Watch Out, Kids! For B2B Marketers, Social Media is a Gateway Drug

Dispatches from BMA14: Series of Short Reports from the Tell Your Story Team at #BMA14 in Chicago

Gary Vaynerchuk at #BMA2014
Gary Vaynerchuk presents at #BMA2014

The Second City spoof performance on marketers was a tough act to follow today but luncheon keynote speaker Gary Vaynerchuk managed to be equally entertaining to most (and perhaps offensive to some).

The VaynerMedia CEO and co-founder, and notable author of Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World, enticed the audience with tales, tips and tricks on breaking through to customers via social tools. Gary contends that most B2B marketers, agencies, and brands underestimate the power of social media and the role each channel plays in reaching current and potential customers.

Here are a few dos and don’ts when playing in the social sandbox:

DO: Escape 1996. Dump the old tactics and thinking and get on board with the tools of today. Society is undergoing “youthification.”According to Gary, we live in a world where 40-45-year old females are the fastest growing segment of selfie publishers.

DO: Know your customer. Use Twitter rather than LinkedIn to research potential customers. Start conversations based on interests you find through listening and data mining. If social has taught us anything, it’s that everyone is reachable.

DO: Understand the psychology of your audience and platforms they are using. Your message should be contextual to the channel you are using to host your content.

DON’T: Create content just to get attention. The laws of supply and demand teach us that when supply is high, demand is low. Supply = content, and if there is too much of it with little value to your audience, they will tune you out.

DON’T: Replace people with software. Want real ROI? Invest in developing your human talent.

DON’T: Forget to listen. The content you create for each audience should be personalized and intentional. The only way to get there is to listen.