The Digital Social Party Recap

Last week we had the pleasure of hosting the OFFICIAL AFTER PARTY for the Digital Non Conference – The Digital Social (#TDSCincy)!  It was an awesome networking event and a great conference – I had the opportunity to reconnect with many old friends and meet a number of new ones.  There was lots of great networking and good times.

We’d like to thank everyone who was able to join us that evening!  It was so great to see the Mainstay Rock Bar filling up with such a creative and passionate crowd of Cincinnati professionals.



We especially want to thank the sponsors of the Digital Social Party – Mainstay Rock Bar, Social Media Job Site, Sonic Arts, All Night Party and Cincy Chic!  Thank you all for supporting this event, it was a great success and we were happy to work with you guys.  Hopefully we can continue this new trend and bring more networking parties together. 🙂

Monika Royal & Krista Neher


Over 100 people were expected to be at this event, and although we never officially counted our guests, by the end of  the night  we were somewhere close to that number, which made us feel really good for putting this party together.  There was definitely something about the party atmosphere that made people to open up, relax and enjoy themselves in sharing new ideas, discussing business opportunities and making new contacts.

Alex Shebar and Shana Douglas at the Photo Booth

Joe Robb, Sue LaChapelle and Eric Routenberg at The Digital Social





A special big THANK YOU to @designratcincy (Rachel Tailor) for taking these fantastic shots of everybody during the party and sharing them with us!  See more pictures on Boot Camp Digital Fan page.

We were so delighted with the success of the Digital Social, that guess what?!  Boot Camp Digital decided to continue in this fashion and bring more events like this to Cincinnati.  At this point we plan on hosting a social media/digital networking party every quarter and we are open to collaboration with our sponsors as well as with new ones.

Cincinnati professionals, you are all invited!  Stay tuned for new party updates.

Cincinnati Social Media Lunch – Social Media and SEO – August 18

A NEW Social Media Lunch Session is coming up!  We are extremely happy to invite business professionals to our VERY popular monthly lunch session on August 18, 2011.

During this session we’ll cover the integration of Social Media Marketing and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) giving you a detailed explanation on how to grow your business though integrating these two fast growing Internet strategies.

Many businesses approach SEO and Social Media Marketing with a piece-by-piece strategy and miss the bigger picture of integration.  In reality, SEO and Social Media combined together can help companies build their presence online and achieve greater exposure for their brand.  In this Social Media Session you’ll gain a clear understanding of how Social Media Marketing and Search Engine Optimization complement each other and in turn help you create a comprehensive Internet marketing plan for your business.

Details about this Social Media Lunch Session:

  • Topic: Integrating Social Media Marketing and SEO  ***REGISTER NOW!
  • Date: August 18, 2011
  • Time: 11:30 am – 1:00 pm
  • Investment: $27 ***Lunch is included!
  • Special Offer: Buy 4 Lunches Get 1 FREE
  • Location: Boot Camp Digital,  1600 Main Street, M1, Cincinnati OH, 45202

Getting to the top of Google Search Results (which is known as search engine optimization) is one of the most important marketing tools for any business. There are 1,000,000,000 searches on Google every day, and if businesses are not on the front page of search results they are missing out on huge potential opportunities. Social Media can be one of the best drivers of search engine results, and this session will focus on how to help your website get to the top of search engines.

“Social Media is not only a terrific way to connect with your customers, it also gives businesses great opportunities to improve their online visibility and brand awareness,” says Krista Neher, Boot Camp Digital CEO, “Combined with search engine optimization businesses can start to drive sales by bring qualified and motivated traffic to their websites.

The session will include a free lunch with an educational presentation, interesting case studies and an opportunity to network with other professionals interested in social media marketing.

Please register in advance, as our last social media seminar SOLD OUT!


Need to get better SEO results? Try the social network of the leader in search – Google!

We have created a Google+ online training program specifically to give accessibility to people all over the world. Join thousands of other marketers and learn how to get success from Google+ and reach the 250 million users!


