Social media conferences are a Mecca for new media geeks such as myself. I imagine it is similar to a Star Trek convention for a die-hard Trekkie—your obsession is more than welcome. It is a place where constant tweeting and posting are embraced and no one judges you for randomly shouting things like, “Just got 100 shares on my Facebook post!”
OK, so maybe people weren’t yelling social stats in turrets-like bursts at last week’s Social Media Marketing World in San Diego. But excitement was definitely high as a pack-like mentality seeped its way into the energy of the classrooms.
In-between exchanging declarations of love for Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and all other social platforms, the attendees became immersed in social media marketing. We listened to tips and tricks of the industry and compared notes—swapping success stories of our own.
In case you weren’t able to make the trek to the social media Mecca, here are my top five awesome takeaways from the event:
“Sell something and you make a customer today. Help someone and you create a customer for life”
Offering valuable information and help to consumers fosters trust. Consumers are not only much more likely to purchase from someone they trust, they are much more likely to become loyal to the brand and evangelize their dedication. It’s a simple idea that is often hard for us, as marketers, to latch onto.
We tend to want to shout our company’s virtues at the top of our lungs and push CTAs down our consumer’s throats—no matter the platform. However, when engaging with your audience through social media, offering useful information that the public appreciates builds the foundation of trust that later allows you to sell to a willing and much more open consumer.
“Ostrich Marketing vs. Listening”
Do you want to be the company with its head in the sand, or a dynamic and engaging brand that interacts with the public and addresses their needs? When companies listen to their consumers, they can produce content that appeals to their target audience, which will more likely end in the ultimate consumption of the product and a consumer that is going to come back for more.
“Facts tell, stories sell”
When you can communicate your point through a witty and entertaining blog post or YouTube video as opposed to dry web copy, the public will respond. They will identify more closely with your brand and choose to associate with you not only because of the product you sell, but the culture behind the company. One way to generate that type of content is by having those who are passionate about the topic blog for your company.
“It’s not B2B or B2C, it’s P2P”
Relationship marketing is elbowing out old methods of advertising. So many of us wonder how to interact with an online audience as a business-to-business or business-to-consumer company, but really we should be interacting on a person-to-person level. Regardless of what you sell, you are ultimately selling to people, and what resonates with people is a relationship built on trust and honesty.
“Be you, online and offline, in public and private”
Transparency and authenticity as a brand will speak much louder than most advertising methods. Consistently doing business in a way that reinforces your company culture and values, no matter the medium, is key to building an army of brand evangelists. When consumers know you are being honest and upfront with them, they will be much more willing to invest in a relationship that is mutually beneficial.
By virtue of having read this blog post, I now dub you a social media geek. Want to gather with the rest of us? Don’t worry; Jibe has a free social media workshop coming up that will satiate your social hunger.