You’ve heard about Neal Schaffer’s Social Tools Summit that he’s launching this May in Boston, but maybe you haven’t heard why he’s creating this event. Aiming to educate organizations about the social tools that are available, the goal of this event is to close the gap between customer understanding and company potential. By bringing vendors, CEOs, and potential clients into the same room, everyone can gain insight into the value of these tools and how to leverage them. In this episode, delve into the importance of in-person interaction, sharing stories, and showcasing your subject matter expertise.
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welcome to maximize your social actionable 10 minute advice on how your business can maximize your social media presence. Now the host of Maximize Your Social Social Media Author, speaker, consultant, founder of Maximize Social Business, The Social Media Centre of Excellence and the Social Tool Summit. Neil Schaefer Everybody, this is Neil Schaefer. Welcome to another episode of Maximize Your Social in 2015. I hope you've been enjoying these podcasts. It is 2015. That's gonna be my third podcast the year. And if you've seen my publishing of these podcasts and maximize your social together with transcripts and summaries and links, you'll know that I'm obviously putting a lot more strategic emphasis on my podcast in this year. Part of that strategic emphasis is really trying to provide you with unique, insightful and valuable on actionable content. So let's get to today's podcast now. Some of you already heard me talk about this when I launched something called the Social Tools Summit. It is my first social media conference. It will be in Boston on May 12th 2015 and obviously it's something that I'm really really excited about. And there's some lessons to be learned. Or I should say, there's advice that I think is applicability. Anyone listening to this podcast based on the why I am doing this, the reasons why and the things that you can be doing, whether it's your own event or anything else, to help your brand leverage your brand equity or whether it's to help you leverage your own personal branding. And I'll talk about how that all comes together at the end of the podcast. But I did wanna start with the Social Tool Summit and you know, there's a lot of Social Media Conference is out there, and I know the founders of a lot of them very well, and they've all been very, very kind to me, and I'm big fans of them. So it's sort of weird that I decided to do something that may, some people may think is competitive. I don't see it as being competitive at all, and I see it as a way of complimenting what others are doing in the market. And that's why when I write about the best social media conferences to attend, you know, I include the social media marketing worlds. The social fresh is the social shake up by social media today. Social media Strategy Summit and what have you? Because they're all great conferences. And just like you're not gonna learn everything from reading one book. If you read books, you read a lot of books and maybe multiple books on the same subject. I think it's the same with social media conferences, this room for everybody to have their own unique take on what type of events it should be, who you want target and what type of experience you want to provide. I want half of yourself, you know, events or something I've always wanted to do. So you know, I have books, have a website, have a podcast, haven't done as many videos. So I guess that's something that I could do more of his well. And I began a community, the Social media centre of excellence, which I'm still building up. But we already have a pretty active Facebook group of more than 300 members. You can do a search for social media centre of excellence right there on Facebook groups, but I've always been into the real time interaction between people. Those of you who know me from the old days when my brand was windmill networking of bringing the virtual relationships into the physical world. That's what it was about. I created linked in groups, and we have sushi lunches monthly here in Southern California would bring people together from the group. And, you know, I always thought that social was about the human touch, and it still is today, right? And we talk about the humanizing, an age to agent and all these different concepts. But at the end of the day, it comes down to people. So the summit really came about because I wanted to utilize my experience and figure out how do I add value to the industry? Everything I do is related to best practices in helping businesses do social media better leverage social media for the business leverage it better, more effectively leverage it. More departments leverage more social networks, whatever it is, that is the unifying theme. And I'm passionate about the education. As you all know, it's all about making my clients making my readers my listeners. You Maur self sufficient in your own practice in social media, whether be for marketing and sales or PR customer support whatever it might be. So what is the way that I can add value now? It's interesting. We talk about content marketing and we talk about storytelling, and I my last podcast, if you're listening. I talked about my days as a B to B sales and business person in Japan and how this concept of Omi again bringing the seven years to my clients, which is