A look at #140conf and how I won an iPad

I talked a lot about the #140conf at both the LVTweetups and our radio show.  What a great time with some great people!!  Here is a video summary of my overall thoughts, and while I was there, I won an iPad (thanks to @twitgift). How do the two relate?? You have to watch the video to find out!

I also met @GaryVee – Gary Vaynerchuk and he gave a HUGE shoutout to the Lehigh Valley.  If you like wine, there will be a Tweetup opportunity with a road trip to his Wine Library store in NJ in the near future!

My other videos from #140conf are also on my YouTube channel.

You can also watch ALL the speakers and discussions on demand.

1 Year Anniversary Lehigh Valley Tweetup write up, pictures and links

It’s one for the record books.  The 1 year anniversary @LVTweetup has come and gone and the 2nd year of Lehigh Valley Tweetups will no doubt have tough shoes to fill as this first year wraps up.

We had 58 people come to the party.  There is a twitter list of all the attendees.

The following articles were in the press and local blogs:

Here are some photos too:

@ Nagevmai, @VeronikaG, @HexStarDragon

@ Nagevmai, @VeronikaG, @HexStarDragon

Phillipino-Up: @galliguez, @homebase610, @primerx24, @hexstardragon

Phillipino-Up: @galliguez, @homebase610, @primerx24, @hexstardragon

@AliciaMQuinn and other Poconos Tweeps

@AliciaMQuinn and other Poconos Tweeps

@BackdoorBakeshp and @MaryDunlap

@BackdoorBakeshp and @MaryDunlap

@Galliguez and @LVRunningScene

@Galliguez and @LVRunningScene

Our Pint Glass giveaway

Our Pint Glass giveaway

Our @LVTweetup birthday cake

Our @LVTweetup birthday cake

A Summary of What’s In Store for @LVTweetup Tomorrow

Tomorrow’s Tweetup at the Allentown Brew Works is action-packed.  We will be just past the bar in the Mezzanine level, same as last year.

  • Be sure to sign in at the registration table -the party starts 7PM.
  • Pick up your free pint glass! (First 60 people)
  • Pick up your door prize raffle ticket (winner must be present) to win:
    • One of three boxes of 4 cupcakes – courtesy of Vegan Treats
    • A bottle of LVTweetup homemade wine – courtesy of Be the Bee
  • Check in on Foursquare (if you Foursquare) – we are going for the Swarm badge and need 50 checkins.
  • 8PM – Join us to sing Happy Birthday and get a piece of birthday cake – courtesy of Backdoor Bakeshop
  • Shortly after the cake, we’ll draw the door prize winners.
  • And all night long “Mo-Tweet-o” (Mojito) specials – Raspberry or Lemon – $4!
  • Be sure to stop by for the free social media / professional headshots courtesy of Christopher Elston Photography

See you tomorrow night!

Lehigh Valley Tweetup Turns 1!

Tweetup1YearBelow is the press release for the upcoming Lehigh Valley Tweetup.  MS Word format is available here.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact:

Michael Andreano, (610) 628-1071

email: mandrean AT gmailDOTcom

LEHIGH VALLEY TWEET-UP TO CELEBRATE ONE-YEAR ANNIVERSARY

Monthly get-together of local Twitterers returns to Allentown BrewWorks on Tuesday, April 13

ALLENTOWN – April 7, 2010 – They said it wouldn’t last, but boy did it ever.

When the first Lehigh Valley Tweetup (@lvtweetup) was held on April 13, 2009 at the Allentown BrewWorks, a skeptical but excited group of 35 people showed up to meet face-to-face. Since the social media outlet Twitter encourages interaction via the Internet, many of them had never met in person before. But that all changed one year ago when what started as an experiment turned into a monthly get-together that has introduced more than 400 people.

The brainchild of Forks Township resident Michael Andreano (@mandreano), the Lehigh Valley Tweetup (a Twitter meetup) was created as part of a larger trend of Tweetups taking place across the country in major cities like Chicago and New York. He knew through his Be the Bee Social Media Coaching business (www.thebeesbuzz.com) that there was a core group of Twitterers in the region and figured that if the big cities could do it, why couldn’t the Lehigh Valley? He saw the Tweetup as a way to connect in-person the local people who were already getting to know each other through Twitter.

