My Take Away from a Social Media Conference

Couple weeks ago, I traveled a long way from Hong Kong to California to meet with other community managers in Intel and to attend a social media platform conference. It was a productive & very informative week. Allow me to share some quick notes and observations with you.

  • I heard the attendees at the conference were more than double compare to previous year. There were a lot of energy and passion among the attendees towards the topic. It is showing a strong trend in more enterprise adoption of social media.
  • From people I talked to, there are similar among of internal and external deployment of social media platform – internal for collaboration between employees and external for engagement with customers. Among the external implementation,  support communities seem to be one of the more popular social media implementation. There were quite a few success stories about support communities shared.
  • Executive support, endorsement and participation are key to the success of a social media program as noted by a number of speakers sharing their success stories and by a few conference attendees I spoke to.
  • A social media community requires a critical mass (a certain amount of active participants) to be successful. However, you cannot build a community and hope people will come. Marketing and getting people participating initially is key.
  • A intuitive interface is helpful to get people participate and engage. Instead of using the default user interface from your platform, customize it for your audience.
  • You need 'super users' in your community and you need to keep them engaged and motivated
  • There is still a lack of standard or best practices in measuring success of a social media program or getting actionable indicators
  • Business value of social media is still difficult to measure. A few suggestions: telling success stories; finding proxy measurements to cost reduction or revenue generation; finding a quantifiable business case

Are you seeing similar trends and challenges in your social media programs? Do you have any success stories to share?