I am glowing to have the opportunity to introduce to you Mack Collier, one of my personal inspirations in Social Media marketing. When it comes to online marketing Mack has an understanding on how to use social media as a perfect tool to bring companies closer to their customers. His motto is “Don’t focus on the tools, focus on the connections that the tools help facilitate.” Mack is especially inspirational as a speaker and leader in social media while maintaining a down to earth accessible persona that is genuine and welcoming.
Connect with Mack!
A Little About Mack
I guess the simplest bucket to put me in would be ‘social media consultant’, but really I help companies learn how to better use social media to connect with their customers, and grow their businesses. What drives me about this type of work is that I *love* showing companies how to connect with their customers, and to then see what happens next. Many companies are scared to death of interacting with their customers, simply because they never have, and aren’t sure how to go about it. As a result, there’s a lot of misunderstanding and distrust between both the company and its customers. But as companies begin to reach out to their customers (listen yes, but actually RESPOND and interact as well), then the distrust from both sides begins to evaporate, and that’s when real communication, and understanding, can start to take place. Armed with that greater understanding of their customers, then companies can improve all areas of product development, marketing, communication, etc. Which only means the customer is more excited about the company, and thus a cycle is created. Before you know it, the customers have become the evangelists.
Overcoming Social Media Hurdles
I think there are two main hurdles for companies:
1 – Understanding how social media tools function
For example, if your customers are using social media as a way to connect and discuss topics, then you need to use those tools in the same way to reach the same people. Now the mistake many companies make is that they simply assume that those customers will also be interested in discussing THEIR PRODUCTS. It’s would be like seeing two people chatting at a party, and thinking you can come up and interrupt them to discuss your company.
Now here’s the kicker, as a company, you CAN discuss your products with customers via social media. It’s all in the CONTEXT of how that discussion happens.
For example, if I sell digital cameras, I might think that all I need to do is start a blog about how amazing my digital cameras are, and customers will flock to the blog, then go straight to the website and order them. But it doesn’t work that way, because most people don’t CARE about my product, they care about what they can DO with my product.
Kodak gets this. That’s why when you go to their A Thousand Words blog, you see the title is ‘A Kodak blog ABOUT PHOTOGRAPHY’. Kodak understands that if they can use the blog to teach me how to take better pictures, that in the CONTEXT of that discussion, they can also promote their cameras to me.
So if on my blog I am promoting my company’s cameras, and Kodak is on their blog teaching you how to be a better photographer, all other things being equal, Kodak will likely get your business. When companies get to the point where they begin to ‘get’ this, then you will start to see companies posting some incredible results from their social media efforts.
And perhaps the opposite end of the spectrum are the companies that have bought into the ‘hype’ of social media, and want to jump on Twitter and Facebook, and have absolutely no idea if their customers are using these tools as well. One of my favorite sayings is ‘Getting on Twitter and Facebook is NOT a social media strategy’. And if your customers aren’t using social media, then you should probably be spending your time and energy elsewhere.
Businesses Mack Works With
All kinds, really. B2C, B2B, non-profits. Small businesses, large ones. That includes everything from giving them a weekly phone call to help with their efforts to launching and executing a full-blown social media strategy for them. If I had to pick an ideal client, it would likely be a B2C company that has a large customer base online, that wants to use social media to reach out to and embrace their evangelists. I love connecting with people that are passionate about companies, and think ALL companies should be connecting with their fans, whether they have 1 or a million.
Who is Mack Collier offline?
It’s funny because I am pretty extroverted online, but very introverted by nature. I’ve talked to other introverts and many of them say the same thing. Offline I am pretty boring actually, I enjoy a lot of quiet time, reading, tv, pretty much a homebody. Then again this is another reason why I enjoy attending and speaking at events, gives me a chance to connect with others!
Connect with Mack!