PodCamp Boston Redux

By: Steve Robins

Solution marketing continues to evolve with the rapid growth of social media.  As a solution marketer, expect to create more and more social content and to participate in more and more social media activities, communities and dialogs. And you need to be prepared.  That’s why this blog contains several posts on social media. Last weekend, I had the opportunity to see and discuss the latest social media trends and strategies at PodCamp Boston.

The fourth (and my first) PodCamp Boston was one of the best (un-)conferences I’ve attended.  The structured, self-organized conference ran from Saturday through Sunday and was informative, collegial, educational and, well, fun.  From social media luminaries and authors, to experienced and newby podcasters and bloggers, to we marketers(!), everyone was invited to engage in open and spirited discussion.  Thanks to the PodCamp organizers for an outstanding conference.

I came away with several takeaways, some new, some old – but all very relevant.  Check out the takeaways below and let me know what you think.  What else would you add?  Do you agree?  Disagree?  Post a comment!

Social Media Take-Aways

Click below to jump to a section.

Get Started NOW

  • Jump in – today! Many companies and people are struggling to develop effective social media strategies.  Best way to figure it out: jump in and start experimenting.  Get help from experienced consultants if you need to.
  • Get experience. Guess how most of the experienced consultants got that way?  They jumped in before you did.  Most started by writing or podcasting about a hobby or subject of interest.
  • Build community now. Best time to connect with broad audiences is now.  If you don’t, someone else will.  This will only get more difficult as social media gets more and more crowded.
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Community & Content

  • 3 best ways to build community? Content, content, content.  Build good, informative content and, yes they will come.  Thanks Guido Stein.  
  • Make your content interesting and valuable. No product or company pitches please.  Solutions to problems? Always welcome. 
  • Get off your soapbox. Social media is, well, social.  I.e., rather than just telling people what you know, plan to engage with them in a social dialog.
  • People will pay to join private, value-added communities. For example, after building a large following, the Manic Mommies web site started a successful private, paid membership community.  Great content is open to anyone, but to access more of it, you need to join the community.
  • Thinking about video? Mike Volpe and Karen Rubin from Hubspot advise to keep viral videos brief (less than 2 minutes) and attention-grabbing in first 10 seconds.  Live video: use notes instead of a stiff script; viewers expect live to be more informal.  More from Hubspot.
  • Tailor content to the medium. Social media includes everything from pithy and witty tweets, status updates and short blog posts, to long form eBooks and blog posts, to audio podcasts to video podcasts to closed and open communities.  Users have different expectations for each form, so you’ll want to tailor content to the form.  Better yet, select the best media format based on your goals.
  • Tell a story. Jeremy Meyers and Joe Vella advise that great podcasts tell a story that’s interesting to the audience.
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Measure the Impact of Social Media

  • Quantitative Measures: Use some of the same hard metrics you’d use for traditional marketing, IT and knowledge management IT projects: number of clicks, registrations, conversions, community members, time/dollars saved in a specific business process. 
  • Qualitative measures: measure community engagement using case studies, stories, etc.  Active engagement is about more than just members, page views or clicks on a website – so it can be difficult to measure.   More on engagement
  • Video effectiveness. Use tools to measure video engagement at particular points of a video (Hubspot). 
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More Insights

  • Search is it. Social media is not about you blindly following other people on Twitter.  It’s about them searching, finding and following you. IMHO.
  • You = data. Chris Penn thinks of people as data and  advises organizations to use that data – to build networks and collect information (“storage is cheap”) even if they’ll only use it later.  I know – sounds Orwellian.  But the “people as data” approach moves you from individual one-off interactions toward architecting broader communities. 
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Additional Resources

  • Web/Twitter: Search for #pcb4/PodCamp Boston on the Web, Twitter, Flickr.
  • Slides. Check out Slideshare (search pcb4).
  • Index. Check out Kara Brockman’s PodCamp blog post to see a huge index of PodCamp posts, pictures and more.
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1 Comment

Filed under Social Media, Solution Marketing, Solutions

One response to “PodCamp Boston Redux

  1. Pingback: Social Media and You – Presentation at ProductCamp Boston « THE Solution Marketing Blog

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