Blog – Wapatoome Marketing Made Simple Tue, 07 Jun 2011 22:25:39 +0000 en-US hourly 1 2011 Wapatoo Resolution Thu, 30 Dec 2010 21:46:31 +0000

“Half the world is composed of people who have something to say and can’t, and the other half who have nothing to say and keep on saying it.” Robert Frost

The start of a new year and most everyone talks about committing to making changes and having new goals for a better tomorrow. How many people actually follow through and accomplish their goals? How many actually remember their goals?

Robert Frost’s quote above unexpectedly created the goal for Wapatoome this year. The goal is very simple, share stories, thoughts and opinions that are real, genuine, fresh and true to the Wapatoome family.

  • No topic is taboo
  • Random thoughts are encouraged
  • Unpopular & unconventional opinions appreciated
  • 2011, if you are going to talk, talk openly and honestly. Don’t fill up empty space with nonsense, fill up space with substance!

    Happy New Year!


    The Social Network Wed, 27 Oct 2010 20:15:26 +0000 I really cannot wait to see this movie! I have watched several of the billion YouTube videos and interviews about the movie and now I must gather my friends together who have been talking about going together and just get our butts in seats and watch it.
    My collective group of friends rely heavily on Facebook to stay connected, share and torture each other all in good fun. For most of us, we don’t always have the time to visit in person or gab on the phone, so Facebook gives us the access to immediately communicate at anytime, anywhere.

    When I meet someone who does not have Facebook I am very suspicious of them. Why? Are they lying and really don’t want to become Facebook friends with me? They don’t have a computer or know how to use a computer? They feel it is an huge invasion of privacy, yeah, like they are sooooo important! Or worse, they are not comfortable or interested in embracing technology and getting involved. No matter the reason, I find I start taking a few steps back.
    Facebook is not perfect and people can have their complaints or concerns about information being shared but the bigger picture and purpose of what Facebook is all about…..and I quote, “To get the attention of clubs, because they are exclusive and fun and can lead to a better life.” LOL, that line cracks me up! I ran far from the sorority drama after witnessing my college roommate enslave herself to the pressures of getting accepted and approved and popular. I had the better end of the deal, make friends with the frat boys and have a sorority roomie and get invited to any party. No pressures and no contest!


    See the movie and take a few friends and family members. After all, it really isn’t about Facebook, it’s about life!

    Six Do's and Don'ts for Online Marketers Mon, 04 Oct 2010 21:23:03 +0000 There are so many Do’s and Don’ts and the list could go on and on but these are what I feel are the most important to be conscious of when you are first starting out using social media for your online marketing efforts.

    1. Do be prepared to put time and effort into your online marketing activities daily.
    Keyword here is DAILY. If your a small business pla a minimum of 15 hours a week to support or have other resources to assist your online marketing efforts, if you can’t, you are not ready.

    2. Do provide solutions to problems and address complaints openly online.
    This is where you add significant value, especially when addressing complaints. First off, who doesn’t love drama or complaining? (I wish it weren’t so but then our reality stars wouldn’t be famous today) Don’t hide behind it, embrace it and realize that bad publicity can be good. If it is a mistake made on your behalf or you were wrong, own up to it. You will gain respect, appreciation and loyalty.

    3. Do end each post with specific ‘Call To Action’.
    Encourage readers to participate and engage with you otherwise they won’t. But remember to check for comments regularly and reply to expand the conversation and participation.

    4. Do participate in other blogs and share in the conversations to gain exposure for new customers.
    If you move to a new area you cannot expect to make new friends without stepping out and approaching others. This is why it is up to you to go find the communities and conversations and join in.

    5. Don’t make it about you. It is not about YOU, it is about everyone else!
    Do you have a friend that loves to talk about themself all the time, in any situation and with anyone? Annoying and frustrating right? Do you stop listening or give up trying to participate and share? Exactly what you don’t want to do online!

    6. Do be creative with your headlines.
    The more dramatic, direct or sensational the more it will be noticed. The best copywrighters read existing headlines to help get the creative juices flowing. Most of the time you can modify an existing one to fit your product or service. One I just saw today, “Why Most Conference Presentations Suck” How fantastic is that?

    It all takes time, trust me, I am still working on #1, setting the time aside with proper planning to effectively support and participate. Don’t beat yourself up initially, you first have to crawl before you run.

    Do you have a blog or are you participating in specific blogs? I would love to know and check you out!

