I was on a panel at the Cornell Entrepreneur Network event yesterday, asked to speak on the marketing potential of social media to a (smart) group of “Web 2.0” neophytes. The assignment led to some reflection on my part, and the following (hopefully) insights:
- People under 30 – the typical target for marketers interested in social media – don’t want online dialog for it’s own sake. Dialog is a means to multiple ends which they care about a great deal: Authenticity, Understanding, and Validation.
- Because of this, you have to understand social networking as a user before you have a prayer of using it effectively as a marketer. Rather than spending your lunchtime listening to paper gurus, go create a blog yourself and see what happens.
- After you’ve done that, don’t expect the world to beat a path to your door. Check where the people interested in what your interested in hang out today. Lurk quietly for a while, like you would wandering into a conversation at a cocktail party. Then try and make a worthwhile contribution.
- If you really have something great to add, post it on your own blog with references to appropriate posts in more established blogs. This will create traffic, and begin to build your social networking equity.
- Whenever possible, move the conversation to the real world. Blog away, but throw on some lipgloss once in a while and go shake some hands, will ya?
Did you attend the forum? Feel free to comment and post a link to your blog.