Pubcon Live Blogging: Social Super Session

Moderator: Brett Tabke
Chris Brogan, President, New Marketing Labs
Lee Odden, CEO, TopRank Online Marketing
Reem Abeidoh, Social Media Strategist, Outrider
Wayne Sutton, Social Media Strategist & Technology Evangelist,

  • Chris Brogan is the captain of a pirate ship
  • Lee Oden is Chris Brogan’s long lost brother
  • Reem is a social media strategist for outrider
  • Wayne is a social media strategist

Bret asks: what do you do in a typical day

Wayne: Research, reading, researching content, creating content, catching up on e-mail

Reem: every day is different because we’re big with lots of clients, it always starts with email, facebook, linked in, twitter – our main goal is to provide strategy, but with that comes a lot of responsibility

Lee starts his day with a swim. He runs operations, so he plays in social networks, write blog posts, go to conferences, do dog and pony shows, a lot of research, thinks about it, then writes about that research. He gets to do exactly what he wants to do, exactly what I love

Chris fails to sleep. He researches, which means he just reads other people’s crap. Writes three or four blog posts a day, and is doing content marketing projects now.

Brett: Let’s start with Chris: Where is the ROI in all of this? (Social media)

Chris: if you’re doing relationship sales, or where you’re doing long-ball sales where it’s not one click and one transaction, twitter and facebook are ways to build relationships ahead of the sale, so that you have a conversation.

Lee: in one of the earlier sessions today on ‘the T word’, i gave some tangible ROI network: someone who works for me spent about 1k on trying to hire someone, but from dropping 3 links in twitter we got more ROI than any traditional method. Social networks lower the barrier to sales.

Reem: twitter from a personal perspective is going to be very different than trying to establish it for a client. Is your client going to make money off of using these networks? Not necessarily, but from an awareness standpoint, twitter might affect things. It helps people start considering your product early in the sales process.

Wayne: I like to think of the ROI on social media as similar to television, it’s going to get your product in front of consumers. It creates direct sales and brand loyalty. The same method applies to getting business cards – social media is a digital equivalent of this.

Reem: the modern consumer decision process doesn’t want media pushed at them, they want to know the CEO they want a personal relationship with the company. If you position yourself so that you look like care about their questions, you create that open impression.

Lee: social media is not like direct marketing, it’s more like influence that comes from relationships. It’s about providing insight that influences purchasing decisions down the line.

Brett: lets say you had a recent sale, closed from twitter – can you back-track the process that led to that sale?

Chris: I like this purple microphone. I just closed some business on twitter today – it’s social proof, if you’re there, it boosts your credibility. After the social proof, the potential client notices, likes it, talks to you about it. Ppl who are really succeeding are the ones bringing up the people around them. Closing business in 140 characters is way more fun than 700 word emails.

Lee: i know i have three msgs today saying: hey I’ve got a thing, are you interested in doing this?

Reem: we always preach ‘you have to be where your customers are at’ – you have to build that relationship, what do you need, what do you want, what can I help you with?

Wayne: content is key – people find me via the content I put online, that leads to messages, to phone calls, to business. It starts off with the microconversation.

Lee asks the audience: how any ppl here intentionally use a blog as part of your marketing efforts (answer, most) – there’s kind of a pet peeve about social media, is that there is no cost to entry so they start building up profiles on social networks, but don’t know what to do with it. Set your goals first.

Brett: what’s your currently level of activity on facebook?

Wayne: for myself, I just use facebook for broadcasting content, rss feeds through it, have some conversations which might lead to business – i don’t do the games like scrabble.

Reem: I’m on facebook all day, from the beginning to the end – it serves as a hub for me. It’s a great resource because you can do public and private conversations and it’s a great way to build relationships

Lee: from a client perspective we recommend facebook all the time, I don’t use it personally so much as I recommend it

Chris: in facebook i’ll get 14 emails asking to come to my webinar – go F yourself if you’re facebooking me (he has like 10k friends). I’m not down with the f.b., the only thing I think they’re doing well is their ads, beyond that screw off, facebook sucks.

