ShesConnected Conference Program guide 2011


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ShesConnected Conference Program guide 2011

  1. 1. 2nd AnnualConference2011 PRESENTED BY20Connecting Brands and Canada’s Most In uential Digitally Connected WomenSEPTEMBER 29 - 30, 2011 SHERATON CENTRE TORONTO HOTEL TORONTO, ON CANADA Program Guide 11 Title Sponsor Media Sponsor Gold Sponsor Bronze Sponsors Party Sponsors Always a Perfect Fit Silver Sponsors . @SCConference #SCCTO
  2. 2. T his is the second year we’ve brought together the most digitally influential women in Canada with brands who want to connect with them, all in one conference. We are thrilled that you could join us. Every year, the conference gets bigger, bolder and better. We want to recognize and thank all our digital women Welcome to for your support. It’s your creativity, expertise and energy in the social space that gives us all a reason to be here. From the pre-conference Twitter parties to the large number of the 2nd Annual applicants who applied to attend this conference, we are energized by your participation and the knowledge that you bring to this conference. Thank you! ShesConnected We’ve also had overwhelming support from our sponsors. Huge thanks to all of you – big and small – your Conference contributions are much appreciated. Special call out to Ford, our title sponsor, for helping to make this event happen and to our media sponsor, Marketing magazine, for helping us get the word out. Also a special thanks to our advisors who have kept us on track. We’ve enjoyed working with all of you, every step of the way. It’s an honour to be here with you. Let’s kick off this conference and let the learning begin! Best, Donna Marie antoniaDis Co-founder & CEO @donnaantoniadisSpecial thanks to our sponsors, advisors, friends and supporters!Sponsors Advisors Title Sponsor Gold Sponsor Silver Sponsors Agency & Experts Donna Marie Antoniadis Mark Grindeland Margaret Antkowski Duri Al-Ajrami Bronze Sponsors Ian Barr Elizabeth Clark-Luzza Louise Clements Shannon Cowan Laurie Dillon-Schalk . Leigh Felesky Minnow Hamilton Media Sponsor Party Sponsors Terri McBay Erin O’Neill Always a Perfect Fit Denise Shortt Rebecca Shropshire Digital WomenFriends and Supporters Linda Antoniadis Theresa Dostaler Heather Hamilton Sara Hodge Stephanie Holmes Christy Laverty .com Diana Mancuso Tamara McPherson Katia Millar Julia Rosien She’sConnected 3
  3. 3. agenda overviewthursday, September 29, 2011 1:00 PM - 1:15 PM Welcome Welcome and Introduction 1:15 PM - 2:30 PM KeynotE Keynote: Sheryl Connelly, Futurist, Ford Motor Company 2:30 PM - 3:30 PM SeSSionS Breakout Session with Ford Motor Company: This is an interactive session with our title sponsor. You will have the opportunity to learn about Ford’s social media priorities, upcoming programs and events. Learn how you can engage with Ford and be a part of their social media presence. 3:30 PM - 4:00 PM BreaK Afternoon Break 4:00 PM - 4:45 PM SeSSionS Brands & Digital Women: Ice Breaker: This is an interactive session for attendees, sponsors and speakers to connect with each other. 4:45 PM - 5:00 PM Wrap-up Closing Comments for Day One 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM reception Networking Reception in Exhibit Hall 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM party Conference Party at Town Shoes on Bloor StreetFriday, September 30, 2011 8:00 AM - 8:45 AM BreaKFaSt Breakfast & Networking 8:45 AM - 9:00 AM Welcome Day One: Recap 9:00 AM - 9:45 AM Keynote Keynote: Elisa Camhort Page, co-founder of Blogher 9:45 AM - 10:30 AM panel What Brands Want from Bloggers and Digital Women. This panel session will discuss the importance of social media for the brands, how brands are building their social media capabilities and what they are looking for from you. 10:30 AM - 11:00 AM BreaK Morning Break 11:00 AM - 11:45 AM panel Product Reviews vs. Blog Tours vs. Brand Ambassador Programs: Case studies from both the brands and bloggers. What works, what doesn’t and what can be improved. 11:45 AM - 1:00 PM luncH Lunch 1:00 PM - 1:45 PM panel Social Media Rock Stars: Veteran, new and rising stars share their experiences. 1:45 PM - 2:30 PM panel What is a Blogger Worth? A discussion with some leading bloggers about their worth to brands, types of pitches they like and the ones they ignore. 2:30 PM - 3:00 PM BreaK Afternoon Break 3:00 PM - 3:45 PM panel Rate Cards, Guidelines & Disclosure: What is the average price for ads, reviews, giveaways and posts? Should there be guidelines that new and veteran bloggers can follow? What should dictate the price of each tactic? 3:45 PM - 4:45 PM panel The 10 Rules of the Road, Putting It All Together: Our panel of brands & bloggers will discuss how to make it all work and highlight the key take-aways from the conference. 4:45 PM - 5:00 PM Wrap-up Closing Remarks & Announce dates for our 2012 events4 ShesConnected
