On this weeks podcast, Jon Trask of Grass Shack Events & Media and Elizabeth Glau of Building Blocks Social Media continue their discussion of CRM tools for small business owners and entrepreneurs in the meetings industry. Part three has a focus on social media connections to you CRM system and some ways to integrate social media into your customer relationships. While there are many tools and systems for larger businesses, they cast an eye toward inexpensive or free tools and ideas that small organizations can use to engage their customers as well as their potential customers.
Jon’s Link to How Social Media is Changing CRM
Jon: Welcome back to the podcast! This is Jon Trask and I’m here with Elizabeth Glau today. Hello, Elizabeth!
Jon: [Laughs] Welcome back!
Elizabeth: Thank you!
Jon: We’ve been talking in the last couple of episodes we’ve done about small business sales and marketing. And so, in this part 3 of kind of a continuing series, we’re going to look at just some social media, like I don’t know, [Unintelligible, 00:55]? And just some of the kind of aspects of social media that are going on. Because we’ve talked a little bit about CRM. And then we talked about how it tied in to social media. So we figured we’d go to social media now and just talk a little bit about that and maybe some of the positives and negatives and things that we’ve seen out there. So, with that being said, Elizabeth?
Elizabeth: Thank you. Yes, Jon had found this great article online that we’ll link to on the podcast on the Business2Community website, and it was basically like 10 Facebook marketing don’ts. So this is more of a what not to do kind of podcast, but we’ll try to throw in a couple of positive suggestions as well at the end. I liked the idea of the topic this week or this month because something that I’d been noticing a lot that folks are trying to do is they’re using the wrong product, is what we would call it anyway when you’re looking at something like Facebook or LinkedIn. The different types of pages that you can set up or the different services you can use are typically referred to as “products.” And in the case of Facebook, a Profile is specifically the name of the product that you use for an individual versus a Page is what we call the product that you’d use for a company, an organization…
Jon: A thing.
Elizabeth: Yes. Like something that’s basically not an individual. They do have other products like Groups and Events and things like that, but we’re not going to so much get into those specifics.
Jon: Right, right.
Elizabeth: But the main difference is using a Profile differently than you’re using a Page. I know that one thing that a lot of people are struggling with is some folks think, “Oh, I’ll just have a different profile for my personal side of me. And then I’ll have a different profile for my business side of me.” Quite honestly, it’s just – although I do see a lot of people I think migrating away from that.
Elizabeth: I think maybe in the past that was more the case. But I think a lot of people are becoming more comfortable with networking with their professional friends on Facebook. Some people are still struggling with that, but some people are doing it more. But then, what really is still not going to work – and I’m not sure why a lot of people do this – is they’ll try to set up their company as if it’s a person.
Elizabeth: So they’ll try to set up a company presence on Facebook using the Profile product instead of the Page product, and I’ve seen this happen on LinkedIn as well. We talked a little bit about what the motivation is. I’m not sure if people think that they’re gaming the system by doing this or getting around the rules, but quite honestly, from my perspective, you’re not going to gain anything by doing it wrong [Laughs].
Jon: [Laughs] It just makes you look bad!
Elizabeth: I hate to be so blunt about it, but right, exactly. You just look like you don’t know what you’re doing… [Laughs]
Elizabeth: When you try to make a company or an organization presence look like – you’re using the product that’s meant for people.
Elizabeth: Because really, the power of social media is about us connecting as individuals, as people. I mean, that’s really why they work really well, is because Jon and I connect. We friend each other, we connect on LinkedIn or whatever it is as people, as individuals.
Jon: We learn about the other person’s interests and what they’re doing and…
Elizabeth: Yes, we do. Exactly. And that kind of ties in to the last couple of podcasts we’ve done too.
Elizabeth: The whole idea of getting to know your prospects, your clients, colleagues or whoever it is and getting to know them as a person and not, “Oh, this is my business name” or “This is my company and this is what my company is doing.” It just doesn’t make sense.
Jon: Well, there’s an authenticity to going ahead and being the real person that you are online.
Jon: And like anything, to me, it’s too hard to create an artificial persona and try and live up to that.
Elizabeth: [Laughs] Right.
Elizabeth: [Laughs] Exactly.
Jon: So, you’re kind of setting yourself up for problems further down the road.
