Last week, I had the pleasure of attending GSMI’s Social Media Strategies Summit with my good friend and colleague, Kurt Krejny. Kurt did a wonderful job presenting on social techniques, specifically with regards to Twitter. It was great to see old friends and meet a bunch of new ones! More importantly, I walked away with a wealth of new perspectives and knowledge, of which I’ll share some highlights, starting with the keynote presentation from SAP’s Mark Yolton.
Mark had the "wow" factor. During his keynote presentation, I was absolutely floored when hearing:
My first reaction to this is fear – having that much content going live without checks and balances in place, especially from a large organization, is a bit scary. Why? I think this exposes SAP to risk associated with overexposure and their channel being “tuned out,” let alone the threat of content that misrepresents products and brand. My second reaction is excitement! Freedom of thought and individualism is at the core of social media, which is commonly captured through text and distributed via social connections. The fact that SAP is embracing social media to this extent is a trailblazing initiative that should be congratulated. I believe this is the approach most companies will eventually take.
Other key takeaways:
I also enjoyed the presentation provided by Kevin Espinosa from Caterpillar. One of the key takeaways came from a conversation with Kevin after his session regarding content creation. Kevin mentioned Cat’s approach with content is deep rather than shallow. The emphasis on depth, Kevin admits, can sacrifice agility and volume, but is well worth the trade-off. This approach seems to differ from SAP's, where a much larger amount of content is not vetted before posting. I don’t want to suggest that either approach is right or wrong: Every organization is different. However, I would to lean towards a slower output of content that is very well thought-out and vetted. This helps ensure the content provides meaningful information to the reader and promotes engagement.
If you're still selling the idea of social media marketing to upper management, here's another takeaway: Caterpillar used social listening techniques to identify a prospect on Facebook. The prospect was asking his friends for recommendations on how to rent 49 dump trucks. The Cat team pounced, and this single social mention turned into a $100K deal … through Facebook!!! Wow ...
Other great tidbits:
During the closing panel discussion, I was surprised to see that very few people raised a hand when asked if they could “translate the efforts of social into what the C-Suite is interested in.” Social engagements can be easily tracked through analytics and other tools like Facebook’s conversion tracking.
Still not convinced on social?
Just listen to SAP’s CMO Jonathan Becher:
“We've made a big bet on social at SAP. We infuse social in everything we do, from how we decide what solutions to build, to how we market/sell them, to how we support customers after the sale ... I'd go so far as saying the 'S' in SAP now stands for ‘social’.”