“Inn-Bedded Resorter”-Sharing the Experience through Social Media

The BALSAMA Grand Resort Hotel

The BALSAMS Grand Resort Hotel

The BALSAMS Grand Resort Hotel launched a campaign for the summer to show potential customers all that the hotel has to offer.  The elegance of the resort keep people coming again year after year but instead of displaying the many great adventures through modeled pictures, the resort started a campaign called “Inn-Bedded Resorter.”  The goal of this campaign was to show people  the many adventures they could come across while staying at the resort through social networking.

The campaign started off by choosing two people to stay at the hotel for free for two months.  The only thing these people had to do was use social networking to share their experiences while staying at the resort.   One lucky couple that got chosen to stay at the resort for free were Luke and Alex, social media travel superstars who already had thousands of followers on their website www.alexandluke.com.

The first resorter of the campaign was Martin Earley who stayed at the resort in the summer months of June and July.  “Guests of the hotel and BALSAMS social media followers really enjoyed following Martin Earley, our first-ever Inn-Bedded Resorter this summer and we’re excited to be welcoming Alex and Luke for January,” said Jeff McIver, President and General Manger of The BALSAMS.  “By expanding the Resorter and including two people we think followers will have an even greater opportunity to experience the magic of a BALSAMS winter.

The BALSAMS Grand Resort Hotel welcomed Alex and Luke as their first couple and the first winter Inn-Bedded Resorters during the months of January and February.  For each week they were there they documented the best food, people and activities they did for that week.  In their blog they also asked people to send comments about what their followers want to see them do, or even if there was a certain room they wanted to see.  Every Monday evening they would reveal their videos of the past weeks experiences.

The campaign was created by the resort’s marketing agency bobdonpaul.com.  The purpose was to give followers a sense of what it is like to experience everything the 8,000 acre resort has to offer.  “I personally have followed Alex and Luke since very early on in their journey, and not only do they bring a wealth of social media experience to their roles as the first-ever winter Resorters, but as Canadians, they represent an important market not only for The BALSAMS but for tourism in the State of New Hampshire,” said Bob Manley, Head Chef and Bottle Washer of bobdonpaul.com.

After the first resorter, Martin Earley, shared his time at the resort there was a 20% increase in bookings for that following August month.  Then once Alex and Luke’s journey started to come to an end, traffic to the Resort’s site doubled.  Everyone wanted to experience the BALSAMS Hotel.  Before the campaign the resort was still doing good with business, but now people are begging to get a room.  Now if you are thinking of checking out the website, don’t just take that into consideration, also make sure to check out real footage of the majestic atmosphere of the resort.

Social Media Marketing Made Easier With the Use of Twitter

Millions of people use Twitter on a day to day basis.  It has come to be one of the most used ways today that people communicate to one another.  Also know as microblogging, companies use twitter as a way to get messages out to their targeted audiences in 140 characters or less.  Using Twitter as part of their marketing efforts is an easy, quick way for companies today to advertise their products for no money at all.

The goal of using Twitter for companies is to get messages out to you audience while also building relationships with those people.  Because of the character limit on your tweets you are able to tweet messages many times in one day with out overloading your followers with too much information all at once.  Twitter also allows you to target your audience by using hashtags(#) and typing in keywords.  That way when a customers is looking for posts on social media, they can type in #socialmedia and if that hashtag is included in your post, it will show up for them to find.

If people like the information you provide then they have the option to follow you.  Once someone is following you, each time you post something new, it will show up in their news feed.  Also if there is a tweet that gives important information, you can retweet it so more people will be able to see it.  The average Twitter user has 126 followers, so each time your message is retweeted, 126 more people on average will see the message each time it is retweeted.  Twitter is an excellent tool that will help to get word out about any new company information.

Above your Twitter timeline, which is the news feed of posts from the people you follow, you will also have an @Mentions link which will show you the post that include your company Twitter name.  This allows you to always see what it is people are saying about your company whether it is good or bad.  Many companies have used Twitter as their source of customer service.  It allows customers to tell the company what problems they are having, and since Twitter messages are received in real-time, the company can instantly talk with that person to help them fix their problem.