Jon: And particularly for a small business because in most cases – I mean, really the people that we’re kind of thinking about in this situation are people who are independent planners or third party planners or not huge organizations. They don’t have an IT person.
Jon: And so, letting some of that personality come through of your organization – and Mike and I have talked about this within our individual work that we do, and it’s like this is who we are, and either that’s going to help us or hinder us from getting business, but it’s not going to change who we are. We’re going to present ourselves as the people we are in our social media.
Elizabeth: Yes. Actually, it’s a great point because a lot of the people that we’re talking about today – and this is my case as well – like I am my business.
Elizabeth: I mean, I’m a consultant. So Building Blocks Social Media is Elizabeth Glau. At this point, they are one and the same.
Elizabeth: Even though there are places online where I set it up as a business. I do have a company page on Facebook, but I think part of the problem with Facebook these days is that now that Facebook needs to make a lot of money and make it fast, that these types of pages for small businesses may not be as helpful…
Jon: Cost effective.
Elizabeth: Right. Exactly. Just not as effective. Exactly. Efficient as they used to be or effective as they used to be. And so, you really need to, I think, kind of sit down with somebody that can advise you on how these things are going these days. It’s totally different than it was even two years ago.
Jon: Yes. I mean, the sort of accepted rule was well nobody understands social media except kids, and that’s not really true now. There’s so much information online and so many blogs about it and so many companies that do social media. Social media really isn’t the same as it was, as you say, two years ago. Now, it’s more just another marketing tool, to be honest. And it is in many ways a great marketing tool because you’re connecting with people differently than watching a television commercial or listening to a radio commercial or traditional ad areas, but it’s not this great unknowable void that no one has any information of.
Elizabeth: Yes. It’s definitely not an even playing field for small businesses and large companies like we thought it was.
Jon: Well, and I think too, like Facebook in particular, I think there’s almost like a change fatigue with people right now because Facebook keeps tweaking what they do constantly, and I think a lot of people are just kind of frustrated and sort of disgruntled with, “Oh, they changed it again, and now I’m only seeing this or I’m only seeing that.” And so, there may be the next big thing lurking out there somewhere that we haven’t stumbled upon yet.
Elizabeth: That’s Google+ [Laughs].
Elizabeth: Sorry. I just had to say it [Laughs].
Elizabeth: I couldn’t help it.
Elizabeth: Yes. No, there’s definitely some Facebook fatigue for many reasons. That’s actually just one reason, but I think for a lot of people it’s a lot of different things. So yes. So I think we’ve… [Laughs]
Elizabeth: Kind of beat that dead horse, but yes. So basically, just don’t use the wrong product for the wrong thing. Facebook, LinkedIn or whatever platform you’re using, make sure that you know what you’re doing and you’re following the rules because it doesn’t benefit you to do it the wrong way. And I think one of the ones I like the best from that article that Jon had found was talking about grammar and spelling.
Elizabeth: And it’s just the most obvious thing that people do wrong, and I don’t get it. I mean, I think that it just goes to show you, I guess, people don’t really understand the power of what they’re putting online maybe to like take the time to really double check things and edit things. I mean, have somebody else look at. If you know you’re not a good speller, you have somebody else look at something before you put it up or run it through your spell checker or something.
Elizabeth: I mean, I don’t know. Some people might disagree with it. I mean, I’d love to hear some comments on this. I think some people feel like, “Oh, it’s not a big deal. Don’t be such a stickler!” I mean like, I don’t know. That’s part of it maybe. It’s just a personality thing. I mean, if you’re doing anything in any kind of professional sense, this is not just you, but it is your business that’s talking, then it should be perfect as far as your grammar and spelling goes.
Elizabeth: I mean… [Laughs]
Elizabeth: That’s my take on it, anyway, but…
Jon: Maybe they won’t like the message, but don’t give them a reason to tune out because it’s not got the proper punctuation.
Elizabeth: Right. Exactly. You could be saying something brilliant. And then, if you spell something wrong or use the wrong grammar, they’re not going to take you seriously. They’re not going to think you’re an expert in what you do and that you’re a professional or whatever. People would judge you, whether you think they should or not. Right?
Jon: I just saw a T-shirt in the last day or so that was “The Power of Comma.” That it was “Let’s eat Grandma…”
Jon: Or “Let’s eat, Grandma.”
