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Radian6 #Social2011 Debrief

Last week I attended the Social 2011 Conference in Boston (put on by Radian6). I have a ton of takeaways, however to get them all you may want to take a look at either my tweet stream from last week or search through the entire #social2011 hashtag stream (well over 10,000 tweets went out over the course of 48hrs).

It was great to catch up with some of my colleagues from the private sector world of social media, especially since most of my professional community and clientele belongs to the public sector (or non profit) social media space. I’m always quickly reminded that while the private sector (in many cases) may be a few years ahead, it’s not without it’s own unique challenges.

I’d like to start off by saying that I’ m super thrilled and excited for the entire team at Radian6 regarding the fact that they’ve been acquired by Salesforce. It seems like a natural fit and helps solidify the importance and validity of social business intelligence, something that I’ve been actively speaking about for the last 5 years. Secondly, thank you Radian6 for putting on a killer event. Everything was top-notch and the atmosphere reflected the upbeat , conversational and friendly Canadian brand that you have always been.

I should point out that I’ve been using the R6 social media monitoring platform for 3 years now although never exclusively as I like to be vendor neutral and use a variety of monitoring tools. That being said, I am amazed at how much the platform has improved over the years.  The latest update includes demographic and influence data from 3rd party sources (e.g. Klout, Google Analytics, OpenCalais) integrated into R6 data. Needless to say, I’m quite excited to try it out. Hopefully one day soon I’ll be able to also integrate data from other sources such as Environics Nexalogy, Rapleaf and Google Insights for Search. For now, I won’t complain.

As always in my debriefs, I’ll leave you with a few of my key mental notes from the event:

  • Smartphones are now officially more popular than PC’s. 101 million smartphones were bought worldwide vs. 92 million PC’s in the fourth quarter of 2010
  • Average US home will have 5 to 10 web enabled devices by 2014
  • Dell has trained over 9000 employees in social media engagement basics
  • Comcast support reduced costs by $90mm+ by using online forums and peer support
  • A good social media community manger is adaptable, teachable, astoundingly good listener & even better communicator
  • Social is not a PR move but a customer care move
  • Purchases and discounts are still the main reason people follow social businesses
  • Companies make big mistakes confusing the social media *user* with the social media *marketer*
  • Key activity this year should be to empower the subject matter experts in your organization to engage on social media
  • Adding the gaming layer, taking advantage of gaming behavior + connecting gameification w/mobile are what’s coming up next
  • Most brands are still only “half engaging” on social channels. Still thinking more about themselves
  • Marketing should own social media strategy, but the entire organization, especially content experts, should implement the “social” element
  • There are three types of insights: Source insights, Key term insights and Inferred insights
  • It doesn’t matter how good you are at social media engagement, if your company’s product sucks, lipstick on a pig wears off
  • Data is the new black. Not just for number crunchers, it’s for design and visual creatives as well
  • Need to use the SnapTell smartphone app more often. It’s essentially an augmented reality app which lets you take a photo of nearly anything (not just bar codes or QR codes) and your phone will tell you what it is
  • Need to read Gartner’s Social CRM Report
  • Need to buy the Eagle Creek Tarmac 25 carry-on bag. My carry-on Samsonite is falling apart. Mitch Joel and Chris Brogan (who have likely traveled over a quarter million miles in the last year) swear by it. That’s enough to convince me
  • No such thing as automated influencer lists. People will always be needed to interpret qualitative and quantitative data. Always
  • Directors of “Social Strategy” are becoming quite common positions in the private sector
  • American Red Cross is doing an amazing job engaging on Twitter among other channels. Every single person is a spokesperson/CSR with guidelines. Wonderful to see

A few of my favourite quotes/tweets:

  • “Social Media is now a job, but one day it will be a skill. You don’t have a “Director of Phone””- @ambercadabra
  • “I really regret the term social media because it implies we should give it to the media people–it’s business” – N/A
  • “Modern phones are now remote controls for your life” – @mitchjoel
  • “You can have your friend setup your online dating profile, but you’re not going to have them go on the date for you” – @rhappe
  • “What’s the ROI of social media” is like asking “What’s the ROI of your spouse” (assuming a healthy relationship) – N/A
  • “You don’t have to have luxury to feel luxurious – Emotional responses are essential in Business” @pgreenbe

Thank you once again for organizing a great event.

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  1. Lucie Frigon

    Thanks Mike for this very insightful debrief. I will certainly dig deeper, and watch the archived presentations.

  2. Nicole Filiatrault

    Great insights – wish I’d been there. Look forward to seeing how this info will be incorporated into our session in a few weeks.

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