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Deepening relationships through social business: Recap of our session with Farmers Insurance at SXSWi

1780680_10202697926883121_876302824_nThank you to everyone who attended our session at SXSW earlier this week! We had a full room of around 70 people participating in our “Core Conversation,” dissecting the ins and outs of successful social business.

The session was led by two experts when it comes to using social media to grow business: Jason Suen (Director of Global Customer Success, Hearsay Social, @JasonSuen) and Patrizio Spagnoletto (Head of Digital, Farmers Insurance, @patospago)

Here were some key takeaways:

1. Social media’s greatest impact is relationship building and retention. By allowing company representatives (like advisors and agents in financial services) to keep in touch with many more current and prospective clients at a time, social media enables more efficient relationship building than ever before.

2. Social media needs to be considered as part of an omnichannel strategy. Customers can and will use whatever channel works best to reach a business to buy a product or to reach customer support, so you need to embrace that.

3. Social media allows you to be top of mind with people that you otherwise wouldn’t get exposure to regularly. By having a regular presence on social networks and sharing great, relevant content, you establish yourself as a trusted source for your product or service. In this way, you stay top of mind with people who normally might not have engaged with you regularly.

Because the session was a Core Conversation, Jason and Pato encouraged questions and comments from the diverse audience, which included salespeople and marketers in financial services and other verticals. A few attended simply to learn more about the power of social business.

Photo courtesy of Search Engine Journal.
Photo courtesy of Search Engine Journal.

Wrapping up the session, Jason walked through the four steps to social business success, which was well-received by the audience:

1. Get found: Clients want to communicate with you via social media. Be there to provide the level of service they’re seeking.

2. Grow your network: Tell your clients you’re on social media. Start sharing content relevant to your business and build up your connections.

3. Research and act on social signals: Listen for important life events, like buying a new home or having a baby, that contacts in your network share on social media. This is information you can use at your next meeting to offer that person the right services or products.

4. Build credibility: Don’t fall silent on social media. Regularly update your networks with the best, most relevant articles and trends that your audience will find helpful, and establish yourself as a leader in your business and on social media.

Thank you for helping to make our 2014 session a success! Read more about social business and SXSW:

#SXSWi 2014 Recap: Sales in Social: You Can Sell, But You Can’t Hide

SXSW in 60 seconds: Hearsay Social CEO Clara Shih on the most exciting innovation of 2013
“The Death of Marketing” at SXSW 2013
Brian Solis and Clara Shih discuss social content marketing at LinkedIn’s #SXSW Influencers Reception

"The Death of Marketing" at SXSW 2013

Couldn’t make it to SXSW this year? Not to worry.

Set aside some time to listen to the above recording of a session led by Hearsay Social CEO Clara Shih (@ClaraShih) and Renee Brown (@ReneeDBrown), SVP/Director Social Media, Wells Fargo, on “The Death of Marketing.”
In the first portion, Clara talks about the shift of power from traditional brands and institutions to individuals, and what that means for marketing. Then Renee, who heads up social media for Wells Fargo, talks about the changing rules of marketing based on her extensive experience running social media for the major global bank. Finally, the session concludes with an informal conversation between Clara, Renee, session attendees, and virtual attendees on Twitter.
See our other SXSW 2013 coverage:

Brian Solis and Clara Shih discuss social content marketing at LinkedIn's #SXSW Influencers Reception

One of the most engaging events of SXSW this year was the LinkedIn Influencer Reception, where Brian Solis, Principal at Altimeter Group, and Clara Shih, CEO of Hearsay Social, discussed the value of layering social graphs and relationships on top of content.

Clara Shih, Brian Solis, and Francesca Levy, Editor at LinkedIn

Shih and Solis were two of the earliest thought leaders in using social media for business; in fact, both spoke together on the very first Facebook for business panel at SXSW back in 2009 at the time when social media in the business world was still focused on blogs and wikis. As Shih discussed in this most recent fireside chat, however, “layering identity and relationships on top of content” with social networks helps bring order to the deluge of content now available on the Web.
“We bring order to the chaos and we bring trust to the chaos because we trust our friends, our families, and our colleagues,” said Shih.
The challenge that Clara discussed in this panel is that with social networks, many publishers have started to move away from substantive content and more towards the short-form content shared on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. The most successful influencers, according to Shih, are ones that build trust with their constituencies and use short-form sharing platforms to distribute more substantial pieces of content.
Watch the whole fireside chat below and see photos/tweets from the event: