Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Power of Social Network Marketing & People

At Build Texas Media we like to imagine that if you give folks the opportunity they will show you their best side. This theory certainly held true last week. Actually let's back up a bit to Sunday, October 4th when our client, Lisa Cohen and her daughter Leah volunteered at the Orange County Children's Book Festival in Costa Mesa, CA. While she and her Mom were painting kids faces (Lisa owns Creative Parties for Kids) a thief got behind the booth where Lisa stashed Leah's MacBook. When Lisa went to look for it under her costumes, it was gone. Lisa was horrified.

As a single mother, Lisa and Leah struggled to make ends meet. The computer was a rare gift from Leah's father. It was the family's only computer. As Lisa said, "Our whole life is inside that little black box."

She called BTM. I said I would do what I could. I had an idea to apply social networking skills to the problem. First I became both Lisa & Leah's friend on Facebook. I threw around the idea of posting pleas for help on FB and Twitter. Instead I woke early the next day. I think it was Tuesday. I must have fallen asleep with Lisa's problem on my mind. She was distraught when she called me. The thought I woke with was a memory of Ryan(my brother) & I talking about much success his friend had marketing his Web Series on Craigslist.

I decided I would apply the CL principle that says it's not if you place the ad, it's WHERE you place it. In this case, I chose the community section near the top left of the page. Lost & Found. What happened next was surprising. I was thinking an angel benefactor or company (Apple?) might step forward and help the Cohens. Lisa depended on having MacBook handy to do business. Much of her communication with her clients was done online. Leah had her school work and SAT prep notes on the Mac. She was also Secretary of the Thespian Club. All her Club notes were on the Mac. Everything was on the Mac.

What happened instead was a staffer from Fox KCAL 9 News spotted my CL post and relayed a message to a News Producer who told Mark Liu. Mark sent a reporter out to Leah's OC School for the Arts in Santa Ana. They shot a short piece for that evening's news. Lisa called me and excitedly reported the day' s events. She claimed it was my CL ad that lead to the news filming.

Mark Liu at KCAL 9 in Los Angeles confirmed by phone Lisa's assumption that the news team read the /Craigslist ad. Encouraged, I found the video on KCAL's website and copied the URL. I posted the video on both Lisa and Leah's wall. An anonymous donor saw the video posted somewhere on Facebook and sent Lisa an email with a receipt attached for a brand new MacBook for Leah.

I was already a believer in the power of social network marketing. Seeing good intentions manifested using these amazing online tools is astounding. It also makes us feel good.

Monday, September 28, 2009

10th Annual Renewable Energy Roundup - Fredericksburg, TX

At Build Texas Media we are proud of being an Austin company. To many that means we care about our environment, conservation, renewable resources and how we can continue to enjoy all the benefits of living in Central Texas. It also means our organization supports groups like the Texas Renewable Energies Association and the Texas Solar Energy Society who held the 10th Annual Renewable Energy Roundup in Fredericksburg last weekend. The event has grown into the largest event of its kind in the South.

BTM was asked to assist the Roundup in the greening of their advertising activities and that included a redesign and send of The Lariat newsletter. Laura Rice and the rest of the staff for the festival liked our work so much, BTM is now the official electronic media company of the Renewable Energy Roundup and will be integral in marketing the new Spring show, the first annual Renewable Energy Stampede and Green Living Fair in Salado, TX.

The BTM Staff had the opportunity to visit with the exhibitors and attendees on Saturday amid sunny, ideal weather conditions for late September. By noon several hundred people were already inside the festival grounds located on Main St. between Adams and S. Crockett streets across from the Gillespie County Courthouse in the center of downtown Fredericksburg. The warm weather made for long lines for cold drinks at the concession stands. BTM founder, Leslie Shaffer showed her Texas roots by consuming not one but three Dr. Pepper's throughout the day.

Over 150 exhibitor booths were spread across the space along with four outdoor "arenas" that served as meeting space for the keynote and workshop lectures offered. Saturday's keynote in the Green Arena was Karl Rabago of Net Energy Markets.

It was exciting for BTM to see how many folks from all over Central Texas were willing to pay for the opportunity to mingle among the finest renewable energy companies across the nation. There were a wide variety of companies represented from rainwater collection system design/build firms to Josh & Michelle Hudgins have a unique product that garnered a lot of attention both at the festival and online. Josh reports customers come from all over the country.

Build Texas Media is looking forward to working with even more organizations and companies that support sustainable living. Look for more posts related to the Stampede as we roll out the marketing initiative in the coming months.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Build Texas Network Magazine Launched in August

Build Texas Media (BTM) has launched the premiere issue of Build Texas Network, an online magazine for Texas builders, developers, real estate agents and other like professionals in Texas. Build Texas Network saves money, time, energy and materials by showing up in your email in-box every other month. Think of Build Texas Network as a FREE trade show available to subscribers at any time. Each month an e-mail is sent to thousands of construction professionals across Texas of the online publication. The magazine showcases sustainable building materials and services, as well as products and equipment, solely for construction industry professionals.

BTM CEO, Leslie Shaffer is thrilled to finally publish the first issue and be a contributor to "greening" the publishing environment. The example set by Build Texas Network to publish a magazine that is exclusively digital in format has already influenced our client, SIIA to do the same with their publication, The Self-Insurer. Although BTM is proud of the digitized version of SIIA's magazine, work has only just begun for this "new" publication that has big plans to become the voice of self-insurance in a new age of health care reform in the United States.

SIIA Executive VP, Erica Massey is spearheading the changes in the development of the magazine and plans to announce details at the 29th SIIA Annual Conference in Orlando on September 21st.

BTM is currently managing social network marketing programs for five different organizations and growing. After only 60 days, three of the accounts have already generated revenue exceeding the costs of the marketing program. In terms of ROI, social network marketing pales in comparison only to targeted email campaigns. BTM encourages their clients to engage in a structured social network marketing program as an element of a successful company-wide marketing strategy.

Next post we will talk about important elements to a successful email campaign in an ongoing series regarding good Internet marketing practices that work.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Build Texas to Launch Build Texas Network in August

Build Texas Media, an Austin, TX based E-Marketing company is launching the premiere issue of Build Texas Network (BTN) in August of this year. BTN has set out to become the leading online community for builders, contractors, professionals and suppliers in the Texas building & construction industry.

Our premiere issue will feature guest columnist, Shelly Rigsby an award-winning, decorative stained concrete artist from Plano, Texas. A Texas construction events calendar, video demonstrations and financial tips for business owners will be available to subscribers.. Rather than having to bookmark a site and remember to visit it frequently for updates, Build Texas Network's Magazine will be delivered to each subscriber's in-box every month with relevant, insightful content inside.

Build Texas Media's proprietary database of construction suppliers is large and rapidly growing with nearly 70% of all Texas construction suppliers indexed. While BTN is developing a log-in directory for their members, companies have the opportunity to build a presence in Build Texas Network via content-rich advertising vehicles. With options like embedded video, flash advertisements and automatic opt-in forms, advertisers will have up-to-date technology available to stay in touch with their customers.

Build Texas Media can be found online at:

Monday, September 29, 2008

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