I was talking to a startup founder a couple of weeks before his inaugural trip to SXSW last month, and he asked me what to expect. Well, in a nutshell: A nonstop, chaotic party.
If you’ve never been to SXSW, let me reassure that you that everything you heard is true. There is so much going on and so much noise to cut through that it can be really hard to attend all of the sessions and events that are most worthwhile for you. It is easy to get side-tracked! One thing I can guarantee, though: You’ll meet a lot of people and have a blast.
Anyway, I waited for the post-event noise to die down and culled through all of the blog posts I read about SXSW before landing on this one. I pulled out the best, most actionable social media marketing insights from this year’s SXSW Interactive Festival to help you improve your social media marketing this year. Here they are:
Social media fuels sales productivity
“We have our own internal version of Klout. We do rate people in this way – their effectiveness on social media. Tying social into a performance measurement works. The productivity of a sales person who has an effective social media presence is 3x an employee who is not active on the web.” – Sandy Carter, GM Ecosystems and Social Business IBM
Takeaway: Everyone involved in sales must be actively engaging customers and prospects on social media to build and nurture relationships.
Social media engagement starts at the top
“If you have the leadership team be social, it will set an example for others. It can’t flow from the ground up. To get the middle managers involved, it has to be demonstrated from the top.” – Mike Stenberg, VP Web & Infrastructure, Siemens
Takeaway: You, the small business owner, and your leadership team must walk the walk, not just talk the talk. Embrace social media, demonstrate its importance, and your employees will follow your lead.
Measure social media ROI
“As long as we are not showing the real value of this effort in the language and terms of the business, we’re just teenage social media gurus generating Facebook Likes.” – Andrew Bowins, SVP of External Communications, MasterCard
Takeaway: If you’re not actively tracking the results of your social media efforts, you are wasting time and money. This is not new information, but it’s a good reminder to do it, not just say you’ll do it.
Integrate your mission, vision, and values in your messaging
“To drive employee adoption, you need to give them a message to rally around. Something to inspire and create pride. And then you need to take down the internal rules that stifle engagement and creativity.” – Andrew Bowins
Takeaway: Hire employees who embrace your business’s values, and encourage them to share those values on social media.
Encourage social media use
“To overcome adoption hurdles, you have to make it easy to integrate social into the work employees are already doing. It can’t be a scary commitment – it has to be a natural extension of what you do. We have trained our employees to do their jobs with any eye toward social. If they admire a new product on our shelf, use a camera to give a visual image into the store and all that they love. Make it crazy easy to participate.” – Natanya Anderson, Social Media Coordinator, Whole Foods
Takeaway: During your weekly or monthly team meetings, highlight the best social media shares from your employees to encourage and remind them to actively promote your brand with their social network.
Did you go to SXSW this year? What are some great tips that you picked up?
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