Keys to Social Marketing: Standing Out and Getting Lucky in the Era of Information Overload
There’s a reason people filter their news. With the daily onslaught of posts, emails, commercials, texts, calls, check-ins, and status updates, it’s increasingly important to filter your sources and learn to tune out what’s useless. Facebook has news stream filters, Twitter has lists, but there is still too much information.
Online marketers often add to the noise trying to get past these filters, but those who understand social engagement use social tools to cultivate one-to-one or one-to-few relationships that provide value to both parties. Here is a recent example from my own experience that reminded me of the importance of connecting with the right person at the right time.
One of my many filters is a weekly Google Alert that tracks the online events industry. It pulls blog posts, sites, social media posts, and press releases from around the wild wild web by searching for specific words and condenses them into an email for me. This Sunday one of the headlines in my Google Alert read, “Using Webinars for Lead Nurturing,” a phrase I feel is often misused, and something I’m interested in learning more about. The link led to SYS-CON Media, and from there I clicked to a blog called Brace Yourself for a less cluttered read.
I appreciated the author’s perspective on the topic, and feeling I could offer something in return, I posted a comment suggesting that the author might find value in some of the “DataLeaks” statistics recently presented by my colleagues. I had enjoyed the report, knew our team had put a lot into developing it, and truly felt I was offering something of value.
I received an email saying that my post was awaiting moderation, went to work on Monday and forgot I had sent it, considering my social web transaction complete.
The next day our Demand Generation Marketing Manager pinged me a note saying he’d followed up on a web inquiry from a director of marketing who was interested in moving to BrightTALK, and that he mentioned he’d found out about us from my post on his blog!
Today I had another IM from the demand gen team with a link to a blog post titled, “Using Blog Comments to Drive Business.” The blog author who had broken through my noise filter and provided me with relevant information happened to have let my thoughtful comment through his filter, and happened to have read it at a time when it met one of his knowledge needs.
Thomas Jefferson is credited with saying “I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.” Luck certainly had a lot to do with this chain of events, but it serves as proof that real people saying real things in a one-to-one or one-to-few environment can add real value to a business. It also shows that those people don’t have to be your social media marketers – my job is leading a team helping other companies reach their target audiences by planning, programming, coordinating and promoting online events, including BrightTALK Summits. Everyone at a company has knowledge worth sharing, and any one of them might happen upon a conversation or post that can open doors and create opportunities for your business.
It’s a bit selfish of me to go on much longer with this post, but my team and I have been researching topics like this quite a bit lately in preparation for our Social Business Week in March. Stay tuned if you’re interested because we’re pushing the envelope in terms of both event formats (hint: live video + local face-to-face audience/speaker networking) and content quality. I hope it makes it through your noise-filter.