I was up at 5:30 today to prepare for a seminar I was to attend for my “day job”. The theme was “Social Media for Marketing” and was put on by SMEI (Sales and Marketing Executives International). There were many non-members in the room, including myself, and already being well versed in the social media realm I wasn’t too sure what to expect. I already know what a blog is and how it can help build a two way communication between clients, potential clients, and my company so I was hoping this would serve a good purpose and make my early morning worthwhile.
There were many interesting professionals sitting at my table and we talked a bit over a nice hot breakfast supplied by The Butler Did It Catering. Short side story – yesterday I wrote a Twitter about how much I love whiteboards and got reply from J Karen Parker about participating in a survey about whiteboard usage. Well at my table today was a women who works for an A/V company and they’ve just picked up these fancy new whiteboard that use infrared technology to transform your notes, tasks and scribbles into pdfs and documents.
Back to the seminar, the three panelists were James Wells from BCIT, Rob Duncan from BCIT, and Justin Kestelyn from Oracle. The presentation started out very slowly for me, with all the basics being covered including a glossary of terms, “what is RSS?”, although I can imagine it was very helpful (albeit foreign) to those in the room.
Justin Kestelyn – Oracle: Justin’s approach was about the social self-publishing aspects of these forms of new media. He noted that an example of Web 2.0 was such things as unconferences, where anyone and everyone has a voice. He moved on to speak about wikis as well, which I hope the audience can look into further on their own because I find they’re crucial tools for companies. Overall, I really liked the direction Justin was heading in his talk.
Robert Duncan – BCIT: I learned the most about LinkedIn with Robert’s presentation. He directed it very well at the attendees, saying it lacks the “silly” features of MySpace or Facebook but allows for controlled, trustworthy networking within a community that you can grow. Two things I did not know I could do with LinkedIn were Questions & Answers, and “I’m working on”.
You’ll find both of these components already exists with other social sites. With Facebook updates you have “Rebecca is….” and although the “is” has now been dropped, they are still instant ways of letting people know what you’re up to. With LinkedIn’s “I’m working on” you can publicize projects, products, or even that you’re looking for a new job. You can do the very same with microblogging tools like Twitter, Pownce or Jaiku stating: “I’m eating a sandwich” or “Where can I get a sandwich in the West End”, which is where LinkedIn’s Questions and Answers come in. You can ask the community (anyone else on the system) business-related question ie. where to find certain companies or products, or ask for assistance. I admit, I’ve really been neglecting my LinkedIn profile so I’m definitely more inclined now to clean it up and explore some of the new options.
James Wells – BCIT: I tend to get overprotective of my preferred forms of media when others are explaining them to those unfamiliar but James seemed to know his stuff (of course, which is why he was on the panel). He described “blog” and “RSS” the way I was thinking in my head and during his presentation he spoke about the power of professional online communities, using his own company as a case study.
A common thread was ‘trust’ and having a blog, podcast or making a company Facebook page does not take away from your business or its credibility. It creates an open forum to engage your clients and for them clients to become your spokespeople.
I also ran into Mhairi, who sat in on John’s Podcasting 101 session at Northern Voice. She has her own internet marketing firm, out-smarts, and asked some really great questions for the panel.
It was my first time attending an event like this as I’m used to the unconferences where there’s people in jeans with laptops and cameras, there’s beer afterwards, a conch worked in there somehow. The panelists reached some good topics, and it proved to be a rather productive morning.