This week Brian Solis, author of “Engage,” gave a session on the state of social media and where it’s headed. The session was sponsored by Constant Contact and focused specifically on small business. Listening was like drinking from a fire hose. Here’s a recap of what I caught. There’s also a lot I missed so if anyone can add, please do.
In addition to being a expert on how social media platforms are used, Brian Solis is a sociologist and futurist. He applies both those disciplines to social and digital media to help us see were we’re headed.
* 44% of small businesses have taken to social media to find new customers.
* Geo-location isn’t going away. Foursquare adds 20,000 new users each day.
* Checking in – the act of doing it is an endorsement of your business. Know who those ambassadors are.
* Web site + Facebook, your digital hubs. Others are outposts.
* Facebook is a social hub.
* Mobile Facebook users are the most active users.
* Blogs aren’t dead or sexy; they demonstrate your expertise.
* Twitter isn’t a social platform, it’s an information platform.
* YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine; be sure your video content is searchable.
* Facebook and Twitter are sending more referrals to big brands than Google.
* You can order a pizza or flowers on Facebook.
Social consumers are different than traditional consumers. They want a couple things:
* Affinity, allegiance & exclusivity.
So give them special offers and exclusive content.
Ideas to remember as you engage on social platforms:
* Social media is about brand: Portray the business you want people to see.
* Negative comments on social media are a good thing: Opportunity to improve your product/service.
* Every time someone posts, comments, asks a question, checks-in they are endorsing you.
* Provide value and you will build influence.
* Bring your story to life; show and tell why you are a leader/influencer.
* By helping (not selling) you can grow your business with social media platforms.
* Give people a reason to connect with you AND a reason to stay with you.
* You have to create value before you can capture it. (that one’s from me)
Create editorial and engagement programs to give them what they want. Be flexible in your plan, assimilate new information as you get it. You’re at the mercy of what others want to converse about, so as those topics and tendencies emerge, adapt your plan to include them. Whatever works for your customer defines the direction.
The social web is an emotional ecosystem, don’t leave that out of your program. Too sterile is ignored as marketing-speak. No one trusts that.
That’s it. I’m sure I missed a lot. Anything you think of, add to comments. It was a whirl-wind hour.