On Thursday, June 18th, TRN held a Networking meeting at the offices of Shaker Advertising in Oak Park, IL. Overall, this was a smaller than usual crowd for a TRN event, with about 35 people at the peak attendance. Shaker is in a location that was difficult to stumble upon, but was definitely a great venue. The best news for commuters is that parking in the garage behind the event was a modest $4 for the night. The event was held in a room that resembled a movie theater with the seats like movie theater setup. Shaker provided a nice spread of light appetizers/drinks and the unstructured networking at Bar Louie a nice follow up opportunity.
I am not sure if Shaker has decided that hosting events will be part of a larger strategy, but this event was certainly highlighted by an excellent presentation on social media. Alison Engelsman delivered a tremendous social media presentation focusing on “8 things to know about social media” and spending special time on Twitter and Facebook. Here is a summary of this presentation based upon my notes from the event:
8 Things to Know about Social Media
8 – It is a tool: Social media will not solve all marketing problems
7 – Requires 2 way dialogue: Y0u cannot push content out without interaction, social media is about the conversation that takes place.
6 – Be authentic and transparent: People can tell when dialogue is not authentic. Don’t try to lie or cover up information.
5 – Know your audience: make sure you target the audience you intend to reach. Social media can be used for internal employees in addition to prospects.
4 – Have a strategy: What are you trying to accomplish by using social media?
3 – Metrics do exist: Contrary to the debate on measuring social media effectiveness, metrics do exist for this task. For example: the # of fans, follower, subscribers, and crosslinking all help to determine how the message is being received.
2 – It is NOT free: Social media requires the investment of Time to develop profiles, generate content, comment/respond, etc. This investment of time carries a cost.
1 – Think Integration: Social media must be integrated into a larger overall strategy. You cannot jump on social media without uniting it with other facets of the business.
Notes on Facebook: A great use of Facebook is polling your fanbase/audience. Use it to integrate Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube. Post calendar of events and try to update photos on a monthly basis at the very minimum to increase viewership.
Notes on Twitter: Alison finds this tool to be the most useful, primarily because the barriers between communication are broken down. Some strategies that are not apparent such as asking questions of your followers and polling them on topics were discussed. This makes Twitter into a valuable research engine. Posting jobs is a great idea, but don’t do it in an automated or robotic fashion, it will be unappealing to top talent. Have a genuine conversation with people using the site, and don’t just push topics. Use the #hashtags to follow conversations on specific topics.
Summary: Not every social media tools needs to be used. It all depends on your objectives and goals for venturing into the realm of social media.
For any Questions on this presentation, Alison is available at these details:
· Twitter: http://twitter.com/AlisonEngelsman
TRN can be reached at the website: http://www.trnchicago.org/
Shaker Advertising Website: http://www.shaker.com/