almost like content marketing before the Internet and before we even talked about content in such a way. But that mess is what I was doing that, and I knew that it worked. And that's why social to meet came quite naturally. Social media is a tool came quite naturally, and social selling and how it relates to employ advocacy comes quite naturally as well. It all fits together really, really nicely once you figure that allow. But there's another side of this content marketing that I was doing as a sales person. As a sales executive, I should say not that makes a difference. But what I was doing before the Internet and social media and that is storytelling right storyteller has been around forever and tell you great sales people are also great storytellers. And if they're not great storytellers, usually in order to move a deal forward, they bring in people internally who are great storytellers now. When I was representing foreign companies in Asia and I wanted to try to move up in the organization I wanted to get into, maybe I was meeting with the manager. I wanted to meet with a senior manager, was meeting with the director. I wanted to meet with vice president. One of the tactics that commonly used was to bring in an executive and because I was in a foreign contract. Hey, someone So our founder and CEO is gonna be out in Japan next month. I'd love for you. You know, if you had a few minutes, if I could take him by, we could have a quick meeting. It gives the customers that shows them that you you're putting strategic importance on them. When you're taking an executive out, it gives them a chance. If they have anything they want to say, if they're mad about something, or maybe they want a discounter, they want access the special technology. It gives them a chance to voice of directly. So it's a win win for everybody. But what I noticed whenever I brought the executives out was that they were telling stories that I didn't know they were telling stories about our first products, our first customers of how we're helping customers in the other side of the world in different ways of using the products. And I realized at that time, no matter how much you invest in a marketing department, the stories live within people in the organization, and very few companies air good at getting those stories out. Now you have companies like IBM that are heavily investing into internal social networking and in bringing out internal expertise to be tapped into throughout the enterprise. And I think IBM is really the most famous of doing that. 99% of companies are not there, right, but I realized it was a gap between what the customer understood about our company and tools and what they can d'oh and what we knew we could do in marketing the marketing messaging when Ivy was not bridging that gap only when the customers started to use our product when they get it. But even if they used our product in a different way, they wouldn't see the other potential benefits. So I realized, having represented software vendors, that there's this huge gap between customer understanding and the potential. And guess what? With social media, it's even more so because not only do people not understand how the tools can be leveraged, a lot of them don't understand some basic social media marketing concepts. And if you don't understand, employ Agassi. You can't just get employee advocacy tool in house and expected toe. Do everything for you. You need to understand the concepts right before you can use the tool. And that's Robert's thinking of all the different ways I can add value. That's another avenue where I could add value, which I haven't done before in social media, which is really trying to help out the tools vendors and a lot of them reach out to me because I blocked. I maximize social business. Simon author and I have a relationship with a lot of as well, but I'm also a fan of them. I'm a fan of technology. Some of you may know that I actually created and I still have an Alfa version of a social Media Analytics tool, and I still think there's a need in the market for one that provides Maur actionable advice instead of a lot of numbers and graphs. And there's some great ones out there. Don't get me wrong that go a lot deeper and that, you know, enterprises are utilizing and should be realizing. But I think there's still space for people that still don't get social media or what they should be doing to, in essence, be teaching them through this tool as analyzes their social and as they put their objectives not I won't say anything more. I don't want to give away my secrets to my my tool here. Not that I'm developing inactivity. But through the process, I realized the challenges that two Avengers go through with, you know, Twitter AP eyes and changes in AP eyes, user interfaces, customer needs, et cetera, et cetera. So I'm a fan of the technology, and in order to scale right cos. Can only scale one of three ways paid social people or tools and paint. So something people waking up Thio But paid social is benefiting social networks that are already doing really well, so they may not need our help employees is great education and you know nine things you should be doing with your social in 2015 my block plus, which hopefully red education is critical and building a culture around social media, education, social, business, culture. We'll help you leverage, employ advocacy, and they sort of all work together