SXSW Interactive 2010 part 2
Day one of the Interactive Festival started out pretty laid back and mellow. The panels didn’t start until the afternoon, so I spent the morning strolling around, checking out all of the various lounges that were setup in the convention center as well as the Independent Film Channels Crossroads House a few blocks away, where there was a free brunch composed of breakfast tacos and coffee, a Texas brunch for sure. It was here where I had my first celebrity sighting of the conference as Jamie Lynn Sigler (Meadow Soprano) came in to do an interview for her new Independent Film “Wake”. Yes guys, she’s just as adorable in person.
The Conference Buzz
The entire conference so far seems to be buzzing with Social Media. Everyone I talked to, it was the main reason they were attending the conference and the biggest thing that they are hoping to learn more about. This is such a big deal because, if you are selling a product and you are not engaging and quantifying in online social media of some type, you are soon going to be so far behind the marketing curve you simply won’t be taking part in shaping your own brand any more. It is the only marketing medium that allows instant, one on one, focus group type interactions with the audience of your product, and the tools are free. The time it takes to develop and implement a plan that everyone can understand, this is where businesses are currently struggling.
I came into the conference a bit ahead of this curve since I’ve already been through a series of sit down meetings with a client to discuss all of the how’s and why’s of social media marketing and many of the same issues we discussed, were talked about in the first panel I attended.
Social Media Marketing For Your Business
The biggest concept a company needs to grasp today is that, one on one customer engagement is now possible on a global scale utilizing social media. There is no other form of media that gives you this kind of opportunity for engaging and communicating with your customer base on such a massive and yet personal scale. It opens up a dialog for your company to listen to what the buyers of your product are saying directly in a setting that is not only “one on one” but “one to your entire customer base”. Companies and customers now both have the opportunity to put forth information about a product by participating in a conversational forum where everyone can have their opinions documented. While it’s surely not always positive feedback, it is invaluable feedback for sure. If the product does have a flaw; maybe the company needs to go back to RND and start again. If the company provides lousy customer support, everyone will hear about it, creating what I’d describe as a ”lifting of the marketing veil”. No longer can companies hide behind big marketing campaigns that only have a one way line of communication, it’s now a two-way dialog that requires utilizing honesty and complete transparency. It is the only way a company can operate and succeed within the social media model. Truth in information. Anything that is bull, will eventually get called out in a medium like social media, so make sure you can believe in your product before you venture forth. It comes down to the fact that if you want to be the ultimate authority on your product, then social media is the line in the sand where you can prove it.
Alright, that’s my rant on Social Media for the day. I have many more panels scheduled to attend that focus on many more aspects of this topic so I’m sure I’ll hit upon it many more times over the course of the next few days.
The next panel I attended was called “Blogging Your Way to a Six Figure Income” by Darren Rowse. Unfortunately, we only got to hear him for about fifteen minutes before a fire alarm went off in the convention center. OMFG! The Austin Fire Department, while I’m sure concerned with everyone’s safety, owes a few thousand conference attendees a bit of a refund. It’s not cheap to attend a conference like this and to have it interrupted and miss out on turning my blog into a six figure revenue stream….well, you see my point. I heard they actually did this fire drill last year as well.