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Five Tips for DFW Auto Show

It’s Spring Break!

You can only sit and stare at the iPad for so many hours before that becomes a bore. It sounds like a perfect opportunity to head down to the DFW Auto Show at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center (formerly the Dallas Convention Center) from March 16-20.

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Hours of operation are evenings Wednesday and Thursday, and all day Friday-Sunday:

  • Wednesday: 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Thursday: 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Friday: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Saturday: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Sunday: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Ticket Prices:

  • $12 for adults
  • $5 for senior citizens 65 and older
  • $5 for children 6 to 12 years old; children 5 and under admitted free

But before you head out to the auto show, take note of these five tips:

1. Wear Comfy Shoes.

There’s a half-million square feet of cars, from 39 car manufacturers including Toyota – that’s a lot of car. Be sure to wear comfy shoes, and remember your smart watch or FitBit!

2. Reserve Your Parking.

The DFW Auto Show is partnering with Parking Panda to reserve off-site parking as low as $5. Take a look at the availability here. Parking is available in the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center parking garage or in lots surrounding the Convention Center for $15. Shuttles to the Convention Center are available from remote parking lots Friday through Sunday.

3. Get a Ticket Discount.

$1 discount coupons off the full-price ticket admission are available at participating new car dealerships. Please keep in mind that if you’re planning to head to the show on Sunday, to grab your coupon early, as many dealerships are closed that day.

4. Ride and Drive.

One of my favorite parts of the DFW Auto Show is the Ride and Drive. Thirteen manufacturers will be available to test drive vehicles on site. No where else can you drive cars from different manufacturers side by side. Plus, Toyota will be on site all five days for Ride and Drive, so take full advantage!

5. Win Tickets!

We’re giving away two tickets to the DFW Auto Show. Enter by clicking this link! 

This post is sponsored by SheBuysCars on behalf of the DFW Auto Show and Toyota. All opinions are my own.

Houston Auto Show 2016 Recap

I had a blast a the 2016 Houston Auto Show. I attended in 2015, but didn’t get to take in nearly as many sights and sounds, drives and rides that I did this year. Even better, I got to hang out with amazing group of bloggers (organized by SheBuysCars):

One of my favorite things about the Houston Auto Show, as opposed to some of the others, is the sheer variety in vehicles shown – over 700 this year. The majority of the show hall is full of new vehicles, new announcements and concept vehicles from all of the top manufacturers. But in addition to that, there are also classic cars, ultra sports cars, accessory vendors, and even an ADA-wheelchair accessible conversion company.

Speaking of announcements, the blogger group was privy to a front-row unveiling of the GMC Sierra All Terrain X, a new, more aggressive off-road package for the GMC Sierra line.

After the unveiling, I was able to check out the Ride and Drive section of the auto show – where anyone (over the age of 18, I think), can get a guided drive in 40-some odd vehicles from over a dozen manufacturers. We chose a new 2016 Lincoln Navigator and drove around the block with a very nice Lincoln rep.

Make sure to put the 2017 Houston Auto Show on your calendars, April 5-9, 2017 (moved back because of the 2017 Super Bowl in Houston). But another exciting development is that the Houston Auto Show will be co-located with the Mecum Auto Auction.

Blog Post sponsored by SheBuysCars, The Houston Auto Show, and GMC.

Houston Auto Show 2016

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It’s that time of year again – the Houston Auto Show is on at NRG Center from January 27-31. Even if you’ve been in years past, you won’t want to miss this year’s show. There is over 700,000 square feet of new cars, trucks, SUVs and more to check out. And with this giveaway for two free tickets, there’s no reason not to see some of the latest vehicles from the top manufacturers:

Click To Enter to Win 2 Tickets

One of my favorite parts of the event are the Ride & Drives, where you can be among the first to drive some of the newest vehicles from at least 17 manufacturers. A couple manufacturers had tracks set up inside the hall last year, but the majority of them will take you on a short route around the NRG complex.

Also, making its Texas debut is the 2017 GMC Acadia Denali (see all the debuts here). It’s an all-new take on the Acadia, with added technological features and a great redesign. Check it out, and I hope to see you there!

SheBuysCars, The Houston Auto Show and GMC Houston are sponsors of this blog post. 

Minority-Owned Business Summit Nov 17, 2015: Sponsored by Verizon

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Small and minority-owned businesses make up the backbone of the Houston-area. Houston was ranked as the #4 best place to start a small business by CNN, attributing it to lax zoning and low taxes. Even so, small businesses in Houston often have to deal with issues that larger businesses don’t – understaffing, small budgets, and a general under utilization in new marketing strategies including blogging.

