Understanding Social Media An Introduction


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How is the world of social media changing every day, with networks such as Twitter gaining
momentum, and Facebook truly taking hold beyond the college-age crowd? Staying on top of the newest changes and
networks, though intimidating, is doable. Truly understanding how social media can build your business is a different story.

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  • A couple of things before we get started: One, Mark will be asking questions throughout, and not saving them just for the end. Two, today’s presentation is an introduction to social media. It’s the WHY behind doing this. If you’re a CEO, it will give you business reason to begin a social media presence. If you want CEO buy-in, this will give you the business reasons to present to your executive team. This is not the HOW – we’re saving that for next week. I know many of you have questions about the time perception of social media. By the end of today’s presentation, you’ll understand you can’t afford not to take the time. Next week we’ll talk about how you can have a social media presence in as little as an hour a day. Let’s get started!
  • What is social media?
  • As human beings, we are very social beings. We need to interact with other people. As long as we’ve been in existence, we’ve used gathering places to interact, to learn, to talk, even to gossip.
  • Over time, however, our connections are fading, as we do away with gathering places.
  • So what does that have to do with social media?
  • Social media is a shift in how people discover, read, and share news, information, and content. And it allows us to be social again. I know some of you are raising your eyebrows at me right now. How can we be social in front of our computers? I have a great friend who wrote a blog just this week about the social media trifecta: Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Let’s take Twitter as an example. To quote Julio, he says, “ 1. Twitter is the World’s Largest Bar Remember Norm from Cheers? Norm from Cheers When you are on Twitter, you are Norm. You are entering the world’s biggest bar. Simple as that. At that world’s largest bar, you will have some friends, like Cliff and Sam. You will meet some strangers and make friends. You will see some drunken idiots who annoy you (like spammers and people who just talk garbage), and you will meet people who need your help. At this bar, you talk about anything, some personal, some business, some humor, something in common, anything, whether trivial or not. At the World’s Largest Bar, you can be yourself. In fact, you SHOULD be yourself. Feel free to relax, chat with Woody, have a beer with friends, or whatever.”
  • Another example of how Twitter is allowing people social interactions is the Hudson River plane crash. Janis Krums gained instant celebrity when he happened to be on the ferry on the river when the plane crashed. He tweeted a picture of the plane in the river, and the people on the wing, and the entire world heard about it before TV and news crews were even leaving their desks. Remember how I said it’s a shift in how we share news, information, and content? This is a prime example of how it’s happening.
  • But let’s back up for a minute. Social media didn’t just materialize out of thin air four months ago when Oprah joined Twitter. It began with participation. Reach back into your brains and think about when Amazon launched. Remember they were there just to sell books? Think how far they’ve come since then. They now allow you to participate in best sellers because you can write reviews and rate books, even from relatively unknown authors. Now we, as consumers, are the influentials instead of the book critics at the major newspapers. Same thing happens in major cities with restaurant reviews. Yelp allows you to rate and review restaurants. In fact, they just this week have started letting restaurants respond to reviews. But it’s social because you can participate in the conversation. How many of you go online to read reviews of products before you buy them? I’m willing to bet it’s more than 90 percent of you. The way we interact is changing!
  • After participation began, things began to move to sharing through blogs and working with bloggers, even if they weren’t true journalists, could make or break your product or service. The Huffington Post and TechCrunch are two of the top 10 blogs in the country. Both of these blogs are looked to for shared information, which means they write a post and people provide their opinions and comments. Our blog, the Fight Against Destructive Spin and Vistage speaker Randy Hall’s blog focus on industry-specific and leadership information for niche markets. Regardless of the audience, blogs allow people to share information with one another.
  • Now it’s about connecting and engaging with people, one-on-one. It’s not about Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, and LinkedIn. Technology is changing so quickly that it’s about using them to enable you to connect with individuals. People want to connect with people. People buy with emotion. People buy from people. Knowing that, how do you use the available technologies to have personal relationships with your current and prospective customers? How about current and prospective talent? How about partners and vendors? How about international relationships?
  • Think about this. 93 percent of Americans expect companies from which they buy to have a social media presence. 93 percent EXPECT it. If you don’t have a social media presence, but your competition does, who do you think your customer is going to buy from?
  • Why don’t you have a social media presence?
  • We know that most companies still don’t get it. Think about it like this. Remember when Al Gore invented the Internet? Okay, I’m joking. But remember when email first started making its way into your business? I remember we only had internal email at first. Then people got a little more comfortable with it and they added clients to the list of people we could email. Look where we are today. Can you live without your email? Better, do you remember how you did business without email? It’s the same idea. The technology is changing and people expect to have a relationship with you.
  • It’s time to get on the bandwagon already! You can take it slowly. You can test it out. You can even create a policy, if you want, that you only use it internally until you’re comfortable. But get on the bandwagon!
