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 07/14/08

Twitter Acquires Summize. Confirmed.
Just like chocolate and peanut butter, the two great web apps that go great together make the pairing official.

iPhone vs. BlackberryWhat You Should Know Before you Switch from BlackBerry to iPhone
Unless you’ve been living under a rock without any form of mainstream media coverage for the last few months, you’ve already heard plenty of things about the new Apple iPhone 3G. If you’re a Blackberry user and have been thinking about making the switch, Judi Sohn of WebWorkerDaily.com lists some pros and cons to help you out with the decision. While I’m writing this week’s picks, there are over 400 comments on Judi’s post for you to digest!

Why Most Online Communities Fail
Ben Worthen from the Wall Street Journal blog addresses some of the challenges and hurdles that businesses are facing when creating online communities to support their brand(s).

Why Should I Join Your Network?
While on the topic of building communities, Bill Rice of the BetterCloser.com blog gives tips for businesses to consider when trying to build a successful online community.

Do Startups Need Community Managers?
This past week Marshall Kirkpatrick asked the Twitter and Friendfeed communities if start-ups need community managers. He got a plethora of responses that covered a variety of opinions. Several people who participated provided links to supporting blog posts, so get ready to settle down for a good amount of reading!

Persuasive Picks for the week of 05/19/08

Memorial Day CupcakesMarketing Jobs of the Future
Valeria Maltoni dives into the rapidly changing role of today’s marketer and gives some good incite into where the space is going and the challenges of hiring for marketing positions. She also includes a nice link to my post on SocialMediaToday.com featuring a video of Aaron Strout, VP of New Media for Mzinga (client) speaking about hiring and getting hired in a Web 2.0 world.

10 Green Social Networks You Should Know
With all sorts of people and businesses jumping on the “Go Green” bandwagon, it was only a matter of time until “Green” oriented social networks started popping up. This post lists 10 such sites that will let you connect with fellow environmentally-minded individuals.

5 Quick Tips on Pitching Angel Investors and Venture Capitalists
PerkettPR’s attendance at multiple TechCrunch, TechCockTail and PopSignal events definitely brought to light that there’s certainly no shortage of start-up companies looking for money. This post from Ben Yokosvitz’s Insigator Blog gives some good advice on successful pitching during your fund raising efforts.

Robert Scoble Joins Up with Revision3
There aren’t many details available about Robert Scoble’s newly announced show (called WorkFast.TV) on Revision3, so we’ll just have to wait and see what comes out in the upcoming weeks. However, this post includes an interesting speech from Scoble about his use of Twitter during the recent Chinese Earthquake.

Celebrity tipping point on Seesmic
Video conversation platform Seesmic created a big buzz earlier this week when several celebrities appeared in interviews on the service. Famous names included Harrison Ford, George Lucas, and Steven Spielberg to name a few.

Thanks for checking out this week’s Persuasive Picks and for those in the United States – have a great Memorial Day weekend!