Last Friday I had the pleasure of meeting Andrew Davis and his colleagues, Brad Schwarzenbach and Scott Loring at Tippingpoint Labs in Newton, Massachusetts. With offices in a former mill building, Tippingpoint Labs is a new media enterprise in what had been an old industrial complex, one that made women’s hosiery.
If you’ve ever seen Drew in action (if not, it’s an opportunity you shouldn’t miss), you know he likes circles. Like a circus ringmaster, he likes to direct his audience’s attention to various actions and reactions within the Venn diagrams he makes, moves and manipulates.
Friday’s meeting was no different, except he improvised his circles on the spot, drawing connections and possibilities, some of which I want to share with you here:
- Too often, “social media” is narrowly conceived as being “Facebook” or “Twitter.” But as Drew correctly pointed out, it’s anywhere on the Web where your people (and your customers) are talking to each other, including review and product category support sites.
- Likewise, our thinking about “content” is too constrained. As an example, Drew used telephone support centers. After all the time the support people apply to solving a problem, their resulting solutions are wasted — there’s little to nothing in place to capture the material. But suppose you could cull the best answers to the most common problems? And then post that material to your website? Then you’d have meaningful content your customers want — and that would cut your support costs considerably.
- There are too many “echo chambers” online in which marketers are merely talking to themselves, summoning cheers for social media. But the real gains will come when we break out of our chambers and find ways of connecting our, and our customers’, voices together.
- Raw numbers, as in blog subscribers and Twitter followers, are relatively meaningless. The real name of the game is sustained relationship building, not quick hits that create temporary traffic spikes that disappear nearly as rapidly as they are formed.
There was more good stuff, but my memory fails me. Definitely check out the Tippingpoint Labs blog for additional, and ongoing, insights.
Oh, yeah, now I remember: Brad does an unbelievably funny, spot-on parody of Andy Rooney. Listen to it on their podcast, Online Parodies.
Learn from other experts at this PR roundtable.