Social Media in Business: Notes from the day

I’m taking notes at the Social Media in Business event as there’s no internet connection at the venue.  Darren Forsyth (for is currently opening the event) has described this as being ‘serious’ 🙂

We’re starting on time but I suspect that the 15 minute time limit for speakers is going to be a stretch!

10:05am Peter Crosby from Viadeo is up, talking on the movement of marketers from shouting to conversing.  It’s noted that the audience is fairly sophisticated.  Crosby notes that the future of communications is here regardless of whether marketers want it.

10:20 Neville Hobson – uber podcaster – is up.  Darren Forsyth has introduced him as ‘not a social media man’ but his job title is Head of Social Media Europe. [EDIT: Daren didn’t get this wrong, and neither is Neville wrong, but it’s an interesting statement on job title versus articulation of the role.]

Neville focuses on key questions.  He raises the ‘United Breaks Guitars’ incident on YouTube and the Dominoes pizza disaster, illustrating that marketers can’t be offline over weekends and overnight.  He notes that social media as a term is probably redundant – it’s all media – but in terms of trends, it’s search, twitter and social networking platforms and niche networks that matter.

10:44 Katie Howell now up and talking about changing hearts and minds on the issue of brands and the role of social media as a means of increasing consumption.  Fans don’t necessarily convert to sales. Some of the best PR is not about followers but accessing the right influencers.

We’re already 15mins late here.

11:00 Eaon Pitchard from Geronimo is speaking on Brand Engagement.  He says that businesses are too inclined to consider social media from their perspective rather than from that of their customers.  He notes that marketing effectiveness is associated with relevance and that interdependence and impermanence is a reality of social media marketing.

11:11 Trey Pennington is up on Connections, Content, Conversations and Commerce.  Trey uses the Rotary organisation to illustrate why focus on the toolbox is less important than the people.

11:45 Back after the break.  Mark Redgrave from OpenAmplify is up on semantic technology.  Mark says that keywords don’t work as a means of providing meaningful content.  Need to think about listening as well as mining data effectively.  (I’m enjoying the asterisq flash tool, constellation roamer, which can show some great exploration opportunities for complex data.)

11:55 Tim Callington now up on the challenges and opportunities of public engagement.  Tim says that social media has made accountability for business a necessity, but doesn’t need to come at the expense of profitability. He says that authority is dispersed, but that matching what businesses say with what they do is always possible.

12:10 Maz Nadjm from BSkyB is now up.  Daren is introducing Maz as Cozy Tweetup co-host 🙂 Maz says that the experience of building a Sky community was difficult in light of some earlier problems with online communities.  He said it became clear that to get Sky Communities active they had to ensure that the values, moderation and legal issues associated with running a communitywere considered. This does limit functionality but sustains perceptions of the brand.

There was a panel session before lunch covering all sorts of topics. In particular, we focused on how to get the masses to adopt and engage with social media.

14:05 We’re back after lunch, and Jon Ingham, an HR professional, is up talking about competitive advantage – same as my topic up next.  Jon says that business capability (in traditional sense), specifically value creation, can be supported and inspired by social media.

14:20 I’m up.  See for my presentation.

14:30 Charlie Osmond is now up talking about opportunities, and saying that while these include insight, innovation, advocacy, transparency, increased sales, support, he feels most clients are more inclined to succeed with their social media strategy if they focus on just one of these opportunities.  Charlie distinguishes between social networks (about me) as opposed to online communities (about an idea).

14:45 Olivier Blanchard from brandbuilder is up on Social Media ROI.  Blanchard respectfully disagrees with my notion of social media not making money.  He argues that you can make money but you need the capital investment to deliver ROI.  He says that cost reduction and revenue generation are both possible through social media.

15:20 Ged Carroll from Ruderfilm is up on the notion of intent.  Ged argues that demographic segmentation is dying, and that intent matters.  Return on engagement is more important than return on investment.

15:35 Steve Lamb from Microsoft is up on the notion of a social media enterprise. He says that traditional PR is about crafting messages.  Social media is about connecting people and having a conversation – almost the antithesis of crafted messages.

15:50 Benjamin Ellis is now presenting on crowd sourcing. Benjamin says he uses social media to change behaviours in corporate contexts.  The modern business is about being smart.  Many who advocate crowd sourcing actually mean free labour. This isn’t really using the wisdom of crowds.  Benjamin uses a creative problem solving exercise to get more ideas from a group of people.  Crowds are wise only if there is diversity, independence, decentralisation, aggregation, motivation, public interest.  Benjamin notes that public interest is the key to ensure sustainable engagement.

16:15 Judith (deCabbit) Lewis is the final speaker of the day on reputation management. Judith says you are your brand.  Employers, clients, potential clients and acquaintances are all looking for you.  She suggests that there are plenty of tools out there for free and it’s worth monitoring your own name.  Leveraging all the media out there is key to ensuring you will maintain your (good) reputation.

4:30pm Panel to close – I’m up so can’t post!

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