  4. 4. Global brands turn to women and social media AmmAr KAhn, Social media manager, Ford motor ‘Social media is Company interviewed by DonnA mArie AntoniADiS, a part of almost Co-founder & Ceo, everything we do’ Ammar Kahn, Social Media Manager, ShesConnected Ford Motor CompanyF ord has had winning success in the social media space. The bloggers make. At Ford, we appreciate the company has more than 780,000 fans on Facebook, 53,000 time and effort that Canadian women put followers on LinkedIn, and 76,000 followers on Twitter. Plus, they into their blogs as well as the insights that they share with their communities. were one of the first to have a Google+ account and revealed the We have exciting products andhighly anticipated, reinvented 2011 Ford Explorer on Facebook. technology to share, and I think the What is Ford Canada’s social strategy and what makes the brand conference attendees will be surprised atunique when it comes to social? We sat down with Ammar Kahn, Social what Ford is doing. Take for example, ourMedia Manager, Ford Canada, to find out and speak to him about Ford’s Active Park Assist technology that enablessupport of the ShesConnected Conference. your car to parallel park itself! Not to mention our focus on delivering best-in-Q: Why does Ford see social media as an and we have done a tremendous job getting class fuel efficient vehicles, and of courseimportant avenue for connecting with our vehicles into the hands of Canadian our leading safety innovations, such asCanadians? women who write about parenting, rear-inflatable seat belts and our MyKeyWe see social media as a great way to engage lifestyle, fashion and the environment. technology to help parents manage theirin one-on-one conversations, and our goal It’s interesting to hear the different teens’ driving to be engaging and responsive to anyone perspectives that each segment shareswho reaches out to Ford through social with their audience. They provide us with Q: What three things does Ford Canadamedia channels. We love the feedback we unique feedback on many aspects, which focus on when it comes to your socialreceive and often take this back to our we take back to our product guys. media approach?product folks. We’re focused on being approachable, Q: Why did you decide to become the title helpful and ultimately human. Our socialQ: What are Ford Canada’s initiatives to sponsor of Canada’s premier brand and media strategy is based around a simpleconnect with Canadian women through blogger conference, She’sConnected? philosophy, we want to communicate andsocial media? We see the ShesConnected Conference as a treat people the way that we want to beWomen bloggers are an important segment celebration of the contributions that women treated ourselves. continued on p.7 ShesConnected 5
  5. 5. How to find women bloggers Bloggers are a powerful influence online and women represent one of the most important consumer demographics. Put them together and you have the Holy Grail for brands trying to reach women and moms online. What are the most effective ways to partner with women bloggers to generate brand affinity and loyalty, and drive purchase behaviour? Work with me Four key tactics to work with bloggers and connect Brands have used multiple approaches to reach and engage this powerful group of women. Each approach has its with their readers BY LenA ALmeiDA benefits and quite frankly T some downsides. One of hinking of working with bloggers optional giveaways for each participating the biggest challenges to increase your social media reach? site. The main purpose is to have your for brands and their There are several ways that you content amplified by many bloggers working agencies is the lack of a can promote your brand – both together at the same time, with the same comprehensive source for traditional and innovative – that will allow message – which can serve to boost your identifying who to reach you to gain access to a loyal and diverse Search Engine Optimization (SEO). out to. ShesConnected saw audience. For the purpose of this article, let’s Brand amBaSSadorShip: The highest this challenge as a great discuss the four traditional ways that brands level of trust between a brand and blogger, opportunity. Over the connect with bloggers. a brand ambassador is an extension last four years they have SponSored poSt: The most straight- of the brand’s marketing department compiled a comprehensive forward way to have your latest press and is contracted to blog for a specified database of more than information relayed is to simply compensate time period (normally 6 - 12 months). 