  • In the more traditional sense, we do market research to figure out what we think our audiences want to know about our companies. We create static Web sites and slick brochures and our PR firms message us so we’re all saying the same thing at every step so our audiences hear the same thing from all things coming out of our businesses. But this is only talking to people. This traditional sense is not listening. And it’s not engaging. One-on-one relationships with people is now much more powerful than any kind of external mass messaging. Let me give you a personal example of this. I was headed to Denver for Memorial Day weekend, but I went out a few days early to do some business. When my assistant called Avis to rent me a car, they were sold out. Because I’ve been an Avis Preferred customer for nearly 15 years and because I rent at least two cars a month from them, she asked if one of their other locations could send a car to the airport for me. They said, “Tell her to take a cab.” When she told me this, I put it on Twitter. I even used the Avis Twitter handle to see if they would respond. Within two minutes, Hertz responded to me, said they were sorry I was having trouble with Avis, reserved a car for me in Denver, and gave me 20 percent off. Avis never responded. Guess whose customer I am now…even after 15 years of loyalty to Avis? And I just told all of you about that experience, which will make you think twice when you go to rent from Avis.
  • So do you think it would matter what Avis sent me to make me switch back? Do you think all the ads or marketing brochures or “we try harder” slogans will ever make me go back to them? No amount of marketing will ever break the bond Hertz just created with me. And now my friends and family will use Hertz, just because of how well they’ve treated me.
  • Even though I don’t have an ongoing relationship with the person who runs the Hertz Twitter handle, I still had the opportunity to see inside the company and get to know the people who work there. This is what people want now, because they can get it. They get it from the companies from which they buy. They get it from the companies where their friends and family work. They even get it from your competition. Even if your employees are crazy and stuffing chocolates in their mouths to slow down the process, people want to see that. It’s what will make them loyal to you and your brands.
  • This is key. Companies can become trusted and respected, by developing relationships with its customers through social media. Hertz became trusted and respected with me because they developed a relationship with their competitor’s customer. It used to be that it took years and millions of dollars to build a brand and people would stay loyal forever. Today, however, people change brand loyalty in an instant, based on their circles of trust, what reviews are available, and which companies they have relationships with.
  • So why aren’t companies rushing out and developing those one-on-one relationships?
  • Because they’re hanging on to the one thing they think they can’t live without
  • Control! I hear all the time, my general counsel won’t let us use social media. What happens if an employee has a bad review and starts badmouthing us online? Why would I want people to know that our customers are unhappy if we’re working to fix the issue?
  • Trust me on this…these things are already happening! Your employee that just had a bad review is already posting it online and telling all of his or her friends. Your customers are already talking about your product delays. On the flip side, they also are talking about great experiences they’ve had with the people at your company. Your stakeholders have a voice. They’re telling their circles of trust and you think you’re in control because you don’t hear it.
  • With social media, you have the chance to hear it and to participate in the conversation. Let’s say that employee who just had a bad review is badmouthing you online. Now you have the chance to decide if it’s worth immediate termination. Let’s say, like my Avis/Hertz example, your competitor is screwing up. Now you have the chance to connect with their customer and make them loyal to your brand instantly. Let’s say you have a product delivery delay and your customers are up in arms about it. They’re telling your customer service department, but it’s not making its way to you. You monitor social media conversations every day and see something. You’re immediately able to address the concern, tell the customer how you’re going to fix it, and do as you say. Because it’s immediate, you prevent a fire from spreading and are able to fix something you may not have otherwise heard about until it was too late.
  • When I get push back on social media, I always say, This is not Gini Dietrich’s trend because I think it’s fun and it’s good for business for us. It’s a shift in how we communication person-to-person. I still contend Twitter will eventually be a bunch of PR people talking to a bunch of PR people. Which is why I say this is NOT about the technology. This is about communicating with people, and using the available technologies to do it most efficiently.
  • To prove this is not a fad, let’s look at the future. Unfortunately, Universal McCann hasn’t released their Wave 4 numbers yet, but you can see the rise in blogs, videos, podcasts, and social networks in the past two and a half years. It’s not tiny increases – this is significant. It’s not a fad. This is really happening.
  • And speaking of the future, let’s talk about the next generation of buyers.
  • Tomorrow’s consumers are today’s digital natives. How many of you have kids, grandkids, nieces, nephews, neighbor kids, kids in general who are better at using a computer than you are? The next generation uses computers like we used encyclopedias. They know how to email. They know how to create PPT presentations and Excel worksheets. They even know how to negotiate trades with real people in online games. They will not only expect you to have a social media presence, you won’t exist if they can’t buy from the people who work for you in that way.
  • By next year, the Millenials, or Gen Y, will outnumber the Baby Boomers. This generation has always used a computer. They’ve always had email. They were using Facebook before the business world even knew what it was. They’re your customer right now.
