The Social Landscape of 2015: Reflection on SMMW 2015
I had the opportunity to attend Social Media Examiner World conference for three years running here in my home city of San Diego. Each year I always leave inspired and invigorated by the takeaways of the top influencers within the social media arena. The social landscape is in a constant state of change and this conference allows me to keep up to date with the latest trends of the coming year and keep my practice cutting edge. This year there were well over 100 sessions of information from topics such as Facebook marketing, Twitter, Webinar, Content, Podcasting, Customer Service and more! I want to share with you what I took as my top key learning experiences from social influencers and business owners just like you and I.
Micheal Stelzner: Micheal is the founding father of Social Media Examiner, an online blog publishing site that delivers cutting edge, fresh social media content several times a week. He is the vision behind Social Media Marketing World Conference and author to the book “Launch”. In his keynote, he shared the importance of utilizing video as part of your social strategy. YouTube is a powerful tool that marketers are using more and more in their overall strategy. As an attorney, I use video to share my story both through YouTube, Facebook and I also use video on my website. Why should you consider video? People do business with who they know, like, and trust. In our online world, you can make a connection with your audience before they have ever met you in real life. Your potential client can see your personality, understand a bit more about you and get an idea if you are a good fit as their attorney. Your story is power.
Jay Baer: Jay is the author of “Youtilty” and owner of Convince and Convert, a marketing company that specializes in social media and content. In his keynote address, he answered the question “Why to Hug Your Haters”. The fear of social media is that as a business we will have “haters” or people that leave us unfavorable reviews on our social media channels or on Google. Although we cannot control what others share in a review, how we handle it and respond to that person can control the ultimate outcome. I recently had an experience where a review was left that was unfavorable about the experience that the person had at my firm. How did I handle it? I reached out and contacted the person personally to speak to them, see how I could help and learn more about their experience. Acknowledgment and validation to the individual’s concern made headway for more dialog as to why they felt the way they did. The client appreciated the call and our attentiveness to her concerns. The end result? She changed her review to a more favorable response. No, I did not ask her to change her review, she did so on her own. Why? I took the time to provide her with a great customer experience. Our mission in our practice and within our team is to satisfy and delight our clients. Communication is the number one piece of making that happen.
Here is my review that I received from my client from their original review and then after I “hugged” them:
Mark Schaefer: Mark is the author of many books including his most recent “The Content Code”. Mark is a passionate speaker who travels the world speaking about different areas of marketing. He is the owner of Schaefer Marketing Solutions and teaches regularly at Rutgers University. In his talk, he talked about the power of content and being able to “connect” with your audience. Content is only as powerful as the person who is sharing it commits to personalization of what they share. Go outside the box, be real, be present, share YOU. He used a great example of a winery in California that had a video that went viral. The video showed the winery’s owner, and although he was just like you and I, what he shared was simple yet powerful. The video shared how to open a wine bottle without a wine opener. We all have been there, right? A great bottle of wine but no way to open it. The owner showed a unique way to open a bottle when all else fails. Why did it go viral? Because the content was relational and he showed a very cool way to open the wine. Mark also shared about the power of visuals and the use of hashtags. Take your time and provide visuals to your audience through infographics and appealing photos. Make your visuals easy to share on your social media channels to help extend your brand and reach. Take the time to learn the value of a hashtag and understand the power that it can have for your practice. Make connections through the content you deliver.
John DiJuilus: John is the author of “Customer Service Revolution“. He presented a keynote on customer service. Yes, you have heard it before and yes, you know that you should be providing great customer service, but do you know how to use it to dominate your brand awareness? John shared about making your team part of that great customer service experience and training your team with your “customer service mission”. Empower your team to understand how you want your clients to feel when they interact with your firm. ” We have to live our service vision in every single channel“. This is powerful. Every touch point that you provide and interaction from in-person to online, you want your staff to live that customer service vision. Train your staff to have compassion and empathy for your clients. Create a list of ‘never and always’ for your team to live by. Remember it starts at the top and trickles down.
John’s strategy as a business owner, many of us already incorporate into our regular day-to-day operations. Can you image what you can do with a concrete service vision? Powerful Customer service = powerful brand = revenue wheel keeps turning.
Mari Smith: Mari is my personal social media mentor and I am privileged to call her a friend. She is the author of “The Relationship Marketing” and listed as one of Forbes top 10 Social Media Influencers in the world. I met Mari a few years back when I attended a social media intensive that she hosted here in San Diego. When Mari is on the list of presenters I try to get a seat front and center because she always has great information to share with her followers. In her session, she sent the message the “Facebook is not Dead.” That was music to my ears! I have built my practice through the usage of social media and especially with Facebook. When I first started training with Mari, my San Diego Immigration page had just over 12,000 followers and now we have over 115,000! She shared the importance of being relevant and timely with the content you deliver to your audience. Key points to remember when you are creating content, you are the expert. Be who you are, share what you know. Mari also mentioned that brands will need to consider the “pay to play” mentality. Organic reach is still prevalent on Facebook, however, the need to add Facebook ads to your strategy is becoming more of a necessity.
I will now take a moment and offer a shameless plug… I am honored to say that Mari did a feature in her presentation about my Immigration practice and my Enchanting Lawyer blog. She shared my story and the success that I have had in the past and continue to have using Facebook to grow my brand. Thank you, Mari for sharing! Alas, Facebook is NOT dead people!
The conference left me with a ton of great information that I was able to take back and start implementing immediately. The messages that resonated the most throughout all of the sessions that I attended were that social is personal and that fanatical customer service is the foundation of everything we deliver to our clients.
The biggest challenge is how we deliver. I encourage you to take the time to go back to all of your marketing resources and humanize what you do, make it relatable and carry that forward to all of your touch points, to your current clients, and your potential clients. Next, stop and look at your team, listen to how they interact with your clients.
- Are they delivering your customer service vision?
- Do you have a customer service vision and have you trained your staff on it?
If not, take the time and reacquaint yourself with your customer service policies. Create a “Never and and Always” list, train your team and look to “WOW” every single time. Be your social landscape, live your social landscape, profit from your social landscape.
I want to hear from you. Share with me your thought and what you are doing to make your customers rave about what you are doing. Thank you for reading and sharing. Until next time stay Enchanting!