One FREE pass to the Youth & Family Marketing Mega Event next week!

One FREE pass to the Youth & Family Marketing Mega Event next week! If you would like to attend the event on us and can take copious notes ‘ this opportunity could be for you. We are looking for someone with excellent writing skills to attend the event and publish a post conference wrap up highlighting key takeaways and lessons learned at the event. If you are interested and available to attend the conference May 11 and May 12 in Chicago, contact Conference Director, Krista Vazquez at kvazquez@iirusa.com.

More info about the event can be found at www.iirusa.com/family. This is a great opportunity for a marketing student or job seeker.

Social Media & Community 2.0 2010 Wrap-Up

Thank you to all who joined us and all who followed our coverage during this year’s event. We surpassed our already high expectations for this year with the amazing keynotes, speakers, sponsors and attendees. We hope that you found our coverage useful as we work to continuously bring you information to spur conversation and discussion with your peers.

To continue the discussions well into 2010, we encourage everyone to join the Social Media and Community 2.0 Strategies LinkedIn Group. Join other brand community advocates, community pros and social media professionals in this exclusive group. For those of you already in the group, let’s start discussing many of the topics featured at the conference and consider new ones as we enter this new decade.

Our ongoing coverage of industry news and professional posts from across the social media spectrum doesn’t end with the conference. Keep up with the latest news by subscribing to daily updates right here on our blog.

If you are interested in being a guest blogger for Community 2.0 please contact Melissa Sundaram at msundaram@iirusa.com. We’d love to have your input!

Technology Isn’t an Idea

It’s late, and I just got home from a five hour plane ride, but I wanted to give a much-deserved shout out to Stephen Gates from Starwood Hotels & Resorts. He provided this gem this afternoon:

Technology isn’t an idea–nobody cares if you have a Twitter feed if you have nothing to say. It’s a tool’..like a pencil; without anything to draw, it’s just a paperweight. Technology is not the leader of what we do. We create user experiences and communities driven by the core attributes and insights of our brands, not by technology. Look at the concept or what we want to do, then look at how we can accomplish it through various channels.”

Now, that said, I’ll meet you in the Sheraton’s online Pillow Fight ad. How cool is that?

Bringing Your Online Community Offline

Matt Warburton (@betfair) offered session attendees some good advice and ideas for taking your online community offline. He suggested that offline participation can:

  • Engage and recognize power users
  • Offer education
  • Collect feedback
  • Communicate news
  • Build loyalty and Word of Mouth
  • Put a face on your brand

Matt offered some ideas for successful offline events:

  • User Advisory Panels (fly them out in person; recruit people based on behavior; get a good mix of customer base; stay connected via phone calls; involve CEOs in the process; keep participants for 12 months to keep it fresh and avoid a sense of “entitlement”)
  • Meetups Parties (usually a little cheaper; most often a casual gathering; regional, mostly social; keep tied in to brand)
  • Town Halls (regional events; use a cross-functional level of staff; usually held at a hotel banquet room with a meet and greet for an hour; open up mic for traditional Q&A)
  • User Conferences (large scale user conferences education, networking, and social components; high level executive participation (examples: eBay Live; Microsoft MVP conference; users often pay their own way to the event)
  • Official Member’Organized Events (appoint ambassadors to do the events for you; officially sanctioned member-organized events; guidelines are established to ensure standards; company provides collateral; no staff participation)

Matt offered council for judging or measuring the benefits of the offline events, as well as thoughts on how to stay connected with these users once the events were over. The key, it seems, is to make the events interactive, keep them on-brand, and then to follow up. “Real,” “trust,” and “engagement”can happen anywhere.

Pfizer Gives Two Stars to Amazon’s Five Stars

I had to LOL at Robin Spencer’s (#Pfizer) call out to the ‘Tambourine’ people’folks who just want to connect everything because they can and because everyone else is doing it. Hopefully it’s been (in keeping with the musical theme) drummed into our heads by now that the primary goal of social media is always business problem solving. Yet, the biggest conundrum in social media, says Robin, is often confusion about goals.

Robin shared this Dirty Little Secret with the group: The simpler the task, the less representative the results. The example he used (after some blank stares, I imagine) was that of ratings on Amazon.com’the process whereby users click a star to indicate their level of satisfaction with a product. Have you noticed that a whole lot of products on Amazon.com have 4.5 stars? Users can ‘contribute to the community’ with very little effort or thought. Obviously, then, the opposite of the dirty little secret is true, too: The harder the task, the more representative it is. This is where Chris Anderson’s Long Tail work comes in.

‘Watch the tail,’ Robin admonished. The people who answer one question each are often more important over the long run than those who answer repeatedly. Large-scale behavior is largely predictable; you’ll find that most of your contributions and value come from the occasional contributors. Don’t bias your system by quantity or reputation; you may exclude your best contributors.