400,000 bloggers. What is the blogger for posting it on her site. Ambassadors generally receive product impressive is the level of Sponsored posts can incorporate guided and monetary compensation, have an ad detail they have captured. content, embedded links and must include a identifying themselves as an ambassador on They can segment their disclosure somewhere in the post identifying their blogs and may represent the company database topic or interest, have engagement metrics, it as a paid advertisement. at promotional events. and understand the reach review/Giveaway: Likely the most popular The traditional routes taken by brands of the women bloggers in way to connect with bloggers, the review/ to engage bloggers have proven to be their database. giveaway rewards both the blogger and her successful and satisfying for both parties. ShesConnected will be readers. In lieu of payment, the blogger However, we’re starting to think outside the launching their Powerlist receives a free product to review and, with blog; every day, brands and bloggers find in December to help the chance to win a product for themselves, increasingly creative ways to work together. women bloggers become reader engagement and traffic to the post From the newly hip “real shopper media” more visible to brands. are increased exponentially – especially if to providing consultation services, event Brands looking to work the feature is promoted across other social planning and introducing companies to with women bloggers can use the ShesConnected media platforms. social networks, brands are connecting with blogger directory to BloG tour/panel: Channelling the digital women in new and refreshing ways as find bloggers or work popularity of the review/giveaway, blog part of a sound online marketing strategy. with ShesConnected to tours organize several blogs of a similar indentify and recruit the theme and provide guided content, lena almeida is the community manager for right bloggers for their embedded links, scheduled post dates and ShesConnected brand.6 ShesConnected
  6. 6. O nce upon a time, I set up my little brand ambassador. blog. I talked about the products I I’m not alone. The current wave liked, the ones I could live without, of community managers, social media and was content with offering my consultants and advisors are made up two cents to anyone and everyone. of my peers – former reviewers who are But then I noticed that other bloggers looking to channel their social influence were reviewing much cooler (and pricier) and expertise into amplifying a brand’s products received – gasp – for free! And I online strategy. It’s a promotion of sorts; a No longer asked, “Why not me?” So I began pitching companies and worked tirelessly to step in the right direction. And there’s one thing we all have in common: we enjoyed a review secure products and post honest, detailed the awesome opportunity to meet with the features. And for the most part, it was a brands we represent – to connect with them wonderful fit. There is something really face-to-face and cultivate a relationship blogger satisfying about having your voice heard, that extends far beyond a one-time review. and for many bloggers and brands, it’s a We have become an extension of their mutually beneficial relationship built on marketing, a voice for the company, a the exchange of products for press. In fact, trusted partner. LenA ALmeiDA, Community many of my favourite sites are such “review The ShesConnected Conference blogs.” facilitates these partnerships by being the manager, ShesConnected And shortly after establishing oneself only conference that brings together digital as a serious reviewer, better products – and women and brands in a truly interactive better-known brands – come knocking at forum, with a mission of finding better your door. It’s a pretty sweet deal. ways for them to work together in order But eventually, I found myself wanting to socially amplify sponsor messaging more... and different. I wanted a more while building great relationships with the intimate connection with brands and women who make this possible. This fall, a stronger emphasis on partnerships. I a group of “graduating class” bloggers will wanted to manage all facets of the social attend the conference with the hopes of media relationship from both unique making such a match. perspectives. Quite simply, I was ready to Boy meets girl? I like “brand meets graduate from being a review blogger to a blogger.”from p.5 I think one thing that sets us apart countries. On a global level Ford is one of I’d recommend that brands work out aas being leaders in this space is that social the leading brands in the world when it proper resourcing model as they get intomedia is part of almost everything we do. If comes to thought leadership in this space. social media. It can’t be thought of as ayou see Ford at a car show or our displays at We were one of the first brands on campaign-based communications tool.a festival you’ll notice that we have hashtags, Google Plus and revealed our Ford Explorer Brands need to think of it as an ongoingFoursquare check-ins and technology in last year globally on Facebook with seamless 52-week program. One of the worst thingsplace to help people share their experiences local involvement when it came to real-time a brand can do is build up a communitywith their friends. communication with customers. Canada via a campaign but then be unable to