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Friday, November 12, 2010

Bathroom Blogfest Social Media Marketing Analysis: Why Participate?

Bathroom Blogfest Social Media Marketing Analysis
Why would an 'eclectic' [hat tip to Bruce Sanders] band of bloggers get together once a year to discuss bathrooms in an event called Bathroom Blogfest?  Good question. Especially since we have been doing so for five years now, calling attention to improving the reader, customer, user, patron, patient and other experience using bathrooms as leitmotif.  Let me explain why via the following social media marketing analysis and historic overview! [Fellow BBC, please feel free to chime in!]

First, we share a passion for extraordinary user/customer experiences that we express through our participation in social media.  Bathroom Blogfest allows us to express that passion and then delight in how fellow Bathroom Blogfest participants relate her - and now his - blog focus to bathrooms...

Don't forget that there's a historic quality, too.The event just completed its 5th year!

I like participating in the Bathroom Blogfest because it inevitably brings intense social media marketing learning.
  • I consider a blog critical for generating content. It's your marketing & communications hub. An important aspect of a successful blog, though, is connecting and engaging beyond your site to become part of a digital community - something that's easy to lose track of as you focus intensely on creating content consistently and meeting deadlines... The Bathroom Blogfest represents a friendly means for exploring other sites and connecting. I have formed lasting relationships as a result.
  • Social media marketing involves experimentation to figure out how to make sense of new tools available. Twitter had no place in the first Bathroom Blogfest; it does now. The intensity of the Bathroom Blogfest experience makes for valuable pressure-testing! Blogposts, tweets, Facebook updates and comments need to be tracked and coordinated and some systems work better than others, particularly with increased complexity. Perhaps we'll add a Twitter Chat next!
  • Bathroom Blogfest uncovers brilliance and cleverness; it's a bridge to perspectives otherwise foreign to you. It stretches your awareness and intellect and fires up your creativity.   
  • Finally, Bathroom Blogfest has dimension! It takes place offline as well as online. Don't believe me? Try it. Bring it up in conversation with friends, family and business associates. I guarantee it will generate stories, anecdotes, and leads to followup on.

The Bathroom Blogfest has become a meme of sorts, evolving since the first event in 2006.

What started out in 2006 with 9 bloggers has grown into a much larger event and fascinating Bathroom Blogfest Community [aka BBC] with close to 40 bloggers participating in 2010.

We added in 2007 to create a central focus point for the blogfest. It has evolved, too, over the years.

Since 2008, we've adopted a distinct theme for the yearly Bathroom Blogfest thereby adding an element of surprise.

We've also integrated additional social media tools as they have become more mainstream.  There was no Twitter to speak of in October 2006 when we first launched the Bathroom Blogfest. It is now an important communications and cooperation platform that drives traffic to sources of larger content [e.g., blogs].  Same goes for Facebook....

To give you a sense of the growth in the Bathroom Blogfest, I thought I would share with you a few charts.

Here you see the increase in traffic to from 2009 to 2010. Yes, this is definitely a yearly event with little activity in between.

Bathroom Blogfest 2010 traffic

This next chart details referring sites. Notice that Facebook and Twitter represent important sources. Interestingly, the Twitter traffic spent more time on the Bathroom Blogfest site compared to the Facebook traffic.

I wonder how much stronger the Facebook traffic would be if we were to start re-connecting with Facebook fans a month or so ahead of the Bathroom Blogfest to build up event momentum.
Bathroom Blogfest 2010 referrals

This next chart captures the volume of conversations that Bathroom Blogfest 2010 generated between May 8 through November 8, 2010 [using eCairn Conversation]: close to 400 conversations consisting of Tweets, Facebook updates and approximately 70 blogposts.

Bathroom Blogfest 2010 conversations
The Bathroom Blogfest continues to evolve and I invite you to participate in next year's event, as an active participant or a supporter.

