“Women 55+ are the fastest growing demographic using Facebook.”  That is just one of the many social media truths I discovered during today’s Pre Conference Workshop during the 5th Annual M2W®-The Marketing To Women Conference.  I came with my laptop charged and ready to learn all things social media during this workshop that was sponsored by imc2.  Their team of experts—Malinda McFarlane, Kristi Maynor and Tim Rumpler–along with One2One Network’s Barbara Jones, did a wonderful job of taking us through the various social media tools that brands can use—and included such valuable information as who is doing it right, who isn’t paying attention and how do you measure and track your results. 

Probably one of the greatest lines was Rumpler saying, “Just get started.”  With so much information about the various social media platforms and tools, it is easy for brands to just assume it is all too complicated—or too much of a fad—and just choose to not participate, but that could quite possibly be a pricey mistake.  “You always have to be listening,” says Jones.  “Even on the weekend, you need to be paying attention to what others are saying about you and your brand.” 

The “social media consumer” is quickly just becoming the consumer—or more specifically, becoming a person (what a novel idea!).    Just as we build our personal relationships by connecting and communicating with our friends and family members, so must we do the same with our customers and consumers.  It’s about participating in the process, advancing our efforts and listening to our audience—continuing to do all three at all times. 

As marketers we are being challenged to truly practice interactive brand management—which includes always being engaged and moving people from being our fans to being lifelong advocates.  Powerful stuff—and this is just the first event of the 2-day conference!!!

 After lingering over questions, we all managed to make our way downstairs to celebrate the launch of Kelley Skoloda’s new book, Too Busy to Shop, during the Preconference Reception.  It’s just like a homecoming—seeing faces I always like to see and hearing stories I can’t wait to share.  Even as my feet started to ache from my “big girl shoes” (why must I always sacrifice comfort for style?), I didn’t want the evening to end.  It is exciting to be surrounded by so many great marketing-to-women minds—can’t wait to see you all tomorrow!!!!

Be sure to check back tomorrow evening for another update from M2W. Or, follow us on Twitter at #M2W.