I was last Thursday in Toronto to attend Social Mix, a social media conference. The two keynotes presenters, Amber Mac and Gary Vaynerchuk, were a treat. I expect that level of performance from these established speakers. Someone else impressed me a lot with his passion and common sense.
The surprise of the day for many of us was Sergeant Tim Burrows from the Toronto Police Service. I did not know him at all and did not check his Twitter account before the conference. I did not expect to hear someone so genuine and down to earth talking about the issues and challenges that a Canadian Police organization faces on a daily basis. I have a deep appreciation for what Tim does.
For the benefits of business people and bloggers, I will share what I consider to be the best lessons of the day or my twist on them.
All your actions should serve your ultimate business goal. Do not kid yourself, social media requires a lot of time and efforts to succeed. But growing any business takes time. Social media is where your audience and customers spend a lot of their time right now. So you should be there and be a part of the conversation.
Companies are still do traditional marketing. You will be more successful if you coordinate your efforts over all channels. You will need to create a marketing round or at least, establish an effective internal communication system that breaks the silos like Geoff Livingston and Gini Dietrich told us.
Tailor your message not only to each medium, but also to the social network and their specific audience. To the dissatisfaction of the people who are driven by efficiency, the human touch wins over the automated route.
It takes time to build relationships. You should give before you receive from someone. Share your knowledge, be useful, genuinely connect with people over a good period of time. Amber Mac said “Using social media is like going to the gym. To see results, you’ve got to be consistent”. Gary Vaynerchuk said that he looks at his career as a marathon. It took him years to gain the level of trust that he now has. Still, he continues to be generous and to invest a lot of time and efforts in what he does.
The great thing about the Internet is that you can measure the effects of your initiatives. You must measure it! All members of a business contributes in its own way to sales. You do not necessary need to track fancy formulas nor invest a lot of money. For example, Facebook gives you access to plenty of statistics.
One last thing
Images sell your story. Across all social networks, posts with beautiful, lovable or funny images are shared the most. Why do you think Facebook increased the size of the pictures that you published on your timeline? Because their metrics show them that they generate more likes and comments.