Thursday, June 19, 2008

Social Media for the Enterprise

“What are your favorite buzzwords?,” asked moderator Todd Van Hoosear. “Twitter,” Mike Volpe responded. “Podcast,” replied Parna Sarkar. “Tweople,” said John Cass, leading most of the audience to ask for an explanation. (It’s people who twitter.)

This is just a taste of the dialogue at a Social Media Club event. The group prides itself on its interactive format. Events begin with a half hour of networking. The panel lasts about an hour, and is followed by 30-45 minutes of break-out sessions, where you have the opportunity to meet in a smaller group with the panelist of your choice.

Last Thursday’s panel, where the conversation above occurred, focused on Social Media in the Enterprise. The panelists included Mike Volpe, vice president of marketing for HubSpot, Parna Sarkar, senior director of corporate communications for Invention Machine, John Cass, online community manager for Forrester Research, and Michele Glorie, senior director of corporate communications for Kronos.

Glorie offered the words of wisdom that a company needs to be experimental to succeed in social media, since ROI can be hard to demonstrate immediately . Sarkar said that she was able to show success by having European sales tell her customers were finding information about her company, before officially launching in Europe. Volpe stressed: “Marketing is no longer predictable so you need to adapt or get out.”

The panelists touched on the importance of training company staff on what to expect with social media, and including legal from the first steps on. Said Cass, “Involve legal early and they may surprise you.” Volpe added that involving legal in writing policy can keep it from getting overwhelming.

The final question asked of the panel was, “What is your favorite social media tool?” Linked In seemed to be the favorite, especially their Question and Answers section.

To learn more, click here to listen to an audio recording of the event.

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