The Social Imperative Keynote


Elisa Camahort Page: Moderator
Diana Williams of Joyus, S3
Ekaterina Walters author of Think Like Zuck-S2
Shana Perlman of Skype-S1

Elisa: I encourage you to read more about each of our panelists in the booklet. For us, for every company whether you are building a company you have to be thinking about social because that's where your customers are spending such a good deal of time using all sorts of social tools. Over 80% of U.S. women have a Facebook page. All our attention is aggregated across social. That's why we are calling it Social Imperative.

Question: Ekaterina, Tell me why you think social tools are relevant and why you reject the B to B labels.

Ekaterina: We sell to we don't sell through. Social allows us to focus on People. Social is B to P. You could be a person on Facebook that connects with a brand. You want to know the latest things you can about technology, not just this particular system. We have to be multifaceted. Doesn't matter if they are consumer or business. We use Facebook to target consumers but we also use LinkeIn to target IT decision makers and directors. It depends on the communities. Deliver the best value you can, produce the content yourself. We've created sites like

Elisa: You make a great point, people use different social tools for different reasons. We see different behaviors. You do have to think about talking about it differently. There's just different reason people use different tools for different results. You want to have an emotional resonance with a brand.

Ekaterina: The biggest value it allows us to humanize our brand. There's actually people behind it. Here is a message I reduce to 140're actually talking to a community as a friend. How you delivery the content, infographics...connect as a brand to people. I make sure that they know there is a person behind it. #1 value add.

Elisa: Shana, people share stories with you about Skype. We surveyed our community about who uses Skype..using it to see their baby walk for the first time. Why do people share those stories with you and how do you attach value to that?

Shana: My favorite example is Spanx, when you get Oprah saying OMG I love this thing. How do I contact people I care about when you're away (for Skype). People began to develop a relationship with the brand. They associate it with being with their loved ones. They do have this really strong connection. We don't have to worry about User Generated Content. We have to have a very personable voice when talking to our customers. Our users have relationships and use Skype to maintain them. You can quantify this sort of thing in metrics, engagement metrics. In terms of quantifying the emotion, thinking about brand and fan growth. We see it in our community program.

Elisa: What's hard to measure is what didn't happen. In 2003 there wasn't an alternative. How do you measure now that you're in a competitive market place?

Shana: Everyone hates the cell phone companies, whereas when you put a human face on a brand...we have a way to go with customer service...but when it's transparent and free.

Elisa: We do a lot of research about behavior of shopping. In our research it boils down to trust. 80% make a purchase because a blogger recommended. How does Joyus establish trust?

Diana: We don't really use the term like social media. We use a term like trusted voice. Social media has a way to make that connection stronger. It's the customer and Joyus, it's the customer and and expert. People identify with us. Through the video we create a human element. It's actually a two way relationship.

Elisa: Online community is a cycle, so many mainstream media sites haven't gotten the feedback concept.

Diana: That's why people are excited about Joyus. Hearing that validation and response. Other community members respond too. They are communicating on your website but also where they are organizing.

Elisa: #1 question I get asked is how do I build traffic and community? You just want to get, but are you giving?

Diana: If you are actually thinking about the needs of your customers or your friends, you are solving your own problems.

Shana: I remember being at UC Prodigy back in the 90's. When we think about Facebook and Twitter, which are prettier. But it's always been about creation and co-creation. Does this pass the awesome test? What is the awesome test? Is it awesome?

Ekaterina: That's great, if you look at it 50% of the population is under 30. Those are your current and future customers. Scientists have done the research that 10% of the population can influence the others. You want to find those 10%, the brand advocates. I don't care how their Klout scores. They are your advocates to defend your brand when the time comes. They love your brand and will tattoo it on their bodies! You know that's the reality when we think about the numbers. That is why we do it, find those 10% to reach more people.

Elisa: You find those 10% to evangelize to other to create the brand with you.

Question: How productive does Skype, Facetime, etc. make remote workers. You don't have to be physically tethered...then add on the recent news from Yahoo about working from home.

Shana: I think you have to be very sure of yourself and when you are working from home you have to be available.

Ekaterina: You put a timer on it then you shut it down.

Elisa: That's giving me the vapors!

Ekaterina: OMG, send out the emails and then there's an IM. Research shows that to do strategic innovative work you have to be alone you have to think. Get your laptop and map out a strategy. You need that time to focus.

Diana: There is an efficiency network. After 15 minute email thread...pick up the phone or swing by someone's desk. Tools have made us super efficient but also less efficient. Do a quick huddle in the conference room. Some people forget that. Things can get misinterpreted in email when you don't see them face to face. Figure out a way to shut down chat for awhile, put do not disturb on. But also that human connection.

