Do you make it easy to connect?

Any efforts using social media tools should be an integrated part of your overall marketing campaign including offline things like signage, posters and ads. One of the most common mistakes I see is companies announcing their presence on Facebook or Twitter by including these familiar icons but failing to be specific. Here’s an example of what not to do:

This advertiser wants to engage with customers through these social networks yet they expect the customer to do all the work. Why should they go to the trouble of searching for your brand? The reality is that people don’t do that. Worse still, if your brand name is similar to another company’s then you may drive traffic to those accounts. A better way to handle it is like this:

Muskoka Woods Example

Muskoka Woods included this information as part of a full page ad in the April 2011 issue of Canadian Family magazine.

This is exactly the right thing to do. The ad shows the child-friendly summer fun that Muskoka Woods wants to exude about their camp yet makes it easy for busy parents (and kids!) to receive further information in the way that works for them. Type in a brief URL and they connect to the company’s social network on Twitter or Facebook in no time.

So, how are you making it easy to connect?

Playhouse Winefest Community

Every community has great beginnings and the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival is no exception. From a humble start with a single event featuring one winery to today’s 60+ events and hundreds of wineries, the Festival’s community has supported this growth.

What I find fascinating is that such a large Festival can still nurture an intimate feeling of community. It’s very likely that you’ll bump into friends and colleagues at Festival events even amongst the 2,000 ticket holders at Saturday night’s International Festival Tasting Room. Even the strangers you meet are jovial.

In part this sense of community comes from a common interest: wine. But it also comes from shared experiences and ongoing dialogue. That conversation now continues year round through the Festival’s use of Facebook and Twitter (@PlayhouseWine). Added to that is the knowledgeable and articulate voice of Executive Director, Harry Hertscheg on Twitter (@HHonWine).

So, if you have an interest in food and wine why not join the fun at the 2011 Playhouse Winefest? As I write this, tickets are still available for Divas at the Met, Fetzer’s Great Beginnings Appetizer Challenge and the International Tasting Room.  For a current list of available tickets click here. I’ll be there as a guest of the Festival (disclosure) and look forward to seeing friends old and new.

The Power Of Social Networks: Bill Good Show on CKNW

Community expert Angela Crocker spoke to Vancouver Radio CKNW’s Bill Good about creating social networks.

Want to know why it’s important, and why it’s not as scary as you may think? In this interview, they discussed the value of using social media tools, the demographics that can be found on various social sites and common concerns about using social networks.  Have a listen to this 20 minute March 15, 2011 episode of The Bill Good Show.