Tweeting messages can be accessed through the Twitter website using any mobile device or just a regular computer.  Only 20% of traffic comes straight through the Twitter website.  The other 80% of traffic generally comes from third party programs from users using smartphones or other mobile devices.  Today there are over 200 million Twitter accounts and just recently CEO Dick Costolo revealed that over 100 million of those accounts are active on a daily basis.  Half of those active Twitter accounts log in daily and the other 40% have not tweeted for about one month.  The team of Twitter defines active users as people who log in at least once a month.

When you use Twitter to run a campaign, or to promote your business it is important to remember to daily tweet at least 2 or three messages.  Your efforts may not be instant, but the more you work on it the more people will start to follow you.  Then once you have a good set of followers, more people will receive your messages allowing many of your tweets to go viral.

Wow Bao- Small Store Gains Lots Of Attention With Social Media Strategies

Wow Bao

Wow Bao is an Asian restaurant with three different locations in Downtown Chicago.  During their time as a business Wow Bao has received a lot of attention based on their innovative strategies to use social media to bring new customers into their restaurants.

In 2003, Wow Bao launched their first location at Chicago’s Water Tower Place, a shopping mall that attracts tourists.  After doing so well the restaurant later opened two more locations in 2007. Geoff Alexander, Vice President of Wow Bao’s parent company Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, Inc. , noticed true potential in the restaurant and took over operations in 2009 becoming their managing partner.

Alexander went straight to work setting up Facebook and Twitter pages and launching a bicycle delivery service.  Also, in two of the three locations he set up electronic ordering kiosks which remember a customer’s four previous orders and accept credit cards for instant payment.  Later in 2010,  Alexander launched an iPhone application for Wow Bao allowing customers to make orders and pay for them directly from their phones.  The app also went nationwide allowing customers to purchase an order that ships right to them.

When the Twitter account for Wow Bao was set up Alexander admits in the beginning his team, including himself, were not too sure of what to do.

“We just told people to do this or do that, and nobody talked to us,” Alexander said.

After doing a little research on what Twitter is all about he finally understood what it was he was supposed to do.  He realized that in order to engage his customers he must start conversations with them and not go the corporate route by just tweeting daily deals.  That is when the voice of Wow Bao on Twitter was born, @BaoMouth.  “@BaoMouth has a little more sass, enthusiasm and personality than a corporate Twitter account or even myself could have,” Alexander says.

@BaoMouth interacts with users daily talking about anything from politics to the weather, jumping into any conversation where Wow Bao is mentioned. One user mentioned he was hungry and said he was going to try out Wow Bao for the first time.  @BaoMouth tweeted back to him telling him to tell his server @BaoMouth left him something special.  The special gift, turned out to be a free lunch.

Wow Bao does not believe in spending thousands of dollars in billboard advertising.  Instead they use that money to give away free stuff to loyal and potential customers, hoping that will be enough to get them hooked to come back for more. If a customer checks into a social network using Facebook, Foursquare of Scvngr, they automatically get a deal for a buy-one-get-one bao free. On Wednesdays Wow Bao fans on Facebook can look for a secret word to tell the cashier to get a free bao.

Not only is Wow Bao’s Facebook fan page a place for fans to leave comments, but is another place where ordering is made easy.  Fans can submit orders straight from Facebook.  Once an order is made, that order is automatically shared with friends, getting the attention of more people and having them wonder what is Wow Bao?  Then they look the restaurant up and make the decision to try it out.

Since the beginning Wow Bao has come a long way using social media to connect with their fans. They care greatly about their customers and want to treat them to free stuff as often as possible.

Mingle Media TV: Sharing News Across Social Networks

Women all over the web enjoy scripted, unscripted, live and produced lifestyle entertainment year round, seven days a week provided by Mingle Media TV.  As an online media and interactive web TV network, this series of broadcasts is promoted through Twitter, blogs, Facebook, and many other very popular social networks.  Mingle Media TV also airs live on iPhones, Blackberrys, and Android platforms and can be viewed through over fifteen syndication sites.

Online viewers of Mingle Media TV reach up to 25,000 daily views of people watching video coverage, web series, and live broadcasts.  Currently in the top 20,000 websites in the U.S.,  Mingle Media TV’s live web shows feature lifestyle experts and social media advice from celebrities, authors, and bloggers.  Recently, Mingle Media TV has expanded its web series with independently produced shows including science fiction, teen soaps, drama and action.  They have also covered red carpet events, charity events and behind the scenes footage.  In the past they have been lucky enough to feature the Oscars and Golden Globe events.  They cover everything from lifestyles, major events, comedy, the outdoors and families.  The goal is to give people all around the web all of the unseen news and stories that go on at big events.

