The energy level was high as the Forum attendees enjoyed an evening of networking, jazz, savvy social media conversation, and eclectic refreshments. Jessica Lee, vocalist, artist-entrepreneur, and educator, set the mode for the evening and more than entertained with live jazz songs and music, as well as interviewing Bernie Martin and Lon Safko.
Bernard Martin is president and founder of Rapid Production Marketing and social media director for the Pittsburgh Grand Prix. “Technology changes communication,” he stated. Social media provides companies lots of options plus adds in the power of “the cloud.” He also talked about how different generations communicate. Boomers talked, Gen-Xers use computers and email, Gen-Y wants to work when they want to work, and the new Gen-Z are embedded in technology and engaged all the time. It is key to use all types of social media. LinkedIn tells people what you are good at, while Twitter is messages from you plus messages from you customers which can be a positive or negative message.
The evening culminated with another enthusiastic caffeine-fueled presentation by Lon Safko describing how social media is about understanding your total marketing conversion strategy. “In the past you controlled the message; now your customers are controlling your message in all forms of social media,” emphasized Safko. So it is imperative you get involved in the conversations on the various social media sites. He then launched into his five steps for social media success: (1) analysis of existing strategy, (2) understanding the social media trinity, (3) integrating your strategy into the trinity, (4) identifing your resources, and (5) implementing metrics and analytics. Safko strongly stated the importance of analytics and knowing the micro demographics of your customers. Following Safko’s presentation more networking and socializing continued.