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