If you’ve been to AdTech you know how overwhelming it can be to choose the “right” stream of sessions to participate in…mostly, because they are all SO good. Therefore, I count myself very fortunate to have choosing wisely and sat in on a session with Sharpie. You know…the felt pens? Their story was so compelling to me that I have followed a little of their journey since and see that they are encountering measurable and significant impact to their business objectives through their approach.

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You can read a somewhat recent update/recap of their story here, but this post is going to pull out one thing that I think a great many brands lose sight of when they are considering what their social media strategy is.

A social media strategy does not equal a content calendar of Facebook and Twitter posts.

In fact, if done right, these elements form a very small part of the strategy of identifying key consumer environments where conversation is taking place, spending a lot of time listening and then diving in as a contributor to those discussions, adding value and creating a relationship with consumers.

What Sharpie shared in my encounter with them at AdTech was that they spent a disproportionate amount of time listening to the discussions taking place that were in no way tethered back to them, except by mention of their brand name or category reference and found insight to how their consumer was using the product, what it meant to them personally and most importantly, Sharpie developed consumer-facing business initiatives to tap into and better equip their customers to do the things they were already doing.

I encourage you to visit blog.sharpie.com to immerse yourself in how they celebrate their customer’s creativity and passion for their work (and the tools they use to create their masterpieces)

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