Word of Mouth Crash Course Wrap Up

Word of Mouth

Word of Mouth Crash Course

Last Thursday, the folks at Word of Mouth hosted the Word of Mouth Crash Course in Austin, TX. Hundreds of people from various industries gathered at the new AT&T conference center in the heart of the University of Texas campus to hear real-life case studies from industry giants such as Domino’s, Maker’s Mark, Movember, Discovery Communications, and more.

This conference was above and beyond anything I could have expected it would be. It was incredibly well-organized, and there were many knowledgeable speakers and presenters to learn from and chat with. Plus, there was a live band that rocked out between sessions, free balloon animal demonstrations to keep the stress level to a minimum, and multiple cheese plates to keep the hungry beasts at bay.

Now, I’d like to share a few key points from the conference:

How to work with influential talkers, presented by Jake McKee

  • To work with influencers, you first must determine your mission. What are you trying to achieve?
  • Understand motivations of your influencers and value every effort. Openly reward behaviors you’d like to see repeated.
  • Clearly state what program participation yields and what you’d like to see from the participants and for how long
  • Conduct an After Action Review. Discuss what worked and what you’d do differently next time.


How to deal with negative word of mouth, presented by Rick Murray

  • Be prepared. Think: where are your points of vulnerability? What could spark the negative WOM? How are you going to respond?
  • Identify advocates, potential advocates, and “badvocates”
  • How do we minimize the chance that our worst nightmares won’t come true?
    • Is your legal team onboard?
    • Training
    • It’s happened. You have 30 minutes to react. What are you going to do?
      • Pay close attention. Don’t overreact.
      • Is it fact or is it an opinion?
      • If it’s fact-based, think about counter measures. Create a mountain of search-optimized content to neutralize the situation. Buy negative keywords on Google Adwords, too, to combat the situation and lead searchers back to original content.
      • Is the person saying these negative things someone influential that you care about?
        • Take it offline.
        • Avoid temptation to engage when people are passionate and just want to get involved because it pisses them off
        • Know where you’re vulnerable.
        • Play defense and offense simultaneously
          • Engage when needed
          • Get your friends involved early and often
            • Get them involved before you need them


How to stay ethical and out of trouble, presented by Andy Sernovitz

  • It’s all about trust
  • Ethics isn’t an extra thing you tack onto your social media program. It should be the foundation.
  • THIS IS THE LAW. Just because it’s social doesn’t mean that it’s okay. Social media doesn’t give you a loophole.
  • Three Guides for Safe Social Media Outreach
    • Require disclosure and truthfulness in social media outreach
    • Monitor the conversation and correct misstatements
    • Create social media policies and training programs
    • Stay safe: never pay, real disclosure, don’t lie to your mom (is it understandable to the average reader that this positive information or news about your brand were not paid for?)
    • 10 Magic Words: I work for _________, and this is my personal opinion.
      • Who are you?
      • Were you paid?
      • Is it an honest opinion based on a real experience?
        • It is illegal to endorse a product they’ve never used
        • Biggest risk: training failure
        • Disclosure Best Practices Toolkit – download from wordofmouth.org or socialmedia.org
          • Disclosure of identity
          • Personal and unofficial participation
          • Truthfulness
          • Outreach and advocacy campaigns
          • Agency/Contractor disclosure
          • Vendor questionnaire
          • Policies and training
          • Be careful who you hire
            • The brand is always responsible

Looking for a little more? Check out the Greatest Tweets for #WOMCC for a great overview of information. BestBuzz even makes an appearance on the list!

Looking for a lot more? Pretend you were there by catching up on the live blogs from the conference.

A Very Special Mother’s Day BUZZ Giveaway

Win big for Mom for Mothers Day

Win Mom wonderful Mothers Day gifts

Here at BestBuzz, we love putting together fun promotions for our fans and followers. Now that it’s May and spring has sprung, we knew we had to do something special to show our love for the Moms out there!

Whether you’d like to treat Mom to a spotless house cleaned by Highland Park Housekeeping, dinner at Dream Cafe, a glass of wine (or 3) at Two Corks and a Bottle, a luxurious massage from Massage Envy, a price package from Xtreme Lashes, or a pearly smile from Floss Dental, this giveaway has you covered, and then some!

Not a mother? Don’t worry. You don’t have to be a mom to score a prize from our hefty prize pool. To be entered to win, text BUZZ to 635-66 to download the free BestBuzz app (available on iPhone, Android, and BlackBerry 6.0+) and scan the code. Then, when prompted, log in with your Facebook or Twitter account. You can buzz-in once a day, every day, until May 13th for extra entries. Winners will be chosen on May 14th.

Looking for some fun Mother’s Day activities or gift ideas? Here’s a round up of the top picks in DFW:

  • The annual Swiss Avenue Home Tour is a great way to spend your Saturday or Sunday, touring beautiful homes in a classic Dallas neighborhood.
  • Have an art-loving mom? How about spending the day at the Nasher Sculpture Center? Start out the day with mimosas and brunch at the Nasher Café by Wolfgang Puck, check out the new Ernesto Neto exhibition, and enjoy performances by The Dallas Opera from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. More information here.
  • Is your mom a tech fan? Here‘ s a roundup of the hottest iPhone and iPad apps for Mother’s Day.
  • Enjoy brunch at the Dallas Arboretum. The new Chihuly exhibit just opened, and it’s a sight to see!

