Photo with thanks to Mel Carson of Microsoft Advertising

At Dell’s second Business to business social media event, Neville Hobson gave a great overview of the current status quo in social media. My synopsis:

Social media is about relationships. Word of mouth has an increasing impact on purchasing behaviour, and social media accelerates word of mouth like nothing else. With social media, we enabled people to move from an awareness of our businesses, to becoming an ambassador for it. We aren’t just building a connection, we are entering into someone’s personal network.

People are using all sorts of tools, and the tools providers are providing resources and education to help businesses. YouTube has its own set of guidelines for Best Practices for the B2B Marketer. Businesses should investigate all the relevant Social Media tools and channels.Test them, integrate them and build on them.

Neville’s Formula for social media success:

  • Knowledge – understand your marketplace
  • Clarity – listen and learn with precision
  • Influence – identify the exact locations of influence and influencers
  • Content – adapt and re-use.

I followed on, talking about the business case for social media and the real ROI. The Microsoft team did a great job of capturing the talk. Here is the video on uStream:

My own photos from the event, to give you a taste for the event. It was excellently put together – kudos to Kerry and Neville: