Listen. Learn. Provide Value. Engage.

Blogworld & New Media Expo I just got back from REBlogworld and Blogworld & New Media Expo 2009 (two events that I’m definitely very passionate about). And I think Amanda Coolong (Chief Correspondent at Techzulu) said it well:

“1 word to sum up @Blogworld: EPIC. Major kudos to Rick & co. Amazing speakers, well attended, niche experts. Great @techzulu coverage #bwe09″ – via @acoolong

300+ speakers, thousands of attendees (estimated 2,200), lots of learning & collaboration! There’s nothing more inspiring than learning direct from the experts and then taking the time to mingle with them face to face. As Darren Rowse said: “Face to face meetings count for a lot!” I agree…

The hardest thing to do after getting back from a conference is gathering your thoughts into one coherent stream and plan of action. So, with this post, I thought I’d offer you my thoughts based on the sessions I attended and the overarching theme of things learned at #REBW09 and #BWE09.

Listen:

In just about every session at Blogworld, “Listening” was a big part of implementing social media successfully. Personally, I agree! You can’t begin to provide value to an audience if you don’t listen for the problems/questions you audience members are having.

Here, go read Chris Brogan’s post on the subject: Grow Bigger Ears in 10 Minutes

Learn:

There’s not one “right” way to use social media. We all have different objectives. Different ways of doing things and communicating. Learn what others are doing in their space. And then just do and adjust accordingly.

Again, read Chris Brogan’s post: You’re Doing It Wrong

Provide Value:

Again, you can’t offer value without listening first to your audience. So listen. Then, offer value by sharing things via your social media that educates and entertains (my buddy @TPEntrepreneur calls it: Edutainment).

The only challenging thing about social media and tools like Twitter is that it gives people unprecedented access to you which implies certain time constraints. You need to work on managing expectations with folks and customer service needs to be a top priority. If @Zappos did it, you can to (and they sold for close to a billion).

Lastly, realize that face-to-face (as Darren said), truly accounts for a lot! It truly does. So as much as you engage with people online, do the best that you can to take some of those connections offline. I’m thinking meetups, tweetups, Facebook events and more!

Engage:

Social media isn’t a place for robot behavior. (Disclaimer: I on occasion am guilty of scheduling tweets. You click on the links and read ‘em and you even retweet them. So I continue to share them. And yes, I do respond to @ replies). If you’re thinking you can get away with using social media to “push-market” your service/product, you have another thing coming. Chris Brogan has a great analogy about that too.

So instead of focusing on the “hard sell” first, focus instead on engagement: meeting new people, responding to emails, tweets, Facebook status updates, sharing photos and more… Engagement is the key to it all!

So there you have it, a simple but effective strategy to leading a successful social media campaign:

LISTEN > LEARN > PROVIDE VALUE > ENGAGE

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Comments

  1. says

    Ricardo,
    I really find this section on engagement to be so true. When it becomes more about engaging with another person, instead of just one-way communication – there's the opportunity to build relationships. And from those relationships, even greater possibilities exist. Always a great reminder…

  2. says

    Agreed! Always:

    Relationship before the sale!

    If you do nothing but broadcast and engage in blatant self-promotion, it's like talking to a brick wall (and nobody likes that). It's a turn-off and well, there's not quicker way to lose your audience…

    Thanks for stopping by Lance!

  3. says

    Ricardo,
    I really find this section on engagement to be so true. When it becomes more about engaging with another person, instead of just one-way communication – there's the opportunity to build relationships. And from those relationships, even greater possibilities exist. Always a great reminder…

  4. says

    Agreed! Always:

    Relationship before the sale!

    If you do nothing but broadcast and engage in blatant self-promotion, it's like talking to a brick wall (and nobody likes that). It's a turn-off and well, there's not quicker way to lose your audience…

    Thanks for stopping by Lance!

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