Sunday, July 10, 2011

Let's Compare Google+ to Facebook

Adrienne Duncan invited you to join her on Google+
Learn more about Google+
The Google+ project is currently working out all the kinks with a small group of testers. If you're not able to access Google+, please check back again soon.
The easiest way to share some things with college buddies, others with your parents, and almost nothing with your boss.
Let friends know you're free for a video hangout, any time, anywhere. Then catch up, watch YouTube, or... just hangout.
A feed of just the stuff you're really into, so when you're free, there's always something waiting to be watched, read, or shared.
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Saturday, July 9, 2011

Introducing... Dunwoody Music Festival 2011

The Dunwoody Music Festival is back for 2011!
At this time, applications are being accepted for musicians, food vendors, and marketplace vendors.
More features and information are added all the time so check back often!

This site is a "subsite" of the Dunwoody Chamber of Commerce.  It has its own design which took inspiration from the Coachella Music Festival - grungy, edgy, with lots of textures.  The handwritten-style titles and headers (the font is called "Rock Salt") were made possible with a Drupal module.   There are numerous customized information forms, each built by hand.   Because it is part and parcel of the Dunwoody Chamber, various info can be moved freely to other pages for promotion through the same administrator interface.

The site is a constant work in progress.  In this first phase, requests for applications from vendors and musicians take priority.  Next will be information for sponsors and partners.  Finally, the forms will rotate off and general festival information for the public will be rotated on. 

It's been a great pleasure working with Oktober Productions organizing the information for this year's Dunwoody Music Festival.  SDOC has great freedom in terms of design and organization, creating the best presentation.  Oktober is also responsible for the Atlanta Dogwood Festival, so the Music Festival at Brook Run is going to be a real treat.

Check back frequently for new features all the time.  Hint:  if you have photos from 2009 or 2010, get them ready for a new gallery coming soon.  And yes, the Chili Cook-Off will be back too! 

There was a change in plan regarding the Chili Cook-Off.  That contest is on hiatus until further notice.  I'm not happy.  But it is what it is.

See you in October!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Is Facebook on its way out as a marketing tool for small business?

Facebook has issued some new promotional guidelines that can potentially derail a small firm attracting attention to it.

Have you ever sponsored a contest on Facebook?  Like my page, like this wall post, be the first to respond to this wall post, or tag yourself in a picture and we'll enter you in a drawing for a prize? We'll send you a message if you're the winner?  It worked to gain an audience for your product or service, didn't it?

Not anymore.

Excerpt from the New FaceBook Promotions Guidelines:

You must not use Facebook features or functionality as a promotion’s registration or entry mechanism. For example, the act of liking a Page or checking in to a Place cannot automatically register or enter a promotion participant.

You must not condition registration or entry upon the user taking any action using any Facebook features or functionality other than liking a Page, checking in to a Place, or connecting to your app. For example, you must not condition registration or entry upon the user liking a Wall post, or commenting or uploading a photo on a Wall.
It goes on like this for a few more bullet points.

As I said in the previous post, if you're going to engage in a promotional campaign in any social media format, be ready for change.  Online forums come and go.  This restriction may very well be a "CYA" move by FaceBook to protect from liability.  Unfortunately they may be protecting themselves from popularity as well. 

So what is a business to do if they want to keep using Facebook to draw attention to their product or business?  They're going to have to make the actual contest one step removed from Facebook.  That is, put the contest on another website and then use Facebook to announce the contest and drive traffic there.  That includes contacting the winner or distributing prizes.

SDOC's client, the Dunwoody Chamber of Commerce took this tack:  when the Business Expo Awards were open for public voting, the actual poll was on the Chamber's website.  Facebook was only used to announce the contest and the winners.

For other companies and their social media managers, it won't be so easy.  So everyone sit down with your PR/media people and have a serious think about how you're going to use Facebook for publicity - or even if you still want to.

More commentary from a digital marketing colleague