On Monday (15th March), I attended the first day of the Social Media World Forum at London’s Olympia. The next series of posts, will be my reflections of the talks presented. I hope you find them insightful.
Keynote – Kevin Eyres of LinkedIn Europe.
Kevin Eyres, Managing Director of LinkedIn Europe, started his talk with a paraphrased quote from Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of being Earnest, where Social Media and business come together as a marriage.
He stated that in his opinion, “…anyone who desires to understand Social Media should know everything or nothing”.
Kevin went on to discuss, that businesses need “Lenses”. Lenses can help to make better social media decisions. Businesses need to think about how Social Media can be adapted to their local businesses. Lenses also help us to examine “Universal Truths and Human Needs” (both social and knowledge). Humans are social beings, that are inherently designed to be part of a tribe where they connect with other members.
He went on to discuss how the “levelling of the playing field” has a created a Global economy with a new set of problems:
- Hard to identify? [Global Economy]
- Who do I trust?
- How to collaborate?
Kevin’s talk them focussed on the following areas:
1. Innovation – will be driven by knowledge and information. (Incidentally, Linkedin had over 1 billion people searches in the last year).
2. Overloaded – (Information & Command). How many people go beyond page 2 on a search engine?
3. Social Media Facts – We are in “Infancy”. As a business, are you innovating or following someone else?
4. Voice, Identity & Filter – everyone has a voice today. A two-way dialogue is creating a lot of noise. What tools can we use to filter out the useful information?
5. Sharing Knowledge is powerful – It’s no longer what you know, but who you know. “Knowledge is Power” is dead.
6. Socially Aware Apps are the “game changers”. They bring efficiency for users, they help us format, filter and socialise knowledge.
The Global economy brings new opportunities and the birth of “The Accidental Entrepreneur”. Kevin talks about the case of Henk van Ess, who asked on a LinkedIn group, if there were any ways to extend the life of his iPhone battery? A representative from a Chinese manufacturer replied to his post and after some discussions, Henk has created a new online business that now sells long life iPhone batteries to consumers.
Empowered employees at the US electronics retailer BestBuy, solved surplus inventory problems. Shop floor staff created a forecast model, which was more accurate than the company system and was based on customer feedback. Empowered employees also use Twitter, @Twelpforce successfully as a customer support channel.
Before embarking on such initiatives, businesses need to ask themselves, what problems are they trying to solve? Don’t use social media because others are using it, use it to solve a business problem.