How Do I Catch Your Eye With This?
November 2, 2009 9:42 AM   Subscribe

I just started at a web development/SEO firm here. We're looking to present a seminar on social media and marketing, but we're really unsure exactly what's going to grab people about it. If you got a postcard about a seminar like this at your business, what would make you read it rather than throw it away?
posted by aliceinreality to Work & Money (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
If the first line, in bold, was: "Social media is not for everyone!"
posted by amtho at 9:57 AM on November 2, 2009

I don't have a concrete answer, but when I hear "SEO," I think "This has gotta be shady." So if you can clearly express that there are tangible results (stated without exclamation points), I'd be more inclined to consider it. No clip art, no strange stock photography with someone looking delightedly at their computer. Photography is good, but in a lot of ads, it's cliched and tired.
posted by runningwithscissors at 10:02 AM on November 2, 2009

Best answer: The thing about the more you give away, the more you give back is actually true in this situation. Do a postcard promoting something like "Take control of your business online - learn SEO and social media strategies you can implement yourself." In other words, the best way to get people through the door is to make it clear you're giving them something, not trying to sell them something.
posted by DarlingBri at 10:06 AM on November 2, 2009

I'd emphasize (if this is true) that participants will come away with x number of simple things they can start doing that very day. Social media can be intimidating to people who haven't engaged with it much if at all.
posted by lakeroon at 10:09 AM on November 2, 2009

Yeah, leave the SEO part out all together. for me SEO means paying someone to do something I can easily do myself, or, even worse, paying someone to do nothing.

I would also consider leaving off the term "social media", be specific instead, say Facebook, say Twitter, or whatever it is you're promoting. And, give an example of a company that has used that media successfully (and supply a link)....

But, in all honesty, it would be one hell of a postcard that could carry enough information to get me to spend my time at the promoted seminar.
posted by HuronBob at 10:10 AM on November 2, 2009

Free beer and food. And a good location. If you are way out in the boonies (not unusual for new companies) nobody is going to care what you're teaching.
posted by shownomercy at 10:10 AM on November 2, 2009

Best answer: I would be interested in attending a seminar that talked about building relationships (& brand) with people/customers ahead of any traditional marketing techniques. So maybe something mentioning "anti-marketing" or something else to make it clear that you guys understand that traditional marketing doesn't actually work on various social media.
posted by Kimberly at 10:11 AM on November 2, 2009

Response by poster: Yeah, I follow. I don't really like the words we're using either, but I'm not the boss. Oklahoma is not exactly a hot bed of cutting edge technology though, so I don't know that even half the companies we're advertising to are going to get it anyway.

We probably won't be mentioning SEO in the postcards, and it's going to be a breakfast seminar, so beer seems a little inappropriate. =p We are doing free bagels, fruit, donuts, coffee, juice, and milk though.

And I'm willing to bet no MeFite could gain much from this seminar because well, MeFi is an internet community, which presupposes knowledge of wtf the internet is. It's going to be more for people around here that still call the internet "newfangled" and have really shitty Angelfire-type sites. I'm personally not expecting a HUGE result, given that they are not big fans of the medium itself, but alas.
posted by aliceinreality at 10:24 AM on November 2, 2009

How about "If I buy breakfast, and show you how to gain one new customer, is it worth 1 hour of your time?"

they have internet in Oklahoma???
posted by HuronBob at 10:30 AM on November 2, 2009

Could you partner with a local chamber of commerce or professional organization to gain credibility and obtain access to a built-in audience? Most are usually hungry for new programming/ education opportunities for their members. You might have to cut back on the sales pitch and make it more of a "lunch [breakfast] and learn" format.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 11:01 AM on November 2, 2009

Best answer: (I work in the social media space)

I'm assuming you already know you can ignore the hurf-durfers here who respond with "I'm too jaded to go to your snake-oil sales pitch".

HuronBob's suggestions are good ones. Also, emphasize any aspects of your event that aren't "lectures"- things like Q&A, Roundtable Discussions, etc.

I disagree that "SEO" is such a poisonous phrase for business owners- from what I've seen, it often falls into the "thing I don't understand, but apparently I need it" category. Good terms to also include: ROI, Targeted, "Reach Your Audience".
posted by mkultra at 11:27 AM on November 2, 2009

I have given a similar class as a one or two hour format for chambers of commerce, enterprise boards, etc and the very first time I did it, I learned something that might be valuable to you.

I went in with a three-part lesson plan, starting with a quick review of the simplest forms of SEO: Domain name, page titles, H1 etc tags, in-bound links, keyword density, value of blogs. We spent almost the whole class on that, never mind parts two and three, because all of these people had very little concept of the most fundamental aspects of SEO-readiness because they had NO IDEA how Google delivered search results. None.

I also, after the first class, opted to cover social media monitoring, and gave them some examples of good online retailers to observe. Jumping in, I think for a lot of people, really requires a one-on-one strategy.

In order to promote your business, I would hand out a single sheet at the end with your main points, all nicely branded and stuff with your contact details, etc. Some of these people will come back, or send you referals, because now they know a person who knows this stuff :)
posted by DarlingBri at 3:26 PM on November 2, 2009

Based on the brief description you gave about your target audience in the follow-up comment (which is arguably the most important piece of information regarding this entire question), I'd say keep it simple and speak to benefits.

Ie. whats in it for them? Someone with extremely limited knowledge of these terms, who may have heard them mentioned on Fox News or something probably doesn't have a clear understanding of what they can mean for their business. So things like the following might be more relevant:

"Improve customer loyalty with social networking."

"Learn how to get more repeat business by building an army of loyal customers online for free."

"Get more traffic to your website with our blueprint for ranking higher in search engines."

Things like that. You can use the relevant terms, but make sure you frame them in the context of "here's the term and this is what it can do for you." Make it clear that you will give them actionable information and that this isn't some sales pitch--nothing pisses people off more than feeling tricked into a sales pitch. You can give a super short blurb about what your company does at the VERY END but your primary purpose with this needs to be education.

Now, I will add that if you expect to reach any "more jaded" folks who know about this stuff and how to apply it to their current business already, then frankly you need to have two seminars for the different experience levels. If I saw a postcard about this stuff, I'd need to be super-convinced that it wouldn't just be a rehash of the same "Top 5 tips" crap I see on every company blog about the same basic ways to do things. An experienced person is going to want case studies with real numbers/screenshots as they likely already know how to do most of this stuff.
posted by Elminster24 at 4:06 PM on November 2, 2009

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