A funny thing happened after work. I actually walked away from my Twitter feed to talk to people. In person. I know, it’s a shocker! Hard to imagine that in today’s world people still enjoy getting together, shaking hands, and exchanging business cards. One hundred people enjoyed great wine, fine chocolate and bold coffee for three whole hours. Conversations were more than 140 characters and never once did I hear someone say, IMHO, LOL, or even WTF.
The topic. Social Media, of course.
Local professional network group LaunchPad INW (@LaunchPadINW)organized the event hosted by Northern Quest Casino Resort and Spa. While the wine, coffee and chocolate may have been a hit and a welcome benefit to attending, the true draw was the enigma, the elusive, the intimidating little thing called social media.
I was honored to be on the panel with three other highly engaging Social Media folk (@bethany_kate, @noseyparkerINW, and @rings_things). Each of had a few minutes to share some insights into how we use Social Media. The old school preacher came out in me and I had to cut my prepared remarks short – it was either the passion or the wine but the moderator got out the old shepherds hook.
Below are some of the questions that we started with:
Are you seeing a direct correlation between social media efforts and increased sales/awareness?
- Without a doubt the answer is yes. Everything I’ve done in the last three months to build the brand DrinkNectar has been through the three pronged approach of Twitter and Facebook pointing to my blog. The other panel members also spoke to the specific success they’ve seen with their efforts.
What is your social media mix? Percentage of publishing to Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, blog, etc.
- Biggest thing to gain here was that each person on the panel used a mix of each medium that they felt comfortable with. Great point from @noseyparkerINW was that each platform has its own audience and culture. It is a huge mistake to treat them all the same way. The message should be crafted differently for each network.
Are you seeking out connections or are they solely coming to you?
- I don’t think we actually asked this question, but if you think about it – imagine if Social Media didn’t exist. If you had a product to sell or a passion to pursue would you seek out connections or wait for them to come to you? Social Media is not much different than personal interaction
Have you been able to measure the success of these tools?
- Ahh, the age old question of ROI. Let me phrase it like this before I share the answers: What is the potential loss of business or reputation or brand status by NOT participating in these tools? Customers are on Twitter and Facebook (in huge numbers and for large amounts of time).
- The ROI answer was YES across the board but more anecdotal than specific. While I don’t sell a product my investment has resulted in a return of public awareness and community involvement (exactly what I was going for).
As the night progressed, the panel fielded questions from the audience. Each of the questions was very tactical and specific around “how do you,” “what do you,” “how many can you,” etc. Many of these questions were the same ones I had three months ago when I first launched DrinkNectar.com. I guess the answer is complex and simple at the same time. It goes back to getting social, old school. What makes someone successful at good old fashion palm pressing, baby kissing, business-card exchanging networking?
- Content: You’ve got to have a good product, idea or vision
- Care: You have to care about what you’re doing and those your engaging with
- Conversation: Ever seen anyone walk into a networking event and never say a word?
- Passion: It’s contagious
- Discipline: You’ve got to stick with it and be patient
Technical specifics aside on how to “use” Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, LinkdIN, Buzz, etc, etc – these principles work in going social, old school. Now they’re just magnified…infinitely!