Elizabeth: Grandma. Right. Exactly [Laughs].
Jon: Big difference!
Elizabeth: And it’s such a little thing, but it really – yes, it really does make a huge difference. So, there’s your number one what not to do. We should have put that first.
Elizabeth: Like I don’t even care if you’re using our product. Just spell yourself right.
Jon: Spell correctly [Laughs].
Elizabeth: And then, I think another one from that article actually was don’t ask stupid questions. And this kind of goes back, I guess, to the whole Facebook thing. It’s really hard to get people to engage with your Facebook. It’s really hard to A, to even get people to see your post.
Jon: Facebook page, yes.
Elizabeth: Yes. Exactly. Because of the algorithm that they use and everything else. I mean, chances are your Facebook fans aren’t even seeing your posts to begin with. So to try to put something up there that’s just so brilliant that people are going to like it and share it and comment on it. I mean, at this point, it’s really, really difficult to get that level of engagement. And so, trying to ask things that are off topic from what you do or silly things. Yes, mix in some humor certainly. Try to be – again, this kind of goes back to being authentic. Try to make it it is who you really are and try to be not so serious and stuffy and just talking about things that are related to your business. Certainly, but don’t waste people’s time either. I think that’s part of the reason people are getting fatigued with Facebook, is they think it’s a lot of garbage.
Jon: And I see a lot of people who will try and have you sort of jump through hoops and go through things, and this was part of these rules as well. It’s like don’t create some whole game that people have to go through to get to the end because you’re going to lose people from doing that.
Jon: Just be straightforward and try and provide useful information. I mean, one of the things that when I did a talk about social media last year at an MPI chapter that I brought in is you’re trying to be a resource, you’re trying to be helpful, and like the stupid question thing, I see that all the time in LinkedIn groups because people will come in to a LinkedIn group and yes, I’m in this group because there are people in here who could be my customers.
Jon: So, don’t ask some leading question that just makes you have an opportunity to talk about your business.
Elizabeth: Because it’s so obvious. We have to do it.
Jon: It’s obvious.
Elizabeth: Right. Exactly.
Jon: “What thing frustrates planners the most about the buses they rent?”
Jon: Or something like that in these groups and it’s so obvious that this – and when you look at the person’s job title and they’re in sales at a transportation company, that’s not really being helpful.
Jon: And being a resource, and you’re not mining LinkedIn or Facebook or any of these places for direct sales.
Jon: I think what people forget so often is it’s a place to build relationships, and learn about people and share information and all of the things that you might do if you were sitting down with some people in a social situation.
Jon: You’re in a networking thing.
Elizabeth: Right. And I see that all the time. People that are speakers or authors will say that social media is like a cocktail party.
Elizabeth: Yes. You’re not going to go up to them. Like you’re not going to go up to somebody and say, “What are the things that frustrate you about a bus company?” Like you wouldn’t say that to someone at a cocktail party, right?
Elizabeth: So don’t say it on social media.
Jon: [Laughs] Well, and if you see someone else talking about bus companies, you don’t run up and go, “Hey, I have a bus company and I’m in San Diego. Here, take my card.”
Elizabeth: Right. Exactly. I mean, you [can do it over here or something].
Elizabeth: Right. You want to tune in to that certainly and do what you can to subtly do that, of course in a long roundabout way, but not run right up to them and say, “Hey, pick me! Pick me!”
Jon: [Laughs] Have some social graces.
Jon: All of these things, I find frustrating. I mean, there’s another sort of negative example, and I will certainly not throw anyone under the bus on it, but there’s someone that I’ve seen on some of the LinkedIn groups that I belong it, and it’s almost like a case study on everything you could do wrong.
Jon: Because they’re constantly spamming every group with the same message. They’re cutting and pasting and they’re using the same text and they’re saying, “Oh, here’s this information on this topic,” and it might be kind of a hot topic. And I’m not even going to name the topic because I don’t, again, want to cast any aspersions on anybody, and maybe this is working for their organization. But, when you get to that thread within the group and you click on the link, it takes you to their Facebook page, and you have to like their page before you can actually read the content that they’re extensively sharing with you. And oh, by the way, that link is broken right now. If you try and like the page, it’s still broken. So they’re not even monitoring what they’re doing. They have no metric to see what’s going on. They’re just spamming these groups with the message every day, practically, and trying to repurpose the same thing through like 10 different groups, and all it has done for me is assure myself that I really dislike this person.
