A hugely successful and highly entertaining Social Media Week Los Angeles recently wrapped up in Santa Monica. Chock-full of over 1,000 events, involving 8 cities simultaneously around the globe and over 25,000 attendees, it would be impossible to have devoured all of the scrumptious food for thought personally. While there are plenty of recaps on the SocialMedia.org website, as a time saver, the ROC Blog will offer a weekly condensed version of “Lessons Learned” and as a bonus some more brain food in the form of a “Crumb to contemplate.” ROC knows how busy you are; saving you time and providing invaluable resources are what we specialize in, so in brief here’s what you may have missed.
The President and his actions always stimulate strong public opinion, and the Obama campaign was the first one to have (willingly or not) adopted social media as a platform, embracing the conversational and word of mouth approach. The tactic towards social media was simply based on a firm belief that people have not “changed” since social media has inundated our personal and professional lives. We are all essentially social and very human beings that want to feel good. The campaign understood that they already had their “followers” support and instead of recruiting or convincing, they chose to inspire, empower and incite the public, and we all know who is President. Word of mouth is free and tremendously effective, but ultimately must be genuine. Making yourself relatable, approachable and allowing your existing supporters to feel like and be a part of your success, shows that you respect and understand your audience, client or customer, and will receive both their unending loyalty and support and promotion.
Crumb to contemplate: “A (political) campaign is a start-up, scrutinized on it’s success overnight and designed to go out of business after 19 months.” Teddy Goff, Precision Strategies
We’ve all heard it thousands of times (especially in the last 5 years) -small business is the backbone of America, and it is true, but it also takes the most backbone to keep running. Obstacles of growth, dramatic fluctuations in cash flow, and the need to not be left behind in your industry, are all the Achilles’ heel of the Small Biz CEO. Social media is free to join (for the most part), and more small businesses are jumping in as an essential way to communicate and understand their customers. Small businesses are typically flooded with pitches for services and products to manage their data and adopt stronger streamlined technologies to handle growth, but often they cannot afford or validate the expense. Showing the Small Biz CEO how technology can save time and money, return the initial investment cost, that using the product or technology will empower them to grow further and really know their customer are the keys to the front door of Small Biz if you are in the technology sector. Social media has become an expected part of business (like having a website used to validate if you were a legitimate business once long ago), it is essential to show the Small Biz CEO that social media is not just neat, or fun but a valuable business tool.
Crumb to Contemplate: “The small business’ objective is to be in a good location, be personal, have relationships and have good quality service or product.” Gary Gordon, Main Street Business Improvement Association
While all of the mainstream social media platforms hold reputable space for businesses now, marketing on social media is completely ineffective if it’s too “sale-sy”, if you can’t do it right, don’t do it. Social media presence should be focused on engaging people and not overly promotional or comes across as tooting your own horn to an audience that prefers woodwinds. The secret to any social media success is to cross promote, link building and a business is even more guaranteed for measurable results if able to generate user or customer interaction and commentary, keeping the campaign alive in the web world. Getting the audience involved can be as simple as asking questions, and rewarding feedback, but before doing so be prepared to handle all responses and embrace the engagement. UGC (User Generated Content) can be huge in promoting your business, Instagram (and many others) are purely UGC, if you don’t already know about UGC, some more research is well worth the time. YouTube deserves the attention of business owners as well, with over 1 billion users accessing content per month and free global HD video hosting, impressive analytics, is owned by Google, and the bottom line is that there is a huge audience available to everyone. YouTube started almost 8 years ago, and in 2011 there were almost 140 views for every person on Earth. YouTube is ideal for businesses to use in marketing but the most important thing is to do it right and think of your audience or customer first.
Crumb to contemplate: YouTube has a funny bone, every year since 2008 the website has a featured “prank” that has historically included redirecting links, a host of formatting surprises and things that made users go “hmmm…” while scratching their head, engaging?