Posts Tagged ‘Peter Shankman’

One of our recent blog entries gave tips on how to market your business when the economy is slow. One of the items on the list said to maximize your use of social media. So what does that mean exactly?

Last week I took our own advice and attended a social media seminar hosted by the Triangle Interactive Marketing Association (TIMA). The guest speaker was Peter Shankman, founder and CEO of The Geek Factory, Inc. Shankman is known worldwide for his fun and different ways of using social media and marketing. I really appreciated the fact that right off the bat he said that he was not going to tell us how to be a social media expert. Instead, he was straight forward, humorous and used real life examples to enlighten us on the current social media setting. To practice what Shankman preaches, I wanted to pass along some key points that I took out of the seminar for others to share.

  • If you post a video on YouTube, have you created a viral campaign for your client? NO. Simply posting something doesn’t make it viral. That is why it is important to use strategy to come up with a creative message, the right people to target your message to and the right places to put your message so those people see it and pass it along. It also doesn’t hurt if you make it interesting or bizarre. An example of this would be the Diet Coke and Mentos eruption. The experiment was done on a news show in 2005, by Steve Spangler, and then took off on the Internet. Only when people are talking about your message and passing it along to others can your message become viral. This also reminds me of a video that was emailed to me a long time ago by a friend. It was a guy dancing to different songs throughout the years. It was titled, The Evolution of Dance. This video ended up getting a lot of attention because so many of us talked about it and passed it along.
  • If you are on many of the social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and Linked In, and have many friends on those sites, it means you are using social media sites effectively, right? WRONG. I love this point because Shankman really got the audience involved on this one. At one point while he was speaking he asked the audience, “How many of you have over 1000 friends on Facebook?” I saw about 5-10 hands go up. One of which was from a young woman sitting near me. She was smiling and confident about those 1000 friends. Then Shankman asked, “Ok those of you who raised your hands, out of the 1000 people, how many of them have written on your wall to wish you a Happy Birthday?” The girl next to me started counting out loud and thinking real hard about it. I heard the number 12 come out of her mouth. Then Shankman said, “I bet those of you who raised their hands are suddenly realizing that it was only about 1-5% of those 1000 people.” What is important is not how many networks you are on or how many friends you have, but are you using the sites effectively. So whether you are on the sites or not, you must interact with people. Congratulate them, say hi or offer to take someone out to lunch because it’s all about the interaction.
  • Lastly, we all need to utilize the Raving Fans. Raving Fans is a book by Ken Blanchard & Sheldon Bowles, about how a company should convert satisfied customers into raving fans that promote their business. Any company that has a customer who is pleased with their product needs to capitalize on that. That customer has other friends who may need the product and if they are raving about you they may tell those friends. So have places for customers to voice their opinions about your product. Whether it is on a social network or your website, let them give their review. When a person speaks highly of your product, give him or her something back. Give coupons, gift certificates, free t-shirts or branded items with a personalized note. This will have your fans thinking your company or product is even more wonderful and will help them promote you further.

Jim Tobin, of Ignite Social Media, calls social networking a Virtual Cocktail Party. You need to mingle and connect with those people you don’t know and start a relationship. For those people who you have existing relationships with, you need to see how they are doing, meet with them and maintain that connection. Social media is not a competition to see who has the most friends… it’s a means for building and maintaining relationships. If you are in it for the long haul then social media is for you. If you are a commitment phobe then maybe you should rethink your use of social media.


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