The success of the April 2009 Lehigh Valley Tweetup and a follow-up one in June of that year prompted Andreano to make it a monthly event which averages 35-45 attendees. One Tweetup had as many as 100 attendees.

Andreano created marketing opportunities for local businesses using Twitter to create awareness for their brand, product or service for a fee by offering to list their company’s name and Twitter “handle” on a logoed giveaway item at select Tweetups. Giveaway items have included logoed pint glasses, golf balls, beer mugs, t-shirts and sweatshirts. He also sells logoed Tweetup apparel hats, mugs and other items on a web site

The December 2009 Tweetup, the largest Lehigh Valley Tweetup to-date, added a charitable angle with Andreano encouraging attendees to bring a donated toy for the annual Toys for Tots toy drive, and boxed and canned food goods for the Trinity Church Soup Kitchen in Bethlehem. A related silent auction raised $400 in donations for charities as well.

But perhaps most importantly, the Lehigh Valley Tweetups have connected area residents that may not otherwise have gotten to know each other except for a few 140-character messages.

“People like to connect with like-minded people,” says Andreano. “The Tweetups give them a chance to meet and connect with people in the local community both personally and professionally. Many local Twitterers who met online first have since strengthened that relationship by meeting in person at our Tweetups, and vice-versa.”

Join us for the One Year Anniversary of the Lehigh Valley Tweetup on Tuesday, April 13 at Allentown BrewWorks from 7 – 9 p.m. Logoed pint glasses will be given away to the first 60 attendees. A birthday cake made by the Backdoor Bake Shop in Bethlehem will be served to attendees at 8 p.m.  Christopher Elston Photography will also be doing free professional headshots that people can use for their social media accounts.  Dan’s Camera City will also have their photo booth available for free use.

Sponsors include:

Allentown Economic Development Corp – @allentownedc
Backdoor Bakeshop – @backdoorbakeshp
Be the Bee Social Media – @mandreano
Bethlehem Brew Works – @thebrewworks
Blabbermouth Communications – @blabbermouthcom
Black Forest Deli – @blackforestdeli
Christopher Elston Photography – @celston
CounterMarch Systems – @scrittler
Dan’s Camera City – @danscameracity
G&L’s Sign Factory – @synguy3
Hosfeld Insurance – @HOSFELDinsuranc
Mayflower Luncheonette – @LVGrkGrl
Spark – @mldrabenstott
Ted Colegrove – @primerx24

Be the Bee’s Radio Show Going ’round the World!

We have been doing our BlogTalkRadio show for the past 6 months with growing success.  This week is going to be no different and we have the guests and topics to back it up.  The latest Internet craze has been for celebrities to call you out and “make you famous”.

In the last few weeks, we have seen some people’s lives changed, possibly forever, thanks to the Internet.

It all started with the most talked about late-night talk show politics ever when Conan O’Brien was given an early exit from NBC’s Tonight Show. So what does he do with his spare time now? He starts a twitter account that blows up with over a half million followers in just days.

How does he pay it forward? He decides to follow ONE LUCKY PERSON! Enter Sarah Killen. She went from an everyday person to one of the most talked about people to date in 2010. She was set to appear on Larry King and Good Morning America.. and now.. THIS THURSDAY – be a part of history as Sarah Killian calls in to TWEEPS TALK TECH.

But wait, there is more… since it’s the thing to do, This Week in Tech with Leo Laporte followed suit.  Kevin Rose, the founder of Digg.com did a a random search for “I Hate Technology” on Twitter… Who tweeted it and was selected? Enter Lisa Etheridge. She got an iPad for FREE (and 23,000 followers to boot). Guess what – SHE WILL BE LIVE THIS THURSDAY TOO!! This is the first show to have both overnight sensations on the same show together.

Follow us at @TweepsTalkTech or the hosts @mandreano and @patrickkaine.

The show can be heard LIVE Thursday March 18 at 9PM Eastern at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/bethebee.

If you are interested in advertising on our awesome radio show, contact us and we can discuss packages that fit all budgets.

Are you crowdsourcing your audience or annoying them?