Luckily, Verizon is sponsoring a half-day workshop for minority-owned businesses and entrepreneurs to get the latest tips and tricks from some of the top entrepreneurs and marketers in the Houston area

The FREE half day summit will be in Houston:

8:00AM – 12:30PM Tuesday, November 17, 2015
JW Marriott Houston (5150 Westheimer Rd; Houston, TX 77056)
CLICK to View the Agenda or Register
Verizon is committed to supporting minority-owned businesses in the Houston community. From Verizon:

Please join us for a free half-day of panel discussions, keynote presentations and networking. The focus of the day is on how SMBs can achieve personal and professional results, inspire their employees, manage their business to new heights, meet peers and share best practices. We’re proud to have worked with all kinds of small businesses in the greater Houston area – providing tools and guiding business owners to manage the success of their business more efficiently.

Also if you attend, Verizon is awarding $10,000 to Houston Charities. You can nominate one in your registration. 

In honor of Small to Medium Businesses giving back to their community, Verizon will award two $5,000 donations to the charities of your choice that demonstrate making Houston communities a better place.

I’ll be speaking about the Content Matrix – or how to organize your content marketing strategy to produce tangible business results. I hope you won’t miss it!
This post is sponsored content by Verizon Wireless, all opinions are my own.

Top 5 @JasonBoies Memories… For His Birthday!

Two years ago, we had a top-10 list of 10 Easy Ways to wish @JasonBoies a Happy Birthday, followed by 10 More Ways to Wish @JasonBoies a Happy Birthday. This year, we have the top 5 @JasonBoies memories… enjoy!

“His movie reviews! His reviews of anything, I could read them all day!”
– Cory Hartlen, Radian6 2009-Oh wait, I guess he’s still there.

“I was just thinking about the time he and I went to see Reggie Watts and Sarah Silverman perform at SXSW. He was the best date!”
Amanda Nelson, Radian6 2012-2014

“Oh so many. I think my fav is the one South By…where I did the Vine video (landscape) of him dancing. That one comes to mind immediately.”
Heather-Anne MacLean, Radian6 2011-2013

“Every conversation with Jason is a joy! I can’t even think of one in particular right now tho! Perhaps pregnancy brain? He was always fun to talk to and could make everyone laugh in the worst situations!”
Melanie Thompson, Radian6 2010-2013

“I have a lot of great personal memories of Jason, but there’s one story I tell about him whenever I’m explaining to someone the concept of the brand journalist. When Jason got assigned to the healthcare vertical at Radian6 as a community manager, he didn’t know anything about it. But 90 days later he was named to a list of the 100 most influential healthcare people on Twitter, purely because of his dedication, hard work, smarts and natural friendliness.”

David B. Thomas, Radian6 2011-Oh, I guess he’s still there too.

So there you have it! The top memories with @JasonBoies.Have a good one my friend!

What are your favorite @JasonBoies memories? List them below!

Or, click here to tweet him a birthday message!

How Electric Cars Affect The Future: Technological Disruption in Transportation

A keynote speaker at #BMCEngage – my company, BMC Software‘s, user conference – was Tony Seba. Mr. Seba is a lecturer in entrepreneurship and distruption at Stanford University and he spoke of some amazing technological disruptions that have happened and are forecasted to happen, and these are quite amazing. He covered multiple industries, but I found one that particularly interesting to me personally – cars and transportation.

Where Did The Horses Go?

Mr. Seba started with two photos of Fifth Avenue, one in 1900 and one in 1913. In 1900, there’s one car, and it’s a bit hard to spot among all the horses. In the photo just thirteen years later, there’s only one horse – also difficult to spot among the sea of cars. The car was one of the top technological disruptions in transportation.

What’s So Great About Electric Cars?

Tony then talks about various forms of disruption, including “disruption from above,” or the idea that a new product or service starts at a premium price point. As technology becomes more affordable, the products fall in line with conventional products and displace them in the marketplace.

He specifically calls out the Tesla Model S. This is a vehicle that was ranked by Motor Trend in 2013 as the vehicle of the year – not the electric vehicle of the year, THE vehicle of the year. Consumer Reports said it was the best car they’ve ever evaluated, and even just yesterday, Car and Driver Magazine listed the Tesla Model S in their top 10 cars of the year, displacing the BMW 3-Series.

