DFW Rocks Social Media Conference Q & A Expert Panel

social_media_day_2013-6016These are notes taken at the DFW Rocks Social Media Day 2013 Expert Panel featuring Lori Barber, Elysa Ellis, Nico Martini, and Eddie Reeves.

Lori Barber – Social Media Marketing in food and beverage industry. Helps those companies stay out of trouble in legal space.

Eddie Reeves – Strategic communications consultant.

Elysa Ellis – been on Twitter since 2007 ; work for digital strategy agency.

Nico Martini – owns agency called HypeWorthy ; works on alternative media marketing.

 Q: How do people handle a call from the media requesting info as an expert.

A: Eddie: First find out as much as you can about the company that is contacting you. So many people LIE. There was a beauty jewelry company that thought Newsweek was going to do an expose. Turned out to be false. The thing about strategic communications – know who you are, and WHY you are who you are. The fundamental problem with Paula Deen is that it was based on a persona. Once that persona is perceived as being false, the legs are taken out from under it. With the internet, the level of transparency has greatly changed. You can not get away with lying in today’s internet world.

Q: Is there a way to pull analytics to see what has been going on with a website in the past?

A: Elysa: There are a bunch of tools. I use HootSuite. There is a lot of overlap with the use of hashtags. If you want the full story, you would need to see both sides of the story. TweetReport – can pay to type in a hashtag ; App called Mention that shows the mentioning of a brand name ; Also monitors for Tueday Mornings company. Storify is a good place to go to find out what people have pulled out of the

Lori: Gremlin is another good tool to use.

Nico: This is what we are teaching at UTD. Tools are amazing…but it is just a tool. If you want to get good at Pinterest, sit down in from of Youtube for 9 hours. You need to understand network theory. How people are communicating is constantly changing. Facebook was not here 10 years ago, it may not be here 10 years from now no matter how important it is to you now. We can now put a tangible spin on how things relate to people.

Lori: Consumers do not want to be talked at by a brand. They want to be talked to.

Eddie: 96% of what I learned in college is completely obsolete. There was once a time that this thing called Second Life was going to take the world by storm. The Art of War – Strategy without tactics is the longest route to victory, but tactics without strategy is the longest way to defeat. Some things don’t change such as the basics.

Q: How do you find out which hashtags people are using?

Elysa: Twitter.com. Shows what is trending nationally, and locally. Mobile app: TwitterLater Pro

Eddie: A lot of it is common sense. If you go to twitter, and put in Wendy Davis, you will get tweets that show all the different hashtags being used.

Nico: Just follow the rabbit hole. Right now #nhldraft and #nhldraft2013 are two different hashtags that are related, but give two different types of conversations

Lissa Duty: When I do a twitter coaching session, I show them how to look at trending hashtags, change the geographic area, and find ways to tie your brand to the trends as long as your brand does relate.

Q: How do you properly price social media marketing services?

Elysa: The first five times will take you more time than you think. After working on that, and then figure out your hourly rate. But you tell your clients a package price. That way your customers don’t question what you did during that time.

Eddie: Was talking with a person who owns a McDonald’s franchise who during the conversation said, “I just want to pick your brain for a moment…”. Eddie stopped the man, and told him how much his hourly rate is to “pick his brain”. DON’T FALL INTO THE TRAP. Otherwise, you will always put yourself on the other side of the table of your clients.

Q: How does the panel see traditional advertising in the big scheme of things?

Lori: There is a real place for traditional marketing with fan acquisition. Companies will spend lots of money on social media marketing, and strategy but the question comes up on how to get the people to like the company.

Elysa: Suggestions to smaller companies, have a way to track your traditional marketing and social media marketing campaigns. If you run all your campaigns at the same time, it would be hard to figure out which marketing effort made the most impact

Nico: Its hard to fight with, “If I pull the newspaper ad, I can buy the social media package”. Its easy to support your own stuff, but you still can get some effect happening from things like newspaper ads.

Q: How do I keep my tips, and content fresh?

