Parallel 6 Team Helps Barona Casino Win “Best Use of Pinterest” Award

Wondering if Pinterest has a place in business marketing strategy and specifically the gaming industry?  Well, Parallel 6 recently helped their partner, Barona Casino win “Best Use of Pinterest” in the 2012 Casino Buzz Sherpie Awards!

“With over 100 followers and almost 400 pins, Barona has shown that Pinterest is another way to target their older, primarily female demographic,” said Casino Buzz.

Barona is one of many to integrate Pinterest into their 2012 social media strategy and this award proves that the fastest growing social network is an efficient and effective method for targeting consumers. Barona Casino’s “Pin Boards” feature beautiful resort grounds, detectible cuisine, San Diego locale, special events and even casino-themed party ideas.

If you want to learn more about how Parallel 6 helped Barona Casino win “Best Use of Pinterest” award for 2012, read the full press release HERE.

Social Media Strategy

by Joe Melanson, President, Parallel 6

Do you have a Social Media Strategy, or simply a Follower Page in Facebook?

We often see organizations that have built a Facebook Follower page, maybe activated a Twitter account and a YouTube channel, post one or twice per week, respond to follower posts sporadically and then wonder why they are not seeing any business results from Social Media. The root cause? There’s no comprehensive Social Media strategy.

Social Media changes almost daily with new tactics, new technologies and new players. We believe that an organization must first fully understand what Social Media is, and just as important, what it is not, and then second, create an effective Social Media strategy that fits their organizational goals and objectives. Marketers and other key functional managers must first become educated on Social Media and then educate the organization – from the top down – to ensure that the organization achieves a positive return on their Social Media investment.

Educate yourself. Read everything you can. There is a tremendous volume of information out there in Linkedin forums, blogs and sites like Mashable and Social Media Today. Attend webinars. Check out your competitors and see what they are doing. Follow major brands with robust Social Media strategies like Coca-Cola, Starbucks, Best Buy, etc. Once you feel that you’ve got a handle on Social Media, begin to educate the rest of the organization. Meet with your company’s key stakeholders to update and educate your teams on Social Media and ways in which other companies – and your competitors – are leveraging Social Media to drive business results, improve customer service, recruit talent, provide customer research and obtain valuable feedback for product development.

Then, take the time to develop an effective Social Media Strategy before you jump in and create that first Facebook Follower page.

A comprehensive and effective strategy should consist of:

1. Business goals and objectives and the ROI that you wish to achieve through your Social Media efforts
2. Brands, products and services that you’ll want to focus on
3. Agreed upon budget and resource allocation
4. An integration strategy: How will you integrate Social Media with your other Marketing channels in order to build and engage large communities of interest across multiple Social Networks?
5. A content strategy. Content is the fuel that feeds Social Media. What content will be required and how will you produce that content?
6. A promotional strategy: What offers, discounts and incentives will you provide, how will you track those offers through the use of promo codes and how will you engage your communities to share those offers to their individual networks?
7. A recruitment strategy: How will you integrate Social Media with your recruitment strategy?
8. A R&D strategy: What types of research do you want to conduct in Social Media and how will you execute that research?
9. A Reputation Management Strategy: How will you manage your online reputation and brand? What monitoring tools will you use? Who within the organization is best suited to resolve customer issues within Social Media?
10. A technology strategy: What technologies will you activate, which social networks will you be active in? What and how will you link, bookmark and back link assets and content?
11. A measurement strategy: What metrics will you monitor and how will you measure and report on a weekly and monthly basis? How will you measure ROI for Social Media?
12. An implementation strategy: What’s the plan for implementing the strategy and what resources will be involved?
13. A Social Media Policy: How will you develop a Social Media Policy? Who will and won’t be allowed to represent your brand within Social Media? How will you train your organization on the policy?
14. The Social Media Team: Who will actually do the work? What skill sets are needed? What will you do in house and what will you outsource?
15. The Execution Plan: What activities are required on weekly, monthly and quarterly basis?

Don’t have the time or resources to do it all? We’re here to help!

How Much Will You Spend on Social-Media Marketing Next Year?

“Next year, 80% of companies with 100 or more employees are expected to use social-media tools for marketing, up from 73% in 2010 and nearly double the usage rate in 2008, according to eMarketer. Surely that means big budget increases for next year, right?”

Read the full post from Article from Debra Aho Williamson on Advertising Age and weigh in. Some interesting comments…

Read the full article on Advertising Age

List Of 275 Twitter Applications !

I found this Squidoo Lens on Twitter Applications and wanted to share this on my Blog.

