Shareology skipped over to Rick Bronson’s House of Comedy at the Mall of America for Social Media Breakfast Minneapolis – St. Paul #24 for a panel of retail business people who are using or exploring the use of social media.
Presentation: Hans Eisenbeis, Iconoculture
Panel: Social Media & Retail
Moderator: Lisa Grimm, Action Selling
David Erickson, Tunheim Partners
Bridget Jewell, Mall of America
Jennifer Rock, Best Buy
Jeff Sommers, Izzy’s Ice Cream
Shareology found the most refreshing portion of the morning was that the panel’s willingness to admit their social media errors and share their learning. In a perfect world, well-reasoned strategy would be the foundation of each social media plan; in the real world, fear of action tends to stop most companies from even beginning. The value of experimentation was strongly stressed.
A few panel highlights:
David Erickson, Tunheim Partners, brought up the Wait Concept. David talked about the value of waiting – of not replying instantly to a post or a tweet. He and others on the panel emphasized letting others in the conversation bring balance; every tweet doesn’t have to be answered by you alone. This may have been the most valuable concept of the morning. He also talked about having not necessarily the most followers, but the right followers.
Bridget Jewell, Mall of America, gave a great practical example of the Twitter parking alerts used during holiday season. Guests were given real time updates of where parking was available at MOA. The MOA parking staffer providing information was so supportive of the program he took to calling Bridget’s staff his “Parking Tweethearts!” A key point from Bridget was that social media is superb for taking those You-Think-You-Knows about your business and finding out if your customers actually agree or actually act that way. During Q & A the panel was asked if they monitor other sites, if they learn from other social media users. The resounding answer from Bridget was “all…the..time!”
Jennifer Rock, Best Buy, is responsible for internal communication and finds social media invaluable for managing communications in both directions for thousands of employees. Challenges have included concerns of HR, legal and executives. One creative answer was a spreadsheet anticipating all possible *&!@ kinds of words and developing alternative phrases to capture the meaning without the actual *&!@. She emphasized that she might have gone through a more strategic approach given what she has learned now, but that there is a great deal to be said to have learned by doing.
Jeff Sommers, Izzy’s Ice Cream, , has got to be very conscious of time spent on social media as a very small business owner. In-store time with real customers takes priority as he begins to enlarge his social media footprint. Look for a BIG announcement from Izzy’s soon! Don’t know if it was harder for him not to share or for us not to know NOW!
Let’s take a look at the morning:
Shareology wants to thank Mykl and Rick for another superb panel, Lisa Grimm for keeping the panel on target and for great questions, and a special thanks (It is Oscar weekend!) goes out to all those sponsors who make social media learning and networking possible.
More on Social Media Breakfast at http://smbmsp.ning.com/ or follow on Twitter at #smbmsp
Kay Roseland @KayLoire