Jon: It just made me annoyed rather than anything.
Elizabeth: Yes. And we were doing some research, right?
Elizabeth: To see what exactly was – where that link was leading to and what was happening, and I was thinking to myself, if they had done that same thing where they had posted that good content on their website, and so then, directed the traffic to their website instead…
Jon: To their blog on their website, let’s say.
Elizabeth: Their blog or website. Right. Exactly. And then, yes. Maybe there was a popup that said, “Hey, sign up for our newsletter.” That’s the kind of thing that’s acceptable and that’s the kind of thing I feel like people would be receptive to and they’d be like, “Okay,” or given the option to not do it. It’s just a popup either way.
Jon: Yes. You can still visit. Click the popup away.
Elizabeth: But yes. It’s like get this good information on your blog, on your website. Otherwise, just do it like everybody else does it and just share good links to other people’s good content and leave it at that. Don’t try to get in the middle of that and capture some likes just because you found an article that somebody else wrote.
Jon: And if you’re writing the article, again, just put your own website blog from your company. I’ve seen a lot of third party planners who have their own blogs, let’s say, or different suppliers or things like that. Let’s talk about that for a second because that just reminded me of something. If you’re going to put a blog on your website, you have to keep doing it. Don’t put it up there. It cracks me up because I have seen this since blogs started.
Jon: And it’s like we’re going to have our wonderful new blog for our company, right?
Elizabeth: Yes. Exactly.
Jon: And so, there’s post number one.
Jon: Right? And then, post number two is maybe some more interesting information or something cool they were doing or whatever.
Jon: Right? And then there’s like a two month gap. And then there’s post number three. And then there’s a six month gap, and post number four is the last post, and that was a year ago.
Elizabeth: Right [Laughs].
Jon: And it’s like you don’t start a blog and start out great guns, and then just leave it hanging there on your website.
Elizabeth: Yes. Exactly. I mean, if that’s something that people are going to find if they click on your website, it’s just going to make you look bad.
Jon: Yes. And it doesn’t make you look really busy or, “Oh, they’re too busy to update it” or whatever. It just makes you look bad.
Elizabeth: And let me tell you, I’ve met a lot of people who are writers. I mean, you can hire, probably fairly affordable, hire somebody to just help you write. I mean, give them a topic. I mean, if it’s somebody that knows the industry and all, they could probably easily just jump in and do a blog post for you, even if it’s once a month. Right?
Elizabeth: It’s better than like, you know?
Jon: Than leaving it hanging.
Elizabeth: Yes, right. Nothing like ever. So really, it’s probably more affordable than you think to outsource that kind of thing if you really just can’t commit the time to doing it yourself and keep doing the job.
Jon: Or bring in guest writers. Find other friends of yours in the industry and just say, “Hey, will you write 500 words on a topic,” and then you’re bringing some good information [that way].
Elizabeth: Well, yes. You have to. Right. You have to, than just link to somebody else’s blog and make that your post for the month. It’d be worst case. I mean, really, it’s not a great strategy, but better than nothing at all.
Jon: [Laughs] Right.
Elizabeth: Yes. And you link to somebody else’s blog. And then, once every couple of months, come up with something of your own to say.
Jon: Update your galleries too. I’ll go to a company’s gallery and they’ll have pictures of their shows. And you see like on the screen or the banner something like 2006.
Elizabeth: Yes. If it says the date or you can tell, yes.
Jon: You’re looking at that and going, “Really? You haven’t done anything more newsworthy in seven years?”
Elizabeth: Yes. Exactly.
Jon: It’s okay if you have a 2006 area of your gallery.
Elizabeth: Right, right [Laughs].
Jon: Because then you’re showing the history. But don’t have that be like your lead picture now [Laughs] in 2013.
Elizabeth: Right. Exactly. Like that was the best of a year we did. Great. It was yes, seven years ago.
Jon: So, anyway, kind of off on a tangent there.