Social media is about engaging your audience, interacting with them, and creating a relationship or even a “trust” with them.  Something we see happen a lot is people posing questions to a large audience.  This is called crowdsourcing.   Crowdsourcing is defined on Wikipedia as “the act of taking tasks traditionally performed by (an individual), and outsourcing them to a group of people or community, through an “open call” to a large group of people (a crowd) asking for contributions.”  Many times you will find people ask “Where should I go to eat?” or “Is XYZ movie worth seeing?” via their Facebook status or Twitter comment.  This is indeed a great way to get people to respond to you and get input for a decision you have to make.  But when is it too much?  Well, unfortunately, that’s a question you have to answer for yourself.  People do instinctively want to help, which is why social media is a great tool to do that with, but seeing someone constantly just “asking the audience” is going to categorize you as a “noise factor” and your online reputation could take a hit.  Doing homework is one thing, but not being able to ever make a decision is another.  As part of our coaching, Be the Bee looks to help people get over their fear of technology and put them in front of a potential audience to engage, network and even potentially do business with.  The amount of connections we have seen made over the past year is simply tremendous.  The stories we hear offline (and online) could fill a book (note: idea already being worked on!).  It’s important to engage your audience, peers, colleagues, and get them to interact as well as interact back with them.  If you find yourself asking questions constantly looking for direction, insight, likes or dislikes, then ask yourself this “Am I engaging people, or am I starting to cause them to tune out”.  What do you think?  🙂

No Texting or Social Media While Driving – SIGN UP!

After watching last month’s @Oprah show on Texting and Driving, I am pledging to give up texting and social media while driving for lent and beyond.  Join us in not texting, facebook, or tweeting while driving, tweet #NoTextNoTweetWhileDriving or leave a comment to show your pledge!  Spread the word!

Why Facebook Fan pages are better for business

When small businesses first started to market on Facebook, many business owners used their own personal account to broadcast their message to the masses. This was fine. You connected with a person who shared not only personal thoughts and stories, but something about their business. A little later, people started to get creative and create accounts for their business. This meant you became “friends” with a hotel, a bar, or a local plumbing service. This was so-so, but not really the best way to do it. Along came the growth of Facebook fan pages. This is where it is at for businesses to really execute and build awareness to a Facebook community. Simply put here are five strong reasons that accounts need to be actual people with real stories, and administrate and reference business ideas and information on their fan pages:

1. Like we said, Fan pages can be managed by one or more accounts. It means you log in with one account and can go manage several fan pages while logged in as that person. Too much? You can add other administrators as well to help, without having to worry about sharing accounts, or passwords.

2. Fan pages are a one-way relationship. The entity exists whether you have 5 fans, 500, or 5,000. Do you really want to be in the business of having to accept all those requests as a friend request one by one?

3. Fan pages have metrics. It shows you demographics of your fan base, trends of adds, drops, interactions, and article effectiveness. None of this is available on personal account pages.

4. You can always suggest the page to fellow Facebook friends, or post links on Twitter, Linked In, or in your email marketing. Potential fans can visit the page and instantly decide if they want to subscribe or not without waiting for a friend request to be accepted.

5. Separation of business and personal information. Fans of your business might not want every nook and cranny detail of your life, just your business or information on your industry. Or maybe your friends just like you as a friend and not about your business. It allows your friends to be social, your fans to connect with your business, and those that want both, to hear both sides of the story.

Hope you find this helpful. We’d love to hear your comments and thoughts on how you use Facebook to manage content for a business, or how you use that information as a consumer perhaps.

January Tweetup – Southside Bethlehem

Our January Tweetup will be on Southside Bethlehem on January 14, 2010.  Starting at 6pm, we will be at Home and Planet (25 East 3rd Street, Bethlehem, PA 18015) for a wine and cheese mixer.  At 7pm, we’ll brave the cold and muster over to The Bookstore (336 Adams Street, Bethlehem, PA 18015) from 7-9pm.

RSVP on Twtvite!

Top 10 Lehigh Valley Social Media Stories of 2009

Nothing completes a calendar year like a good top 10 list.  In reading recent lists concerning top 10 stories around social media in 2009, no one can dispute the growth of Twitter, Facebook or even simply overall online interactivity.  While we can’t ignore how Ashton Kutcher, CNN, Oprah, Michael Jackson, Iran, or the iPhone were in the news, here are the top 10 stories of our own Lehigh Valley which concerned social media.  Enjoy!  Many people brought forward these top 10 based on input from Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn over the last 48 hours.