Announcing 2 Day Boot Camp: Social Media Marketing and Internet Marketing Training!

Back by popular demand, Boot Camp Digital is happy to announce Social Media Marketing and Internet Marketing 2 day training class!  Our goal is to provide attendees of this course with a full understanding of the social media landscape and how to effectively leverage key aspects of internet marketing.

“In this day and age it’s absolutely crucial to integrate social media tools into your marketing strategy. The key to success is not only to understand the principles of social media but have an action plan so that you can start growing your business immediately.” says Krista Neher, Boot Camp Digital CEO.

During this extremely popular 2-day training class business professionals learn exactly how to use internet marketing and social media to grow their business.  The course is designed for both the new to social media as well as the avid user.  Social media is growing very fast and is not going away.  With over 700 million users on Facebook and more people checking Facebook each day than listening to the radio or reading a newspaper, you can’t afford to ignore social media any longer.

The fundamental reality in today’s business environment is if you want to stay competitive online your company needs more than just a website.

The course includes Social Media 101, Internet Marketing 101 and Social Media Marketing Training.  2-Day Boot Camp is designed to ensure that the training has a lasting sustainable impact on its clients.  In addition to the training, each participant receives a Social Media Workbook and Action Plan that is designed to enable easy implementation of the tools in everyday business.  Participants also receive a copy of Krista Neher’s bestselling book Social Media Field Guide, free lunch both days of training and the opportunity to network with other business professionals attending the course.

“Krista really knows her stuff re: social media. She has high energy and can bring tremendous knowledge and skill to your social media strategy and implementation. If your company is thinking of improving its social media presence or developing a strategy, I recommend you give Krista and her company a call.” said past participant Jo McDermott, Principal at Catalyst for Change Consulting.

The 2 Day Boot Camp is our most popular social media marketing training.  Past classes have sold our prior to the training, so it is important to register in advance.  Learn how to approach internet marketing and social media strategically and get real results!  Register today and save $40!

Social Media Speaking: Building a Social Media Marketing Plan with The Circuit

This morning I had the honor and privilege of presenting to The Circuit, a Cincinnati Digital Organization.  We had a great turnout for the presentation – the room was packed (they even had to bring in extra seats)!  Thanks to Connie at The Circuit and everyone who came out (early on a freezing Friday morning).

My presentation focused on how to build a social media marketing plan that actually gets results!  The presentation follows the model from my best-selling book – The Social Media Field Guide.

The #1 reason that most of the businesses I see are NOT GETTING RESULTS with their social media is because they fail to create a plan and approach it strategically.  Most of them get on Facebook and Twitter and start posting content, without a clear idea of what they are trying to achieve from a business perspective, who they are trying to reach or what content is actually interesting to their target audience.

In the presentation below you will be able to see an overview of the models highlighted in my book.

The key steps to building a successful social media plan are:

  1. Listening
  2. Know your marketing objectives
  3. Know your target audience
  4. Develop a killer content plan
  5. Select the appropriate tools
  6. Implement with excellence
  7. Track & Measure
  8. Adjust
Building a Social Media Plan that Gets Results

View more presentations from Krista Neher.
I also created a short clip of my presentation for you to view.

Also, I mentioned that my Dad joined Facebook and is using his Elvis Impersonator/Tribute Artist photo in his profile.  Here is the pic.  Enjoy.  Seriously, that is an actual picture of my Dad.

From BlogWell: Graco: Communicating with Social Media in a Time of Crisis

This is the last of my posts from the BlogWell conference (a conference covering big brands and how they use social media, held in Cincinnati last week).  Kelly Voelker, Brand Manager, PR & Social Media at Graco shared their strategies for dealing with a PR Crisis during a recall (side note – what can Toyota learn from this?).

The Situation

On Jan 20, 2010, at 7:00am the news of the recall went out over the newswire.  Graco announced a recall of 1.5 million strollers worldwide after 7 injuries were reported.  The recall was only for a few specific models (not for the entire line-up).  The story was posted immediately on a large number of national news sites.

