9 Social Media Tips I Learned From Travelocity’s Roaming Gnome

travelocity roaming gnome asheville

Recently we had the opportunity to host Travelocity and the Roaming Gnome in Asheville North Carolina. It was quite the experience, and on top of that, I learned a few tips that even a Gnome follows when it comes to social media.

1. Plan An Experience – Some things just happen, other things are made to happen. If you do not get out there, meet people and make room for opportunity; it will most likely not come to you. Being social means getting out, sometimes away from your inner circle, and meeting new lives and worlds that are all around us. The Roaming Gnome knew how to plan, and he wanted the very best of everything! He knew his time in Asheville was limited, and was not wasting it with something that did not add value to the visit. Make things happens! Plan a great time, plan to meet people, plan a business, and DO IT!

roaming gnome green man brewing

2. Have Fun – Fun is the Roaming Gnome’s middle name. We at least that is what he told me. I know that every moment I was with him, I was in the middle of some type of fun one way or another. Whether it was brewery hopping, crowdsurfing with ModSun, or dancing Zumba with the ladies; fun was always present. Having a great time while you are out is essential. What do you enjoy? What entertains you? Fun increases smiles and happiness, and that is exactly what the Roaming Gnome brought to the table. As soon as he stepped in the room, heads turns and smiles were on so many faces. And the fun had begun! Eating, drinking and being merry were a must.

3. Get With The Right People – There was just about anyone the Gnome could have hooked up with, but he did his research and knew his definite targets. He watched the social media, read the blogs, and reviewed documented experiences others have had in our area. Then he got together with AskAsheville and made a customized plan of his own! Being with the wrong people is draining. You never get anywhere, they always have something negative to say, and they always have this little (or BIG) stink about them. I remember an old saying that said “you can’t hang with the wrong crowd and turn out right.” This is so true is the business world, even the professional folks you affiliate yourself and your company with. The right people have a plan, they get the job done, and they have a smile on their face. And they do not have to walk on others to do this.

roaming gnome wicked weed asheville

4. Make Friends – The Travelocity Gnome was not out an about looking for problems with others. He is a Friendmaker! He was not concerned if Expedia, Trip Advisor or Priceline was drinking a beer down the bar. He wanted to be where he was welcomed, and where he could gladly welcome others. Like all of us should be. He was after commonality, and would make friends in barely a moment. An enemy was foreign to him. He was one world minded for the benefit of us all. He believes true friendship is one of the key powers of life. You should too.

5. Be Hugable – I remember moving from Brooklyn to Asheville and experiencing these “huggers” all around the community. Not tree-huggers, but we have those too. Anyway, everyone wanted to hug and touch to say hello and goodbye. I was not used to that. After living in WNC for awhile, you will go to shake someone’s hand and they will say “I am a hugger” and give you a hug. Well the Gnome has “HUG” written all over him, ready to jump in the arms of anyone who means well. Sometimes we alienate ourselves from the outside world and other people not in our little circle. Then we miss other positive relationships, the potential hugs.

roaming gnome kiss asheville

6. Make A Positive Impact – The Roaming Gnome left nothing bad behind. It was ALL GOOD! People were treated well, experiences were in the works, smiles, laughter, and just a grand ole time. I think about the folks I have come across over the years, and how cold and heartless people can be when they only think about themselves. They walk through peoples lives and businesses leaving destruction and failure. I talk to friends who have been robbed blind by people who used to be “our friends.” Gnome had a universal mentality that stretched across all lines and made a positive impact on every person he met. When you see him, you know great things are about to happen!

7. Communicate – In a moment, the Roaming Gnome was ready to strike up a conversation, of course using voice telepathy. Everyone knew it. His lips did not even have to move, but you knew what he was saying. You felt it. And you listened. Social media had first become so popular because it opened up the door to communicate from pretty much anywhere and to just about anyone. It was easier because we could write it, and we did not have to speak with our voice, or let people see us. Convenient communications. We need to be like that around potential relationships. How many missed business connections have I not made because I did not speak up in time, or at all. How many times have we failed to take a lead to the next level because we did not communicate and send a follow up email. Or maybe we forgot their business card all together. The Roaming Gnome was screaming.. “Talk To Me” every moment his eyes were opened.

8. Make Memories For Others – The Roaming Gnome had his own agenda, and he is a photo-hog himself; but he always took time for others. I remember standing outside a bar in downtown Asheville and a guy telling me it was his 40th Birthday, he was kinda down about it, and wanted a photo with the Roaming Gnome. I agreed, told him I would meet him inside in a few minutes, but then he would not leave my side until we got that picture. I wanted to help make the photo happen, and Gnome did too. We took about 10 minutes and shot about 150 photos with the Gnome, birthday boy and the rest of the crowd; with both their cameras and ours. The Gnome posted the great times on Instagram, Twitter and Vine for us to remember forever. Take a minute to document your life, your business, and others. Make memories while you can. Sometimes something as simple as a picture is all we have, or need, to relive that moment and smile.

