Launch of: “Marketing on the Rocks” by Four Best Friends

So it all began a few years back when the four of us met through mutual friends and networking events around the city. We had social mentors in common, similar career inspirations, shopping habits, healthy living ideals, a love for boston, and most of all a quick love for one another.

Janet Aronica, Kristin Dziadul, Elisabeth Michaud and I are four best friends and four marketers in Boston. We each have a bit of geekiness when it comes to digital marketing, social media, and staying on top of what’s savvy and new. We tried GroupMe during SXSW, we’ve been on Path since before it became cool, we constantly tweet at one another in the midst of Gchatting, and support each other in all of our endeavors. I can’t say enough about how much I trust these girls personally and professionally. And that’s what brought us here today…

Over a couple adult beverages and some inspiration from fellow digital marketers in the space, we decided to work on a marketing project as a team. We brainstormed on what we could offer the Boston community and beyond as we each have diverse backgrounds from working with startups, individual consulting, agencies, big brands, and more. And then we realized – that’s exactly what we can offer. We are experienced in so many different areas and can offer unique advice and strategy because of it. And “Marketing on the Rocks” was born…

Want to learn more, and see what we’re cooking up? Check out the launch of our new site!

And feel free to reach out to us anytime for more info:





Five Influential Boston “Tweet” Hearts

Having lived in Boston for ten years now I have had the pleasure of meeting some amazing people in every field of business. Looking at the social media and marketing scene specifically — I have met many unbelievably talented people and I could make this list miles long, but I will save the novel for another time…

And since the well-loved/hated Hallmark holiday is around the corner…here are five KICKASS “Tweet” hearts for your drooling pleasure!

1) Tamsen McMahon: A gorgeous woman who the second I met, I knew I we were going to be friends for years to come. She is not only a delight to have a coffee (although she does not drink caffeine – major warning folks) with, but one of the most intelligent and inspiring women in digital marketing here in Boston. She spoke to my MBA social media class last Fall and every student raved about her presentation on the science of social media. Yes, the scientific method is not just for chem class folks — it is actually applicable to everything you do in social media marketing. Thankfully you don’t need safety goggles this time around. Want to know more about Tamsen – check our her work for Sametz Blackstone Associates or catch her Tweeting away via @tamadear…you will not be disappointed you “checked her out.”

2) Mike Troiano: A man I describe as a mix between the Sopranos and Mad Men. You may catch him with a Manhatten in hand after toiling away for many hours at the office of Holland-Mark (HM), but otherwise he is kickin’ ass and takin’ names as the digital man of HM. I admit, I had the pleasure of working with Mike, and I can say full-heartedly that it was one of the best learning experiences of my marketing career. Sssh dont’ tell  my profs of my MBA program, but Mike may have taught me more invaluable lessons than some of them did. A HBS alum, a previous ad guy, and now rockin’ the digital scene and preachin social media wherever he goes, he is a man who doesn’t just talk the talk, but walks the walk. Also found at @miketrap.

3) Janet Aronica: This young 24 year old, may be young in age, but she is wise on social media unlike most females I have met. She rocks the oneforty scene with her content strategy, marketing genius, and quirky personality that would make even the most pessimistic person crack a smile. She is a female who has come a long way in a short time and is not just a community manager…I think a new title must be made for her to truly show her unbelievable work for the startup. If you haven’t conversed with this young social media hottie yet, check her out on oneforty or @janetaronica before you miss out!

4) Alison Zarrella: When I met Alison, I almost did not recognize her because her Twitter avatar does not do this chica justice. She is not only hot (obviously), but she is a talented community manager, blogger, and now author. Did you know she co-wrote the Facebook Marketing book? If you haven’t you must pick a copy and peruse it because Facebook is not a fad, people. Neither is Twitter. But maybe I’m biased. This female rocks the social media scene in Boston helping out the Brand management of the company she works for with social strategy that is not only valuable but relevant to their target market. Aka, Alison is a Tweet heart to follow at @alison and in her many influential efforts to demonstrate she does not take her career lightly. She is passionate about it every step of the way.

5) David Gerzof: This gentleman is not only easy on the eyes (sorry he’s married, ladies), but he knows how important it is to teach students social media and how it impacts the life around them. Not only is David a social media professor at Emerson College, but he also runs Big Fish. Yes, another over achiever who likes to make sure he has no time to sit and take a breather. But hey, you may be able to catch him with a beer at a local Tweetup where he is not only easily approachable, but a pleasure to hang with. But if you cannot seem to find the time to catch him at Emerson or Big Fish or at the next local event, hit him up at @davidgerzof for a Tweet or two.