Brett: what do you think are the biggest risks to small businesses as they come on to social media

Chris: the big risk for small businesses – if you start a presence on one of these networks, you have to take care of it forever. You’ve got to fish where your fish are, if you jump all over every network you’ll leave a bunch of ghost towns.

Lee: that comes back to not having a strategy – you have to have a plan.

Reem: how many have heard about motrin and the mommy bloggers? (she explains it) it took only one mom to tweet about it, they created a video rank and joined together against the advertisement. Focus group, ask more than your direct people what they think. You kind of have to avoid making mistakes online because it’s on there forever.

Wayne: ppl are not listening before engaging because they’re spending time ‘figuring out’ social media, that’s a risk

Brett: where do you draw the line between good promotion and spam?

Lee: as far as content goes, I have no problem promoting stuff, but I call it as it is. I put up a post about gadgets in my briefcase yesterday, it wasn’t really about gadgets, it was about speaking, a hint towards people to let them know he’s an available speaker

Reem: It’s about it having a genuine message. Have the conversation, let me know who you are, if I know who you are you’ll help me and I’ll help you back.

Wayne: how many ppl saw what skittles did a few weeks ago? Did you consider that spam? Or good social media marketing?

Chris: i saw it as someone make kick ass money for a stupid piece of code.

Wayne: was it too much noise to dampen the signal? It was almost spam

Reem: i don’t agree, i thought it was brave, borering on genius. (boos) hold on let me explain, it’s a good idea because every website is stagnant, ppl don’t come back. They had some rep management problems because people started coming on and saying f**k skittles. I think they started a new trend and i think we’re going to see some companies adopt it. What they’re saying is come here, let this be your hub for all things twitter. They have a youtube site for their media, they’re saying you’re more important than us, it’s about you, not us.

Lee: look at what some companies have paid to be part of second life. As a pr stunt the skittles it wasn’t connecting with the customer. They gave up their brand to the community. Consumers want some value, I think it was a mistake in the way it was executed.

Reem: from a brand management perspective they gave up control to their users? How many ppl feel they can control social media? You can’t, ppl are having that conversation offline, you might as well own it.

Wayne: look at what pepsi is doing for SXSW, keep it on your site, own the content

Chris: i godda say something about skittles. First, why do you need your birthday on skittles? Not for nothing but there’s no beer inside of a skittle. The only thing they did well was getting the marketing world talking about skittles. Here’s where we can end it – you buy a bag of m and m’s you buy a bag of skittles, you call it S&M, and you’re done.

Audience question: it seems like this is a pretty narcissistic activity, we’re all tweeting about eachother and want to see our name on the big screen. Nobody has really talked about the slicing of your day into little bits, what’s the impact of that.

Lee: i’ll set time aside every morning reading, and things will come up during the day and I’ll deal with them, but it’s compartmentalizing the time to promote content that I try to do. The rest of the day is spend on sales calls, account management.

Reem: there needs to be a process to make your life simpler. How much time do i need to spend online to make it productive?

Wayne: like Chris was saying he doesn’t sleep. I do have copy editing in place, someone handling events and such, you want the tools in place to handle your online activity, then you want to have a team to help accomplish your goals.

Q: for Reem, she made a statement earlier “avoid making mistakes online, they’re forever” – but you’re going to make mistakes. Do you feel that applies more for bigger companies?

Reem: being proactive rather than reactive, that’s PR 101. If you do make a mistakes, big and small companies admit to it, do the PR to manage your brand.

Lee: if you really really screw up that’s also an opportunity, because how you respond to adversity says a lot about you as an organization. If you can look at it like an opportunity, everyone wins in the end. Obviously you want to avoid it in the first place.

Audience question: someone comes to you says ‘we want traffic and we want links’ what do you guys do?

Lee: if someone came to me I’d say talk to chris Winfield.

Reem: I think social media is good for links and traffic, but it has a larger focus, traffic and links are a byproduct of awareness.

Lee: the social media centric link building tactics are not about building relationships, it’s about building links. It’s a challenge to commit to.

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