Friday, February 13, 2009

Chatting with Jennifer Navaretteabout her March 5 Innotech talk

 As the publicity manager for the Innotech San Antonio trade show, I get to work and meet some great technical leaders.  When I heard that Jennifer Navarette, one of the founders of the San Antonio Media Club, was speaking, I had to set aside a few minutes to discuss her upcoming speech on March 5.

Why should businesses of all sizes have a "social media" strategy?
People are doing two things.  Either they're either talking about your company/brand/product (good or bad) and you are not there to engage in the conversation or, they are NOT talking about your company/brand/product and they should be.

 What are some best practices for businesses who want to start working on a social media strategy?

I would find out who the  early tech adopters are in your company. They should discover the tools they are using and why because they have already taken the time to navigate the social media landscape .  As well, they could also be your best source to help develop a campaign and make the initial introductions for your company on the social networking sites.

Once on the sites, participate in the conversations. There is a natural tendency to think of social networking as another numbers game. The person with the most followers wins. Not so. The best road to success is to take the time to get to know the folks in each particular space and engaging them in conversation. The social networks are not the place to broadcast but to converse.  

As one of the founders of the San Antonio Social Media Club, what has been the response within south Texas?

The response from the local community is amazing. They are supportive by attending events, volunteering their time and doing what they can to help spread the word about these groups and events.

Since May 2007, we've been holding UnConference events: Podcamp, Startup Weekend, Barcamp, Freelance Camp and AccessCamp to name a few. At each one of these events we see folks who are discovering the local tech/creative/social/media community for the first time. Watching them look around in awe at a gathering of folks who are just as passionate as they are and seeing the light bulbs go off as they participate in sessions is priceless.

Now, almost two years later we have thriving community in San Antonio.  A community that is full of generous individuals who have come together to bring San Antonio to not only a level on par with our sister cities in Texas, but the global community at large.

By bringing the Social Media Club and Social Media Breakfast to San Antonio, the hope was to have more opportunities to connect than the once a year "Camp" events. From what I've seen so far, we've succeeded.

What will Innotech attendees get from your presentation at Innotech?

I will speak on Twitter and how companies like Dell and Comcast have used Twitter to redefine their brand. By showing the human side of big business, they have gone a long way towards turning around what had been considered a less than stellar customer service reputation. Companies like Southwest Airlines and Zappo's have used Twitter as an extension of their brand. It has become another tool to communicate their unique business style. The Twitter session will show how business and enterprise can utilize a small and seemingly simple tool to engage their fans and critics, 140 characters at a time.

My talk will also focus on building community.  There are online communities. There are offline communities. One of the best ways to cultivate an active community is to merge them together. By using both the online and offline platforms, you stand a better chance at cultivating a community of folks who are passionate about your brand, product, service or business.  Empowering them to take action, use the online tools and offline opportunities creatively you might be surprised at how your community can grow.

1 comment:

Steve Harper said...

Great post Matt. Having just discovered your BLOG thanks to my Google Alerts I look forward to reading more!

Ripple On!!!