Connect Magazine Column / Article

Connect Magazine CoverI am writing the Social Media Standouts article in Connect Magazine on new media publishing and social networking–with some help from Cydni Tetro and/or Tim Kapp. The first article is out in the May issue. I have added the article below. You can also read the article online at

Next month’s article is on RSS.

Converse With Your Customers Through Social Media Tools
Over the last few years, the ability to easily engage in conversations with your customers has become a reality through the use of new mediums including blogs, podcasts, video blogs, community building tools, online product configurators and rating systems.

Facilitating conversations with customers and prospects allows companies to build sustainable relationships, gather immediate feedback and strengthen their brand perception.

Like traditional mediums, each of these new mediums provides a way for you to share information about your company, product or service. But these new mediums go much further. The tools enable relationships, interaction and conversations through interactive tools including comments, ranking, notification, linking, subscription and even republishing.

Conversations In Application
Microsoft uses these tools effectively to get personal with customers. Corporate Records Manager Tina Torres and her team use a blog attracting tens of thousands of visitors a day to interact, share ideas and gather comments about how compliance managers use Microsoft Office 2007.

Draper-based home-automation provider Control4 uses podcasts as a way to build credibility, drive awareness and offer new sales tools to its distributor sales channel. In one example, CTO Eric Smith spent 15 minutes talking with Bob Metcalfe, the father of Ethernet and cofounder of 3Com, about the new ZigBee standard. Listeners of the podcast got a sense of Control4’s leadership and technology position through Smith’€™s interaction with a true industry expert and influencer.

Orem-based Blendtec, maker of high-end consumer and commercial blenders, successfully uses video blogs to drive sales. Last November it launched the Will It Blend campaign by posting clever and adventurous one-minute product demonstration videos to a blog and YouTube. Within two weeks Blendtec experienced 6 million views and 10,000 comments on its videos. Prior to the campaign, Blendtec couldn’t get anyone in the mainstream media to return its phone calls. Now Blendtec has been featured on many national television shows and in a variety of well-known magazines, newspapers and Web sites in addition to being ranked as one of YouTube’€™s top series. According to CEO Tom Dixon, sales have increased in the, “thousands of percents.”


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