eCommerce Expo Manchester 2011 – Part 2

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It’s here fear not, the long awaited (ahem ok I decided myself that it was) second installment of my travels to Manchester for the 2011 eCommerce Expo. I did say I would have this up a couple of Fridays ago and although in theory it’s late it is still up and it is a Friday so….

Anyway, just to recap the eCommerce Expo was held in Old Trafford football stadium and I have to say having little to none real interest in football and losing my other half to the beautiful game multiple times a week I was still very excited to be there. It is absolutely huge and also there enjoying the stadium and all it has to offer multiple international school trips making the cafe and restaurant busy to say the least. The expo was held to ‘meet all of our ecommerce, advertising and marketing needs.’ It was however mostly focused on selling online and the ecommerce side of things as opposed to marketing and advertising in saying that they do of course have an important part to play in ecommerce.

Following on from the last post I said that we attended six of the seminars that were running and we made the most of the up to date industry trends both past, present and future listening and planning for our clients as we went. The good thing about these Expos is that even if you are not going to meets the needs of or seek out advice on one specific project or programme they are an excellent resource to attain the most recent industry facts, figures and direction. After all the companies that are presenting at these events can afford to spend several thousand pounds on Keynote and Mintel reports.

Top Tips for a Strong Social CRM Strategy; How Social Media Can Help Find New Customers and Interact With Current Ones.

This seminar was delivered by Duncan Wood (CRM Project Manager, Sage UK) – I was surprised to see that Sage were so heavily associated with CRM as like many I though they dealt mostly with accountancy software. As you could imaging this seminar was packed, definitely the most popular one we attended throughout the day. That sneaky little buzz word/umbrella term/revelation whatever way you wish to describe it definitely brings in the crowds.

Now I am a big fan of social media – I get it. I find its easy yet hard at the same time to put it’s uses, ethos and results into one concise presentation as I personally feel that in most cases social media management is an art rather than a science. Having used social media mainly Twitter, Facebook and blogging a lot in both my professional and personal life I have attended quite a few of these seminars – proclaiming to offer the answer, the key to using it more successfully. I have become slightly wary of these now, I hate the way it has become a buzz word/phenomenon perfect fuel to the fire for the social media sceptics amongst us (who have you noticed assume that we only use SM to communicate our em…bodily functions – I don’t get that?!).

Anyway the seminar was as most social media seminars are descriptive as opposed to revolutionary. Number one in order to gain from social media you have to participate in it….yes. You have to interact with fellow users…yes. Don’t spam or bully your fellow users into doing what you want….yes.

Nothing ground breaking. The query of what channels to use as a business was brought up use them all Facebook, Twitter, blogs, Tumblr… or focus on one. Personally I think the fact that it is called social media which is the plural of medium being methods of communication you should utilise multiple channels.

Heading Home - View from Manchester Picadilly

Again I have wittered on for too long and I feel a part three coming on as the last seminar we attended – 5 Simple Changes to your Ecommerce Website that will Increase Sales was brilliant and it deserves it’s own post.

Till then, do let me know your thoughts on social media – where are we going wrong, what are we doing right, what does the future hold… We’d love to hear your opinions.

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