In the meantime, I hope you will look at the bathroom experiences around you with fresh eyes and consider how you might improve your patient, user, customer experience. Oh, and go visit the sites of my fellow Bathroom Blogfest participants. You may want to subscribe to several of them.

What other learnings would you add? 


Here are the participants in the past five Bathroom Blogfests:

2006 Bathroom Blogfest

My summary post: Bathroom Blogfest 2006 Comes to a Close

2007 Bathroom Blogfest

Bathroom Blogfest 2007 posts: available via this link, this link (2), and this link (3), and finally this link (4).

Kate Rutter—Adaptive Path
Laurence Helene Borel—Blog Till You Drop
Iris Shreve Garrott—checking out and checking in
Susan Abbott—Customer Experience Crossroads
Maria Palma—Customers Are Always
Becky Carroll—Customers Rock!
Toby Bloomberg—Diva Marketing
Stephanie Weaver—Experienceology
Linda Tischler—Fast Company Now
C.B. Whittemore—Flooring the Consumer
Ed Pell—K+B DeltaVee
Helene Blowers—Library Bytes
Claudia Schiepers—Life and its little pleasures
Katie Clark—Practical Katie
Sandra Renshaw—Purple Wren
Reshma Anand—Qualitative Research
Marianna Hayes—Results Revolution
Carolyn Townes—Spirit Women
Sara Cantor—The Curious Shopper
Anna Farmery—The Engaging Brand
Dee McCrorey—The Ultimate Corporate Entrepreneur
Katia S. Adams—Transcultural

    2008 Bathroom Blogfest

    Theme: Cleaning Up Forgotten Spaces Around Us.

    My summary post: Bathroom Blogfest '08- Recapping the Details

    Susan Abbott at Customer Experience Crossroads
    Katia Adams at Transcultural Marketing
    Shannon Bilby at Floor Talk!
    Laurence Borel at Blog Till You Drop
    Jo Brown and the blogging team at Kohler Talk
    Lisbeth Calandrino at Lisbeth Calandrino
    Sara Cantor at The Curious Shopper
    Becky Carroll at Customers Rock!
    Katie Clark at Practical Katie
    Iris Shreve Garrott at Circulating
    Ann Handley at Annarchy
    Marianna Hayes at Results Revolution
    Elizabeth Hise and C.B. Whittemore at The Carpetology Blog
    Maria Palma at Customers Are Always
    Sandra Renshaw at Purple Wren
    Kate Rutter at Adaptive Path
    Claudia Schiepers at Life and its little pleasures
    Carolyn Townes at Becoming a Woman of Purpose
    Stephanie Weaver at Experienceology
    C.B. Whittemore at Flooring The Consumer

    2009 Bathroom Blogfest

    Theme: Flush the Recession and Plunge Into Forgotten Spaces.

    Summary Post: The Entire Bathroom Blogfest 2009 Lineup

    Susan Abbott at Customer Experience Crossroads
    Reshma Anand at Qualitative Research Blog
    Shannon Bilby at From the Floors Up
    Shannon Bilby and Brad Millner at My Big Bob’s Blog
    Laurence Borel at Blog Till You Drop
    Jeanne Byington at The Importance of Earnest Service
    Becky Carroll at Customers Rock!;
    Leslie Clagett at KB Culture
    Katie Clark at Practical Katie;
    Iris Shreve Garrott at Checking In and Checking Out;
    Julie at Julie’s Cleaning Secrets Blog
    Marianna Hayes at Results Revolution
    Maria Palma at People To People Service
    Professor Toilet at Professor Toilet’s Blog
    David Reich at My 2 Cents
    Bethany Richmond at The Carpet and Rug Institute Blog
    Carolyn Townes at Becoming a Woman of Purpose
    Stephanie Weaver at Experienceology;
    C.B. Whittemore at Flooring The Consumer and Simple Marketing Blog
    Linda Wright at Build Better Business with Better Bathrooms

    2010 Bathroom Blogfest

    Theme: Inspired by Mad Men - Stuck in the 60s?

