A couple of years ago, if you had asked me if I would ever consider using Twitter as a business tool, I would have told you yes, right after I got a Harley Davidson tattoo—or when pigs fly—whichever came first. My opinion of Facebook pages for business wasn’t much better. I believed they were only for retail industries and big brands (B2C) and had zero relevance for the technology (B2B) industries. In fact, my perception about almost all social media was that it was designed and largely used by self-absorbed teenagers and Hollywood types. Honestly, my ignorance was profound! I had a Linked in account, but I never used it.
Fast forward to today; I find myself nothing shy of a social media evangelist. So much so, that I launched a social media rich promotional campaign called Passport to IMS for this year’s show in Montreal. I even talked my dear friend, Jaime Leger of SLN communications marketing, into turning all my half-formed ideas into a polished works of art and advertising. Then, together, we convinced Microwave Journal to act as our media sponsor, which they graciously, have. Afterwards, we talked 10 companies into participating as sponsors. It’s been a crazy ride! Furthermore, I hope you will join with us in the adventure, if you are attending the show. It promises to be fun and full of great prizes.
So what changed in two years time? For one, I got smarter. First off, I actually learned how to use LinkedIn and, over time, connected with nearly 800 industry professionals in the RF and Microwave industries from all over the country. I gained some new customers and made some friends along the way. I had never written a blog before but Pat Hindle, of Microwave Journal, found some of my ramblings on LinkedIn interesting enough, that he suggested I contribute to their guest blog series. I have been at it for over a year now. It has been an absolute win-win. In short order, Transline’s name was drawn out of total obscurity. In return, I sincerely promote MWJ every opportunity I get. Transline recently began advertising with MWJ as well. Best of all, I have made some wonderful friends at MWJ.
Facebook soon followed in my repertoire, and by the time I left the IMS show in Baltimore, I was a huge fan of Twitter. Me…a Twitter fan, go figure! What converted me were people like Jaime Leger and Pat Hindle who used twitter at the show to interact with others in real-time to share news of a product, or technical session, or a good restaurant, or tell about which friends they just saw. (I met both Jaime and Pat on LinkedIn, by the way.) Jaime, who does all the advertising for Rogers Corporation, was doing real-time Twitter promotions in which, if you were one of the first ten to come to the Rogers booth and sign up for the Tech hub newsletter, you got an AMEX gift certificate for 25 bucks. It was brilliant! Jaime would tweet and we would come running like little lemmings. It added an element of play and fun to the show.
Then there were the folks at the Santron booth giving out those ridiculous foam crab hats! They were giving away one iPad, per day, for their favorite daily photo of people who took crazy photos in their crab hat and uploaded it to the Santron Facebook page. You have never seen so many, otherwise sensible, people go to such absurd lengths to get a goofy photo! Again, it was brilliant and added so much fun to the show. Both Rogers and Santron expanded their reach and connected with people they didn’t know before the show—and in a powerful and playful way that was not salesy or off-putting—it was just engaging! And isn’t that what we all want from a trade show, engagement with new prospects or resources?
Social media is about people. It is about being engaging without driving a self-serving agenda. It is powerful and can be loads of fun. It is more about attraction than promotion, when done well. But most of all—it is here to stay! Don’t believe it? Then Check out this short You Tube piece from Socialnomics: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dA5Fn_Q10Tk&feature=related
The numbers are staggering when it comes to social media use, although as a high-tech niche industry, we seem to lag behind in this area. I find it so ironic that the brilliant minds that have created the hardware platforms upon which social media runs, should lag in the use of social media!
I hope the MTTS-IMS show, on its 60thanniversary, will be remembered as the year when social media use exploded. One way I hope that you will engage is through participating in the Passport to IMS, and become converts like me! I really get it now….it’s about the people.
Looking forward to seeing you in Montreal! Judy
(Transline Technology will be at booth #2452)
Want to Participate in Passport to IMS? Click here for details:
Connect with me/Transline via social media?