Social Media Success Summit 2011 Keynote Aims for Escape Velocity

As part of our weekly strategy session this week, Anne Swanson—client, collaborator, and sister—and I watched a streaming video recording of the keynote address of the 2011 Social Media Success Summit. SMSS is an online conference that’s billed as benefitting small-business owners, corporate marketers, and social-media users who want to use social media to take their businesses to “a whole new level.”

Jeremiah Owyang’s advice: Achieve escape velocityLast night’s keynote, “The Future of Social Media: A Forecast Based on Research,” featured Altimeter Group’s Jeremiah Owyang. The presentation seemed to be slanted toward the stakeholders responsible for social media activity in corporate environments, but Owyang’s message contained some useful strategies for small businesses, social-media consultants, and nonprofits as well. His main message contrasted two possible paths for social-media efforts—getting caught in a reactive “social media help desk” scenario or implementing a proactive approach he called “achieving escape velocity.”

To reach escape velocity, Owyang suggests a six-point strategy:

  1. Formalize a coordinated system for social-media management within your organization. He advocates for a “hub and spoke” model—centralized governance, process management, and education with widely distributed execution.
  2. Create a peer-to-peer community for interaction with your customers.
  3. Integrate relevant social-media conversations at every stage of the “customer lifecycle.”
  4. Build a program to turn your satisfied customers into advocates for your product or service.
  5. Streamline your efforts with a social-media management system. He suggests replacing piecemeal postings to Facebook, Twitter, and other outlets with a consolidated approach. (See Owyang’s list of SMMS resources.)
  6. Design a strategy to measure your return on investment. You shouldn’t limit yourself to engagement metrics—clicks, fans, likes, etc.—but should also analyze what your social-media numbers mean and how they affect your bottom line.

Owyang’s presentation was loaded with facts and figures. Many of the reports he cited are available on his blog, Web Strategy by Jeremiah Owyang. They’re offered under an open-research Creative Commons license for use and sharing. (In other words, read them, pass them around, and give credit to Altimeter Group.) You can also view Owyang’s presentation slide deck on Slideshare.

All of the seminars and presentations of the Social Media Success Summit 2011 are being recorded as videos for participants to watch as streams or downloads with supporting files and links, so if you’d like to take part, you won’t miss out on any content by signing up now. But a conference seat at this late stage will cost you a steep $597.

If that’s too rich for your blood, take a look at the Social Media Success Summit 2011 event site, consider putting yourself on the mailing list for next year’s conference, and check back here to read my reviews of more SMSS seminars as I get a chance to watch them.

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