Friday, August 27, 2010

Passionately speaking about your passions!

What luck - I have the honor to speak on October 9, 2010 about three passions - social media, social business engagement and biking all on the same day. If you are a bike tour operator and don't know about this meeting of the minds, you should. We will have a great time. All the speakers will be providing some solid take aways that tour directors can use to promote their events, before, during and after.

A Gathering of Wisconsin Bicycle Tour and Event Directors

Bike Wisconsin® is excited to host a gathering of Wiscoinsin bicycle tour and event directors on October 9th from 9:30am to 2:30pm at Madison Area Technical College in Madison, WI. We will discuss a variety of topics which should make your bike tour and cycling events even better. We will have three speakers. Here’s info on two of them -

Speaker Update:Wendy Soucie

About the Wisconsin Tour Directors Gathering

During the gathering, there will be plenty of time for networking with tour directors and event coordinators from around the state. We know you’ll come away with lots of fresh ideas and contacts. Together we can help make our events – whether single day rides, races, or multi-day tours – THE best in the nation. United we can make Wisconsin a great cycling destination for everyone.


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Madison WI and American Family Insurance reap accolades

When I work with businesses on understanding social media, etiquette, commenting, and just being social they sometimes lose sight of how not to pitch products or services. They forget they are not the "niche" they should talk about. This post by Chris Brogan is one of the best examples I have seen of providing comments, kudos and recognition of others in the social space. It matters to me especially since I helped the team of people from Accelerate Madison, Social Media Club, and American Family promote the public side of Chris' visit to Madison. If you hesitate to contribute or participate in the social ecosystem because you don't know what to do. See what Chris has written in these short clips but visit the entire article to understand what he is saying about Enterprise level companies who are taking thoughtful and strategic steps with their social business efforts.

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American Family Insurance and Madison Wisconsin

The People of Madison Wisconsin

Miri McDonald Patti Cohen Jennifer Braun I met many wonderful and smart people in Madison, Wisconsin. For instance, all these photos were taken by the tireless Wendy Soucie, who had a spirit and drive that reminded me of my dear friend Whitney Hoffman. All of the people I met in Madison were that great blend of “real world tested” and “social media savvy.” Often times, I’ll get one but not the other. Neither is ever wrong, but when you get the blend, you recognize it and nod. (I felt this way about the social media people of Louisville, Kentucky, by the way.)

The people of Madison, Wisconsin are worth a visit, all on their own, but visiting American Family Insurance and learning how far they’ve come with their social media efforts and their amplification of learning (catch it, Troy?) meant that enterprise adoption of these tools is here for some, and spreading to the mainstream. Interesting times, friends.

Chris Brogan with Wendy Soucie and Hotdoggers Rachel and Tara
See more at

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

How to Get Customers and web traffic from Local Search

Today's topic at Social Media Breakfast Madison was on local search and presented by Seth Keeler (@skeeler68) of American Family Insurance. With over 5000 local agents across the country, American Family is providing a corporate service for local search to its agents targeted at Google Places first, while they consider and investigate Bing and Yahoo.

The effort is generally simple without needing to know html or web building at all. However understanding the keywords important to your customers and incorporating them into your profile is important. Overall the biggest advantage you have in getting started on your own local search campaign is 1) getting started and 2) completing your profile using all the features the directory has to offer. Then you can beat out the majority of users who do the bare minimum

For more information, Madison-based social media consultant, Bryan Bliss has written a true knowledge article on local search strategies that everyone can use. Bryan is thoughtful and true to his company name, "generous" in sharing his knowledge at local meetups, Social Media Breakfast Madison and in his programs, He is a great facilitator for the hands on workshops that he runs.

I hear he has created a program for effective multi directory profile building enabling him to post to 60 directories in 2 hours. This is worth the read and a call to Bryan if you want to hear more.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Social Media Tools Week Coming up in November

Last year I gave a presentation on Social Media Tool Selection and listened to all the others. The leading social media monitoring companies presented along with several top notch keynotes. We are working to make this a bigger, and more global event in the timing of presentations, recording and attendance.

There are speaking and sponsor opportunities open. We are even planning local meetups to support the event and connect local social media managers and users. Pay attention to the Oct 1 deadline to register before the cost goes up from FREE to more....

