The Latest and Greatest in Interactive Marketing

One of the best things about working at a university is being surrounded by a significant number of very smart people. There are people at St. Thomas who can provide great insight on almost any topic – management strategies, investment decisions, best ways to negotiate, insights into effective communication, buyer decision making on eBay, what is happening in the retail space around the holidays and many more I have yet to take advantage of.

I felt the same way last Wednesday when I attended the Minnesota Interactive Marketing (MIMA) Summit. This conference brought together many of the most talented people working in the interactive marketing space. Within the Opus College of Business, we are active in the interactive marketing space with Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, blogging and email marketing to name a few. (If you have a chance, take a look at what we are doing and let us know what you think!) Even after working with these platforms and being actively involved myself, the changes within the digital marketing space happen so quickly that it is tough to keep up. That is why going to the MIMA conference was a great experience.

Here is the cliff notes version of several lessons I learned:

It’s called “social” media for a reason. Have a conversation. Don’t just tell people what you are doing and thinking – remember to find out what they are doing and thinking. Don’t be like this guy:

For good examples, look at what Red Bull @redbull and Wheat Thins @CrunchIsCalling are doing.

People who love social media are usually active on social media. Even if you missed the summit, you can still participate in a conversation with the presenters through social media. Check out the list of speakers - most have links to their social media pages. Many are having conversations about the same topics that they presented through social media platforms.

“If you only measure clicks, page views, visits, video views, touches, emails and number of reports you are SUPER lame” – Avinash Kaushik, Google’s Digital Marketing Evangelist, author and MIMA morning keynote.  Check out this blog post on Avinash's blog explaining social media metrics that are not “super lame” – conversation rate, amplification rate, applause rate and economic value.

LinkedIn IPO = new and improved features. Now that LinkedIn is publically traded, they have made some great changes. If you have not done so already, look at the new LinkedIn company pages. Search for your company to see what is out there. LinkedIn will allow you to add products and services to the company page with the ability to request recommendations from followers.

Make your website inviting. You wouldn’t invite someone to your office but be unwilling to share directions on how to get there. Be inviting and a good host on your website. Give visitors easy to navigate directions, don’t make them go through fifteen steps to get a $1 coupon, only collect relevant information and tell them what they want to know.

Fit in AND stand out with LinkedIn. Fit in with the right keywords and profile components to show up in searches. Stand out by including information that makes you unique. Get personal with information that you would provide if having a real life conversation with someone. If you are training for a marathon, a new parent, a graduate student, a world traveler, a rockstar or a collector of rare stamps, share it. You never know what kind of shared interest will lead you to be connected to someone at your dream company.

Skyways are great! Ok, so not related to interactive marketing but getting caught in the downpour on my way back to the summit made me realize how important the downtown Minneapolis skyway system really is!

Were you at the MIMA Summit? Do you have tips for social media use that might help other Opus Magnum readers? I’d love to hear your ideas.