What are the Stats?

Compared to conventional internal-combustion gas engines, electric motors are 500% more efficient at converting energy to motion, says Tony Seba. From around 20% to 95%, electric vehicles like the Tesla Model S vastly decreases the energy lost to heat and noise. What impact does this have on the driver? It’s about a 90% savings in energy costs, from about $15k in five years for a Jeep Liberty, to $1500 for an electric equivalent.

Also notable is reliability. Electric vehicles have 90% fewer moving parts than their gasoline counterparts. This means that there are fewer parts to break and maintain. Tesla offers an 8-year, unlimited-mile warranty. You won’t see that matched by Detroit or Tokyo.

So when will Electric Cars displace Gas en masse?

Tony takes a look at the major component of electric cars, batteries. They’re falling in price about 16% annually. At that rate, we could see a competitive all-electric, 200-mile SUV around $40k by 2017. By 2019, electric vehicles could be cost-competitive with the average new vehicle price, around $31k, and by 2022, they could compete with low-end vehicles around $22k.

Does this mean that you’ll have an electric car in your driveway within eight years? Tony says that by 2030, nearly all cars will be electric. Here’s a link to Tony’s book, Clean Disruption of Energy and Transportation: How Silicon Valley Will Make Oil, Nuclear, Natural Gas, Coal, Electric Utilities and Conventional Cars Obsolete by 2030. (affiliate link).

Or view his speech here:

10 MORE Ways to Wish @JasonBoies a Happy Birthday

Our favorite Social Media Foodie is another year older. Here’s 10 MORE ways to help him celebrate.

1. Improve your Restaurant’s Ordering Practices with this Free Ebook!

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2. Get him an amazing book to read.

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3. Take him out to your local gastropub.

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4. Retweet his most RT’ed tweet ever.
(Waiting for a huge webinar to start, “Let it Go”
starts playing, everyone’s watching the tweetstream).

5. Ask him to dance, again.

JBDance

 

6. Congratulate him for being one of the top Customer Service Pros.

JBRank

 

7. Bacon.

8. Congratulate him on his acting career.

JBActing

9. Read and share his Blog Posts.

JBBlog

10. Tweet him a birthday message!

Tweet

BONUS: 8 MORE Ways to Wish @JasonBoies a Happy Birthday, via @AmandaLNelson

11. Become his friend on GTA5.

12. And don’t blow up his character on GTA5.

13. Dedicate a Weird Al video to him.

14. Offer to pack his survival pack for the zombie apocalypse.

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15. Buy him every super hero movie ever.

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16. Get him access to US Netflix.

Netflix-Canada-vs-Netflix-USA

17. Turn him into a Simpsons character.

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18. Get him a job at Sarah Palin’s internet channel.

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Do you have even more ways to wish Jason a happy birthday? Leave them in the comments below!

Top 100 Social Media Power Influencers Houston 2014, 1-50

Influencers.jpgThis is the second list of Social Media power influencers in Houston. The first issue from 2013 was well-received… except for the many folks who were left off.

For this year’s issue, we’re getting even a little more strict on qualifications.

Why? I wanted this to be a list of the people that are working in social, day in and day out. Engaging with customers and prospects, writing posts and creating tweets. That’s not to say that what bloggers or writers or SEOs do isn’t important, but it’s not the hardcore social media work that I was looking to focus on.

Besides, where would you stop? Almost anyone at a marketing agency could be included as almost everyone has some sort of social presence, from the CEO down to the interns. Thus, we’ve focused on folks that deal directly with social media.

The Qualifications

Firstly, I added everyone from the 2013 list, excluding the folks above who may not be direct social media managers. I added people from LinkedIn near Houston, within 100 miles of 77002, with “Social Media” in their job titles or within their profiles. Handles that were company- or agency- affiliated were removed, unless the person was a sole proprietor.

I read all profiles to determine if the person still lived in Houston and was actively engaged in a social media position, rather than just having social media listed as a skill. I then looked for their Twitter handle listed. If unavailable, I’d search Twitter for it.

If I was able to find a Twitter handle, it had to be a public handle for the analysis to take place. I took a look at the content in the feed to make sure the person was actively tweeting, and the content had to be non-spammy content.

I fed these all into Peek Analytics and got the top 100.

The Metrics

When trying to find out who these influencers are, it’s important to gauge the activity and influence of their followers, both to measure the effectiveness of the content shared by the influencer, as well as to determine how active their followers are (bots and spam accounts are not likely to engage with content or have relationships developed across networks). With this in mind, we used the same methodology that Haydn used for the global list, PeekAnalytics‘ Total Social Pull.

