Christening

Inaugural Post

Apr-28 12:47 PM

answerstage

Welcome everyone to the grand opening of "Views and Qs" — the live demo of AnswerStage. Feel free to ask questions, test out chat, and review the stream.
Apr-28 12:50 PM

Apr-28 12:53 PM

answerstage

@upboundsales Yes. AnswerStage can be used as a convenient way of promoting your webinar and involving anyone on Twitter in the Q&A session. It's especially helpful as a way to pre-collect and pre-answer questions and to continue fielding questions even after the replay of the webinar has been posted online.
Apr-29 12:59 PM

Apr-29 12:59 PM

answerstage

@quickcatchlabs Right now we're focusing on Twitter and you need to use your ID to log into the demo that we have on the AnswerStage site (the "Views and Qs" section). We'll enable clients to offer guest access and guest posting if they want — in other words remove the requirement to authenticate before getting into the Q&A session. But for now, it's best to illustrate the full-loop integration with Twitter by having all questions associated with Twitter IDs.

Apr-29 5:52 PM

answerstage

The origins of AnswerStage go back to the chat we produced for Martha Stewart when she got out of prison.

Apr-30 5:39 PM

answerstage

How to promote your Twitter chat by @hootsuite http://blog.hootsuite.com/a-step-by-step-guide-to-twitter-chats/ Excerpt: With all due respect to Ray Kinsella “If you build it, they will come” doesn’t apply here. You’re going to have to promote your chat (at least initially) in order to drive participation. Start by scheduling promotional Tweets from relevant Twitter handles at different times of the day, as well as snippets of content from your first chat.

May-4 1:39 PM

laklausner

I'm interested in learning if this would work well for an online B2B contest. Thanks!

May-4 1:39 PM

answerstage

@laklausner. Yes, we should be able to help with promoting a contest – especially if there's some level of intrigue or engagement that would prompt people to ask questions or review the status of the contest through your live Q&A session. The workflow that we've designed is primarily for questions that are answered by designated panelist(s). There will be cases where companies ask bloggers or analysts to be panelists and there will be other times where it makes sense to have product specialists or someone from an internal team available to answer questions. So these key elements of the production depend on your exact goals and who you want to be involved. We'd be happy to talk this through with you. I'd be happy to help you think this through if you can provide more details.

May-6 7:41 AM

weitzman

What does the fox say?

May-6 7:41 AM

answerstage

Ahh. The age-old question. According to @popsci they actually say a lot. Here's an excerpt: The red fox, which is the most common species of fox worldwide, is highly vocal. Foxes are canids, like dogs and wolves, but are not closely related to either; in fact, they hunt more like cats, with a low-to-the-ground stalking posture, and bite hard with sharp, thin teeth to kill prey (dogs and wolves tend to have duller, larger teeth and use a "clamp and shake" method to kill). In vocalizations, too, foxes aren't entirely like dogs. The most commonly heard red fox vocalizations are a quick series of barks, and a scream-y variation on a howl. All fox vocalizations are higher-pitched than dog vocalizations, partly because foxes are much smaller. The barks are a sort of ow-wow-wow-wow, but very high-pitched, almost yippy. It's commonly mistaken for an owl hooting.
May-6 7:55 AM

May-6 7:55 AM

answerstage

A4 #cmworld: First, be sure you're providing content that really helps people solve THEIR problems. Keep in mind the give-to-get rule. The only way that you will get something (an e-mail address) is if you give them something of value. Self-serving content won't draw people in and won't keep them on your list. So how-to ebooks and posts are a good place to start. Webinars can also work. Once you have a list that you're nurturing, keep providing content that's helpful on its own. (Hint: any content that includes "companyname, the world's leading provider of jibbertyjab" isn't likely to be helpful.) Always include a call to action so you can move people to the next stage when they're ready. By using your list properly, you will have established a strong foundation of trust for that first in-person conversation.
May-6 9:35 AM

