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Corporate Social Media Summit 2011 (San Francisco)

This was the Corporate Social Media Summit 2011 in San Francisco:

To put it in a word, everything was about engagement.

Companies, such as Cisco, HP, SAP and many more, presented their ways of incorporating the social media into their daily business lives. This has been pointed out as a movement from a social customer orientation over social brand to the “social business”. Coming from a more skeptical background about the fast implementation of social media at this conference, there is no doubt about the implementation of social media as an additional and important communication channel for the customer. But before doing this, everybody has to do his homework, by setting its specific objectives. While summarizing the different ways of setting up a social media communication channel, the following steps can be identified:

1.)    Listening: Starting to see and listen to what is talked about by your company, who are the people who are interested and what is the topic they are interested in.
2.)    Optimize Content: Having content alone doesn’t mean that it is right for the identified audience. The content has to be optimized further. “Content for customer is very different”.
3.)    Engagement: To put it in the words from the conference “Join the conversation” and present the content that is relevant to the identified target group.
4.)    Advance/Activate: Starting from the first social media project, the communication channel has to be added to all customer touch-points. People have to be trained and guided.
5.)    Integrate: Scale and optimize
6.)    Analyze/Measure: There is no doubt about setting up analysis and measurement methods in order to evaluate the activities. But what has become clear is that one single method does not fit every company or social media activity.

Thus,, there are a lot of challenges that the company has to face in the process of setting up social media activities, and it is clear that some activities may fail. But what stands out is that failing is part of the way and even if you fail, fail fast, clean up and go on.

On the whole, it was a promising two-day conference, with plenty of insights into the activities of social media departments. Thanks to the organizing team and all speakers for this great event.

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Paul Pöltner