“I am not going to miss that one, specially when it happens in India”
This was my response when I heard from Mark Schaefer that he was coming to India. And as expected, the session was transforming & insightful. He shared key statistics, trends and incredible insights into the future of social media, and actionable tips for businesses (and agencies like us).
I am unable to decide whether Mark is an author, speaker or a prophet in the Digital Marketing industry. Because he has 5 best selling books, he is entertaining & informative on stage and he has awesome insights about the future of social media. There are not many people in the world who have unique expertise like Mark Schaefer!
There were 100s of useful take-aways from the session. To pick up 10 was a tough task. But I tried. Here we go.
Top 10 takeaways from Mark Schaefer’s seminar on ‘The Future of Social Media Marketing’
1. Humans buy from Humans:
Mark started the session with the story of his grandfather, who was a plumber. He shared how his grandfather connected with his customers, in a personal, helpful and transparent manner, which enabled the business to be built on personal reputation. About 100 years ago, with the invention of Radio and advertising, everything changed. Commerce was not personal anymore. It became a one-way communication which informed people about the product and its benefits. There was no way to connect, care for and communicate with the customer. It was all about selling, not helping. But with Social Media, we are going back to those times of personal care.
2. Small interactions lead to loyalty
In the social media era, we need to care about our customers. It is the small interactions like replying to the comment, liking, sharing and retweeting that builds loyalty for any business. Mark shared personal stories of how small interactions on Twitter helped him connect with and bless other business people around the world.
3. Most reliable methods of content delivery
Mark shared the list of most reliable methods of content delivery, which he arrived at in collaboration with Joe Pulizzi of Content Marketing Institute. The top of the list was ‘email‘ and the big surprise at the bottom number 10 was Facebook. Mark explained why Facebook and Instagram were at the bottom of the list – the chief reaons were increasing content overload on Facebook and no link back to the websites on Instagram.
4. Have the RITE Social Media mindset
Mark shared about having the right social media mindset for success. And social media mindset is unique and different from the popular commercial mindset. He also gave an acronym, RITE – Relevant, Interesting, Timely and Entertaining for content that needs to be created for success.
5. Small Businesses can win using social media
Mark confirmed the earlier prediction in our blog post that small business can win easily using social media. Bigger organizations may find it difficult to adapt to the new mindset of ‘giving‘, ‘helping‘ and ‘creating‘ content without focussing too much on ROI. That gives small businesses an edge.
6. Information Eco-System
Mark explained how the information eco-system has changed and how information travels from one point to another. He also explained with many illustrations and real-life examples, how companies are using this new eco-system to build their brands.
7. Share of conversation
This was one of my favorites. Mark talks about how any business today needs to be concerned about owning the share of the conversation that is happening online. People are talking about your business or industry or product online, the question is how much of that share does your brand own? Do people talk about your company in the course of their social conversations? If not, you make that happen by creating relevant content that moves.
8. Make your content move
This was my next favorite point in the presentation. Mark talked about how content needs to move, inorder to be effective. Even if it is good content, unless it moves, it will not have the desired impact and conversion! This was a key insight. Because we all hear about how we need to create good content, but then we wonder why our good content is not getting shared. Here is the answer: Our good content does not move automatically. We need to make it move. Moving happens when people share. So we need to build sharability into every content.
9. Future trends
Mark talked about the future trends of social media marketing and how ‘content shock’ will affect all of us as exabytes of content is created over the next few years. He explained key concepts like ‘Filters‘ and emerging media like Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality and how they will affect social media.
10. Be more human
Finally, Mark ended the session with the statement that really touched and resonated with all of us. He said the only fool-proof method to succeed in social media is to ‘be more human‘. If we can be real, genuine and helpful to other human beings, no matter what surprise is thrown at us by technology and innovation, as marketers, we can succeed in serving our customers.
I hope your find this summary useful. I was so blessed by the session. I am so glad that I spent the time and resources to come all the way to Bangalore for this seminar. I thank Mark Schaefer for adding tremendous value to each one of us that were there (and I got a certificate signed by him, and that is special!).
India, the largest democracy in the world, is making progress in social media and technology. Having guidance and insights from specialists like Mark at this stage can really help this nation move forward.