What’s Return on Ignoring Social Media Week?

This is a guest post by Misae Richwoods, a previous Golden Web Award winner and consultant to start ups, SMEs and the independent professionals market via MRMedia Group
Screen shot 2010-02-03 at 13.45.18“If only this headache would go away, I could go back to sleep". Rather than the state of my head the night after attending Social Media Week’s inaugural invite only VIP party, it’s a comment many have felt typified traditional non-digital businesses attitude towards technology. It was therefore a sign of the times to see Social Media draw together a vast number of industries that until recently may have been somewhat distant. Media professionals like Sky’s Maz Nadjm (@mazi) rubbed shoulders with experts in disruptive business models like Alan Patrick (@freecloud), both of whom are on panels during the week. Start ups brought a twinkle of things to come whilst PR and marketing professionals were out in force. Perhaps it’s a symbol of how technology is making business disciplines increasingly intertwined?

Social Media Week is in its second year. It’s the first time the UK has formally participated and there’s a full week of events, most of which are free and are at venues around the capital. From @Media140’s look into the opportunities Social Media gives third sector organisations to @IABUK’s brand discussions there’s something for everyone. @Be2camp, far from being a Kenneth Williams tribute, focuses on the construction industry. Recruitment, broadcast and even anthropology get their own sessions. Who says monkeys can’t tweet?!

Spoonfed: the first location-based event guide iPhone app to market

A woman who knows where all the parties are at is Meaghan Fitzgerald (@megfitz) of Spoonfed (@spoonfed). Spoonfed’s ambition is to become the definitive guide to what’s on in London and now, at nearly two years old, they’ve already amassed a Courvoisier Future 500 award and over 170,000 uniques a month. Backed by the first location-based event guide iPhone app to market, Meaghan tells me the team are on a buzz having recently found out that they’ll be appearing at the 24th South by South West Festival (@sxsw) in Austin, USA.

Following on from the launch of iPad, I asked Meaghan to give her views as to how dotcoms and mobile apps cut into print market share. Meaghan put it simply – we have 30,000 events in our database at anyone point in time. Who’d put that in their newspaper daily?

One entrepreneur who has gone bananas for social is Abigail Harrison (@abigailh), founder of Surrey based communications agency, thebluedoor. Now in her second year at the helm, her company has represented not only some interesting tech startups like BookingBug (@bookingbug) and SocialSafe (@socialsafe), they’ve also worked for some 900lb gorillas of the brand world like Mars Drinks and The Telegraph. Clearly this is no jungle woman! When I pressed her for some of her secrets she confided that finding great partners was essential.

Today’s technology involves a broad spectrum of skills – digital content creation, SEO, Social, PR – and having the right person for the job makes the difference. Invest the time in meeting people and building a strong support network.

To help Surrey based entrepreneurs, Abigail has launched a social meetup for them and their support network. The next Farnham Tweetup takes place on the 3rd February at the Slug and Lettuce on East Street from 7pm and can be found via the @surreytweetup handle. Innovation hub, iBundle, are sponsoring hospitality and an Angel will be giving a talk on what entrepreneurs need to do to get investment ready. She’s also voluntarily organising Farnham Twestival, a global charitable event using technology to do good. That’s on March 25th and if you can get into the event by following @twestivalfarnhm (note – no second ‘A’ in Farnham!).

Social Media Week continues for the rest of this week and full schedule of events is available from www.socialmediaweek.org/london or on Twitter via the @socialmediaweek handle and hashtags #smw and #smwldn. It’s been brought here by a collaboration of event organisers with the lead being taken by those pillars of the London event scene, Chinwag (@chinwag). Julia Eilon (@juliaeilon) told me that she and Sam Michel (@toodlepip) are planning to make regular briefings on these emerging technologies a focus so get involved this week and use the year’s programme of events to leverage your full social reach. As Kodak COO Jeffrey Hayzlett (@jeffreyhayzlett) rightly said at the last #140conf London, “Measuring the Return on Investment of Social Media is tough. But measuring the Return on Ignoring is clear”.

Social Media Week Events

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