Digital Wichita Elevates Local Social Media Practices

MEMBER MINUTE WITH DIGITAL WICHITA

Digital Wichita joined the Chamber on Monday, April 2. We’ve interviewed their co-chair, Phil Mershon, for a profile of the organization and to introduce the group to our membership.

Some of the current Digital Wichita Leadership Team members are pictured above. They’re currently working on several 2018 social media events for the Wichita area.

What’s the mission of Digital Wichita?
Our nonprofit group elevates social media practices through access to educational events with nationally-known speakers and authors.

How long has the group been bringing experts to Wichita?
A group of four digital entrepreneurs (Naomi Shapiro, J.D. Patton, Eba Hamid and Cindy Kelly) formed Digital Wichita in 2010 to exchange best practices and improve their own social media skills. The group also wanted to learn from the best practitioners and began producing educational events in 2015. Our first event attracted 225 attendees.

Over the years we’ve brought a number of experts to Wichita, including:  Marcus Sheridan (The Sales Lion), Mark Schaefer (Schaefer Marketing Solutions), Shannon Johnson (Alaska Air) and Jeff Sieh (Social Media Examiner). It’s very beneficial to Wichita when the nation’s leading social media experts make connections with area business leaders. They become national ambassadors for our business community.

Digital Wichita secured author Marcus Sheridan for a learning experience event that was held in Wichita last October.

To what do you owe your success?
We have a very focused, passionate and well-connected group of about ten people on our planning team. They all volunteer their time to plan these events and they have a history of working well together. They have access to numerous local resources, but they’ve also developed valuable national connections so that we can secure some of the most sought-after speakers for our events.

The partnerships we’ve developed with other area organizations have really expanded our outreach the last three years. Organizations like the Chamber, Applied Technology Acceleration Institute, Douglas Design District and WIBA share our passion for elevating their social media game. They help us reach more businesses and organizations who are interested in keeping on top of the latest social media tools, measurements and practices.

What’s your most recent success story?
Convincing former Disney executive Duncan Wardle to offer an all-day innovation workshop focused on design thinking in Wichita on April 19 has been very rewarding. We’re using a new model that makes it possible to offer the interactive and hands-on learning experience for $200 per person, a fraction of the usual price. His goal is to help people break through their creative blocks and push past ‘group think.’

Wichita’s entrepreneurial community has been re-energized during the last few years and so the timing is perfect for this workshop. Transforming a great idea into a real working business model requires unleashing and capitalizing on creativity. And sharing those breakthroughs through social media channels is a powerful way to expand on them.

We’re offering Chamber members a reduced cost through the Chamber member-to-member discount program so we hope to meet many of them when they attend. Use the code Chamber50 for $50 off.

Digital Wichita celebrated Social Media Day in 2017 with an event that featured a panel of the digital experts behind Wichita’s top Instagram accounts, including several local entrepreneurs.

How does your organization differ from other area marketing organizations?
We focus solely on social media and we’ve cultivated professional and personal relationships with well-known experts who speak all over the country. We aren’t trying to replace or compete with other marketing organizations. We really enjoy partnering with them and we’re very open to new and innovative ways to work together. We don’t have a monthly meeting or offer annual memberships. We stay laser-focused on one or two events per year.

Why do you like doing business in Wichita?
We really love the entrepreneurial spirit here. People are willing to keep trying until they succeed. This is a large community with a very tight-knit feel. People are very connected. You can generally get to anyone you need to reach with just a few conversations.

Why did you join the Chamber?
We went through the process of becoming a legal nonprofit entity last year. Joining the Chamber was the next logical step.

Becoming more adept at social media helps businesses of all sizes thrive locally and expand their global reach. We want them to succeed in marketing their goods and services internationally. So our mission definitely aligns with the Chamber’s efforts to improve the overall business environment in the region. We believe membership will increase our visibility and provide us with more opportunities to partner with other organizations and businesses.

What’s your favorite Chamber event?
I attended the Chamber’s Annual Meeting last year and I’ve always been impressed with the caliber of speakers who headline that event.

Do you have a charity component to your work?
We want our events to be affordable to companies and organizations of all sizes, so we just try to cover our basic expenses with a low registration fee. In the event that we do raise a little extra money, we’d definitely like to give back to the city that has helped shape us. We’re interested in donating to local nonprofits, especially those that use and understand the power of social media.

Please welcome Digital Wichita to the Chamber by following them on these social media channels:  Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

 Contact Kresta Dundas at 316-268-1115 if you are interested in joining the Chamber or know a company/organization that would benefit from Chamber membership.

Wichita’s Tourney Celebration Was A Slam Dunk

Everyone was a hoopster during Tourney Week. The Wichita Thunder’s mascot, TDog, scored big time with this winning image.