Hope you enjoyed drooling over these five amazing folks…I know I sure did!

5 Ways to Tie Social Media to Business Goals

Money is not only valuable, but vital to the success of each business operation. Companies attempt to cut costs and raise revenue in order to be successful. Social media can help! Social media is about the relationships we build and the ability to listen and communicate in real time. This is unbelievably resourceful to so many facets of a business operation including support, HR, PR, lead generation, and marketing research. Here’s how:
1. Customer Support: No company wants consumers to have tech/product/service issues, but it happens and should be dealt with as soon as possible. As much consumers do not want to wait on the phone for hours when they could be doing something better with their time, nor does a company want to spend extra money on phone support, especially when there’s an easier and cheaper solution (i.e. cut costs). For example, Twitter is a great resource for consumer support. Dell is a great example of using Twitter as a resource to their benefit. They have a specific Twitter handle, @dellcares,  just for consumer support, which allows consumers to reach them 24/7 with issues they may have. First, I must add a disclaimer — be sure your company can handle monitoring and answering questions on a timely basis, otherwise there may be backlash by consumers who do not receive a response to their Tweet. So, how can your company take advantage of this FREE platform for customer service?
a) Get a handle that is either for your company or specifically for support such as @dellcare
b) Monitor conversations going on about your company regarding complaints, issues, etc.
c) Circumvent issues to the right person (finance, tech, etc), which allows for a timely response and solution
d) Respond in real-time. Less waiting. Less frustration.
Then, you may just have a successful and reputable customer service which consumers rave about.

2. HR Recruiting: Is your office looking for some new blood? Why hire a staffing agency or recruiter to search for new hires, when you can do it in-house for less money? Twitter, Facebook. and LinkedIn to the rescue. How these 3 platforms can help? You can get the word out a lot faster on these social platforms. In addition, your employees can Tweet, share and/or post on their personal channels (if they are so inclined) in order to bolster the word of mouth that there are great job openings available for your place of business. For example, recently HubSpot Tweeted they were looking for developers and people (employees and followers) ReTweeted it like crazy! Great promotion for a job opening, and without breaking the bank.

3. PR: Thinking about hiring a PR agency to help your company? Hiring one can be a great idea especially for companies who have the funds to do so. PR agencies offer help with strategic messaging and consulting during crisis communication. However, for those looking to do PR in-house, social media can be a great asset to build relationships. Businesses can reach out directly to journalists and infuential bloggers through Twitter and other social channels. That way your company can build a relationship with these journalists and bloggers and maintain them over time. Or you can use this as a way to augment PR efforts, which is great, especially for smaller businesses. First step is to ensure a company Twitter account is up and running. Then utilize it to reach out to bloggers in your brand category as well as prominent journalists who you want to work with and reach out to. If you already have a social media department and/or community manager, this is a great item to add-on to their job description instead of hiring a consultant from the outside. Save the money, cut costs, and create more revenue!

4. Lead Generation: Instead of wasting money on buying a prospect list for Lead Gen, why not try some cheaper/easier social media tools for lead gen such as Twitter,Facebook, Follower Wonk and more. These tools are helpful to search quickly and efficiently regarding influencers in your brand category. You can compare stats and followers of these people to see who’s worth your while and who you’d rather pass up. Although buying a list may be quicker, these tools are less expensive and if you social media experts in your company at your disposal, why not give them more responsibility and have them assist with lead gen efforts?

5. Marketing Research: No company/business can afford to fall behind its competition. Competition can be cut-throat and your business has to be able to stay on top, rather than get “cut.” Marketing research is key in these efforts to stay ahead — in order to know what the consumers are saying, how they feel towards your brand, how they feel towards your competition, and what your competition is doing. It is not enough to know on a monthly or yearly basis anymore. Businesses need to know in real-time what’s going on so they can act accordingly. Luckily, there are many social media tools for competitive analysis. These apps along with the employees to oversee these channels are key in efficient and effective marketing research that stays ahead of the curve.

So, don’t be afraid to try something different — embrace social media, because nowadays businesses and consumers alike prefer things in real-time for a cheaper cost. Utilize it, Share it, Save Costs, and Increase Revenue!

