Although everything you read today is about social media strategy, it’s o.k. if your company and leadership team are not completely ready to dive in headfirst to social networking and have your company’s training videos uploaded on YouTube. Maybe your communications team needs to test the waters a little more. Your brand might not be ready for a MySpace PR 2.0 debut, however, you’d be surprised at some of the things that marketers are already thinking about and implementing that involve social media as a part of their traditional PR planning.
I interviewed Scott Delea, from Zeta Interactive (formerly Adverb Media) for my book, regarding his company’s participation at the 2007 ad:tech conference in New York City. I wanted to see if his marketing team was using any interesting 2.0 strategies at the conference. Scott was the moderator of the panel session called “Thriving in the New Digital Marketing Ecosystem,” which had leading marketers in attendance with the latest thinking on how they can best leverage the Internet to stay ahead of the competition. Scott openly admitted that he was sick of the typical “show up and throw up” PowerPoint presentation that occurs all too often at conferences. He didn’t want his session to be the same old “talk about some slides and call it day” panel. Because all of the topics for the session were complex (certainly more than a simple hour’s worth of discussion), Scott came up with the idea to start the conversation long before the November 2007.
Scott thought it would be much more powerful and relevant if the panel group leveraged Web 2.0 technologies to facilitate a dialogue before the event. By setting up a Facebook group and announcing the event, months before the show, Scott was able to create early interest in his session and pinpoint what the audience wanted to know.
“Interested parties were able to get to know the panel members, view their bios and ask questions that they want answered even prior to the event,” Scott told me. After the conclusion of the event, he wanted the discussion on Facebook to continue. Even more interested parties became engaged in the marketing conversation. What a great idea! It was simple to implement and cost effective. The best part of all, the social media strategy created dialogue that engaged many interested participants who wanted to share their thoughts and challenges on how to thrive in a digital ecosystem.