Twitter applications can be called by different names. They are sometimes called as “twitter tools”, “twitter add-ons” and the likes. But whatever the name they are called, they are simply websites which have built-in scripts that complement Twitter.

Here is a simple collection of all the Twitter applications found on the Internet. Contribute more applications to keep the list growing.

by James Hickey, VP Social Media Technology at Parallel 6

25 Ideas To Market On Social Media Sites

It is very clear that the popularity of social media is increasing by the day. For sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, the fastest growing demographic consists of users 35 years and older. Though social media was once considered a fad for kids, it has become a viable marketing opportunity for business.
For the average user, social media is a way to connect with friends and family. For the business user, social media works by sharing compelling information to capture the attention of your target audience. When you do this well, you can count on generating website traffic, client leads and even media attention.

Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter revolve around the concept of a status update. When you update your status, everyone in your network can view what you have to say/post. This is where the real opportunity to establish yourself as a leader in your industry. Instead of updating your status to report that you are having dinner or that it’s time to pick up your kids, share interesting status updates and watch the magic of social media explode.

Many people have said they never know what to say or to post. Below is 25 ideas of what you can post for your status updates on Social Media sites.

Type of Information to Post on Social Media Web Sites:

1. New blog posts

2. Someone else’s blog post

3. Article you’ve written

4. Articles from somewhere else that you like

5. A video about you, almost like a video business card

6. A funny or controversial video

7. Before and after photos of work you’ve done

8. Fun photos of places you are or have been

9. Client success stories

10. Free ebook relating to your business

11. Upcoming events, like business mixers and happy hours

12. Live reports from an event you are currently attending

13. Book reviews

14. Recommended products, like cell phones and computers

15. Recommended services, such as great marketing guys like me 🙂

16. Tips and tricks for doing something better

17. Recent media coverage you have received, like press release or article

18. Inspirational advice (preferably your own, motivational quotes are over-used online)

19. Breaking news alerts, you can get news out faster than new media

20. Requests for participation (ask for comments on your blog)

21. Contest announcements

22. Teleseminar/Webinar invitation

23. Special sales, offers and discounts (not too many)

24. A compelling question you want answered

25. Anything offered for free, people look to Social Media for free info

Guide to Success

1. Your status updates should appeal to your target audience and provide value. Also, it doesn’t always have to be directly related to what you do. For example, a mortgage broker might share community resources, local event announcements and family-related tips. This type of information would likely be more appealing to the broker’s target audience than current interest rates and articles about mortgage insurance (though you can occasionally include those too). The point is to become a valued resource.

2. Follow the 90/10 rule. Avoid selling online and you will achieve more sales. That’s right; we’re all tired of being sold to. When you provide value, you build loyalty and trust. It’s fine to include sales offers up to 10 percent of the time, but make sure you are primarily serving up useful content.

3. Use interesting titles and descriptions. You only have a limited amount of space to share information which means that a good title can make the difference between a reader who clicks through or completely ignores your post.

4. Track your results through Google Analytics or Bit.Ly. Pay attention to user response. If you’re receiving comments and your content is being forwarded to others (for example, retweeting on Twitter), that is evidence that your efforts are working. Also, your network should be growing steadily as a result of the value you’re providing.

5. Don’t over use hyper links. When you share compelling content, it provides an opportunity to link back to your website or blog. This is great for building website traffic. However, not every post needs to have a link. Mix up your posts so that some simply offer something short and sweet. You can also shorten links and track the number of click-throughs with a service like

5. Be consistent. You will get the best results from marketing content through social media by participating on a regular basis. Ideally you should share something every day, even multiple times per day, to stay visible. You can automate some of your updates with services like, But don’t automate everything!

6. Engage with your audience. Social media involves a two-way conversation. It’s not just about posting data out into your network and waiting to reap the rewards. Reply to people who comment, forward and share useful content from others and make sure you have a human presence in social media land. Think of it as being at a global business mixer, you don’t walk up to the first person at the event and try to sell them something.

7. Build a social media plan. A plan should identify your target audience, include a strategy for ongoing content generation, should identify frequency of updates and indicate the amount of time and resources you are going to allocate to managing your social media strategy. Ask others for input or solicit the help of a social media expert. There is opportunity for every kind of business to benefit from social media. You simply need to find the strategy that works for your business.

by James Hickey VP, Social Media Technology at Parallel6

Expanding our sales team!

