Friday, June 4, 2010

Social Media Summit Highlights

The MassTLC Social Media Summit was held at Microsoft NERD on Thursday, June 3rd. More than 125 marketing professionals joined us to hear from keynote speaker, David Weinberger, Senior Researcher at Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet & Society.

In David's keynote, "Social Media at the Crossroads", he highlighted a number of important points that that resonated with the audience including:

-The Web has always been social. The only difference with Web 2.0 is that it's easier to build a presence.

-We are getting comfortable with fallibility. The most popular stuff on YouTube is about humans screwing up. This doesn't embarrass us as much as it used to. This acceptance of our own weaknesses will change the way organizations operate.

-Media is increasingly an echo chamber in which we choose to listen to people who share our views. Echo chambers are bad for democracy and culture, but marketers like them because they say what marketers want to hear. Echo chambers aren't necessarily bad, but if that's the only place you ever talk, you'll never hear other points of view.

Check out David's presentation and for additional information, view Paul Gillin's blog.

The group then participated in open dialogue discussions on the following topics:
- Advanced listening
- Lead generation
- Social media "Outside the Box"
- Overcoming internal resistance to social media
- Social media in regulated industries

Highlights from these discussions include:
- 40% of online interactions come from 10 networks. There are so many places to engage but if you are getting the lions share out of 10, you know where to focus your efforts.
- A great site to see what people are saying and for you to listen is
- People who read blogs vs. post to a blog is 100:1. Blogs are about reading, not necessarily about contributing and participating in the discussion, though several mentioned the great branding your execs can receive by making thoughtful comments
- "Are young people better natural social marketers?" It's not about the tools or the person but the combination of both! Per @amyblack "It's an attitude and a mindset. You need to embrace the idea of putting yourself out there. The younger generation is willing to embrace the idea of transparency because this is what they have grown up. For marketing, you need to put yourselves out there as a person or company and not being afraid of the repercussions because you are comfortable with what you are saying and your fallibility."
- Strategy driven social media– there is still a bit of grounding and unfounded assumptions of why we are doing this. Is it actually worth doing? Getting the word out may not do you any good without a strategy.
- Is the decision chain changing?? The people we are touching may be influencers but not necessarily the final decisions makers. Frame your message so that they can take it on to the decision makers.
- From Gary Beach @CIOonline - Keep sales and marketing away from social media lead gen programs- they'll force think what the customers are saying. Is it true that more of the sales cycle is moving back into marketing? Ask for a bigger budget!
- Both a B2C retail company and a B2B SaaS company mentioned that 80% of their social media time and budget is spent on developing content.
- We should have more scrutiny on the new tools coming out – they may be cool but are they useful and valuable?
- The fear remains to engage in social media in regulated industries. If you listen to what a customer is saying online, legally you have to acknowledge that you heard them and respond.

And finally Sharon Machlis @sharon000 from ComputerWorld shared a few key points from the advanced listening session:

- Don't just "do social networking" for the sake of social networking. It helps to have some idea of initial goals before jumping in. Are you trying to find potential customers or build loyalty among the ones you already have? Or both? Do you want to encourage purchases? Improve your brand image? Provide actual customer service/support? All of the above?

- Don't just monitor social media conversations about your brand. If you want to widen your reach, try finding five words your customers would use to describe your product or service -- without including the product or company name.

For more tips from Sharon visit her blog.

Feel free to share your top takeaway from yesterday's event! Also, let us know if you want to see additional follow-up on any of the topics discussed as we are in the process of planning our programming for the fall. Thanks to all that joined us!

Post Contributed by Christine Nolan, Director of Communities, MassTLC


Christine Nolan said...

Frank Days, director of social media for Novell, contributed a few key takeaways from his session on "Social Media Outside the Box". They are shared below:

The panel had three people from smaller companies. Here were some of the takeaways

- All three were spending a significant amount of marketing budget on social media - in the case of Daily Grommet and Editme virtually all of their marketing was social media
- All felt that social media was critical to finding people passionate about what they are doing.
- We discussed the point that "we are the media" rather than the traditional media
- There was much excitement about the future of location based services.
- You can't be everywhere as a business so you need to prioritize.
- Some in the audience were trying to figure out the real ROI of these activities.

David Harlow said...

There was a great deal of tweeting during the program (though, perhaps predictably, not from our session on regulated industries ...); here's a twanscript (sorry; couldn't resist).

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