During all live shows, viewers get the chance to chat with the host and other viewers online or from their mobile devices.  Once the live shows are over they are then posted to all of the social media video sites like YouTube.  If fans miss the live show, they still have the chance to watch it another day on a different website.  Mingle Media TV also has a blog that talks about events that they attend.  On their blog is another place where they share footage using Youtube videos.

Mingle Media TV stays active on Twitter, Facebook and many other social networks making sure fans get the most out of their web series.  On their website they have a link to click that lets you choose which topic you would like to watch.  You can choose from fashion, red carpet events, finance, food, travel, music, and many, many more.  Their website is a great place for viewers to stay up to date with all of the latest news and to chat with one another about all that is going on.


Petit Elefant- Family, Fashion, Travel, and Home Life

Petit Elefant, a blog started for women around the web, is based on family lifestyles and is broken down into four different categories: Family, Home, Style, and Travel.  Allison Czarnecki, founder and editor, takes her life experiences as a mom and blogs about them so other moms can relate. Because of her love of fashion, she also blogs about new styles and other ways to help women look and become healthier.

Each post on Petit Elefant is about Allison’s life as a mom, wife, and for her love of fashion.  Her family enjoys to travel often so she includes the struggles and enjoyment of traveling with children.  She gives advice on which hotels are the best to stay at when traveling with your families, and mentions to make sure to always have wet wipes.  She communicates with her readers and sometimes even they give her advice.  On a recent trip to Europe for a month, readers gave her advice on how to pack lightly.  Many said to roll your clothes as you are packing them, and it works!  When Allison got back from her trip she posted about how easy it was to pack lightly for a month trip.  By rolling her clothes and her children’s clothes, they were able to have a nice, enjoyable trip without having to worry about a bunch of luggage.  For the plane ride, each of her kids had their own backpacks equipped with everything they needed for the 25 hours of flight time.  She also mentioned that it was a blessing when she found out each of her kids would have their own TV to watch Nickelodeon on.

While Allison and her family were in Europe, she wanted to go to this big talked about flee market.  She wrote that in Utah, where she lives, there are really not any flee markets, just thrift stores.  So she convinced her husband Viktor to let them go for a day.  When they arrived they were shocked by all the gypsies and accordion playing Russians.  As they walked around there was so much to look at, but they were worried that some things they wanted would not be a good idea to take through customs on the way back home.  In the end, they walked away with only dominoes and a stop watch.  In this post, Allison explains all the difficulties they had while they were at the flee market.  What she talks about is solely based on real life experiences that could happen to any one of her readers.

When Allison talks about her family you can tell how greatly she cares about each one of them.  One of her most recent posts is about her children starting school this week.  Her daughter, who is 10, has already been in school a few years but her son, 5, is just starting first grade.  He is ready to start going to school with all the big kids, but Allison talks about how hard it still is to watch them grow up.  Also, Allison talks about how it is important to give your kids opportunities to always try new things. The stories she share all relate to mothers all over the world.  Her blog is a place for them all to talk to each other about the joys and hardships of life and motherhood.

In Allison’s style section she has been doing a weekly “What’s in your Purse Series.”  She has asked her readers to take pictures of what’s inside their purses, and also what the outside of the purse looks like.  When it comes to a mother’s purse, there usually seems to be similar contents in each.  This series has been such a big hit with readers that this week is week 60 of the series.  She is also a big fan of European fashion and gives readers advice on what is in or out in fashion.  Everything that is fashion, she loves to talk about.  In one of her post she explains how to create homemade deep hair conditioning, in another she shows readers what she wore for the day.  Readers love the advice she gives, one reader left a comment saying “Can you please just come to my house and outfit me each day? That would make me happy. Thanks.”

Whether it is traveling, home life, or fashion, Allison shares everything she knows.  Daily she is active on Twitter and Facebook, giving advice to other mothers on the web.  With more than six thousand Twitter followers and one thousand likes on the Petit Elefant Facebook page she reaches out to many and builds relationships with the women who contact her through these networks.

Foursquare-A Location Based Social Network

Foursquare is new type of social network that allows users to find where their friends like to hang out at.  This location based network is accessed through any mobile device with a GPS system and is a fun way to share tips with friends about what to do at places you have visited.  Using your phone you can ‘check-in’ at the various places you visit and Foursquare rewards you with badges, mayorships and points.

