The last panel of the day at the GrowSmartBiz conference, panelists discussed how they could integrate traditional marketing with social media. Moderated by Jill Foster, the panelists included:
- Terri Holley (Creative Marketing Solutions)
- Brent Leary (CRM Essentials)
- Danilo Bogdanovic (Loudoun Scene)
- Joanna Pineda (Matrix Group International)
This is the first time ever that the amount of time spent online globally on social networks has exceeded all other time, according to a Nielsen study. The working definition of social media being used for this panel is: content published online that is intended to provide value.
What is the most compelling thing in social media?
For Danilo Bogdanovic, it’s the ability to engage with his customers.
For Joanna Pineda, the last few employees that she’s hired has been found via social media tools like Craigslist, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.
For Terri Holley, she’s a social media enthusiast and a certified and professional life coach. Social media excites her because for a small business, it gives her a more level playing field. Allows her to reach out to her targeted audience without paying a high price. She’s able to listen to the social media space and find out what the people want. This enables her to reach out, talk to them and optimize to their needs.
For Brent Leary, social media has allowed him to travel to a social media conference in Buenos Aires where he spoke after someone found him via a tweet that linked to a podcast. It has enabled him to be connected with others in remarkable ways and thinks that it works in incredible ways and also to listen.
How has social media helped to create shifts?
According to Holley, there have been fundamental shifts in marketing. We want to be better informed before making decisions and expect it from the vendors and want to be invited to engage in getting the information. Social media is the ability for businesses to have conversations with web 2.0 consumers. The technologies created, including blogs, podcasts, etc are all tools to achieve this end.
Pineda emphasizes that these additional platforms that can be used for conversations should NOT be used for advertising purposes. It’s still for conversation. There is a high distrust for traditional advertising. You need to be a provider and consumer of the technology within the game.
Leary says that 93% of all Americans surveyed think that brands should be using social media. There is a high expectation for brands to be using it and a high propensity for additional and better service.
Bogdanovic references Anthony Pappas’s presentation that said 61% of consumers get their first impression online. Word of Mouth Marketing has also leapfrogged online. Everything is being talked about online.
How did you form a listening strategy?
First thing is to know who is talking about you. Set up some Google Alerts and search for your company name, product name, generic names, brands, etc to get notified when people are talking about them. Also set up a Twitter search to keep track of the conversation. Start following the trail and look at what bloggers are talking about you, who has a lot of followers, what dialogue is taking place. Then decide whether or not to engage.
By listening, people are leaving behinds crumbs on various sites and are asking companies to listen and find out what’s on their minds. Often times when brands ask people questions, you’re asking questions that you want certain answers for. These other conversations on other sites can lead to other discoveries. You want to have customers feel comfortable with you to talk about your product.
Pineda gave an example where she is dealing with a client who is publishing a book but yet has no attention or leads towards potential sales. Has hired several agencies to help promote him & his books, including a social media consultant. But the point is that the client wasn’t selling any books. Pineda’s company worked to help figure out what the client’s need is and find out how everything integrates so that the message and the brand are consistent and that you’re sharing things on different platforms so that people will follow you.
Holley’s big thing is helping companies understand how to have conversations with customers. Use this space to show people how you are as a human being not just as an object. A content marketing strategy is essential and that the message needs to be the same as the brand.
Bogdanovic states that you need to find out who your audience is and what their needs are. If you are trying to write a blog post and ask what you should write about, then you don’t know who your audience is.
You need to figure out which platform is professional and personal. Some people may prefer Twitter to be professional while Facebook is personal. Determine the lines and decide which platform goes for which.Google+