Over the past 16 years I have done a lot of speaking on stages in Canada, USA, Southern Africa and South America. In the past 36 months more and more of my speaking, training and writing has been focused on social media and how it integrates (or doesn’t) with sales process and strategy. I have put together a 7 minute video with some excerpts from a recent seminar I did in Santiago Chile for Seminarium (and Bogota next month) on social media for sales organizations. South America has experienced a 103% growth [source www.analytics20.org] in social media from January 2007 to January 2008, this is an exciting market and the people there are eager to learn how to use social media. Here’s the video:
An event where you pull people in from Twitter to pitch or sell them something
A seminar event
A tradeshow or multi-day event
A general community event like a sports event, lecture etc.(it’s called a Tweetup because it’s people on Twitter connecting in real life)
Who Can Organize a Tweetup?
Anyone with a Twitter account
You don’t have to be a social media guru or expert, it’s about community.
Usually one person will announce a Tweetup but many are involved in the organization and promotion, it’s a community focused event.
I have a big event happening already. Can I promote it as a Tweetup?
No. People who come to a Tweetup expect to connect with those who use Twitter as a networking and community tool. This would be misleading if a large portion of the people were not in fact on Twitter, people go to meet their online connections offline.
You can however create a special Tweetup within a larger event. For instance at a race, or something like Dragon Boat Festival you could have a “Tweetup Tent” for a 3 hour period during the main event where Twitter folk meet and mingle. If you’re doing a fundraiser at a pub or lounge, have the Tweetup for a couple hours before the main event, then let people know they can hang around later if they want to network with the rest of the community.
Who made these rules anyway?
Twitter, social media and etiquette attached to it are evolving constantly, this however is accepted practice right now. These answers are a summary of how the concept of a Tweetup is being used within the social media community. The majority of people attending or promoting Tweetups follow these loose guidelines. You can break these rules (or bend them) just realize that you may get a fair bit of negative push-back or even lose good Twitter connections.
I’m doing a keynote seminar on Implementing and Integrating Social Media in Bogota Colombia for a marketing congress on September 28th. As a professional speaker this is one of my favorite parts of the job, getting to share my ideas and passions with people from all over the world. The seminar company’s Colombian office sent me these questions that they will be using as part of their marketing package for the event. I thought I would share them with my readers. Here it is:
Questionnaire for Colombia Newsletter
Shane Gibson Social Media Speaker
Q: How are Social Media turning traditional marketing habits around?
A: In the past we could dominate the marketplace with advertising, direct mail, and other forms of traditional media marketing. Today consumers are much more powerful marketers than companies are, with their ability to publish information to the web, they outnumber us. Their conversations about our brand, company, products and services are now “branding” us. They can blog about our company, they can share their opinion on our product on Orkut or Twitter, and they can post a Youtube video praising or condemning us.
Marketers now have to not just broadcast, they have to listen to what conversations are going on out there, and then they have to connect and interact with the marketplace in order to direct the conversations about their brand.
Today the customer owns our brand.
Update August 31 2009 (Watch a 7 minute speaker video addressing this question):
Q: Do you think these tools will replace well-known Marketing complex software such as CRM, for example? Why?
A: These tools are changing the way sales professionals and marketers interact with the marketplace. In the past we would build a database of customers in our CRM and proactively drive the sales process through constant contact. Social Listening tools that allow you to track conversations about your company or what your target market is doing are allowing marketers to pinpoint customers at the very moment they have a challenge or need for what we sell. There is also a new breed of CRM tools called Social CRM (SCRM) software that is just beginning to be available in the marketplace.
SCRM will allow you to pull in all the information about a contact, based upon permission from them (they tell you what data you will get), and your sales process will become driven by the daily activities and events in the lives of the customer. SCRM will make your database come alive with by the minute updates on what your best clients and prospects are posting on social networks and publishing in social media.
Q: What are the main benefits of including Social Media in Marketing and Sales strategies?
A: Social media success is built through a series of genuine interactions with the marketplace. The key is to create valuable content, resources, build community and connect in personalized ways with your market. Unlike traditional marketing and advertising most of the best social media tools are free. They need a time investment, and you have to train your staff to use them, but after that you can generate results with a significantly lower on-going investment financially. Also if used right, you can turn almost any staff member in your company into part of your marketing and customer service team, all they need is a Smartphone or a computer with web access. Social media expands your customer service and marketing capabilities.
Q: (Any real life examples as to how much money companies can save you can mention?)