Note: this was originally a post written for oneforty, which was acquired by Hubspot.

Brands who Blog: Win

Some blog to talk about their thoughts and feelings regarding things in their daily lives, others blog about their wedding plans, some about their cooking adventures/endeavors, many about their career focus, and others about their life passions and hobbies. Whatever the reason, I truly believe that the chance to express oneself is key for both individuals as well as brands.

It is a perfect “tool” for brands to “humanize” themselves and show their audience that there are “real people” behind their name, not robots clicking away.

1. Humanizing a brand is unbelievably important to show one’s audience a personal touch. For example give your brand’s audience a chance to get to know the team behind the name. Holland-Mark does a great job at this when they share cool facts about their interns, holiday party photos, and other things you wouldn’t normally know.

2. Engaging one’s audience after a post has been published is a crucial step. This way you can have an actual conversation after your blog has been tweeted out like BostInnovation does on a regular basis and build a loyal readership/consumer/fan.

3. And, then hopefully building “loyal” relationships which will stand the test of time  — like withstanding brand backlash such as the Toyota fiasco, Dominoes youtube mess, and others.

So whether blogging for personal or brand reasons – take the time to go a little deeper and share a personal side and allow your audience to get to know the person(s) behind the name.


Lead Generation Made Simpler

Creating lead generation is essential to all B2B and B2C companies and can be very time consuming! However, there are some simple and easy-to-use tools for doing so that can hopefully cut down some of that time. Want to know the best part? You’re probably already using some of these tools! But now lets discuss how to use them effectively for lead generation.

Twitter: First and foremost, Twitter itself is a great asset for lead generation. Consumers and companies are both on Twitter for many purposes – whether it be to build their brand, create contacts and followers, increase engagement and promotion, and/or all of the above. First make sure your Twitter account is set up, you are utilizing it regularly, and your blog or web address is in the bio (whichever you use more for lead generation). What is needed to best utilize Twitter effectively: time and effort. It is a free social media platform, and it kicks butt at being in touch with the target market you are hoping to reach.

Need help on finding your target market on Twitter? Look at the next 5 tools below!

Twitter Search: the first place to start out is normally Twitter Search which is a part of your Twitter Account. I recommend going beyond the basic search options and utilizing the advanced search option in order to get more precise and relevant results to your specific company. Using advanced you can focus on people, places, dates, attitudes, etc. The places option may be key for companies looking for leads in a particular area, and people option may also be helpful when looking for people an “influencer” has mentioned.

Follower Wonk: A simple free tool that allows you search keywords in Twitter Bios in order to filter out individuals/companies you may or may not want to follow for lead generation purposes. You can search for individuals based on a specific keyword or you may use locations/names and/or filter out those who have a certain amount of followers (ability to find the influencers). In addition, this tool allows you to compare up to 3 Twitter folks and compare their stats, who follows them, their activity, and their unique versus shared followers. Interesting capability of this tool in order to see how a certain individual or company can be useful for lead generation or not.

Creating lead generation is essential to all B2B and B2C companies and can be very time consuming! However, there are some simple and easy-to-use tools for doing so that can hopefully cut down some of that time. Want to know the best part? You’re probably already using some of these tools! But now lets discuss how to use them effectively for lead generation.

Tweep Search: A tool that allows you to search through bios of all the “tweeps” on Twitter with specific key words. In addition, when you find someone or a company that you find to be relevant – you can then limit the search to their followers and search through there specifically. Narrowing a search is always helpful as there are so many people on Twitter.

Twithawk: If you couldn’t tell by the name — this app is like a “hawk” — looking out for you and your target marketing on Twitter. Unlike the aforementioned tools, this one is a paid service, which allows the Twithawk team to find the best target market matches for you from your specified search terms. Example: “TwitHawkperiodically (at the frequency determined by you) find tweets that mentioned “I need coffee” by users that are actually, currently, located within 5 miles of Queens such as‘@cracksh0t I need a coffee or anything with caffeine NOW’ or ‘@loxly This is so boring, I need a coffee… my one true love’ Then, TwitHawk will grab the tweets, and pop them in a list for you to check over, and you’ll be notified that you’ve got new matches to check over.” In addition, the TwitHawk team and app can help you keep track of tweets sent, noise, link tracking, and Google Analytics.