so people don't get me wrong is incredibly important thing, and it becomes an internal investment. But tools are also become an internal investment problems. You can't create them yourself, and I know big enterprises that try Thio. But it's really hard because of those changing AP eyes and everything else. And that's why you need Thio tap into the expertise that tool vendors and social media space have. So I'm a big fan of the tools, but it's funny because there's still this huge gap. A lot of people just don't know. A lot of tools exist. I mean, they may have reached out to me and hopes that I would amplify them. Everybody, but not everybody's reading my poster heights up and matter how hard I'm trying to promote them. It's not being listened to by everybody, and even if some people here like I said that example of playoff picks. If you don't know what it is, or you don't have any thoughts around it, you know one tool is not gonna solve everything for you. So there's a gap and a physical one day event of bringing together tool companies not to sell the people right, but to show their product and to be part of panels with experts with practitioners that use these tools to provide feedback. But to have a conversation. And through the conversation between the practitioners, experts and the tool vendors, we're gonna learn a heck of a lot as to what tools are out there and how they could be utilized in a way that can only be achieved on a one on one basis. If you have the CEO of any given to a vendor, come to your company and have a meeting with you, right? That's sort of the power that I am trying to unleash the social tool, something that sort of thing. I don't see anyone else doing that is a unique value. I think I can add the industry that I want to dio, And that's why although in relatively short notice. We first my business partner and I first started talking about this back in. I don't know November, I think when I was out in Boston and we finally sort of launched in December, and I think January's been a soft launch, there's a lot more promotion activities we can be doing. But that's really the story, right? And whether it is a potential attendee, Ah, potential speaker or to a vendor, I think everybody is really, really excited on. It's something that I see myself doing more of in the future, more frequently more locations, Interestingly enough, a lot of people from Europe for restocking a lot of heat from London. Hey, I wanted to do it out here. You know, maybe we will. But that's why I'm doing it. And it comes to a greater truth, a greater truth about what companies can be doing what people could be doing with social media. Because with social media, you have the ability to promote anything without social media promoting the social tool. Some It would have been really, really hard. I would have had to rely on traditional media would have required money. It would require the paid effort in order to scale with social? Not necessarily, although the pain helps accelerate things. But what I realized when I met with a friend recently haven't seen him for a while who works at IBM, was talking about this and he works with social business, as do a lot of Ivy employees, obviously. But you know, we're talking. I said, You know, IBM is a company that if you have subject matter expertise in something, they try to leverage that as a corporate asset throughout the enterprise, and they invest in, develop and utilize technology that allows you to do it. It's an amazing enterprise. So I said, Well, what if you don't work at an IBM right? How do you showcase your subject matter expertise? How can you contribute to the greater good of society with your subject matter? Expertise And companies are the same. Yes, Cos we're in to make money, Don't get me wrong, Enterprises are unless you're a non profit for profit activity. But the people who created those companies, like the founders of these software tools Cos. And social and outside of social work, for in their own way, they want to change the world. They're changing the world. They have subject matter, expertise in the product they've developed. How do you talk about that? It goes beyond marketing messaging, right? And like I said, usually on a 1 to 1 conversation. If your subject matter expert internally and you happen, have a conversation with a client or with someone internally, you have a way of showcasing that knowledge. If your company and you send your founder to it, you know, to a company for a meeting, you have a way of sort of showcase. But how do you really scale that expertise that you have heard that your company has and touch more people with it? To me, that's what creating this social tool summit event is about. It's not about making money. Be nice to make money. I mean, you know, that's why whatever I do, I have multiple revenue streams. Sort of the that the portfolio career, right? Once you go independent, as I did when I launch my company in January 2010 just celebrated my five year anniversary. Thank you. In advance For your kudos, you begin to look at different ways of general revenues. This is one of many streams. If it fails, I'm still gonna go to pay my rent and buy my kids new shoes. But really, how do you love Richard? Subject matter experts. I think for a lot of companies, it comes down to content or comes down the collaboration. This is a collaborative exercise. I have a friend who works for a Japanese food company, and they make a sort of Japanese pastry, and they make some pretty unique types of food that you don't see on supermarket shelves here in the United States. So they're sort of thought leaders in the industry right there sort of subject matter experts on combining different types of fruit with traditional Japanese flavors and creating something that is very, very popular with certain communities in North America, for instance. So they had the idea. We want to put on a food event and bring together all the different confectionary companies that create deserts that have any type of Japanese connection to him and have a one day event where people that are really passionate about where foodies and chefs cannot come in and try all these samples. And that's a great That's an idea of doing a physical event, but it's hard for you to do it on your own. You need to collaborate with others in order to make it bigger than yourself. Just like you need to curate content to make your own social media postings bigger than yourself as well, right? It's the same concept. So you know, don't think of sharing content and social something you have to do because you have to be doing social media. And don't think that you know just any message will. D'oh! Really defining a good social media program, especially from a marketing outward communications perspective, is about the messaging is about. Are you talking in a way that makes you accepted by other social media? Is, Are you providing resourceful information? Are you becoming trustworthy through your relationship with social media communities by the words of the tone in the voice and the visuals that you use when you're posting on social media? But there's another avenue to look at with your social media posting content, marketing efforts. It's the same thing that I'm looking at. How do you showcase your company's your employees or for your own personal brand of your own unique experiences and subject matter expertise to the world. I'd log, I write books. I do a podcast. I created the Social Tool Summit. What would you do today? What will your company do today? That's the message I want to leave you with. Has become very busy planning for the social tools of it. But because I'm so passionate about it and I wanted to touch so many people, it fuels. Why dio It provides me with a natural R y. Regardless what happens? The event you're content maybe hit or miss. But if it truly is representative of that same sort of storytelling that you're telling on a one on one basis when you go out to meet with clients or your loyal customers or potential clients that you want to become your one of your most loyal customers. If you can tap into that storytelling, that's only within the brains and hearts of some of your outward facing internal employees. If you can top into that, I think you're on your way to redefining the content and how effective your social media program can be. You don't have to create your own social tool summit, although some of you may want to create a user conference or try to do a a food event to rise above, but when you're competing with others is really hard to do that right, so you don't have to create that sort of event, although you could do it in person you could create, like this foreign equity company I worked in the past. Did was create a V I. P user Committee, right? And every 90 days, let's bring together via P users gets their competitors, but they all benefit from learning about how each other using tools. Let's bring them together. Let's put him up to the Ritz Carlton or Four Seasons. Whatever hotel it is, let's fly him in. There's immense value in doing that, the deep in the relationships, but also to get feedback. So that's another way of showcasing your subject matter expertise of actually performing an event like that. So that's what the social tool someone is about. I challenge you to find a new vehicle a new way, whether it's doing a reset on what you blogged about your social media or doing it through physical event or whatever mechanism. Whatever vehicle it is, I challenge you to find a new way to promote your own or your company's own subject matter expertise in 2015. And I want to hear from you of what you decide to do, how you decide to do it. That is the end of another episode of Maximize Your Social. I hope you enjoy this one. I'm really trying to challenge myself to find unique insight for my own professional passed before social media, together with how I help businesses in social media today to showcase general truths that, as I like to say, social media replaces nothing but compliments everything. How can we leverage this complimentary power based on things that we're already doing just by reaching inside and doing a little soul searching? So, hey, wherever you are in the world, I want to wish you the greatest of days, and I was always make it a great social day. Everybody, thanks for listening to maximize your social. We appreciate all of your iTunes descriptions, ratings and comments. If you would like to appear on the show or recommend content, please contact Neil Schaffer at Neil at Maximize your social dot com. Please also make sure to check out Neil's new community, the Social Media Centre of Excellence at Social Media. C o e dot com, as well as Neil's first social media event, the Social Tool Summit, which will be in Boston on May 12th. Thanks again and make it a social day.