This post was written by guest blogger, Jim Reed
During Adweek's Social Media Strategies conference this week, keynote speaker MC Hammer told a childhood story about how he would walk to the Oakland Coliseum on game days from his Oakland neighborhood and watch 50,000+ people stream into the stadium. It didn't take long for him to realize that the likelihood of someone buying something from him was pretty good. He wound up selling popcorn, peanuts, soda, etc. but Hammer makes this analogy to a group of social media marketers because the odds are in the numbers. Facebook now has more than 300 million active users, so in the long run marketers are bound to sell something.
Social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter are the latest toys for marketers to ponder, but the results are still to be determined. Conference panelists and speakers agreed that brands need to be on these platforms now because it takes time to gather a following, to get a stride, to see what works, and most importantly to provide a channel for your customers to reach out to you and hear from you. There was a lot of discussion about putting an actual human behind the tweets and status updates. Rather than a stiff corporate logo with carefully crafted copy for each tweet, consumers will identify more with a real person who can type with wit in real time. Dunkin Donuts has Dunkin Dave. Comcast, who has a notorious reputation for bad customer service, now has a guy name Frank answering customer complaints via Twitter. We at Traction have several humans chiming in (Adam, Theo, Renee, Kellie, Jim) – the point is to maintain a personal voice.
But what about Facebook? The big takeaway from Facebook is to remember that microsites are islands in the Internet – no one will visit your pretty microsite unless you spend great effort and great cost driving traffic to the site. So don't make a microsite experience on Facebook. Leverage the features inherent to social media by encouraging users to express themselves and share with their friends. At Traction we incorporate these strategies for our client, Adobe. On Facebook we encourage users to upload their own creative work, to participate in discussions, enter sweepstakes, and of course share content such as tutorials and interactive games.