Elizabeth: No, that was good. No, that was really great. I think it’s a great point to throw in there. So, some of the other things that Jon and I had come up with was just kind of your whole strategy around posting. So, yes, you can use a tool like HootSuite. And we even talked about some of these tools in our last podcast. Yes, there are tools to make all of these easier and more streamlined and post to more than one platform at a time. Although if you post a tweet basically and you think, “Oh, I’m just going to share that on Facebook and LinkedIn and Google+ while I’m at it,” that’s okay, except – I don’t know. Whatever. I could go either way on this.
Everybody at this point knows what a hashtag is. So if they see it on Facebook or LinkedIn or somewhere else, they get it. They know that oh, they’re probably posting this in multiple places, but it kind of does make you look not as professional as say if you went ahead and just took the time to post that exact same thing, even if you needed to, and take out the hashtag or whatever.
Jon: Just clean it up.
Elizabeth: Exactly. Make it so that it’s more appropriate to Facebook or LinkedIn or wherever you’re posting. I mean ideally, again, this kind of goes back to the best strategy would be to, quite honestly, post different things on each of these different platforms. Sometimes there will be things that you share everywhere, but really, the kinds of things – your Facebook fans are different maybe from your Twitter followers or your LinkedIn connections or whatever it is. So, always be mindful of who the audience is that you’re sharing with.
Jon: Well, I mean a good example that pops to mind on that for me would be your Facebook, you may have a mixture of professional contacts and friends. Whereas your LinkedIn group you belong to may be very narrowly focused on this segment of the industry.
Jon: So the way you might say something in a LinkedIn group might be very different than what you’d say to a more casual group where you might explain or not use jargon or terminology. Things like that, pay attention to.
Elizabeth: Yes, yes. Exactly. And it’s all about I think just knowing who your audience is on each of the different platforms.
Elizabeth: And then, we talked about contests a little bit. I mean, contests is again – so this is just a whole another area where I don’t recommend that you just jump into it and decide, “Oh, I’m going to do a contest to get more likes or followers or fans” or whatever. I think Facebook, again, has very specific rules, and you don’t want to do this wrong because in this case, I mean, this could be you could be facing like legal action or something. This isn’t just a matter of doing something wrong, but this is like a very serious area where contests in Facebook may use a third party app or whatever to do those kinds of things. So if you want to do something like that, make sure that you’re researching the rules, or that you have somebody that you trust that does know all the terms of service and the different ways of going about you doing these things correctly.
And then on Twitter, I would say that Twitter is – this is the thing I love about Twitter. There’s almost nothing you can do wrong on Twitter.
Elizabeth: It’s just so easy and there’s just so few rules.
Elizabeth: Really. I mean, you can be a person, you can be a business, you can be a cat or a dog. Like whatever you want to be on Twitter, you can be, and it works. Right? As long as you’re using the tools to your benefit, to your advantage, to find the people you want to talk with, like it’s just so easy. The only thing I can think of for Twitter, and this is just more of a caution, is don’t ever click on a direct message that says, “Here’s a picture of you” or “See what people are saying about you” because it is always spam. Right?
Elizabeth: People will get lured into that because of course, if somebody says, “Oh, these people are saying bad things about you,” you want to see what that is. It’s all about reputation management, but a lot of people don’t know that because I’m continually seeing people that get suckered into it basically.
Jon: They click on that, yes.
Elizabeth: And then they send out the message.
Jon: Well, you know what I always do? If I get anything suspect like that, and it’s a very simple thing, is I go directly to my feed and never click on that link.
Jon: Because if you go to your Twitter, like the Twitter website for your account, you see all your direct messages there, and you can look right at direct messages.
Jon: So you have a way around that by just never hitting those links.
Elizabeth: Yes, yes. Just don’t click on it.
Jon: A lot of spam now is coming with like Facebook link appearance too. It looks like a Facebook message, “Respond to this message here.”
Jon: Those kinds of things.
Elizabeth: And don’t be fooled just because it’s somebody you know.
Elizabeth: Right. Don’t be fooled. And that’s the whole point of it. That’s how they get people. It’s like, “I know that person!”
Jon: Well, and they’re spoofing names.
Elizabeth: Yes. Exactly. Like they wouldn’t send that to me if it wasn’t true. Well, yes they would because they got hacked or whatever.
Jon: Right. But even if they didn’t get hacked, they may have had their names spoofed.
Elizabeth: Yes. Exactly.