10. The Bookstore is Exposed

There was talk of this new bar opening up on the Southside of Bethlehem and no one really knew what to expect.  Low and behold, as people made there way in to explore, they talked about it on Twitter and word got out.  The Speakeasy motif was unique and somehting new – a perfect candidate for social media buzz.  The following tweet proves it. By the way, the next @LVTweetup will be at the Bookstore 7-9pm on January 14th, preceeded by Wine and Cheese at @HomeAndPlanet from 6-7pm.

@Silagh: #lv2009 top10 I learned about South Bethlehem’s Bookstore Night Club from local Tweets. Got there first week it opened. Urban Chic~

9. Obama Visits Lehigh Valley, Tweets a flutter..

President Obama visits Lehigh Valley.  Source: Monica Cabrera/The Morning Call

President Obama visits Lehigh Valley. Source: Monica Cabrera/The Morning Call

Friday December 4, the Lehigh Valley saw President Obama fly into LVIA on Air Force One, stop at Allentown Metal Works manufacturing facility, speak at Lehigh Carbon Community College, and eat at the Hamilton Family Restaurant in Allentown.  Through the eyes of the media as well as everyday tweeps and Facebook profiles, we felt like we were there on the runway, in the auditorium, and at the diner.  You could smell the eggs cooking.

8. Local People in the National Landscape Revealed

Many people are “nationally known and locally obscure”, but not when you are on Twitter or Facebook and identify in your bio you are from Bethlehem, Allentown or other Lehigh Valley cities.  You just can’t hide anymore.  Such is the case with two people we would not have heard of or even met if social media wasn’t around.  Two such people, Cindy Ratzlaff (@BrandYou) and Anne Coleman (@CookingWithAnne).

Cindy has developed the marketing and publicity campaigns for more than 150 New York Times bestselling books in her career at Rodale. She was named to the Ad Age Marketing 50 list for her blockbuster campaign launching The South Beach Diet.  After being laid off, Cindy is now a founding member of the International Social Media Association and is one of the first twenty Certified Social Media Strategists in the world.

Anne is a “mother of 7 children and wife to one man”. Her kids range in age from 2 years to 20 years.  In July 2005, she started a blog, Cooking with Anne, that began as a chronicle of her food life at home.  By January 2006, her blog won a Best of Blogs award for Best Food Blog. in November 2006, she was contacted by the Walt Disney Internet Group and asked to write for them at Family.com as Short Order Mom on their blog Cookies to Caviar.

7. Lehigh Valley Zoo Facebook group helps save zoo..

Earlier this year, a Facebook group was developed to save the Lehigh Valley Zoo.  Within a month, 2506 Facebook users joined and it even raised over $800 in a few short hours also with an online campaign on the group page. It can be found at http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=43879323058.  Have a look!

6. Southside Burger Company Fire

Bethlehem Fire Dept. at Southside Burger Company fire. Source: M. Andreano (@mandreano)

Bethlehem Fire Dept. at Southside Burger Company fire. Source: M. Andreano (@mandreano)

I remember driving to St. Luke’s Hospital for an X-ray when as I was turning I saw smoke from the Southside. While in the ER, I turned to Twitter and found out the Southside Burger Company building had caught fire.  Everyday people were lined up at the gas station across the street taking pictures, texting and Tweeting.  News broke on Twitter and such faster than the typical media got a hold of it.  @MOB514, a Southside resident, was there to also capture details as they came out from the early morning sirens to the eventual demolition of the building.

5. Bethlehem Skateplaza is Saved

Over 100+ people came to City Hall in support of the Skatepark due to social media outreach.

Over 100+ people came to City Hall in support of the Skatepark due to social media outreach. Source: HomeBase 610 blog

A proposal to pull the grant funding from the Bethlehem Skateplaza was to be brought to the City Council so when Andy Po (@homebase610) found out he got on Twitter he rallied support to keep the funds in place.  the people responded and they got 100+ young residents, parents and business owners through social media who supported the skateplaza to stand by city hall in support of its completion.   The town responded, the City listened and the skateplaza will now be breaking ground early in 2010. Check out the full story as told by Homebase Skateshop owner Andy Po at http://homebase610.com/?p=3497.