May-6 9:35 AM

answerstage

A5: #cmworld It depends on how you want people to perceive the email. If you want it to feel like a magazine or newsletter, then a consistent day and time is important. After all you don't get a magazine or newspaper delivered at random times. Other types of emails such as new product releases, conference appearances, or customer success stories can be mailed whenever the content is newsworthy and most timely. For example, a mailing such as "Recap from day one of CES" should go out after the first day of the show. After that, it's not news.
May-6 10:59 AM

May-6 10:59 AM

answerstage

A6: #cmworld We have direct experience with 3 – MailChimp, Constant Contact and home-grown. We actually use a home-grown system for a lot of our newsletters and system notices because it's much easier to insert personalized information such as new messages, activity since their last visit, etc. For more traditional content marketing newsletters, both MailChimp and Constant Contact work great. MailChimp's templates seem a little easier and until recently it was challenging to get Constant Contact's templates to look good on phones.
May-6 12:08 PM

May-6 12:08 PM

answerstage

A7: #cmworld – all of the above. A mailing list needs to be actively maintained. In addition to dupes, it's important to tie in with your CRM so you're properly matching the messaging with pipeline stage. There's nothing worse than sending "Sign up now to receive an extra free month" to existing customers.
May-11 11:32 AM

May-11 11:33 AM

answerstage

A8 #cmworld cc @vimeo The mailings that are most effective inform and entertain at the same time. Of course your tone needs to match your brand, but a dry list of news blurbs is never fun to read. Vimeo is a good example of a company that combines fun with information. They always end their communications with "Love Vimeo" and their subjects are often playful or interesting such as "Share your brain waves" and "Sweet things for your screen" (for their Valentine's Day newsletter). Of course some companies are in traditionally stodgy or unfun markets. It's probably not going to be effective to make puns about medical care or lawsuits. Even in these cases, it's important to show a human side that makes your company/firm/organization more approachable.
May-11 1:11 PM

May-11 1:11 PM

answerstage

#SemanticChat That's like asking "does a phone call hurt or help a brand's reputation". It all depends on the nature of the interaction. Typically we're talking about some form of conversation — which can be positive or negative depending on the context. The good thing/bad thing about social media is it can tend to amplify experiences. So bad things that happen can snow ball and good things can lead to referrals and advocates. That's probably the key point: With social media, it's important to stay in front of bad news so it doesn't go unaddressed. All companies have problems. The most important thing is to address them quickly and honestly.
May-11 2:37 PM

May-11 2:37 PM

answerstage

A7 #SemanticChat This is similar to Q4 — the key is to react quickly to any question or complaint. Social media is customer support, marketing, PR, and product management all wrapped together. That's why it's difficult for some large companies to manage. There isn't a clear division that can dictate the workflow. But however you choose to organize the management of your social media responses, it's essential that you provide timely, fact-based responses. We emphasize fact-based because there are times that people get emotional about price changes, errors, outages, or other issues. If you can provide an explanation in the context of a reasonable business justification, most people will be able to eventually understand. Positive reputations are developed over time from these types of positive customer experiences. It's as simple as that.
May-12 11:47 AM

May-12 11:47 AM

answerstage

We'll be joining the #cmworld chat via @AnswerStage. Open a new browser tab to participate in the "sidebar chat" and view the answer stream. Click the link in this tweet to take a look.
May-12 12:07 PM

May-12 12:07 PM

answerstage

A1: #cmworld Emotional content is a good term — and probably a much better thing to focus on than "direct response". The truth is you won't ever get a direct response without an emotional connection. Once people get comfortable with your brand personality they will be willing to take the next step and talk with a sales person or request something from your web site. So, be subtle and be patient and sprinkle in options for action. It's what the new reality of social selling and buying requires.
May-12 12:14 PM

