Tackle Your Fears: Take the First Steps of Your Social Media Marketing Journey

The power of Facebook cannot be denied. With 500 million users, Facebook's numbers are almost double the population of the United States. We Facebook users spend more than 700 billion minutes a month total on Facebook, which boils down to about 20 minutes a day on average for each of us.

“But where do I start?” you ask. Or, “I'm afraid I won't be able to keep up with it,” I hear. Well then, I encourage you to embrace my motto, which is, “It's better to do it badly than not at all.” Rid yourself of your doubts and give it a shot. You can't ever possibly expect to become a master Facebook marketer until you start using Facebook. Don't feel bad if you're not using it to its fullest potential. Don't feel bad if you don't post regularly. Being seen on Facebook and making connections are your No. 1 priorities. The more you use Facebook, the more natural it will become and the easier it will be to integrate it into your day-to-day marketing plan.

Which brings me to your social media marketing plan. Yes, you need a plan, but it doesn't have to be time-consuming or involved. It should be a working plan that evolves with your experiences.

Before opening your own accounts, spend a few hours researching the Facebook pages, Twitter streams and LinkedIn profiles of your colleagues. Notice how they set up their accounts and journal your thoughts and any ideas your research may spark. It's especially easy to lose track of time on Facebook, so it's crucial that you set time limits for yourself. Set an overall daily limit and decide how many minutes you'll spend on each profile.

Next, choose your profile names. I find that it's best to use your real name as your Twitter handle. You're using social media to build relationships, and the more familiar your contacts are with your name, the easier it will be to translate the online conversation into a face-to-face encounter. LinkedIn uses your real name. In Facebook, you'll create a personal profile as well as a business fan page.

Now, start making those connections! For the most part (there are occasional exceptions), I don't friend anyone on Facebook unless I've either met them at least once or know I will meet them in the near future, or if we share a significant number of mutual friends. It's completely acceptable to follow anyone and everyone's Twitter streams, but you must know your contact to connect in LinkedIn, since it's designed as a professional tool.

You will be sucked into the virtual vortex in particular when you first open your Facebook account. Plan extra time into your schedule for this, but remember to set limits in the future.

As you use social media tools more and more, you'll learn how to unleash their powers and integrate them into your overall marketing plan. Keep your plan fluid and make adjustments to it as your experience grows. Measure your efforts. Check your website stats to see if you're driving traffic to your website via social media. Evaluate which topics generate the most activity on your website and blog, and what times of day generate a larger response. Make notes and adjust your plan accordingly.

Don't be afraid. Jump in and learn how to swim in the virtual waters.

Name: Natalie Napoleon Wi

Company: Allure West Studios

Address: 100 Mechanics St.

Doylestown, PA 18901 USA

Phone: 267/247-5858

E-mail: natalie@allurewest.com

Website: www.allurewest.com

Next Page: ISES Thanks its Eventworld Sponsors

ISES Thanks its 2010 Eventworld Sponsors

ISES Eventworld would not be possible without the commitment and strong support of many wonderful individuals and companies:

CCR Solutions
www.ccrsolutions.com

Dynamic Drape and Decor
www.dynamicdrapeanddecor.com

Baltimore Marriott Waterfront
www.marriott.com/Baltimore

CORT Event Furnishings
www.cortevents.com

Andy Kushner Entertainment
www.andykushner.com

CPR Multi Media
www.cprmms.com

Jobe and Associates
www.jobeideas.com

Room Service Rentals/American Furniture Rentals
www.afrevents.com

Select Event Rentals
www.weparty.com

Stephanie LeBlond Photography
www.stephanieleblond.com

Absolute Amusements
www.absoluteamusements.com

Atomic Rental
www.atomicrental.tv

Atmosphere North America
www.atmosphere-media.com

Backdrops Beautiful
www.backdropsbeautiful.com

BizBash
www.bizbash.com

Cloth Connection
www.clothconnection.com

Cinema Cake Filmmakers
www.cinemacake.com

Creative Visions
www.creativevisions.com

East Coast Entertainment
smorris@eastcoastentertainment.com

Eventricity
www.eventricity.net

Gala Cloths by Dulany
www.galacloths.com

Mid-Atlantic Events Magazine
www.eventsmagazine.com

Premier Events Inc.
www.premiereventsinc.com

Star Productions Inc.
www.starproductions.com

Washington Talent Agency
www.phillyeventgroup.com

Next Page: Congratulations to 2010 Esprit Winners

ISES Congratulates the Esprit Award Winners!