4. Geo-location, Mayors and Places to be..

There is no doubt that what you are doing and what is on your mind is what made social media a focal point in 2009, but more and more it is where you are at as well.  Applications like FourSquare and GoWalla came onto the scene and integrated where you are into what you are doing.  Fully integrated into tools like Twitter and Facebook, the adoption of these tools grew.  They are now available not only on the iPhone, but on the Droid and now Blackberry as well.  As use of these tools started, automated Tweets from the applicatoin itself spread about being Mayor of all these establishments where people were going (having been there at least 2 times in 2 months and continuing to be a frequent visitor, moreso than others made you Mayor).  This created a little friendly competition, as well as satire (talk of #fivesquare, being mayor of your house, and other fictional establishments) and ridicule.   Like it or not, it is here to stay, and you will probably see more of it in 2010.

3. MusikFest

Joan Jett plays MusikFest.  Source: M. Andreano (@mandreano)

Joan Jett plays MusikFest. Source: M. Andreano (@mandreano)

MusikFest has been around since 1984 but there was so much buzz around MusikFest online this year, it was almost like you could be there while just looking at your phone.  Twitter and Facebook saw contests, reviews, musical acts, photos, and more all centered around this August event.  Concert tickets were given away, vendors were given the thumbs up (or thumbs down), “wish you were here” pictures flooded online for that whole week.  You could almost tasted the brushed on butter of AwShucks corn as you read what and where people were at MusikFest.  Even the Mullet Count hanging from Spark‘s windows were pushed out to the Twitter users who weren’t there in person to keep track of it.

2. Local Businesses & Bloggers Boom

It’s one thing to talk to your friends online about what you ate for dinner, how your co-worker said something annoying.  It’s also another when you are shopping and the sales people just won’t leave you alone.  Many folks don’t wanna constantly hear about your latest special, or limited quantities, or how you need this NOW.. and buy, buy, buy, buy, blah, blah, blah.  Well, we did see a lot of that online this year, the past years and you will continue to see it in the future, sorry folks!  However, some folks do it right by engaging social media to promote and advertise their business but do it tactfully and by considering the human factor of it all.  They are involved in the community and establish themselves as business leaders and it made their message stick a lot better.  Many local consumers advocate “#buylocal” and Twitter and Facebook had the pick of the litter to choose from.  Businesses like Hosfeld Insurance (@HOSFELDInsuranc) and Black Forest Deli (@BlackForestDeli) are people we got to know online not just for their businesses but as people too.   The rumor is that the hottest sandwich in the second half of 2009 at Black Forest Deli was the MOB, named after Michele of Bethlehem (@MOB514) on Twitter.  What is on a MOB?  It’s a triple decker sandwich with turkey, crispy bacon, avocado, honey mustard, tomatoes and lettuce.  Am I making you hungry?

The growth of blogging locally also came into the fold in 2009.  Three that really took advantage of social media were Lehigh Valley with Love (@LVwithLove) [may be NSFW], LV Scene (@lvscene) and the newest blog The El Vee (@theelvee).  If you haven’t already, check them out.

1. Tweetups for Community and Charity

The @LVTweetup received the most votes by the Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn community in our poll.  There were 8 Tweetups this past year in the Lehigh Valley.   April 13, 2009 was the first one at Allentown Brew Works.  We gave away T-shirts to the 30-some folks that came out that night and took a chance.  Since then there have been 8 total in Easton, Bethlehem, and Orefield.  Many business sponsors kicked in money, food and more, and we gave away t-shirts, beer mugs, golf balls, and sweatshirts throughout the year.  At our December Tweetup at Bethlehem Brew Works, we had over 100 attendees (see our Twitter list for who came), collected a large box of toys for Toys for Tots, and over 7 boxes of canned goods for the Trinitiy Soup Kitchen all in the holiday spirit.  Our silent auction raised almost $400 total for these two charities as well as some for the Lehigh Valley Zoo.

Many friendships and business networking opportunities blossomed as an outcome of these events.  Tim Fortner (@timshady) mentioned “I think of all of the off-line friendships that have been created from on-line introductions.  I’ve meet some pretty cool people that I talk on the phone with and actually hang out with.  It’s easy because you can meet people with common interests.”

Have a safe and prosperous new year.  See you online in 2010!  Follow us on Twitter and be a fan of our Facebook page.