During the market, I noticed several seminars were being offered and to my surprise several of them were discussing Social Networking. Even though I had very little time to attend seminars, one seminar really captured my interest. I decided to take the time to hear Erik Qualman the author of Socialnomics.
I wasn't sure how many designers would take time out of their busy day to attend a seminar on Social Networking. However, as Erik began to speak, I turned around and was surprised to see all the seats were filled and many people were forced to stand. Hundreds of designers had decided to take time out to hear about this important topic and as a gift for attending each attendee received a free copy of his book, Socialnomics. Erik's speaking style was very enjoyable and he always had a smile on his face. If you ever have a chance to hear Erik, I highly recommend taking the time to listen to any seminar he presents.
Afterwards, Erik stayed to autograph his books. (I know I look really short in the photograph, but I am 5'5" and I am guessing Erik is around 6'10".)
A little about Erik:
Erik Qualman is the Global Vice President of Online Marketing for EF Education, headquartered in Lucerne, Switzerland. EF Education is the world's largest private educator. Erik works out of the 850-person Cambridge, Massachusetts office. Prior to joining EF Education, Erik helped grow the marketing and eBusiness functions of Cadillac & Pontiac (1994-97), BellSouth (1998-2000), Yahoo (2000-03), EarthLink (2003-05) and Travelzoo (2005-08). Erik holds a BA from Michigan State University and an MBA from The University of Texas at Austin. A former basketball player at Michigan State University, Erik still finds time to follow his beloved Spartans.
Erik started out the seminar with his Socialnomics video on YouTube. Many business owners don't see the benefit or the ROI (Return on Investment) in Social Networking. Once you hear him speak, you know without a doubt that the rewards can be phenomenal. Watch his video on Social Media ROI where he shows example after example of how Social Networking is boosting revenues for businesses everywhere. Both of these videos will demonstrate how our clients are getting connected with businesses.
He played a third video that had the room in stitches. This video "United Breaks Guitars" demonstrates how Social Networking can expose bad customer service. Be sure to watch all of these videos, they are very short but get the point across. The future of your business may depend on what you decide to do with the information Erik shares. Erik stressed one major point ... when you are investigating a product or a company, do you trust what the company has to say regarding their product or service or do you trust what your friends say? The trust level is much higher based on what our peers and friends have to say about a product or company. As Social Networking continues to grow, you will soon be reviewing a product or company online and you'll notice several of the reviews are actually from someone you know. In addition, he emphasized that follow-ups must be done to provide a second layer of engagement. You have to be willing to take the extra step to respond to comments and questions to provide a deeper level of connection. How likely would you be to do business with that company when several of your peers or friends have given them great reviews?
One thing to remember, creating a powerful online presence doesn't happen overnight. It requires commitment and dedication. In other words, you cannot join Facebook or write one blog a year and expect to see results. Don't have a blog? Let Minutes Matter set up your blog!