May-12 12:14 PM

answerstage

A2: #cmworld Content needs to create some type of reaction but not necessarily an action. An emotional response based on gratitude for help, laughter for funny content, or general education is the key goal. If all that translates to "brand awareness" then, yes, that is sufficient.
May-12 12:18 PM

May-12 12:18 PM

answerstage

I don't have enough experience with this to answer this. I'll retweet or integrate comments/answers from others.
May-12 12:23 PM

May-12 12:23 PM

answerstage

@creativeemarket #cmworld Thanks for help the definition. I think there are many people who haven't yet ventured into programmatic buying. Any good articles are links for people who are interested in learning more?
May-12 12:28 PM

May-12 12:28 PM

answerstage

A4: #cmworld native advertising is just that, advertising. The key metric is clicks. If your posts are displayed in full text then it's pageviews. You want to know that someone has actually seen and absorbed your content. Taboola-ish ads are there to generate clicks. Sponsored posts are designed to get people to read them. The one tricky thing about sponsored content and most advertising is determining whether people actually care more or less about your brand after reading or clicking. A story about a strange fruit that could cure cancer could get people to click, but it isn't likely to make people trust your company.
May-12 12:33 PM

May-12 12:33 PM

answerstage

#cmworld @ajutah's answer is nearly the opposite of what I said. If you can drive leads, conversions and revenue from native advertising, that's great, but most of the time it's directed native ads are directed at people who are early in the sales cycle. If you include a call to action, that thing that will likely work best is an eBook or whitepaper that is step toward revenue, but not an actual sale.
May-12 12:35 PM

May-12 12:35 PM

answerstage

A5: #cmworld Don't be deceptive. Simple as that. A click or a someone reading your post isn't of any value if they're not getting what they expect.
May-12 12:38 PM

May-12 12:38 PM

answerstage

A6: #cmworld "offline?" as in the real-world? It should play a key role because that's still the place that reinforces real human bonds. Online is very powerful, but there's nothing that replaces conferences, customer panels, and good 'ol fashion dinner and drinks. That's still what builds the most meaningful long term relationships.
May-12 12:44 PM

May-12 12:44 PM

answerstage

Q7 #cmworld @orvis and @gopro both do a great job of inspiring people to purchase their products by posting images and stories of people using them. Just look at a trout caught in a Wyoming stream makes you want to get the latest gear! And of course, GoPro is the best at showcasing its product through customers' creations — which admittedly is easier for them than most other companies.
May-12 12:48 PM

May-12 12:48 PM

answerstage

@godigitalmktg @Pinterest is the best service for visual marketing. @Lowes BuiltBoard is a great example of how marketers can provide ideas and generate good will and sales through this exposure.
May-14 1:24 PM

answerstage

May-14 1:24 PM

answerstage

They play a huge role. By definition, they are the people who can help spread positive word of mouth. Companies need to be careful, however, that influencers and brand ambassadors can't post messages that seem contrived or pre-packaged. The best way to get the word out is to help showcase user-voice programs where these people are highlighted for what they really think, and in the process, your company gets exposure by association. Repeat – don't be contrived; be authentic.
answerstage

May-14 3:39 PM

answerstage

@jaltucher Do you think Twitter will eventually increase the 140 character limit or would that be seen as blasphemy in the church of brevity? Things really would be much better with 280 or even 500 characters. That's still brief in terms of human expression.
May-15 4:03 PM

answerstage

May-15 4:04 PM

answerstage

@cthunter Seems like a case of shiny object syndrome. Is there anything that Periscope and Meercat can do that Ustream can't? Sometimes it takes a prettier package to break open a market. Perhaps that's what's happening now — the Apple-fication of streaming video.
answerstage

May-15 4:11 PM

answerstage

Public service announcement: you may wonder what's going on here. Views and Qs is more of a "what happens if I press this button" experimentation canvas for AnswerStage's backstage tools. While it looks like a mish-mash editorially, it's the building blocks needed to create a well run Q&A session and related commentary. It may not look like it now, but it will. Promise.

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