Tweetdeck: This client can be used on your desktop or on the-go and allows you to organize your followers and filter Tweets in order to assist in lead generation. Set up a column for saved search terms and question phrases (whether related to a product item, your company, a competitor, etc). Then, you can monitor and interact with people who are talking about your industry in a more organized and simpler fashion.

Three other tools you won’t want to miss:

LinkedIn: This is not just a platform for networking – it is an awesome lead generation asset! How to utilize this to your benefit? A few simple things: (1) customize your page; (2) Connect to Twitter (3) Create answer feeds (4) create an industry group (5) follow your target market (possibly those you already found via Twitter?) and (6) Share curated and created content! As corny as it sounds – Get Linked!

Your Blog: This is the content you create and then distribute through your channels such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. It is a great asset to have in order to create lead generation, especially when people subscribe and give their email address to do so!

Facebook: Considering Facebook has more users than the population of some countries, it is definitely a tool you want to utilize to make connections, and hopefully convert those connections into leads. As with your Twitter page, LinkedInpage, and Blog – customize your Facebook to increase the amount of “likes” you may receive and engage those individuals to sign up for a newsletter or the blog you have (aka lead generation). In addition, when someone “likes” a page, others will see it, and may be prompted to do the same!

Recall that it takes time to build connections and more time to convert these connections and followers into leads. However, these tools can help decrease that time and make the time you spend on finding these connections (who will hopefully become leads) more effective.

You’ll never know how truly effective each tool is for your company until you experiment and play around with each of them. Enjoy!


Content Rules at Hubspot

Not only was there HubSpot TV with hosts Mike Volpe and Karen Rubin on Friday, Dec. 10th, but the guest stars of the show were CC Chapman and Ann Handley who co-wrote the book Content Rules ! Killer team or what?! Although the banter of the show was entertaining, my favorite part was after the show when everyone had a chance to catch up with new and old friends. Always great to see the likes of Tamsen McMahon, Doug Haslam and Laura Fitton among the crowd, but I also had the pleasure to meet some new faces such as Margot Bloomstein and Maggie Rulli. It was a pleasure to catch up and get to know folks during this fun-filled whiskey drinking casual setting at the Hubspot offices. I would chat more about the awesomeness of the book (which I just received an autographed copy of at the event) and how great Hubspot is, but I believe Cheryl Morris did a great job and urge you to read her post!

What I can say is every time I step into the Hubspot offices, I have great engagement with the folks who work there, the friends who stop by there, and it’s a pleasure to know folks such as Mike and Karen truly take the time to get to know each person. I also commend CC and Ann on being so personable and easy to chat it up with and look forward to hearing more about their book tour.

Keep rockin’ guys!

Save the Date: February 18, 2011

Suffolk University brings you Bridging The Gap: A Mashup of Academic Framework & Business Social Media Conference on February 18th, 2011.

Social Media and Inbound Marketing are making their way through business and culture.  This migration of ideologies creates opportunities and complexities within all organizations.  Our conference intends to connect academia and real world practices, strengthen the connection between the frameworks preached in schools and the practical applications being used in organizations.

The Info:

February 18th, 2011
Suffolk University
120 Tremont St
Boston, Massachusetts 02108

Registration Time: 8:00 am

Lunch Included.

6pm Post-Conference Cocktail Networking Event at Red Sky

The Agenda (order may be switched):

1. Academic Keynote

2. Expert Panel on Facebook

3. How to utilize SEO in your Marketing Plan

4. Expert Panel on Blogging

5. Expert Panel on Twitter

6. Industry Keynote

Our two keynotes are Erik Qualman and  Mike Volpe !! In addition we have confirmed speakers such as Julia Roy, Brian Simpson, and Michelle McCormack with Joselin Mane as our main man MC!! Stay tuned to find out who else will be speaking.

Also stay tuned for the landing site (under construction) for up to date details.

Until then…Hit us up for more info:

The Planning Committee:

Pam Sahota

Sean Zinsmeister

Paul Schmidt

Launching a New Site = Pulling One’s Hair Out

I launched my new site last Monday and had been planning for this launch date for a couple weeks. When launching a new site (like any product) you hope goes as smoothly as possible. Hope is the key word. Does it actually go that smoothly? Ha! That’s a silly thought.

I apparently forgot the wisdom of checking things not once, but twice or three times.What happened?

1. My Email subscription link did not work.

2. My RSS subscription did not work

3. My Facebook link went to a different “Pam”‘s page.


Then what?

