Thursday, August 26, 2010

@petra1400 on #140Conf in 6 Points

I thought the 1-week anniversary of #140Conf in San Francisco was the perfect opportunity to follow up with some takeaways from the conference (that’s another way of saying I’m soooo late!). Being in high-tech corporate America, what I loved about this event is the wide range of perspectives presenters from different industries brought to the table. We heard stories from how the transportation segment in Helsinki is leveraging real-time data on the web to provide riders up-to-date status, urging us to demand making the same data available in the US to how an up-and-coming star in the music industry, Quincy Brown (@quincy) is harnessing the power of Twitter to increase his fan base. And of course, this roundup would not be complete without the secrets behind the Old Spice Campaign and some good legal advice. So what were the main points that spoke to me?

1. Engagement Is Critical for Success

There are two people at VirginAmerica that keep social media alive for the airline. Now, that’s commitment! A big shoutout to Jill Fletcher and her partner in crime (@VirginAmerica). They mentioned a funny story about Guy Kawasaki who was tweeting on his flight from his seat that he wanted a Coke. VirginAmerica tweeted back “"Guy, why don't you just ask the flight attendant for a Coke.”

Besides being funny, this example reveals another crucial point: use Twitter to connect and engage with people, not to constantly market to them.

2. Be personable. Be social

This is always a good reminder, especially if you work for a BtoB company. This tip actually came from HP’s Social Media Manager, Mia Dand (@MiaD). In the BtoB world, we have a tendency to push business content. Mia reminded attendees to embrace the personal side of social media by making only 80% of your content work related and 20% personal. It's ok to do so even if you're a business.

She also urged practitioners to move beyond listening and start responding to people. So be social on the social web.

3. Legal Issues in the Real-Time Web Are Real and Growing

I loved Franice Ward’s (@francineward) thoughts on the legal implications of your actions in social media. Obviously don’t post anything that can get you fired. “It’s not blogs that get people fired, it’s people that get people fired”, she said. It was also interesting to hear her mention the increasing number of copyright issues in social media. She cautioned the audience to only put out content that they’re ok with others sharing because whatever you put on the social web can be used by others without your prior approval. However, I should add that it’s good practice to give credit to the person you’re borrowing from.

4. Making money on and off the social web – you haven’t seen anything yet

My colleague Autumn Truong has put it nicely in her blog “There will be increasing ways to turn small amounts of data such as tweets on Twitter, to dollars. For more information, check out Dom Sagolla’s (@dom) book, “@thebook 140 Characters”

5. Women in Advertising: Women in Exec Positions vs. Making Purchase Decisions

Katherine M. Gordon (@katgordon) gave her thoughts on why she thinks many advertisements don’t work today. She pointed to an imbalance between the number of women executives in the advertising industry (3%) and the influence of women in making purchase decisions (80%). Therefore, she believes that encouraging women to climb the leadership ladder in the advertising industry is critical. To help with this effort, she has created “The 3% Conference” (@3percentconf). By the way, men are highly encouraged to attend this conference.

6. The Future of Commerce: Relationship Commerce

Ted Rubin (@tedrubin), the Chief Social Marketing Officer at #OpenSky talked about the shift from traditional online buying to a new online purchase model which 1) creates revenue sharing opportunities for bloggers and influencers that connect people with products and 2) helps eliminate middlemen. The basic idea is this: you often ask your friends and family for their advice before buying something. So why not have the people you trust become part of the value chain? In this model, bloggers identify products they like and want to let people know about and then connect with people they think would enjoy that product. In essence, they act as “referral agents”. Anyone can sign up to be a blogger or a vendor as deals are executed by the various people that come together to move products. Ted's famous last words were: “Social media should not be measured in terms of ROI. It should be measured in terms of Return on Relationships, or ROR.”


  1. Thanks for this great synopsis, Petra. I also liked the thoughts shared at the conference by @debs about etiquette. With so many ways to connect with one another, we need to develop sensitivity about honoring people's preferred modes. If you send me a tweet because you happen to be on Twitter, but you know I'm primarily on email, you're forcing your preferences on me.

  2. Hi Kat,

    Thank you for your comment. That's a great addition! I really liked @debs presentation too.