Eddie: Content is really important, but its not the end of itself. Home Depot may have sold millions of . Who are the influencers, and the referrers? Who are your customers going to call? Probably people related to a product that will give advice on who to contact to get a solution. The most important word in social media is SOCIAL not “media”. You need to humanize your business, and you understand the ebb and flow of the conversation. Keep your conversation connected, and flowing. The digital age helps to level the playing field.

Lori: Just a practical tip. One thing that could give you a life in traffic to your website, and blog is understanding what keywords relate to your space. If you use those keywords in your blogging that can help get more traffic.

Elysa: Advice to small businesses, don’t spread yourself too thin. There is no point in being on ALL of them. My dad is in Irving so he is not going to be relevant to someone in Plano. If you use FB ads, then you need to get very targeted with your ads. Also, find out who the real decision makers are that relates to your product.

Nico: We have a client that has a cocktail bar, we got more butts through the door by posting roller derby scores than bar specials because they are in the area.

Q: What are effective ways to market within social media?

Elysa: You can use Facebook ads to target competitor ads. If someone is already committed to one brand, they are not going to want to switch over to another brand just because there is an ad displayed to them.

Q: How, in the medical space, do I engage and answer questions without getting in trouble?

Lori: Gremlin.com – that will allow you to set up a work flow process. It goes through different levels so that you can see what goes out. If you are a smaller practitioner, you can plan out your social media content, and plan out when it is going to go out. You can also just share tips in general

Q: What type of business connections should you focus on – B2B or B2C?

Eddie: I mostly focus on B2B. I was able to spend some time with Seth Godin. Something that Seth has been pushing within the last couple of years is that we are in the connection economy. People naturally form connections. Think about how to help people organically for a connection in a natural way. Create a platform to form those connections. Its a different way of thinking. Not just pushing products. That’s why Google is Google. They wanted to become the platform for all this stuff, not just for one particular product. Even if you are a local business. Ask yourself, how can I make myself a platform for the people that make connections for this product.

Nico: From the book The Tipping Point, in order to become a superconnector, all you need to do is find 2 strong connectors that don’t know each other.

Q: How do you get bloggers to write about your products (brand apostles)?

Nico: Provide them content, make their job easier. Secret – if you make it easy for bloggers to write about you, they will write about you.

Elysa: I have gotten links, pictures, dates for when an event, etc. Also, find people who are talking about you, or talking about something related to your industry.

Lori: Round up the top bloggers in your space, and then either feed them, or give them some space. If you can get organized with your efforts you can get more out of it.

Q: Is there a way to keep my content from being plagiarized?

Lori: That’s a tough one, so you may want to think in ways to reposition yourself as an authority so that people would want to share it. Infographics would help

Lissa Duty: You can put your URL. Also, in your tips, you can integrate your brand name

Elysa: There is CopyScape plugin that tells you when something is being used someplace else. Also, use images because people are less likely to edit images. One client put her URL on the fingertip of an image.

Q: Which would be more lucrative –  promoting your business on social media, or on your own website?

Lori: Look at how you are going to lead your prospect through the sales funnel, and use that to help you make that decision.

Elysa: email list would be top for me

Nico: A lot of times when dealing with small businesses that because they have a FB page they don’t need a website. Realize that you DO NOT control anything on FB. If the service is free, YOU ARE THE PRODUCT! You do not control it and the plug can be pulled at anytime. Regarding search, everyone is going to have to start paying attention how search works on FB because more people are doing searches on FB.

Eddie: You need your own marketing strategy for your business. If your marketing strategy is not written down, you don’t have one. Facebook is not your marketing strategy. Twitter is not your marketing strategy.

Lissa Duty: And Hope is NOT a Marketing Strategy as Patty Farmer would say.

Edgar Griggs

Edgar Griggs loves to learn about new technology and high tech gadgets. You’ll find him at local events around the DFW Metroplex researching, writing and blogging and editing websites like RedGage.com/reallycoolstuff and The Interestingly Cool Stuff Blog. Follow him on Twitter @BookMarkSocial

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Author: Edgar Griggs