Saturday, March 08, 2008

Influencing Conversations With Social Media - A Blog Post From SXSWi

I am having a great time being at SXSWi. This is more than a conference, it is a "happening".

Today I missed most of the festivities as my ten-year-old daughter had a major belt test at her Karate School. Four hours of intense examination, sparring, forms and conditioning. She was amazing. To celebrate we had lunch, went to BlazerTag, and then had ice cream. Tomorrow is the day that I speak at SXSWi (Sunday, 3PM on the Day Stage) and I will spend most of the afternoon at the Austin Convention Center.

At 5:00 I was able to attend one panel lead by social media guru Tom Parish on "Social Media Metrics". A very smart group of experts lead the audience on a discussion about companies and their needs and wants to measure this new medium of social online media / networking.

It was interesting to hear what some are doing to create community and engage their customers, employees and others in active participation on-line. However, those in the C-Suite want to qualify the metrics of what this all means. Adopting a social media strategy means that a company gives up control of the messaging, which frightens the pants off of many executives.

But people are already talking about your company on the internet...., regardless of your position on social media, you have a "customer experience". Social media is a set of unstructured conversations and the message that rang loud and clear from the panel was that it is not going away.

How can social media effect your world? A great example took place in the middle of the presentation when an audience member stood up and announced that there was lots of twitter traffic happening live in the room wanting the panelist to stick to the topic of "metrics", as they were talking a lot about how social media can effect marketing, etc... but not satisfying the attendees desire to hear about the ever elusive metrics.

Very interesting example of irony when the power of social media influencing the conversation plays out live in the room and the panel of experts is called out for veering off topic in the middle of the discussion. (I actually don't think the panel had strayed too far off, as it was all wrapped together....but it was still interesting!)

If this can happen here, it can happen just as fast for a business that does not live up to its brand. Is your company ready to manage the changes that are coming with the overly increasing wired world? If not, then you may be a dinasour.

Have A Great Day.


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