Did you miss Social Media Week? Here is a recap!
We just passed Social Media Week (www.socialmediaweek.org) for various cities around the globe. Connected through real time streaming from platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, it turned a local gathering into a global conference. The best thing about Social Media Week was that there were events for almost everyone, from the social media guru to the local business owner who didn’t have a social media presence. The cherry on top was the Janelle Monae concert. The price of admission? A simple tweet. The things that I have learned are great but more importantly, the connections I made with others, via Twitter and in person, are invaluable.
Instead of finding ways to interrupt to a customer’s day, find ways to BECOME their day. The average person is exposed anywhere from 3000-5000 ads a day. 99% of the time, these ads are irrelevant and perceived as annoying. However, there is that 1% of advertising that has proven to be successful. In the era of social media, even a simple reply to a Tweet can make a customer’s day. It shows that a brand cares about you. It is human nature to feed on the gratification that comes from simple interaction. Some of the smartest brands around the world are leveraging social technology to drive stronger connections with their customers.
Follower count isn’t everything. It is only the top of the funnel. Engagement is how you pull your audience through the funnel and ultimately gaining a new brand evangelist. I think this was by far my favorite insight from #SMWLA. I learned about the Purchase Funnel years ago during my first marketing course in college. But I never thought to apply it so directly to social media. It all makes sense though. It’s the same theoretical business practice that has been in place forever. Followers are the new TV ads. It is brand awareness. But we all know that awareness does not mean sales. Therefore, with continual and individual engagement, brands must build credibility and trust. A smart brand will leverage that trust to sell a customer.
Has social media gotten us closer to people or has it created a bunch of ‘weak’ relationships? This was a highly debated and a boggling question. I think it holds a lot of truth. Technology is convenient; however, it will always be less personable than actual human interaction. Social media has allowed us an open platform where we can engage with our friends, colleagues and strangers from all over the world. It’s a nice introduction. But the way a person acts online, behind a computer screen, is completely different from an in-person meeting. The reason I got rid of my Facebook was for this very reason; it is just so impersonal. If people want to interact with me and know what is happening in my life, they are more than welcome to text me or call me. I don’t really find the need to get 20 “likes” from people that aren’t close enough friends to call or text me. However, at the same time, social media has allowed me to re-connect with those people that I have met once or twice, or with old friends that I have grown apart from. It is opening a door to build a meaningful relationship. But it is not the lynchpin of those relationships; our in-person interactions are.
Ultimately, the key takeaway from #SMWLA is that social is up to the individual. Conversations are happening everywhere. It is up to you to engage, whether it be a new friend or old, a random stranger or even a brand. Create the relationships you desire.