I was asked to prepare a package for consideration, deliberation and final decision-making by judges who will review my nomination for best company blog in Vancouver at the social media awards ceremony. Rather than creating some fancy presentation I decided the best way to present myself is in the manner and platform I am being nominated for; a blog post. That is right, I am putting myself out there for the world to see and giving away my strategies on how I influenced my brand to vote for me for this prestigious award.
It started with a tweet and a text from two of my followers who informed me that they had nominated me for this social media awards website. Shortly after they had spread the word and my network had emailed in nominations for me. I received an email and was told of the voting process and knew that at some time I would need to rely on the power of my network.
Who is Bosco Anthony?
This is the business bio
“Bosco Anthony is a seasoned online marketing professional and business growth strategist. Bosco is an international keynote speaker who recently was one of the headline speakers for Social Media Week and had a breakout speaking tour with 40 plus keynotes this year. Originating from Tanzania East Africa, Bosco started out in marketing, sales and management at Club Intrawest. Bosco was then hired by Internet Marketing Centre (IMC) managing 250,000 affiliates before travelling a global circuit. Bosco founded his own boutique-consulting and online marketing virtual agency. Bosco is also an avid blogger sharing content on business growth, internet marketing and social media. Bosco specializes in content strategies, curation and content deployment for small businesses, enterprises and corporate clients.”
This is the real Bosco
- Content Authority
Why should you care?
I came from simple beginnings from a hard-working family and we immigrated from Tanzania because as beautiful as that country was, it was a third world country in need of development. We left just after the American embassy bombings, the Rwanda and Burundi genocides and my parents who had sacrificed everything wanted to give my sister and I a better opportunity in life. A shot at living a normal life where you could sleep without keeping an eye open at night. My family and I have witnessed some beautiful things Africa has to offer and some things no one should witness in their lifetime.
Hustle, Loyalty Respect …
Like many other immigrants my story contains challenges, hope, sweat, tears, hard work, fear, courage, hustle, opportunity and reward. My story like many immigrants background, is about capitalizing on your dreams and conquering your personal fears to get there. I have had to overcome adversity, ageism, racism and throughout my entire business process acceptance. Fear of acceptance has been the driving force for me to work twice as hard at everything I have accomplished. I am proud to say that everything that has happened to me in the last 11 years of being a Canadian immigrant, citizen and ambassador has been the best moments in my life. Every day is a gift and a reward and I am thankful for the people I meet
Where were we?
I am informed that I am in a category with what I call the group of Death! I have some major competition and am nominated alongside my equals if not my betters (thank you Daniel Day-Lewis for your acceptance speech from the Oscars!). Some major brands like Yyoga, Translink and the Vancouver Whitecaps are all nominated with me and I really am going to be tested. While the nominations were all great, the stage of nominations moved into healthy campaigning and an even healthier competition. At this point I had to campaign without broadcasting to get my audience to vote for my nomination. I will admit I even second guessed myself at one point but as Sun Tzu once said, “You have to believe in yourself!” And so the strategies were put into place to start my voting campaign. I studied my worthy fellow candidates and evaluated my strengths.
Since 2012 I accomplished three major goals
- Exposure for my brand through some major speaking events
- Build a tribe of friends, followers and clients
- Social success through engagement, reactions and resources
The leverage and key strategy was the power and influence of my tribe and network. I was fortunate to know, network and assist some major key influential people in the city both personally and on a professional scale. The key was engagement and really the secret to my online voting success really fell on the hands of my network… the tribe!
Now a tribe consists of different entities, people you follow, people you network with, clients, friends, family and even stalkers and so engagement is customized and conversation is necessary. It is vital to know that a single broadcasting message to my list of followers would really not get me anywhere. And so on day 1 of online voting I struck first a vital blow! As soon as the flood gates opened up my key influencers started to vote and helped me lead the race in online votes. Within the first week I had over a 100 views and was leading the race for votes… I realized that I could not rest on my laurels and it was time to engage and not take anything for granted so the campaign involved the following
- Interaction both online and offline
- Use social media platforms to engage customized conversations for voting
- Wrote compelling blog posts and quality content with subtle mentions of the award
- Hosted my meet up group, Guest hosted a fellow meet up and spoke for my clients and mentioned the nomination
- Used the nomination as bragging rights on all client presentations and keynote talks
- Was interviewed by two online podcasts where I spoke on content marketing and mentioned the nomination
- Continued to blog and give current information as this was the reason for my award
- Network and mention my nomination
- Have my tribe of influencers tell their network about my nomination
- Texted close friends and family about my nomination and asked for support
- Came up with creative ways of informing my audience about the nomination without broadcasting the message on my social platforms as much.
