Social media is dead, long live the website

Youtube Video“Could this be the last SMC event? Is social media an over-hyped distraction from the real centre of activity online: your website?” This is the provocative topic for a Social Media Club discussion being held this evening at Telecom’s flash new premises. There’s been some interesting pre-event roasting and, as a keynote speaker, I thought perhaps a video blog would be a fun and interactive way for those who couldn’t make it a long to feel like they were there. For those who want to follow the conversation and participate in heckling, check #smcakl.

Before I willingly leave myself open for all you lovely anonymous commenters, I’d like to point out that I feel the subject is a fairly basic one: it’s Digital 101. But sometimes basics are what our clients need and there’s nothing wrong with that. Until we’re a country purporting digital spends that are akin to those of our dear green and gold neighbours, then I’d suggest the extra smarty pants amongst us should try and keep our ‘that’s so 2009’ thoughts to ourselves. K?

A few tips/things to remember when it comes to looking at your digital mix:

  • Own your customer. The role of a stockist has changed and the power of citizen journalism has meant that customers do have a direct relationship with distributors who in the past would have hidden behind shop fronts.
  • Use the power of Facebook to help create a relationship with your customer. Find relevant, useful and meaningful ways to be in that environment. Use the many apps (both freely available or customisable) to enable you to provide simple and compelling ways for customers to interact with you. But ALWAYS ensure you’re getting that information into your own database. Don’t store it at Facebook.
  • Know what your brand messages and values are and stick to them across your channels. Be confident, conversational and consistent.
  • Think of your website as a distribution hub. From here you can send out information to all the channels most suitable for your brand – to bloggers, to portals, to other websites. When people are searching for information, they’ll sift through all that is out there and still come back to what you had to say about it.
  • Keep looking at what’s out there and evolve constantly, ask questions and keep coming back to the simple reason you’re here: to be heard.
  • Social media simply has meant that more opportunity exists for your brand to be discussed, but you’re not in charge of what’s being written. You can’t control it, so get over it. But you can guide it. That’s what your website is for.

I’ll be giving away a case of @oldmoutcider to whoever tweets me the best question (and I openly accept bribes in the form of flattery). Entries close at midday Wednesday 10 August.


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