On Monday Jim and myself headed down the road to Dell’s Bracknell office for their B2B Social Media Huddle. Here’s my redux of the day, via selected highlights from the Twitter stream. @kerryatdell kicked things off with an energiser – hence the picture – Thanks go to Kerry and Neville (@jangles) for organising a great day focussed on social media in the Business to Business context, with speakers from across industry and a good mixture of presentations, case studies and group discussions.

As well as the Twitter stream, I’ve added links to the presentations posted to slide share, so you can browse through for yourself. Neville started the presentations with a review of survey results and an overview of  the major trends in the social media space.

The presentation was picked up in the Twitter stream:

joiningdots nice quote by @jangles at#dellb2b – ‘customers are co-shaping your reputation every day’ (social media trends)

DannyWhatmough Only one person in the room isn’t on Twitter! #dellb2b

DannyWhatmough Do you know which social media (if any) your customers *actually* use? #dellb2b

And one of the great things about Twitter, is you never know who’s listening in:

melcarson RT @henryshelley Feeling nostalgic now…I used to trim the hedges/mow the lawns at that office #DELLB2B

There was lots of discussion about communities, as well as some examples of large scale community platforms:

EEPaul Looking at Dell Ideastorm, then Starbucks Idea – crowdsourcing customers’ ideas. Builds links with community – @jangles #dellb2b

Img_1452a_normalmrmrboulton Plenty of common sense advice that applies to both traditional and social media marketing; be honest if you want to be trusted. #dellb2b

KerryatDell heated discussions about ghost writing blog posts#dellb2b

stuartbruce Interesting debate on difference between “ghost” blogs and helping to publish a blog, I’ll write a post on it, can’t do in 140 #dellb2b

The topic of ghost blogs (writing blogs on behalf of someone else) spilt over into a broader discussion on the web: Ghost written blogs – right or wrong?

Next up was Steve Lamb (@actionlamb) from Microsoft.
Will-nm-banner0may09-mini_normalwillmcinnes This Microsoft geezer @actionlamb is coming from a good place – likeable and true IMO #dellb2b

stuartbruce @BenjaminEllis Just said what I was going to! Find people with passion/knowledge and help them, it’s not the technology or channel #dellb2b

melcarson RT @willmcinnes Underlying theme of everything so far; the hidden & vast complex challenge with b2b social in big orgs – CULTURE #dellb2b

The culture theme re-emerged a number of times during the day – social media definitely isn’t culturally neutral and is much more personal that traditional marketing channels. While technology changes quickly, business culture moves at its own, slower, rate.

VolumeGroup RT @annenwood: Simple facts re social media – listen, engage, be interesting, be useful via @actionlamb#dellb2b


EEPaul What is work? Is it a place you go, or stuff you do?@actionlamb #dellb2b > trust issues for companies, boundary issues for individuals

Steve touched on a favourite SocialOptic theme – is work somewhere you go or something you do? Milestone Planner let’s you share plans and objectives regardless of where you are or what time it is – the idea is to keep the focus on what you’re doing and need to do, rather than being limited by time and place.

Then it was my turn to brave the Twitter stream:

B2B Social Media Huddle – Benjamin Ellis – Making the B2B Social Media Business Case

Birds_normalcarphoneware Via @Benjaminellis there is no off the shelf business case for social media. It will be different for all.#dellb2b

toodlepip @BenjaminEllis Consumer comms with brands is ahead of internal comms within those firms. Landscape has changed. #dellb2b <- Good pont.

joiningdots Grounded start from @benjaminellis at #dellb2b-remembers when some didn’t think web sites mattered. Will become same for online social nets

EEPaul Traditional | Digital | Social – interruption > engagement > advocacy @benjaminellis #dellb2b

And just to make me feel young:

stuartbruce @BenjaminEllis remembers when people asked if websites mattered, I remember debating if news release via fax as good as post/bike #dellb2b

Although I wish I hadn’t mentioned age!

joiningdots at #dellb2b @benjaminellis is treading on dangerous ground caling us old in the 35-44 age category

MairiDrysdale “Social media not just for young people”.fact#dellb2b

Then over to Richard Binhammer from Dell:



EEPaul 3800 pictures of Dell servers on Flickr, says@richardatdell #dellb2b Not nec B2B or B2C, but B2P (B2people). “Humanity rules”

B2B Social Media Huddle – Richard Binhammer – B2B or B2P?After lunch the day split into tracks, some highlights and presentations:
B2B Social Media Huddle – Omar Kattan and Matt Bamford-Bowes – SEO & SMO

DannyWhatmough YouTube is themost important social media channel for Salesforce says @jamiegrenney #dellb2b

jangles The ROI of video #dellb2b

toodlepip Salesforce Twitter background lists contributors to their feed. Nice touch. #dellb2b

B2B Social Media Huddle – Jamie Grenney – Salesforce Journey

bennuk TweetMeme Analytics look really powerful – lots of great info, well worth checking out –

joiningdots Intel case study at #dellb2b – of various B2B communication channels, have found games/entertainment (with minimal brandin) to be effective

Benjaminfadedhero1_normalBenjaminEllis #dellb2b Aristotle quotes on citizenship from Ben. “The point of a community is to create mutual benefit through sharing”
And some themes emerged:
joiningdots Consistent tip coming out of #dellb2b Social Media Huddle. The costs to try are very very low. Make your targets the same.EEPaul Schneider on Web 2.0 communications: don’t lose control, but lose the fear #dellb2b – illuminate the space to reduce the ‘unknown’And we picked up a new Milestone Planner use for the day – it turns out to be handy for co-ordinating message timing across different social media channels and groups. Create a project, add the team members that might post, then create a work stream for each group or platfom:


Tada, see at a glance if you are over or under communicating on each, and play nice with people who are signed up to both email lists and social media groups. We’ll add that to the list.

And, to sum up in the words of John Duffy from Ipadio:

Jd_crop_2_normaljohnrduffy Thanks Neville and Kerry for a great day #dellb2b

A technorati search on #dellb2b should net you other blog posts as they happen.