If I had an all time favorite people in Vancouver list, Dave Olson, the Community Director for Hootsuite, would be on it.
He’s engaging, worldly, kind-hearted and always willing to share what he has learned with others. And so, when I asked Dave to be a Mentor for Bootup Garage, he didn’t even hesitate. However, instead of hosting regular mentor office hours, Dave wanted to put together a series of social marketing talks for startups. Yes, please!
On Wednesday, January 26 – Dave delivered his first Social Marketing (#smkf) presentation at Bootup and as expected, it was chock full of practical nuggets, steps and interesting stories to help attendees start building their own social marketing toolkit.
“Dave O’s talk was great. I have already implemented some of the strategies with my companies. Dave O is a wealth of information – entertaining with great practical application…..I can feel a book coming…” Mike Edwards, SMKF Attendee
Below are some of my notes from Dave O’s talk and you can also check out his notes over here:
- Document everything you Do. From Day 1, Dave stressed that entrepreneurs should document everything and have one place to share all of their “collective intelligence,” such as an internal wiki. Writing everything down will help you stay focused and remind you what it is you set out to achieve.
- Do not plan much farther out than 6 months.
- Define the roll of each person in the company. This will help people focus on and take ownership over certain tasks
Naming Your Company/Product
- Coming up with a name for your company that has an available URL is not an easy task.
- Define what it is your product does first.
- Start playing around with words that are easy to say, spell and remember.
- Ask friends or your community for feedback or ideas. For instance, HootSuite crowdsourced their name.
Describe Your Product
- Try and define your product in 3 words. For example, Hootsuite at first chose “Professional Twitter Client” as it’s 3 word description and now defines itself as a “Social Media Dashboard.”
- Take those 3 words and expand on them to create a 100 word description.
- Reach out to users and get feedback and watch what terms they are searching for. It is important to be using the same terms and descriptions that your users/customers are.
- Create Lists. Start following the people who care about your product as well as watching your competitors.
- By listening and asking specific questions, you will start to build relationships with your customers.
- Respond and participate in the conversation.
- Each community is different. For example, your customers may act differently on Facebook vs. Linked In. Watch this and communicate accordingly.
- Define what you want to get out of each of the social media channels you are using.
- The first page you should create on your website is a media kit page.
- Make it easy for people to write about you and tell your story.
- Your kit should include artwork, logo, colors, typeface, TM with specific guidelines on how to use.
- Be sure to have multiple descriptions that writers can snag to use in articles and posts such as a 100 or 500 word description.
- Colorful screenshots or infographics like this one are a great resource for writers.
- Keep your kit up to date and fresh.
- Now that you have defined who you are and what you do, start telling the world.
- Don’t wait until you launch. Become an active participant in the community you are trying to reach.
- If it is not on the Internet, it didn’t happen! So – Blog, Flickr, Tweet etc. starting right now.
- When someone writes an article or post mentioning you or your area of expertise, COMMENT. It shows you are paying attention and care about your community and the people, who are taking the time to write about you and use your product.
- Create 3-4 touchpoints to an article. For example, Dave will comment on an article, social bookmark it and add it to an RSS Feed = juicy, indexable goodness.
- Hashtag everything. Topics, brands, acronyms – be creative and always remember to listen to your audience and be consistent with your message.
Dave O will be back in the Garage next month to deliver another his 2nd Social Marketing Kung Fu preso. In the meantime, please share your notes, questions and tips in the comments below for other startup founders.