I had the pleasure of being part of a panel at today’s Grow Smart Biz conference, sponsored by Network Solutions. Our topic was “Integrating Traditional Marketing with Social Media.” Despite being the last panel of the day (we started around 4:20pm), I estimated that over 80% of the conference attendees attended the panel. And by the number of questions raised, this is a hot topic for sure.
You can read a nice recap of the panel on the Solutions are Power blog, but here were my take-aways:
- Your customers, prospects, staff and potential staff are increasingly using social media and they expect your business to have a presence on the most popular platforms.
- We need to view social media sites like Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook as vehicles for marketing, customer service, prospecting and conversation.
- But businesses should not view social networks as just another place to advertise. Social networkers (you, me and anyone with an account) are both suppliers and consumers of content. In order for businesses to thrive in the social media environment, they, too, must be suppliers and consumers of content. In other words, companies and brands must interact with customers and prospects by engaging in a two-way dialogue.
- The vast majority of Americans’ initial interactions with companies and brands online, so we all better have a great online presence that tells our story, focuses on benefits, and talks to our customers and prospects in a natural, real way.
- When in doubt about where our prospects are and what content will interest them, all we have to do is ask.
What I loved about the panel was the diversity of our backgrounds and perspectives. The panel consisted of:
- Jill Foster of DC Media Makers and Women Grow Business served as the moderator
- Danilo Bogdanovic of Loudoun Scene is a Realtor and social media consultant
- Terri Holly of Creative Marketing Solutions is a social media consultant and coach
- Brent Leary of CRM Essentials covered the data and CRM (customer relationship management side of the equation)
- Me, Joanna Pineda of Matrix Group International representing an interactive agency
If you were at the Grow Smart Biz conference, what did you think of the conference? How are you integrating traditional marketing with social media?