Thursday, September 3, 2009

Practicing What We Preach

One of the truths of social media that we've discovered is that you should never talk the talk without actually walking the walk.

Which is why, at Extrovertic, we truly enjoy rolling up our sleeves and experiencing firsthand the solutions we recommend.

This doesn't mean you can't mix business with pleasure. One of the best ways to experience these tools as a consumer would is to work them into the context of your personal, non-working life.

(Yes, I know, a personal, non-working life is hard to come by these days. But bear with me anyway.)

For example, not too long ago, Dorothy hosted a French wine and cheese party on behalf of the French government.

They were a client of House Party, a company that we're very excited about for its unique ability to create brand advocates via such events. (They generally orchestrate one thousand such parties on a single night.)

We strongly believe House Party has enormous potential for healthcare and pharma companies looking to reach millions of extremely qualified consumers (or patients) at a fraction of the cost of traditional advertising channels.

Dorothy's trial party proved to us that it can be a lot of fun for those lucky enough to host or attend one of these highly engaging events. And that her guests all left highly jazzed not only about the products they had
just enjoyed, but the entire experience, itself.

But Dorothy doesn't get to have all the fun. I've been playing mad scientist in a lab of my own.

While in college in the late seventies, I played guitar for a punk band called Eddie Estrogen & the Hormones. We weren't bad, and played often at such seminal New York clubs as Max's Kansas City and CBGB's. (Perhaps a harbinger of my future interest in healthcare marketing, my nom de punk was "Marky Menopause.")

About 12 years ago, I had a tape of one of our Max's performances digitized and burned onto CDs as a gift for my former band mates.

Then recently, it hit me that I could make even better use of those songs and all of the photos I had been saving in an old scrapbook.

I learned how to convert the audio tracks into little films that could be uploaded onto Facebook, along with the photos. I wrote a little historical piece about the band and invited members of my alma mater's alumni association fan page to join ours.

Within a couple of days, more than 30 people signed on as fans. (Okay, that number includes a few sons, daughters, nieces and nephews of the band members, but who's counting?)

The thing is, I had the opportunity to experience firsthand how it feels to spawn a community. One that appears to be thriving at the moment.

I'm enjoying the experience of uploading a new song every day or so and watching the reactions, discussions and even submissions of our "fans".

I'm even enjoying the aspect of moderating the page, and occasionally omitting comments that seem – to my personal standards – inappropriate.

And while all this is fun for me, it's also a tremendous learning experience.

One that can help me talk the talk.

– Mark

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