Last week I was able to go to SWOMfest in Austin, TX (put on by the Society for Word of Mouth). It was a great time and I learned a lot, but others have written up notes and recaps so well that I’m going to point to and quote from them!
Going into the conference, I assumed that the discussions around WOM would primarily be about how they apply to large businesses like Southwest and Wal-Mart (and Haley Rushing’s presentation did not disappoint) but I was amazed at how well the same ideas worked for small business…The people at SWOMFest really did cover a broad spectrum from small business to large companies, marketing people and entrepreneurs, those new to social media and old hands at it. One of the most refreshing things about SWOMFest was the atmosphere- it was relaxed and casual, and not at all what you would expect for a “business conference”. It felt much more like attending a party; sharing conversations with friends old and new over some food and drink with the occasional event provided by our hosts to help keep things moving along. There was enough variety in the backgrounds of those in attendance that it seemed impossible that you could ever run out of things to talk about.
And when you get right down to it, talking is really what word of mouth is all about.
- Everything you do as a company should be purpose-driven
- Stories are the ideal vehicle for WOM
- People do not yearn for tech specs and product features in the same way as they yearn for stories
- The 5th P is Participation [Product, Price, Place, Promotion, and Participation]
- Why don’t companies embrace WOMM? Fear. Disbelief. Ignorance.
- Align social media with your purpose.
The Thriller dancers kicked off the conference. They were an ad-hoc, amateur troupe that met for the first time early on the morning of our event.