I’m going to start this with a vent. I had an amazingly crafted piece and the lovely browser that is IE decided to freeze and loose everything. So this, my friends, is take two.
When looking at the world through social glasses, it becomes difficult to decipher what is true color and what is not. There are so many tools in the omnipotent beast that is social media that it is easy to get led astray. One day it is Pinterest and the next day it is a social network to link people on earth with aliens on Mars. It becomes difficult to manage the shifting landscape of social media. However, regardless of the daily shifts, the big picture remains the same. The two most powerful tools to leverage are Twitter and Facebook. I will be focusing my efforts on Twitter in relation to a strategy I did with my day job. Here are the details.
Our boss decided it would be a great idea for us to attend a conference in Vegas as a team to soak up some new knowledge. The conference was amazing, but wasn’t nearly as great as GSMI’s Social Media Strategies Summit (plug). In order for us to get the most out of it, we were divided into teams of two and pinned against each other in a fight to the death. Unannounced to the people within my company, I’m extremely extremely competitive and my background in social media is strong. So I dominated with the help of my partner. We devised a strategy where I would dress like Elvis every day, leverage Twitter for communication/buzz, build a lead capture landing page, and have some fun. Guess what? We #crushed it (Twitter reference).
So how did I go about creating this strategy?
Well, in less than 48 hours I was able to create an effective strategy for which the steps can be seen below:
Think about the end. Visualize it. What do you want to the be the ultimate outcome of your strategy? For us, we were supposed to introduce our CEO to people and build relationships.
The Idea, The Attack
In order to yield the best results, it is critical to think about the most effective way to make an impact. What can you do to stand out and get people’s attention or to engage? Is it a dinner, a scavenger hunt, dressing like Elvis, or something better suited for your audience? Regardless, make a choice and commit to it. We chose Elvis because he is an icon figure in Vegas that people would love to take a photo with.
This needs to be audience specific. What do I mean by that? Basically, know where your audience resides. Know the message you are going to deliver and what is the best channel for engagement. For example if you are going to a tech conference or a social media conference, I’d say 99% of the people will be involved in social media, particularly Twitter. We decided to use Twitter because it is shorter messages that will be fired off more frequently, location based, and frankly people just love communicating with Twitter.
Start with the sponsoring organization. Look at their Twitter follower base and start to follow those people. You can do as many as you can, but generally speaking Twitter is like high school, people just want to feel cool. So if you follow them, most likely they will follow you back. Also, locate the #hashtag for the event. This will allow you to inject your message into those actually attending the conference.
When you are putting together a strategy, it may be beneficial to educate people on what you are doing. If people are aware, they will be more inclined to participate. For example, I emailed exhibitors, attendees, and other people to inform them about my “social experiment”. I directed these people to a specific landing page that had the details for people to read. (This leads to the next point…)
A Lead Capture
(Please note a lead can be more than a sales lead. For instance, our lead was someone interested in participating.)
If people are getting involved in your strategy, you need to leverage that to it’s full potential. Sure, communicating with people via way of social media is fine, but what else can be done? Ding. Ding. That is email ringing the door bell. Find a way to capture the email address of those getting involved. As mentioned, for us we used a landing page for details which also as a lead capture for gathering email addresses. This allowed us to have another option other than tweeting to communicate with them during and after the event.
Be sure to execute and stick to your original goal. When I was dressed like Elvis I would tweet locations, thoughts, photos of exhibitors, attendees and just communicate, communicate, communicate. When doing this you get people involved with answering, favoriting, and rewtweeting your messages. Don’t ever lose sight of the end goal!
Have fun. Period.
That is it ladies and gentleman. Just follow those steps and you will be on your way to social media greatness. Well hopefully, but the key takeaways is this; create a strategy, stick to it, and have an amazing time doing it. After all, it is social media!
Interested in seeing our results? Check out some Elvis photos, an infographic, and a ridiculously funny video in our post.
Please leave your thoughts and comments below!