Leo joined the Fixation team in 2003 and quickly made his mark as an e-marketing guru. Originally from Mexico, Leo is an effective bilingual communicator who brings not only some Latin flair but an extra level of professionalism to every interactive project he works on. He’s not happy unless the client is happy; doesn’t rest until the deadline is met. Leo’s love of the “wow factor” means he’s a habitual early adopter, always on top of the latest and greatest technologies and looking for applications that will give Fixation’s clients an edge.
Today marked the last day of the interactive section of SXSW. As I prepare to leave Austin, I am convinced that this event should be in my calendar every year.
I doubt there is another event as complete for interactive professionals where you can find this combination of great networking, hundreds of educational sessions, outstanding speakers and exhibitors offering the latest products and innovations. All of this in the middle of a fun and casual environment that invites people to have longer conversations leading to the exchange of knowledge — changing the way we think, the things we do and how we do them.
As I start to process it all, here are a few random non-technical things that stuck in my head:
Everybody keeps talking about social media, and there is no question it’s here to stay. Social media is great but content is king.
Be an entrepreneur. That doesn’t mean you need to have your own company, you can be an entrepreneur at your job. Muhammad Yunus said “All human beings are entrepreneurs. When we were in the caves we were all self employed… finding our food, feeding ourselves. That’s where the human history began. As civilization came we suppressed it. We forgot that we are entrepreneurs.”
When going after a dream or idea, invest in time and/or money and be willing to risk as much as you are hoping to achieve.
Mobile phones and mobile apps are changing the world and will keep doing so. Make sure your site is mobile-friendly and optimized.
Another great day at SXSW. Great networking, sessions, speakers, and entertainment. Here are the highlights of the day:
Listening to Ray Kurzweil’s session titled “Expanding Our Intelligence Without Limit” for a second time. I had the opportunity to listen to a very similar session by him at Shop.org last year. Ray Kurzweil has been involved in fields such as optical character recognition (OCR), text-to-speech synthesis, speech recognition technology, and electronic keyboard instruments, all inventions that are embedded into gadgets we use on a daily basis.
Seeing Biz Stone talk about his experiences and the thought process behind Twitter. Biz is best known as the co-founder of Twitter.
Then to finish the education part of the day, we had the opportunity of seeing Al Gore interviewing Sean Parker, founder of Napster and co-founder of Facebook. (Think Justin Timberlake if you saw the movie The Social Network)
Another great part of the day was walking the show floor. It was a great reminder of how important face-to-face communication is, and why we are in this business — Tradeshows.
After learning a lot at SXSW, the next stop was the entertainmet part and some more networking. We headed to the Jay-Z concert. American Express had a campaign where they asked us to sync our AmEx credit card with Twitter as they are launching a campaign that allows credit card members to Tweet their way to savings at SXSW. That gave us free tickets! Watch the video below.
South by Southwest, or how the old-timers like to call it “South by” happens every year in Austin, TX. The event has three components, Music, Film and Interactive, the last one being the reason for me to attend. The event is packed with talks, workshops, keynotes, meet ups, exhibitors and plenty of networking.
For the next five days I will be looking for the latest interactive solutions for our clients, listening to inspirational speakers, meeting geeks from all over the world, and yes, socializing over beer and BBQ by night.
Today’s Keynote speaker was The Onion director of digital, Baratunde Thurston. He was very funny, inspirational and thought-provoking. His keynote titled “How to Read the World” was about how comedy and satire can help make sense of the world, help increase the limits of freedom of speech around the world, and how the internet and social media have helped this movement happen.
As you may know Facebook is the world’s largest social network. Over 500 million users have joined and somehow they have all agreed to share information such as location, age, interest, and much more, without serious privacy concerns. Otherwise, they would have cancelled their accounts, right?
Facebook is taking advantage of all this data to make Facebook Ads a very powerful platform that allows for highly targeted advertising.
Facebook is often referred to as a personal network, a place where you communicate with friends and family. Many have questioned its business efficacy. However, more and more companies have joined Facebook and added Facebook Pages, Groups and Events. One can find all kinds of associations, organizations and groups. And many now are taking advantage of Facebook Ads.
The platform is very flexible, with the potential of being very powerful, and you can set your ads in a few minutes. A few things to keep in mind:
Creating an engaging ad is not that difficult. All you need is a graphic, title, body copy and URL
Choose your audience by targeting users based on their location, demographics, interest and other options. This is probably the most powerful part of Facebook Ads. You will be amazed at all the options you have to target a group of people that have joined Facebook pages and groups of competitors, media and associations that cater to your audience.
Create a schedule and budget for your campaign. You will be able to choose the time you want to run your ads and set a daily budget. You can also choose to pay per click (CPP) or pay per mille of views (CPM)
Facebook gives you access to analytics, make sure you analyze them and keep improving your ads to make them more effective
Give it a try by going to facebook.com/ads/create. Let us know if you need any help with the strategy, design or interactive efforts to add this to your marketing mix.
I was late for work today but that’s okay. I stood in line in blistering heat for 3.5 hours today but that’s okay, too. I now have in my possession a shiny new black iPhone 4®. I ordered it on June 15, the first day Apple® started accepting pre-orders. This morning, I proudly joined about 120 members of my tribe’s subgroup—the pre-order folks—that stood alongside the other 400 or so general tribe members outside the Apple store in Bethesda, Maryland. I patiently waited to add to my collection of Apple products which includes an iPad™ and MacBook® Pro. Am I crazy? No. I am just a passionate believer in a company that consistently turns out innovative technology that makes my life easier and more enjoyable. Apple is not perfect and I don’t expect it to be. But, I have faith that they will fix whatever glitches come up. Seth Godin, you’d be proud of me. I’m actively recruiting tribal members. Just ask my co-workers. If I have my way, we’ll all be communicating via iPhone 4 soon.
As I stood in the 100-degree heat, I couldn’t help marveling over how Apple has the ability to create this amazing buzz over a phone—and lead people to camp out to get to one!
Basically, Like doesn’t just live on Facebook anymore; it’s all over the web. That bears repeating: ALL OVER THE WEB. Facebook is branching out to enhance social connections and organize information on the Internet according to interests and preferences. So, now, if someone Likes your company, organization or event on Facebook, that action (that recommendation) has the potential to influence the Internet search and browsing results for that certain someone, all of their Facebook friends, their friends’ friends and so on.
New Thumbs Up icons are already popping up on heavily visited sites like CNN.com. Read an article. If you Like it, you can click the Thumbs Up icon and Recommend it. Your friends will know you like it, Facebook will know, CNN will know, everyone else who gave the article a Thumbs Up will know…You see where this is going. Fun, fast and far-reaching, Facebook is marshalling us into the future of the Internet.
We’ll certainly be staying on top of the latest metrics and trends so that we are putting the new Facebook to use effectively for our clients, and ourselves. But when it comes to an increased capacity to build brand awareness, reach more customers and draw traffic to your website or online communities—what’s not to like?