Friday, November 18, 2011

Social Media Strategies Summit

The Social Media Strategies Summit

Social Media has quickly become the best means of communication between brands and consumers in recent times. It is remarkable to see how various companies respond to positive and negative feedback using these mediums. I had three negative experiences with two very large companies,and one that is fairly big in our area, but local, this year, and tweeted about them. In both situations involving large national companies, executives contacted me within 24 hours regarding these situations. They both realized that the companies were in error regarding the handling of these circumstances, and had resolutions established immediately that were to my satisfaction. I did not tweet with the intent of drawing such attention, but I was very pleased to see that these companies actually cared about what I as a consumer thought of them, and that they were willing to go the extra mile to correct these issues. With the third, local company, I got no response. I looked at their twitter feed, and while they have their twitter linked on advertising materials, they've never sent out a single tweet, so I guess it should be no surprise that I got no response. I'll also note that one of the national companies will be represented at this summit. I honestly half expect to see my situation as one of the case studies. Maybe not, but it would be an excellent case for study, and I'd love to be able to attend that session just to see if it is featured, and offer my deepest gratitude for the manner in which they resolved the issue.

I have also had situations where I have tweeted when I have gotten excellent service. I make sure to always tweet those out AND mention the names of the employees providing exemplary service in hopes that they get rewarded by their companies. 

I say all of this to show examples of how companies can take advantage of social media to turn even worst case scenario situations around, and retain customer loyalty. As "mom bloggers" we are in a unique situation where we are both consumers and brand advocates. We understand and use social media throughout our day, sharing positive and negative experiences, and advertising for companies via reviews and giveaways. Attending workshops like those offered at this Summit not only allows us as bloggers to gain perspective on utilizing social media from a business perspective, we also have the opportunity to engage the PR Reps for these companies and give them feedback from a consumer/blogger perspective. 

Looking over the agenda for each of the three days, there are so many workshops that are valuable. The hardest decision will be prioritizing the workshops available during each session and choosing which will be the most beneficial. The topics available are:
  • Marketing Strategies and Tactics
  • Case Studies
  • Measurements: Analytics, ROI, and Tools
  • Community Engagement and Customer Service
  • Sales Approach
  • Legal Risks & Strategies
My top choice of selections for Day 1 alone, currently would be:

  • Creating and Maintaining and Optimized and Personalized Facebook Presence - I'd love to be able to offer my services in helping small businesses to establish and maintain a consumer friendly Facebook presence, while following proper Facebook TOS.
  • Using Social Media to Create Meaningful Engagements - I want to take advantage of this personally with you, my blog readers, and help businesses I work with and support do the same. 
  • The next session is tough. There are 3 sessions I'd have to choose between. They are: Social Media Advertising...Taking It to the Next Level; Twitter Analysis & Action: cater to Followers and Attract Key Influencers to Get Results that Matter!; and Customer Service and Social Media: Why just answering a question is no longer enough. - I see great benefit in each of these. I think I'd learn something and be able to offer a valuable contribution to each of the discussions. 
I could probably write for hours on why I think I could benefit from this Summit, but I'll stop here and close with one more scenario. Yesterday I got an email with an annual survey from a company that has a program that offers a rewards program for interaction. This is a brand whose product I purchase weekly, and my kids consume daily. However, I forgot about this program. I hadn't visited the website since July. There are fabulous rewards available, but there is very little interaction between the brand and the participants. There is a forum on the website with questions/comments posted, but no responses. Not from other participants, and not from the company. I took the survey and emailed the company at their contact site with my suggestions on how they can improve the program. I hope they listen, or at least respond. One of the key components that I included was more social media interaction. If they utilized social media in relation to this program I think it could take off and be very successful for the brand. I'd love to be able to go to take key lessons learned at this Summit and be able to present them to companies with specific examples of why social media works.

***Disclosure: I am writing this post as an entry to win a free all access pass to the Social Media Strategies Summit, a value of $3000. Should I not win, I'd love a sponsorship to represent your company at this summit. Should I win, I'd still be willing to accept a partial sponsorship to cover additional fees and expenses related to the summit, and represent your company on your behalf. For additional information, please EMAIL ME.

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