easy was definitely generous by providing at least 3 or 4 bottles of wine for us to taste at each event. Make sure you’re smart about doing this though and you’re not devaluing your product. You don’t want people to think of your product as a free item that they wouldn’t have to pay for. The wine tastings are a little bit more upscale than just sampling something from a street promoter so I commend Fresh & Easy for doing a great job with this idea.
3. Be Strategic About Your Target Market- My impression of Fresh & Easy is that they’re a grocery store which serves high quality food at the same they are very cost effective. This is a great place for people who are both health conscious but want to shop on a budget. Fresh & Easy made sure that the people they sent gift cards to fit this demographic. With any promotion that you’re doing, it’s important to target the right people. This goes back to one of the basic first steps of marketing and that is to be crystal clear on who your target demographic is. I have come across many business owners who describe their target demographic as being “everyone”. This mentality isn’t necessarily bad. Of course you want everyone to like your product or business, but think of who is actually going to be your ideal customer to come back and do business with you over and over again.
Alright enough of my marketing lessons! Here are some fun photos from Fresh & Easy Taste and Tweets I have hosted. And yes one of the photos really is Fresh & Easy Wine gone Gangnam style (look closely at the computer screen).
If you are interested in attending a Taste and Tweet in the future, please let me know by leaving a comment below and I’ll include you on the invite list for upcoming events.
This post is a hat tip to NBC San Diego! Time flies with social media! I can’t believe it’s been almost four years since I wrote the blog post Traditional Media Companies- It’s time to Go Digital. I discussed strategies that traditional media companies (TV, Radio, Newspapers) could to use to engage their audience online. A lot has happened in four years and I’m thrilled to see that so many traditional media companies have successfully integrated social media into their communication. I’d like to commend NBC San Diego for being one of the pioneer companies to truly embrace social media and go digital. Just a few of the things NBC San Diego does:
- The people on the NBC San Diego are extremely social media savvy. The majority of them all have their own online presence and following. I’ve built personal relationships with many people on their team through conversations on Facebook and Twitter because they do a great job at interacting.
- @nbcsandiego hosts tweetups for their community to meet the team. This personalizes the online and on-air experience viewers have.
- They feature Social Media and Tech Correspondents on their news casts where they discuss the latest trends in technology. This also means they care about making sure their viewers can stay up to date with digital trends.
- In addition to being leaders in the tech space, they’re also a green friendly company! Check out this reusable water bottle I won from none other than one of their tweetups (See tip 1)!
To celebrate Earth Day last week, I shared 12 ways to go green at work! As I do with all of my posts, I shared this across my social networks. NBC San Diego was highlighting green week on Friday April 20th in honor of Earth Day and their Producer @JanellJay saw my tweet about ideas to go green at work. She tweeted me to ask if they could use it on their green segment that evening. “Of course!” I replied. Many of my posts are intended to be resources so I am very grateful to NBC San Diego for sharing my tips with all their viewers. What I loved about this entire interaction is that Janell was carefully watching her tweet stream to find content for their show! You can view the segment below:
Thank you again to all my friends at NBC San Diego for greening their workplace, connecting on social media and creating a community of viewers who really do trust NBC San Diego as one of the most credible and resourceful TV stations. And if anyone has any additional tips on how to go green at work, please feel free to share them with me!
Most of you already know that while Marketing is my expertise, Yoga is my passion. Yoga has really touched me in all areas of my life and I definitely want to share and inspire others through yoga. I was grateful when I completed my Yoga Teacher’s Training at the beginning of 2011. Since then, yoga has become an even bigger part of my life. It’s such an honor to be able to integrate yoga into my career and I’ll continue to do so as I move forward. I’ve been able to teach yoga to busy professionals like myself by hosting yoga classes and workshops, Yoga for the Busy Body. I also have had the honor to teach classes through Forward Motion and at La Jolla Yoga Center.
This past weekend, through the power of Social Media, I was graced with the opportunity to attend the first annual Tadasana Yoga & Music Festival in Santa Monica. From VIP experiences at the @Padres games to satisfying the foodie in me at the San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival, it never ceases to amaze me how I keep receiving opportunities through social media. My friend and fellow yogi @VeronicaRaye won a 3 day pass through Twitter. She then heard about a Facebook contest through Manifestation Yoga and encouraged me to enter. The requirements were to upload a photo of yourself on their Facebook page, and share what Tadasana means to you. The person with the most LIKES on their photo would win a 3 day pass ($295 value!). I typically don’t like to solicit people for LIKES to win something. I believe that posting good content is the best way to earn a “LIKE”. However I decided to enter the contest since it was a way for me to share my love of yoga with others.
What Tadasana means to me: “Tadasana to me means a strong foundation for the rest of my practice. It provides me with stability, strength and helps me become more centered”. Thanks to the support of my friends and community my photo received the most LIKES and I WON! Winning post below!