Foursquare is a fun way to chat and interact with friends.  It is easily accessed by downloading a Foursquare app to you mobile device, or creating an account through Foursquare’s website.  In order to eligible for mayorships, it is required to upload a profile picture for your account.  When you are rewarded a mayorships, that means that you have checked into a certain place more than any of your friends have in the past 60 days.  By becoming the mayor of a business you will be recognized by others on that business’s Foursquare profile page.  There are some businesses, like Starbucks, that reward their mayors with discounts or freebies.  Companies also use Foursquare as a digital loyalty card to track users who visit their stores.  Even if you are not the mayor, if you have visited the store ten times, then some companies with offer you discounts for being a regular, loyal customer.

To check into a place you simply just open the mobile app from your phone and Foursquare will use the GPS to show you stores near your location that you can check-in to.  If the place that you are looking for is not on the list of stores, you can easily add it to the list directly from your phone.  While using Foursquare you can also link it to your Facebook and Twitter to easily find friends to connect with.  Once you have checked into a place, you have the option of sharing your location with your Foursquare friends and also include it on your Facebook and Twitter profiles.  Whenever you check- in to a place and do not want to share it with friends, Foursquare will show your location as “off the grid” so that friends will not know your exact location.

What has said to be one of Foursquare’s best features is users ability to leave tips on a store’s venue.  People can leave tips for restaurants about the best dish to order, or what is something that people should not order.  People also leave tips about things to do at a certain place, or how they can get discounts, and even where clean bathrooms are.  Users have the ability to give whatever advice they want about the place they are checked in to.  Once someone checks into a place, a pop-up will appear with a past tip from another person who had recently visited the same place you are at.  When you leave a tip for others to read, it can be done directly from you phone.  If you receive a tip, you have the option to save it, or close out of it.  Also if you decide to try the advice that others are giving, you can click a button that says “I have already done this” or you can add a tip to your to do list that will show up the next time you visit that place.

The points that are given to you each time you check into a place are a fun way to compare yourself to the other 1.5 million Foursquare users to see where you stand against them.  The more times you check-in to one place, the more points you will be awarded for being there.  These points do not stand for anything other than having fun and seeing other Foursquare user’s information.  Badges are rewards that are earned when checking in to a place multiple times, or certain places that are sponsored by a company.  For example, if you follow the History Channel on your phone and check-in to three of their recommended places, you will receive the Historian badge, or if you check-in to twenty five different stores, you will receive the explorer badge.  Like the points, the badges are just a fun way to interact with friends and show off how many badges you have obtained.

To learn more about the features of Foursquare and what all it has to offer, check out this video from the Foursquare website.

Science for Citizens- Showing the Importance of Science Through Social Media

Science for Citizens is a place where citizens and scientists can become involved in many different projects.  For citizens it is a great place to contribute or find out more about recreational activities.  If you are a scientist, this website is used more as a science organization or community group.  You can tell citizens about the work you do and get them interested in helping out.  Science for Citizens brings the world’s science gurus together and provides them with various activities to do revolving around science.

Many researchers, organizations, and companies offer projects for citizens to take part in.  They encourage people to become more involved in learning and contributing to science through formal research efforts and informal recreational activities.  Among the general public they want people to appreciate and better understand the importance of science and technology.  This website is a shared space for scientists to speak with citizens who are interested in learning more of what they do and learning about their current research projects.  The team of Science for Citizens launched this site as a way for people to have fun while exploring the many experiences of science.

When you go to the website to find a project, you get to choose between many different categories of what may interest you.  You have the option to do a project with animals, food, education, biology, or pretty much anything you can think of.  Then once your category is chosen, you have the option of choosing the difficulty level of the project.  Once that is finished you will be redirected to many different projects you can look through and choose from.  On the website there is a members blog that you can write in while you are working on your desired project.  This way you can keep others up to date on how you are doing and even ask for feedback or advice on what you can do.   As long as you are a Science for Citizens member, you can write in the member’s blog and chat with others about the joy and changes of science.

I just discovered this site and really appreciate the inspiration it has given me.” a comment from a science guru.

Not only is there a blog for citizens, but the website itself has a blog that talks about everything related to science and technology.  On this blog they also write featured stories about citizens of the public who influence science in their communities.  To keep the world updated with all of their new projects, they turn to Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube.  On their website they also have a way for you to like blog entries or projects that then show up on your own Facebook and Twitter account.  This way you will be able to get the word about science out to more people.  On Youtube, Science for Citizens has many different videos showing what they do.  The most watched video is nearly to having half a million views.

