Social Media? #WTF

Michael Brenner on Feb 21, 2012 in Social Media

Tonight I am presenting social media marketing to a group of local marketing students at West Chester University.

In preparation for the class, I spoke to the professor in order to determine which points about social media marketing I should touch on.

She explained that the students think “Twitter is for old people” and are looking to understand what value social media marketing has relative to the larger marketing mix.

Everyone understands the power of a great TV ad, but explaining the importance of social media marketing for businesses is no easy task…

So here’s my best shot. And if you have any good tips, please let me know in the comments below…

I created this presentation: Social Media? #WTF in order to try and explain that social media is a powerful tool for businesses to reach, acquire and retain customers. I am starting my presentation to the class with the overview that best explains the power of social media in general, The Social Media Revolution from Eric Qualman (@equalman).

Then I am going to introduce the class to Kevin Cassidy who manages the @SAP twitter and other social media accounts for SAP. Kevin has the important job of sharing content on our social channels and has to be ready to respond and engage with customers, prospects, IT professionals and anyone else who wants to interact with us.

I’ll share a personal story from Kevin about the response he received from the CMO of Express, Lisa Gavales (@ExpressLisaG) to a customer complaint (we think she passed the test – nice job Lisa!) But imagine if you are managing the Twitter accounts for brands you love or love to hate?

I’ll talk about how the world has changed, how most marketing stinks and how we need the next generation of marketers to elevate our businesses to become social businesses.

And finally, I’ll talk about how we need new marketers with digital, analytic and social conversation skills to help drive reach, engagement and conversion of loyal customers and fans of our businesses…

Social Media? #WTF

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Michael Brenner
Michael Brenner
Michael Brenner is a globally-recognized keynote speaker, author of The Content Formula and the CEO of Marketing Insider Group. He has worked in leadership positions in sales and marketing for global brands like SAP and Nielsen, as well as for thriving startups. Today, Michael shares his passion on leadership and marketing strategies that deliver customer value and business impact. He is recognized by the Huffington Post as a Top Business Keynote Speaker and a top CMO influencer by Forbes. Please follow him on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook and Subscribe here for regular updates.
Showing 16 comments
  • Jeremy

    The context of the “Twitter is for old people.” statement is just so damn interesting as a sign of our times.

    No wonder why I love it so much.

    Good luck with it

    • Michael Brenner

      Thanks Jeremy, I found that comment hilarious too and thought immediately that I would use it in a blog post!

  • Eric Wittlake

    I thought this line was very interesting: “Everyone understands the power of a great TV ad, but explaining the importance of social media marketing for businesses is no easy task…”

    Directly take that on. What are you looking to do with a TV ad? Drop social for the moment and look at the ability to distribute “something” that increases awareness or delivers your message.

    Potential case examples:
    Justin Bieber
    Planned Parenthood ($3M raised in an appeal to replace Komen funding, ~4x what they would have lost)

    Great TV ads? TV is the distribution platform and today there are many more options. My questions are: do you know how to create something worth distributing and do you know how to start its distribution?

    Look forward to hearing how the class goes, looks like great stuff!!

    • Michael Brenner

      Thanks Eric! Well I guess I meant to say that students might think advertising is cool marketing but they are struggling to understand the business reasons for social media marketing. I think it’s hard to go from Facebook = pictures between me and my friends to facebook to drive reach and engagement with a larger audience.

      Maybe there’s a few students out there who could weigh in?

  • Janet Callaway

    Michael, aloha. WOW! Twitter is for old people? What about all the celebs on it who are young, young, young? Are they tweeting to old people or to an audience +.- 10 years of their age? How old is old?

    Since it is now too late to give you any input for your presentation, let me just say that I appreciated the points you made both in your post and via the slides. Tonight will no doubt be an education for them as well as you. Aloha. Janet

    • Michael Brenner

      Thanks Janet, I’m not sure if I met my own expectations. They were nice enough to say that I did ok but I’m not sure I made the importance clear or got them to think about strategies to effective social media marketing.


  • Steven Hughes

    The Twitter perception surprises because there are so many young celebrities Tweeting, and I would think they influence that audience. The G+ line on the Whiteboard is classic. Well done Michael.

    • Michael Brenner

      Thanks Steven,

      About one-third to half the class said they were on Twitter but I’m not sure they really tweet. Not one blogged. All on facebook. A few on Pinterest. Most on LinkedIn. No one on Google+


  • Bruce Sallan (@BruceSallan)

    LOVE that whiteboard…but I don’t eat donuts?

    Am keeping this open to watch the videos later…


  • Pattie Diggin

    Just looked this over this morning. I’ll check witht students in my sections re: the twitter comment. Looks like a good presentation, the donut scenarios on the whiteboard definately got my attention! Thanks for all your time at WCU…we are all looking forward to your presentations.

    • Michael Brenner

      Thanks Pattie, I hope to refine it a bit with you and Olivia’s guidance.

  • Pattie Diggin

    Ok maybe this email address has a photo?? This situation will be fixed once I have the opportunity to establish a “social” presence for the Marketing Dept. at WCU..on my short to do list, have to practice what we preach.

  • Daniel Kuperman

    I guess the challenge when it comes to young people (high school students, college students and such) is that they naturally tend to dismiss anything people older than them (read: 5 years older and more) is not cool.

    Maybe the fact that some think Twitter is for older people is a telling aspect because they may see people at their homes (older siblings, parents) using Twitter themselves and therefore it loses the cool factor.

    I think that a good focus would be not necessarily on the tools themselves (Twitter, Facebook, etc.) but on the changing aspect of digital communication and the fact that companies now more than ever have increasing capability of listening and engaging their customers. Who knows, a few years from now a new startup will come up with holographic chats that will replace Twitter. The tools come and go, but marketing needs to adapt.

    Good luck!

    • Michael Brenner

      Great point Daniel, we old people have to learn to relate to the youngens. Great advice on focusing on the changing state of digital and impact on their world.

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