The good news - It’s going to be much easier for most entrepreneurs to reach their customers
The Bad news - You need to be human
In a world when we constantly crave more time, sacrificing close to 50 hours of my so limited time looks a bit like, well, a very poor time management choice.
And I’m not even in the business of social media!
And yet, here I am, for the fifth year in a row.
I wrote some 2000 words about this ‘Social Media Marketing World’ conference in my latest blog post, and hadn’t planned a follow up.
However, while trying to digest the last three days, I realized that this conference has had a direct effect on more than 25% of my financial and business success the last two years and will probably have a much wider effect in the year to come.
Social media has become a major part of business communication and interactions, enabling companies and entrepreneurs to create awareness, attract customers, position themselves as influencers, and reach almost any potential user, directly.
My three amazing takeaways (and an epilogue):
The first take away
A game changer - Marketing is all things human
I learned about Mark Schaefer on my first visit to the conference, back in 2015, and admired his capabilities to master both - the traditional marketing and the secrets of influencing customers’ behavior, together with impressive knowledge and understanding of the new technological and digital marketing world.
Yet, it was his book ‘Known’ that really affected the way I looked at my business and customers.
I interviewed Mark Schaefer for my podcast, REACH OR MISS, about the customer-focused entrepreneur, last year. I wasn’t surprised by his opinions about the changes and problems in the marketing industry. I follow Mark on Twitter, read his blog, and we share opinions about the damages of automated marketing on customers’ trust and business success.
I was surprised by how concerned he was about the effects of these new marketing perceptions on customers' behaviors, and therefore on businesses’ ability to succeed:
“Marketing is sick right now,” he said. “The idea that I have is that marketing is too tech-centric instead of human-centric. We don’t want to talk with our customers anymore; we just want to monitor them on Twitter. We automate everything and we are losing our hearts, our souls, and our way.”
I found his new book, Marketing Rebellion, remarkable and I think it’s a game changer in both the worlds of marketing and business.
Mark was the closing Keynote speaker of SMMW19. He spoke about the research that lead him to realize the changes in people’s reactions to marketing efforts and he talked mainly about the customers’ need to belong and about the total control of customers of business behavior and sales.
The most important message Mark Schaefer managed to convey was the obvious failures of the existing marketing and sales and the need for a more human approach.
The Most Human Company Wins, Mark said.
The second take away
Become the influencer in your field
In an earlier post, I wrote about how entrepreneurs can and should become the best-known influencers of their new market category.
Usually, entrepreneurs who invent new products, end up creating new market categories in the process. Taking ownership of this new category in the mind of the customers can be critical for the strength of your brand and the value you can achieve for your entrepreneurship.
Leading the market category is always the best and fastest way to maximize your company’s sales and value. This is not a new theory. I first learned about it from what I believe to be the best marketing book ever: The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing by Al Ries and Jack Trout.
Ries and Trout wrote: if you can’t lead the existing category, create a new sub-category.
The reason behind leading the market category is that, as a market leader, you won’t have to try to convince potential customers to buy your product or service. Instead, you will talk with and educate them about the new category and why they must start using this new service or tool.
Speaking in the name of the category will allow you to build yourself as the influencer of this field.
The trend of influencers, which became popular in recent years, goes very well with the methods of leading your market category.
Existing tools like blogging, podcasting, and live video will help you to take the influencing position more easily.
The third take away
The three must have social media platforms for entrepreneurs
The Social Media Marketing World Conference is my go-to-source for learning about which platforms, tactics, and tools are the most relevant for my business. Since there are around 150 speakers in the conference, I usually leave the conference with a zillion ideas! I had to choose the most relevant ones for each entrepreneur, company, and market.
This year was different - from Mike Stelzner’s keynote opening session through many of the 100 presentations, it seems like most speakers agreed on these three ‘must have’ social media platforms to develop this year:
- Facebook Live
- Instagram Stories
- YouTube Channel
There are many free tools, as well as online courses, webinars, and explanations about learning how to use these three platforms easily.
I wish you many enjoyable and fruitful moments while adopting one or more of these three social media platforms this year.
The conference closed officially on Friday evening. My flight was planned for Sunday early morning, landing 26 hours later.
A few minutes before boarding at San Diego airport, the board showed a 10 minute delay. Then the flight attendant announced another delay… Angry voices grew as the Captain tried to explain to the hundreds of unhappy travelers at the gate.
He told us about an argument he’d just had with the airport management, demanding they check and replace some part of the airplane. And that they wouldn’t take off until the relevant part is checked and repaired. Which would probably take a few hours.
I can’t take responsibility for your safety otherwise, he said.
So, there he was, announcing a five or more hour delay that would ruin most travelers’ connection flights and plans. Instead of shouting at him, as I’d half expected, people clapped.
He was hanging around the hall between the travelers and they shook his hand like he was a movie star.
It seems like this unique captain was at Mark Schaefer’s keynote presentation, and he did for Delta airlines the best service an employee can do; He was human! On their behalf.
Yes, Mark Schaefer is definitely right.
Only the most human company wins.
Five hours later, we flew in the repaired airplane to JFK. Fortunately, I had enough time to make my connection flight!