Many people are still waffling over the meaning and impact of social media. Some companies have jumped on board, full steam ahead. They’ve hired community managers who spend most of their day tweeting and building a social empire – online. While other companies have banned social networking activities in the office, fearing that they won’t be able to control outbound communications or that it will decrease employee productivity. I’ve talked to dozens, maybe even hundreds, of companies on each end of this spectrum and I’m sad to report…I still haven’t seen any conclusive patterns. Don’t fret though, I’m working on it.
Those that embrace social media tend to be trendier companies, many in the media or technology space. They are eager to try new marketing tactics especially if they are cheaper than traditional forms of marketing. The ones that cringe in the face of social media seem to be enterprise level corporate giants with years of policy behind them, legal teams, and outsourced PR agencies. These guys have more to lose if social media messaging goes awry…which of course it usually does. Shane Gibson, co-Author of Socialable, has this tagline for his book…”It’s not who you know, its who know you“. Social media certainly helps get you noticed, if you do it right. So in that sense, it’s worth perking up for.
So where do we go from here? In the hopes of shedding light on this trendy, yet important topic we (Massive Media) have set up some topical presentations at the April 7th F5 EXPO that should address some of our pressing questions in this area. For the big guys (or companies preparing for growth), we’ve invited a Technical Crime Analyst from the RCMP – Tom Ellis, as well as intellectual property litigation lawyer – David Wotherspoon, to talk about what can go wrong with social media campaigns and new web 2.0 implementation. We’ve also invited one of the brightest minds of facebook Canada, Alfredo Tan to sit on a panel with Friends with Benefits to discuss tangible examples of social media campaigns that ARE working as well as some that have been major lunch bag let downs ;)
Finally, Malcolm Gladwell (Author of Tipping Point, Blink, Outliers, and What the Dog Saw*), our keynote, will be sharing with us his thoughts and predictions for social media.
*Geesh, Malcolm quit writing books! Your resume is getting too long ;P