How Graco Responded

Being Pro-Active

Graco pro-actively shared their message with specific communication on their blog, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and a dedicated Web Page.  They created a landing page with specific information since they knew that consumers might have trouble getting through to customer care.

Reaching out to Influencers

They also reached out to top influencers to help share information.  They sent an email prior to the news release to a variety of brand ambassadors who also have blogs.  The bloggers appreciated getting the news first and helped to share information.

Dealing with Negativity

There was a lot of negative feedback.  Here are some of the tips to deal with negativity:

  • First, get ahead of the news and pro-actively search for and respond to conversations.
  • Second, work closely with customer service; prepare them in advance and loop them in with a senior person who can approve appropriate real time responses.
  • Deal with responses on a case-by-case basis and get permission to act.
  • Start building the relationships before the problem exists.  Nurture a community of positive advocates who will help in a crisis situation.
  • Finally, if there is something that the community can benefit from then keep it online, otherwise move it offline.

One specific example was a woman named “Michelle” – she tweeted to the Chicago Sun Times, was responding to other consumers on the Graco Facebook page and actively shared negativity.  Graco had a senior person respond to her personally and it turned her around.  She then shared positive experiences across all of the same channels.  She was happy that Graco wanted to help and reached out to her.

This is consistent with what we hear time and again.  Often those who complain the loudest can become your biggest advocates with a little time and attention.

Key Learnings

  • Legal collaboration – Become a legal go-to inside your organization as the communications team.  Prepare messages in advance.  Make sure that your legal team understands social media.
  • Executive Communication – Graco held twice a day calls with leadership leading up to and during the announcement.  They sent a daily email with the coverage and red-flags.  This helped build consensus.
  • Global Integration – Clarify the meaning of a recall outside of the US and treat all customers the same.

The way that the social media team is structured at Graco helps.  There is a social media team that is made up of multi-functional people who are passionate about the brand (they don’t have communications backgrounds).  They were all briefed in advance and were told how to respond to issues.

How did you work with your social media agency during this recall?

Graco really used their agency as a tool to listen.  They were keeping an eye on the conversation to help us comb through the conversation and respond when needed.  They don’t respond directly – they provide council and listening.  Graco owned the communications.

What do you do about the crazies, nutjobs and wackos and people in that category?

Set expectations with your executives that this will happen.  Reach out and let them know that you are there to talk to them.  Ask them what they want — be there to talk to them about their issues and deal with it on a case by case basis.

Social Media for CIOs

I had the pleasure of speaking to a group of CIOs from The Circuit CIO circle about social media.  It was a very interesting discussion, as CIOs have some specific concerns about social media for their organizations.

Some of the key take-aways that I got from the presentation were:

  • Blocking Social Media Sites – is a big decision, but is often made quickly and without a lot of thought.  While it can become a time drain for employees, so can the phone or water cooler.  Depending on your organization and your employees, it may or may not be appropriate to block social sites in the work place.  Everyone needs down time and to periodically dis-engage from their work – if it doesn’t show up in performance, it is truly an issue?
  • Social Media Policy – Organizations need to develop strong social media policies for their organizations.  The policy should cover three areas:
  • 1 – What is and isn’t appropriate use in the work place – What is the expectation for social media usage while at work? What will and will not be tolerated?
  • 2 -How should employees reference the company on their personal social sites – this requires both training and policy.  What can your employees say or not say?  Can you empower them to be your biggest advocates?  Who should they refer questions/comments about the company to?  How should they reference their employment?  What disclosures do they need?
  • 3) – Who internally “owns” social media for your organization – The reality is that people will probably reference your company in the social space.  Who is going to represent your organization in the social space?  They should have responsibility to monitor and respond on behalf of the organization.

Social Media can be your biggest asset or your biggest nightmare.  The reality is that social media is big and growing right now and you can’t afford to ignore it.  If you empower your employees to advocate on your behalf within their social circles you can see great returns.  At the same time, you need to provide employees with the guidelines and tools they need to be successful.

