Today I had the privilege of attending the eMarketing & Technology Summit
to better learn how social media will be affecting local business in the years to come. The summit was very professionally coordinated with plenty of opportunities to both broaden my knowledge on eMarketing and to network with other like-minded professionals in the area. I began the day by eating breakfast with an attendee who is getting ready to launch his website and app called Howler
, dedicated to helping you register your major products’ serial numbers and photos. If any are ever stolen you have proof of ownership as well as a way to alert an online community to keep an eye out for your stuff. We continued to discuss the wide range of possible uses for the app until we heard the call to attend the first seminar.
I had a choice of four different presentations including: Internet marketing strategy, How to quantumly grow your business, Cloud computing, and my choice – Building business via social media. This was by far one of the most efficient and well done presentations I have seen. The presenter, Bill Derosa of Talking Finger
, wasted no time throwing out hints and methods to help your business increase its social media presence and explaining how it will lead to profits. Bill was an advocate of having a good strategy in regards to your social media. Companies who randomly post without a strategy and schedule can either flood their fans with too many posts, or lose the connections they’ve built with too few. He recommended defining a target and developing goals to reach that target.
Some hints he gave were to take your social media platforms off the back burner. Bill is a fan of putting the Facebook and Twitter links on your business card as they can allow you to develop a relationship with your customers from day one, rather than a one way dialogue from a website. He also explained to use both the website and social media interdependently. You can’t do everything on only one platform and a great example was Ford Motor Company
. Ford uses Facebook to get the word out about new product breakthroughs but links to the website when they need to inform the consumer about detailed specs.
One last great piece of advice was to drastically increase your social media presence by “staggering” posts. Rather than flooding Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc. all at once with that major announcement, stagger your posts between different times of the day or even different days. With each site only allowing you maybe four hours of presence to your fans, this will give you a lot more time to have your message out there. Then afterwards it is important to collect and study your analytics. Find out when you’re getting the best response from certain groups. Then define a strategy to help you reach your target at the best time to get your message across.
The next presentation was a panel discussing 20 questions on social media, moderated by Jody Ferrer, the owner of The Perfect Promotion
. The first panelist, Christopher Paradiso, discussed the importance of having someone setting goals for your social media while everyone in the organization contributes. He highlighted this through the fact he had an employee at the event whose sole purpose in his company is to manage social media outlets. Amy Graver’s much smaller company does not allow her the luxury of justifying an employee solely for that purpose so she explained that when she monitors her social media she pays careful attention to analytics so she can best see who her messages are reaching and the most effective ways to reach her target audience. The third panelist, Daniel Schwartz, was asked by an audience member how he deals with negative comments on social media. Daniel agreed that any company will inevitably at some point receive negative feedback, but handling it right can turn that feedback into a positive. If a customer complains on your social media platform and you handle it professionally and fix the problem in a way that makes them happy, you not only will likely gain a customer for life, others are bound to see this and respond favorably as well.
The panel continued to discuss their businesses approach to social media, with Chris ending the presentation discussing blogs. He explained that he writes two separate blogs, one that is community based, interacting with stakeholders of his business and another that is contained on his site solely for the purpose of search engine optimization. The latter of the two isn’t intended to be read by anyone and Chris even recommended not. He simply uses this blog to manipulate keywords that when searched on Google, lead to his website to drive traffic.
The summit ended with a luncheon sponsored by Google Apps
discussing the advantages of cloud computing. Allen Falcon presented in person, with a small team of Google engineers using Google Apps and their webcams to chime in from California. He explained all the quantitative benefits for a business to adopt a system using their apps. Allen then showed the “cloud” in action as he and his Google team simultaneously edited a document, while using speech, video, and messaging to collaborate and discuss the changes. Seeing as how I am writing this blog away from the office while asking Julie to email me documents I need, I can already see the advantages to cloud computing.
Thanks to The Hartford Business Journal for putting on this event. For a list of their upcoming events please visit http://www.hartfordbusiness.com/events.php