Wichita celebrated March Madness in style last week as the community hosted the first and second rounds of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. Our thanks to all the tourney planners and organizers who did an extraordinary job of securing the event and then rolling out the red carpet for tournament fans, officials, coaches and players. They made Wichita shine and all of our visitors feel welcome!

We’re rooting for the teams who are still playing and enjoying all the highs and lows associated with March Madness. And we’re still cheering for the over-sized basketball hoop and Wichita flag backboard in front of the Chamber building that was installed by Luminous Neon Inc. Art & Sign Systems to celebrate the event. This engineering marvel easily withstood several earthquakes in early March and strong wind gusts that peaked at 51 mph around Wichita on March 6. It was definitely built to last.

Alison Percy from the Chamber did a crossover dribble before posting a basket and a picture during tourney week.

Tournament fans have been taking videos and photos in front of the three-dimensional display showing off their best basketball moves since it went up in late February. Some of the images have been posted and shared on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

Wichita Mayor Jeff Longwell was the first person to stop by and take a picture on the day it was installed. Area team mascots like TDog from the Wichita Thunder, Heartyandme with the American Heart Association and Baby Jay from the University of Kansas School of Medicine also posted pictures and videos. Congressman Ron Estes shot some hoops in front of the Chamber last weekend and posted a picture on Facebook that he also included in his constituent newsletter. And it’s been a unique backdrop for reporters covering the tournament.

Last week’s social media contest sponsored by Luminous Neon awarded daily winners on Twitter and Instagram who posted images with the hoops display. They earned gift cards from Chamber member restaurants located in the downtown area. Our congratulations to these winners and our thanks to Luminous Neon for their contest sponsorship.

TWITTER WINNERS:  @KirstaMNews – @andymcfayden – @weberk – @AHAKansas – @shaychic – @KUSM_Wichita – @Wichita_Thunder

INSTAGRAM WINNERS: @markhchamberlin – @mandynfouse – @randilanggmailcom – @maryblea08 – @dannymike – @crystalathrop – @jcody864

Although it’s tempting to keep it in place until the NCAA Tournament returns to Wichita in 2021, our giant hoop and backboard are scheduled for removal when the tourney ends. Until then, keep showing us your basketball fever Wichita. We love seeing and sharing your #ILoveWichita posts.

Winning with Instagram

Chamber Communications Manager Courtney Sendall will share her social media expertise at a June 30 event.

When Alaska Airlines announced they were starting service in Wichita, we naturally began following their social media accounts. And their accounts are pretty dazzling. Like most airlines, @AlaskaAir fills their Twitter, Instagram and Facebook posts with breathtaking images of some of the #bucketlist destinations that we’d all like to visit.

But what really sets their accounts apart is the consistent stream of accolades from customers who appreciate the special touches the airline provides. The carrier’s social media team has done an exceptional job of capitalizing on the loyal brand ambassadors they’ve developed by providing stellar customer service.

So we’re eager to hear from Shannon Johnson (@shayboarder), a social media strategist for Alaska Airlines, when she shares her insights about Winning with Instagram in Wichita next week. Johnson is the keynote speaker for a June 30 luncheon event presented by Digital Wichita in celebration of global Social Media Day. The Chamber is one of several local event sponsors.

As an added bonus, six of the local experts who recently made the list of 2017 10 Rockstar Instagrammers in Wichita will also share their best practices. All five of the business accounts on the Rockstar Instagrammers list are Chamber members:  Events and Designs by Ashley, Local Legacy, Reverie Roasters, The Monarch Wichita, and Wichita Real Estate.

User-generated content like this image from Tillie’s Flower Shop make up most of the posts on the @WichitaFlag Instagram account.

We’re very pleased that the Wichita Flag Instagram account also made the top ten list and that Courtney Sendall will represent the Chamber on the panel of local experts. The Chamber secured the @WichitaFlag social media channels on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook several years ago to initiate a grassroots pride-in-place campaign. Wichitans enthusiastically responded to all three accounts and most of the daily posts are user-generated content. Some of the posts are from former Wichitans expressing pride in their city, while others are from Wichitans who take the flag with them when they travel. The Instagram account has more than 4,600 followers and posts that have originated from 29 different states, 17 countries and 4 continents.

Whether you’re an Instagram novice or a seasoned social media expert, we hope you’ll join us next week for some practical takeaways that will strengthen your business and your social media reach. The event is at Abode from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Friday, June 30, and the ticket price is $25.