- Customized conversations and offline interactions
- I made it an effort to talk to 10 people a day (new and old acquaintances)
- This nomination allowed me to really get to network and meet a ton of new people
- Travelled to Kelowna, Whistler and the Fraser Valley and educate people on the award through keynotes on content , blogging and social media
- Effective use social media platforms mainly twitter and Face book to really interact with my tribe
- I was even able to get some international votes from South africa, India and the United Kingdom to vote for me.
- Tapped into both my professional and personal social platforms. (Yes I have both)
- My blog receives thousands of online visits a week both recurring and organic traffic. This also brought awareness.
The key emphasis was content marketing, social engagement and interactions from the social tribe…
There was plans to email market my large list of networks, do some video campaigns, and even test Face book sponsored stories but I was glad to ask the founder of the awards as to what was appropriate for campaign strategies and none of these plans were advised. In fact the founder wanted a fair process where you capitalized on social engagement and content marketing to win votes for this category and this is exactly what I targeted with minimal broadcasting. Although I was considering doing a Harlem Shake Video :)
The social media awards had to use a social platform app to build the voting process to ensure fairness and while this worked for some, there were some technical problems. Also some of my followers who I label the old school cats did not feel comfortable voting through Facebook for fear of privacy. Regardless of how secure the voting was they just didn’t feel comfortable voting under their profile and in that case I simply used either my personal or business profile to vote for me. Some clients even created new Facebook profiles just because or paranoia in voting through Facebook. Regardless the event planners were very gracious and understanding to the challenges we faced and like any campaigns you are bound to face challenges. One has to show optimism and kudos to the planners of this event for showing poise and calmness throughout the entire process. Some followers didn’t want to follow the fan page but just wanted to vote, while others viewed the nomination but thought they had voted. Some time was spent on educating people how to vote through the app.
Through careful planning and strategic campaigning I was able to achieve the following:
- Lead the race throughout the entire 6 weeks on views and votes
- INSERT BRAGGING RIGHTS HERE – “Most votes, most views in my category!” (Nuff said!)
- Attain local and international votes
- Some followers were so generous of their time that they voted once a day
- Get the votes I needed to make it to the top 3
- Make new friends and build an even larger tribe
- I have a true appreciation for my brand followers and the tribe
- Understand the true meaning of social engagement and brand loyalty
- Be grateful for so many people who have shown me support, kindness and loyalty though this process
- Be appreciative of everything I have and accomplished
- Be proud of my virtues, values and my why factor
This nomination has complimented my brand and to be even considered for such a prestigious award is really awesome. My goal should I win this category is to inspire startups, entrepreneurs and local businesses who are trying to make a difference. I would love to continue to demonstrate and show how content marketing is the new form of marketing and elevate my blog to an even bigger awareness platform. I also want to win this to validate everything I stand for and where I want to go… We are all worthy of this win as Mark W (Founder) pointed out and I can hope that my humble story and 2o00 plus word blog post that showcases my efforts and work in giving the judges a reason to vote for me! After all words are the most powerful platform of influence
The winner is…
The biggest winner at the end of it all are the people who make the tribe. For without their nomination, support, efforts and votes none of this would be possible. I want to thank each and every person who took the time to vote for me and express my sincere gratitude for all the kindness you have shown me. You make me push the envelope everyday and motivate me to charter unexplored waters! You can expect an even more kick ass 2013 from me regardless of outcome!
So to those loyal supporters I say in Swahili “Asante sana, Nakushukuru sana” which is thank you very much I appreciate you a ton!
Nelson Mandela was fond of these few words and I read this speech every day. I will end with these powerful words by one Theodore Roosevelt to inspire my fellow entrepreneurs who hustle everyday to make a name for their brand.
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”