Is it just me or are there other people out there who find that keeping up with the fast-paced world of “being social” is both exhilarating and exhausting? I decided to attend the Social Media Marketing World conference for the first time this year for two reasons: First, to learn about new trends and emerging technologies and how we can best integrate into and position our business moving forward; Second, to discover new ways that we can help our clients achieve results.
While I might have thought we had a pretty good handle on how to best position our company and brand, the moment I walked into the conference hotel and started engaging with fellow attendees I knew that I was in for a fascinating experience. It was like I was in kindergarten and had just been invited to attend college classes.
As with other conferences, one of the first things I did was join in on the early morning walk/run. It’s always a great way to meet new people and for me personally, some of the best networking happens here.
Heading out the front door of the hotel toward the waterfront it didn’t take long to hit stride alongside a gentleman named Hugh. We talked for a bit and what amazed me was that Hugh had a podcast and he was there to learn about how to grow and improve it.
To be honest, I was a bit taken aback. I was thinking, really? Aren’t podcasts a thing of the past? Well, by the end of day 3, it was eyes wide open on many fronts and my brain was filled with new ideas and opportunities to explore.
Since that run with Hugh and after attending education sessions regarding podcasts, I am proud to share that I am a complete podcast junkie. I love that I can listen anywhere and while doing other things such as running, working out, gardening, dog walking, cottage maintenance… the list goes on. I feel way more productive and it makes me happy.
I can select topics that are relevant to me and the podcasters who do it well, make it easy and attractive for me to engage and take action through other channels which is the beginning of a relationship.
Much like what we’ve learned in the nonprofit sector, traditional direct marketing channels such as mail and phone need to be integrated with new and emerging channels, making it easy for people to engage, allowing for a positive experience.
While social media is not a channel, it is vastly changing how people are consuming information. This influences how people are engaging with companies, people and organizations as well as how they make their buying and giving decisions.
The days of broadcasting out and waiting for people to respond are over. It’s no longer about communication, it’s about conversations. With conversations, we need to be present. Being present, allows us to listen to what our customers are saying through their preferred method of engagement and be there for them how and when they want; once we’re engaged, then it’s an opportunity to introduce them and invite them to new, and as it relates to podcasts, old ways of engaging.
In a study released in March 2014 by Edison Research, Internet-only audio services continue to grow.
- Growth in the adoption of Facebook and Twitter slowed, with Facebook usage being flat at 58 percent compared to 2013, while Twitter grew slightly from 15 percent to 16 percent year over year.
- Podcasting is on the rise, as weekly audio podcast consumption grew 25 percent year over year, from 12 percent in 2013 to 15 percent in 2014.
- In-car usage of online radio and other forms of digital audio continues to grow.
At the New York International Auto Show, Apple was showing off its CarPlay system.
So, as we continue to evolve and transform our businesses and organizations, let’s remember that what’s old may in fact be new so maybe we shouldn’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. It’s only through one-to-one conversations with our customers that we’ll develop relationships and learn how to best position our businesses for growth.