Saturday, October 30, 2010

Wisconsin farmers: Do you use social media to build relationships?

I like to hear how various businesses are using social media. I believe that building relationships is one of the key attributes of a successful business and social media as a channel can help us. Farmers are no exception. t Chris Chinn, a hog farmer in Missouri, who uses it in their farm business is what Wisconsin Farmers need to hear and adapt to their own efforts. I like that she spends about 20 minutes daily on the task. This goes along with the initiative that I support as well. This initiative encourages users to work at social business relationships 20 minutes per day or 20 minutes per week as a starting point.

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Social Media 'Agvocate' Chinn Shares her Story at YFA Conference

Chinn, reaching out to consumers through social media is just one of her many
dairy chores at her family’s hog farm. Whether it is Facebook, Twitter or
YouTube, the fifth-generation farmer figures she spends about 20 minutes per day
reaching out to consumers fromNew
to Los Angeles from the
computer on her farm in Shelby County, Missouri.

“My key message is that we care as farmers,” said Chinn, who will let other Young Farmers & Agriculturists know how to channel their passion for farming via social media at the conference.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Conversation Hub project by Marc Vaillancourt

Ilove to get interviewed and Marc is one of the best

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The Conversation Hub

Episode 23: In Conversation with Wendy Soucie

It takes a lot of courage to leave the comfort and security of a full time job and go out on your own.  Moving from a W2 (employee status) to a W9 (independent contractor/self-employed) can be a scary thing.

It can be an even scarier thing when the work you are passionate about involves social media and at the time you make the leap, not everyone is convinced that social media is relevant and the country is entering one of the worst economic downturns in its history.

Wendy Soucie, our guest this week, did just that and today she leads a thriving social media consulting firm based in Lodi, Wisconsin.


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Money for candy program sweetens the deal for kids

Madison No Fear Dentistry has a great idea. I think if my dentist had run a program like this when I was a kid, I would be light years ahead of my several crowns. This is a novel idea, one that every parent can truly support, and good for their kid's teeth also.

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Halloween Candy Buyback Program
On November 3rd, Madison No Fear Dentistry will be holding a Halloween Candy Buyback Program event.

The event is taking place on November 2nd, 2010 from 4:00pm-6:00pm. During those hours, children are invited to bring their collected Halloween candy to the dental office located at 344 S. Yellowstone Drive.

Madison No Fear Dentistry will be offering each child $1 per pound of candy that they trade in, and this candy will be sent to troops stationed overseas through Operation Gratitude.


Saturday, October 23, 2010

Madison cardealership taking the lead in social business engagement

Its nice to see that even car dealerships are finding a strategic way to use social media. Nate Towne of C Blohme & Assoc. and also Social Media Club had a live experience inside the Zimbrick waiting room with WIFI - in fact he did a great blog post on it as well.

I wish my car dealership would make better use of social media and real person integration. One day I was waiting for my oil change and tire rotation to be complete. This was something that upon walking in I was told would be 30 min. 1 hour later, I received an email that said my car was done. I waited another 20 min before I had to speak to the manager and ask why no one had called me to get my car. Duh!

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Zimbrick Buick/GMC West to attend GM eSummit 3.0 in Chicago

eSummit 3.0, GM’s premier digital marketing conference, is making 14 stops across the United States. Drawing record-breaking crowds nationwide, this one-day event is designed to help GM dealerships discover how to:

• Use social media to build their brand and engage more customers

• Improve lead handling with chat, mobile and email to increase showroom visits and closing rates

• Leverage search, digital advertising and mobile technology to realize higher returns on their website

• Leverage digital tools to build customer loyalty

The campus of Zimbrick dealerships at Fish Hatchery Road, which includes Zimbrick Honda, Infiniti of Madison, Zimbrick Saab, two used car dealerships and Zimbrick Buick/GMC West, has been heavily involved in social media and digital marketing since October 2009.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Wisconsin proves it is biking nirvana one city at a time!

Wisconsin is the North American Biking Capital. I am supporting the rumor and will do my part to make it a reality. We have an avid racing community, companies like Trek Bicycle and Waterford residing in the state, an abundance of bike tours in the state and communities focused on fitness and the health benefits of biking. We believe in embracing biking. We have to work to have more schools and cities like those in Omro WI.

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Bicycling Paradise

What places do you think of when you hear "bicycling paradise"? Portland, Oregon? Copenhagen, Denmark?

Well, we have a bicycling paradise in our own backyard: Omro, Wisconsin.

Why such accolades? Omro Middle School has woven bicycling into almost every facet of the school day.

Physical education teacher Joe Horvath and Principal Paul Williams have worked with a supportive community to create bicycling options before, during, and after school.