The no.1 global social media event
Please join over 5,000 people from 28 countries in this annual online event. A week packed with top presentations provided in timezones for the US, Latin America, Europe, South East Asia and Australia

Free conference pass for SMTW 2010 by registering before October 1. Thereafter $35 for the week or $10 per day.

Physical Events

While the Social Media Tools Week is an all online event, you can join local gatherings to discuss the content and meet people face to face.

We expect to have local meetings in

- California

- Wisconsin

- France

- Germany

- Sweden

- Russia

- Vietnam

- Australia

Speaker Engagement

If you are interested to present at SMTW 2010, please contact the organizer at or call +1 (650) 384 0057 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              +1 (650) 384 0057      end_of_the_skype_highlighting


Monday, August 23, 2010

Can Twitter get you an internship in manufacturing?

Although we haven't yet heard "the rest of the story" on whether any kind of Twitter shout technique can ctually win an internship for a college student, we have a few take aways from stories like this.

First, publishers ( that includes print publishers and bloggers) are viewing Twitter as a tool to spread their messages online and offline. Second, Industry professionals are slowly listening in on the conversations through various social tools such as Google Alerts, Twitter and various blogs.

I wonder if once they step foot in the door of social media, will they be overwhelmed by its darkside? MLM posts, SPAM posts, and video link virus hits.

I contend that if we don't get better filtering tools on especially Twitter and YouTube, the increase in SPAM in that space will alienate the manufacturing crowd from joining in. For an example consider visiting the video sharing site which is already set up for a very niche demograpghic. Watch its growth on posted videos for strictly technical and how tos of mechanical and technical items.

What niche sites do you know of for B2B and manufacturing that we can share to support the manufacturing industry to step into social media?

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Twitter Facilitates Resource Exchange

While working on an article for the Summer 2010 issue of Plastics Business magazine, I interviewed Adam Kramschuster, PhD., director for the University of Wisconsin-Stout's plastics engineering program. The three-year-old program requires plastics-specific course work, lab time with injection molding presses, and an internship with a plastics processing company. Kramschuster explained that although local processors have stepped in to help, the relative newness of the program has handicapped its ability to find enough internship slots for its students.

I tweeted about the UW-Stout program and its internship issue, specifically saying, "Obstacle: not enough plastics processors willing to host summer interns for UW Stout's plastics engineering program students."

That's where David Landsman of came in. Within minutes of my tweet, Landsman contacted me with an offer to extend resources on behalf of the UW-Stout plastics program.

That is the immediacy of social media.

Whether looking for business partners, material, equipment, or advice, social media provides the ability to share information instantly among industry peers. It gives manufacturers from different areas of the country - or the world - the opportunity to interact with those who share the same challenges without worry about local job competition. It extends a manufacturer's reach beyond its regional associations and business groups. Social media turns the entire world into a resource.

In this case, it may help the next generation of plastics processors find internships.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Presentations on social media for Central WI

UWSP taking steps to education Central WI business on best use of social media. Milwaukee and Madison are very active communities for social media. But the interest is high to learn for other parts of the state. University of Wisconsin Stevens Point is taking steps to educate business owners of all types through the Continuing Education programs.

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Central Wisconsin Social Media Conference

Westwood Conference Center,

1800 Westwood Center Boulevard

Wausau, WI 54401


Thursday October 7, 2010

8:30 am – 4:00 pm

Social Media is not a fad, but rather a fundamental shift in the way
businesses now communicate with their customers. This conference will introduce
you to what social media is and how you can use the power of the social web to
promote your business. You'll learn first-hand from other Wisconsin businesses
currently using social media as a vital and integral part of their business in
these peer to peer breakout sessions.


Lessons learned from the sticks (and other social media vacation adventures in Downeast Maine) «

My friend Nate has a witty take on Internet access, mobile phones and social media in Maine. I don't think you have to go that far to find the lack of access. In rural Wisconsin, broadband leaves a lot to be desired if it even exists. Things like no cable on mile long roads with less than 10 homes can kill alot of access in the farm country that is predominant in WI.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Social Media and Death - Nate Towne shares his thoughts

Nate Towne is a create interview on this sensitive subject. He mentions Entrustet a local Madison startup that has a website to help you protect your digital assets.