    Google, Big Giant Gorilla Wed, 29 Sep 2010 19:36:44 +0000 The gorilla is the largest living primate, awesome in size and stature and possibly the most coveted and popular zoo exhibit appreciated around the world. I would have to say that Google is the Big Giant Gorilla of our time.

    I don’t do anything without Google.

  • I need to find a business, I google it.
  • I want the answer to a Jeapordy question that I don’t know, I google it.
  • I want to find the shoes Gwen Stefani wore at the red carpet, I google it.
  • I have become so dependent on Google for my everyday needs. What next? The Gorilla just keeps getting BIGGER!!

    In todays post from Chris Lang

    Google has created a social networking platform where all its online services will be merged. Google has tied it all together with the new social sharing platform, Google Buzz. G-buzz as we are calling it is creating the most powerful and user-rich experience imaginable.

    Google, the giant, is now the largest social networking platform imaginable! It’s so big that Facebook and Twitter are peeing in their pants like little boys trying to duplicate it. And they can’t, because Google has been developing this quietly, behind the scenes for 10 years.

    To read the full post click here.

    Chris also offers up his predictions that if you have time, it is worth taking a listen so you are in the know of what tomorrow will be. Watch the video .

    Do you agree with Chris’s predictions?

    Get hip to foursquare Mon, 07 Jun 2010 16:47:52 +0000 If you think Four Square is a game you played on the sidewalk as a kid, you are waayyy out of the social scene. Time to get you up to speed;

    Four Square is an online game designed for use on your mobile. The point is to encourage people to “explore their city” and in an effort to do so, it rewards you for doing interesting things — kinda cool.

    Now the freaky factor is Four Square identifies where you are located at a particular moment in time. As a woman, the stalker alarm goes off, so I’d say be aware of this. FourSquare does not know where you are unless you tell it your location, so play it safe.

    So basically, you cruise around with your iPhone, Crackberry, whatever, and “check” in as you go places. You can use it anywhere in the world (with the except for Tiananmen Square, since just last week the good ole’ Chinese Government put the kabash on it). So besides the Square, you are free to roam, earn rewards, and even become the Mayor of your fave location.

    Confused? Watch the video:

    [howcast url=’’ height=’240′ width=’360′]

    As a business owner, you can use foursquare to engage your increasingly mobile customers with foursquare “Specials,” which are discounts and prizes you can offer your loyal customers when they check in on foursquare at your venue. Don’t forget to show extra love to your venue’s Mayor! Additionally, if you offer foursquare Specials to your customers, you will be able to track how your venue is performing over time thanks to our robust set of venue analytics” for free!

    So that’s the scoop; keep an eye out for next months cover of WIRED featuring founder Dennis Crowley. The company just reported their “check ins” are up 50% this month or 600,000.

    Are you thinking what I’m thinking?

    Bye, bye Tweety Bird 😉

    Download Links: iPhone Blackberry Android Palm Other

    Geek Girls Rule Tue, 01 Jun 2010 16:56:50 +0000

    Social Community Managers, the latest hybrid of geeks or the new cool? I never considered myself a geek until I stumbled on a site that defined a geek girl as:

    1) Female (obviously)

    2) Loves techie stuff, particularly innovation, computing and new media.

    3) Not necessarily technically minded

      OMG! I AM A GEEK!

      When Wapatoome was defining the characteristics they would look for in community managers, I started by describing some of my characteristics, all the while I never considered myself a geek. Our top 10 key characteristics of a successful community manager;

      1. Inquisitive disposition
      2. Displays an extraordinary ability to attract
      3. Open and expressive in the written word
      4. Commands authority and influence
      5. Intelligent
      6. Diplomatic
      7. Compassionate
      8. Resourceful and Self-reliant
      9. Intuitive Listener
      10. Thirst for Social Interaction and Attention

      And yet, they are so much more! They are ambassadors, spokespersons, lobbyists and public speakers, all rolled in one. They require talent, experience and a strong sense of self to become successful as a social community manager. Any company expanding their marketing efforts in the social media space should take a serious look at who will support and execute those efforts as they represent your organization. Do it right, or don’t do it at all!

      And bring on the geeks, because they are the New Cool!

      As an added suggestion – The 10 Fresh Tips for Community Managers post, is a great list to read before you make that important selection in establishing your social media support!

      What additional characteristics do you feel make a successful community manager? Are you a girl (or guy) geek too?