works as part of the global team, and we respond back to the individuals formingQ: How does Ford Canada’s social media help and learn from each other. However, the community because resources forstrategy fit in with the global brand local teams are empowered to act quickly community management were not in place.strategy? and define their own regional voices. It’s also crucial to empower your socialTo some extent social media is borderless. media teams to be responsive. Social mediaWhen we put out a video, run an event Q: Based on your experience, what would moves quickly and a brand’s involvementor send a tweet it can easily be amplified you recommend to brands when it comes should be looked at as a learningand responded to by individuals in other to social media? opportunity rather than a risk. ShesConnected 7
  7. 7. Starting and continuing online conversations Linda antoniadis, Community director, shesConnected O ne of the biggest mistakes companies make is one of the big reasons social media has grown at such an to use social media as a simple marketing tactic exponential rate. And we are just at the beginning of what rather than a strategic tool that can be used to will be possible. enhance customer relationship management Companies have always pursued the masses, and now (CRM). Companies invest untold sums building elaborate the masses are engaged in conversations 24/7, 365 days a CRM systems to help them understand their customers in year. Smart companies see that social media allows them an attempt to build better relationships and, ultimately, to facilitate, engage in and manage conversations. But few loyalty. However, many miss out on the ability to leverage have the skills and business processes needed. Instead, they social media as critical part of that system. use social media as an extension of old and ineffective One of the most important aspects of a relationship is marketing. The message of “buy me,” or “look at what we having an ongoing dialogue or conversation. If you think are doing” is still nothing more than part of their marketing about some of the best conversations you have ever had, campaign. they probably have some common characteristics. Usually So what is an advertiser to do when the campaign or it is about a topic that was interesting to you; you learned promotion is over? They need to develop a whole new way something; there was give and take; questions, answers, of thinking. They need to think of relationships which are banter back and forth. And often times humour and built on trust and respect. They need to build the skills and laughter was involved. You were probably entertained and processes that enable effective conversations.To do that, engaged. You probably felt like there was a healthy respect they need to build a roadmap and rules of engagement for everyone in the discussion and listening was always an for all parts of their company. This means integrating important part of the conversation. conversational elements to marketing, customer care Social media has given us a global platform to engage and product development. It means capturing relevant in conversations with people we would never meet in information from conversations and forwarding that person. We can search for topics of interest, explore other information to the right place so it can be acted upon. points of view, debate, engage, learn and best of all create Ultimately in means having the technology, processes and new relationships that didn’t exist before. This has been know-how.8 ShesConnected
  8. 8. CommunityManagementServicesMark GrindeLand, Co-founder &Chairman, shesConnected H ow do you keep up with all of the conversations across social media that may be relevant to your company or business? Usually the answer is community mature is social media in your company? management. But ask five executives in your company ➦ Is there an executive owner for Social Media? what community management is and you’ll probably get ➦ Is there a real budget dedicated to Social Media? five different answers. ➦ How have you organized social media in your Community management will help your company: organization? Does it report or belong to a business EnsurE AlignmEnt of strAtEgy: Help communicate the function or group? Typically we see marketing taking future direction of the company across social media. responsibility at a high level. Many times it is assigned to gEnErAtE And sourcE contEnt: Create, source and edit public relations, or part of the digital marketing group. material to educate users on the products and services. ➦ How integrated is social media across customer care, Build rElAtionships: Build strong relationships with product development, competitive intelligence, legal, the top customers, welcome new customers and non- product groups and marketing? customers to the community, and recruit/manage those ➦ How does the culture of your company influence social who volunteer to help test and evangelize your products media? and