Event promotion using social media - make it strategic #keysmadisonwi

My recent interview on local NBC Channel 15 with Carleen Wild. It sure makes a difference in tools, frequency and effort if you have 1 week, 30 days or 120 days to promote an event.

VIDEO: Guest - Bloom Bake Shop 6:30am news 8/10/2010

Bloom Bake Shop was a sponsor for the Social Media Club of Madison and they make gluten free products as well. They source locally, eggs from Wisconsin business, and all natural colorings. If you haven't been there, you should stop in and try out some of the fresh bakery. They will definitely ruin my diet if I ever get there when they are open.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Can social media help me find healthier food on the run?

I am currently working to shed a few extra pounds since I had to stop running. Finding healthy food stops when you are a virtual worker looking for WIFI hotspots can be an issue. Coffee shops just don't help those that are dieting and want to eat gluten free. As mobile apps develop and restaurants and fast food tap into this technology, I can envision a time where I could do a search on my smart phone for the nearest food place with a gluten free menu and calorie information on each dish. Now, add the map and GPS feature and I am on my way to a healthy lunch.

Here in Wisconsin I can picture local companies like Cousins Subs and Culvers considering this technology. Both companies are developing presences on social media sites such as Twitter @CousinsSubs & @Culvers and both have Facebook pages. I recently interviewed Justin McCoy Marketing Director at Cousins Subs on their social media strategy. They are moving thoughtfully and deliberately into this space. I will have to watch them to see if they also consider mobile.

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Mobile Technology and Social Media to Increasingly Influence Consumer Food Purchasing

10 August 2010 - Public relations firm Porter Novelli, in a recent report obtained by FLEXNEWS, argues that mobile technology and the social media will continue to change the consumer's relationship with food and will play a key role in their food purchases.

Keith Taylor, who is the director of Porter Novelli's UK office in London, gave an overview of the current status of the food and mobile technology relationship.

"People are using their phones to look up recipes as they grocery shop. Perhaps one of the most interesting apps is StickyBits. Users can annotate information (notes, video, photographs) to a bar code. It shouldn’t be long before a user scans a label on a tub of ice cream and receives the manufacturer’s recommendation for optimal toppings. The opportunities for consumer-to-consumer and retailer- or manufacturer-to-consumer dialogue are boundless", adds Taylor.

According to Porter Novelli, food manufacturers and retailers will have to ensure that they become part of the "conversation", and, ultimately, part of the purchasing decision.

"If you have a major food brand and you don’t have a community manager, hire one now", says Taylor.


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Wisconsin Company with vision takes on direct marketing

Earlier this year I had the chance to meet with Brian and hear about this new product. Having been on the mailing side of direct mail effort for engineering consulting firm and its newsletter, I could appreciate the costs this online service could save both small and large list holders. DIY type services like this are going to keep direct mail in the marketing mix for many B2C and B2B companies.

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Internet company sees future in snail mail

Even in these days of e-mail and the Internet, direct mail
marketing — like it or not — remains one of the most effective ways
to reach a targeted audience. Whether from a political candidate
seeking a vote, a charity seeking a donation or a business looking
for customers, “snail mail” does get noticed.

Brian Euclide is president of Sun Prairie startup company TEC Mailing Solutions, which has launched a unique web-based product that lets direct mail users update their own mailing lists to eliminate old or duplicate addresses.

Sure. A lot of junk mail ends up in the recycling can.

But a 2007 survey from the U.S. Postal Service shows that 48
percent of recipients actually read unsolicited advertising mail
and another 33 percent at least glance at it. Those are pretty good

A major drawback, however, is the amount of direct mail that
goes to the wrong address or fails to reach a customer who has
moved. If a charity group, for example, is spending $1 per piece on
printing and mailing — and 10 percent of the addresses are out of
date — the wasted money can add up quickly on a mailing of

Now, a Sun Prairie startup company has launched a unique
web-based product that lets direct mail users update their own
mailing lists to eliminate old or duplicate addresses. TEC Mailing
Solutions in April rolled out “,”
a do-it-yourself address checking service available over the


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

What has your social media consultant taught you recently?

Axel Schultze is someone who challenges the status quo. His perspective on social media is not about the tools but social relationships. His understanding of Enterprise and SMB business recognizes that organizations are looking for methodology, frameworks and models that are repeatable for social media strategy to be cross departmental and adopted. I took a chance on some training with the Social Media Academy over a year ago when they were a new entity with a different approach to the understanding of social media in our business relationships. I made such a good choice as they are now recognized as the leading educational entity in the social media space.

