1000heads: B2B and Social Media – #dellb2b

Last week 1000heads was invited to attend the B2B edition of ‘Social Media Huddle’ hosted by Dell, Google and For Immediate Release [FIR].
The networking event – the third in its series – takes the unconference route in its execution, whereby guests can create their own sessions for others to attend on the day. I’ve been to a few events like this in the past and it can make for a really interesting day as you never quite know what to expect until you arrive.

The #dellb2b event (to give it its proper twitter name) however, had a very specific aim of ‘bringing together senior communications and marketing professionals to exchange and share experiences on B2B social media for their mutual benefit’. Nice.

The big draw in this instance was guest speaker and internationally recognised thought-leader in the social space, Brian Solis.

Brian Solis @ #dellb2b

I’ve known Brian for a few years now but this is the first time I’ve heard him speak in the UK. A master of the soundbite, his talk was insightful and to the point. I’ll post the slides from the day in a second, but first  – here’s a snapshot from my notes and tweets for the day [including key quotes from the man himself] –

Brian Solis
James Whatley

“46% of B2B respondents said social media was perceived as irrelevant to their company”

“By not saying anything in social, you’re saying everything”

“B2B marketing spend will grow from $11m in 2009 to $54m in 2011”

“93% of business buyers believe all companies should have a social media presence”

So basically, what BS is saying is that, when it comes to B2B – believe it or not – you should apply the same rules of listening and engagement that you do to consumers – ie: You listen. You learn. You engage. You create.

“What is the ROI?”

“There is no ROI of social media programs.”
“However, there is definitely ROI for social media programs that are setup to do something”

Again. Not new. But a truism.

Some choice tweets?

All in all,  plenty of food for thought there, raising a number of issues that we’ll come back to another day.

If you’d like to listen to the presentation yourself, Nevile Hobson has kindly posted the audio version and it may well make an interesting accompaniment to Brian’s slides, embedded below.

Dell B2B Huddle UK with Brian Solis

View more presentations from Brian Solis

What do you think?
Interesting? Thought-provoking?
Your comments, as ever, are welcome in the field below –

When does Batman sleep? – Part 1

Back in September last year, fresh from the awesomeness that was Nokia OpenLab in Helsinki, I found myself at the Web 2.0 Expo, NYC.

It was day two of the conference and Brian Solis was taking us through his presentation on PR 2.0. It would seem that in today’s ‘2.0’ environment, that PR was no longer about Public Relations, but Personal Relationships.

Brian’s written and talked extensively about this subject in the past and while I have a great respect for him and his work, this particular session was faltering.

You see, the presentation wasn’t anything new to me. Having studied his work in the past, I was just hearing everything I’d read being spoken back to me.

Admittedly this was not Brian’s fault. He had to speak to the lowest common denominator in the room and he was doing a very good job of it. However, some of the attendees were losing interest. Actually, my good friend and blog designer Vero Pepperrell touched upon this in her most recent post on That Canadian Girl.

Upon her return from the South by South West Interactive (SXSWi) festival, in Austin, Texas – Vero had this to say to the organisers:

Mark panels as Beginner, Intermediate or Advanced on the pocket schedule and ask speakers to stick to that level. The vast majority of panels I attended were far too Beginner level, which sometimes felt like a waste of time. The panelists aren’t necessarily to blame, as they aimed to be as inclusive as possible, but when every panel is lowest-common-denominator, it can be tricky to learn new things.

Good point, well made. So… What’s up with the Batman reference?

Well jumping back to New York for a second, the PR 2.0 session at Web2 was coming to an end and Mr Solis had opened the floor to questions…

A few short ones at first;

– “Should we be using Twitter?” (Yes)
– “What if people start talking back?” (Talk back to them)
– “Can I have a copy of your presentation?” (Yes)

And then this one guy came up to the mic, rather shy fella actually, and quietly told Brian and the audience around him, what he did for a living. This man was a developer who, after spending some time wandering the world wide web, had discovered that people were talking about the company he worked for. Sometimes good, sometimes bad and, being the nice human being that he was, this man decided to do something about it.

At first, starting small; just fixing little bugs here, offering help and guidance there. Soon, word spread that this was the go-to guy online if you had any questions regarding the company he worked for. Again, being the kind man that he was, he found himself answering query after query and question after question, not once being mean or nasty or just plain rude. This man cared:

“Sometimes Brian, I find myself stuck in front of the laptop at like 10pm on a Sunday night. The kids are in bed, the wife isn’t far behind and there I am answering customer care questions over Twitter with some guy in Geneva! This isn’t my day job. I’m a developer. My question to you is sir; when does Batman sleep?”

This prompted a huge round of applause from the majority of the room. Being the face of your brand isn’t supposed to be a 24hr job (is it?), so when are we supposed to take time out? What about those of us to whom this isn’t even their job?

I have answers, mainly through my own experiences.
But first I wanted to ask the question to you, dear reader:

When do you think Batman should sleep?


Part 2.