I had the good fortune to attend and speak at the Social Media & Community 2.0 Strategies conference this week in Boston. Here are my top five takeaways:
1. Social media has transformed human behavior. Skillfully illustrated by Michael Tschong of Ubercool, and Sasha Strauss of Innovation Protocol, it’s staggering to take a step back and observe how deeply and fundamentally social technologies have infiltrated our lives. (Yes, my five-year-old can use a computer mouse—and my iPhone—but no, she cannot tie her shoelaces.)
2. The social media train has left the station. Brands are not longer questioning whether or not they need to get on board—they know it’s critical. But now that everyone’s on board, what next? Smart companies are measuring, listening and learning in order to do social better and more strategically.
3. We need to turn our attention to mobile and social gaming. The numbers here are staggering, and marketers are barely scratching the surface of what’s possible in these two arenas.
4. Big brands can learn from small brands, and vice versa. We are all students in the social space, whether we represent an enormous national brand or a small local brand. I represented one of the smallest brands at the conference, yet the “big brands” were still curious to hear about what we’re doing. And Cristine Cea from Unilever–which is like the beach to my little brand’s grain of sand–gave me some concrete, actionable strategies to take back to my office. (And then was kind enough to ask me if I was able to benefit from her presentation.)
5. Community Management is an art. I was blown away by the Community Strategists at Scottrade, who have successfully built a thriving online community in a highly regulated industry. They told me the story of how they dealt with one particular community member using some conversational slight-of-hand that simply cannot be taught. Kudos to them and all of the other talented community managers out there—you are among the backbones of your brand.
All of those, plus fabulous conversations about caffeine, “fun” crackers, Klout scores and Peeps made for one fantastic listening and learning experience.
And now I ask my fellow attendees, what are your takeaways?