Social media for start-ups in Calgary. Event in review.
Earlier this week I attended a great social media meetup in Calgary organized by the Podium Ventures team. The room was full of people who came to hear Cameron Chell of Business Instincts and Tish Bell of BizBoxTV speak about ways start-up businesses can use social media. Here I’d like to summarize some of the key thoughts and discussion points from the eventing.
Cameron started with a well-laid out presentation on key differences between Start-ups 1.0 and Start-ups 2.0. Here’s the flavour:
- Idea vs. Execution: ideas were more important than the execution. With social media it’s the other way around. Your success depends on how well you can execute.
- Secret vs. Live: before social media it was important to keep your idea to yourself as something precious, so that others don’t steal it. With social media, everybody is able to monitor everybody and everything and know of things in an instant. As a result execution AND acting NOW becomes paramount.
- Exclusivity vs. Participation: before the age of social media only the elite few had an opportunity to build great things. If you belonged to a closed group of people in power you could make it. Today, the more people you get to participate openly, the faster your product succeeds or fails (in this case, failure is great).
Something that was cool and interesting was Cameron’s comment “#1 contributor to killing a start-up is passion (ego) of the owner, you need to let it go”. In other words “be passionate about WHY and let your customers determine HOW”.
Tish Bell took over from Cameron with a series of exciting slides and here’s a summary of key points:
- Marketing is no longer about making stuff but about telling stories.
- Research shows that people WANT to connect with brands. For example, “liking” the brand page on Facebook. It gives people a sense of belonging to something great.
- It’s important to monitor the conversations on Twitter / Facebook / etc. This will give you a better idea of what people are looking for and what they’re happy / unhappy about.
- Keep it sharable and significant – the new KISS method for social media.
- In your social media spills on Twitter and elsewhere be a human being, not human doing. Let’s make it clear once and for all that people don’t generally care how you do it in the bathroom and what you have for lunch.
- Although video is the most engaging form of communications online, not all videos are created equal. Ensure your videos are authentic, speaking to the right audience honestly and openly.
- A cool quote from Gary Vaynerchuk: “If content is king, community if God”.
For those who missed the event missed out on a great Q and A that followed the presentations. Here’s a few great discussion points:
- Connecting social media profiles (automating posting to multiple social media profiles). Tish Bell: Be careful with that, consider different audiences on different networks. Twitter and Facebook lingo differ.
- How do you plan social media if it’s so fluid and a start-up owner should be flexible? Cameron Chell: Have a plan and be ready to change as a reaction to change in your key metrics. Planning is still crucial.
- To time or not to time (on scheduling posts with tools like Hoot Suite). Some things can be timed, some can’t. There’s multiple ways to engage in social media, here’s a relevant article on 5 ways to stand out on Twitter. So, use multiple engagement tactics for better results.
- How do you use social media in B2B? Cameron Chell: the B2B misconception is that social media is for selling, so we end up looking for people that will buy from us. Cameron uses social media as a way to engage with people beyond selling, on personal level (as a result, relationships become deeper). He uses it to get feedback and monitor industry players and trends.
- If someone follows you on Twitter, how do you respond? Tish Bell: thank the person, be open, look a person up, see what they’re doing, reply with a questions or recommendation (don’t sell your stuff here though).
- What do you say in response to “I tried Twitter and it’s dumb”? Robert Christianson, one of the attendees suggested starting by conducting a search at Search.Twitter.com that is relevant to your business. This will allow you to see the chatter that’s going on around the topic of interest. Tish Bell: Look up your competitors, they are probably using social media.
I’m pretty sure I missed a few gems, but I hope you add things in comments to this review. Thanks a bunch to organizers, participants and Boom Town for hosing us.