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HootSuite Presentation View

HootSuite OwlsI think it is safe the say that the majority of regular Twitter users are divided into two distinct camps when it comes to their Twitter application of choice: HootSuite or Tweetdeck. I started as a Tweetdeck user, but later committed to HootSuite when social media became part of my job and I haven’t looked back since. The program is extremely user friendly, offers time-saving solutions for online community managers and has a proven track record (with me at least) of providing quality customer service and responding promptly to user questions and complaints.

Earlier this week, HootSuite announced a new viewing option available to all users for no charge: HootSuite Presentation View. This new option is designed with Twitter users and hashtag activity associated with conferences and events in mind. According to HootSuite:

During special events – like conferences, speeches, and elections – updates can overwhelm even the quickest of owls. While you can set up a stream to monitor certain keywords, how do you keep an eye on real-time results without refreshing?

The answer: the Presentation View. This view allows users to see updates as they come with a clear and easy interface to show Tweets from all Twitter users – not just those with whom you have a follow/er relationship.

I love a company that understands its users’ interests and anticipates needs.

Being in the association and conference world, my only request for an improvement to Presentation View would be to allow users to customize the theme. Annual meeting signage usually follows a color scheme which is carried throughout the thousands of signs, carpet and drape, bags, printed publications and other telltale components of a conference seen inside and outside of a convention center. What can I say — we like consistency.

Minor kvetch aside, I’m still impressed and pleased with HootSuite for developing this new feature. Well done, owls!

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Quick update and some pics!

I recently traveled to Las Vegas for PCMA – a professional conference for convention planners and related positions in the industry. I had a blast and learned a lot working in the Learning Lounge. I am working on a blog post to share my experience and my takeaways – but just wanted to check in and let you know that it is coming soon!

In the meantime, check out the social media rockstars that I got to brush shoulders with during PCMA!

Chris Brogan, me, Rob Hatch

Co-Founder of LinkedIn, Eric Ly

The beautiful and talented Midori Connolly and Jessica Levin (love these gals!)

Now Available – IAEE Social Media Task Force White Paper

I’m a bit embarrassed at how long it has been since my last update – but oh well, every blogger is guilty of this once in a while.

One of the reasons that I have been too busy to dedicate time to the blog was the wonderful opportunity to be a part of the IAEE Social Media Task Force – and more specifically, part of the subgroup responsible for writing a White Paper on best practices for using social media in conjunction with events.

Without further adieu, I am proud to present the IAEE Social Media White Paper: How to Properly Use Social Media to Enhance and Promote Your Event.

Special thanks to the amazing team for allowing me to be a part of this truly rewarding experience.

Michelle Bruno, CEM, CMP – Lead Writer and Co-Chair

Committee:
Joyce McKee – Co-Chair
Stuart Aizenberg, CEM
Kelly Flowers

Nate Knight

David Haas
Pat Phillips
Maggie McGary

Christina Stallings
Tim Ward
Heidi Vorhees
Kiki L’Italien
Staff Liaison: Susan Brower, CMM, CCP

My Favorite Tech Tool of the Moment: Google Search Stories for YouTube

My buddies over at Engage365 recently introduced me to Google Search Stories for YouTube. Search Stories is a simple to use video creator that allows you to enter up to six search queries, select a musical track and upload a pretty professional looking video to YouTube. The possibilities are endless – commercials, product promotions, blog entries, etc.

Until today I had only created one Search Story, a promotional piece to generate excitement for my work’s annual conference. Turns out that my work liked it so much that it is now embedded on our annual conference’s homepage as a featured video!

With Search Stories, you have the ability to set the Search Story to pull the queries from not only the web, but to pull specifically from images, blogs, news, books or products. This combined with the wide range of musical themes to choose from allows you to easily generate the emotion and tone you are going for – whether somber, dramatic, action-packed or silly.

Check out the Search Story I made about the game changing moments I have experienced as a result of social media and the amazing #eventprofs Twitter community. Enjoy!

One small step for man, one awesome step for this social media nerd.

Recently, I’ve noticed more talk of social media in my professional life and was thrilled to find myself a part of a meeting last week where social media was not only an agenda item, but one that generated a lively and contemplative conversation. In my opinion and from the perspective of the now-exposed-office-social-media-nerd, these are exciting steps in a really cool direction!

I couldn’t help but get over my usually timid attitude and pipe in at some points during the discussion (in spite of the annoyingly telling shakiness in my voice) and many of my comments were met with interest and surprise.

The Background

You see, while I will gladly talk social media with my #eventprofs peers and the various Twitter mavens I’ve befriended . . . and even bring it up at times to my girlfriends who haven’t yet seen this side of me and look at me like I’m speaking another language . . . and regularly watch my husband’s eyes glaze over as I excitedly fill him in on the latest drama reported by Mashable or Bnet . . . I don’t really bring social media up much at work. Why? My position doesn’t really encompass it and I have maintained it mostly as just that – a personal hobby.

The News

On Monday, this recently changed when I was asked to . . . drum roll, please . . .

Develop a social media proposal !!

It took just about all I had to maintain composure and not jump out of my chair and run around in circles. I am so thrilled, excited and flattered that I have been given the opportunity to look at social media through professional eyes and not just from the personal perspective of someone who simply finds it fascinating.

