Sunday, August 21, 2011

Internship with Reto Stuber and a visit of a Conference

During the last week, I had the chance to stay in Brooklyn where Reto Stuber and his girlfriend Melissa live. I was doing another internship with Reto, and as last time when I worked with him, I learned a lot about Internet Marketing and Social Media for businesses. The highlight of this week of work was most definitely the visit of a Conference in New York. Reto allowed me to visit the keynote speech, which was held by an Idol of mine: Gary Vaynerchuk.

Gary Vaynerchuk is a serial entrepreneur who has revolutionized the way people look at interacting with their Social Media communities. While developing his family’s local liquor store into a national industry leader, he observed the extraordinary potential of what he has called "The Thank You Economy" (also the name of a best selling book written by him). As a consultant, he introduced those same principles into the business world at large, with successful applications in sports, consumer goods, and retail. named Gary on its list of the Top 49 Most Influential Men of 2009.

I have seen many of his videos about wine tasting, which I think are not only highly educative, but also very entertaining. Before I will summarize his most important ideas of the keynote, I would like you to see at least one of his shows yourself. Click here to watch one or two of his 1000 episodes:

Keynote by Gary Vaynerchuk

Gary entertained the attendees with an enthusiastic speech and a long Q&A session in an easy-going style and using many curse words. The standing ovations at the end of the keynote and the long line at the book signing booth confirmed the success he has with his style and his ideas.

The main points Gary Vaynerchuk made during his keynote was that every person is a brand, and people should use their communication skills on Social Media and in real life to build brand equity with a long term objective. Meaning that you have to interact with people that need your help or are interested in the same thing you are on the internet. You need to talk to those people, or help them if necessary, to show them that you care. In doing so, people have a positive connection to you as a professional and a private person. As you helped them for free or just interacted with them on a certain topic, they will consider you as a friend and not just as another guy trying to sell stuff. Now guess who they will trust with their next problem and where they are finally going to buy what they need? They come to your business, because they started to know and trust you.

In his book, The Thank You Economy, Gary says that people used to buy their meat at the butcher's shop they always went. They went there, either because their mother used to go there or because they got to know the butcher and have a personal connection to him. Times have changed though. Many butcher stores went out of business because they could not compete with prizes mayor corporations had to offer. But now times have changed once more and people still want to interact and communicate. Only now, they do it over Social Media. This is the chance for every business, to give customers a little more value by personally interacting with them. The butcher has the chance of interacting with customers, only today and tomorrow it will be over Social Media channels.

A signed copy of "The Thank You Economy"

A great percentage of marketers need to present a good return on investment. Gary considers Social Media to be a long term marketing tool. He used many analogies when trying to convince the attendees that return on investment is not the most important thing:
- Don't try to convert like a 19 year old trying to get a girl!
- It's like a marathon versus a sprint!
- A campaign is a one-night stand!
- Slow roll it as much as you can! Don't go for the kill, the deer will be dead.
The essence of this message is that brand equity is much more important than the immediate return on investment.

Gary is a very down-to-earth person with interest in real life issues. So he decided that rather than talking about his own business or his own clients, it would be much more interesting to hear what the audience had to say. That is why he decided to make a extensive question and answer session. In the next paragraph you can read about the most interesting questions.

On the question how he felt about outsourcing Social Media, Gary replied that he would not recommend it. The reason is that people are thrilled to talk about an issue with the person responsible. The problem is that if people find out that they have not been talking to that person but a 17 year old intern, it could destroy your whole business.

Another guy asked: What if someone runs a website and a personal blog, but still thinks that it is not necessary to appear on Social Media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. They say that on these sites, people are just telling their friends and the world where they are going to eat or what they are watching on TV?
Gary replied: As Social Media is a tool to interact with people, it should be used that way too. Meaning that when interacting, we are not constantly saying what we are doing, but we are also listening. There are many ways of "listening" to what people are saying on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Co. And if someone is saying something related to your field of expertise, you have to start a conversation with him and show him that you care and that you are the expert on this topic.
Another reason is that Google will most certainly manage to change its algorithm to a context based search. Meaning that if you search for something on google in the future, the results will be based on your Social Media interactions more than on search engine optimized websites.

Chatting with Gary Vaynerchuk

I am looking forward to coming back to Switzerland and applying everything I have learned. There are still many books to be read and hours to be invested but I like the work of an internet marketer a lot and want to continue improving my skills.

Thanks for reading and thanks once more for commenting!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Matt,
    you did a great job summarizing the talk!
    Take care, cheers