Social Media Marketing is exploding! If you have a proven track record in new business development, minimum of 3 years previous experience in selling marketing related services and a love of Social Media, we may have a great opportunity for you!
We are looking for an exceptional Business Development professional. In this role you will be targeting San Diego companies and managing the entire sales process including research, initial contact, appointment setting, presentation, negotiation, closing and contract execution.
For consideration, please send resume to

Boom Media has a new name…Parallel 6

We are in the process of rebranding and building a new website to better reflect our expanding range of products and services. Soon, we will be offering a comprehensive suite of offerings to include:

Professional Services:

Social Media Talent

Social Media Consulting

Social Media Managed Services


Mobile Applications designed to help our clients monetize Social Media.

Exciting things are happening at Parallel 6!

How Social Media Drives New Business: Six Case Studies

by Leena Rao

Businesses both big and small are flocking to social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Foursquare. The fact is that a presence on these platforms not only allows companies to engage in conversations with consumers, but also serves as an outlet to drive sales through deals and coupons.

And while major brands like Starbucks, Virgin, and Levi’s have been participating in the social web for some time now, the rate of adoption among small businesses is increasing too. According to a recent University of Maryland study, social media adoption by small businesses has doubled from 12% to 24% in the last year. But as these businesses look to Facebook and Twitter to connect with customers, many are finding that some strategies work and some do not produce results. We’ll be exploring these questions at a panel on Social Media and Businesses at our Social Currency CrunchUp on July 30. We’ve found some local and national businesses using social media effectively, ranging from Levi’s to a creme brulee cart, whose case studies are below.  Some of these businesses will be sharing their experiences at the CrunchUp (You can buy tickets to the CrunchUp here).

The Creme Brulee Man: Food from street carts have become a foodie favorite for San Franciscans. Food carts travel from neighborhood to neighborhood, offering their delicacies to a range of local foodies. But without a set location, how do these carts let consumers know where they will be? Well, through Twitter of course. Curtis Kimball, the man behind the enormously popular Creme Brulee Cartin San Francisco, has quickly amassed over 12,000 followers in a little over a year. He knows that most of his business comes from people who follow him on Twitter because Twitter is the only way you can find the cart’s location for the day, says Kimball, a former construction worker turned creme brulee expert. “It gives people a valid reason to follow me,” he says.

The other use of Twitter for Kimball is to tell people what flavor of creme brulee he is serving in a given day. And Kimball says that Twitter gives him the ability to develop a personal relationship with his followers and others. He says he tries to engage his followers by asking for suggestions of what type of custard to serve or where he should park his cart, and he always tries to keep things humorous.

Kimball says he has no marketing budget and Twitter has been a great way to amass fans. He doesn’t have as much of a presence on Facebook, and he’s not sure the model is as efficient as Twitter. “Twitter can absorb more than Facebook with very little effort,” Kimball adds. Yelp has also been a valuable source of referrals for the entrepreneur. The cart has 224 reviews and is rated with 4 and a half stars.

Joie De VivreJoie De Vivre, a company that operates 33 luxury hotels in California is using a variety of social media platforms to drive sales and marketing for its properties. Central to the hotel group’s strategy is disseminating deals and coupons to followers and fans on Facebook and Twitter. Every Tuesday, Joie De Vivre’s Twitter account will Tweet an exclusive deal to its nearly 10,000 followers. Followers have only hours to book the steeply discounted room rate. For example, this past Tuesday, it offered $79 rooms at the group’s Galleria Park Hotel in San Francisco in November and December. The company also operates similar deals for its 5,000-plus Facebook fans on Fridays.

In less than a year, Joie De Vivre has booked over 1,000 room nights through these types of deals—rooms that otherwise would have stayed empty.  The company has also started a partnership with coupons site Mobile Spinach to offer coupons for the group’s restaurants. And the company has partnered with Foursquare to offer deals for check-ins at its various restaurants. In terms of flash sales, Joir De Vivre has done a number of deals with travel sites like Gilt’s Jetsetter as well as RueLaLa, and Nadeau says these deals have done moderately well.

The company’s marketing VP Ann Nadeau tells me that because of the economy the hotel industry’s marketing budgets have shrunk, and social media efforts have proved to be a great way to both drive sales and build loyalty. The company’s social media efforts are not solely deal based. This summer, Joie De Vivre encouraged consumers to enter its Road Trippin’ California contest, which asked people to submit videos on YouTube that share why they love California. Three winners, out of 270 videos that were submitted, were selected to win all-expense California road trips with stays in the company’s hotels.

In terms of using social media for customer service, Nadeau says that each property hotel manager is responsible for monitoring conversations and reviews on Twitter, Facebook, and Yelp.

