The Pubcon South conference kicked off in Dallas today with a keynote address entitled “Hi Social Media, We Need to Talk” by Scott Stratten, President of Un-Marketing. Scott started his presentation discussing how he “needed to break up with social media”, wanting to break up with the term “social media”.
Social media, before we called it that, was simply conversing. What’s the ROI for a tweet? Would you ask that about a conversation?
Scott started by saying that social media success doesn’t exist. Great content is successful. Social media is just a channel. If your product sucks, social media will only make it suck more. Social media is simply a channel to share information. The problem with social media is that there are so many choices.
First, pick a platform. To build something, you have to start somewhere. Scott’s three stages for platforming are:
Traction is the toughest. 80% of Twitter users become inactive, because it takes time. RELATIONSHIPS take time. Traction takes a lot of time — you have to give your time, emotions, information and more to it. You have to invest in it before you get something out of it. Momentum is when you get to a point where you have to keep up the traction. You’ve built the following, but now you need to keep it up. To build his momentum, Scott tweeted 7000 times in one month (30 days) and he went from 1800 followers to 10,000 followers. He found that if he wasn’t there for even one day, people were wondering where he was. He then had traction. By having that traction and then launching a blog, his first post had 14,000 readers.
Scott shared some warnings about social media:
What can go right and what can go wrong? People will say Twitter won’t work for local businesses. Not true. There’s little barrier to entry on Twitter. Engagement is easy — you don’t have to be friends (that’s more commitment). You can get to know people better on Twitter.
Scott gave some examples of major brand mistakes on Twitter. Remember that customer service via Twitter is publicized! Social media also allows you to engage with your market — you can ask people what they want!
Scott recommended that you stop, start and continue. Stop what you’re doing today — and ask customers, readers, etc. what they want. For instance, what do readers want to read in your newsletter? Ask them. Make the newsletter feel they need to read it as soon as it comes in.
He shared an example of how @TuftsDining did a great job of diffusing a negative tweet by listening to the student and actually responding. Instead of being just a feed, they personally responded. He made the point that if @TuftsDining was just a feed, they would have missed an opportunity to engage. “It’s better to not do social media than to be there and not do it properly.”
Scott said that one big mistake he made in the beginning was to auto-follow all of his followers. He originally started to get too many followers to follow each one as they came in. By auto-following, he ended up auto-following about 30,000 people, and he opened himself up to irrelevant direct messages. Follow people that make you better! He mentioned Refollow.com, which allows him to see who is talking to him that he is not following yet.