The speakers at this year’s BST conference will be sharing their insights into how social media works within business. To give you a glimpse of what you can expect at the live event (which happens on Tuesday, May 5), here are 3 questions with Tactical Transparency author and Director of Partnership Marketing & Integration at BlogTalkRadio, John C. Havens.
Q: Why should companies be investing their time and effort in social media?
A: Why shouldn’t they? This question in 2009 is, to me, the equivalent of asking, “Should your company have a website?” in 1995. Social media is simply too broad a spectrum, with too wide a variety of opportunities (many of which are free in cost if not minimal time) to ignore. Specifically, however:
- SEO— The more content you create online with your brand’s messaging, the more opportunities Google has to raise your rankings. You cannot expect to have just your main website/portal and get the kind of presence on Google that you need. Utilizing your blog, Tweets, BlogTalkRadio shows or any other medium that lets you put in metadata including your company name/keywords is a MUST. Period.
- Presence— As I talk about a lot in my book, if you don’t demonstrate that your brand is trying to have a presence online, people will wonder why you’re silent. (If they wonder about you at all.) More likely, they’ll be listening and interacting with your competitors, who have demonstrated that they care about what consumers think.
- ROI— The ROI is substantial, and please stop thinking, “but I have to have X number of comments on my blog post,” or “a social media campaign is no better than a banner ad.” Let’s talk COA—if just one person comments on your company blog (even to complain) and you connect with them in a real manner, what did it cost you to do so? $150 for a series of postcard/direct mail campaigns? No—the time for one person at your company to respond and connect. Yes, you have to have a person in the company who does those things, and they have to know what they’re doing, but you get the point: stop wasting stamps, and utilize the free, permanently digital PR that you can get when you demonstrate that you will answer customers/employees with a real voice, where you hear their concerns and address them.
Q: Tell us about one emerging social media trend that you’re keeping an eye on, and why.
A: Twitter, like everyone else. But BlogTalkRadio uses it as a broadcast medium to help boost the live listenership of shows. We’ve increased live show participation by 12-15% by having all of our hosts who tweet do so 30, 15, 10, 5, minutes before a show and then during.
Q: What are some ways you have seen companies directly benefit from using social media?
A: Please download the case study for our recent Wal-Mart campaign for the movie Twilight. We were able to demonstrate actual lift in sales via social media, which is the holy grail for any social media campaign.
Learn more from John C. Havens and the rest of our speakers at the 2009 Business Smart Tools Conference on May 5 — register here!