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The 2013 Social Brand Forum was a huge learning experience for me. This was my first conference and I can say it was a success! I learned a great deal of valuable information and I’d like to share the top three things I took away from this conference. My goal is to teach you something new in this Social Brand Forum 2013 recap that you can implement into your business and make it even better!
Businesses today worry about offering the most at the lowest price and trying to wow the customer. Now, I’m not saying this is wrong, but there is more to business besides price and features. You need to learn to be helpful. If you find an opportunity to help someone out, whether it’s a potential customer or not, you should do so. There doesn’t have to be a reward for you.
Jay Baer, author of Youtility, shared a great example of this. Hilton Hotels uses the Twitter account @HiltonSuggests for things other than promoting its hotels. Hilton helps other Twitter users by answering their questions even though they have nothing to do with their hotels. For example, someone tweeted about needing to find a job in a specific area (Orlando in this example) but was struggling. Hilton responded with a link to a site that posts job offerings in that specific area. The users Hilton responds to aren’t necessarily followers of Hilton either. Hilton simply wants to help people and they have done so many times via Twitter.
By being helpful and useful your business is building credibility and trust. We all know word of mouth is the strongest marketing around. By helping others, people will begin to tell others they know about how your business helped them out!
If you wish to build respect and trust, which is also another important topic the Social Brand Forum covered, you must be transparent. Take Domino’s Pizza for example. They came out and said, per Jay Baer, “our pizza used to suck. Now, not so much.” They spoke the truth, which resulted in consumers trusting the company. Most companies hide the negatives, but Domino’s chose to be transparent and become better.
As a business, you should cover the negatives before others do. You can either let your competitors control the problems with your business or you can take charge. By taking charge this shows how transparent you are and that you aren’t afraid to show that you have flaws and are working on fixing them.
A goal of your business should be to answer customers’ questions. Now I know you think that sounds stupid but is it something that you do with your business? Probably not. Be honest with your answers. Marcus Sheridan got started in the pool industry and chose to market his company by answering customers’ questions. How much simpler can you get with a marketing strategy?! When asked a question about pools he didn’t always say his pools were the best and the solution. He knew his ideal customer and was honest with each individual about what would work for them and what might not. By doing so, he built a greater trust because he was the “go to” guy for pools.
How to make better content
This is a commonly asked question today. Tim Washer, humor video developer at Cisco, made a great argument about quality not quantity. He says you need to simplify the process of creating content. The goal of your content should not be to sound intelligent. The goal should be for you to be useful. Don’t try to sound like a super genius. Speak their language. Be simple and be quick. That’s when your audience will get the best understanding of your content and your business.
Don’t be afraid to share the details about your business and its people because ultimately, people buy from other people – not from companies. For example, “Here’s 10 interesting things about the people from We Rock Your Web”. Make it short and snappy. BuzzFeed does a great job of doing this with all of its content.
A great way to do both of these things is by creating 60-90 second videos. I am a firm believer that the majority of people would much rather watch a video than read a page of writing. People love visuals and it’s an even bigger bonus if you can multitask while watching those videos. People are so busy today and they don’t want to devote 5 minutes to reading an article (are you still reading? If so tweet us @werockyourweb and say “still reading”.)
Social Brand Forum 2013 Recap = Success
Social Brand Forum 2013 covered many other topics as well but for me and my personal job these three topics really hit home. The speakers were enthusiastic and had valuable information to share with us all. Be helpful, be transparent and making better content are all things we can and should do more of in our lives and our work. Our marketing world is changing quickly and we each need to learn how to stand apart from the others. Hopefully one, if not all, of these three ideas help you market your brand in a new and more successful way.
Discuss With Me!
Have questions about the forum? Did you attend the forum and want to share your experience with me? I’d love to hear from you! Share your thoughts below in the comment section!