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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.

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“Anytime you can take something online into reality—that’s the pinnacle. Integrating a social media strategy with a face-to-face event can have significant impact on a brand,” adds Sheri L Koetting, CEO, MSLK, a strategic marketing and design agency. “Vaseline’s Dry Skin Patrol campaign is a great example of this. The company engaged mom bloggers to join the Dry Skin Patrol team, and sent them out to do different experiences putting the product to the test. Vaseline created a Facebook page and engaged audiences virtually, as well as held face-to-face events and product demonstrations where people could meet the mom bloggers and interact with the brand and its products.”

Engaging Prospects from Day-to-Day to Face-to-Face

Like any relationship, building a social media network takes work. Smart brands are making it part of their daily routine to build stronger bonds with customers and leverage face-to-face encounters.

MC2 spoke with the experts on how brands are using social media effectively throughout the year and around a trade show. We asked, “What are good practices for engaging communities day-to-day and at face-to-face events?”

According to Shannon Nelson, a beauty blogger and social media consultant, “Most brands are using Facebook and Twitter on a daily basis. Facebook is where you ask questions to get your fans to respond—it will create more of a dialogue. On Twitter, I see more people talking about things going on behind the scenes—what’s happening in the store or at the office. And, it plays a greater customer service role.”

“Brands are really making social media a part of their DNA. They engage their audience every day on every level from the weather to events. They might offer a few morning tips that are not always specific to their brand. This makes them more accessible and human,” adds Felicia Walker Benson, editor in chief, ThisThatBeauty blog; beauty editor, Jones magazine; and social media beauty editor, Bergdorf Goodman. “Around an event, I typically see an increase in the use of hashtags.”