Nice presentation, Robin, but I suppose five stars would be inappropriate’. :)

The Kenny Rogers Rule

Kellie Parker of SEGA (who we’ve heard from earlier) did a short and sweet presentation on managing multiple brands, and then turned the conversation to the audience. The great part about Kellie’s presentation fits into what we heard in this morning’s keynote: leadership is moving away from network model to cross-functional teams. Here are a few of Kellie’s suggestions on how to bring order to chaos: Specialization. Each team has a brand specialist’someone who deeply understands the brand and can instantly tell if something is going to work or not. Each team also has a specialist in terms of tools. Automation and flow. Create a process to your flow of content. Sega uses the blog as the main source of information, and then links back to Facebook, etc. But only use the tools that work for you, and makes the most sense. Kenny Rogers. Know when to hold ‘em/fold ‘em. Sega consolidated their many forums into one with different channels. They found that members started clicking around in places that they wouldn’t have gone before.

Should We Listen?

Though ‘listening’ was a key word in every session yesterday, Conference Chair Jaime Punishill, opened the conference this morning challenging that idea. See his thoughts on that below (with his other ruminations on yesterday’s sessions). Punishill also pointed out a cool tool, Twapper Keeper‘a site that archives tweets around a hashtag.

Punishill’s take aways from yesterday’s conference:

Experiment, learn, adapt
Most of the time, we don’t even know what you’re listening for in the beginning. And we don’t yet know how to interpret the information.

Leadership is clearly changing
We spent a long time listening to Charlene’s robust conversation about being open. Make sure you’re being open only to your industry. We’re naturally getting rid of pyramid system, and moving to a network model with cross-functional teams.

Metrics matter. A lot.
There are no right metrics, but they matter to your leaders.

Social Crosses the ‘T’
It allows us to be flat global connection, and also one of the greatest technological acceleration. It’s not an ‘either/ or’ but an ‘and.’

Social media must die
Social is an extension to our entire franchise, but with social services to it. It’s marketing, research, customer services, product development, etc. It’s both not different and totally different.

Citibank’s Hard Fought Journey

Rachel Happe of Community Roundtable interviewed Jaime Punishill of Citibank and starts by asking Punishill about the ranking, or lack there of, within the social media sphere. Punishill said that it was easy to make the switch to social because many of their customers were web and digital-savvy. There wasn’t a choice for Citibank to go social (there was they could choose not to) but because their customers were so web-savvy; it had to happen and because of Punishill’s digital background he was a perfect fit to lead the campaign. Punishill took a “design, build, fly” approach to the social media campaign. He took one project, Twitter for customer service, and tried to move it to make meaningful impact and buy-in. By having this first campaign, it allowed Punishill and his team to write the policies and procedures manual and gave them a great first-run at the social sphere. After extensive training of their customer service representatives, soon Citibank’s CSR’s will take over the Twitter feeds. Now there are 40 CSRs online from 8am-9pm daily. Citibank did try to pre-script the Twitter dialogues, but that lasted about five minutes – it’s very difficult to pre-script a live conversation.

What we’re learning from today’s conversation and from the presentations Monday and Tuesday is that process is important, but ethics and simple codes of conduct are even more important when dealing with social media at an organization. As social media moves forward, we see more and more emphasis for social media professionals to be social media educators. In fact, today’s discussion highlighted that about 50% of a social media manager’s time is spent within the organization, educating their companies about social media. From watercooler chats like, “So do you just Tweet all day? Must be nice.” to proving (or trying to prove) ROI to the executive staff, social media is now social media education.

Welcome to Day 3 of Social Media & Community 2.0 Strategies 2010!

Welcome to our third and final day of coverage at Social Media & Community 2.0 Strategies 2010. This week we’ve heard great case studies on using social media for innovation and leveraging communities for customer support, as well as some new insights from Charlene Li and former Groundswell winners. But there’s so much more to come! Today’s line-up includes multiple panel discussions, a fire-side chat, networking breaks and 8 more case studies.

Our team’s coverage continues today as we share in the twitter discussion at #socialc20. You can also follow us at our own Twitter feed, @Community20.

See you at morning coffee!

Buy the Book: How Barnes & Noble Leverages User-Generated Commerce

How do we get our customers to help us do the things we’re here for? Kevin Ryan (@KevinSRyan), formerly of Barnes & Noble, shared how B&N enabled user-generated commerce as part of their community interaction.

Obviously, much of the discussions on B&N center around book recommendations. So’..B&N integrated a product widget into their message editor that allows users to search for a product/book while composing a message or recommendation. With a direct link to ‘Add This Book to My Cart’ available in all messages, the company has been able to drive commerce through trusted community activity’and has done so without any backlash from the community.

You can also see how B&N is empowering regional employees to aid in customer support at their Blogging Booksellers Web site.