The dedicated souls who turned out for the Marketing Section breakfast in Chicago were rewarded with a lively and insightful panel discussion from three online marketing experts:
Social Media Marketing guru Melissa Giovagnoli, President of Networlding
Corporate Media Marketing officer Roger Tye, Director of Consumer Engagement at Allstate Insurance Co.
Our own Connie Crosby, Crosby Group Consulting.
The panel discussed how and why to engage your users through social media marketing, answering a mixture of questions from panel chair Barbie Keiser and questionns from the floor about specific marketing issues attendees had encountered. Key points included:
Connie suggesting neutral topics such as food or the weather to help engagement with a new platform, especially an internal platform. If you get people talking on a ‘safe’ topic, they’ll be more inclined to feel comfortable using the platform to talk about other issues. She also reminded us that those who lurk on social media aren’t necessarily the unengaged – they might be interacting in other ways, such as in person or by phone. Roger also suggested using polls to start driving engagement – easy and anonymous, people can feel involved with a single click.
When it comes to training staff on new platforms, Melissa recommends starting by building simple personal relationships. A great way to get people communicating with each other is to set them the ice-breaker task of finding things that they have in common – there will be more than they think! Once they’ve started building that relationship, they can progress to sharing emotional support, information, knowledge, wisdom, referrals, and opportunities.
Roger emphasised the importance of listening before you speak. If you don’t listen to your users, then you’ll never say the right things to them. Spend some time lurking on a platform before you start using it, and decide what your users want to hear and to get out of that platform, and how you’re going to give it to them. Technology will change, so focus on being useful and listening – people before tools.
Connie has provided a helpful list of resources on using social media to promote libraries and librarians.
At the breakfast we also showcased some examples we’d found of great online marketing.
Thanks to all panelists and attendees for a successful and enjoyable session.