Around a week ago I had the pleasure to speak at Kahenacon 2014. That’s kahena digital marketing’s yearly conference on inbound marketing, advertising and social media. And it’s right here in jerusalem.
It was a jam-packed day with a line-up of really great speakers, including Joanna Lord of Bigdoor and Gilad De Vries of Outbrain (whose talk I especially enjoyed). I was certainly in good company – it was kind of intimidating really.
As always, social media and ‘how to do it’ was the hot topic of conversation. Everyone knows it’s critical for companies of whatever size to have an online presence in today’s world. And there are endless ways for us to be online social butterflies. In an instant we can send out a tweet, post a facebook status or add a contact on linkedin. But what are all these platforms really giving us? What are you meant to express? How do you reach out? If done right, as many marketers and conference attendees would argue, you have to seize the day and engage your potential clients and consumers — foster a dialogue, grow your base. That’s all fine and good, but are we talking to the right people? Saying the right things? Engaging the way we should? Is it quality engagement – or is it all a crock of shit?
The takeaway was that it’s not a crock if you’re going about social the right way. And the right way is coming up with a strategic plan for your social media. Having well thought-out goals, and executing, it’s not if, ultimately, you’re putting out content that’s relevant and satiating for your target audience. Adding true value to their lives by exposing them to things they want to hear about. The best brands are authentic – anything and everything you put out socially online should align with who you really are and your true values, what turns you on as a company, and what you want your brand to accurately represent. And that can be anything from a thought leader, a provocateur, a surprise act, or an innovator. Whoever you are.
With all the above said, never forget that social media is just another weapon in the marketing arsenal of your brand.
It isn’t a replacement for the real social – the opportunity to engage and communicate in real life. (yes, even though you’re reading this here). Meeting people, networking, and speaking face-to-face. That’s priceless. I get the feeling there’s less of that going on and more people huddled round their screens pressing buttons, typing into chat windows and scrolling up and down like there’s no tomorrow. But when it comes to face-to-face, there’s no tweet or facebook post that can compete with that kind of brand engagement (unless you’re a socially awkward dufus). We can measure and analyze all the likes, reposts and metrics in the world, but the power of personal connection leaves folks with an impression that’s tough to beat.
In our overly-saturated digital universe, it is easy to lose sight of that.
So I don’t.
As with everything in life, balance is good.
One social should not replace another.
(photography :: Netanel Tobias)