I consider it a privilege, living in Boston, to be associated with one of the most active, creative and just plain smart groups of social media thinkers in the world. One of our regular gatherings s the Social Media Breakfast, which takes place in many cities, but was founded (as was PodCamp) right here in Boston. The latest SMB revolved around discussion of “Creating Brand Advocates on the Social Web.”
The panelists, led by host Bob Collins (along with Communispace, who provided the venue) were:
- Aaron Strout, CMO, Powered (by the way- Aaron is based in Austin, TX but hails from Boston)
- Kyle Flaherty Director of Marketing, Breaking Point Systems (another Boston-to-Austin refugee)
- Edward Boches, Chief Creative Officer, Mullen
Aaron based much of his talk on his recent blog post, “I See You” (yes, lifting a theme from Avatar). He concentrated on how brands can create advocates simply by treating people well. You see, you never know when that new Starbucks FourSquare mayor you just made a fuss about has a husband with thousands of Twitter followers, or if the the person iPadio gives a little extra attention to for trying out their audio posting service is the aforementioned connected husband with an audience.
Of course, one of the problems with this is that indeed, you don’t know; usually. but the outlay, and the room for error in targeting, is much lower- and of course word of mouth takes many forms. For the next step– is there a way to make focusing on influencers more predictable and targeted?
- Every employee is a potential spokesperson. This was always true in that people speak about their employers at cocktail parties and all sorts of pre-social media interactions. Social media intensifies the scope of that truism and makes it more urgent to “media train” all employees, but it’s not truly new.
- These employees are a great informal focus group on your messages- are they simple enough to understand, do they resonate- and do they pass muster with people who by their employment entrust part of their reputation with the company’s image?
- A good product/service
- A well-crafted message that will resonate with people, and that they will adopt as their own rather than feel they must craft something better
- The tone in which this message is delivered (a newer addition to my usual rant on this topic)
- The company’s participation
The Social Media Breakfast takes place in some three dozen cities – visit the main site, http://www.socialmediabreakfast.com/, to see iof there is one in your city coming up- and support it!