I had brunch today with Guy Kawasaki. Okay, it was more coffee, and frankly, Guy wasn’t there. Well, he was on my computer to be exact. Thanks to Cisco, there was a webinar, a FREE webinar with Mr. Kawasaki, and being fond of things that are free, I signed up.
It was fun to see him chatting live on my computer, even if he couldn’t see me; and thank God he couldn’t. I was in my jammies and hadn’t yet washed my hair; though I did have on a tad bit of makeup. I don’t want to scare Winston, my Boston Terrier, who is also my office mate helping me run my business out of my home office. The fact that my VP is a dog explains a lot about the state of my business, by the way. Jokes aside, Guy was great. I got the feeling the whole webinar was a plug for Alltop, his mega media-stop which pulls together the best newsfeeds, but I still learned a few good things. First of all, Guy thinks Facebook Fan Pages are good tools if you have compelling content to pull people in. Otherwise, if you are using a push method, Twitter is a more effective marketing “Weapon.”
He gave us a great example of Twitter’s search capabilities and suggested we use it for monitoring not only our brand but the competition. He used Nikon and Canon as examples. Evidently, the two camera power-houses use Twitter often to see what people are not only saying about them, but the competition. They make good use of retweets, and shape their own tweets accordingly.
He likes using Twitter’s search function, “because you are searching the world’s sentiment in real time for free.” Why couldn’t I have said that? I guess because I’m not Guy Kawasaki.
For finding great examples of engaging content, he suggested we all follow @cleveraccounts, which tweets about the latest clever Twitter strategies brands are employing.
For selling, he used Dell Outlets and Kogi BBQ as Tweeple who get it right. Kogi BBQ is an LA food truck that makes certain stops. People in this city line up for their BBQ, which is evidently out of this world. They tweet their locations, menus, deals, etc. As for Dell Outlet, they are always tweeting specials and giving away coupon codes for discounts. Both brands are very effective in getting out the word on special events, and that is the key to their sales-power.
Guy had some great quotes, “It’s not the number of followers; it’s the number who are engaged to what you have to say.” Wow. As one tweeple said, “I’m trying Guy, I’m trying.”
He also said something I say to my clients so often I should put it on my monthly invoice. “Myth: Social Media is Easy.” It’s not rocket science, but it sure ain’t “Shake-n-Bake,” either. It’s not easy coming up with content that is compelling, but Guy won’t settle for that: he says that if you want followers you need content that is fascinating. Fascinating. His words. Not mine. I’m content with compelling, but I trust Guy.
I was also relieved to hear him say that Social Media is still so new, and still so fluid that no one is a social media expert. Some of us do it better than others, and the early users are the folks who got in quickly and have learned the most–so far.
Guy also said something else interesting. Work on tactics before strategy when it comes to social media. I always advise clients to develop a strategy first, and I stand by that, but I get what he’s saying: you have to jump in. We’re not building a house here. You can’t because Social Media is too fluid. “We’re not even building a tent,” Guy said. “A tent is too static. All we’ve got is a sleeping bag. Plop the sleeping bag down here, and if it doesn’t work, move it over there.” In other words, experiment with your tweets, with your fan page. Try different topics and tones until you find one that ignites the interests of your audience.
Another great point: “Oprah can tweet about her cat rolling over. She can be boring. We can’t.” When celebs are boring, we are enchanted. When we’re boring, we lose followers.
Guy’s advice for gaining followers: become a subject matter expert, and follow like-minded individuals. Then retweet their content (“It’s the highest form of flattery”) link to blogs, stories, videos, etc. Give them content that they wouldn’t be able to find on their own. Of course, he advocates using Alltop for that, or Stumbleupon.
His final parting words were that social media is fast, free and ubiquitous. Why wouldn’t you want to be on it?
You can’t argue with that.