So I’m sitting at the lunch for IAEM and Hal (@Hal_Grieb) tweets me “Psssttt…. @KRobertoryIAEM look behind you. #iaem http://yfrog.com/nv89lxvj”
Let’s step back a few minutes before this. Hal was on his handheld watching the twitter stream during the lunch speaker. The person next to him asked what he was doing. Hal explained it and the person replied that they just didn’t get social media and Twitter. Struck with inspiration, Hal snapped a picture, tweeted it and told the guy to watch this. Within a minute, the image was up on my laptop. They watched me open the picture, study it a minute and then turn around. I waived at him and looked quizzically.
The person Hal was talking with became an immediate believe in the speed of twitter and the power of the broader idea of social engagement.
After the lunch, Hal comes up to me with a great idea: Social Engagement Guerilla Marketing. Folks on twitter shouldn’t sit next to each other at a conference; they need to sit apart from each other and plan for these one-on-one tactics to make converts of others.
The other tactic that was very convincing was when Pascal (@Schuback) used twin projectors. The right projector was the regular powerpoint. The left projector showed a single column of TweetDeck following #SMEM. The attendees could see real-time the information hitting Twitter about the conference. What also helped was three people stacking the deck in the session generating the tweets.
A big lesson that I picked up at the IAEM conference is the myths around Twitter. Non-twitter people think that twitter consists of “I’m having turkey for lunch” and “hitting the bathroom now” low-quality tweets. They’re not being mentored or introduced to the simple ways to cut through the 99% noise on twitter to the 0.00001% content they’re interested in.
The IAEM attendees were all emergency manager types. Here was my closing point after nearly all the discussions:
“No matter how many books you read about how to swim, you’re not swimming until you get wet. Go open a Twitter account and listen. Search for the hashtag of #SMEM. It is easy to remember as Social Media Emergency Management. The SMEM crowd is a very friendly crowd where you’ll find content of interest to you, and interesting people to follow.”
At the next conference you attend, find the other people tweeting early and develop your plan for guerilla marketing. These one-on-one tactics were effective ways to get the people not attending any of the social media sessions.