The Search to be a Social Media Specialist..

Working at Microsoft does have lots of benefits. Not only can I mix with some really exciting creative people who have a passion to develop solutions to solve multiple problems; I can also get last minute tickets to attend various business events. A few weeks ago I had 2mins away from the day job to notice that FreshBusinessThinking.com were hosting a “Hit me! Social Media and Search” event at our offices in London. As this looked like something that would help my Social Media Career development, I track down the Microsoft owner of the event and managed to get an invite (thanks Cedric, I still owe you that coffee).

The event was quite well run with around 200 small business owners attending to hear how they could embrace Social Media and Search in their Industries. I got there around 9am however due to typical public transport issues many others didn’t; it surprises me why people try and organise events in London before 10am.

The morning session was hosted by Nick James from FBT and included Microsoft Advertising’s Cedric Chambaz and Mel Carson who talked about how Social Media and Search are interwoven and critical to your online business; especially when building and leveraging a community. I really enjoyed these sessions and as a “classic” Microsoftie it was interesting to see what our cooller brother was up to. I particulary enjoyed the real world scenarios and think there are practical elements I can take back to my day job and share with our classic Microsoft Partner Channel.

The rest of the day included experts from the field of Social Media, PR and SEO. Twitter heavyweight Mark Shaw “Demonstrated his expertise” by using plently of examples to inspire the audience and alloing everyone to see the potential of Twitter. Rob Shaw from Epiphany Solutions gave a excellent talk on tapping into existing communities to build social networks and increase awareness of your brand. Adam Parker from Real Wire highlighted the importance of PR and what it means to your SEO which was an eye opener to a lot of the audience. There were also thoughtful talks from Tiger Two’s Nancy Williams and Mat Morrison who grounded the audience by talking about the truth of Social Media and how its important to measure the influence and impact. Unfortunately I couldn’t stay for the final two speakers but I throughly enjoyed the day and will certianly be finding out more about the speakers I did listen to; all of whom came across as very knowledgable and people who you would want to work with. This event was certainly a perfect step forward in allowing me to use Social Media more and devloping my knowledge to do so. Big Thanks FBT and Microsoft Advertising!  

As you already know Im a big fan of Social Media if its used as part of an overall Marketing Strategy. Its not the be all and end all; its just a tool that Businesses can use to be more human. Ive been luckily enough to have had some great mentors in the past, one of whom said “2 ears 1 mouth”. Which is the most important aspect in Social Media…its a shame not everyone knows this

Resources:

Speaker Presentations – Hit Me! Social Media and Search at Microsoft

Fresh Business Thinking’s Facebook fan page