Jon: And so, yes, that – well, it’s funny when you were talking about like legalities and things. One of the things that I flashed on was there was an article that I actually read yesterday that someone shared on social media, and I shared further along, and it was about the topic of image rights and finding out that you are using something that you have the right to use. Either a photograph or an image that you’ve created or one that you have permission to use, or one that comes from someplace like Creative Commons. And even there, you pay a small fee. You pay $10 or something to use this image. So many people just think that everything on the Internet is free and they will copy and paste. And I know this really specifically because it actually happened to me.
Elizabeth: [Laughs] Right.
Jon: And it was the funniest thing that I got a mass email last year that used a photo I had taken of one of my shows and put into our company Flickr group.
Jon: And someone at an ad agency connected to our industry had taken the image right off of our Flickr where it said “rights reserved,” “copyright reserved,” and they had used that image, taken our client’s information off the screen and Photoshopped in information about something that was coming up within the industry and sent it out.
Elizabeth: That’s crazy.
Jon: And it was the craziest thing in the world to get my own photo in a mass email that went out to thousands of people that I had no credit and no compensation.
Elizabeth: Yes. Exactly.
Jon: And it was funny because I talked to the people involved and even said, “You know, I would’ve given you the image. That’s fine. I’m not a professional photographer, I’m not in the business of making money off of my photography, but I would have given it to you in return for a credit.”
Elizabeth: Exactly. Right. Yes, exactly. Credit goes a long way.
Elizabeth: On those kinds of things. Yes, that’s a good point.
Jon: And so, being aware of what images you’re using and all of these things is really important because you can put yourself into a very bad situation and cost yourself money.
Elizabeth: Right. Yes, exactly. That could be a whole legal – like you said, that could be a huge legal issue for you, and you don’t want that.
Elizabeth: You don’t want that. That’s for sure. And then, I think basically the last one that we’ve come up with was on LinkedIn, something I’m telling people all the time is don’t send the template invitation message. I know that LinkedIn is making it really easy to do that, and sometimes it will say, “Oh, connect with these people you know,” and you click “connect” and it doesn’t give you the option of [including] more.
Jon: Right. It just goes.
Elizabeth: So, we have to take some of those with a grain of salt, but whenever possible, please, look at the person’s profile, find something that you have in common with them, reference where you met them if you’re actually specifically connecting with people you just met.
Jon: Or the group you belong to mutually.
Elizabeth: Right. Exactly. Wherever you found them. Be authentic. Tell them how you’d like – ask them how you can help them, whatever it is. Don’t just send out connection requests just to get connected. And then, Jon and I both, we were talking we both started seeing a lot more spam type messages on LinkedIn as well.
Elizabeth: And so again, take a minute and look at somebody’s…
Elizabeth: Profile, and realize, maybe they’re not the right person for that message. They can’t help you with whatever it is you’re looking for or…
Jon: Yes. I get those by email and I get them by LinkedIn, and it’ll be – like one example that I’ve used in my talk before was talking about, “Oh, book me as a speaker.” And if you look even at the tiniest part of my profile on LinkedIn, you’re pretty much going to figure out that I don’t book speakers, and that’s never been a role that I’ve fulfilled within my career.
Jon: And so to send me that is a waste of both our times and it makes me assume that they’re just cutting and pasting everybody in the group and sending them a blast.
Elizabeth: Yes, yes. Exactly. You can send the same message to I think like 50 people at one shot.
Elizabeth: So yes, you can go through and just you’re doing your entire LinkedIn database or connection list or whatever it is.
Elizabeth: I think a couple of years ago, that might have been more effective. I think people were reading LinkedIn messages a lot more. I’m finding that a lot of times, even when I’m just sending people individual messages on LinkedIn, they’re not always getting through. I think people are – just like Facebook or whatever, I think people are just kind of getting tired of getting spammed and stuff and they’re just not paying as close attention to that inbox as maybe as they used to. It was much more effective previously, but not [recently].
Elizabeth: So really, obviously, don’t be spammy and don’t send people garbage. But I’m not even sure that I would recommend…
Jon: Using it.
Elizabeth: Any kind of – right. Exactly. Just using that kind of as a sales tactic at all.
Jon: I mean, the best thing that I’ve found with LinkedIn personally is I do like some of the groups because they’re very specifically focused. And within those, I find some very interesting conversations. And occasionally, there is an opportunity to interject and discuss a topic that is maybe something that I do professionally.
