In the third of several video clips from the Q&A during the Women Tech Council meeting, Trust Agents Chris Brogan and Julien Smith discuss the use of strategy over tools and some other ideas for you to think about. Although Chris and Julien began responding to a question about the kinds of tools the younger generation is using (since the fastest growing age group on Facebook is 65+), they finished with comments on platforms, communities and social media strategy.
In the video clip, Julien recounts attending a party where the young guests played Chatroulette. His experience with specific tools reveals that, “the tools don’t really matter. The younger generation will use whatever is the most efficient, frictionless method they can to keep doing the same things they’ve always done just with wider audiences…The strategies and the principals are more important than the tools because the answer today might be irrelevant tomorrow,” he says.
Chris talks about how teens still text each other. “They don’t want more friends and they only want their friends to see what they are saying,” he says. As with Julien, Chris believes, “if you’re in marketing, think hard about spending money on a specific platform. You should be enamored with the community and not the platform.”
Trade show organizers, like many business owners, are struggling with developing social media strategies. Focusing on the objectives and not the tools is a challenge for many. However, exhibitions occupy a unique position in marketing genre. Their success is attributable to attributes that are most effective when deployed in a face-to-face setting. The objective of a social media strategy for exhibitions should be to use social media to enhance, highlight and capitalize on those unique characteristics before, during, and after the show. Consider these points:
Memorability: It was proven years ago by research from CEIR that face-to-face experiences are inherently more memorable than virtual ones. Extend the memorability of the exhibition by using social media channels and tools to chronicle a participant’s live experience and allow it to live online for them.
Tactile/sensory: Social media may not be able to duplicate the tactile and sensory experiences available at a live event but it can, through video or graphic representations, demonstrate and emulate these attributes in a way that reminds participants of the live experience.
Entertainment: Using social media channels to plan large-scale social activities such as flash mobs, Foursquare contests, and other interactive social games can activate engagement on the trade show floor.
Intimacy: Supporting the small and large “meetups” that the user community organizes independently by using the show’s social media channels to get the word out will help to foster the valuable one-on-one interactions that are unique to exhibitions and other face-to-face opportunities.
Inspiration: Provide support to capture, highlight and broadcast speaker content through social media channels before, during, and after the event.
Destinations: Part of the enjoyment in attending live events is experiencing the destination. Encourage local restaurants and area attractions to interact with participants over designated social media channels to provide information and services such as reservations, ticketing, prices, hours, menus, specials, and directions.
All under one roof: Use social media channels to highlight and facilitate the “smorgasbord” of time savings, product choices, new contacts, and information available in a single place.
The Takeaway: Online and offline channels can work together in much the same way as traditional marketing media. Although the tools will change, the strategy remains the same—to push the live experience to become the optimum marketing channel that it can be.
How is your social media strategy driving the live experience?