Likeminds Exeter: brand advocacy and social media in b2b

On February 25, I will be representing Orange Business Services at Likeminds 2010 in order to present our business case of using social media for brand advocacy. Whether it’s outstanding advocacy is open for debate I guess, as I wouldn’t want to sound too emphatic and remain humble. It’s probably more for others to say I suppose. By way of introduction, the likeminds people have posted a very nice introductory post on my keynote pitch. Here it is:

Keynote: ‘Social Media and B2B: How to Build Outstanding Advocacy’

I love what Yann and his team have done at Orange Business Services. It is a fantastic example of how you can use social media to solve a problem and generate ROI in a B2B environment. It shows how social media is game changing because it allows you to do something that logistically would never have been possible before.

What I like even more about what Yann has done is that he has done it in a way that any business (large or small) could do it. He may not like my Blue Peter analogy, but its like he’s set up a social media cottage industry in the midst of the corporate world where digital sticky back plastic and virtual washing up liquid bottles are employed to build the equivalent of ‘e-advent crowns and electronic desk tidies.’

Here’s one I made earlier

There is one particular story he tells about how his team initially used Windows Media to create and publish heavily produced and edited videos before realising it was blocked by firewalls so none of his corporate clients could see it anyway. They scrapped that and started shooting ‘ one take only’ in house videos with little or no editing on YouTube – and hey presto – thousands of views!

As an open source advocate, this is something that really excites me! I think it gets to the core of what makes social media great. It is just so honest.

read on at

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keynoting at Likeminds 2010, Exeter on behalf of Orange Business Services

At the end of February (26-28), I will be a keynote speaker at the LikeMinds summit in Exeter, Devon. Likeminds is organised by Scott Gould (@Scottgould on Twitter), and I owe this presentation to Olivier Blanchard‘s recommendation. Olivier is the author of the renowned and top-notch Brandbuilder blog and I happened to bump into him at our latest SMBC Atlanta Blogwell conference last November 2009.

This conference is dedicated to some of the best business cases of 2009 on social media. As pointed out by Olivier, the ‘Social Media’ monicker isn’t probably very important. I had previously remarked in Atlanta that common understanding on that terminology was far from being a given. I am not really crazy about calling what we do Social Media by the way; and I wrote what I thought from day one (see here “Web 2.0 is dead, long live Social Media” – June 2008).

ReadwriteWeb is even more radical and suggests that we use  an entire different terminology (“mass opinion”), which I like even less. Whether it is debatable that “social media” is social and even more that it is a medium (I rather fancy it being a META-medium) mass opinion is in my eyes too reminiscent of the old world of mass marketing and mass media. So did we do all this to end up here? Much of an anti-climax I would say, so I won’t give in.

“What matters”, Olivier writes on his blog : “is that whether you used Facebook, Twitter, blogs, email, Ning, flickr, youtube, neighborhood canvassing, special events, phone calls, face-to-face interactions, sky-writing or any combination thereof to create human to human connections around a program, campaign, cause or brand in the last year – and it worked, we want to hear about it.”

that seems to be the sensible thing to say, needless to paraphrase it.

note: the word “campaign” is actually not my cup of tea. But I can understand that we Web and Neo Marketing experts can sometimes go a little bit too far, so I will try and withhold my Pinko Marketing revolution for a while. Well… I’ll try anyway, but I can’t guarantee that!

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