services Answers to these questions will help you navigate the mAnAgE EvEnts/ActivitiEs: Plan and execute events and complexities of community management and lead you fun activities to drive community engagement and earned to developing the right model for your company. Should media. community management be run internally, outsourced, or drivE rEcruitmEnt: Persuade more people to become some hybrid of the two? brand evangelists. ShesConnected helps identify and build the right mAnAgE modErAtion: Remove bad content and community management model customized to your encourage good behaviour by initiating and engaging in organization. Through a range of packages and options conversations. we cover all your needs for creating, connecting, engaging Work Across thE BusinEss: Integrate the community and building communities. We help you integrate social with the overall business. media across the organization, leverage your marketing There are many different models companies use to investments and deliver efficiency and cost savings by harness the power of communities across social media. effectively building social media into your business The model that is right for your company depends on a processes. number of variables. These include but are not limited to From preparing a social media strategy based on your the following: company’s needs, to outsourcing parts of that strategy, ➦ How important is social media viewed in the to training individuals how to use social media tools and organization? then reporting on this investment, we cover what’s needed ➦ How long has your company been using social media as to get your company started and continue to be more part of your overall business strategy? In other words, how effective with social media. ShesConnected 9
  9. 9. Going social with the Royal Canadian Mint CaroLyn Gardner, Project Manager social Media, royal Canadian Mint I n the spring of 2009, and to the surprise of many manufacturer of the Vancouver 2010 athlete medals, coupled even today, the Royal Canadian Mint expanded its with an open invitation for people to visit its pavilion in online presence to include social media. This decision Vancouver, the Mint ensured it had a very active social media was somewhat bold for a federal Canadian Crown presence throughout the Winter Games. These efforts saw the Corporation, but the rationale and motivation were clear Mint’s Facebook connections double and its Twitter followers – social media networks and conversations were gaining increase tenfold. popularity and the Mint wanted to participate. By taking social media seriously, the Mint has a steady The Mint began its transition into social media by flow of posts and tweets that generate excitement about new building a foundation of trust both internally and externally. products, share important information about the hobby To achieve this goal, posts and tweets echoed messages that of coin collecting, answer questions and much more. The were already being delivered through the Mint’s traditional Mint also uses social media networks to drive people to its communication channels like press releases, customer emails boutiques in Ottawa, Winnipeg and Vancouver as well as its and printed brochures. As trust evolved, so too did the style of newest retail venue – a kiosk in Toronto’s CN Tower. With a messaging. focus on social media engagement in both English and French, Today the Mint proactively engages with customers, the Mint is actively listening and responding to an ever- stakeholders and prospects by sharing interesting stories, growing base of fans and followers. Today the Mint has almost experiences and photos. By expanding its brand to social 4,000 highly engaged Facebook fans and 4,000 enthusiastic networks, the Mint leads a steady flow of conversations Twitter followers. involving coins, coin-related events and industry trends. With an average Klout Score that hovers around 60, the Mint’s messaging is consistently spread throughout an influential WEBsitE (En): network driving further discussion and debate. Without WEBsitE (fr): doubt, social media has opened a whole new level of dialogue fAcEBook (En): that is encouraged and monitored by the Mint 24/7. fAcEBook (fr): In terms of reach and amplification, Vancouver 2010 tWittEr (En): proved to be a significant catalyst for the Mint. As the proud tWittEr (fr): ShesConnected