Social Pull is a measure of the user’s audience, expressed as a factor of an average user. A score like Michele Price’s 825 means that she has 825 times the influence of the average user, but it’s not only a measure of network size. It also takes into account other social networks your followers are using, as well as their network sizes. Basically, if you have a lot of people in your network, and the people in your network have a lot of people in their networks, you’re more likely to be influential.

Social Pull as a metric isn’t perfect, as Mark Schaeffer notes in this blog post, but neither is Klout, Kred or PeerIndex. I’m simply using it in a spirit of using the same methods as the global list. You’ll see the social pull ratings as the number listed after each influencer’s Twitter Handle.

You can find your Social Pull here.

The Changes

A number of people were left off the list – George Benckenstein because we couldn’t actually verify a current title, Robert J. Banach, Jeff Flowers, Petri Darby, Marc Nathan, Ed Schipul, Joe Ruiz and Debbie Hutchings for moving, to Ocean City, MD; Austin, TX; Austin, TX; Baltimore, MD; San Francisco, CA; Kansas City, MO; and Chicago, IL, respectively.

Also some changes this year, Damien Franco and Jamie Glover set out on their own – so send them some business! Jennifer Haubein left Forthea for BP, and Ed Schipul moved his whole company, Tendenci to San Francisco!

And yes, I did add myself this year. Multiple folks asked where I ranked, but this year’s list, like last year’s isn’t about me, it’s about cultivating a social community in our great hometown here in Houston.

So without further ado…

The Influencers (Follow them all on the “HoustonTop100” Twitter List)

1. Eric T. Tung is a social media manager at BMC Software, and social media consultant, speaker and coach. @EricTTung – 1634

2. Michele Price  founder of Breakthrough Business Strategies, a digital media agency, CMO at Tech Street Houston, and the on-air host for #BBSradio – business internet radio show. @ProsperityGal – 886 (+61)

3. Madalyn Sklar is an independent Social Media Strategist and founder of GoGirlsMusic.com. @MadalynSklar – 792 (+118)

4. Damien Franco is a marketing consultant at DTF Marketing specializing in social media strategy, customer engagement, inbound marketing, lead generation, SEO, SEM and training. @DamienFranco – 693 (+144)

5. Jennifer Haubein is the Social Media Specialist at BP. @JHaubein – 567 (-5)

6. Kara Singh is an actual former coworker and friend from Insperity, where she’s led the way for Social at Insperity Recruiting Services. @KaraSingh – 423 (+91)

7. Chris Makara is also a former coworker and friend from Insperity. Chris is the Interactive Marketing specialist, where he works with the online marketing team to lead Insperity’s multiple business units. He’s also a Social Media blogger and freelancer too. @ChrisMakara – 395 (+134)

8.  Tracey Holloway-Koetting is the owner and Social Media Manager for Get Social Butterfly. @GetSocialButter – 219 (+22)

9.  Grace Rodriguez is Creative Juicer at Culture Pilot where she works on branding and maketing strategy. She is also cofounder of C2 Creative, a creative office space. @GraceRodriguez – 205 (-1)

10. Frederick J. Goodall, better known as “Mocha Dad” is a top-50 dad blogger and internet marketer. @MochaDad – 188 (+2)

11. Daniel Calderon is a former social media manager for A’La Carte Foodservice, and current Assistant General Manager at Beck’s Prime. @DanielNCalderon – 184 (-2)

12. Kami Watson Huyse is founder of Social Media Breakfast Houston and the CEO at Zoetica, a communication consulting agency. @KamiChat – 184 (+5)

13. Raegan Hill is a Marketing Recruiter for Onward Search and one of the most prolific networkers in Houston. She is also spokesperson for The CMO Club Houston. @RaeganHill – 169 (0)

14. Oliver Glaudy is the CMO of Roar Marketing Consultants, a marketing agency. @OlivierGlaudy – 165 (-3)

15. Dwight Silverman is the Techblogger and Social Media Manager at The Houston Chronicle@DSilverman – 150 (+1)

16. Lauren Fernandez is the Social Media Manager at Landry’s Restaurants where she develops strategy for dozens of concepts with hundreds of locations nationwide. Don’t ask me how she does it. @Cubanalaf – 141 (-12)

