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Friday, May 29, 2009

Panel: Innovative Marketing Programs Using New Media

Presenters: Tim Walker of Hoovers, Bernie Borges of Find and Convert, Nick Koudas of Sysomos

Title: Innovative Marketing Programs Using New Media

Main Points: Understand what you are trying to accomplish and what strategies support that

Take-Away Action: Discover what niche communities your customers are already participating in.

Notes:

  • Koudas: Intrigued by companies that are successful using media that isn't branded until the very end. But, also interested in what is the return on the social media success. If people watch your YouTube video, what does that mean?
    Strategy doesn't have an end. You need to take what you learn at the end and start over to go forward.
    People will know if you are not honest. You don't want to get caught being dishonest.

  • Borges: Two companies without huge brand name are making social media work for them in the space that is important to them.
    Niche doesn't mean that you can't find success. If you can own that niche, you can still do well.

  • Walker: It's easy to pursue meaningless numbers in social media if we aren't thinking about what our objectives and strategies should be. Ask first: Where are our customers already congregating online?
    I don't agree that there is a limited pool of dollars for the social media pool. They will continue to bring in more dollars, and customer bases will grow when you can show quality of product/company versus your competitors.

Aaron Strout - I'm Your Customer and I Can't Hear You

Presenter: Aaron Strout of Powered

Title: I'm Your Customer and I Can't Hear You

Main Point: Marketers are trying to use new tools to overcome the hurdle of media disintermediation that has entered into business-to-customer communications.

Take-Away Action: Listen to how and why your customers are talking (not just what they are saying).

Notes:

  1. Listen
  2. Join
  3. Ask
  4. Engage
  5. Build

Friday, May 8, 2009

The Role of Content and Action in Social Media

The social media breakfast in Austin this morning focused on content development and creation. Lionel Menchaca at Dell, Simon Salt of Incslingers, and Natanya Anderson of Powered spoke from different perspectives on the value of content.  

The underlying message consistent through each presentation was that content cannot be about your company.  I'll quote the speakers, they said it well this morning.

Natanya: The best content is created in service of others.

Lionel: Your company has to be committed to action in response to social feedback.

Simon: If the content is "push" it's not social media. It's just media. Social media is all about interaction and sharing.

What struck me today is that one of the most talked about foundations of social media -- listening -- is really only getting you halfway. The other foundation that must also be in place to support a successful social media endeavor is 'action.'  The content is not the end (after listening), it is the means (to taking action).

For the consumer, especially when dealing with what was termed 'lifestyle content' the consumer is typically looking for information to help them do something. It's not often just to inform them, it's about an action they want to take. And when they are able to take that action, users will start generating their own content around those experiences.

For the producer, the content needs to be a way to encourage the audience to take the actions they want -- and that's usually not 'buy my stuff.' But, as Lionel said, the content producer also needs to be ready to act on feedback they receive. Those responses will help shape the understanding of what your audience cares about and how to help them achieve it.