Stone Korean Kitchen: Co-founded last November by chef Terry Lin, and LinkedIn employeesRobby Kwok and Dan YooStone Korean Kitchen aims to bring modern Korean cuisine to the Financial District in San Francisco. Yoo tells me that as soon as the restaurant launched, he started a presence on social media sites, including Twitter, Yelp, and Facebook. But the challenge of many small businesses with social media is driving traffic to the right social media channel rather than splitting it between various sites. Yoo says that interconnecting content between the various profiles has helped gain Twitter followers and Facebook fans. Currently the restaurant’sTwitter profile has 65 followers and its Facebook page has 107 fans.  Many of these are repeat customers.  For a small restaurant, it doesn’t take that many loyal customers to keep the kitchen busy.

Yoo says that he consistently Tweets links to comments and reviews on the Facebook page. Of course, Yoo also stresses the importance of managing Yelp reviews and responding to customer complaints on social media platforms.

But what really tipped the scales for Yoo was Groupon (disclosure: my husband works for Groupon).  Yoo says that restaurant saw significant traction in both sales and traffic to its Yelp sites and Facebook page when the restaurant signed up for a Groupon deal in April. Stone Korean Kitchen sold 2600 groupons in one day, and saw a packed house for two months for both lunch and dinner. Now Yoo says that they see around 5 to 10 Groupons per day instead of 30 or 40 but the restaurant is still seeing a good number of repeat customers from the Groupon deal, says Yoo.

One effect of the Groupon deal, besides increased sales, was that there were a flux of Yelp reviews. It took the company six months to accumulate 80 reviews on Yelp and after the deal, the restaurant accumulated 90 reviews within three months. Yoo also says that he’s seen a steady increase in Foursquare check-ins following the Groupon deal.

Of course, since Yoo and Kwok are both LinkedIn employees (chef Lin manages the restaurant on a day-to-day basis), they put their heads together to figure out how they could use the professional social network to drive sales. With the ad targeting capabilities on LinkedIn, the restaurant started serving ads that target lawyers and bankers in the San Francisco area, as both industries are centralized in the financial district. They’ve noticed an increase in foot traffic and corporate catering requests as a result.  In the future, Yoo says that the restaurant is working on a promotion with Foursquare. And he is in talks with Twitter on featuring a deal on the social network’s new Earlybird venture.

Dr. Irena Vaksman, Dentist: Social media and dentistry don’t necessarily go hand in hand, but one San Francisco dentist has forged an impressive social media campaign to raise awareness of her recently launched practice. She has a Twitter profile, a Facebook page,YouTube channel and an website. Dr. Vaksman’s husband, lawyer Robert Vaksman, has been the strategist behind her social media efforts. Robert says that his wife is confronted with the challenge of practicing in a building that houses hundreds of other dentists that have more established practices. He says that it’s a no brainer to be looking at as many social channels as possible for marketing efforts.

While the practice is still young, the Vaksmans say that they are starting to see patients and potential patients begin to communicate with them on the Facebook page, which has 70 fans. Vaksman will publish her Yelp reviews from patients on the site as well as YouTube videos containing educational content about dental procedures. Twitter is still a fairly new forum for the practice says Robert, and he’s still trying to determine the best way to engage with potential customers on the network.

Last October, Dr. Vaksman signed up for a Groupon deal in San Francisco, and received 320 new patients because of the deal, which was for a patient exam and x-ray. The Vaksmans say that the deal propelled the five month old business in the right direction and boosted its patient base significantly. Robert is also looking into partnering with Facebook campaign startup Wildfire to set up a promotional sweepstakes for the practice’s Facebook page.

Levi’s: Now more than ever, retail brands are engaging consumers on social networks to offer deals, allow users to socialize around purchases, and more. Levi’s Jeans was one of the brands that was first to use Facebook as a tool for sales and marketing initiatives and has launched a number of compelling campaigns using Facebook.

As one of Facebook’s initial partners using the social network’s new Like functionality, Levi’s allows Facebook users to like products on Levi’s online store and its Facebook page (which has nearly 500,000 likes) and share their favorite items with their friends. Within the first week, Levi’s got more than 4,000 likes, says Inside Facebook.

The jeans giant also promoted a major campaign in conjunction with SXSW this year, partnering with music publication The Fader to promote a music event at the festival. The company worked with brand marketing platform Involver to incorporate music and video into their page, with the hopes of driving music fans to buy jeans from the Levi’s brand. Most recently, Levi’s has begun to promote retail offerings with geo-targeted event advertisements on Facebook.

In terms of Twitter, Levi’s recently enlisted a “Levi’s Guy,” 23-year-old USC graduate Gareth, to engage consumers on the microblogging platform. He has over 6,000 followers and is responsible for responding to and engaging in conversations about the Levi’s brand on Twitter. The company is currently in the process of trying to find a Levi’s Girl, which will serve as a female foil to Gareth.

