Last night, several of us from PerkettPR attended the AMA Boston meeting at the Exchange Conference Center. The sold-out event featured a keynote and panel entitled “How to Build a Killer Social Network: Understanding and Optimizing Social Media.”
John Moore, Senior Vice President and Director of Ideas and Innovation at Mullen Media Hub, got the evening started with a statistics-packed keynote presentation that covered the basics of social media and social networks. John did a good job getting everyone up to speed on the social networking landscape and provided some detailed examples of how XM Satellite Radio has used social networks to engage with their target audience.
John’s presentation laid the proper groundwork for the panel discussion led by Chris Brogan, VP Strategy & Technology for CrossTech Media. Panel members included Todd VanHoosear, Social Media Practice Leader from Topaz Partners, Tom Arrix, VP of Sales, East from Facebook and Dale Durrett, Eastern Region Sales Manager at LinkedIn. The panelists provided solid answers to Chris’s questions and they each provided their own perspectives on how get started and be successful in the social networking space.
It’s not uncommon for a company to want to build their own social networking community. However, it’s important to remember that just because you build it, doesn’t mean the community will come. Yes, it’s fine to consider building your own, but it needs to be part of a larger, more diverse plan that also includes going out and interacting with the existing communities that align with your target market. Tom Arrix provided a takeaway that resonates this idea. He urged the attendees to first figure out if they want to engage with people who are like them or with people who are not like them, but who would benefit from their expertise.
The drive behind Tom’s advice is to help people decide what social networks they should join and interact with first. Existing customers and people who are familiar with your brand probably already congregate in similar online communities. Those who are not familiar with your brand, but would benefit from your expertise, might congregate in different social platforms. The objectives in your social networking strategy should help indicate which of these groups should get your attention first. After spending a good amount of time inside the existing communities, you’ll have a better understanding of how to build your own social networking community and increase its chance for success.
Unfortunately, video recording was not allowed during the panel portion of the evening, but John Moore’s keynote presentation should be available in the AMA Boston website in the near future.