1. Easy fix. Took me a minute to fix a Feedburner issue. (Thanks Lane for pointing this out).

2. Not an easy fix. Or at least not for me. Thankfully the awesome Mike Troiano alerted me to this issue. I almost had a panic attack thinking people couldn’t subscribe (when this is the way most people like to – easy and simple to do). I immediately contacted my friend who helped me set up the site. He unfortunately couldn’t tackle the issue until later in the day. I tell myself, “breathe Pam breathe!” The issue will be solved. It’s ok if you just tweeted out to the world and Facebooked about it and emailed all your friends that your site has been launched. They may come back later and subscribe….ha! Yes I freaked out. As I sit in my global branding class and freak out some more as my friend is unable to figure out the issue…I brainstorm all the individuals I know who have some web/coding smarts. I thank the many stars that I had formed a friendship with the great David Wells who solved my issue in…wait for it….10 minutes!!!!! I couldn’t have been more relieved. It may have taken all day, but that glass of wine at 11pm was well worth the wait. Thank you Dave – you rock! And you saved me a heart attack or two. Being 27, I think I am too young for that heart attack, just yet.

3. Quick fix thankfully – especially after #2.

So what did I learn? Check your links people. Check them not once, but twice! And preferably have someone go through them for you before you “officially” launch. This is what I would have normally done in a work setting…but woops!

At the end of the day all is well and I am breathing easy again.

“Breathe, Pam, Breathe….” :)

HubSpot TV: Halloween

Today I was lucky enough to be an audience member at the live taping of HubSpot TV. Not only was it cool because Mike Volpe and Karen Rubin host, but today they hosted as the infamous Lucy and Ricky. But they weren’t the only ones in the holiday spirit, most of the staff was decked out in Halloween attire – from Jersey Shore to Scooby Doo to Pokey from Gumby. It was a sight to behold. Lets just say, I almost cried from laughing so hard. Awesome!

As I watched Mike and Karen, I realized how laid back and enjoyable HubSpot‘s atmosphere is. The team is very welcoming and friendly. And HubSpot TV is not only informative on current topics related to social media and inbound marketing, but it’s entertaining. I definitely intend to keep up with future episodes, as I’m officially impressed on how both Mike and Karen can capture the audience and keep their attention with such relevant topics and hilarious banter.

Cheers HubSpot, you Rock!

p.s. Want to see Photos from today….Flickr it up!

Will you Geek out on Halloween?

The past couple years, I’ve seen more and more individuals admit and embrace their “geekiness” – present company, included. More and more individuals are on Twitter and learning the importance of Inbound Marketing and utilizing SEO. Now, with Halloween around the corner, will those “geeks” show off that side of themselves, or “opt out”? I would love to see some creative Twitter costumes with some bold hashtag and RT remarks. Could someone be an actual RT? In the past I’ve seen someone be a Facebook Profile Page…Lame. We can do better! Creative ideas? Thoughts?

I, myself am going to be an M&M because my 16 yr old sister made the costume for me. Free Costume? Hell yea! Maybe next year I will embrace my geekdom during halloween, but as for this year, I am embracing my sweet tooth.

Would love to hear what other people consider “creative and geeky” costumes. @mention me at @pamsahota and Share!

(p.s. here’s a few from the past)

5 Types of People Who Attend Networking Events

I know I haven’t blogged in a while…I could say it’s because I’ve been too busy working for a kickass marketing firm downtown, or that I’m having too much fun with friends and enjoying summer, or “fill in the blank” excuse. But, while I’ve been away from blogging I’ve attended a couple networking events here in Boston. Last week I attended the Mashable Meetup at the Landsdowne Pub, who my new friend Kristen Haley set up for us eager young networkers. What I found most interesting, was not the cool young marketing folks I met, but the different reasons people appeared to be the Pub on a lovely Wednesday evening…

1. The guy or girl who actually wants to network

2. The guy or girl who is pretending to network but is actually hoping to “meet” someone

3. The guy or girl who is bored and has nothing better to do and is pumped about the free apps and drink tickets

4. The sleaze hoping to get laid

5. All of the above

Which one was I? I’ll let you be the judge on that one. But I will say, I definitely don’t mind the free food, meeting new people in the small marketing sphere of Boston, and you can’t beat the 30 guys to 5 girls ratio.

Maybe we should rename networking events…got an idea? Lets spread the word and until next time, I’ll be looking for the next interesting “networking” event to attend.