  • And they’re spending $150 billion a year! They expect you to have a social media presence!
  • Add to the digital natives and Gen Y, American adults spend four hours every day online. That includes Baby Boomers and Gen Xers. So when I hear “my customer isn’t online”, I call BS. Your customer IS online. Your customers is spending four hours every day online. Your customers expect you to have a social media presence. And if you don’t, your customer isn’t going to be your customer much longer.
  • Add to that…no one, not just the Gen Y, cares about your ad. I’m willing to bet most of you have TiVo or DVR. You do this because you don’t want to anyone’s ads.
  • Did I mention it’s time to get on the bandwagon???
  • So get on the bandwagon and let’s talk about the rules of social media. The very first thing you want to do is listen. Then you can go on to participate and engage.
  • Let’s start with listening. Immerse yourself in the conversations. Listen to what people are saying about you, your brands, your company, and your competition. Take notes. Don’t take offense. Begin to prepare to respond…to both the good and the bad. Keep in mind that your canned PR messages, your slick marketing brochures, your elevator speech are not conversations. They will not work when you ready yourself to participate.
  • The social part of social media is greater than the media part. This is where you begin to share some stuff. It’s a dialogue, not a monologue. This is where you can participate in the conversation about you, your brands, your company, your colleagues, and even your competition. See what people have to say, and respond…positively.
  • The goal is NOT to control the conversation. The goal is to participate in the conversation people are already having about you. It’s to have a voice. It’s to learn. It’s to test new ideas. It’s to develop market research. It’s to expose you to different ideas. And it allows you to speak directly to ALL of your audiences.
  • Create opportunities for people to feel ownership of your brand. Make them feel like they know you in real life. Make them change their minds if they’re mad at you. Give them something to talk about. Make them love you or hate you. Just don’t make them feel indifferent.
  • Any person that spins the truth will be found out. In a world of social media, honesty is the only policy. If you make a mistake, apologize and move on. And remember, not everyone will like you. That’s okay. As long as you’re you.
  • But most importantly, have fun! When I say this, people say, “Really? Fun?” It’s fun! For the first time, you are a celebrity in your own right. It’s a great ego boost. You attract like-minded people and they think you’re smart. It’s fun! So have a good time at it.
  • Understanding Social Media An Introduction

    1. 1. Social Media Is Here to Stay: Get on the Bandwagon…Now! A Vistage Intro to Social Media
    2. 2. What is ? Social Media
    3. 5. So what does that have to do with ? Social Media
    4. 6. Social media is a shift in how people discover, read, and share news, information, and content… and it allows us to be social again
    5. 8. It began with participation
    6. 9. Then it moved to sharing
    7. 10. Now it’s conversations, by using available technologies
    8. 11. 93% of Americans expect companies to have a social media presence
    9. 12. So why ? Don’t They
    10. 13. Because most companies STILL don’t get it
    11. 14. But it’s time to get on the bandwagon!
    12. 15. People are not market research and demographics anymore One-on-one relationships with people is now much more powerful than any kind of external mass messaging
    13. 16. “ Everyone has a circle of trust. People whose opinion they listen to and respect. No amount of marketing can break that bond.”
    14. 17. Instead of PR canned messages and slick brochures of what you think people want to know People want to see INSIDE the company and get to know the people who work there
    15. 18. Companies can become trusted and respected, by developing relationships with its customers through social media
    16. 19. WHY ? Don’t They
    17. 20. They hang on to the one thing they think they can’t live without
    18. 21. CONTROL!
    19. 23. With social media, you have the chance to participate in the conversation
    20. 24. This is not a fad It’s a shift in how we COMMUNICATE person-to-person
    21. 25. Welcome to the future
    22. 26. And speaking of the future…
    23. 27. Tomorrow’s consumers are today’s “digital natives”
    24. 28. By next year, the Millenials, or Gen Y, will outnumber the Baby Boomers
    25. 29. And they spend $150BB a year!
    26. 30. American adults spend four hours every day online
    27. 31. And no one , not just Gen Y, cares about your ad
    28. 32. Did I mention it’s time to get on the bandwagon?
    29. 33. The rules of social media Listen Engage Be Honest and Authentic Participate Relinquish Control
    30. 34. The number one rule: LISTEN before you do anything else
    31. 35. Then…begin to participate
    32. 36. Relinquish control
    33. 37. Engage
    34. 38. Be honest and authentic
    35. 39. HAVE FUN!
    36. 40. Gini Dietrich Chief Executive Officer Arment Dietrich, Inc. [email_address] www.armentdietrich.com www.spinsucks.com http://twitter.com/ginidietrich http://facebook.com/armentdietrich http://linkedin.com/in/ginidietrich © 2009 Arment Dietrich, Inc.