Be sure to follow BestBuzz on Facebook and Twitter for more details about the giveaway, and remember to buzz every day for extra entries!

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Why I Hate QR Codes!

Well, why I hate normal QR codes. Let me clarify..

I’ve seen a lot of less-than-thought-out uses of QR codes in marketing. More times than I’d like to count, I’ve scanned a QR code and had it take me to a page that was not optimized for my mobile phone. Or it took me to a page built entirely of Flash, which my dear iPhone cannot read. You name it, we’ve probably seen it (and groaned over it).

QR codes can be a great marketing tool, but businesses are getting caught up in the fad, and they’re giving QR codes a bad rap. QR codes should be a well thought out experience for your customer. What is the purpose of scanning? Exclusive content? Relative content (i.e. bus schedule, festival lineup, etc)? A discount? Adding someone’s contact information to your address book? These are all examples of good uses of QR codes. Sending me a map of where I already am? Taking me to a website that I could have easily just typed in? Showing me the exact artwork of the flyer that I’m currently holding in my hand? Non-mobile site? No directions on how to even scan? Only tested code on an iPhone 4S? These all belong in the QR code Hall of Shame.

I wonder what this guy’s code led to…

QR Codes can promote all kinds of services

Escorts and QR Codes. Why not? We give him props for creativity!

…I can only hope the page was mobile-friendly!

At BestBuzz, we take QR codes to the next level. Before a code leaves our door, we ensure that it’s been tested on over 33 mobile platforms and that the experience is a valuable one for your brand and the customer. We brand each code and always have clear instructions for those who may not know what to do with a QR code. The codes we create for our clients are tested, strategic, and not slapped on as an after-thought.

Danielle Glick, of DG Design, has a few other points on How NOT to Use a QR Code in Your Marketing. Also, check out Mashable’s roundup of the 10 Funniest QR Code Fails. Love it! 


The Fame Game

Have you played The Fame Game on Twitter yet? The idea is simple: if you had 20 million followers for one day only, what would you say?  The game works like a lottery. The more people who sign up, the closer everyone gets to 20 million fans. It’s fairly new, so right now the “jackpot” is at about 7,000 fans.

Well. Yesterday, I won the Fame Game.

Fame Game Winner

@LCaitlinMiller wins about 6,500 fans for a day

Let me introduce myself officially – my name is Caitlin, and I am the Marketing Director for BestBuzz. If you’ve ever gotten a response from a comment left on our Facebook page, “Liked” a particular post, or won something from one of our giveaways, chances are, you were interacting with me.

Fame Game winner for a day

@LCaitlinMiller was the Fame Game winner for a day

As someone who lives, breathes, sleeps, and eats social media, I was all over The Fame Game from the moment I read about it on Mashable. I saw a particularly interesting opportunity to promote BestBuzz to a new, socially-savvy audience, talk about some things that interest me, and get a random sample of opinions.

Throughout the course of my 24 hours of “fame,” I asked 4-5 questions about QR codes: had anyone ever scanned one, what was the experience from it, would they scan more often if they were met with a reward? I asked about checking-in. I tweeted a random picture or two. I mentioned three of my favorite charities. I gave shout outs to a couple of my favorite blogs, and I posted a link to an amusing article. We even came up with a little contest for a chance to win a $500 AmEx gift card.

After tortuously following previous Fame winners who were relentless and spam-happy, I tried to cover the board – give people engaging content that would provide responses. Of course, a little bit of shameless self-promotion would be thrown in there, but nothing too over-the-top. I mostly tried to be myself.

So far, I’ve received over 230 mentions in less than 24 hours. (I wonder if this will have an effect on my Klout score) Although most of the mentions are positive, there was definitely a loud minority of negative tweeters (even a couple from the Fame people themselves) who put a damper on the experience.

Closing arguments? It was cool. For a day. Though, I must admit – I’m looking forward to this afternoon when my 6,000 new followers are transferred over to the next sucker.

So if you had Fame for a day, what would you tweet about? Let us know!

Get Buzzed at the Deep Ellum Arts Festival 2012

Check out the Deep Ellum Arts Fest April 6-8

Check out the Deep Ellum Arts Fest April 6-8

Have you ever been to the Deep Ellum Arts Festival before? The date is set for April 6-8 for the free 3-day arts festival has been a Dallas staple for 15 years, and this year’s festival is set to be another huge hit.

Experience more than 200 decorative and visual artists selling and commissioning original works, 100′s original bands and performance artists showcasing the newest sights and sounds from five stages! Check out the festival guide to plan your visit, and come hungry.

Be sure to buzz-in to be entered to win a pair of VIP tickets to the festival:

Buzz-in to win VIP tickets!

Scan the code with the free BestBuzz app to be entered to win VIP tickets!

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Upcoming Networking Opportunities

Looking for some networking opportunities in Dallas tonight? BestBuzz CEO & Founder Carrie Layne will be speaking at the DFW Social Media MeetUp tonight! Join us to hear all the buzz about Integrating Social Media & Mobile Marketing: bit.ly/DFWSM31912

QR code expert Carrie Layne discusses QR codes

Learn from QR Code expert Carrie Layne

Alternatively, if you’ll be in the San Francisco area on April 3-4, CEO & Founder Carrie Layne will be speaking at the eMarketing Association eM12 conference. Only 25 seats left! j.mp/FObpat


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