17. Sandy Lawrence is the President of Perceptive Marketing, a publishing marketing company. @SandyLawrence – 134 (-1)

18. Rebecca Councill is the Community Manager and Social Media Specialist for CLR Virtual Connection, a Social Media Agency. @RebeccaThompson – 134 (+14)

19. Aimee Woodall is the founder of Black Sheep Agency, a boutique creative, branding and social media agency. @AimeeWoodall – 115 (+2)

20. Mike McGuff is the source for Houston media happenings, founder of mikemcguff.com, freelance media consultant, and I have no idea how I missed him on last year’s list. @mikemcguff – 111

21. Portia Chandler is Marketing Strategist PA & Associates and founder of portiachandler.com where she develops Social Media Strategy and training. @AskPortia – 108 (-1)

22. Brenda Ross heads up marketing and social media at ikan Corp. @BrendaRoss – 97 (+1)

23. Geri Druckman is the Web Development Specialist – Accessibility at MD Anderson Cancer Center. @GDruckman – 93 (-3)

24. Trish Cunningham is the Business Development and Expert Manager at Brookwoods Group, a staffing and consulting group. @TrishRC – 93 (+25)

25. Christine Pegg is a lifestyle blogger and brain stem surgery survivor. @xtineds – 91

26. Jennifer Valencia is the Director of Client Relations at Unleaded Communications. @JenValencia – 88 (+1)

27. Chris Sully is the Social Media Strategist at Houston retail electric provider, Reliant Energy. @CSSully – 86 (-1)

28. Juan Alanis is the Social Media and Public Relations Strategist from Lopez Negrete, a full-service agency specializing in Hispanic marketing. @JuanOfWords – 82 (+4)

29. Braxton Huggins is a Co-Founder of the Energy Digital Summit. @whoisbraxton – 80

30. Rob Ainbinder is Senior Director, Digital Strategy at BubbleUp. @RobAinbinder – 76 (-2)

31. Alexandra Velez is the Founder and Owner of Velez Media, an inbound marketing, SEO and Social Media agency. @VelezMedia – 72 (-1)

32. Christa Cassata is a Digital Media Copywriter at Stage Stores. @christacassata – 70

33. Marcel Santilli is the Global Social Media Manager for IBM. I have no idea how we haven’t met yet. @Santilli – 70 (0)

34. Louis Sokol is President of Social Media Accessories. @LouisSokol – 64

35. Sandra Fernandez is the Public Relations Manager for the Houston Public Library. @SandraSays – 63 (0)

36. Scott Cone is the Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing at The AIM Agency. @scone – 60

37.Mickey Bryan is the Executive Director of Compu-Net, who promotes social media and technology training for non-profits. Mickey is also a Social Network trainer at Leisure Learning Unlimited. @MickeyBryant – 60 (-2)

38. Katie Laird is the PR and Social Media Manager at Blinds.com (now a Home Depot company). @HappyKatie – 56 (0)

39. Chris Jones is the Web Developer and Social Media Consultant at Network Outfitters. @RealChrisJones – 56 (-2)

40. Jihane Rodriguez is the Community Affairs Coordinator at Univision Communications. @OnixJihane – 51

41. Kathryn Weathersby is a Professional Internet Marketer and Business Coach at KathrynWeathersby.com. @outoftheboxsoc – 50

42. Monica Danna is the Chief Strategy Officer at The Black Sheep Agency, as well as a special events board member of HiMA. @CosmoPolitician – 46 (0)

43. Jennifer Texada is Vice President, Web & Digital at Cadence Bank. @JennTex – 42 (0)

44. Julian Cavazos is the Marketing and Communications Specialist at YMCA of Houston. @JulianCavazos – 38

45. Kristen Brady is currently a freelance Social Media Consultant and Maketing Writer. @KB54927 – 38 (-1)

46. Zach Doty is the SEO Specialist at Forthea Interactive. @ZLDoty – 37

47. Roxanne Werner is a Social Media Consultant at Shell with Brookwoods Group. @thisisroxanne – 34

48. CJ Castillo is the Web Content Specialist at Talent Source. @CjCastillo – 33

49. Joëlle Eid is the Interactive Community Manager at Signet Interactive, a contributing writer for Localeur and founder of @HouTweetDrive, a socially-powered toy drive. @joelletweeted – 31 (+1)

50. Brian Block is the Social Media Strategist and Account Executive at Pierpont Communications, and self-proclaimed Seth Green look-alike (I kinda see it). @BriGuyBlock– 31 (0)

Continue to 51-100 here.