      A, B, C and 1, 2, 3 for Twitter Sun, 30 May 2010 17:05:56 +0000 There are a lot of discussions about how Twitter can be used to grow your brand awareness, increase loyalty, obtain valuable customer feedback and improve customer service so where do you start? One step at a time! A few years back a good friend of mine gave me this advice which I follow with just about everything I do.

      Get Ready….aim….fire!

      A. Get Ready!

      1. Set up and complete your Twitter account. Fill in all the details for each field available in the profile, including a logo/image and make the most of the 160 character bio with key words regarding your business.
      2. If you have key employees, get them set up with Twitter simultaneously to expand your efforts with their own specific accounts appropriately branded with your company. Many companies have experienced positive results by encouraging their employees to communicate to customers via Twitter. These are your soldiers who are front and center!
      3. Use to find out what is being talked about in your circle of influence and industry. Create a list of keywords that are most suitable in your industry and don’t forget to search your company name, products and services and your competition!
      4. Review the tweets, collaborate and begin building the priority list hot topics, issues and needs in the market space and decide how you can effectively provide value and service in response with the 140 character tweets.
      5. Set some benchmarks to measure the effectiveness of Twitter to see how your efforts pay off. Here are some suggested metrics:
      • Number of followers, fans, subscribers
      • Website traffic
      • Organic search engine rankings
      • Positive Mentions/Social Currency
      • Customers served/Issues resolved
      • Product/Feature ideas/Collaboration
      • Sales

      B. Aim!

      1. After listening and learning, set standardize responses that are effective and create a positive experience for your followers and fulfill your specific goals. Consider expanding a FAQ section on your company site that can be easily accessible and linked to answer specific questions. Set the standards for communications that everyone will abide by for consistency while maintaining a shared voice, vision and image.
      2. Research available tools to manage your efforts and set them up. There are many free services so you must make the right decision for you. Just a few to help you along- or Create saved searches and keywords in specific tabs to easily monitor and review. You can publish tweets directly and to multiple sources like Facebook, LinkedIn and Blogs. gives you the flexibility to pre-schedule tweets for when you are not around.
      3. If this is new to you, invite your friends first and get acquainted with the activity and make any adjustments necessary to support at the level you feel is best for your followers.
      4. Expand your reach and go back to Find People and use the Browse and Invite by Email to begin following and inviting, tapping into your circle of influence that are key to your business.

      C. Fire!

      1. Advertise Twitter Account Everywhere! On your website, social sites, email signatures, direct mail and any marketing and sales materials.
      2. Begin participating in conversations and pushing information out, retweet, direct message, follow and most importantly don’t forget to continue to LISTEN!
      3. Have fun! Consider polls to ask your followers to provide their opinions, create loyalty rewards and contests to fuel attention and mentions of you, your company, products and service.

      If you have any questions, ask.

      If you have any suggestions, share.

      If you have had great success, brag.

      If you are having fun with Twitter, announce.

      We would love to hear from you!

      Following Zappos Approach Sat, 22 May 2010 22:08:28 +0000 Late January of this year, I made a commitment to be actively positive, create a happy environment and change the direction my life was going. The last couple years I had endured a lot of struggles mentally, physically and financially. I needed to own up to my responsibility for what was happening and do something about it if I wanted a different life. And a different life is what I wanted more than anything!

      First, I systematically removed all the negative weights and influences that existed in my life. This was a critical step and almost immediately, I discovered a new found freedom and peacefulness that gave me clarity to determine how to get the life I wanted.

      Second, I took the active approach of posting daily messages on my Facebook page of positive thoughts and inspiring quotes I wrote or collected from others. This helped reinforce my focus to be happy, influence others to be happy and attract those who were happy and invite them into my world.

      This attitude and behavior adjustment opened doors, developed opportunities and helped me achieve several goals in just a few short months. In less than 8 weeks, I launched a company and started working on new accounts when prior to that there was no work to be found!

      But it does not stop there; my goal isn’t only to help myself but to help others improve their lives. By doing so I feel more fulfilled because I have the ability to share my good fortune with those who are just as deserving. It is my goal to empower everyone around me to think positive, act positive and speak positive it does make a difference!

      A great example of someone who has demonstrated the power of positive attitude and behavior and showed how social media helped him effectively promote and influence others to do and be the same is Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos. He used Twitter as the platform of choice and created a better world not just for himself but for his company and his employees.

