Content Marketing, Social Media Strategy, Blogging and Content Creation, Social Media Marketing

Give Them Something to Talk About

photo 1 300x225 Give Them Something to Talk AboutLast week, I spent a few days in Calgary with my clients at AdFarm, the largest agriculture-focused communications agency in North America. In addition to the single best room I have ever spoken in (see photo), I learned a lot from the good folks at AdFarm.

Every Company Will Be Social

Every company, regardless of type or size, will be social at some point in the future. Some are already social. Some are just starting to embrace it. For others, it may take a while. But eventually, every company is going to have to participate, because that’s what customers will demand of them.

Lack of Chatter Doesn’t Mean Lack of Opportunity

At AdFarm, most of their clients aren’t “natural” candidates for social media adoption. They are large agriculture companies that manufacture pesticides, and cattle dewormers, and tractors. Social media monitoring for these companies and categories typically yields very little online chatter.

But, that doesn’t mean social media isn’t appropriate or possible.

If people aren’t talking about your brand online, why don’t you give people something to talk about?

Be Chatter-Worthy

If your company or category aren’t being talked about, you need to move from a responsive/defensive posture in social media, to a proactive/offensive posture. Create content that gives your customers and prospective customers insight into what type of company you really are, and the great people that make your company roll.

(Remember, companies are made up of great people. Social media lets you prove it).

Create a blog. Create a Linkedin group (there’s one that’s only open to people that sell farm equipment). Create videos (the US Department of Agriculture has a pretty damn good video program). Create a Facebook page (here’s a great example from Liberty Swine Farms). Create a killer email newsletter.

If people aren’t talking about you in social media, maybe it’s because they don’t know you’re out there, and maybe it’s because you haven’t given them anything interesting to react to. You can and should fix that.

And it doesn’t matter whether you’re Burger King or a a tractor company. Customers want to know more about the companies with which they do business. Are you making that viable? If not, why not?

Related
  • http://blogs.dix-eaton.com/beyond-social/ Christina Klenotic

    Jay, if there are no online conversations about a company or its category, I guess that’s one thing. But, I imagine that there’s only opportunity if you can demonstrate that your stakeholders are online, but just not talking about you. If you can’t demonstrate that there’s a gap to bridge, what’s the point? Won’t it just be a one-way conversation?
    .-= Christina Klenotic´s last blog ..Types of Twitter lists helpful for PR pros =-.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com/ Jay Baer

      Christina, thanks so much for the good comment. Given that 80% of Americans with Internet access are using social media in some fashion, it’s pretty safe to assume that the customers for ANY company are out there on the social Web.

      A good approach to proving that point (if there’s not social media chatter about the brand) is an email survey asking customers which social networks and other sites they visit. You can also get that data from a company like Rapleaf, which will take your customer file and tell you where your customers hang out on the social Web.

  • http://blogs.dix-eaton.com/beyond-social/ Christina Klenotic

    Jay, if there are no online conversations about a company or its category, I guess that’s one thing. But, I imagine that there’s only opportunity if you can demonstrate that your stakeholders are online, but just not talking about you. If you can’t demonstrate that there’s a gap to bridge, what’s the point? Won’t it just be a one-way conversation?
    .-= Christina Klenotic´s last blog ..Types of Twitter lists helpful for PR pros =-.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com Jay Baer

      Christina, thanks so much for the good comment. Given that 80% of Americans with Internet access are using social media in some fashion, it’s pretty safe to assume that the customers for ANY company are out there on the social Web.

      A good approach to proving that point (if there’s not social media chatter about the brand) is an email survey asking customers which social networks and other sites they visit. You can also get that data from a company like Rapleaf, which will take your customer file and tell you where your customers hang out on the social Web.

  • http://nickelsnotes.wordpress.com/ Nick

    Jay,
    Good post. I know this wasn’t the point of your video or post, but I would disagree that there aren’t a lot of folks in agriculture in social media. I work for Monsanto in St. Louis, and several of us in Public Affairs are connected with farmers, agribusinesses, universities and government officials through Twitter and Facebook. We also have a You Tube page and a blog. I think we’ve been successful in becoming part of the ag community in SM.

    Farmers are very active in social media right now as a way to fill the void of mainstream media coverage and to tell their stories to consumers. Before Twitter Lists were unveiled, a group of farmers collected aggies on Twitter and created the FollowFarmer database, so that everyone in ag can connect. Check it out here: http://www.dataforag.com/followfarmer.a5w

    I would encourage AdFarm to get involved. Plenty of aggies are out here!

    Nick

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com/ Jay Baer

      Hi Nick. Thanks for the comment. You are 100% correct. In fact, I use some of Monsanto’s examples when I’m consulting on social media in agriculture. My point is not that agriculture isn’t and shouldn’t be active in social media. Just that in comparison to consumer brands, ag brands aren’t tweeted about as much, because they are so specialized.

      I love the follow farmer DB, as well as #agchat

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com/ Jay Baer

      And just one other thing Nick, AdFarm is fully involved in social media. Lots of exciting stuff planned for their ag clients.

  • http://nickelsnotes.wordpress.com Nick

    Jay,
    Good post. I know this wasn’t the point of your video or post, but I would disagree that there aren’t a lot of folks in agriculture in social media. I work for Monsanto in St. Louis, and several of us in Public Affairs are connected with farmers, agribusinesses, universities and government officials through Twitter and Facebook. We also have a You Tube page and a blog. I think we’ve been successful in becoming part of the ag community in SM.