9. Neutralize – I would not necessarily have went exactly where the Roaming Gnome chose to go. I picked some places, and they picked others. We got to do some, and we missed some. And part of me is glad that is was a team effort. I was allowed to experience things out of “my norm” and with a Gnome to top it off!! Who was I when I was with the Gnome? I was a blank slate looking forward to a new a positive experience, even from places that I may have not been to, stopped going to, or forgot about. Yeah, I got a couple snarls while in the middle of a handshake & introducing myself; but my smile was brighter! This is the same thing in business. For the best community influence, do not pass on your prejudices and jealousy to other team members. Yes, all of us have documented situations, facts laid out, and people we do not work with; but the affect on our attitudes should be minimal, if at all. Amateur social media managers hurt a businesses influence when they only talk to the people that they like, or that are their friends. Then a business only ends up with your friends, and if you leave the job, they have nothing. Neutralize yourself in the best interest of the person and company you are representing!

What an experience! You can also read the follow-up blog post.. “Food, Beer and Beauty: Our Whirlwind Adventure with the Roaming Gnome” and see what a wonderful time we had in Asheville North Carolina!


Video Storytelling | SEO and Social Media Marketing in Mind

video storytelling

Creating a video is not a simple act. Just like any successful project, there are several key ingredients that can make a video either get ignored, or enter the realm of a “watchable” production. From there we can make it enjoyable. Part of our social media and SEO work includes building “outside” content such as blogs, videos, podcasts and graphics to reinforce the story that we are trying to tell on the website. It starts with a web page; then moves to a video production, blog post, social media campaign, tracking and analytics. You are not looking to get a huge amount of clicks; but you do want targeted and quality clicks. You want to make sure the video is properly indexed on YouTube, Vimeo, plus other similar platforms and search engines that offer up video search results. So SEO is very important when it comes to video. It is sad that many times I see incredible productions that cannot be found because of something as simple as the video title and description was inadequate.

A Videographers job is never done. The creation of the video is just the beginning. It starts with plan, a strategy, a story. Then moves to shooting the scenes, doing interviews and gathering photos. Next is the production of the video, the title, the text description; putting all of these items together to deliver a great communicative tool that informs and calls to action. Nowadays, once the video is done, it needs to be distributed properly or it does not matter. Starting with social media outlets and sharing is important. Uploading the video to Facebook is a great move. Posting a link to the video on Facebook is a shortcut many take. Also, embed it on your website, and then do an embed post on a blog with some SEO optimized text to go along with it. Always remember to put a live clickable link (http://www…) in the video description. This could be back to your website, fundraiser and other online presences. You do not want the end of the video to leave them hanging. What are they supposed to do now? Lead them with a link to the next move; if there is one of course.

Video storytelling has a lot to do with attitude as well. You want vibrant personality in your video. A transfer of enthusiasm. You need true creativity! And.. you want a Videographer who, if their style shows through the production at all, it is a great vibe. Many times when you watch a video, you are seeing and feeling both the people on camera, and the person taking/producing the video. When creating a video, find out a story, something interesting, history, a thread; make a video that people want to watch and listen to. Stop selling! So many folks have such a great story to tell. Help them communicate their message in style, a great presentation, something to think about. I love when my mind says “Nice!” after watching a production. We are in the middle of a huge 25 video project and we are having a great time learning about the certain industry, meeting amazing people, and contributing the expertise of our clients to the world of video. One of our Videographers is heading up to New York City in a few weeks as well to capture the essence of a client of ours in action. Then… we produce our Masterpiece!

Asheville Social Media and Building Relationships

asheville social media and building relationships

Asheville Social Media is not primarily about marketing or getting people to “buy now” when it comes to your product or service. It is a process of building relationships and being able to meet the needs of others, including potential clients. Making connections and being courteous to only those whom you believe you can make money from is not social. Reaching out in false sincerity to make a quick buck is unacceptable. This market demands true knowledge with stellar work to back it up.

Asheville Social Media companies are sometimes quick to offer all of these great options; but when it comes to delivering they many times fall short. How do we combat this? How does a business owner know what to do and who to hire? You should not have to go through the mill before you find a successful avenue for you business to truly enter the social media world. With proper relationship building and research, you should be able to make an educated decision on who you hire.

So what is your first step when entering the Asheville Social Media scene? Make friends!!! When you take the time to meet people and find out who they really are, and sincerely care about them; you are then on your way. Talk person to person about life and business, instead of giving them a “client interview” where taping into their funds is your only motive. Once you get to know them, and they get to know you; they will ask for your help if you capable.

The photo above was taken at a local networking meeting in Asheville. The ladies who are surrounding my friend Alan were not at our meeting, they were actually having a bridal shower in another part of the restaurant. As they were leaving, I said hello, congrats and we ended up talking to them for several minutes before taking this photo. New friends. No sale needed!