Excerpts from Education at PPAI Vegas, Part 3
Below is part three of my thoughts and notes from education sessions I attended Tuesday at PPAI Vegas. This is my third and final post on the education sessions, though I might have some other PPAI-Vegas-related posts for you next week.
SESSION THREE: 1:45 p.m-- Mark Graham, "10 No-nonsense Ways Social Media can be Applied to Your Promotional Products Business"
Mark Graham, president of the distributorship RIGHTSLEEVE and one of the promotional industry's rising social media voices, spoke for 90 minutes about some practical applications that social media can have on your business. The lecture was great, easy to follow and full of illustrative examples from Graham's own experiences with social media. I won't go over all of the advice he gave here, I don't have the room and wouldn't do his ideas justice anyway, but here are couple key concepts I pulled from his speech.
- Eavesdropping: From picking up leads to tracking what people are saying about your company online, social media can be an effective way to participate in conversations you otherwise never would have been a part of.
- Bonding with customers: Social media can be an effective way to converse with customers or handle certain customer-service issues. Some clients, especially younger ones, may prefer to talk over social media venues, and handling certain customer service issues online and in the open can work out in your favor if you're able to resolve the issue well, since everyone will be able to see the care you're giving your customers.
- Self-promotion: Social media can make classic promotions like contests much more logistically feasible. It can also help you promote your more high-tech marketing efforts, like online video or collecting online survey data.
If you're on the fence about social media, or like it but are struggling to make it work, this lecture is for you. Plenty of practical tips are offered, backed by real examples and a presenter who knows the material and understands its relevance to distributors from his own personal experience.
BEST QUOTE: "Each of you can use social media to bolster your brand among people who use social media."
MOST INTERESTING IDEA: Successful use and following of hashtags on Twitter. They can be hit-or-miss to use on Twitter, depending how popular or spam-ridden they are, but Graham gave several examples where he successfully used them to raise the profile of his tweets.