The Making Your Social Media Likeable class hosted by Likeable Media brand CEO, Dave Kerpen, was the most outwardly corporate of the Eventbrite classes I’ve taken. Thankfully Dave’s genuine delivery, engaging anecdotes, and bright orange shoes made you forget how awful and sterile conference rooms can be.
I didn’t know how big of a deal Dave Kerpen was in the social media marketing world until I saw his orange shirted disciples. I showed up early to the conference room, inside the University Center building downtown. Several rows of folding chairs were set up and I grabbed an aisle seat, a few rows back. I pulled out my notebook and wrote the date. Then I did some strategic people watching.
I recognized Dave from the event photo but more importantly his bright orange shoes captured my attention. They were only a little less bright than his orange button up. A bold fashion choice I thought little of until a second man walked in and started talking to Dave. He too was wearing an orange shirt. After a third man came in wearing orange, a conspiracy was born.
I nervously looked around the room. I pulled out my Likeable Media event ticket and scanned the page. There was nothing written about wearing orange. When no one else showed up in orange I began to relax. Yet I was still intrigued. Who was this man and how was he getting people to dress like traffic cones?
Dave’s presentation content continued to lure the audience in. “There are three social media truths,” he told us. “1. Social media is not free (it costs time) 2. Social media will not produce instant results 3. Social media will not make up for a bad product.” He then went through his seven core Likeable Media concepts that included “listen first and never stop.”
To demonstrate this concept he shared with us an experience he had on a trip to Vegas. The hotel Dave was staying at was taking forever to prepare his room. Like any good social media user, he took to Twitter, tweeting how long he’d been waiting at the hotel. Listening and tracking tweets was another Vegas hotel from down the strip. The hotel wasn’t as nice or fancy as Dave’s hotel but they did tweet this to him: “Hey, we’re sorry you’re having a bad time. We hope the rest of your trip is better!” They offered him nothing but a kind and supportive word. For Dave, that was all he needed to refer that hotel to a friend who needed a place in Vegas for her and 20 other people. She booked several rooms, bringing in thousands of dollars of revenue to the hotel. Illustrating so perfectly why you need to be an active participant on social media.
To illustrate one of his other Likeable social media concepts, “surprise and delight,” Dave gave away copies of his books throughout the presentation to people who tweeted using his company’s hashtag #Likeable.
And while I never found out the reasoning behind the orange uniform, it did make me Google search, “Dave Kerpen orange shirt.” The search led me to a tweet from an @DaveKerpen fan, @jeffmorosoff: “There’s nothing better than a keynote speaker in a Mets tee shirt and matching Orange sneakers. Dave Kerpen rocks!” Dave tweeted him back that same day. Following his own advice to listen first and never stop.
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