Connecting the Dots in Social Media Marketing at Mashable Connect
A couple weeks ago I spent a few magical days in the one and only Magic Kingdom to attend Mashable Connect – and yes, I know I couldn’t believe that I got to go to Disney World for work either. Normally, conferences are long and exhausting, but whether it was Mickey Mouse, the delicious trail mix that our clients Webtrends handed out to attendees or the caliber of speakers at the event, Mashable Connect was different. The sessions were refreshing and the conversations stimulating. Here are three lessons I took home with me in the Minnie Mouse backpack I purchased at the Fantasia gift shop:
1. Go Where Your Customers Are
Leslie Berland of American Express, took the stage to discuss the company’s approach to social media. She said that instead of having to be on every social media platform, which is what so many brands are doing, the company first looked to see where their customers were – novel right? Before initiating a Twitter sync program, for example, they checked to see if their customers we’re talking about their brand on Twitter. Her team realized, “we can’t train people to talk about American Express on Twitter.” This might seem obvious, but realizing that you don’t need to be on every social media platform is hard for some marketers to do. But the bottom line is that putting effort into a channel your customers will never gravitate toward is a waste of time.
2. The Community Knows Best
Jeff Ragovin of Buddy Media showed how valuable it is to listen and learn from the online community using real case study examples. Barbie fans recently joined together and created a Bald Barbie Facebook Page as a way to get Mattel to create a bald Barbie in support of kids with cancer. Mattel could have ignored the request – the Bald Barbie Page had just over 100K fans whereas Barbie’s Page has 4 million, however, they listened to the online community. On March 27 Mattel announced that it was creating Bald Barbie and since the movement started, Mattel’s shareholder value has increased by 17%. This is the power of social media in action.
3. Create Content That Makes Your Fans Look Good
Hilary Mason is the Chief Scientist at Bit.ly and spends her days analyzing internet habits, which is a pretty awesome job (and a trend within itself, but that’s a whole different topic). Through her research she has discovered what makes content go viral – the holy grail of social media success, right? According to Hilary, “creating things that people want to tie into their identity is the best way to make them spread.” In other words, brands need to create content that makes people appear intelligent, sophisticated, and cutting-edge to their friends. Even though someone’s reading about the Kardashians, they’ll share the latest thought-provoking WSJ article they read (or at least skimmed). We’ve all done it a few times. Brands need to adapt that philosophy when they want a RT or a Facebook share. Instead of just creating content that will make your brand look smart, think about creating content that will go one step further and make your fans seem smart.
These are just a few of the tangible tips that made it home with me to Los Angeles. Our client Webtrends has some additional thoughts if you’re looking for more best practice insight!