    Farmers are very active in social media right now as a way to fill the void of mainstream media coverage and to tell their stories to consumers. Before Twitter Lists were unveiled, a group of farmers collected aggies on Twitter and created the FollowFarmer database, so that everyone in ag can connect. Check it out here: http://www.dataforag.com/followfarmer.a5w

    I would encourage AdFarm to get involved. Plenty of aggies are out here!

    Nick

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com Jay Baer

      Hi Nick. Thanks for the comment. You are 100% correct. In fact, I use some of Monsanto’s examples when I’m consulting on social media in agriculture. My point is not that agriculture isn’t and shouldn’t be active in social media. Just that in comparison to consumer brands, ag brands aren’t tweeted about as much, because they are so specialized.

      I love the follow farmer DB, as well as #agchat

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com Jay Baer

      And just one other thing Nick, AdFarm is fully involved in social media. Lots of exciting stuff planned for their ag clients.

  • Chris Book

    Agree complete. Too often businesses dismiss situations thinking there isn’t interest of volume, when really it should be viewed as an opportunity above all else.

  • http://YourWebsite Chris Book

    Agree complete. Too often businesses dismiss situations thinking there isn’t interest of volume, when really it should be viewed as an opportunity above all else.

  • http://www.getglobalassist.com/ Claudia Guzman

    Great article and tips.
    .-= Claudia Guzman´s last blog ..Chiropractors and Social Media Marketing =-.

  • http://www.getglobalassist.com Claudia Guzman

    Great article and tips.
    .-= Claudia Guzman´s last blog ..Chiropractors and Social Media Marketing =-.

  • http://www.unitedlinen.com/ Scott Townsend

    Jeff: I couldn’t agree more. We found the same problem with our linen rental business. Who wants to talk about that?

    So we took some time to find out what our corporate story is and started creating content, using some techniques from Disney, to help create visual cues for our customers to grab hold of.

  • http://www.unitedlinen.com Scott Townsend

    Jeff: I couldn’t agree more. We found the same problem with our linen rental business. Who wants to talk about that?

    So we took some time to find out what our corporate story is and started creating content, using some techniques from Disney, to help create visual cues for our customers to grab hold of.

  • http://www.notcable.com/att-uverse/at&tuverse_base_tv_packages.php Aron, ATT Uverse Coupons

    You gave me a real good advice today. I just tend to RT or put a comment on something really interesting to read but haven’t really had the time to create something that others will talk about … I’ll take your advice on this…I can and I should fix this problem :D

  • http://www.notcable.com/att-uverse/at&tuverse_base_tv_packages.php Aron, ATT Uverse Coupons

    You gave me a real good advice today. I just tend to RT or put a comment on something really interesting to read but haven’t really had the time to create something that others will talk about … I’ll take your advice on this…I can and I should fix this problem :D

  • http://www.nextlevelblogger.com/ Christian

    Your assertion that “every company will be social” is dead on. from my conversations, many business owners still feel it’s optional or superfluous to engage their audience on a personal level. Of course it’s optional, so is success in general. But to ignore where your customers are is the same as ignoring them altogether.
    .-= Christian´s last blog ..Gary Vaynerchuk Rocks Chicago =-.

  • http://www.nextlevelblogger.com Christian

    Your assertion that “every company will be social” is dead on. from my conversations, many business owners still feel it’s optional or superfluous to engage their audience on a personal level. Of course it’s optional, so is success in general. But to ignore where your customers are is the same as ignoring them altogether.
    .-= Christian´s last blog ..Gary Vaynerchuk Rocks Chicago =-.

  • http://twitter.com/kate_saunders/status/5517283027 Kate_Saunders

    RT @DeepDishCreates: Good social media advice 4 #restaurants: RT @jaybaer: Give Yr Customers Something 2 Talk About http://bit.ly/3DESU4

  • http://twitter.com/successaligned/status/5517283119 Kate Saunders

    RT @DeepDishCreates: Good social media advice 4 #restaurants: RT @jaybaer: Give Yr Customers Something 2 Talk About http://bit.ly/3DESU4

  • http://twitter.com/christiantjr/status/5525953966 Christian

    Give Them Something to Talk About http://bit.ly/1JCln2

  • http://twitter.com/weintraub/status/5563390578 Weintraub Adv

    RT @jaybaer Give Them Something to Talk About http://bit.ly/3DESU4

  • http://twitter.com/onion_papa/status/5588155036 onion_papa

    http://tinyurl.com/ylnlbv8
    Give Them Something to Talk About

  • http://twitter.com/firmature/status/5594001844 firmature

    RT @tweetmeme Give Them Something to Talk About http://bit.ly/3DESU4

  • http://twitter.com/braundoug/status/5598427069 Doug Braun

    Your Company: Give Them Something to Talk About: Be Chatter-Worthy: http://bit.ly/c3p5C

  • http://twitter.com/makethemfans/status/5682713233 Lamar Johnson

    RT @tweetmeme Give Them Something to Talk About http://bit.ly/3DESU4

  • http://twitter.com/markvanbaale/status/5758708402 Mark Van Baale

    I like how @jaybaer says for a company to give its customers something to talk about via social media: http://tinyurl.com/ylnlbv8

  • http://twitter.com/joshspeters/status/6262553126 Josh Shua Peters

    Give Them Something to Talk About http://go.shuaism.com/q25g

  • letstalkandchat

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