BuzzRocket's Blog

Category Archive

The following is a list of all entries from the social media category.

Umami Burger: Social Media Marketing Done Well

I’m writing this in a post Hatch Burger euphoric state of mind, so forgive any rambling thoughts or typos: I’m in heaven.

My trip to famed Umami Burger would not have even been a thought in my head, had it not been for their social media efforts, specifically on Twitter. It all started when I posted a pin from my Pinterest file “Say What?” about a Knork – Spork’s knife/fork cousin. Umami picked up on my tweet and responded (assuming they were monitoring the keyword “Knork”), proudly announcing they now had this freak of utensil at their restaurants.

Their tweet triggered something in me. For those of you who are fortunate to have enjoyed one of LA’s top burger spots: You know what I’m talking about. I got to thinking about Umami, more specifically, my favorite menu item: the Hatch Burger, which is topped with roasted green chilies and house-made American cheese on the best brioche bun around … I digress.

A couple of tweets later, they had me converted into a paying customer, as I was calling to place a takeout order. My world soon came to a screeching halt, when, after several rings, I got the machine. Umami happened to tweet me as this was happening, I responded that I was disappointed they were closed on a Monday. They immediately switched from Marketer to Customer Service rep, tweeting me their La Brea location’s hours, verifying that I used the correct number (I had). I called back – something I wouldn’t have done, had they not been in communication with me via Twitter at that very moment. This time: success. Ten minutes later I was at Umami, checking in on Foursquare; my food, fresh and hot from the kitchen, waiting for me at the counter. Another 10 minutes later, I was home, posting a pic of my burger to Instagram. Another 20 minutes later, I’m writing this blog post.

Granted not everyone Umami tweets will be like me: an existing, enthusiastic (and hungry) fan, who is extremely tech savvy, influential online and boasts almost 13,000 Twitter followers. But they managed to catch me during a perfect storm, and from their social media marketing and customer service efforts, converted me into a paying guest. In turn, I shared my experience across several social networks including Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and WordPress – embodying what interactive marketing is all about: reputation management, engagement, advertising and the coveted word-of-mouth marketing.

Umami didn’t get me just from this one interaction. They do an excellent job of having a presence across many platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Yelp, Tumblr, Flickr, and beyond – posting updates and quickly responding to customers online. Their consistently engaging posts have planted many seeds over the past few weeks – today’s tweet session was the tipping point. And I’ll be back; not only because I love their food, but  they keep reminding me via Facebook and Twitter just how good it really is.

By Gretchen Schneider, Principal, Interactive Marketing. Gretchen lives and breathes all things social media. Based in Los Angeles, she oversees the interactive division for treadsocial, working with brands and personalities to strategically market themselves in an integrated, engaging manner online.

Klout! Why hath you forsaken me?

Is it possible I’m not as cool as I thought I was? Quite likely. But Klout: Why do you have to throw it in my face and announce it to the world? As most people know the social influence rating machine that is Klout revamped its algorithm in an effort to make user scores more accurate. Although, Klout CEO Joe Fernandez claims most people will be positively affected by the changes, I have to disagree. I have yet to meet anyone who has benefitted from the change.

Today, my score dropped yet again. I’m now down from 66 to 54 and officially joining #OccupyKlout. I’ve done everything in my power to raise the score. I’ve been retweeting, posting engaging content, talking to my tweeps more than ever. So what gives, Klout? How do I get in your good graces again? Should I even care?

This morning John Scalzi, guest columnist @CNNMoneyTech canceled his Klout account, and in a blog suggested the service to be “evil.” Why? Scalzi points out that no one really knows what algorithm Klout uses, therefore we have no clue what data they are pulling to create these arguably arbitrary scores. Furthermore, who made them God?

Scalzi goes on to point out that Klout just causes “status anxiety — to saddle you with a popularity ranking, and then make you feel insecure about it and whether you’ll lose that ranking unless you engage in certain activities that aren’t necessarily in your interest, but are in Klout’s.”

I’m still not convinced about the relevance of Klout and how much impact my increasingly mediocre will have on my online cred. I am not ready to cancel my account, but I am getting close. I’m definitely questioning the benefits for my clients and holding off on adding them to Klout for the time being. Anyone else jumping ship?

Social Media Week LA #SMWLA

Social Media Week Los Angeles (SMWLA) is part of an international, multi-city event “connecting people, content and conversations around emerging trends in social and mobile media.” SMWLA kicked off this morning with a welcome from Michael Terpin, city host of SMWLA, and founder/CEO of SocialRadius followed by  a keynote address from Robert Tercek, President, General Creativity and host, THIS WEEK IN MEDIA.

Tercek offered a great overview on social media’s impact on all of our lives, whether you have a Facebook account or not. It’s true. How we receive, process and delivered information has been completely revolutionized by social networks.

I, for one, am looking forward to hitting several events all week and getting actual FACE-TO-FACE time with like-minded people! I’m also hoping to be inspired and learn more, more, more.

Click here for the schedule of events. If you aren’t located in one of the hosts cities, no worries. You can stream the sessions from your computer.

And stay tuned for more updates from BuzzRocket!

Hootsuite makes good

Many of you out there felt the pain of the massive Hootsuite outage, which left its users without service for more than 15 hours last Thursday. We manage a lot of accounts and can only do so by using a service like Hootsuite, which allows you to monitor and publish countless accounts to Facecbook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Foursquare, WordPress and more from their social media management website and mobile app. For people like us: it’s a godsend.

So it was a welcome surprise yesterday that Hootsuite, a service from which 1 million updates a day are posted, sent out an apology email to its Pro and Enterprise users for the outage. According to the email, “Our Terms of Service to our users outlines that we’ll provide refunds after a 24 hour outage. While this incident was significantly less, we acknowledge users were inconvenienced and we want to make things right. With this in mind, we are offering a credit for HootSuite’s Social Analytics.”

So now we have 50 credits (worth $50), which will  be applied to our analytic reports. The best thing is that now we finally know how much a credit costs, which has been a question since Hootsuite launched their new, user unfriendly analytics back in March. We love the analytic information, but the reports can be pricy and each form cannot be used again. But clients seem to be dazzled by the colorful graphs offered on the free analytic template, so maybe we’re just being snobby. Wouldn’t be the first time.

True story.

nail tech: What do you do?
gretchen schneider: Interactive marketing. (blank look on her face) Um, people hire me to run their Facebook, Twitter pages and to ghost write?
nail tech: Oh, so you’re a private investigator.
gretchen schneider: (pause) Yes.

A Very Social State of the Union

Tonight’s State of the Union will be filled with politicians, the Washington press corps, pundits and our favorite, the teetor-tottering standing O. And while we’re used to a “real-time” experience, thanks to the live broadcast, this year will be different. During the speech, the White House will be running an “Enhanced” State of the Union on their website, which will feature related charts and information. Of course there will be live web streaming.

After the address, senior White House officials will be fielding questions from the general public via YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and a form through the official White House website. Makes us wonder if Joe Six Pack tweets…

Ah but we digress.

How will you be tuning into this uber-wired Washington event this evening?


Tomorrow marks the 50th anniversary of JFK’s inaugural address. In celebration of this historic speech, the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum created this very cool social media campaign. Users can visit, sign in via Facebook, Twitter or webcam, and get assigned a line from JFK’s address.

Sign on!

Golden Globes!

Congratulations to all the winners and nominees at tonight’s Golden Globe awards! We especially want to extend a big WELL DONE! to The Social Network, which took home four Golden Globes tonight, including Best Picture!

Building your brand, social media-style

Social networks are an opportunity to create a unique environment where brands can speak with (not at) their audience. Engagement, brand awareness and fostering the coveted word-of-mouth marketing are all benefits of a successful social media campaign. And while we spent most of 2010 wrapping our minds around the significance of social media, some still have not jumped on board and many have not properly launched their campaigns.’s Susan Gunelius recently posted these five suggestions for creating an effective brand-building social media campaign.

  • Create branded destinations. Gunelius suggests using free social media options such as blogs, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. to create a core online destination.
  • Establish entry points. Create meaningful content that enhances the user’s experience and gets them talking. In addition to giving your audience a reason to return, new content also helps to increase your SEO.
  • Locate your target audience and bring them back to you. Through a little research, locate your target audience and develop a presence there. Gunelius says joining online forums, blogs and write posts or comment on stories to gain trust from your audience and establish yourself as a thought leader.
  • Connect with influencers. Figure out who’s got the loudest voice online and connect with them. Follow their blogs, retweet, show your commitment and even make an intro.
  • Give more than you receive. Don’t spend all your time pumping out self-promoting messages. Remember this is a social environment. Gunelius recommends the 20/80 rule: “Spend no more than 20 percent of your time in self-promotional activities and conversations, and at least 80 percent on non-self-promotional activities. In time, you’ll see your business grow from your efforts. And it starts with leveraging these fundamentals.”

#FAIL! Top 5 Social Media Blunders of 2010

It’s December, which for many of us means the holidays, excessive drinking and eating, Ugly Christmas Sweater parties and reflection. If you’re writing for a blog or publication, it means pumping out a barrage of lists summing up the year. So, thank you Tumblr. Your utter failure for more than a day inspired this list we’ve compiled of the Top 5 Social Media Blunders of 2010.

Google Buzz
Part email, part Facebook, part Twitter, part Friendfeed, part Foursquare, fully lame. Google launched this social network on Feb. 9 and by Feb. 16 it was slapped with a major lawsuit. Google Buzz was integrated into Gmail, irritating many users, who were automatically signed up, revealing private information without permission. After many privacy violations, a class action lawsuit, Google Buzz has recently settled for $8.5 million. Buzz is still around, but has yet to make any sort of splash.

Twitter Hack
September 2010, hackers exploited a security flaw on the popular micro-blogging site, retweeting malicious code, activating pop-ups, and even exposing users to hard-core pornography.

Earlier this month, blogging host site Tumblr crashed for more than 24 hours, leaving millions of users shut out from their accounts, unable to access the nearly 11 million blogs run through Tumblr.
“During planned maintenance that was not intended to interrupt service, an issue arose that took down a critical database cluster. This brought down our entire network while our engineers worked feverishly to restore these databases and bring your blogs back online.”

Facebook Crash
A technical glitch blocked or slowed access to Facebook for several hours in late September, blocking many of the site’s (at the time) 500 million users from the news feed of updates from their friends.
Facebook called it the worst outage they’d had in over four years and blamed a software flaw that caused a cluster of its databases to be overwhelmed. Facebook said it had to shut down the entire site to stop traffic to the databases.

Apple’s stab at social media. Debuted in September with their iTunes 10, Ping allows you to follow friends, musicians and others and read about what music they “Ping” and “Like.” Failures here are that you can’t follow your Facebook friends and you can only comment on music purchased through the iTunes store, which for me is not an accurate portrait of my music collection. Though it’s taken a while to catch on, it does feel like the early days of Twitter to me, where people are following others, trying to sort out the purpose of this new social network. It’s definitely a great marketing platform for those in the music industry.

It’s not all negativity at BuzzRocket. All of these failures are a result of the tremendous growth and innovation of social media.

“Failure is the tuition you pay for success,” Walter Brunell

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