It’s always reassuring to attend a great networking event. As prospective members of WOMMA, my colleague Kaylen and I (Danielle) attended our first WOMMA Wine Wednesday, which was hosted by Converseon. Leaving with business cards, new insights about social listening and bellies full of delicious cheese, we deem it a great event all around.
Although there was little programming, we were fortunate enough to network with a variety of people in different industries. The director of communications at Mars (yes, he gets all the free M&M’s he wants), representatives from Brand Building Communications and some new friends from a company called Meetup, the world’s largest network of local groups, elicited the most stimulating conversations. Below are some key takeaways from our discussions:
- Guest speaker Dr. Walter Carl, Chief Research Office, ChatThreads kicked off last night’s event with an example of how General Mills currently receives 4,000 letters a day of customer complaints, comments and suggestions about the brand. His remarks focused on what will happen when social media becomes the primary forum for such commentary. Given the immediacy and speed of communication on the internet, he and many other marketers are struggling with how to reassure customers that they are being heard.
- While only 10 to 20 percent of conversations occur online, these conversations have a significantly wider reach and impact. These conversations can be monitored and tend to be more honest than statements made offline.
- When it comes to social listening, taking action doesn’t necessarily mean engaging or responding to what you hear. Rather, it’s what you do with the information you gather. Maybe you can’t immediately appease an angry blogger, but you can use their criticism to prevent more people from feeling that way.
- When using social media for B2B purposes, the companies that you are targeting may not have an online presence and may not be represented on social networks. Instead, you need to determine where their company’s decision makers are online and make sure your brand is represented in those same spaces.
- A representative from Brand Building Communications was interested in discussing how to use social media for B2B communications, as she primarily works in the B2C space. Articulating the difference was a challenge, but having worked with both types of clients we decided that B2B has a much narrower focus. In B2C, general metrics such as brand awareness and recognition often gauge the success of a social media campaign, where as in B2B it is often business leads and sales. For B2B, it’s about quality over quantity.