Jon: Whether that leads to business or not, again, I can’t say really for certain, but it increases my profile with a group of people who have a very common interest.
Elizabeth: Yes. And I think this is kind of where we wanted to wrap this up, was really, we’ve spent a lot of time talking about what not to do, but really the one thing that you should do is listen.
Elizabeth: And this is exactly what you’re talking about. So whether it’s in LinkedIn groups, Facebook groups, just on specific people’s profiles, like listen to what people are saying. And when you get lucky, you’ll be in the right place at the right time. You’ll be able to contribute to a conversation or add some relevant, useful information for somebody that yes – the really great situation is that they are like in a buying mode and they are ready to purchase something that you have to sell, but that’s not always going to happen. Really, it’s more just what you said and that you become an expert in your field in their minds, and maybe down the road they might think, “Oh yes, I remember Jon Trask. He had commented or added some useful information. I remember that name” or whatever it is. It takes a while to kind of build up that online…
Jon: Sometimes years.
Elizabeth: Exactly. That presence and the top of mind, I guess, sentiment for people. So, it’s just being in the right place at the right time so that you’re providing useful information when somebody is asking for it I guess is what I’m trying to distinguishing from. Yes, you can put out useful information on your blog, links to articles or whatever, but until somebody is looking for that information, it’s kind of irrelevant.
Elizabeth: People say that content is king, but I heard a speaker say that context is actually king. And so, I repeat that all the time.
Elizabeth: I think yes, you need good content, but unless somebody’s looking for it…
Jon: [Laughs] It’s not really useful.
Elizabeth: Like when the tree falls in the forest, if nobody’s there to hear it [Laughs], it doesn’t make a sound, right?
Jon: Right. I can tell you all about designing a 21 projector slideshow, but there aren’t many people who want to know anything about that anymore.
Elizabeth: [Laughs] Right.
Elizabeth: But you’re an expert in that.
Jon: But I know all about it!
Elizabeth: [Laughs] In that field.
Jon: It’s interesting because I’m thinking of a real world example of something recently about that right place, right time, and it’s along the same line and it’s within my chapter and I had someone call from an organization a few weeks ago and just to ask some advice, and I helped them. But interestingly enough, a couple of weeks later, they had a piece of business come along that was appropriate for the type of work I do and I was still on their mind and I had been helpful, and this isn’t a social media thing at all. This is just how things work.
Elizabeth: Right. But it’s a perfect example of this happens offline, but it can also happen online.
Elizabeth: These are the same skills and tools we use, yes.
Jon: They remember me and I’m working with them on a program because of that.
Elizabeth: Exactly. Yes. And that’s the other thing I like to tell people, is social media is not this whole new set of skills that you need to learn. It’s the same thing that you’re already doing offline. You’re just figuring out how to do it online instead and moving those relationships, those conversations or whatever it is being helpful be helpful online because you’re already doing it offline if you’re doing it right and you’re being successful with those kinds of topics. So Jon had found an article. We wanted to tie in how great Oreo had this…
Jon: At the Super Bowl.
Elizabeth: Capitalized on the situation when the lights went out on the Super Bowl, and they were probably the best case scenario of like which company really capitalized on that situation on social media.
Elizabeth: And Jon had found this article again that we’ll post the link to so that you guys can read this, but it was “What travel can learn from American cookie brand Oreo’s best tweet ever.” So their best tweet ever regarding the power outage at the Super Bowl, basically.
Jon: Which was very simple, very straightforward, and they did it within minutes of it happening.
Elizabeth: Which is mostly the point.
Jon: Which is timely and relevant.
Elizabeth: Right. Exactly.
Jon: And with the travel industry being so closely related, I kind of stumbled on this. So it seemed like a good place to sort of end this today, by giving something positive.
Elizabeth: Yes, yes [Laughs].
Jon: A good example of what someone had done with all of these. And so, again, we’ll post links to both of these articles that we were kind of basing some of this conversation on. That being said, I think we will wrap up Episode 3 of this continuing series and we look to talking to you the next time on the podcast. In the meantime, if you have any comments, questions, suggestions and ideas, please submit them through the email address, and we would love to have your input.
So, thank you, Elizabeth.
Elizabeth: Yes. Thank you!
Jon: And we’ll talk to you all next time.