Fish where the Fish are.

Is social media a fad?  Will it be here forever?

I don’t have a crystal ball, but social media is just a new medium for an old marketing principle – word of mouth.  The reality is that people have always and will always talk to people about companies.  Social Media is just the new way that they do it.

While specific sites may not be around forever (a few years ago we would have talked about MySpace), the basic human need to discuss, share and communicate will.  The fish are in social media sites today (like Facebook and Twitter).

If you build a fishing rod and throw it in the water today, you may need to move upstream when the fish move, and you may even have to change your bait, but at least you already know how to fish and you have the pole.  Would you rather change bait and locations, or not fish at all?

Social Media For CIOs

View more presentations from Krista Neher.
As a side note, if you are a CIO in Cincinnati, you may want to consider joining this group – great people with strong programming that specifically addresses the concerns and issues facing CIOs.

Ad Club Career Day – Building Your Personal Brand and Reputation Online

I had the privilege of presenting at the AdClub career day last week.  There were about 70 job hunters in attendance – mostly new grads.

I shared the presentation below on how to build your brand and reputation online.  One of the main discussion areas was around Facebook – how do you manage Facebook when you leave college and enter the job-seeking world?

According to a Global Microsoft Survey:

70% of recruiters have rejected a candidate based on their online reputation?

Yet less than half consider their reputation when posting content online.

Only 15% of consumers thought that their online reputation impacted their job search.

Clearly, your online reputation is more important than you think.

The analogy I used is that Facebook is like your living room… if your boss is coming over you would probably clean up a bit.  You wouldn’t borrow another house, or totally change everything, but you would definitely clean up, and maybe even put a few things out of site.  That is how you should treat Facebook and your job search – clean up a little!

We were fortunate enough to have some recruiters in the room who told students that they will do a facebook search, and it does factor in to their hiring decision.  While they won’t specifically friend request or try to work around privacy settings, the information that you make publicly accessible on Facebook does factor into the decision.

What are your thoughts?

You can see the full presentation below.

Using SlideShare to Increase Exposure and Grow Your Brand

I got an email from Slideshare recapping my stats from 2009.  I speak and present at a variety of industry events on social media, branding and digital marketing, and slideshare has been a valuable tool for me to share my presentations with participants and those who were not able to make it.

First, for those of you who don’t know, is a free service where you can post and share slideshow presentations.  I speak at a variety of events and this gives me a way to share my presentations with attendees.  In addition Slideshare allows you to show a video from your blog or linkedin account.

According to Slideshare, in 2009, I uploaded 11 presentations and got:

  • 858 average views per presentation
  • 42 favorites

My presentations were also featured by SlideShare on their homepage twice (YAY!)

I was pretty shocked with these results – almost 10,000 people have seen my slideshare presentations.

What is that exposure worth?

10,000 people were exposed to my brand and ideas AND I was only sharing content that I had already created!  These were also high touch impressions – they didn’t casually see an ad for my business – they took time to look through a presentation that I created about an idea related to my area of business.

If you aren’t using SlideShare as a part of your social media brand building strategy, you may want to reconsider.

When I get speaker requests, I often send people to my SlideShare account to give them an idea of my presentations.  I also get requests from colleagues to borrow slides for their presentations (which I am happy to do and they usually give me credit).

Below is my most popular speaking presentation – given to the Cincinnati AMA on Online Brand and Reputation Management.

Boot Camp Digital Office Party and Happy Hour #bcdParty

As you may know, Boot Camp Digital moved in to a new office in downtown Cincinnati late last year.  2009 was a great year and 2010 is looking even better.  We want to celebrate with you at an office Happy Hour.

We hope that you can join us – please feel free to pass the invitation along.

Adult beverages and light snacks will be provided.

