February has been a busy month for me and events, and this is no bad thing. I’ve met loads of fascinating people, picked up a ton of new information, drank far too much filter coffee and most importantly had some brilliant buffets! Here’s a quick run down of what I’ve been involved with in February:
Social Brands – #SocialSummit
It was great to be a member of a panel on Approaches to Measuring Success and ROI at this Brand Republic event. Andy Porteus, former SVP of Digital at Unilever led the debate, and I was joined by Pete Markey of RSA, Alanah Donnel from the Department for Work and Pensions as well as Paul Fabretti from Telefonica.
There was too much to discuss, and it was a shame we couldn’t have gone on longer. It was reassuring that all the panelists seemed to agree on one major point – social must be aligned to your core business objectives in order to show return. And as Alanah rightly highlighted it does not necessarily need to be monetary.
Increased sales, brand awareness, hiring the greatest talent or customer retention – find out what is important to your business and align your social to that. It’s the only way you will talk the language of the c-suite who may not yet see the value social media and therefore a surefire way to show ROI.
Saying all that, I think we were secretly most proud that we were able to help provide some advice to an audience member about targeting Cornwall farmers with their farming machinery.
— Weber Shandwick LDN (@WS_London) February 6, 2014
Tech Forum for Financial Services
It’s been nearly a year since I left the legal industry, however I still haven’t lost my enthusiasm for making social business work in what can be deemed a tough environment where regulation, compliance and risk can wield their often uncompromising heads.
The panel was chaired by CGI’s Matthew Grisoni with Stephane Clark from HSBC, Warren Roy from Global Relay and Simon Appleton from Kinetic Partners covering: E-discovery, Risk Management and Compliance within Finance
As I discussed on the panel, the financial services industry must keep an eye out for the upcoming social media guidelines to be released by the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) and prepare for them by looking at the recently released FFIEC’s Social Media Guidelines in the States – which I have heard will be a basis for the UK guidelines.
Be sure to check two great resources on this:
- Danielle Sheerin from NixonMcinnes has prepared an excellent briefing document: What UK financial (and other types of) firms can learn from the FFIEC social media guidance
- Bridget Greenwood of Financial Social Media UK has a great post on What will the FCA new regulations on Social Media look to cover?
No matter what the guidelines say though I really believe that in any regulated industry you can be a social business, but you have to treat social as you would any other business project or process. Start with creating a strategy and write your policy. Then ensure you are compliant and reducing risks by providing infrastructure through technology and ensure you educate all your employees on your social media guidelines and policies.
— Stephen Johnson (@StephenJ_GR) February 11, 2014
Modern Marketers Forum – #ModernMarketers
There is some really awesome technology out there – and it was great to share the stage with, Tamsin Fox Davies from Constant Contact, Krista LaRiviere from gshift and Laurent Boninfante from Acquisio. My highlight of the event was definitely Krista’s definition of SEO:
— Rylan Holey (@holeytonal) February 13, 2014
It’s no longer just about Google – it’s the whole digital eco-system.
What’s next? Social Media World Form – #SMWF
Up next is the Social Media World Forum at the Brewery in London on 31 March and 1 April. I’m totally stoked about this event having attended two years ago, coming away impressed with all the great insights shared and the high-level of conversation.
So it’s great to be back to do a keynote this year and I’m going to be talking on day 2 at 10.20pm around this:
The social media manager is dead. Long live social media
As a business solution, social has evolved, moving well beyond the marketing department. In the last year, 13 times as many jobs involve the use of social media in some way but growth in positions with the title “social media manager” slowed to 50%. Behind this decline is a sea change in the way that social media itself is used within organisations.
- As a social specialist, ensure your unique specialism continues to be valued within your organisation
- Learn the skills to manage change within your business and win over the non believers
- Review what social issues really matter to your CEO
Hopefully I’ll see you there and I pray you won’t regret leaving that bag of rotten tomatoes at home!