Features of the school's bike-friendly approach include:

  • a noon recess riding program
  • an in-school bike shop
  • a nearby community fitness trail
omro cyclocross class
See more at

Sunday, October 17, 2010

My favorite technology tool is going away - Alas Goog411

This was one of my favorite tools I used in my car, for presentations, and for local search. I loved that fact that I was hands free on my phone, in my car and could call ahead to a place I was going if the number wasn't already in my contacts. I usually understand many of the issues on technology changes. In this case I would agree with NYTimes writer David Pogue in feeling like Google should keep this service going. I think its an incentive for people to use Google Places. Did you ever use it? Have you tried the Bing411 alternative?

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Farewell, GOOG-411

On Nov. 12, Google will turn off 800-GOOG-411 forever.

It was one of the best, juiciest, most useful services in all phonedom. It didn’t cost anything. It didn’t require a smartphone. Its accuracy was uncanny.

In case you missed it, GOOG-411 is a free, voice-activated directory-assistance service. You say the business name or category you want—“Freestyle Gym,” “taxi,” “Sakura restaurant,” “hospital,” whatever — and the city and state. In one second, the guy’s voice starts reading a list of the best eight results.


Friday, October 15, 2010

Wisconsin leading with Dairyland Initiative and social media

Always exciting to point out that the agriculture industry is taking forward steps to make web technology work for them. Wisconsin is leading the way with this recent initiative for animal housing design. uses web based technology and social media venues for sharing of content with farmers.

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Dairyland Initiative Focuses Barn Design On Dairy Cattle Well-Being & Productivity
The Dairyland Initiative, developed by Drs. Nigel Cook and Ken Nordlund at the School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin-Madison, combines the most relevant research in health, production and behavior with years of field experience in housing design into a web-based information center and building plan assessment program is a comprehensive resource, beginning with building decision trees – called the ‘Wisconsin Blueprint' – for adult cattle and heifer housing, utilizing the most up-to-date standards for design. Virtual tours provide interactive guides of new facilities, including floor plans, stall dimensions, photographs, key performance measures, and streaming video, providing farmers and their teams the opportunity to see and decide what to build from the comfort of the farm office. Barn plans may then be submitted for a ‘Cow or Calf Comfort Risk Assessment,’ performed for a nominal fee. Recommendations are returned to the management team, pointing out areas of high risk to consider changing before the barn is built.

Participating lenders, construction companies, and consultants are listed to connect farmers with businesses and people that believe in the benefit of welfare-friendly dairy cattle housing. Participating businesses will be invited to share in discussing and improving the housing guidelines and standards through annual meetings and social media venues.Read more at

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Can social media work for biking event promotion? Yes!

It is great to have the chance to speak to this group about how they can use new social media tools to promote biking events. Have you attended any recent outdoor or sporting event including biking where they organizers used social media to build the community and promote before, during, and after the event? Tweet me @wendysoucie and I would like to interview the organizer as a case study before the National Bike Tour Directors Conference.

A Gathering of Wisconsin Bicycle Tour Organizers: Wrap Up

Saturday October 9th broke clear and warm – a harbinger of great things to come for the first Gathering of Wisconsin Bicycle Tour Directors and Organizers, hosted by Bike Wisconsin® at Madison Area Technical College in Madison.  Over twenty attendees and five illuminating presenters made for a fun and informative conference.

Long Time bicycle advocate and member of the cycling community, Richard Schwinn, wowed the audience with a lively perspective on customer service and the biking industry. Mr. Schwinn spoke about early cycling advocacy organizations (The League of American Wheelmen, Bicycle Institute of America) and the issues they had promoting their mission. He mentioned that in the 1960′s a major bicycle builder (Huffy) actually referred to the bicycle as a toy. Changes in the industry and the rise in popularity of cycle racing – due in large part to Lance Armstrong – propelled cycling ahead through the 90′s. Organizations, like the re-visioned League of American Cyclists and Bikes Belong, began to unite vendors, builders, and distributors and eventually with public entities to develop safer cycling infrastructure. Mr. Schwinn organizes a couple smaller cycling events, but he firmly believes that other well run events are the key to increasing ridership across the board. Improved customer service makes business better for everyone. He also believes that good communication (before and during the event) have increased customer satisfaction. He feels that a Wisconsin Bicycle Touring organization could elevate state tours even higher. If a prospective biker sees that a tour is run by a member of that dependable organization, they will be drawn to it.