Drafting the proposal will obviously be a big learning experience for me as I will now have to really, I mean really, think about and evaluate social media on a different level, the level of a professional organization – not just as a personal interest or something I’d like to one day see implemented in my 9 – 5 world. This means thinking about potential challenges and opportunities from many perspectives – because as we all know – social media is a big deal these days, and while it can potentially be a big success for a company . . . there have been many instances where it is a well-intentioned, but dismal and embarrassing failure.

So thank you to the Rich Meyer’s, Scott Woodruff’s, Jeff Hurt’s, Traci Browne’s, Jenise Fryatt’s and Michael McCurry’s of the world for blogging, Tweeting and collaboratively sharing your valuable insights and being great resources. You have not only fueled a personal passion but enable me to translate personal development to professional as well.

(closes laptop, jumps out of chair and runs in circles)

A brief (but promising) chat about medical societies and social media.

Earlier this week I had the great opportunity to attend a large medical conference with an ‘exhibits only’ pass. The goal in attending the meeting was to look for innovative tactics utilized to enhance the exhibits experience for meeting attendees and exhibitors and meet with our counterparts at the association who were putting on the meeting to discuss strategy.

It was an awesome opportunity and I had been very excited ever since I found out I was able to go. What I hoped for was to encourage the flow of creative energy, and while that goal was achieved, I also happened to unexpectedly meet a couple of my exhibitor contacts face-to-face for the first time. There is just something about putting a face to the name that takes the relationship to a whole new level. (unrelated to the post, but still a cool and unexpected perk of this opportunity. . . I digress)

Back to the point. I’ll go ahead and admit that I had (unsurprisingly) sought out and followed the association’s social media efforts in the weeks prior to the meeting, mainly by monitoring their various Twitter accounts (and some of the more vocal attendees’ accounts) on a regular basis. I was pleasantly surprised to see a medical society utilizing social media, and on a seemingly regular basis as well as in conjunction with their annual meeting.

While I was in the association’s booth on the exhibit hall floor discussing the evolution of their presence in the exhibit hall, I mentioned that I was interested in meeting whoever was handling their social media initiatives.

A couple of minutes later, I did just that. After introducing myself and admitting my recent stint of stalking her social media efforts, I learned that she had been an employee of the association for some time now, in the advocacy department, and one of her responsibilities was maintaining a blog. The leadership recognized the value and need for a social media presence, as well as her natural talent for communicating via social networks, and eventually transitioned her into a newly created position in the communications and marketing department, handling organization-wide social media initiatives.

As someone who has a pretty strong grasp of social media and a particular interest in how medical societies are (or are not) using it, I’ve been pretty impressed with her efforts. Their membership consists of doctors, which usually tend to not be as active on social media or at least open to it off the bat. (I realize there are significant exceptions, there is no need to point this out to me. In this particular situation though, it applies). 🙂

However, over the past seven days, and as of this post’s publication, there have been 1,142 tweets, from 201 contributors, and an average of 163 tweets per day associated with the official conference hashtag. These are not mind blowing statistics. However, based on unique circumstances and in comparison to similar meetings, these statistics are worth mentioning. Based on the association’s seemingly well thought out strategy and implementation, I won’t be surprised to see them grow in the future.

However insignificant the numbers may seem in comparison to more mainstream meetings – being in a similar environment, I was impressed. I was impressed more than anything by the association’s willingness to experiment with what many associations seem to be intimidated by or completely ignore.

She explained to me that they have a few main accounts representing the organization that she and a couple other designated staff work together to maintain, as well as some sub-accounts (like their 2010 annual meeting and their 2010 expo account) that come into play as needed. Because the association offers so many different areas of interest to their members, one account wouldn’t be sufficient to get the right message to the right folks. Simply put, this works for them.

Unfortunately, since she and the rest of her co-workers were mid-annual meeting and likely pulling 14-hour days, we didn’t have long to talk. But, I was motivated by her story and impressed with both her individual efforts and those of the association, and felt the need to share.

Things I wish I had the opportunity to ask her during our brief chat:

  • Were there struggles along the way to your transition to convince key staff of social media’s potential value and importance?
  • What social networks (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.) have you been the most succcessful in engaging members and attendees?
  • How do you plan to keep the conversation/buzz going year-round, as opposed to just annual meeting-centric?
  • What social networks did you put the most effort into and what was the result? Success? Failures? Things to tweak?
  • If she was aware of or had she considered using online event communities, like the Social Collective? Pro’s/con’s/potential challenges?

Either way, it was definitely a pleasure meeting her. I got her card and plan to reach out to her in the future with these type of questions and more . . . while continuing to (stalk) watch her social media efforts. 🙂

We are all in this together, right?

IAEE Announces Launch of Social Media Task Force

Exciting!! I really hope I get the opportunity to participate! Already sent my request in. 🙂

Read about the Social Media Task Force here.

**********UPDATE**********

Ask and you shall receive.

Just 12 hours after sending an e-mail hoping to participate I received an enthusiatic and friendly e-mail welcoming me to the task force!

I am so thrilled to have the opportunity to participate!

And guess what?!

It was already pretty sweet that the task force is being headed by Chris Brogan, but I found out this afternoon that I’ll also be joining some of my favorite #eventprofs friends/mentors, Jeff Hurt and Greg Ruby.

After a fantastic 2009, full of great opportunities, self-exploration, education and luck – this is a great start to 2010!

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