A: My co-author Stephen Jagger (Sociable! Book Site) runs a company called Ubertor which has several thousand clients. His clients are real estate agents who use his real estate software to drive their websites. Steve was originally a client of mine. He had 10 sales people, and over a dozen other staff including computer programmers, management and support staff and a very large office. In order to service these clients he also needed a lot of telecommunications tools and phone lines.
Steve and his business partner Mike over a period of time began to replace telephone customer service with Web based Live Chat service and Twitter. He then decided to use Meetup.com to hold events with guest speakers on social media and technology use for his target market instead of sending sales people out top real-estate offices (he no longer needs salespeople). The next step was to close the office and have staff work virtually. They moved their phone system to Google Voice, which is free and use Gtalk and a tool called Yammer to communicate all day with each other. Steve’s blog and his Youtube videos are used to communicate to his clients, and post solutions to problems and information on the software updates and functionality.
The result? Significant business growth with a significant decrease in business costs. Steve is saving thousands of dollars per month in business costs, far fewer staff and has actually improved his customer experience.
Q: What are the main obstacles firms face when implementing Social Media in their Marketing and Sales strategies?
A: One of the obstacles is techno-phobia or as I call it Social Media Phobia. A lot of people don’t feel confident in experimenting or trying to use these new tools. They’re also worried about negative comments or someone using their blog or FaceBook to attack their brand. The reality is this technology is new, and we are all learning. Now is the best time to experiment and get good at social media, while your competitors are still watching on the sidelines. In addition to this, the only way we can insulate our company and brand from negative comments or competitor behavior online is to get involved in social media. Build a community of raving fans around your brand. You need to get social to win.
Related Posts: Social Media Seminars
How Social Media is Turning Sales and Marketing Upside-down
It’s not who you know but who knows you in today’s hyper-connected marketplace. The consumer now owns your brand, and in order to profit from this new dynamic, we need a solid strategy and set of principles to engage the marketplace.
Understanding the role social media and social networking play in this new dynamic, is paramount to our future success as sales professionals, marketers, and corporations. In this fast paced webinar Shane Gibson and Stephen Jagger will share with you:
The new rules of engagement in sales and marketing
How anyone can become a global brand in their niche using social media
How to effectively and profitably implement social media in your business
The Role of Social Media in the Sales Process
The top global social media and networking tools and trends for 2009 and beyond
About Shane Gibson
Shane Gibson is a professional speaker and author of “Closing Bigger the Field Guide to Closing Bigger Deals.” He is also co-author of Sociable! A new book written with Stephen Jagger on profiting from, social media to be released in Summer 2009. As a sales performance and marketing specialist he has addressed several thousand people over the past 15 years on stages in Canada, USA, South Africa and South America.
His client’s include organizations such as Builddirect.com, Ford, The Certified Management Accountants, and numerous Chambers of Commerce and Boards of Trade across Canada.
Shane has been cited as a subject matter expert on the topic of sales, social media and marketing in the Globe and Mail, the National Post, BC Business Magazine, and the Canadian Professional Sales Association’s “Contact Magazine.”
About Stephen Jagger
Stephen Jagger is an entrepreneur that has been starting businesses since high school. He is currently involved in 2 companies. Combustion Labs Media Inc, which operates as Ubertor.com, is a real estate software company that provides websites and online marketing tools to thousands of real estate agents across North America. His other business, Reachd.com is a training company that focuses on marketing professionals and businesses that are interested in learning more about search engine optimization, blogging, online video, Google Adwords and social media.
Stephen has been covered in many major publications including The Vancouver Sun, The Wall Street Journal, The Ottawa Citizen, The Vancouver Courier, The Calgary Herald plus many more. He has spoken at many different events including British Columbia Institute of Technology, The Vancouver Board of Trade, The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver, and Inman News Connect 2007 in San Francisco where he was on a panel of 4 with a representative from Google, Yahoo and the Yellow Pages and 2009 in New York on a panel discussing blogging. He is very active in the community as a member of the Vancouver Board of Trade Communication Committee, the Vancouver College Alumni Association, a volunteer with Kids Help Phone, the founding member of the largest real estate agent meetup in North America and a mentor for the Leaders of Tomorrow program.
Your session on Social Media was relevant, practical with ready to use concepts. At the end of the day it’s about the bottom line. I appreciated your real world proven approach to social media marketing
– Dr. Denis Cauvier, Best Selling author of “The ABC’s of Making Money”
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