Posted September 28, 2010 6:40 pm by with 3 comments

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We love our Twitter, Facebook and email for marketing, but nothing beats face time with a potential consumer – just ask the Fuller Brush Man. But before you start knocking on doors, download this new, free ebook from GoToMeeting. It’s called ‘The Best of Both Worlds: How to Effectively Leverage Social Media Relationships with Real-Time Collaboration Tools” and though the title is way too long, it’s packed with practical suggestions and inspiration to help you get face-to-face with your customers.

The ebook outlines ways for marketers to ramp up their social media marketing efforts through the use of Webinars and online conferences. If you’re like me, you probably associates those words with corporate training sessions but after reading the report, I saw the possibilities for creative marketing. Let’s start with the basics of any campaign.

To be successful with social media marketing, you have to follow the words in order. That is, “social” has to come before “marketing” if you want people to stay with you. Probably the best piece of advice in the report is “don’t join everything and anything that is available.” It’s one thing for a pet food company to join a big animal rights forum, but I wouldn’t try it if you’re selling fur coats.

The second part of the report looks at a variety of popular social media tools then gives you a case study on how to make the leap to an online conference. For Twitter, it’s the case of an author who agreed to answer students’ questions on Twitter for a week then capped it with a live class via a Webinar where he taught them how to use the advice he’d already imparted.

I was really inspired by a case study involving Delicious. A health food distributor bookmarks a site related to ginseng, this gives her a list of everyone else who has bookmarked this link and from there she builds a network of interested parties. Then, she shares her desktop via a Webinar for a look at some of the best sites she’s linked on Delicious.

It brilliant in its simplicity. The downside is that this type of marketing takes time. You need to build up an audience and even if 100 people say they’ll come to your Webinar, you’ll be lucky if half the number actually shows up. But those that do come are your best potential customers because they’ve already shown not only an interest, but they’ve gone out of their way to get more information.

Information and entertainment, are the keys, says Tom Bunzel, author of the ebook. No one comes to a Webinar hoping for a sales pitch, but if you give them something they can use, they’ll remember you when it’s time to make a purchase.

Need some inspiration? Download ‘The Best of Both Worlds: How to Effectively Leverage Social Media Relationships with Real-Time Collaboration Tools

  • In some cases though, when the person conducting the Webinar has become a sort of mini-celebrity in the industry, more than the number of people who confirmed show up, and that in itself can be inconvenient. And the key to a good sales pitch in a Webinar is subtlety–make sure the whole Webinar is more or less related to what you’re selling and how the target can make use of it.

  • I completely agree that in order for social media marketing to work the words must be used in order. The social aspect must precede the marketing aspect as to not drive away those who may actually be very good customers. In order to not scare the quality customers with a constant advertisement stream, I’ve found that a steady mix of the two can be very beneficial. As an example, on my blog,, I try to merge my story with my pitch. If you could give me an opinion of the blog I would be very grateful and appreciate it very much. I love reading your posts Ms. Boris and look forward to the next one!


  • I think that emails and social networking are great for lead generation or spreading the word about your brand – but when someone gives a positive reply, even a phone call to let them know you’re human will do wonders. Meeting them in face time shows how serious you are in doing business with them and I’m sure they’ll appreciate the extra mile.