Levi’s director of digital marketing, Megan O’Connor, told us that the engagement with both Twitter and Facebook is about creating and informing brand ambassadors that will help drive sales through their own actions and word of mouth.

Starbucks: Most experts will agree that Starbucks has one of the best social media strategies out there.  Now that it is giving away free WiFi, it is even more of a magnet for roving laptop warriors.  And with 10 million Facebook fans, Starbucks is now close to surpassing the Facebook fan base of Lady Gaga. The company has held a number of promotions on its page to drive engagement. For example, Starbucks held a promotion for free pastries on its Facebook page, allowing customers to access a coupon that would give them a free pastry with a purchase of a coffee drink. Advertising on the social network has also helped to drive traffic to Starbucks’ page.

In terms of Twitter, Starbucks has also been incredibly active on the microblogging network, amassing nearly one million followers. Not only does the company’s Twitter stream serve as an engagement tool with customers who are talking about the brand on Twitter, but it is also used as a way to spread news from Starbucks. Starbucks has also participated in Twitter’s promoted Tweets program, which allows advertisers to buy sponsored links on Twitter.

The combination of geolocation and social networks is also a huge avenue for Starbucks and the company was one of the first major brands to broker a deal with popular location-based social network Foursquare. In March, Starbucks started offering Foursquare mayors of retail stores special ‘Barista’ badges that would come with discounts on drinks and food. Starbucks also partnered recently with mobile social network Brightkite to give members special discounts on drinks.

Photo Credit/Flickr/Snickclunck

Facebook image
Location: Palo Alto, California, United States
Founded: February 1, 2004
Funding: $836M

Facebook is the world’s largest social network, with over 500 million users.

Facebook was founded by… Learn More

Twitter image
Location: San Francisco, California, United States
Founded: March 21, 2006
Funding: $160M

Twitter, founded by Jack DorseyBiz Stone, and Evan Williams in March 2006 (launched publicly in July 2006), is a social networking and micro-blogging… Learn More

Yelp image
Location: San Francisco, California, United States
Founded: July 1, 2004
Funding: $56M

Another company founded in 2004 by two former PayPal employees, Yelp is a local reviews website covering almost 40 states. Yelp also launched in the UK in January 2009. Users write and read reviews about… Learn More

Groupon image
Location: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Founded: November 11, 2008
Funding: $173M

Groupon ( features a daily deal on the best stuff to do, see, eat, and buy in more than 150 cities around the world. By promising businesses a minimum number of customers, Groupon can offer deals that aren’t available elsewhere.

… Learn More

Foursquare image
Location: New York, New York, United States
Founded: March 11, 2009
Funding: $21.4M

Foursquare is a location based social network that incorporates gaming elements.

Users share their location with friends by “checking in” via a smartphone app or by text message. Points are awarded for checking in at various venues. Users can… Learn More

YouTube image
Location: San Bruno, California, United States
Founded: September 11, 2005
Acquired: October 9, 2006 by Google for $1.65B in Stock

YouTube was founded in 2005 by Chad HurleySteve Chen and Jawed Karim, who were all early employees of PayPal. YouTube is the leader in… Learn More

LinkedIn image
Location: Mountain View, California, United States
Founded: May 1, 2003
Funding: $103M

With more than 67 million users representing 150 industries around the world, LinkedIn is a fast-growing professional networking site that allows members to create business contacts, search for jobs, and find potential clients. Individuals have the… Learn More

Information provided by CrunchBase

Parallel 6 San Diego Welcomes James Hickey to the Team!

Parallel 6,  the pioneers of building customized story board Social Media campaigns, announced the promotion of James Hickey to Vice President of Social Media Technology. He will be responsible for conducting customized Internet Marketing Campaigns for our high end clientele.

“James will be a key part of our success, and we were thrilled to promote him to this critical position within our company,” said David Turner, CEO of Parallel 6. Hickey has lived in San Diego since 1982 and joined the company this year as an Online Campaign Architect, during which time he has quickly risen to Vice President of Social Media Technology. “We plan to service large accounts as we continue to build our name as a complete solution for businesses in all online media arenas in the coming two years, and we are confident that James Hickey will be an important asset to help our organization reach its goals,” stated Mr. Turner.

James Hickey has been the operator for six gas stations and owned his own Internet Marketing Company, JMH Marketing Group since 2007. He is a widely known as an Internet Marketing and Social Media Expert and a member of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce. He is also Top Earner and Trainer with Carbon Copy Pro.