On Tuesday, the PubClub hosted yet another marvelous event: Social Media Case Studies. Of course, yours truly took one look at event title and signed up immediately. Once again, the panelists were all not only knowledgeable practitioners of social media, but delightful individuals. Below are the participants.
David Woodrow, Gather, Inc.
Jennifer Jewett, Kaspersky Lab Americas
Stacey Howe, New Balance
Meagan J. Ellis, Kel & Partners
Marc Goodman, Comcast
Dan Abdinoor, HubSpot (moderator)
While my last PubClub event keyed in on the benefits of LinkedIn as a networking tool, this one focused a bit more on Facebook and Twitter as complements to a marketing strategy. Our lovely moderator Dan Abdinoor of HubSpot, an inbound marketing agency, opened with a Seth Godin quote:
Conversations among members of your marketplace happen whether you like it or not. Good marketing encourages the right sort of conversations.
While nothing new for me (or other social media enthusiasts in the audience), the quote is still one of the best to summarise why marketers and PR practitioners should give a hoot about social media as a necessary accessory in our professional repertoires. No one is holding a gun to anyone’s head demanding that they create a Twitter account . . . but if they do, reaching out to their target audiences will be a heck of a lot easier. The better you know your targets, the more likely it will be to get them to listen to you.
More specific to Twitter, Dan offered a few pointers on maintaining a complete profile before turning the mic over to the panelists.
Complete your profile. No one cares what your name is. Okay, that’s totally not true, but if you’re trying to build a Twitter following, you better have more than just your name. Where are you located? What do you do? Do you have a life outside of what people pay you to do? Sure, you only have 160 characters to sum yourself up, but once you get the hang of tweeting, it’s easy. For instance, here’s what I have to say about myself on Twitter:
Public Relations BU Grad. Little and blonde. Occasionally witty. Enjoy beer, wine, food, music and dance. Available for hire.
Gets the point across, right? Give the Twittersphere a glimpse of what to expect upon following you.
Find people in your area of interest. If you’re in public relations, chances are conversations with biochemists will be infinitely less interesting than with other PR practitioners. There are countless Twitter applications that allow you to search for people in your area, industry, and so-on and so-forth.
Say interesting and/or useful things. Unless you are a part of an exhibitionist muffin fetishist community, chances are few people will care about what kind of muffin you had for breakfast. Talking about the news in your industry, or about what your clients are doing, on the other hand, may resonate a bit more with audiences.
Don’t auto-follow people back on Twitter. They say you can judge a man by the company he keeps. Do you have any idea how many spam-bots are on Twitter? Make sure that folks who follow you are relevant to you before clicking that “Follow” button.
Each of the panelists shared his or her case of how social media was used to increase a brand’s online presence. To discuss the cases themselves would turn this blog post into a novella, but I’ll share the significant points from everyone, starting with Stacey Howe.
People have been talking for centuries; they’re just doing it faster now. With the rise of social media, consumers have gained a direct line to the ears of businesses, something previously all but impossible. Through channels such as Facebook and Twitter, consumers can converse with one another about their experiences with a product or brand, what their thoughts were on said product or brand, and if they’d recommend it. If a business (like, say, New Balance) is smart, it will not only harvest this feedback and incorporate it into its marketing strategy, but it will also engage its audience through social media to better connect. As a consumer, wouldn’t you be more encouraged to share your honest thoughts about a brand if you knew the people behind that brand were listening?
Marc Goodman piggy-backed off Stacey to talk about the benefits of real-time feedback in customer service. Comcast customers, are you familiar with @comcastcares? Imagine: you have a problem with your service, and you tweet about it to @comcastcares . . . and a real person gets back to you. Instantly. Wow, suddenly you don’t find yourself cursing the existence of your cable provider! Seriously, though. It happens. Social media turns companies (especially customer service reps) into real people.
I’m off to #SoxUp, but I’ll wrap up David, Meagan and Jennifer’s points soon!
“Broadway,” The Goo Goo Dolls
“Everything You Want,” Vertical Horizon
“Hey Jealousy,” Gin Blossoms
“December (1995),” Collective Soul
“Ants Marching,” Dave Matthews Band