Using a Personal Touch to Convert Social Media into Crowded Lunch and Learn Events

Whether it’s online or onsite, marketing your solutions via event-driven programs continues to be one of the best investments of a company’s time, talent and resources to grow its business. Further, in today’s economy, it is imperative to capture your client’s attention with a personal approach in order to gain market share. But when you think of using social media to do so, do you think of it in the context of “No ROI” with only empty conference rooms and no leads to show for your investment? Or do you envision a room one packed with individuals ready to engage and learn more about your company’s technology?

When people think of social media and the impact it will have on getting new people interested in their offerings, this image is as often as not the first one that pops into their mind: an empty conference room.

Empty Conference Table.JPGSo how do you turn social media into something tangible, meaningful and measurable? i.e. – a room full of people that looks like this and which I have done on numerous occasions!
crowded room.JPGSocial media has enabled me to lead a number of successful events, both online and onsite, for the past 7 years. I started with a genuine desire to reach a new audience that I had neither discovered nor recruited for a new and innovative technology solution. After a number of successful client meetings via social media connects and follow ups, a data storage partner of mine inquired about utilizing my newly realized skill sets for an upcoming event.

What I didn’t realize at the time was how this was going to change the game of attracting and retaining qualified audiences for ongoing engagements. So I continued to leverage my social media skills to select appropriate venues and attract a professional community, in some areas where I had no previous exposure. This led to me doing more engagement with their vendors and partners who were interested in this new media approach.

Many of my clients are impressed with this approach and how it integrates into their existing outbound marketing programs. Yet what is uniquely different here is the personal and memorable way in which I can help you engage new communities that are actively exchanging ideas and interests.

Each event activity requires, and still does today, a concerted effort from everyone involved in the program. I refer to it a “full-court press” which ensures existing company resources are leveraged at the same time social media channels are optimized.

Many professionals today still think that social media channels can operate effectively by themselves. When such thinking gets put into action, or in this case inaction, disappointment in the overall quality and quantity of event attendance is experienced.

Case in point; The Hartford treated its social media and cause marketing as long term assets. It avoided being caught up in the tactical questions of lead generation and attribution, and instead did what marketing does at its very best: it used its brand and its value to create a campaign that aggregated and moved an audience.

In one of my more recent engagements I was asked to select a venue for a multi-vendor lunch and learn presentation and to put “butts in the seat” that consisted of a prequalified community of like-minded professionals. While challenging I took it on and using relevant social media content accomplished this objective within eight (8) business days!

Event marketing continues to be an effective process to engage your audience in a way like you have never experienced before. And if you are prepared to do as I recently heard Geoffrey Moore state in his latest book Escape Velocity on the subject of Free Your Company’s Future from the Pull of the Past: “You are not trying to maximize your power internally relative to each other. Instead this is all about maximizing your enterprise’s ability to create unmatchable power in the world. You are not dividing up a check at a restaurant. You are setting up base camp to climb K2.

Using the content developed by DCIG in conjunction with my social media outreach abilities, DCIG can provide a comprehensive social media offering that does more than just generate content about your company’s products, technology and services. It can help you use that content to help put real “butts in seats” at upcoming events so you can point to real leads that are resulting from your investment in social media . If interested in learning more about how DCIG can you accomplish this, reach out to Jim Nash at jim.nash@dcig.com.

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