This morning I’m at the Terminal City Club downtown for the SMEI Social Media Roadshow. Last year I attended an SMEI (Sales & Marketing & Executives International, Inc.) function and met Mhairi Petrovic of Out-Smarts Social Media Marketing and since then I’ve bumped into her at several community events. She was also a speaker at Third Tuesday where she addressed “Marketing New Media to Traditional Decision Makers: Overcoming the Challenges.”
A quick Terminal City Club history tidbit: On December 5th 1892, the Terminal City Club was formed. “It was known then as the Metropolitan Club and met in a building at the southwest corner of Hastings and Richards.” [VancouverHistory]. In 1906 B.T. Rogers (or sugar riches and fame) donated a pair of marble statues to the Terminal City Club, which are still there today.
Update: Loren McDonald is up first to talk about rules of engagement with social media. He shares a quick anecdote about his teen daughter who is on MySpace but when asked about Twitter she noted, “it’s for old people.” Using the analogy of a “gateway drug” Loren does a quick poll of the crowd to see who started on what networks and if they’ve all progressed to the most addictive to date — Twitter. Loren shares the Brian Solis conversation wheel, linking up almost every network and platform imaginable. Note: “advertising is about the only thing that isn’t ‘social'”. The goal is to learn more about how you can further your experience with social media, ‘diving in’ vs ‘dipping your toe in the water’. “Obviously you have to have a plan, you have to know why you’re doing it.” He’s got some great “do’s” and “don’ts”… “maybe don’t post about drinking in the office, for example.”
Loren also pulls up an example of a Twitter search for a company name to show that people are talking about your company regardless of whether you posted news or not. The search terms he used were actually a company name + “sucks” to which he replies, “get over it.” Sometimes negative feedback is worth addressing and other times it isn’t, it may not be worth your time and energy (and could drive you nuts trying to control all of it). A nice example he uses is of someone tweeting about a lack of flight information from an airline and within a few minutes, the airline replied to him on Twitter and addressed his concern with an offer to connect by direct message.
Loren calls up a Twitter stream that is purely blog post announcements and press releases – “you can’t feel any person behind that,” as he urges companies to be personal on Twitter and not to make it a one-way street.
The fifth rule of engagement Loren addresses is, “Go where they are… crash the party… bring some beer.”
“Think tribes – how many friends can you really have?” Loren says that ‘tribes’ are small, the people are passionate, and the members are nomadic. “It’s less about the content but more about driving you to where the content exists.” Loren’s a big fan of Slideshare so his presentation will be up there within the next day or so.
Adam’s talk is about the digital customer, “even going to the gas station now is becoming a digital experience,” and the focus is on Canadian data and users. “65% of Canadians have visited YouTube in the past month – that’s not insignificant anymore.” He says Canadians are early adopters ie. leading the world in music downloads in the early years of the medium. “70% of people still want to make purchases in stores, they don’t want their entire life online.” This is very true, a big part of social media is getting out from behind the screen and interacting (which I’ve been bad at lately, missing a bunch of Tweetups).
“This is a fundamental shift,” notes Adam expressing that none of this (online tools, social networks etc.) is going away.
His company came up with the Six Deadly Digital Diseases – “mistakes that companies are making online that they really need to consider.” On their website they offer a blog post series for each “disease”, where they discuss ways to avoid mistakes.