On Monday 7th December 2009 I attended Dell’s excellent B2B Social Media Huddle at the UK headquarters in Bracknell. About 60 people attended the event and there were some great conversations. Here are some highlights 


On Monday 7th December 2009 I attended Dell’s excellent B2B Social Media Huddle at the UK headquarters in Bracknell. About 60 people attended the event and there were some great conversations. Here are some highlights. This is part 1: Social Media Trends.

Social Media Trends – Neville Hobson (@jangles)

Neville shared some trends that cannot easily be ignored by any business that needs to communicate. Here’s his presentation posted on Slideshare:

And here are some of notes captured on the day:

“Customers are co-shaping your reputation every day”

Any organisation that is public-facing to some degree is likely to be being talked about by their customers, whether the talk is good or bad. And it’s happening regardless of whether the business chooses to leverage social media or not. If the choice is not, why?

“You know which types of social media are preferrred by your customers”

If you take any interest in current news, it is unlikely that you will have never heard of Twitter or Facebook, MySpace or Wikipedia, Amazon or eBay. Most people are aware of mobile phones and text messaging. These are all social media tools, used to communicate and share information, often before purchasing something or making a decision. Which channels are your customers likely to go to? Are you active on those channels? If not, why not? What do you risk losing by ignoring your customers?

“Why block employee access to tools that your customers are using?”

Neville highlighted the common frustration – businesses blocking access to tools they deem irrelevant to employees work and believe will be a drain on productivity. It’s a false assumption. You may as well ban email because for sure people will be sending irrelevant emails during the day. Instead, provide the tools but have clear policies regarding their use and the consequences of their misuse.

You can spot trends by monitoring …but only monitor what would cause you to act

There are a growing number of tools out on the Internet that enable you to monitor keywords and track conversations. From simply searching the name of a product to plotting trends on a service like blogpulse.com. However, it is more important to identify how you would deal with situations once you become aware of them. If you discover customers are criticising your product, what do you do? You need an answer if you are going to find out.

Coming next: Part 2 – Community Matters

References:

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