    Summary Post: Bathroom Blogfest 2010 Final Recap

    Susan Abbott - @susanabbott - Customer Experience Crossroads -
    Paul Anater - @Paul_Anater - Kitchen and Residential Design -
    Shannon Bilby - @shannonbilby
    My Big Bob’s Blog -
    From The Floors Up -
    Big Bob’s Outlet -
    Dolphin Carpet Blog -
    Carpets N More Blog -
    Toby Bloomberg - @TobyDiva - Diva Marketing -
    Laurence Borel - @ blogtillyoudrop - Blog Till You Drop -
    Bill Buyok - @AventeTile - Avente Tile Talk Blog -
    Jeanne Byington - @ jmbyington - The Importance of Earnest Service -
    Becky Carroll - @ bcarroll7 - Customers Rock! -
    Marianna Chapman - @ResultsRev - Results Revolution –
    Katie Clark - @practicalkatie - Practical Katie -
    Valerie Fritz - @Awarepoint - The Awarepoint Blog -
    Nora DePalma - @noradepalma - American Standard’s Professor Toilet - and O’Reilly/DePalma: The Blog -
    Leigh Durst - @LivePath - LivePath Experience Architect Weblog -
    Iris Garrott - @circulating - Checking In and Checking Out -
    Tish Grier - @TishGrier - The Constant Observer -
    Renee LeCroy - @ReneeLeCroy - Your Fifth Wall -
    Joseph Michelli - Dr. Joseph Michelli’s Blog -
    Veronika Miller - @Modenus - Modenus Blog -
    Chris Moline - Alexandria Carpet One -
    Arpi Nalbandian - @TileEditor - TILE Magazine Editor Blog -
    Maria Palma - @mariapalma - People 2 People Service -
    Reshma Bachwani Paritosh -The Qualitative Research Blog -
    David Polinchock - @Polinchock - Polinchock’s Ponderings -
    David Reich - @davidreich - My 2 Cents -
    Victoria Redshaw & Shelley Pond - @scarletopus - Scarlet Opus Trends Blog -
    Sandy Renshaw - @purplewren - Purple Wren - and Around Des Moines -
    Bethany Richmond - The Carpet and Rug Institute Blog -
    Bruce Sanders - RIMtailing -
    Steve Tokar - Please Be Seated -
    Carolyn Townes - @SpiritWoman26 - Becoming a Woman of Purpose -
    Stephanie Weaver - @experienceology - Experienceology -
    Christine B. Whittemore - @cbwhittemore
    Ted & Christine B. Whittemore - Smoke Rise & Kinnelon Blog -
    Linda Wright - LindaLoo Build Business With Better Bathrooms -
    Jennifer Young - Secrets in San Diego -



    1. What an excellent recap CB. And nice demonstration of how one can actually use social media tracking.

      I think the unspoken here, is that to really create something that has conversational legs, you also have to get "out there". The theme had to be a little bit weird and crazy to work.

      You seem to have identified a trend in usage that blogs are not as salient as they used to be outside other forms of social media. Interested in hearing more of your thoughts on that.

    2. Susan,

      I was thinking of you the whole time I was working on this piece! Must have been all of the wonderful logos :-)

      Love how you describe the magic of the theme: a little weird and crazy, but also something that everyone can relate to.

      About blogs. I believe that they are as salient and valuable as ever – if not more, especially for creating a long term presence. They are workhorses for building content and developing thought leadership and remain important Google magnets.

      As it relates to Bathroom Blogfest, in terms of creating buzz for a 1 week event, the other social tools really matter – especially Twitter. Some of the Twitter interaction is almost like a relay race like with the creation of tweets, the RT and the opportunity to propagate the message across different follower networks.

      Lots of interesting influences to digest.

      Who would have thought that your experiment 5 years ago would yield so much food for thought!



    Reminder: Please, no self-promotional or SPAM comments. Don't bother if you're simply trying to build inauthentic link juice. Finally, don't be anonymous: it's too hard to have a conversation. Thanks, CB

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