By Kim McWatt
This week I attended a fantastic one-day course on Social Media Marketing held by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) of Canada. The speaker was Mitch Joel of Twist Image. Let’s just say, it was definitely like eating a seven course meal with a slingshot (analogy courtesy of my colleague Tim Srigley).
It was hard to believe all the information Joel was able to pack into this intensive eight hours. Time simply flew by. Here’s just a few key insights gleaned from this engaging experience:
- Many people don’t realize it, but social media has been around for a long time – over a decade already. It’s not a passing fad…there’s staying power and potential here that hasn’t yet been tapped.
- Social media has created the need to reemphasize marketing. A paradigm shift needs to occur in the collective mind of all marketers – we need to communicate WITH customers, not at customers. It’s a subtle shift, but it is definitely a shift and needs to be embraced by everyone. And we need to pay attention not only to what we’re saying to customers, but also to what they are saying to each other.
- Too often, marketers get hung up on the “how many” when determining the success of a social media campaign. How many followers, how many hits, how many visits to the site, how many click throughs. What we need to be interested in is the “Who” – who is following my blog or twitter profile? Who are the influencers? Who are the key trend setters? “Who” is far more important than “how many?”
- Everything is “with” not “instead of” – as marketers, don’t get caught in the idea that social media is a silver bullet, the savior of any marketing campaign. Social media is simply another media channel to be utilized. Based on the overall marketing strategy, these tactics should complement the other tools used to create an effective comprehensive communications campaign.
- And one of the best insights of the day: placing an ad is like a one night stand, social media is like getting married. That’s powerful. Think about it – are you looking for the quick spike in sales and gain a few new customers in the process? Or, are you in it for the long haul, building relationships and developing a community? Social media is not a one night stand. It takes true commitment and dedication.
Great insights, great course. I would like to thank the IAB for hosting the event and also Mitch Joel for being an engaging, passionate, and energetic speaker.