The Road to Vegas
I just returned from a fantastic three days at SAP TechEd Las Vegas – full of useful information, networking and fun – where I had the opportunity to speak to many interesting people and document the conversations with some of them via flip video.
The social media case study that explains how I got to TechEd in the first place has already been eloquently documented by SAP Mentor John Appleby in his blog #nataschatoteched – A tale of two cities. and in the SAP TV video recorded at TechEd titled: “How Natascha Landed in Las Vegas” (starring Mark Yolton, Jon Reed, John Appleby and myself). The key players here are Twitter, Idea Place and, of course, the fabulous SAP Mentors!
And it was only fitting that social media played the leading role in my journey to TechEd as I only recently left SAP Community Network marketing to join the new SAP Social Media Audience Marketing team. It also was a testament to the fact that there is no such thing as “word of mouth” or a “viral anything” without support of the right people aka influencers.
Social Media Expert Networking Lounge Sessions
As soon as my trip to TechEd was approved, I scheduled two Expert Networking Lounge sessions on the topic of “Why you should care about Social Media“. The discussions provided me with great insights on how SAP customers and partners view and use social media; not surprisingly SAP Community Network (which many still refer to as SDN) ranks on many people’s list as a the most useful tool.
There is still confusion around the use of Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn but it was nice to hear at the end of our discussions that at least a few people in the audience felt motivated to go and experiment with these channels. Those who use Twitter agreed that following the right people enables them to consume trusted content on topics they care about, as well as to connect with people they might otherwise not have access too. Facebook was generally described as a tool for personal use only, while LinkedIn still has the reputation of being too job focused and full of promotions. I think the jury is out on Facebook’s usefulness for B2B but LinkedIn has definitely cleaned up their act and their groups are doing well.
Overall, I got the impression that the technical folks at SAP TechEd are much more comfortable using social media tools than many marketing people I speak with. They obviously have no fear of technology and find the direct and informal style of communication pleasant. Hence, should technical people play a bigger role in “marketing” to their peer influencers via social media? At a marketing conference that I attended in early October, an engineering manager told me that his team creates YouTube videos for every product launch – told by engineers for engineers. I have no doubt that they reach many influencers.
To round out part 1 of the TechEd LV diaries, I’d like to share a video of Glen Wallace, Chief Technology Officer at CONTAX Inc. who had good things to say about SCN during my social media session:
Stay tuned for part 2 of this blog. The videos with my expert interviews are uploading to YouTube as I write this….