Links:
Event registration
Video invitation from Shannon Johnson
#SMDayICT

The Measurement of Success

A recap of the May 2015 Sunrise Scrambler

Todd Rams

Todd Ramsey

It seems like more often than not, the world of social media is changing , thus requiring businesses to change their social media practices to keep up. And with the plethora of tools and tactics to choose from, it can be overwhelming to determine whether or not your social media efforts are effective. Todd Ramsey, Chief Strategist at Apples & Arrows, broke down social media measurement at our May Sunrise Scrambler when he presented “Measuring the Effects of Your Social Media.” Below is a short recap of his many great tips.

To Formulate a Social Media Strategy:

  1. Start with your objective. Do you want to sell more product, increase event attendance, increase brand awareness, protect brand reputation, build community, etc.? You cannot form a plan to achieve a goal unless you are clear on what your goal is.
  2. Know your audience. Todd used the example of selling running shoes. If you are targeting 65-year-old men, your plan will be different than if you are targeting 18-year-old women.
  3. Understand your resources. The thought that “social media is free” is a myth. Executing a social media strategy requires people, technology and time – none of which are free.
  4. Your objective, audience and resources will inform the tactics (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, SnapChat, etc.) you choose.

Five Things to Measure:

  1. Awareness – How many people saw the content?
  2. Engagement – Did people share, comment or like?
  3. Consideration* – How many responses were generated?
  4. Conversion* – Did we generate a sale/goal?
  5. Advocacy – Did we get people talking?

*Two most important factors to note because they can impact a company’s bottom line and create ROI.

Suggested Measurement Tools:

Questions from the Audience:

Q: With Facebook’s algorithm, is it almost necessary to pay to promote your posts?
A: Yes, Facebook’s shareholders want to make money. Therefore, an organic post (one that has not been paid to be boosted) will typically only reach 1-3% of a business page’s followers. So if your page has 100,000 likes, only 1,000-3,000 of those people will see your post. Even businesses with small budgets can benefit from paying to boost their posts. One attendee indicated that her business page sees a drastic difference when devoting $10-20 to boosting a post.

Q: How often should a business revisit their social media strategy?
A: Todd suggests developing plans on a quarterly timeline. This ensure agility in the changing social media world, but is also a long enough timeframe to capture trends.

See photos from the event on Facebook, view conversation from the event on Twitter using #ChamberICT, and check out Todd’s presentation here. You can also follow Todd and Apples & Arrows on Twitter @ToddRamsey and @ApplesArrows.

Thank you to our sponsors for making programming like this possible: Emprise Bank, Friends University and Davis-Moore Autogroup.

Next month’s Sunrise Scrambler will be held on June 17 at Eberly Farm, where Maurice W. Evans with iGROWyourBiz, Inc. will discuss “Becoming a Person of Influence.” Register here.

Up Periscope: We’re LIVE from Wichita

periscope

The Chamber has been utilizing a new Twitter tool at several ribbon cutting events this month.

Celebrating the accomplishments of the business community is at the core of what we do at the Chamber. We’re always seeking new ways to include more people in these noteworthy occasions when members open new businesses, provide tours of their new locations or expansions, and unveil their re-branded products and services. These events keep our membership informed about the latest local developments and help our members forge deeper connections with each other.

Several new Twitter apps are now available that turn your iPhone into a tool for live streaming. Last Friday the Chamber tested Periscope at a re-branding ribbon-cutting/open house held by Chamber member Crave Beauty Academy. We used it again this week for the HopeNet groundbreaking.

While Periscope is currently limited to iPhone users, we think it offers some interesting opportunities to expand the audience for member announcements and make our events more inclusive. We’re considering some ways to use this unique tool and would love your input about how we can utilize it to maximize your membership experience.

Take a look at the list of future opportunities we’ve created below and send us your thoughts and tips to communications@wichitachamber.org.

                LIVE STREAMING OPPORTUNITIES:

  • ANNUAL SMALL BUSINESS AWARDS LUNCHEON   
    That dramatic moment when two 2015 award winners are named from our pool of nine finalists.
  • GOLF TOURNAMENT
    Special events throughout the day.
  • EXPOSURE (business-to-business trade show)
    New product demonstrations and explanations about new services.

Periscope eliminates all videos after 24 hours.  However, we’ve uploaded both of our Periscope videos to our YouTube channel. You can see the Crave event by following this link and the HopeNet event here. Periscope only utilizes a portrait function at this time, so both videos are shot and viewed in a vertical format. We’ll be sure to tweet prior to any other events we live stream.

Be sure to follow us on Twitter @VentureBoldly for updates and let us know how you’re utilizing this new social media tool. Here are links to several articles that we’ve found helpful about the two new live streaming apps.

http://ontheballmarketing.com/10-things-need-know-new-app-periscope/
http://sproutsocial.com/insights/live-streaming-apps/