I always say there is an abundance of yoga available for anyone who wants to practice. This once again proved true because my friends over at YourBuddhi were also hosting a contest on their blog. I entered that contest as well and ended up winning 2 additional 1 day passes that I was able to pass along to friends who wanted to check out the festival.
I’ve planned many events myself and all I can say is planning an event, whether large or small is a lot of work! I have a high level of respect for Event Producers. Not only is there an immense amount of behind the scenes work that takes place, there’s also the pressure of marketing the event and getting people to attend. Social Media has created a whole new job for Event Producers and that’s to really create buzz and spread the word before the event even happens. I was really happy to see Tadasana Festival taking advantages of Twitter and Facebook before the event. #Tadasana was definitely a trending topic in Santa Monica that weekend! You can find more tips on integrating Social Media with your event planning here. And here are some of my favorite highlights and photos of the event. The rest of my photos from Tadasana Festival can be viewed here.
The festival happened a week ago but I’m still inspired! I listened to so may great musicians, learned new yoga techniques and challenged myself mentally by learning new things from the speakers. I also connected with so many amazing people from all walks of life who all share a common love for yoga. I have plans to integrate more elements of yoga into my career which will include creating marketing and social media opportunities for yoga related businesses, teaching more yoga classes and hosting more yoga workshops.
<Editor’s Note> I’m very excited to have Stephanie Trinh aka @stef_funny on my team here at Marketing Melodie. She’s an ambitious Business Marketing Student at SDSU, is filled with positive energy and is even a fellow marketing nerd! I’ll let Stephanie take it from here. HIT IT STEPHANIE! </Editor’s Note>
With all the hype going on about Instagram, I’ve decided to write a little bit about this mobile app. Instagram is a free photo sharing application that allows users to take photos, apply a digital filter to the photos, and then share the photos with friends and followers. This app was originally available only for the iPhone, iPad or iPod touch when it launched. Two years later, in April 2012, it became available on Android. There were over a million downloads of the Instagram app when it was finally released on the Android system. A few days after that, Facebook acquired Instagram and its 13 employees for $1 billion in cash and stock. Amazing how quickly things change in the digital world, wouldn’t you agree?
Being that Instagram launched in October 2010, now has over 25 million users and is known as one of the most popular mobile-only social networks, why would businesses not consider playing a role on Instagram? You can post fun altered photos of your products and begin a hashtag trend for your followers. Starbucks has already jumped on the wagon and has over 400,000 followers. The point of Instagram is to share photos, so as a business you can share photos of things that relate to your brand personality or just great mobile photos of your products – be creative! Another awesome thing about Instagram is that you are also able to share your photos on Facebook and Twitter. The more social networks the better!
Here are 3 main reasons why your business should join Instagram:
1. Most people are very visual- Instagram is great because it gives us the opportunity to share fun photos of our daily lives. How interesting would it be to your fans to follow unique photos of your business’s life? You can show how much fun you have in the workplace and even take little “sneak peek” photos and have your followers figure out what the photo is. Keep them engaged, that’s why they’re following you! Just remember to keep in mind that Instagrammers don’t want to see product photography, but more artistic photography that’s been filtered.
2. There are millions of users using this app- The digital world is making changes all the time, just make sure you are caught up with the newest fad and stay in the loop. After Instagram became available on the Android, there were millions of downloads through the Android system, that pretty much means that Instagram is sort of a big deal.
3. You can create fun contests- With the usage of hashtags, it makes it easy to track and create contests. Have your fans post a creative photo with a certain hashtag that represents your products or services and give out fun prizes. The more interactive your consumers are, the more they begin to feel like “family” to your brand.
A few days ago I mentioned to everyone that I was offered an amazing opportunity to grow Marketing Melodie but I would have to move to LA. I needed to confirm my decision no later than tomorrow. Of course I waited until the last possible day but I have decided! I sincerely appreciate every single person who replied to me when I posed the question “Should I stay or should I go (To LA) now?” It really means a lot to me, especially during times of change and growth that I have the support of my community. I learned a lot about myself from some of your answers and loved all the analogies. Here’s what you guys said….
And yes, you read the title of this post correctly. After much contemplation and weighing the pros and cons, I’ve officially accepted the offer and will be moving to LA Tuesday April 17th. This only gives me a couple weeks left in San Diego but I’m definitely going to make the most of it by hanging out with as many of your as possible! Of course I wouldn’t move without having a going away party! My official going away party is Friday April 13th at 7pm (Yes 13 is my lucky number and Friday the 13th is my lucky day!) at one of my favorite San Diego spots, McGregors! Everyone is welcome! I can’t wait to begin this next chapter of my life and again am so grateful for everyone who has been a part of my life personally, professionally and of course on Social Media! RSVP FOR MARKETING MELODIE’S GOING AWAY PARTY HERE
I’m going to be posting again very soon on all the details of my new gig, so please stay tuned! If you have any advice about moving or surviving in LA, I would love to hear from you!