I really like this blog post by Chris Brogan, I find myself going back to it regularly. He also often talks about growing bigger ears… I have big ears so thats not a problem, but the challenge of framing our social media efforts is another matter.
Chris outlines 3 basic principles, which I have tried to apply to event marketing:
1) Listening – Listen to your audience, find the top bloggers, leading tweeters, best publications and listen to them and their followers/readers. This can help frame your story, give you deeper insight to your customers and help you spot industry trends or topics. It helps build a better product and improves the marketing. Always listen before you talk.
2) Connecting – Once you have found the main forums where your audience or community is gathering online, you need to start connecting. Conferences are all about connections, so connect with speakers, sponsors, delegates, and anyone active in your community, most of all help them connect.
3) Publishing – Start publishing content, blogging tweeting or adding content to the forums you have been monitoring and on yor own site. From an event point of view, you can use your site to start publishing content from speakers and sponsors. Remember the internet has a long memmory, so don’t rush in starting to sell your product. Don’t make your first tweet a discount announcement! As Tim O’Reilly says “Add more value than you can capture”. It’s vitally important to remember it’s a fine line between, “thanks nice to know” and “Gee you’re annoying”.
I think the next most important thing is to set a realistic time frame and SMART goals. So you can guage your performance over time.
Whilst we are on the topic of social media, I have seen a lot of discussion lately about who should own it within an organization. Given you can’t control the message, and that utlimately the idea is the customers are in control, I think its a mute point. Every department needs to find a way to leverage social media if organizations are truly going to benefit from this new medium.
Just my thoughts! What about you?