When Dave Sobel, CEO of Evolve Technologies, came up with a five-minute way to load Windows XP onto an Apple iPad, he didn't issue a press release or create a piece of collateral for the company's press kit. Instead, he posted a video on his Facebook page showing just how he did it.
Sobel related the story during "Social Media, Separating Fact From Fiction," an on-demand session at COMDEXvirtual, noting that the response he received was enormously positive. COMDEXvirtual is hosted by CRN parent company Everything Channel. The show takes place November 16 - 17, and sessions are available on-demand until May 17, 2011.
It wasn't just the amount of attention the video received (50,000 hits and 2,000 additional visitors), but rather, the quality of the responses it brought in for the Fairfax, Va.-based solution provider. "Our Web site is designed to track visitors, so we know exactly who's visiting us, and those people became instant leads. We knew specifically what they were interested in: Our ability to deliver this application on the iPad."
Sobel joined Marvin DeJean, director of marketing at United Data Technologies (UDT), Miami, Fla.; Jessica Devita, owner of UberGeekGirl, a technology consultant in Santa Monica, Calif.; and Josh Gibbs, assistant director of marketing and social media at Everything Channel, Framingham, Mass., in a discussion of how technology businesses use social media to showcase their expertise -- and to track down business leads.
For Devita, using social media has helped her build a network of like-minded individuals. Recently, she worked on a pro bono project for a Los Angeles school ad used Twitter to raise awareness of her business and the work it was doing.
"It's because of the work I've done in social media, that when folks need help in Los Angeles for a client, whether it's a celebrity or a business, I know that they'll think of me."
The main thrust for businesses using social media tools, such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, is to create "Return on Engagement." UDT uses social media technology to create a feed for the communities it hosts on its Web site -- which in turn creates traffic for the company's Web site and awareness of UDT's offerings.
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