Last night’s presentation: “Listen Up and Stand Out”

Last night I had the opportunity to present “Listen Up and Stand Out” to a group of local small business leaders. It was a diverse group, with one common challenge: they want to grow, but they have a finite amount of time and resources to devote to marketing. One attendee, for example, is running a small business while raising four children, the oldest of whom is eight. His time, then, is very limited–and he needs solutions that work.

That’s why I brought a special sense of urgency to last night’s presentation. For those of us who understand social media, it can be hard to sympathize with those who are resistant to try something new. But if we are going to help others understand its potential, we have to make a strong case for the ways in which it delivers results, beyond all the hype.

With that in mind, I focused my comments on two areas:

1. The ways in which social media is changing our communication environment as a whole, and changing our audience’s expectations. Today, in part because of what’s available to them via social media, they want conversations, and they want to have most of those conversations with their peers. Sometimes, all we can do is listen.

2. The ways in which social media gives us an unprecedented opportunity to amplify positive word of mouth so that we can achieve top of mind awareness.

Last night’s discussion led to some great conversations, and I’m hoping for more of the same in the future. I want to thank Lee McAllister of Thrivent Financial for inviting me to speak, and for the attendees for being attentive, curious and cordial. And if you have any questions or would like to discuss a presentation for your group, please contact me or leave a note in the comments.

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