On Friday, 16th October, I attended the inaugural Like Minds – Measuring Social Media (SM) conference in Exeter. The conference aimed to bring ‘like minded’ people together to discuss the business benefits of using SM and to explore possible Return On Investment (ROI).
The conference itself demonstrated how this can work as the event was publicised solely through SM channels. With a ticket price of just £25 – 180 people signed up to attend. An orderly queue formed outside the Exeter Conference Centre just before 2pm and no doubt passers-by were left wondering just who was ‘topping the bill’ at this small city venue!
Speakers included – Trey Pennington, Marketing Pro, Connector, Storyteller, Author and SM advisor to The Jones Group. Daren Forsyth – ex BBC Executive and founder of 140characters.co.uk and Vanessa Warwick former MTV presenter turned professional property investor (Propertytribes).
Each presentation was followed by a lively panel discussion. The man in the kilt (James Barisic – Photolegal) and our very own Carl Haggerty (DCC) adorning his delightfully flowery shirt, being particularly brave souls in the face of a live video-stream via ustream.tv and a 3 metre background Twitter…, or is that ‘Titterfall’! It was interesting to see questions/comments coming thick and fast through Twitter, we even had a Tweet from Stephen Fly no-less – but personally I found this quite distracting – and verging on plain rude at times.
So what is the ROI? As Trey stated in his keynote – ‘It really depends on what you are trying to achieve’. Oliver Blanchard commented that SM isn’t free. Yes, free to use but there is always a cost in terms of time and effort. But you don’t need to be a SM Guru to realise the train is in the station and businesses need to hop on board – and now would be good!
Looking forward to the next event.