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I had a speaking engagement today where I spoke about Social Media to a Human Resource association. I was discussing how Twitter, blogging and YouTube work best when they go hand-in-hand with each other. This topic came up here at work recently and this is how I put it into perspective:
When you develop a great video presentation and bring it to a trade-show or conference, you don’t just set it up on a table and leave it playing in a loop all by itself. You don’t just start the presentation and leave it unattended do you? Instead, you are there ready to greet people who show any interest in the presentation you are running. You are there to answer questions, make conversation and interact with others. As we all know, this is called networking. Likewise social media, when used correctly establishes this same type of interaction. Videos on YouTube need to be associated with a website, or a blog where someone interested can go and interact and ask questions. Once a connection is made and a conversation is started, it is just like you are standing together at the trade-show, or in the conference room. Here, in the discussion that evolves, whether it be virtual or in person, you will decide whether continuing a business relationship or not is in your best interest. So in both scenarios (virtual or in person) the same objective is being met.
Likewise, it’s important that once you post something on YouTube you have methods in place to draw traffic to the video. This is where your website, Facebook, Twitter and blog will play their part in this dance of getting your online presence noticed. Social Media needs to work together and be in harmony with each other. Working together is the key to the success of your social media campaign as well as your overall marketing plan.
We have a client who posts videos on YouTube, at the end of their Print Ads in the trade magazines we print: “see our videos on YouTube”… how is that for the evolution of the ad/PR world? We now have our traditional print ads referring potential clients (and anyone else who is interested) to our client’s online presence. At least for right now, it seems you can’t effectively have one without the other.
We applaud this action, especially in this economy.
One client said to me, during a meeting where I was encouraging this tactic, “Tim, how can I take a very busy engineer or sales guy away from customers and quoting to play on the internet?”
After I calmed down, I explained to him that:
Seriously, since very little is new under the sun, this is just the new version of that longtime and revered guy at every company, the one people flocked to see at trade shows.
Two quick examples:
We had a client (sadly passed away) who invented polymer quenchants for commercial heat treating. This ancient industry used water and oil, mostly, as it had for literally centuries. People would come to the trade shows and actually wait in line to see the guy. Then, with almost papal severity, he would lean into them, listen to their quenching problem, ponder it for a moment and then put his finger in their chest and say, “OK, here’s what you do…”
We have a current client who runs what is arguably the finest gear company on the planet. He’s also a world-class fly fisherman. He stands in the aisles and goes “casting for customers,” as he says. When he arrives at a show or conference, you’d think Ghandi had walked into the room…with Mother Teresa on his arm! Talk about drawing a crowd. His theory evokes the old John Kennedy line that a rising tide lifts all boats. He actually shows customers, prospects AND his competitors his operation and his p&l. His company currently exports high-precision gears worldwide, including to China!
The internet guru at your company can be a powerful force for growth and a true agent of change for your business and the industry as a whole. Don’t overlook the possibilities or think that it’s just playtime! When a “social” network has a tangible business upside, that’s a game we’d all like to join!