Is Beauty Only Skin Deep? GlamourGals Uses A Social Network To Prove Otherwise

See this post in its original format on Girls In Tech

As women in a mostly male-dominated field, it’s easy to have a tenuous relationship with the idea of ‘beauty.’ After all, we want people to focus on the skills and savvy we bring to the table, and not necessarily on the brand of purse we put down on top of it. If you’re a female who deals regularly with developers, this balancing act can be even more precarious. How do you justify spending time on hair and makeup when most of the men you’re working with would rather worry about HTML than hygiene?

But, it’s hard to ignore the effect your appearance has on your confidence. And, any successful woman – or man for that matter – will tell you that confidence is a key component of that success. So, many of us still take the time to do our hair. To put on a little makeup. To pick out that perfect outfit. It doesn’t make us any less skilled or savvy, it just makes us feel a little better as we go about our daily business. What we don’t realize is how lucky we are to be able to do that for ourselves. And, that’s where GlamourGals comes in.

GlamourGals is an organization that arranges makeovers and beauty treatments for women in nursing homes. By hooking young women up with their elderly counterparts, the organization provides both parties with opportunities to foster meaningful relationships, and also helps those elderly women to get that same little beauty boost we all know and love. It also has an amazing social media component, in its use of a proprietary networking site for all of its chapters, which helps the organization keep infrastructure costs low and connectivity high. Started in 2000, GlamourGals is now having its tenth birthday party in LA, giving glamorous gals across the LA area the chance to celebrate and support this very worthy cause.

The party is at Bimi Restaurant, on February 25. There will be complementary cocktails, raffle prizes, food and gift bags, and the whole thing kicks off at 6pm. Hosts include Lauren Berger and Laurel Kaufman of our very own GIT LA chapter, and Girls in Tech members get $10 off ticket prices through the first week of February. So, break out your best beauty products and start primping – this is one event worth getting all dolled up for.

What: GlamourGals 10th Birthday Party

Where: Bimi Restaurant, 11917 Wilshire Blvd

When: Feb 25, 2010 (6-9pm)

Register Here

Twitter Demographic & Twitter Followers: Stats Served Up Courtesy of Ad.ly

In honor of hitting follower #1,000 on Twitter this weekend, I figured I’d finally check out the new Ad.ly Analytics feature that Lalawag wrote up last week.

Apparently, 61% of my Twitter followers are male, most of my Twitter followers live in the US, and the vast majority of my Twitter followers live in California. Not that I couldn’t have gleaned all of that info just by — well, I don’t know, opening up my Twitter stream.

But, the Ad.Ly Analytics feature does provide some pretty graphics to dress it all up. And, presumably to take the sting out of the fact that only about half of my Twitter followers are engaged in what I have to say. Which, come to think of it, actually kind of takes the excitement out of that whole 1,000 followers thing…

How To: Social Media, Social Networking and PR

I recently explained SMM to my mom. Or, at least, I tried to. All I know is that she came away from that conversation wanting print outs of all the front page google strings I’ve SEO’d, so she could hang them on the fridge. Since the conversation wasn’t even about SEO to begin with, I think I can safely assume that she’s not going to jump on the social media marketing bandwagon any time soon.

However, I do know that soon after that convo, my inbox was suddenly inundated with requests from her friends for advice about how to make this social media thing work for their books, brands, businesses, etc.

Now, as much as I love telling people what to do, the problem with trying to teach someone SMM is that it’s not exactly a black and white branding tool. There’s all sorts of nuance to navigate when it comes to effectively selling your brand on the social web, and getting your product to the top of that search result page.

Sometimes, even the most well meaning, well educated brands get it completely wrong. Even media giant Sports Illustrated isn’t immune to a little blogosphere backlash.  And then, just to muddy the marketing waters up even more, there are plenty of cases where a company pisses people off and still manages to get people amped for their product. With all the mixed marketing messages out there, it’s hard to tell people what is and isn’t going to work in totally definitive terms. A lot of it is a judgment call, based on knowing all the info about your given vertical, keeping up with the trending topics at any given time and being able to know your audience well enough to give them what they want, when they want it. Of course, it also doesn’t hurt to have a unique angle on whatever it is you’re trying to sell. And viral videos are always a plus too.

All in all, that’s why Volvo’s latest ad campaign is so brilliant. At least imho. It’s unique, well timed and — most importantly — well suited to its audience, both in terms of content and distribution. Not to mention the fact that it’s just plain cool to watch. Well done, Volvo. If I could, I might even consider hanging this baby on the refrigerator.