Case Study: SME 2011 Annual Convention

Today through Thursday is the annual convention of the Sales and Marketing Executive (SME) Association of Puerto Rico. I was hoping to get by and see some old friends, but I'm stuck at home. So I'm planning on following the conference over social media. Here's what I've learned so far...

Early Prediction

At this point, I believe an organization has to have social media ingrained within everything that they do; they should think of social media first. My early findings on the SME Home Page, the Conference Home Page, their home page, Twitter or Facebook, do not look promising.

Linking to your social media accounts is the least you can do. No matter what happens during the conference, there will be a conversation taking place. SME's challenge is to lead that conversation. In addition, to the extent they can, modify normal behavior, to push people to share their conversation on social networks. I can't find on any conversation on any of their channels. What is the keyword, hashtag, or material that they want people to share?

Four Channels No Conversation

Here is the engagement, as of Tuesday morning:

SME Puerto Rico Facebook Page - All posts to the wall are from SME Puerto Rico. 637 likes.
SME Convention Home Page (in Flash) - Links to Facebook and Twitter.
SME Convention Event in Linked In - 4 comments all done before the event.
SME Twitter Feed - SMEPuertoRico - All posts preceding open of event.
SMEPR Home Page - Integrated Facebook Widget.

Social media is about participating. it is not just like all of the other push-only channels. On the Internet people can push back, even if you didn't want them to. There's nothing a company can do to stop it. The best they can hope for is to join the conversation and hopefully, get permission to lead part of the conversation.