Just like Seth Godin, Connector.ie’s Conor Lynch believes social media and the future of marketing is all about tribes. He has developed brand campaigns online for Rabobank, Coca-Cola, Nokia and Vodafone.
How is the social media revolution changing the way brands interact with their audience and customers?
The social media revolution is nearly five years old now. My first social media strategy was for RaboDirect in 2005 and then I was managing Coca-Cola on Bebo in 2006.
In this digitally connected world, successful businesses will have digital at the heart of their traditional marketing.
The biggest change is the three-way dialogue between consumers, brands and communities. If your business has positive consumer-to-consumer communication, your future is secure.
How do you see traditional media such as newspapers, TV and radio transforming themselves to deal with the idea of tribes?
Tribes are groups of people connected to one another, connected to an idea.
Traditional media is still hugely valuable in reaching large numbers of people. Traditional marketing will serve to drive people online to continue the conversation.
Tribes now create their own content and own their own media. Mainstream media will have to engage with these tribes with niche programming.
What is Connector.ie and how do you see it playing a role in helping business executives keep on top of the social media challenge?
Connector is a social-media business specialising in making connections online and offline through events, training and consultancy. Connector joins the dots between people, communities and brands in the real and digital worlds.
Connector creates great concepts and content, which make for great connections and conversations.
We are a virtual team of tech-savvy social networkers who are early adopters of the latest websites, mobile phones and apps. We test-drive the latest technologies so you don’t have to!
Web 2.0 has given us a dizzying array of things such as Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare to keep on top of. What are the essential tools that executives need to grapple with?
Executives cannot realistically stay on top of their business and all the new technologies. It is advisable to befriend digital natives and bloggers and have a good digital agency.
Foursquare looks like a ‘game changer’ definitely worth playing with online and on your mobile. Ignoring digital and social media will be the silent killer of many Irish businesses and no one will go to the funerals.
With the reset button being set on the world’s economy, how do you envisage the future of marketing and networking?
The future will see a huge increase in personal branding to help individuals and businesses networking online and offline. Connections are a currency in social media and being ‘seriously connected’ means something completely different nowadays.
You must combine real- and digital-world networking to build relationships and identify new ideas, opportunities and collaborations.
A big trend is online and offline lives merging around the mobile phone and all things digital.
Businesses will have to adapt to the real-time demands of consumers getting used to Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare.
By John Kennedy
Photo: Connector.ie’s Conor Lynch