      Zappos has 10 core values that define their company culture:

      Deliver WOW Through Service
      Embrace and Drive Change
      Create Fun and A Little Weirdness
      Be Adventurous, Creative, and Open-Minded
      Pursue Growth and Learning
      Build Open and Honest Relationships With Communication
      Build a Positive Team and Family Spirit
      Do More With Less
      Be Passionate and Determined
      Be Humble

      I intend to follow in Tony Hsieh’s footsteps and duplicate what he has done with his company, it is time to change, time to have fun and time to enjoy who we are and what we do!

      What can you do today not just for yourself but your company, colleagues, clients to create a positive environment where everyone can flourish?

      To read more about Zappos

      Maintain Civility in Hostility Wed, 19 May 2010 22:07:33 +0000 I often have CNN playing in the background in an attempt to stay current with what is happening in the world. On Tues, March 23rd, Ali Velshi, on at 10 am Newsroom, caught my attention when he spoke about the strong reactions expressed by the people opposing the Health Care Bill.

      Mr. Velshi so eloquently stated that racial slurs and derogatory statements when speaking out against a position, policy or person, not only destroys the speaker€™s credibility but also destroys the efforts of all the other supporters. It does NOT help a cause or position and most of all, should not be tolerated.

      This is very relevant when we talk about conduct in the social community. I have experienced with how quickly opposing sides of a topic can change from a constructive debate into a destructive argument. It can get out of control and down right brutal.

      The challenge with online communication is our inability to hear inflections or tones or see the body language of those voicing their opinions. Reading words can be easily misinterpreted and ignite strong emotions that will ultimately destroy a discussion and lose the purpose to debate, educate, enlighten and share. If not controlled, expulsion from the group is imminent.

      I have found I have to be very clear and complete with my words. I find I need to be certain I completely understand the opposition as the conversation progresses before making statements of my own. I ask more questions, listen more carefully and repeat in my own words what I believe their opinion or thoughts to be. Sounds like a lot of work, but this keeps a healthy and intelligent conversation and maintains their respect.

      However, this is not a perfect world. What do you do when emotions are running high and the conversation is turning ugly? Here are a few steps I have taken that have proven to work.

      1. If you are having difficulty maintaining your composure, excuse yourself from the conversation momentarily, but be sure your opposition is aware so they don€™t feel you have chosen to ignore them, and be sure to return with a calmer state of mind.
      2. Find supporters to assist in the debate and offer up additional voices.
      3. Find references €“ I often google and share facts and references in support of my position.
      4. Listen with an open mind and respect that everyone has an opinion and is entitled to be heard.
      5. If you€™ve been offended, acknowledge it and state what offended you and why. This act alone can change the pace and tone of the conversation.
      6. If you have offended anyone, immediately apologize and make it a big apology!
      7. Agree to disagree€¦.this one never fails! If you are unable to convert the opposition, thank them for participating, let them know what you€™ve learned (because we can learn, from anyone, at anytime) and invite them to participate again in the future.

      Always remember….if you lose control, you lose the debate and you lose respect! You will find you can successfully convert opponents into advocates or create new friends because of your actions. Maintain civility even in a hostile environment and you will be appreciated and respected as as a person and a professional.

      Have you ever turned an opponent into an advocate? How?

      ]]> Success in Social Marketing Sun, 09 May 2010 22:05:26 +0000 The person: Danny Brown

      An elderly woman enters a local cafe in Niagara Falls to order ice cream by herself and that image stayed with Danny Brown. He was there visiting with his wife and celebrating his 40th birthday and he could not get this lonely-looking woman out of his mind. Why didn’t he talk with her?

      “Everyone in social media talks about how we need to connect and open up,” Brown says. I couldn’t make that connection to the lady we saw in the restaurant. We forget human connections offline. I wanted to make sure that if someone needs help or just a little bit of company, that people are reaching out to them.

      Thus was born! With no budget and limited resources this was a big challenge but one that did not discourage Danny.

      Using the power & outreach of social media tools from Twitter, Facebook, blogging and more€¦

      The Goal – 12 charities, one every month for 12 months and raise $12,000 per charity

      The Results-

      1. Twitter- 3,600 followers @12for12k
      2. Blog- 3,000 subscribers
      3. Facebook – 700 fans
      4. A 12-hour Tweet-a-Thon raised $15,500 for Share Our Strength
      5. Traffic at increased 4000% during Tweet-a-Thon
      6. A Twitter avatar frame€ helped bring in 3,600 followers
      7. Raised $91,275 for charities in 2009 all with volunteers

      Congratulations to and Danny Brown. We love to see great causes and great people come together like this to make a difference!