Mixing It Up At The Inbound Marketing Summit – Boston
I was fortunate enough to run a session at last week’s Inbound Marketing Summit in Boston. While I was not on the main stage, I am proud to have been on the same roster as Chris Brogan, David Meerman Scott and Scott Stratten, to name a few. The speakers were chock full of new ideas, strategies and funny stories. Overall it was a very entertaining conference. Many attendees I spoke with remarked on the fact that this was a social media conference but that there was little to no actual conversation happening. I took that to heart and decided to do something different for my session on Day 2.
By the middle of the morning of Day 2, the content of the speakers was getting a bit dry and people were fidgety. A lot of the same things were being said. One thing that was not being discussed all that much was Social Media Policy and Governance. There was a lot of talk on why social media is good and how to measure it, but not a lot of ideas on crisis management and overall campaign management. With that said, I took it upon myself to make sure that the people who came to my session would have fun and learn something about social media policy.My session was called the Brand Jam. It’s something we do during our half day workshop with the Social Web Institute.
After going through a handful of slides and teeing up the idea of social media policy, I handed out a black Sharpie to about 40 people. Around the room were big pieces of paper taped to the walls with different well known brand names at the top – Nike, McDonald’s, NRA, Barack Obama, etc. I asked each pen holder to take 5 minutes and write down whatever they wanted about each of the brands. People were excited to get out of their seats and do something different. There was a lot of chatter and discussion as people read what other people wrote. One attendee said “imagine that – we’re actually talking at a social media conference!” As you can see from this image (thanks @sararanderson) , no one held back. I took the NRA example, read it to the room, held it up and said “You run the social media initiatives for the NRA.It’s 8 am on a Monday morning and this is your Facebook page – What are you going to do about it?” We then had a short debate on how to handle negative and possibly brand damaging activity on the social web.
Many of the people in the room realized that their companies and/or clients do not have any kind social media policy or governance in place. We talked about how people were using Facebook to boycott Target, the issues with Price Chopper on Twitter and other recent social media fiascoes. It was a spirited discussion and got people excited.
So I ask you, how do you handle a negative comment or thread on your social media outlets? Do you have a social media policy in place? Do you think you need to?