Infocomm 09 follow up

June 23, 2009

Following on from my last post (Infocomm 09, A Social Media Perspective) and with many thanks to Benjamin Slayter (SGASI), Dawn Meade ( and George Tucker (Crestron) It appears I missed more than I found. I was actively looking for SN penetration and I missed 3 companies efforts and 2 Tweet ups. They just didn’t come across my radar.

Why did I miss it?

Social networking is all about people groups and interactions within and between those groups. I missed them because I was too separated from their target people group and the tools I used to gain an overview (#IC09, perspctv and Technorati) didn’t pop them onto my radar. This could have been for many reasons, wrong keywords, wrong time of day, lost in the clutter, all of which meant that I missed them.

Networks and relationships.

My failure to find this outreach raises a point regarding networks. George Tucker from Crestron commented on my original post and summarized their SN results at Infocomm.

“During the seven days CEN-BLG(beta) was active at Infocomm, we gained 200 followers and had over 4000 hits. Twitter followers commented on the products and generated conversation beyond the original post. My metrics showed a potential reach of over 10,000 for each post.”

Fabulous, a veritable tsunami of interaction and I still missed it. I was not in George’s network during Infocomm. Maybe I would have been, somehow, in one of his colleagues networks. Maybe I know someone somewhere else at Crestron but as I didn’t know George I had no idea of the outreach he was implementing even though I was interested and actively seeking it.

Thought for the day.

This leaves me with  a thought. Or, in fact, a confirmation. No matter how hard you try or how successful you are at getting customers into your SN boat, you will always miss some of them. That is why SN isn’t a silver bullet, it’s a vehicle for deepening the relationships you already have and multiplying the entry points for relationships you don’t.

Make SN wide.

SN needs to be wide, the more people in an organization disseminating information the better. SN should not be the domain of the marketing department. In fact, the more I learn about SN the more I’m convinced that marketing should be the lowest generators of outbound SN in an organization.

Marketing should absolutely lead and construct the framework but the content should come from engineering, development, shipping and customer service. The conversations that users are having are not about marketing, they are about engineering decisions, development possibilities, logistics and support. These are the people customers want to have a relationship with. Customers normally only want a relationship with sales and marketing if there are bagels involved.

Next year?

I’m glad that Crestron are looking to expand their SN efforts at Cedia and Infocomm (#IC10). I’m sure that the SN presence by all manufacturers at IC10 will be greater than at IC09. Hopefully they will all be discovering that it’s not difficult, it just takes organization and hard work.

Thanks again to Ben, Dawn and George. Their conversation is what makes it interesting.


4 Responses to “Infocomm 09 follow up”

  1. Phillip;

    I think the clutter factor is one of import, I switched to Tweetdeck as it gives me the ability to monitor multiple searches and groups as well as the flood of messages from all those i follow. while we tagged every tweet (even those from the blog) with the hash tags #IC09 and #Crestron, I found many were unaware of our transmissions.

    If someone is even a casual user of SN systems using the third party and mobile applications is a must. Just like using an news aggregator such as Google reader or Bloglines makes it easier to gather stories of interest, so must the SN messages be collected and organized in a way that makes them useful.

    we are to make our SN links available on the front page of our website in the next few days and after a few weeks keep it there but on side bar.

    On a related but side note: did you watch the twitter traffic on Hitec -(#Hitec) show? The traffic did seem a bit more robust than that of Infocomm. perhaps this is a tighter community of people, perhaps they are simply more tied in.

  2. Sara Abrons Says:

    We (@ravepubs) Twittered from the last two InfoComms, and there was a huge difference between this year and last’s. We’re a publication, and last year it was not conversational at all — just a way for us to cover stuff live from the show floor. We even rebroadcast our Tweets on our webpage because we knew a lot of people didn’t really know how to use Twitter.

    This year was totally different. Both myself (the editor) and Gary Kayye (our founder/columnist) twittered, and we interacted with a lot of people. We got leads on products to see, met people we hadn’t before, and interacted with people on a more casual, conversational level, which we loved. We gained 500 followers in the month before the show and during the show. I think next year it will be utilized more heavily because manufacturers will realize they have to participate, or they’re missing out, and people will have learned better how to find their community (using hashtags, Tweetups, other social media sites like LinkedIn, etc).

    Anyway, we’ll keep Twittering throughout the year and hope to talk to more people interested in interacting this way. We’ll also be Twittering from CEDIA and I’m interested to see how that show’s changed from last year as well.

  3. Phillip;

    Apologies if i am hogging bandwidth here, i was re-reading your post and was struck by your comments that marketing should not be the main arbiter of SN content.

    I am of a duality on this. I am actually part of marketing, yet I was brought in to marketing from a complete field oriented background only 6 months ago. I started out as a recording engineer, then a rental and staging tech, show control designer and programmer, quality engineer for Crestron, manager of ATSG and Tech support. My independent involvement with social media consisting of 4 blogs (most internal) and near evangelical push to get Crestron onboard lead me to an opportunity in the marketing dept.

    So, with the right people and a small oversight of the marketing wing (to give heads up on what is to be public and what is coming) a dynamic and unique SN outreach can be had. As we well know, the internet can sniff out a poser in moments. A marketing arm that attempts to put a marketing degree person solely in charge of a technical blog or twitter conversation will be identified and sidelined in days.

    Crestron is getting more individuals to sign up for twitter or FriendFeed and Facebook with the express purpose of ‘being out there, looking and to be looked for’. It takes a dedication and desire to be ‘in the conversation’, to be thick skinned and not fret of the odd vitriol and just to enjoy connecting with our clients at all levels. Marketing used to ‘push the posies we overbought on the posies’ routine will fail in the Social Media arena.

  4. philipvanp Says:

    Hey George, I congratulate you and Crestron for the strides you are making. I am surprised that a highly technical company the size of Crestron, are adopting SN so fully.

    Crestron, because of the nature of the end user development community, is an absolute no brainer for SN, Wiki and collaboration. I’m watching with great interest to see how it impacts the customer base.

    I think your background as tech support manager is ideal because you fully understand how easy it is in that role to make or break a customer for life. I still maintain SN isn’t difficult it just needs organization and hard work. Keep plugging away.


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