The process and methodology delivered by Social Media Academy has provided me with the ability to work across several industries in my assessment work and create strategic and actionable plans.

Crossing the chasm

Taking Geoffrey Moor’s model of “Crossing the chasm” probably illustrates best where social media is going. Early adopters like Cisco, Comcast, Dell, Pepsi, Virgin, WholeFoods, Zappos and many others set the stage. The next generation social business development is no longer based on experiments but on clear understanding how social media can help businesses thrive. In order to cross the Social Media Chasm, consultants need to be able to make full fledged social media assessments, and develop a strategy based on proven models and frameworks. Social Media Consultants need to demonstrate that their methods, models and frameworks are transparent and repeatable. Cross functional social media engagements require robust social media organization models in order to create, develop and sustain an executable strategy. The ability to embed KPIs into a strategy, calculate an ROI for the engagement and introduce a long term business reporting model is no longer an option. Eyeballs and number of fans are no longer the meter for success but measurable customer advocacy which is represented by customer recommendations and has a direct correlation to incremental revenue.


Monday, August 2, 2010

I like my phone, text and email in one place.

With the recent addition of Google Voice on my phone, I actually think I can be more responsive via phone than before I installed it. Now, if someone calls and I can't take the call, it goes to text, email and voicemail. I can respond to the text by clicking it and it goes right to a call. This saves me alot of thumb board time and I don't have to look up a number. As a "older" technology user, I can't agree that social media is killing my phone calls. Social media helps me make more calls when calls are appropriate. In fact a tool like makes it easier to develop fast and efficient social touchpoints when those are appropriate.

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Phone calls: An endangered species, killed off by s

Phone calls: An endangered species, killed off by social media?

Wired’s Clive Thompson argued the case that “cultural transition” was killing off the traditional phone call, replaced with with text messages, instant messaging and social networks.

I have suspected this for a while frankly, with many of my peers, student colleagues and friends though being connected to multiple networks, applications and even devices at any one point, struggle to perform a simple task like picking up a call when their phone starts to ring.

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Manufacturing Revolution Key to Economic Turnaround

If you have watched the Socionomics video on Social Media Revolution, this video on manufacturing will hit home especially for those of you working in the Business to Business and technology markets.

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They say manufacturing is dead in America...

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Alan Bergstrom of Brand Insights talks about Disney Institute's Approach Programs

Copyright Disney (from Disney Institute images)
Disney Institute is bringing its renowned professional development program, Disney’s Approach to Quality Service, to Madison on August 30, 2010.  Sponsored locally by Wendy Soucie Consulting the full-day event will give area professionals an opportunity to “experience the business behind the magic.” The program will be held at Monona Terrace Community & Convention Center and will give participants new ideas for creating a service-driven organization that delivers excellence.

Local Brand expert shares his opinion 

I met with Alan Bergstrom one of the attendees from the program that was presented last year (Disney Institute - Keys to Excellence Program) here in Madison. Alan is the Principal and Chief Strategy Officer for Brand Insights, a brand-centered consulting agency focused on helping organizations “activate” and unleash the full power their brand to improve market success. Alan is a 20 year veteran of brand strategy and implementation working with clients of all types and categories to enhance brand performance.  He is a nationally renowned expert with deep experience in positioning, operationalizing, measuring, and guiding brands to greatness. Previously, he founded and led one of the top three brand agencies in the US. I thought Alan would have a unique perspective on what information Disney offered at this program. 

Alan was interested in attending this event because he is convinced that Disney is the recognized expert in delivering a compelling brand and customer experience.  He wanted to learn more about the tools and approaches they used to do that. He knew he would learn something valuable with key take away to share with clients, use in his consulting practice and for himself personally.

Alan defined the significant points he learned at this events as follows:

#1 Happy employees make for happy customers - everything starts here.

#2 Engaging the emotions of your customers is a powerful aspect of delivering a great customer experience. This contributes most of all to a great experience

#3 Formalizing and institutionalizing a quality service approach to employee and customer engagement creates a culture of excellence within an organization.  It takes a conscious effort to embed this within a culture for it to become second nature.

Here is Alan talking about how he feels about Disney: