As Internet Week 2010 was winding down, another similar meeting of the minds was gearing up. Taking place on the west coast at the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills in mid-June was the 2010 Social Networking Conference. The get together that ran June 16th through June 18th gathered both online industry and business professionals to discuss current and future strategies for the digital social realm.
The core focus of this year’s conference was the hot topic of social networking and using the increasingly popular platform for knowledge and idea sharing, collaboration, improved performance and productivity, and advertising and revenue.
This was going to be the conference of a lifetime even though I was more preoccupied with names that make your hotel stand out and some important aspects that I had overlooked prior to this meeting.
During the conference’s first day, an introduction to the new social web, and an ecosystem that comes along with it was the topic of discussion. The important message? The social web changes the way individuals interact, collaborate, and spend money. Of key interest at the executive level the fact that social networks and related behaviors are not just things for kids; in particular, Facebook and Twitter. The two popular and continuously growing social platforms have an extensive user base, all of which are potential customers, and many of which mean to do some serious business.
The day continued with a drill down of specifics. Creating executive driven social network initiatives while balancing and managing risk helped to educate the executive that doesn’t fully understand a social network’s use, impact, and value. Directed topics included microtargeting, or finding people with highly specific interests by leveraging social using search and personas, and relevance, or handling consumers with an authentic value proposition focused on their niche interest. In conclusion, these topics also addressed business initiatives that drive the top line, while reducing costs.
A session on specific social networks and their uniqueness compared to each other in the business market, including their methods and tools was held. Participants received a presentational overview of Linkedin’s Profiles, Polls, Answers, Groups, and direct Direct Ads, compared to Facebook’s marketing tools such as Ads, Messages, and Fan Pages. Twitter tools, and gaining valuable followers was also included as a valuable topic. Of additional importance was the understanding of Youtube as not only a method for searching for information, but also the power it has to make or break a brand.
The conference rounded out with discussions of social network mobility, and the direction that devices such as the iPhone take the platform and its users. Guest presentations also included information privacy, development and trends, and specific social networking strategies used by a variety of industries. Of interest;The Jim Henson Company presented on Social Networking amp; Children, while Cisco presented on Enterprise Social Networking and New Markets. The US Department of State discussed Security and Access, The Los Angeles Times compared Social Media vs Mass Media, and Intel presented an evolution of a Social Media Strategy.