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

SMB demand ROI for social media - all they have is social media

Convince and Convert by Jay Baer is one of the blogs that feeds my home page on Google. This recent guest post caught my eye and especially the quote by Simon Gornick. Helping my clients measure and track social media so they understand the success or lack there of is important. However, if they aren't measuring and tracking current marketing efforts, why are they so worried about social media. An ad costs more!`

How Size Matters in the Social Media ROI Debate

Simon Gornick How Size Matters in the Social Media ROI DebateGuest post by Simon Gornick, a content consultant specializing in short form slogans, and owner of The Tagline Machine.

ROI in social media is a luxury. And the only brands that can accept that are likely to be big ones with multi-platform marketing budgets. The larger the brand, the more likely they are to use social media without concerning themselves with its dollar ROI, when goodwill for them, is priceless. With mid-level brands the debate becomes more acute because the marketing budget is more thinly spread. And as for small brands, there’s no debate at all. For the most part, all they have is social media – so ROI is a matter of hope rather than measurable statistics.


Monday, October 11, 2010

Have you learned anything from Foursquare?

OK - do you have a badge yet on foursquare? I got my first one in Wausau WI last week after checking into the Howard Johnson with a bunch of social media types. Is this Conan O'Brien foursquare campaign a faux pas or brilliant? Is you are in Philadelphia, consider checking in.

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Conan O’Brien Gets His Own Foursquare Badge (and a Blimp)

As Conan O’Brien prepares to make his big return to late night television on November 8, the comedian is also returning to his social media roots for a Foursquare promotion of giant proportions — blimp-sized, in fact.

Team Coco, in partnership with AT&T, has launched the The Conan Blimp into the skies above Philadelphia. The orange eye sore will travel all over the East Coast for the entire month of October; Conan fans who spot it can check in to the blimp to unlock a special Conan badge on Foursquare (Foursquare).

The Conan Blimp also has its own website complete with a live cam and an always-updating map. True Conan fans that don’t want to miss their chance at the badge can also follow Team Coco on Foursquare and Twitter (Twitter) for updates on the blimp’s whereabouts.

What’s your take on The Conan Blimp and Foursquare badge? Marketing win or shameless ploy? Share your thoughts in the comments.

See more at

Love and a Bike will make you feel like a million

Stories that revolve around biking, falling in love and good causes are stuff for movies. After attending the Wisconsin Bike Tour Directors Gathering this weekend, I am pumped up for some bike tours for 2011. Read this from the New York Times....

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HIS life is a fast-moving swirl of punk rock stagecraft, two-wheeled protests, film projects and occasional bits of street theater.

So in September 2008, when Allie Compton, an artist, connected with Chris Ryan, a punk guitarist and singer and a longtime participant in the bicycle rides organized by Critical Mass, she, too, soon found herself jumping on a bike and uninhibitedly wheeling through New York’s car-clogged streets.

“I’ve never been much of a joiner,” he said. “If I see people protesting something, I want to protest them.” Although he initially viewed the loosely organized Critical Mass protest rides “as a party on wheels, not a political statement,” all of that changed after his arrest at a Critical Mass ride during the 2004 Republican National Convention. He said, “I wasn’t so committed” to any particular cause, “until they said I can’t do it.”

“I asked, ‘Do you want to take a bike?’ pushing my bike agenda, and she agreed,” he said, though Ms. Compton, who grew up in Richmond, Va., had not ridden since she was 10.

He borrowed a bicycle from one of his East Village neighbors, Donna Squeeze Leonard, known to all as Squeeze. Ms. Leonard realized immediately that it was no ordinary date: “You know when Chris Ryan puts on a button-down shirt things are serious,” she said. “He didn’t want to blow it because she was so beautiful and so perfect, like an angel to him.”

Ms. Compton met Mr. Ryan at his apartment building, and they rode down to Grand Street — where Ms. Compton fell while trying to maneuver around an S.U.V. that had pulled into the bike lane.

“I’m thinking, Oh great, the date hasn’t even started yet, and she’s bleeding,” Mr. Ryan said. But she got right back on the bike, and they saw several galleries.


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

SocialCRM and Social Business Relationship - for agile sales teams

Ok, now this is a way to use technology for getting your message out. If you are interested, the Oct 21 webinar will share some more information about how to use Xeesm for be a more efficient and social savy business development and sales professional

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Madison Social Media Club Foursquare Pub Crawl Entertaining, Educational - The Geekazine Network with Jeffrey Powers

Jeff Powers is an awesome and accomplished blogger in the Madison community. He shared stories of Blogworld and various other conferences he as attended. Planning to schedule a few next year.

Blogging discussed at Central Wisconsin Social Media Conference

Data from recent surveys continue to prove the point of how blogging can help your company be more successful. 55% more visitros, 97% more inbound links (like gold these days) and 434% more indexed pages that can be found by searches.

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The data was crystal clear: Companies that blog have far better marketing results. Specifically, the average company that blogs has: