Road to BlogWorld NY: I’m speaking about humanizing your brand!

I’ve been trying to get this blog post out for over a month now, and here we are one week before BlogWorld New York. Needless to say, I’m gearing up for an exciting couple of days at the Jacob Javits Convention Center where I’ll be surrounded with thousands of amazing bloggers, marketers, and other new media professionals. This is my fourth BlogWorld, and this time I’ll be speaking!

Here I am talking to bloggers at the Livefyre Booth at BWELA 2011. We won’t have a booth this year, but keep your eye out for me in a Livefyre t-shirt.

What can you expect to learn from my presentation? I’ll be sharing my experiences and advice on how to get out from behind that corporate logo to humanize your brand, find your key performance indicator and build community with lots of products like shirts up to vehicles like simple and effective e-scooters or just plain old cars. More specifically, here’s what you’ll get from my presentation:

Community building is much more than posting regular updates to a Twitter account and Facebook fan page. Brands that are successful with social media thanks to and community understand that real people need to be interacting with their audiences in an authentic, helpful manner. Through case studies, personal experience, and stories from other bloggers, you’ll see how others have created a human voice for their companies that sets them apart from the competition. From company culture to customer service to offline events, you will learn how to build community from the ground up and create brand advocates to share your message.

If you’re going to BlogWorld, you already know a thing or two about the importance of community and relationship building. If don’t have your ticket yet and want to learn more – sign up now!

Building community is an obvious passion of mine, and I’m excited to share personal experiences and examples from some of my favorite brands that understand the “human” side of business like Apple, Virgin America, Zappos, and more. Throughout the next week I’ll be writing about these in prep for my presentation on Tuesday, June 5th, at 10:15am (now you know when and where, you have no excuse not to come!)

Instead of me just spewing off my favorite examples of great customer service and personal touches (expect some Livefyre stories too, thanks DJ!), I want to hear from you: What brands do you recognize as human? Do you have a specific memory of connecting with a company because of your personal experience, not just the product or service? Please share your thoughts in the comments below, along with any other questions about my presentation. And if you’ll be at BWENY, make sure to post your Twitter handle so we can meet in person!

Recap from BlogHer11: Can’t stop blogging now!

Did I mention my sister Sara was there too? I'm the youngster incase it was hard to tell.

I attended my first BlogHer this weekend. I’m quite the event junkie (well I was when I had time) and I love the different experiences each conference and their community bring. Every minute of BlogHer was inspiring as I watched successful women share their stories, teach their lessons, and learn from others. The energy was always high and the rooms were filled with brilliance and estrogen. I met some great people and look forward to building on many conversations and relationships.

While I didn’t learn a lot of new skills, I really enjoyed all of the speakers in each session. Most sessions reminded me of what I already knew, so it was good to have the key points hammered home. The key takeaway for me is that I have to MAKE TIME. Whether it’s making time to blog, time to review, or just time for me, it’s important. I’m enjoying writing and I want to get back to photography, so I’m working on ways to consolidate time. Getting back to what I’m passionate about, and sharing my thoughts about it on the way. We’ll see where my blog goes from here…

Below is a recap of my tweets and photos from #BlogHer11, curated using Storify.


The Evolution of My Biography and Online Persona

When was the last time you updated your Twitter profile and avatar? I am 23 years old (wow, just typed 24 by accident, weird), and over the last 3 years I have had many different lives: lived in different countries, in the snow, in the country, in the city. My Twitter bio has changed from one thing to another, and now I’m trying again to fit my life int 160 characters. I recently chopped off 1 foot of my hair (donated it to Locks of Love), so my avatar probably isn’t too accurate anymore either.

I bet I have hundreds of accounts for hot new sites across the web, the majority of which I creating throughout the last 3 years during my always changing passions and windy career path. I just created my Google+ account, but I haven’t taken the time to populate my circles, post any photos, or…update my profile. According to G+, I am a recent college graduate (which was a lie at the time, I was still taking online classes so I could live in Tahoe as a snowboard bum), eager to jump on any opportunity I could get move into the social media world.

I wrote this when I was eight years old for my book, "Trapped in the World Wide Web." I've always had a hard time getting to the point in my writing, and I still use emoticons 🙂

20 months later, I’m going across the web, updating my profile to read Director of Community and Strategy at Livefyre. I’ve established myself, my future is clear, and now it’s time to update my personal brand. Time to re-describe myself in 160 characters, re-evaluate my Facebook privacy settings, and some how explain on LinkedIn what my job entails (hint: it’s a startup, a lotta bit of everything).

How do you describe yourself online? Are you professional, personal, maybe completely random? Do you change your persona depending on the community you’re interacting with? I like to keep my profiles consistent across the social web, with username, avatar, now that I’m finally getting around to it, my bio.

Here’s my current attempt at 160 characters (and this doesn’t even include my title or company!) Writing tweets is always a good exercise for conciseness.

“Bay Area born, geek from the start. Passionate about connecting through technology. Happy checking email from the chairlift and sending tweets from the bike.”

How has your profile changed over the years? What are the most important things to include while still being a minimalist?

Facebook Places and Free Gap Jeans: The First Experiment

Facebook Places announced Facebook deals earlier this week, and they just started their first big promotion: the first 10,000 people to check-in to Gap stores across the US today will get a free pair of jeans. I decided to scope it out and chronicle my account:

  • 9:20am: Get off the bus at Market and 3rd Street. I’m here early, so I might as well take the walk to Post and see the line at the Gap.
  • 9:30am: Only 5 people in line right now, might as well stay for my free pair of jeans! Also, my first Facebook check-in ever, thanks to the new Facebook Android app. Is it funny that I also checked in on Foursquare?
  • 9:50am: About 20 people in line now. Mostly women in their mid 20s to 40s. Everyone looking at their phones or making small talk.
  • 9:58am: Gap employee tells us the first 25 people who show their check-in at the register get a free pair of jeans ($59.50 or less). You mean we don’t get a coupon when we walk in? Girls get their game faces on.
  • 10:00am: As the third person in the door I headed up the stairs leading the pack to the 2nd floor. I had some pep inmy step, but I could hear the girls gaining on me from behind. Luckily I knew what I wanted and found my exact favorite jeans. And I can exchange them later if I want. I was probably sale #10, and galavanted back down the stairs. As I left the store I saw a girl briskly walking down the street, frantically trying to check-in on Facebook.

Gap played its cards right with the Facebook places promo. There was’t a long line, but the free jeans were gone in a second and people were still in the store, probably willing to make a purchase. I was actually surprised at the lack of people considering this is San Francisco. The beauty of the promotion is people will keep coming all day long to receive a 40% discount on one item. Good deal for the customer, great deal for Gap. It will be interesting to see the numbers at the end of the day.

Why is Facebook places important in this equation? I just shared my check in with my 800 friends who now might become a fan of Gap. The viral facebook cycle begins. This will also train people to checkin in to find deals. Who doesn’t want a free pair of jeans? One problem that I see is that you can like the Gap fan page, and the Gap physical store. When I check in I only see the physical store, and there is no link to the Fan Page. Gap is missing a big opportunity to get more fans to opt in to updates.

Who will use the Facebook deals?  I see it being exactly who was there today – women in their 20s to 40s. Many tend to have a smartphone, check Facebook from their phone, and can’t say no to a good deal. Heck, I barely consider myself a girl and I hate shopping, but I went early to get something free (but Gap jeans are my favorite).

Do you use Facebook Places? Will you use it more now because of the deals? Remember, to get the deal, it has to post to your wall. Is that an invasion of privacy or is it worth adding to your feed?

San Francisco Giants win the World Series! #sfriot takes over Twitter

San Franciscans were ecstatic last night after the San Francisco Giants won the World Series. I made my way home to the Inner Richmond soon after the end of the game. I guess that’s a good thing, considering San Francisco didn’t stop partying until the sun began to rise. I’m sad that I missed this celebration, but I’ll be at the parade tomorrow, taking pictures of my own.

Here’s a quick collection of photos, videos, articles, and links that I gathered in a matter of minutes on Storify. The Storify interface made it easy to search and gather data, but it would be nice to sort by date. They are in private beta right now, so I’m sure new curation features will be coming soon. I’ll continue to update the story as we go.