What: Boot Camp Digital Open House and Office Party

When: Thursday, February 18, 4:30 – 7:30

Where: 602 Main Street (Gwynne Building at 6th and Main – Richter Phillips is in the bottom) Suite 705 (7th floor and follow the noise)

Social Media People: Use #bcdparty to follow the details of the event.  We’re on twitter – @kristaneher and @bootcampdigital (if you don’t already follow)

You can register at eventbrite or just show up!


What to expect at the Happy Hour:

  • Ribbon cutting ceremony from the NKY Chamber of Commerce
  • Drinks
  • Smart social media and marketing people
  • A tour of the office
  • Photo and video opportunities
  • Cincinnati Twitterati
  • New people

2009 was an exciting year for us.  Some of our accomplishments include:

  • Starting Boot Camp Digital!
  • Successfully running 2 open enrollment bootcamps
  • Speaking at 20+ industry events
  • Working with P&G on groundbreaking social media work
  • Moving in to a new office downtown
  • Social Media provider for ad:tech NY (the largest digital marketing conference)
  • Featured speaker in foreign countries including: London, England and Toronto, Canada
  • Killing my first (and only) office plant

Can’t make it? We’ll post the pics here afterwards.

We hope to see you there!

About Boot Camp Digital
We help get your internet marketing in shape! Boot Camp Digital specializes in social media and digital strategy and provides services including, training, consulting and full-service social media execution. We help large, fortune 500 companies and small organizations leverage the internet and social media to strategically grow their business.

Social Media Tips from PRSA Media Day

Thanks to Mike Boehmer for the Photo.

Thanks to Mike Boehmer for the Photo.

I had the pleasure to be a part of a Social Media Panel as a part of Cincinnati PRSA Media Day.  The panel included Jory Des Jardins, Co-Founder, President of Strategic Alliances, BlogHer; Jon Cronin, Director of Digital Marketing Strategy, DeVries and Michelle Lentz, Blogger, Write Technology.

First, I want to that the PRSA for inviting me to speak – it was a fabulous event with great speakers, engaged participants, and a great location.  The team did a fantastic job with this event.

I wanted to share a few of the key insights that we discussed on the panel.

How to work with bloggers

  • Build relationships vs. trying mass outreach.  Bloggers respond best to personal outreach and plans that are really customized to meet their needs.
  • Work with a small select group. Rather than trying to reach every blogger in your space, choose a small select group of bloggers to work with.  This will allow you to create a powerful, customized plan with a small and passionate group.
  • Soft-sells work better. Most people won’t care about your product or brand and trying to directly engage them probably won’t work.  Instead play off of something that bloggers are passionate about that is related to your product.  GM works with the BlogHer network and provides cars for attendees to test-drive.  No questions asked, no sales pitch – just take the car for a spin.  This has resulted in a clear brand equity increase for GM as well as numerous mentions.
  • Know the audience. You really have to know your audience.  For example, Campbells Soup wanted to work with food bloggers who are notoriously picky about the quality level of the products they use.  Rather than specifically talk about soup, Campbell’s included their products in food that was sampled.  The response was terrific as bloggers were shocked that Campbell’s products were a key ingredient in dishes they sampled.
  • Bloggers will love you if you facilitate their activities. Rather than trying to push your product at bloggers, try to facilitate their activities.  Host parties or help them connect.  Verizon did this after PRSA Media Day where they hosted a blogger party that showcased their new phones and they let bloggers borrow them for a few days (for free!!!).

What is “The Next Big Thing”?

While admittedly, none of us are psychic or have a crystal ball, we all shared some perspective on trends to watch in the next few years.

  • Location – Knowledge of location will make a huge impact on the digital space.  Whether it is facilitating social interactions, marketing, search or anything, location will play a big role and is a powerful concept.
  • Social Connections – Building social connections online will continue to be a big trend and importantly, helping sort through the issues (management, privacy, etc) will be important.
  • Mobile – Mobile is a key facilitator of both of the trends mentioned above.  While the iphone may be over-hyped the emergence of always-on internet and the power of location will clearly have a large impact going forward.

Please share your thoughts and comments.

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