When we decided to see if Ramon De Leon would come to meshmarketing, it was seen as a bit of long shot. After all, De Leon is social media star who’s in demand to speak around the world.
For those of you not familiar with De Leon, he owns six Domino’s Pizza franchises in downtown Chicago, and has leveraged social media, particularly videos, to build a huge personal brand, as well as transform his business into something more than stores selling pizza.
Nevertheless, we thought he would be perfect for a panel looking at how companies have built brands using social media. To our surprise, De Leon accepted our invitation, and it would be fair to say he rocked the meshmarketing house, not only during his panel but throughout the day as he talked with pretty much anyone who wanted to talk to him.
The biggest reason why De Leon is so good is he’s genuine: a real person with real passion and enthusiasm for his business and using social business to connect with customers, potential customers and non-customers. He brings real-world perspective to social media that many people and companies now need.
We’ve gone through the “hey, social media is really cool and look at all these shiny toys” stage. Now, the focus is on providing real-world examples and case studies of how companies are using social media and what they are getting from their investments. In De Leon, you have a living, breathing social media machine that doesn’t stop.
During his panel, De Leon was checking his Twitter stream, while entertaining and engaging the audience with stories of how social media has impacted his business. During the conference, he was shooting videos and being videoed by a steady stream of people. Given where we are at with social media, De Leon is talking the talk and walking the walk.
His stature within the social media landscape is impressive given De Leon is a small business owner running six pizza stores. But the reason De Leon connects with so many people and his stories resonate so well is how he demonstrates that social media can be an effective vehicle for any business if it’s done with passion, energy and creativity.
Social media doesn’t have to involved expensive campaigns, bells and whistles and high-cost social media consultants. All you need is a plan, a goal and a commitment to learn and make it happen.