Notes from Social Media Club LA, #smcla

Here are the notes from the Social Media Club LA meeting at Mahalo.

@BrianSolis, @NicoleJordan, @JackiePeters, @Richman17 and @Chiropractic were the panel.

Define "Social Media":

Anything that facilitates conversations online.

3rd wave of communications – 1 direct, 2 interaction with site, 3rd – interaction with each other.
Shift away from email. Analogy to business is becoming more about "fun" and "social".

Still a whole world who hasn't come on board yet. Broaden the definition to get wider adoption.

We should broaden the definition.

But remember that we are left hand side of the curve – We should think broadly about the socialization of content.

Yelp! Changing the game about influence.

Normal people who have influence and something to say. Power of influence is broadening.

Jay Rosen – we are the people formerly known as the audience.

What is SocialMedia beyond the technology? How people are using it.

Social tools are old: Deja News, Yahoo!Groups.

People are thriving off interaction – but how can we use these for the greater good?

Different tribes – different cultures – immersion and observation are crucial. Conversational marketing is bs…it is not empathetic. You need to listen.

Medium defines the message – blogging platforms (LiveJournal let's you personalize and privatize, vs others that don't). Twitter changes our communication.

Some brands are just about crashing and make the dialogue focused on them vs contributing to them. Pushing vs not actually being part of the conversation.

Are we all experts here?
No. We are all learning.

Is Comcast actively listening to people?

Test. @comcastcares. He replied to the email. Us this a bs strategy? He replies: yes. But we have 5 – 7 people…facilitating all this stuff internally and 1 guy has saved company money. Improving brand and relationships.

Game changer for brands?

HealthCare is notorious for not helping people.

Some people are starting to change.

Old way – you have no real way of knowing if it works. Example of Nissan and flashy ads with no results.

People are now creating ads for other companies and winning awards – brand hijacking. Smarter companies are looking at this.

A lot of big brands are adriad of negative feedback. You can embrace this feedback to make it into a positive experience. See Zappos and how he balances corporate with the humanity. We are revealing more about ourselves on a personal level.

It is about the socialization of this. Tony of Zappos.

Power of positive influence. Reputation matters.

See Virgin – anti-social.

Key is to be social.

How do you do this in a big company?
Play it safe: keep it in marketing.

See SEO…are you ok if Tony from Zappos is not a real person? Maybe. See Obama.

Issues of sincerity.

Example of real people representing a real company.

Power of real people. They connect.

People don't interact with companies – they interact with people.

Which department owns social media?

PR? In 100 percent of actual cases it comes out of customer service. They are willing to understand that social media is worth it because it is a "cost center".

All employees should keep an eye on it. PR people should keep an eye on it though a they can have a big picture understanding. But it should permeate the organization.

PR doesn't get paid to listen. Trend – outsourcing "listening" to India or Jamaica.

It all goes back to business fundamentals. AAPL – service.

Don't forget it is about people – whole foods? Buy what about fake identity?

Not trustworthy.

If social conversations are getting shorter, where are deeper conversations happening?

Conversation is thinning and spreading. Comments on variety of networks and networks – 36 hours just to respond.

Conversation is changing shape.

Social media and authenticity. Seth Godin – be remarkable, and don't be authentic. If you game the system, it is only a matter of time until you become found out.

Online conversation does get carried offline. Take in person relationships to another level.

What do we do to keep this from becoming hype? What is being done to scale it?

Sociology of this is important. Number? 50 percent? See Forrester – scale of public participation.

But we are still on the left side of the bell curve.

There is no audience anymore. Companies need to go find people and find out how they are being discussed. Are people where you are targeting. Start by listening.

Targeting is important but different for different companies and different brands.

Hard question. Fast-forward. Everyone has socialized everything to death. What happens? Are we buying minds? Do we have employees and customer service?

We will all always be on the left side of the curve. This will eventually be mainstream and we will move onto semantics and predictive markets. Predictive and semantic intersection with social world will be off the hook.

Pay attention to who the linkerati is out there. Let the people do the work…to carry your message further.

Search the key words that matter your business. Google: Essential Guide to Social Media.

Example: competitor went first to answer the questions. Outbound resource center for the people.

Smart companies are trying to do this but the various different groups are not coordinated. Internal HR issues make execution difficult. This is a key problem to address.

People think it is a campaign. BlairWitch of 2.0. They need a "social media" officer. Need it to do it 1 company at a time. What about "community manager"? They have more trust than CMO's.

Make us a viral video – it is the People that make it viral.

Analytics make it powerful.

Key is to smart small – see Google.

HomePage of Digg is still only 4,000 people.

Check out Help A Reporter:

Old school people are not going to get on Twitter….son got off Facebook when she got on. Individual here can't even get her company (BigCo) to even participate in "viral" marketing.

How do we educate the masses? "But that's just online."

Question: What is your content?

Answer: Be interesting, compelling and valuable.

But we aren't even there yet. See JohnEdwards – it should not be a one-way broadcast mechanism.

Conversations are King.

IBM's social networking platform: how will we monetize this?

Answer is difficult.

Metrics matter. In corporate context – filter content. What metrics matter most? Talk later.

We all have a currency that other people don't have.

Check out

Thanks to an excellent panel! will be the Blog.

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