The February 28, 2013 NJ Entrepreneurs and Technology Startups (NJETS) meetup was chock full of information about social media, presented by speakers who addressed the topic from different vantage points.
The event took place at the Juice Tank coworking space (Somerset) and attracted more than 170 attendees who also listened to a pitch by Hublished, a business content sharing system for webinars, ebooks and podcasts.
Many thought Hublished’s presentation, though plagued by technical difficulties, represented a clever idea: publishers need a platform on which to post recent webinars and advertise upcoming ones while generating leads from users. Users, or what Hublished calls “peers,” need discovery and curation tools to help them determine what content is worth spending time on. The team is based at Rutgers University (New Brunswick) and NYU.
Introduced by meetup organizer Zion Kim, David Deutsch of SynergiSocial, Christopher Prince Boucher founder of a creative digital agency called Follow the Prince (New York and Los Angeles) and Stephanie Chang, a consultant to Distilled (London, NYC and Seattle) an online marketing agency specializing in search, gave social media advice to the startups in the audience.
First to the front of the room was Deutsch, a well-known N.J. social media guru who keeps reminding his clients that “it’s about the conversation.” He spoke about how social media can help entrepreneurs meet business objectives.
“I believe I have gotten the concept of social media down to two words: interactivity and narcissism,” he said, getting a chuckle from the crowd. People often join social media thinking they are broadcasting to the world, but there is a lot of power in listening to social media, he noted.
Addressing himself to the intimidated beginners in the audience, Deutsch said businesses have to spend just 30 minutes a day three times a week to get comfortable with social media. Set an egg timer, he suggested, and use those 30 minutes to understand the social tools.
Deutsch proposed an “educate, strategize and implement” approach for companies. He advises that owners learn how to use Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter and all the other social media sites. “As you are learning, take some action notes,” he suggested, such as “I can use Facebook for this” and “I can use LinkedIn for that.”
When creating a strategy, make a plan that identifies your objectives, Deutsch recommended. Measure your success. Metrics of a social media strategy include the number of followers, the quality of engagements and conversions. “When I say quality, I’d rather have one well-connected entrepreneur [interacting with me] than 10,000 high school children following me on my Facebook page,” he asserted.
You have to have an authentic tone when you communicate via social media, Deutsch emphasized. “You want to get out there and collaborate with people, listen to conversations and engage in those conversations.”
Deutsch recommended what he calls the 5-95 rule: “Only five percent of your use of social media should be about you and your products and services. Ninety-five percent of what you should be doing is listening to conversations, engaging in conversations, gathering and sharing information, asking and answering questions and providing thought leadership. … Make sure your information and your content is something that your audience cares about.”