Later this week I have the pleasure of speaking at an event in Minnesota called the Social Media Rockstar Event. The one-day conference brings a dynamite lineup of speakers and experts to Southern Minnesota and will put me in front of a number of people who have not heard me speak before.
There is both a good and a bad to this type of event. It’s may seem bad because I’ve been asked to talk about social media strategy to start the day, then end the day with a big takeaway. I’ve given these two talks over and over for the past couple of years. Sure, I change up a little here and there and revise case studies and the like. But if you saw me talk on these topics last summer, the talks on Thursday won’t be holistically different.
But for me it is also good. Not in the sense that I don’t have to prepare much – I still stress over little details, update pieces of the talks and, where appropriate, write new jokes. But it’s good in the sense that this audience hasn’t been given the advice yet.
Many in the social marketing space sound like broken records these days. Would we all like to move on to other topics? Certainly. But we don’t because we see, day-in and day-out, that the advice we’ve been giving either hasn’t been heard or isn’t being used. When you still have major brands doing dumb things with crisis communications, when you still have small businesses paying scam services for Facebook followers, when you still have companies applying a set-it and forget-it policy to blogs and Twitter accounts and the like, you have to keep teaching and preaching.
Jay Baer is probably one of the most informative and dynamic speakers in the social marketing space today. I saw his first-ever presentation of Youtiliy … before it became a book … in the spring of 2012. I saw one of his first presentations of Youtility just days after the new book debuted at No. 3 on the New York Times best-seller list for self-help and advice books. There were a few new hooks and polishes to it, but for the most part, it was the same talk.
Yet, I still learned from it. And so did the audiences – both of them.
Broken record syndrome is incredibly annoying if you’re a proactive learner, tearing through talk after talk, conference after conference and book after book looking to get smarter and better at what you do. But it’s critical for overall good of the market since not everyone is listening the first time around.
Every time I speak, the majority of the room hasn’t heard my talk, doesn’t know the case studies and probably hasn’t looked at social marketing from the perspective I’m advocating. So they get to hear the tried, tested and true. Which, in a way, is even better than the audiences from a year ago. The talks have been vetted. The information confirmed. Feedback has been had.
All that said, as a speaker and an audience member, I’d like to impart a bit of friendly advice for you all: Always hold your speaker, blogger or author accountable. Ask the questions you expected to have answered. Comment and push them to provide more and better. Write them and ask why they left a certain part of the topic out of the book or didn’t answer something you were looking for.
Your ability to push us to provide more will make your experience better and improve all of us as well.
If you’re within a respectable drive of the Jackpot Junction Casino and Hotel in Morton, Minn., I’ll see you Thursday. If you’re not – Jump in the comments. What are people not telling you these days that you need to know?