Social media for marketing and business development is the hot topic on the networking circuit in Vancouver these days and today’s SMEI event was no exception. With expert panelists from BCIT and Oracle bringing their unique experiences in SM to the panel, the event proved to be insightful.
It started off with a brief intro to Web 2.0 described as being “Tech, Process and People – but most of all collaboration” then went on to a 101 of web 2.0 terms such as RSS, blogs, podcasts for the real newbies in the audience.
Once the panelists got started the true value of the event became apparent. Justin Kestelyn, Director of Development Programs at Oracle discussed their web 2.0 adoption and the benefits they have gained from using a more transparent strategy and involving their customers and partners more. He made a great point in that by involving their customers and allowing them to have a voice these invariably become evangelists at little or no cost to Oracle. He points out that Web 2.0 is an attitude, a new way of doing business and not just an Internet term.
Next up was Robert Duncan from BCIT whose presentation centred on LinkedIn as a means of developing relationships (a topic close to my heart). He focuses on LinkedIn in particular of the social networks available and has over 800 contacts that he uses extensively to spread awareness of what he is doing at BCIT and in his work with innovators. He pointed out that by joining groups in LinkedIn you have access to all other members of that group – a great way to extend your network further. Its easier to do business with people you already know something about.
The last panelist to get up was James Wells also from BCIT and a founder of Lendary Social Financing a company that uses web 2.0 technology to build trust online and to put investors in touch with entrepreneurs looking for money. “Word of mouth is vital to growing any business these days”, he pointed out – “go out and do it – if you fail you learn”.
The conclusion – if companies don’t embrace web 2.0 then they face failure or a steep catch up. It costs very little to adopt these technologies and the benefits in terms of buzz are profound.
Interesting to see Vancouver mega blogger Miss 604 there. I am looking forward to her take on proceedings too.