Earlier this week, the Online Marketing Summit rolled out the Social Media Summit in San Francisco. In addition to the great content provided at the conference, I found the networking to be invaluable. The presenters were all very accessible and more then generous with their time. I know I’ll be looking forward to upcoming events to attend. If you haven’t been before, you should really make the effort. Aaron Kahlow is the founder of the Online Marketing Summit and he has extensive experience putting on top notch events. The Social Media Summit was no exception!
In contrast from last year’s theme of education, the Online Marketing Summit is focusing on putting education into action. Education is great, but you really need to do something with it. With that in mind, Mario Sundar of Linkedin kicked of the keynote, moderated by Aaron.
Scale Your Marketing to be More Efficient
Mario provided some great advice for business owners to leverage the power of the top 3 social networking platforms (Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin). Keep in mind the combined reach of these three platforms is over 1 billion people! Here are some tips from Mario:
1) Find the right audience for your community.
Use the top social networking platforms to fine tune your audience and apply targeted marketing verses mass marketing.
2) Create content that is interesting to your audience.
Mario gave a great example of interns at Linkedin doing a flash mob in front of their CEO, Jeff Weiner. Know your audience!
3) Word of Mouth is key.
Spend time and money to grow your audience and let them be messengers to spread the word.
It’s Not About Quantity, it’s About Quality
Dennis Yu, CEO of BlitzLocal, gave a great session on ‘How to Master Facebook Marketing in Today’s Social Climate’. One of the most impressive components of his presentation was the fact that he didn’t work off a slide deck. Instead, he dove into Facebook and showed real life examples of how companies are utilizing the power of Facebook to build their engagement.
The #1 factor in Edgerank is engagement: Everything is competing for the newsfeed. Engagement is the number of (Likes and Comments) / Number of Fans. A good engagement rate is 1 %. Again, you want to go for quality, not quantity.
Interesting is squared and boring is squared: Facebook rewards interesting content by pushing it up into the Newsfeed. Write compelling content to engage your audience. Don’t just tell them you are having a sale on jeans, tell them in a way that grabs their attention!
Facebook is about word of mouth: To market successfully on Facebook, you need to find the fans that love you and let them become your advertisers. Facebook is the new TV channel! If you target the right people, you will see impact in other channels. Once you convert someone to a fan, you have permission to communicate to them. Capitalize on this by building engagement, don’t skip from awareness to sale – they won’t like you!
Know Your Customers and Have a Conversation
Todd Wilms, Senior Director of Social Media Audience Marketing at SAP was hands down my favorite presenter! Not only was his content on the mark, but his presentation style was engaging and refreshing. A big theme of his session was empathy, so it was no surprise that he took the time before his session to introduce himself to each and every attendee. It made a huge impression on me and it helped him engage with the audience before he even started his presentation. I was already won over! Todd’s session was on ‘How to Effectively Design and Execute Your B2B Social Media Program’.
In B2B people really want a B2C experience, but it’s just not the same. With B2B you are trying to get in over the long haul with people. Here are some ways to do that:
1) Know Thyself.
– Who are you, really?
– What are you trying to accomplish?
– What do we want others to think about you?
Whatever you do, do NOT skip this step and go directly to the tactics!
2) Set the “right” goals and objectives
– Who are you going after?
– What do you want them to do?
– When (time frame) do you want them to do it?
– Where (geography, language, etc.) do you want to focus?
– What industries do you want to reach?
Create personas and determine who is the perfect person you want to talk to.
3) Find your Audience
Here are some ways to do just that:
– Keywords: What keywords work best with your solution?
– Communities: What groups are out there on Linkedin, Facebook, Blogs, etc.?
– Influencers: Who are they and where do they hang out?
– Wikipedia: Help connect people into the right flow of information
4) Set Measurements Before you Start
This is imperative! You have to define what you CAN measure. If you don’t have the tools to measure it, you need to factor that into your planning.
5) Social media is not free!
While there are exceptions, social programs take resources, time, and probably some technology costs. Social media is a marketing channel, treat it like one and do a cost benefit analysis beforehand.
6) Sustain. Think day 180, not day 1
You need to plan for the long haul, not the first 30 days of your social program. Build trust over time and give out free stuff!
7) Sell Internally
– Engage the boss on your program to avoid begging for more funds to keep your program going.
– Have a monthly feedback mechanism and provide a dashboard of your results across: Reach, Engagement and Action.
I did miss one of the stand outs of the conference, Michael Stelzner, the founder of Socialmediaexaminer.com. It’s always a good sign when you can’t choose which session to attend, because they all sound so good! Thankfully, Lisa Peyton wrote up a great overview of his presentation on ‘Proven Social Media Strategies to Rapidly Grow Your Business’. It’s worth the read. One of his key points was providing customers with value instead of a marketing message. ‘Great content + other people – marketing messages = Growth’.
This theme of providing customers with something of value was one that was reiterated by the speakers throughout the sessions and I couldn’t agree more. Now go put your education into action and go engage with your community!
Note: View the speaker’s slides and catch up on sessions you may have missed!