The ISES Esprit Awards recognize the best and most creative talent and efforts in the special event industry in 34 categories. The awards acknowledge ISES members who exhibit a spirit of excellence in their work, giving them global visibility. The 2010 ISES Esprit Award recipients are:

DSB LIVE — Get on the Train
Jesper Hartley and Jannik Seifert
Welcome Event Marketing

The Legendary Block Party!
Eclipse Entertainment
Chris Arredondo & Team

Calling All Wedding Planners
Jill S. Moran, CSEP
Jsmoran, Special Event Planning & Management

Living Bars
Sandy O. Fergus
Creative Juice Group LLC

Aged to Perfection
Morgan Doan
Morgan Events and
Emily Dreblow
Soulflower Floral Design

Transformation Celebration
Ingrid Nagy
Catering By Design

Sinesia in St. Tropez
Bonny Katzman
BK Design

Life University 2009
Rick Jobe
Jobe & Associates

Kentucky Derby Festivities
Classic Party Rentals

Get in the Game
Sharon Phillips Waxman
SPW Productions LLC

Take a Hike! Celebrating the Completion of the Trans-Catalina Trail
Jen Poyer, CSEP
Catalina Island Conservancy

First Amendment Bulls-eye!
Kelley Gillespie
CSI - Capitol Services Inc.

Unveiled — The Ultimate Wedding Planning Event
Matthew Trettel
The Wedding Guys®

Modern French Whimsy
Tara Wilson Events

The Compass Points to Love
Joyce Scardina Becker, CMP
Events of Distinction

White Mountain Magic
Lynn Fletcher Weddings Inc.

Celebrating 20 Years of “WOW“!
Rick Davis
Amaryllis Inc.

The Bohemian Life
AOO Events

Home for the Holidays
Visions Display Inc.

Honoring Our Heroes
Kristin Wienold
Event Digital Photography Inc.

Oxfam Trailwalker
Hala Events & Communications Inc.

George Strait Concert
Hyacinth Belcher, CSEP
Onstage Systems

Event on The Move — Chris and Kim's Anniversary
Bravo Productions

AK's Club 13/13
AOO Events

The Alpha Take-off
Jesper Hartley and Jannik Seifert
Welcome Event Marketing

Attendees Receive Mardi Gras Royalty Treatment as NOLA is Back
ACCENT on Arrangements Inc., A DMC
Network Company

Celebrating 20 Years of “WOW“!
Rick Davis
Amaryllis Inc.

2009 Annual Awards Meeting and Gala
Sally Webb, CSEP, and The Special Event Company

2009 LPGA World Championship
Barkley Kalpak Associates

Energy Independence Day
Blue Danube Productions

LIVERight Gala
Hala Events & Communications Inc.

Orlando WOW Awards
Christine Logan Ivanov

LoganMania Music & Madness
Stefanie Berry
Showorks Events
Jason Logan
LoganMania Music & Madness
JC York
Wise Guys InterACTive Entertainment
Cheryl Andrews, FSMD
Cheryl's Distinctive Creations
Lindsey Luxa
Dragonfly Custom Design
Lindsay Cosimi
AFR Event Furniture Rental
Cendy Knight
Hello Florida
Richard Streitler
Flourish Floral Productions
Byron Loper
Ice Magic
Jason Gabel
Two Left Feet Events
Michele Phillips
Atlantic Pro Audio
Derek Eaton
PRI Productions

Rock ‘n’ Roll Holiday Wedding
Beth Sexton

Indy Photo Booths
Bob Ridge
IndyVisual
Kate Berglund
KB Design LLC
Scott Evans
Evans Audio Visual
Circle City Planners
Tiffany Stoner

Nathaniel Edmunds Photography

2009 ISES-NCC Gala-Ain't We Got Fun?

Chair: Michael Tannen CSEP (Philadelphia)

COMMITTEE MEMBERS:
Decor:
James Bailey, CSEP (Chicago)

Entertainment: Andy Kushner (Washington)

Production/Logistics: Jennifer Claire Scott (New York Metro)

