By Guest Blogger Donna DeClemente, Donna's Promo Talk
This year's BlogPaws Conference was another successful event and those that had the opportunity to experience it came away with new insights, inspiration, tips and of course friends. I've now been a speaker at all four of the BlogPaws conferences and am so impressed with how the community and the organization has grown. I can't wait now till next year's event.
I was part of the session titled Facebook Tips and Tricks along with Ann Hogan, a blogger and social media manager of the Humane Society's Facebook page who started us off while I got to watch her dog Teddy featured here. Jane Harrell, Associate Producer of the Petfinder blog, then reviewed some of the learnings from their Facebook page and I finished up the session by giving a brief presentation on how to set up a sweepstakes or contest on a Facebook page using the ShortStack Application.
For each of the four BlogPaws Conferences there has been either a sweepstakes or a contest associated with it that has awarded a free trip to the conference including round-trip airfare, hotel and conference ticket which I have set-up and managed for the organization. So for my part of the session I attempted to give a live demonstration on how I set up this year's BlogPaws or Bust Sweepstakes and I believe since I was not working on my own computer, I did encounter a few technical difficulties. However it appeared that most of the audience got the key parts of the message. Plus I was the last speaker of the day between them and cocktails!
One of the sessions that I really enjoyed was a presentation given by Melissa Breen about a new social media tool called Tout. In a nutshell is kinda like Twitter but with video instead of text. You can share a 15 second video, not more than that, and people can reply back using Tout and post a comment with their own 15 second video. This can all happen in real time and people can use hashtags similar to Twitter to follow the conversation.
First thing you do is download the Tout app to your smartphone. You then shoot your video from your phone. It will automatically cut off after 15 seconds. You can add a hashtag and @ and then share it on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and your blog. It's all free. Tout means all in French and the Tout team is hoping that all of us will start to use this tool.
One example they shared was a program that Self.com did in which they posted a Tout that asked their audience to answer the statement "The Best Advice My Mother Ever Gave Me....". Participants just clicked on the widget embedded on the Self website to add their Tout with #MomKnowsBest. Their Tout automatically was linked to the original Tout so people could follow the conversation.
A few brands have used Tout already to run a contest or sweepstakes promotion. The Pittsburgh Steelers last season ran the "My 3 Words" Fan Contest in which they received 325,000 views in 30 days. So I'm hoping to get started using Tout in a promotion soon. Best way to understand how it works is to visit the Tout website or you can follow the BlogPaws Tout.
But the best part of a BlogPaws Conference is meeting both the people and the pets that are all gathered together. I tried to take as many photos as I could of all the dogs and a few cats that were there with their humans. I've included a few of my shots here, but if you'd like to see some more you can visit this link to my photo album.
Looking forward to seeing everyone back next year in Tysons Corner, VA, May 16-18, 2013!