Elisa: People think social is a layer that's constantly on. You have to allocate resources to it just like you allocate to Human Resources or anything else. We have a 24-7 presence on Twitter...that's where our community hangs out.

Shana: Knowing exactly why you are doing social comes into play. There's a nice lady doing educational research, that's what you have to devote your time to.

Ekaterina: I like to see small businesses succeed. Biggest concern is, how do I maintain that....set an expectation. Then you don't have to worry that you didn't get back to people. Tell your community what is appropriate to discuss. Set it up upfront.

Elisa: You are responsible for the tone you set on your website. For us we set community guidelines. During elections it gets so heated. You have to apply it to both sides. Someone said, your commenters are assholes because you let them be.

Diana: Figuring out the time of day when your people congregate to your site is key...after the kids go to bed.

Elisa: Nothing racy on Facebook until after 8pm. Specifically posting anything racy before kids in bed...will get no response.

Question: Mark Zuckerberg thinks everything must be transparent but we do see social gone wrong stories. This week we've had a terrible week in our community. She said people were telling inappropriate jokes. Employer chose to fire him and then fired her. She is a developer evangelist. There was an incredible outpouring of vitriol towards her. There were also those who said she didn't have a sense of humor. It's a really bad story. For whom is social non-imperative.

When is social a bad idea?

Ekaterina: There is a user common sense guideline. You want your employees engaging they are helping with information. Peer to peer correction is very strong. It helps with your community and takes burden off your shoulders. We say use your common sense. Don't post anything you wouldn't want somebody to see. Nothing is private. If you don't want broader people to see it, don't post it there. We're not going to put you in a box or give you all the freedom in the world. It's ok to talk about a competitor but use your common sense. Advocate for the brand and for yourself.

Diana: I worked on eBay and it gets heavily heated on our boards. We actually have moderators. I think that's important because if you have guidelines you can refer to it makes it easier.

Elisa: We ask them to please provide the links to site their sources.

Shana: If you can make them see you are a person. Then they realize what they said and often apologize. It's interesting, my favorite quote. Social media moves quickly, but HR and the law moves slowly. But you can actually go to jail. Nothing is private. Don't tweet anything you wouldn't say standing up in a room.

Question: I'm not a community manager but I support an online community. What is really the role of that person and the organization they are representing? Often looked at as the voice of the community. How do you reconcile someone who sees it as a job, representing a company, but you are also you?

Shana: You are representing a brand in any capacity. You have to be very careful.

Elisa: I knew someone who went back and scrubbed her social media. I toned down because BlogHer is bi-partisian, but she completely scrubbed hers.

Ekaterina: You still need to represent the voice of the brand. You are a person and they know it but you still support the brand. Maybe we can hire a free intern to be the community manger but you should be looking for someone who is senior enough they need to know what the voice of the brand it. You still throw your personal stuff in there because that humanizes the brand.

Question: What do people think of people who use things like Foursquare? I have two twitter feeds, one the green witch and one is me. I found I had been blocked, this is a cautionary tale. Don't tell everybody everything and everywhere you go.

Elisa: No one is my friend on Foursquare. I kind of disagree. I talk about all sorts of things. Sometimes American Idol, sometimes Vegan recipes. I can be mindful but I can be who I am. Maybe foursquare wasn't the right tool.

Jan: But this was on Twitter.

Elisa: My Foursquare does not go to Twitter (laughter).

Shana: Make sure you connect or not to your Twitter feed.

Question in audience: We encourage the parents in our audience to comment for our family website. Three weeks ago at our soft launch we had pedophiles commenting! Never in my wildest dreams we had pedophiles commenting about babies. We want parents to comment. We spent an entire weekend deleting comments!

Ekaterina: Turn on the option to pre-approve the comments. You approve or disapprove the message. You have to do it on time. You could use that option. YouTube is known for horrible conversations.

Diana: You could also start the conversation yourself and guide the conversation.

Shana: I would also make YouTube aware of it too.

Elisa: Not to end on that kind of note....can you each share a story of social bringing something wonderful to your brand?

Shana: A guy sent us a picture. He was in the US, wife's family in Australia, they were on the beach Skyping!

Ekaterina: On the Facebook page and fans jumped in and said get away if you are not here to talk reasonably. They then started a conversation about the product.

Diana: Something recently that Joyus has done. Having that girlfriend feel. Seeing girlfriends say this is exactly the kind of advice they get from their friends...that's why I go to you, using work of mouth to communicate it!

Elisa: Thank you everybody, that was much more pleasant!