Next Page: ISES Spirit of Excellence Award Winners

ISES Congratulations the Spirit of Excellence Award Winners

Excellence in Communications: Rhode Island Chapter

Excellence in Programming and Education: Minneapolis-St. Paul Chapter

Excellence in Special Projects: Austin, Texas Chapter

Excellence in Membership Retention: Europe Chapter and New Orleans Chapter

Excellence in Membership Growth: Rhode Island Chapter

Chapter of the Year: Minneapolis-St. Paul Chapter

Region of the Year: Northeast USA

Excellence in Membership Recruitment:

  • Zanine Adams, London-UK Chapter

  • Rolly Mansfield, Detroit Chapter

  • Kristin Nolte, Pittsburgh Chapter

Volunteer of the Year: Andy Callin

Mettle Attitude: Zanine Adams and Richard Foulkes

Robert J. Graves: Dennis J. Telischak, CSEP

Next Page: Small Business Can Make a Big Impact

Small Business Can Make a Big Impact

How many times have we heard it before?

“Buy from the little guy.” “Big-box stores are killing the small-business owner.” “Keep your money local.”

Everyone wants small businesses to succeed. We all want the hardware store owner to prevail when Home Depot or Lowe's opens in the next town over, the corner coffee shop vs. Starbucks, the town pharmacist over CVS. Around 76 percent of Americans say they would rather buy from a local, smaller vendor rather than a large chain. Yet 90 percent of all new small business ventures fail and the large chains open new locations almost by the hour.

I'm not here to scold and don't have the right to preach to anyone. (A venti chai from Starbucks is staring at me as I write this.) I just want to remind everyone: Amazon.com started in Jeff Bezos' garage, Facebook was born in a dorm, and Staples at one time had a single location. We all want to be that company that grows into one of the “big guys,” but how do you get there? How do you compete in a market where the competition can buy in greater bulk, advertise in more mediums and with greater frequency, and leverage their size in cutting cost on everything from insurance to printing? The key to competing on this stage is simple — don't.

There are ways that a small business can act and react that a larger business cannot, which can give you the upper hand in selling to the same clientele. For example, you find that “Process A” is not performing, so you go to “Process B,” and quickly. Use the spryness that comes with being a small business to adapt and change for the better. Change is good. Change is necessary. Change can save your business.

Strategic partnerships can help you in a variety of ways. Looking around The Special Event and Eventworld®, I could not help but notice that the majority of our industry is made up of small businesses. Create buying partnerships and join organizations (like ISES) to become part of a larger whole.

Lastly, rely on the big “P” — personality. Speak to people — don't recite. If someone in your organization does not like to speak on the phone, put them on parking-lot polishing before you put them on the phone again — even if that person is you! Do whatever you need to do to make the customer feel at home.

A local hardware shop where I live has stayed open and thrived even though a Home Depot and Lowe's have stores within 10 minutes of them. The reason for their success? They know their stuff and they know their clients. One day I went in there looking for a new lock for our patio door. The owner, on his usual stool, said “hi” when I walked in and asked, “How's that gutter holding up?” I had purchased some downspouts a few months earlier. He made a note about my last purchase so that he could bring it up the next time I was in. He wants my business, and he takes the time to make sure he earns it.

Best of luck to you!

Name: Larry Ott

Company: Open Aire Affairs

Address: 861 Newtown Yardley Road

Newtown, PA 18940 USA

Office: 215/860-1859

Fax: 215/860-3915

Email: larry@openaireaffairs.com

Website: www.openaireaffairs.com

Next Page: ISES Pages Editorial Team and Staff

ISES Editorial Team and Staff

Natalie Napoleon Wi
Volunteer Editor
Allure West Studios
natalie@allurewest.com

Amie Shak
Editor/Coordinator
ashak@smithbucklin.com

Kevin Hacke
Executive Director
khacke@smithbucklin.com

Kristin Prine
Operations Manager
kprine@smithbucklin.com

Lauren Rini
Education Coordinator
lrini@smithbucklin.com

Meghan Berger
Chapter Services Sr.
Associate
mberger@smithbucklin.com

Tom McCurrie
Membership Services Associate
tmccurrie@smithbucklin.com

401 N. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60611 USA

T: 800/688-4737

T: 312/321-6853

F: 312/673-6953

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