I attended the recent OkieSMart conference in Tulsa, where Peter Shankman, aka @skydiver, provided the keynote speech. He was funny, blunt, high-energy and inspiring. A nearly perfect keynote in my opinion.
Peter took on the concepts of transparency, brevity, relevance and self-promotion via others leading to top-of-mind awareness. Why do these things matter for business? How can social media make a difference? Social media is about creating connections, and real connections create relevance. To me, relevance is the key to making social media matter for business…. Your business can’t “be relevant” unless someone out there chooses to make it so. You must impress, connect, promise & deliver at a level that allows those connections (be they clients, friends, colleagues, etc.) to share your story.
Let’s say you’re in the tire business. Everyone who drives needs tires at some point, and there are lots of places to purchase them. We go to Robertson Tires… because every time we’ve had a tire problem (say a slow leak we can’t identify) they’ve fixed it… pulled the nail, patched the hole, at no charge. Regardless of whether or not the tire in question was originally purchased from Robertson, or how long it had been. Whenever someone asks my husband (who is “a car guy” so he gets asked a lot) about tires, he recommends Robertson Tire. His recommendation makes Robertson relevant to the person he’s talking to. His recommendation is also self-promotion via others: Robertson did such a good job that other people are talking about it (promoting them) and therefore increasing their relevance to the potential market. Most business owners get the concept of referrals and recommendations; they’re not new ideas.
Add social media to the mix: I see someone on Twitter complain about a tire leak. I tweet my recommendation of Robertson Tire. That recommendation is now part of the Twitter stream for my 2,380 (as of 7/28/09) followers. Social media amplifies the basics of business. The good and the bad press matter more because they can be seen by so many more people, more immediately.
This is where transparency and brevity come into play. I’ll be talking more about those two concepts along with more on the idea of relevance and how to use social media to grow your business at the upcoming Social Media Mastermind – Tulsa meeting. Hope to see you there!