Science for Citizens has over two thousand likes on Facebook and more than four thousands followers on Twitter.  They want people to become more aware of what science is all about, and all of the great projects that can be done using the basics of science.  There is so much to be done and they want to share that with as many people as possible.


3Dcart-Providing Businesses With the Right Tools to Sell Items More Effectively

New online stores are popping up everyday.  By using tools provided by 3DCart, the process of creating your very own online store can be done more effectively.  The tools provided to you can help you create the store you want, designed exactly the way you want it to look.  This shopping cart is combined with the most used features included in creating your own store, except it is made simpler and less expensive.

To assure customers of theirs get results they want, 3DCart runs off of six core values.  These values are innovation, service, trust, simplicity, happiness, and prosperity.  Each of these values are just as important as the last one, and play their own role when it comes to running a successful business.  These values are also important to remember when you are first starting out with your own online business.  They have certainly helped 3DCart create successful tools for you, and can now help you create successful services for others.

These six core values are something to keep in mind.  When looking at the 3DCart website, you can quickly see how their innovation has caused them to be a successful eCommerce platform.  When you are just starting out with your own business, being innovative is what will set you apart from businesses that are similar to yours.  The more innovative you are, the more people will be attracted to your site giving you their business.  Providing outstanding service for your customers can play a big part in whether or not your business will do well once it is all set up.   Customers need to feel like you care about their problems, and you are willing to help fix them as soon as possible.  Focus on what will make your customers happy, and what will keep them coming back, service is all about providing your customers with the best experience possible.  While you are helping customers with challenges they may be having simplicity is the best way to find easy solutions to their problems.  Finding simple ways to help your customers understand what is wrong will also earn trust from those customers.  Trust then leads to building relationships with your customers.  By leading your customers into the right direction then going above and beyond to ensure customer satisfaction will show your customers your sole priority is their happiness.  Not only is it important to bring happiness to your customers, but also your employees.  3DCart believes that if you have happy employees, that will equal to good solutions to provide to your happy customers.  The main goal of 3DCart’s for all business actions is prosperity.  Prosperity is a goal all businesses should have, you need to play your role in contributing to your customers so they can also become prosperous.

3DCart tools are an easy solution to building your own eCommerce store.  The tools they provide you with include choosing the perfect design to fit the type of store you want to open.  With 50 templates to choose from, you are sure to find the design that fits your theme.  Along with the templates they already offer, they also give you the ability to construct your very own designs using HTML and CSS.  To accelerate the procedure of adding categories, products, and webpages, you can use 3DCart’s new tool, the Quick Edit Bar.  The use of this new tool allows you to make design changes in real-time.

While marketing your online store, one of the most important aspects to look into is search engine optimization.   Using the 25 SEO tools provided by 3DCart will ensure that your site is always generating traffic.  Another tool to use is their SocialCommerce tool which makes the tasks of updating your Twitter, Facebook and blog more sufficient by being able to post on each of these through your stores administration.  By being able to post new information or products from your store so easily will continue to expand your fan base.

The real power of 3DCart comes from their business management tools.  To expand into the mobile market, 3DCart offers eCommerce mobile store templates.  With your mobile phone you can print shipping labels from your home or office as your phone automatically sends customers e-mail confirmations and also reminders to leave feedback.  One very useful tool for your customers is the Multiple “Ship To” feature.  This allows your customers to purchase several different items and choose a different shipping address for each of the products.  After a customer purchases an item, they are provided with real-time tracking information including the distributor of the product and which warehouse it is coming from.  Adding these features to your business will allow your customers to purchase more than one item  at the same time instead of having to keep going back to the ‘checkout’ to change addresses.

If you want to track your website statistics, your business can easily be integrated with Google Analytics.  This way you can track how many unique visits you get and any referrals your store may have received.  3DCart also offers a Real-Time Dashboard which allows you to track information on customer activity, shipping types, and sales statistics.  Another useful feature is Product Statistics which gives you information on individual product performance such as top selling items, daily product activity and sales of gift certificates.

The tools provided by 3DCart ensure a successful eCommerce store created by you.  The features they have make selling items more efficient and simpler.  You will get the results you are looking for in little to no time at all.