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Using Social Media to Enhance Face-to-Face Encounters

By: Rob Murphy
Posted: November 1, 2011, from the November 2011 issue of GCI Magazine.
  • Using social media as a way to leverage more opportunities during face-to-face engagements such as trade shows is one of the greatest assets of Facebook, Twitter and the like.
  • Make sure you use social media as a way to engage your followers and fans, not just as a way to constantly promote your brand. Listen and interact, don’t just spout marketing jargon.
  • Reaching the right audience can be as simple—or as difficult—as choosing the right social media channel. Make sure you do your research before seeking out consumers through a particular channel.

At its core, face-to-face engagement creates a personal connection and builds trust between a company and its target audience. A warm handshake, engaging conversation, and getting to know customers and prospects on an individual level can play an important role in forming stronger, more meaningful and profitable business relationships. However, the virtual landscape is changing the way we make and maintain connections. Whether through e-mail, instant messaging, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or other social media channels, brands are able to quickly and effectively share information, network, educate audiences and stay up-to-date on industry trends. From brand management to customer communications to sales, today’s marketing must integrate multiple media platforms and environments to achieve maximum impact. Adding social media, videos, and virtual events to face-to-face events can measurably enhance and extend results at very little incremental cost.

MC2 spoke with some of the beauty industry’s leading social experts to examine how social media and virtual elements are enhancing face-to-face brand interactions.

Road to the Show: Rules of Engagement

Engaging an audience at a trade show or through social media plays an invaluable role in cultivating relationships, strengthening existing ones, discovering new opportunities and, ultimately, driving consumers to purchase. The industry experts agree that the real win comes when virtual tactics are integrated into traditional face-to-face programs.

“People want to ‘talk’ to someone, it’s our human nature to connect with one another,” says Jennifer Walsh, CEO, Behind the Brand, the TV personality who showcases and talks about the beauty industry. “If a brand talks to customers through social media, the customers are more apt to seek out that brand or person when they show up for an event.”