  10. 10. Stand by Your Chicken:Social media creates loyaltybrands can count onLisa BishoP-sPenCer, Manager of Communications, Chicken Farmers of Canada “It is not so much our friends’ help that helps us as the confident knowledge that they will help us.” –EpicurusI n 2004, Chicken Farmers of Canada the faith, and chicken consumption was relationships, they’re creating a frontline of (CFC) faced a tremendous challenge: maintained at its high levels – important support for when the going gets tough. British Columbia was hit with an avian for Canada’s No. 1 meat. Events like the ShesConnected influenza outbreak, threatening the Tough job, especially when you Conference give CFC a valuable chance topoultry industry throughout the country remember that in 2004, there was no meet core consumers and really find outfor months before subsiding, thanks to Facebook, no YouTube and no Twitter. what they want. CFC also saw great successthe combined efforts of the Canadian Today, people get news so quickly with pre-event promotions, like TwitterFood Inspection Agency, governments and that information, and especially parties – to the extent where they evenindustry partners. trended in Canada. Understandably, there were questions An issue can become Brands need to connect with theabout food safety–in the first 90 days of a crisis quicker than people who use them. They need to engagethat crisis, CFC responded to more than10,000 media calls from around the globe, ever before people and keep them talking. You want people to like you; you want people to feelanswering each individually, honestly and misinformation, can spread before good about buying your product. You wantquickly. anyone’s had a chance to really look at it people to trust you. The organization and its partners in and ask the right questions. An issue can What brands often forget is that theyother “feather” commodities were praised become a crisis quicker than ever before. also need that trust. When the feathersfor the speed of their responses, their Since 2009, CFC’s social media hit the fan, brands need to have a baseavailability and their ability to get the strategy has engaged consumers by joining of people who will know the truth andmessage across that this wasn’t a human conversations as a credible, honest source will help set the record straight. A goodhealth issue – and that the products people of information about the chicken they support base can keep you in check ifwere eating were safe. Consumers kept eat. Not only are they creating valuable you’re wrong. ShesConnected 11
  11. 11. How to get high on Klout Sara Chi, Principal of infoSara Consulting Y ou want to be an influencer. You look up to and I’d like to specifically point out Foursquare here. The follow those influencers. So what is it that you do reason being that in a recent Foursquare research report, it everyday online that can help increase your own was discovered that more than 65% of active Foursquare Klout score – to eventually be among the highest- users post tips. These tips have a ready audience with each ranked? tip being acted on at least once. Furthermore, 80% of First, for those not familiar with Klout or who active users have “done” tips. What this means is that you haven’t joined yet, Klout is a social influence metre where can never underestimate the importance of tips as a venue. your interactions in the social media space are taken into You may actually alter the consumer-buying behaviour. account to end up with an influence score. Klout gathers I also like Twylah, a content-marketing tool that data from all your linked accounts and does this on a daily extracts maximum value from your tweets and lets you basis. own your brand. You can get discovered beyond Twitter A very important feature is that you score on the with built-in SEO as well as give your audience what they topics you are most influential about. So if you tweet want. With Twylah, you can promote your topical tweets or share content about certain issues over and over all at the same time. again, Klout takes this and perceives that you are either We all know Klout is not the only tool to measure an expert or an avid follower of that subject. You can influence nor it is flawless. However it’s the one being used connect all your activities on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, most widely for now. Foursquare, YouTube, Instagram, Tumblr, Blogger So, how to get high on Klout? Re-tweet and share and Flicker to Klout. It’s a great way to integrate these great content, try to respond to people who have social media channels into one place and also a great questions, and most importantly, always thank people opportunity to build up your own brand. who have helped you in any shape of forms. Are you reAdy to pArty? Grab a tea, or maybe a nice glass of wine, put your feet up, it’s time to party – a Twitter Party that is By ChriSTy LaverTy T here is rarely a night that “I found brands willing to hosting parties, more people to interact with a large you can’t find a good donate prizes even though are joining and more brands are group simultaneously, share party on Twitter and giveaways didn’t exist on seeing the value in the Twitter messaging, and gather that is largely due to the Twitter at that time. I found party. Lupold Bair soon created feedback.” efforts of Amy Lupold Bair, or @ bloggers who agreed to be Resourceful Mommy Media So what is next for Twitter resourcefulmom to her Twitter panelists to discuss blogging and quickly became a Twitter parties? Lupold Bair says she friends. for an hour,” says Lupold Bair. party and social