Social Media Workshop a Success

More than a hundred attended our Smart Marketing Workshop on Social Media yesterday morning!

“Using Social Media to Build Your Brand and Business” offered a introduction to social media while representatives from Metropolitan Tucson Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Arizona Daily Star, KOLD News 13 and Buffalo Exchange discussed how they’ve used social media to improve their businesses.

Some of the takeaways I Twittered during the workshop, in case you missed either:

  • If your demographic isn’t using social media, don’t wait another six months, get there before your customers do.
  • Best Western has been using a travel blog to allow visitors to share tips and great experiences. Result: Best Western’s site has grown 50 percent since creation.
  • Customers who want to identify with a cause can identify with Kenneth Cole and interact with the clothing brand and its fans on its Awearness blog. Result: The clothing brand is reaching a niche customer demographic interested in identifying itself as socially conscious (Gen X anyone?).
  • Hewlett Packard created a scavenger hunt using Twitter, offering free products and building brand awareness for HP. Result: they increased traffic to their Web site around the holiday season – great timing!
  • Domino’s Pizza used social media (YouTube) to successfully manage a crisis situation involving former employees and food safety. Result: Social Media proved an important PR tool as they reassured their customer base that their food is safe.
  • Nature Conservancy used Digg to raise awareness by posting articles like, “14 easy ways to be an environmentalist.” Result: they substantially increased the number of visitors to their Web site.

From our panel participants:

  • Savvy businesses are humanizing their community profile and increasing their potential customer reach through social media.
  • KOLD News 13: The beauty of social media is it’s free to start up; it just takes dedicated employee time.
  • Buffalo Exchange: We measure ROI by the number of followers and friends on MySpace and Twitter, which equals marketing/advertising “reach.”
  • Arizona Daily Star is using social media (blogging, Twitter) to reach new readers, people who wouldn’t normally subscribe or buy a newspaper.
  • MTCVB is using to correct misconceptions of Tucson to tourists, businesses.

The bottom line: conversations are taking place online via social media with or without you. If you’re not listening, your customers likely are. Head over to Caliber Group’s Web site for a copy of yesterday’s presentation. Check out the demographics who are already using social media. And if you don’t think your customers are that demographic, don’t blink.

The numbers are changing quickly and tomorrow they will be. So get out front and be the first to introduce yourself. Think of social media as another tool in the marketing toolbox.

(Thanks to Terinea for the social media application logos!)

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