SBN Interactive proudly presents the Midwest Social Media Summit inaugural class of SoMe Impact Award winners! These awards recognize marketing executives who took a leap of faith into the groundbreaking world of social media and in doing so, drove substantial value for their companies.
Nominations were received from the Cleveland, Akron, Columbus and Pittsburgh regions across three categories — emerging, midsized and large industries. Throughout the nomination period, the breadth and number of entrants that were submitted blew us away. The strategies and innovations represented by these companies are world class, and we want to thank everyone who took the time to fill out surveys or contact us directly with nominations. Sorting through the fierce competition was not easy, but the 2013 SoMe Impact Award honorees are all deserving of the recognition.
While social media was once seen as a passing fad, it is clear that it is no longer enough to have Facebook or Twitter accounts — companies must actively engage their customers. The inaugural group of winners represented marketing executives who effectively used social media to make a meaningful difference at his or her organization. Ranging from companies who promote the social media initiatives of national organizations to those who have had successful special promotions that have garnered thousands of followers and millions of hits on YouTube, the first class of honorees demonstrate the milestones they have achieved in what is becoming the future of marketing. We are excited to announce the winners of the 2013 SoMe Impact Awards! ●
Here are the winners in the emerging category:
Main Street Cupcakes
With more than 10,300 likes, Main Street Cupcakes’ Facebook page is the best and quickest way for its owners to connect with customers.
“We share our daily menus, pictures of cupcakes, exciting new company initiatives and we even do a weekly trivia question that gets an upward of 500 guesses every time we post it,” says Sarah Forrer, co-owner. “We encourage customers to request their favorite flavors, and it’s the first place we share job openings.”
The Facebook page began as an easy way to update customers with the daily menu, but has quickly evolved into so much more.
“We continue to post our daily menus for all three stores, Hudson, Rocky River and Medina, but the Main Street Cupcakes Facebook page is much more of a community now,” Forrer says.
As a community, the Facebook page is a place where the company gets to know who its customers are — learning about their families, upcoming occasions, favorite flavors and who they are buying cupcakes for.
The staff members at Main Street Cupcakes post their own content and introduce themselves to followers with a personal tone — and customers are doing the same.
“I’ve said it many times, but our Main Street Cupcakes Facebook community has made it seem like we are doing business with friends instead of strangers,” Forrer says. “I personally recognize people from their profile pictures. This gives us an extra advantage with our customers.” ●
marketing and communications director
Rock The House
When Nick Borelli and his team at Rock The House Entertainment launched the Rock Your Prom promotion through social media, the results brought about a surge in Facebook likes and Twitter followers. In partnership with a local radio station, Rock The House allowed students to vote to win their school a $5,000 mega prom entertainment package. Visitors to the company’s Facebook page could see which high school was in the lead during the voting process.
Pulse Events, which used social media exclusively, was another successful Rock The House event. Weekly high school parties, which took place every Wednesday night during the summer at Roseland Lanes, Pulse Events generated thousands of area followers and more than 15,000 Facebook event invites each week.
Borelli, marketing and communications director, has also received recognition for his social media involvement. He received the 2013 CBC Magazine Connector’s Choice Award for Networking Star and the 2013 ISES Ohio WOW Award for Best Marketing Collateral Over $250,000. He’s been interviewed on WOIO-TV on the rise of Pinterest, was the first of seven official brand ambassadors for the International Special Events Society representing the Midwest and was chosen as the public relations chair for The SEARCH Foundation, a national nonprofit.
In addition, he has been chosen to speak at The Special Event in Nashville in January on multiple social media marketing topics. ●
Small Business Membership Coordinator
Greater Akron Chamber
Members of the Greater Akron Chamber as well as members of the local business community have an ally when it comes to getting “up to speed” on social media platforms — Heather Taylor.
Taylor, small business membership coordinator, works with many area entrepreneurs and business professionals to offer assistance with Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest. Her efforts include providing free or low-cost workshops with a focus on how to use LinkedIn to add to personal branding and how to grow business through the use of social media.
With their skills in social media, Greater Akron Chamber members have the chance to connect with one another and follow each other’s updates in real time. The chamber has utilized social media platforms to showcase its members, whether through marketing events or by promoting an opportunity to support a local nonprofit organization.
In addition, Taylor donates her time as the social media administrator for Women In Touch with Akron’s Needs, a Summit County nonprofit organization founded in 1943. Taylor has also volunteered her time and social media knowledge to other causes such as Project Ed Bear, The Bloom Society, the Knowledgeable Network of Women and the Women’s Network of Northeast Ohio.
Taylor has developed the Greater Akron Chamber’s Facebook page, a resource for its followers and their networks to obtain information on local business partners as well as a place to learn more about networking events and professional development workshops throughout the area. ●
Director of Brand Experience
While the term social media, with all its jargon and protocols, may stir up questions in the minds of some, Ellen Kurr makes it her job to translate it all so the everyday computer user can understand and comprehend it.
When Kurr, director of brand experience, started with AtNetPlus in January 2008, social media was in its infancy and few people were harnessing its potential. Not afraid to be an early adopter of Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, she has made AtNetPlus an industry leader in social media branding and marketing for Northeast Ohio organizations of similar size. Social media plays an integral role in continuing to build AtNetPlus’ brand, reputation and business.
Not to overlook the power of video, Kurr also has developed several videos for AtNetPlus that show “what we do” and “who we are” as an organization. AtNetPlus currently posts all videos to both Vimeo and YouTube.
Today, four years after it was started in 2009, the weekly AtNetPlus blog has played a significant part in maintaining high search engine rankings for industry keywords. Kurr approves all blog topics and content, and edits the individual blogs before they are posted. Her guidance gives the blog a consistent voice and style that matches the AtNetPlus brand.
Some of the measurements of success at AtNetPlus in the last 18 months include a 32 percent increase in the number of Twitter followers, a 36 percent increase in the number of Facebook likes and a substantial 292 percent increase in the number of followers on AtNetPlus’ LinkedIn page. ●
The Eisen Agency
Not only does Rodger Roeser manage and direct the social media initiative for his company, The Eisen Agency, but he and his team direct the social media initiatives of dozens of local and national businesses.
These businesses include many of the largest and most recognized brands, as well as those that have a small budget but big dreams.
“Our creativity and ability to be pragmatic about how social media actually works has resulted in not just posts, but actually the development of engaging content that has helped to build and shape Cincinnati businesses and organizations,” says Roeser, CEO.
The Eisen Agency was on the forefront when blogging and blogging techniques for business were developed, launched an online podcast series, That Marketing Show, and a VLog series that showcased best practices in marketing, public relations and social media.
The agency’s blog, Cult of the Blue Tongue, is among the most widely read blogs in the public relations and marketing industry, while its LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest and Flickr pages are visited frequently by industry and business leaders for information and news content.
Clients have experienced increased direct sales and new business development as well as thousands of new contacts and engagements. These engagements have created opportunities for content sharing, couponing, memberships, education, business relationships and other opportunities that have helped grow clients’ businesses. ●