How to Build a Killer Social Network: Takeaway

AMABostonLast 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.

The Takeaway

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.

Persuasive Picks for the week of 06/16/08

O'reilly's Graphing Social Patterns ConferenceGSP East moves Social Media forward
Shiv Singh from the Going Social Now blog shares 5 takeaways from the “Advertising versus Appvertising” panel at O’Reilly’s recent Graphing Social Patterns East Conference. Each takeaway presents an interesting twist on today’s typical social media engagement philosophy and potentially points to the next evolution in Social Media Marketing. Thoughtful perspectives like this make me agree with Shiv on attending the next Graphing Social Patterns conference!

Dave Balter on Word-of-Mouth
John Moore from the Brand Autopsy blog shares his thoughts on Dave Balter’s (of BzzAgent) new manifesto entitled “The Word of Mouth Manual.” While a hard-bound version is available on Amazon, John links readers over to the PDF version for a free read.

How the Red Cross is using Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, RSS and WordPress.com in their disaster response efforts
RexBlog.com shares how the Red Cross is utilizing new media to aid in times of disaster. They’ve been using a wide variety of online tools for a while now and this list is good starting point for building the full picture of the Red Cross’s social and new media efforts.

Now You Can Have a Great Facebook Profile and Have Fun Too!
Ok…you caught me. Technically this post came out last week, but questions about mixing personal and business networking with a single Facebook account continue to be at the top of the list with clients and employees alike. Phil Rosenberg from the reCareered blog lends another perspective on how to reach that happy medium.

Large Firm Getting into Facebook Apps – Many Eyes from IBM
Bill Ives shares some incite and links about IBM’s “Many Eyes” project in the social media software space. Registered members of SocialMediaToday.com might also find IBM’s social media case study white paper useful. A link to it is located on the right column of the SMT.com home page after signing in.

Bonus Pick!

Why I’m Blue
Boston’s own Scott Monty recently announced that he’ll be leaving us here in the east to head up social media for the Ford Motor Company out in Dearborn, Michigan! Obviously, this is an amazing opportunity for Scott and his presence in the Boston social media circle will truly be missed! Congratulations Scott, and we’ll be looking forward to using your future accomplishments at Ford as case studies for how social media in the enterprise is done right! Cheers!