media leader expects to see Twitter itself get Back in the summer of She remembers fondly in the United States. into the Twitter party game. 2008, Lupold Bair was new to the tag at that very first Canadian-only Twitter “As the platform evolves, Twitter, but it didn’t take her Twitter party was #RMLP for parties weren’t far behind I think we’ll see changes to long to be a Twitter trailblazer. “Resourceful Mommy Launch thanks in large part to the events. In 2009 we hosted She says it was as BlogHer Party.” ShesConnected, bringing a Twitter party that included 2008 approached and she was “We were the No. 1 trending Canadian brands and Twitter a live fashion show. One day getting invitations for BlogHer topic worldwide for the entire followers together. soon that live component will at-home parties when she night,” adds Lupold Bair. Lupold Bair says it is a be the norm.” created the concept of Twitter Twitter parties have evolved great opportunity for brands. parties. since then, more people are “Twitter parties allow them12 ShesConnected
  12. 12. Brandsand blogsLouiSe CLemenTS SvP, social media anddigital innovation, macLaren mcCannO ver the past few years, blogs have become increasingly important to marketers. The number of blogs and bloggers has continued to grow, with Facebook and Twitter helping them to engagewith new audiences. Social media has helped some bloggersbecome brands unto themselves, such as Perez Hilton,creating new opportunities for advertisers. Brands are increasingly anxious to reach certainsegments of the blogosphere – especially mommy bloggers.Mommy bloggers talk about brands, and they will talk tothem. According to Technorati, 55% of mommy bloggerssay they have been approached by a brand. This poses someserious issues for both the marketer and the blogger, whichwill need to be addressed in order to ensure that there is asuccessful partnership:Transparency: Brands and bloggers need to ensure thattheir relationship is completely transparent to the audience.promoTion: Journalists never promote, objectivity isthe hallmark of traditional journalism, and marketersand audiences will need to feel comfortable with a directpromotion of a brand.conversaTion and communiTy: Brands will need to valuea conversation and community the way they value content intraditional media.engagemenT: Bloggers will need to ensure that they providea highly engaged audience for marketers. Brands and bloggers who work together to createa balance of community, conversation and promotiontogether will have a big advantage. There is little doubt thatblogs will continue to play a significant role in the future ofthe web and mobile. ShesConnected 13
  13. 13. The night I saw Elmo and the heart of Twitter By heaTher hamiLTon @tjzmommy @zacksdream W hen my son Zack was in the feelings about the loss of my son, it has even hospital this past March I tweeted connected me with other moms who have lost about it from his bed at Sick their children. Kids in Toronto. While he slept As we started our fundraising efforts in my arms, I would update my friends on to create a pediatric hospital room in Zack’s Twitter as to how he was doing… something honour, again, Twitter was there to support they were used to hearing with our multiple me. As soon as we had a website to accept hospital trips. These were the same women donations, my Twitter family embraced our who celebrated with me on Twitter when Zack mission and spread the word… like wildfire! walked at 3 years old, only a few months before! People were compelled to read my blog, This hospital stay was different than the learn about my amazing son and add an Elmo rest, and I wonder if I really knew that at the to their avatars in a sign of support. time. I was so scared for his life and really Several businesses found our story on mad that he was declining so quickly. I felt like Twitter and donated proceeds from their sales shouting it to the world… that’s where Twitter or auction prizes for Zack’s Dream Room. came in. Women I met on Twitter, who are now While some people might wonder why I treasured friends, hosted family fundraisers, chose to be so public during that difficult time, online auctions and Twitter parties to help us I saw it as a way to rally the wonderful women raise over $41,000 in Zack’s honour! and mothers that I had met on Twitter to pray I could never express my gratitude to the for my sick little boy. Rally they did. people who have supported me during the On March 9, at 9 p.m., I took a break from emotions of the past six months. Twitter has my vigil at Zack’s bedside in Critical Care, I been an outlet for me and a way for me to find went on Twitter and saw little Elmo Twibbons not only a safe escape but a group of people (895 recorded to date; who are eager to help lift me up when I need it. on the avatars of my followers and tweeps! Not And to tell the truth, those little Elmos still have only has social media been a way to express my the power to make me smile.14 ShesConnected