#pcb6 was my second Podcamp. Try explaining to your friends that you’re foregoing a September weekend of football for something that conjures up Lady Gaga’s transport mode to the Grammy Awards. Here are my takeaways from a well-spent weekend at Microsoft New England.
Podcamp is an “unconference” where people share their learning of social media from a variety of perspectives including corporations just exploring it, entrepreneurs, video fanatics and mom bloggers. Topics ranged from monetizing social media in an organization to blogging, adoption of video, to podcasting and what the long-term value of a like, a + or a follow.
I repeatedly heard how social media advocates, particularly in large organizations, are challenged to translate Twitter, the newly updated Facebook, Google+ and other social media into value propositions for senior executives.
Social Media is a business tool, not a complete business plan.
Start by listening, supporting and helping. The most important part is to jump into social media and incubate your efforts. Putting yourself “out there” in a blog or a video in which you’re more concerned about succinctly communicating good content is much better than worrying about high production quality worthy of awards. Trying it out, testing and measuring help improve efforts over repeated tries. Chris Brogan described it in a hallway conversation as exposing your vulnerabilities.
Learn from others successfully using technology to commune and replicate it. Mari Anne Snow, an Adjunct Professor of Emarketing and Ecommerce at Bentley University advises to “assemble a gang” because nobody can know everything. One of the earliest groups to use ARPANET and Usenet before the current internet were people who share crafting hobbies such as knitting. Kimberly Reynolds from publisher XRX, Inc. and Guido Stein of the Common Cod Fiber Guild shared stories with me about the community of knitters, fortunes spent in pursuit of yarns, and how knitters share their work. Novice knitters rarely have to go far to get help on a dropped stitch or pattern adaptation.
Don’t buy into the myth that social media is just for the kids. Mari Anne Snow made an emphatic point in her recommendation to “assemble a gang” that the college kids recruited for internships and jobs are digitally savvy because parents outfitted them with technology from early on. But that assumption that all college interns are digital whiz kids is false. We’re all still learning in the social media space. Plus the kids do not have organizational clout, budgets to allocate or business life experiences to draw upon
4) Google+, Facebook and technology changes are challenging everyone. Even the brilliant global names at Podcamp Boston are just wrapping their arms around the changes, gripes and praises.
Can you give a shout out to groups who are doing interesting things in social media that readers can adopt? Give ’em a digital pat on the back here…