On Thursday, April 7, 2011, the IABC-LA Chapter members were Huddle-izing from 5pm-7pm for a substantive evening recap event of the SMASH (Social Media Advanced Skills Huddle) at USC’s Davidson Continuing Education Conference Center. Has FaceBook peaked and is Twitter just getting started? The all-day SMASH event was presented by Communitelligence and Social Radius, and there was plenty of re-cap information for members unable to attend the highly interactive round-table discussions and presentations.  John Gerstner, President, Communitelligence, Inc., Michael Terpin, CEO, Social Radius and Chris Bechtel, CEO, iPressroom presented the day’s re-cap…and Michael and Chris provided some very pithy SM stories and discussions of Twitter’s advances.

The daytime SMASH Huddle included Eric Schwartzman, Jason Calacanis, and Sally Falkow, APR,  Jonathan Taplin, Professor, USC Annenberg and more.   Michael had interviewed love-him-or-hate-him internet entrepreneur, Jason Calacanis founder of Mahalo.com, who had strong words for FaceBook stating FB has peaked!  Jason is also not a fan of SEO companies or experts. 

Both Michael and Jason agreed we’re just at the beginning of social media and Twitter…especially Twitter as a news outlet as well as a communications tool in crisis management. The wisdom of the crowd in an emergency situation proves to be first-hand crucial information and perfect for tweets. Most recently, a woman tweeted photos and updates on the Southwest airplane that had a hole in the plane will making an emergency landing.  Chris spoke about making sure social media strategies have very specific outcomes going beyond just audience engagement. 

Chris also recapped Eric Schwartzman’s presentation on the importance of “Listening” and monitoring social media exchanges.

Chris had interviewed USC professor Jonathan Taplin with a focus on “Future Visioning” that included a discussion about USC’s innovation lab, as well as how the world has changed with social media tools in which companies can no longer control the conversation.  Yet companies can create a destination, like Nike did, to create brand loyalty through social media tools.  And what about such advanced tools as facial recognition in which you may lose your privacy?…cautionary tales abound as young social media entrepreneurs cross over lines.

Sally Falkow had presented on “Measuring” and ROI which is definitely not an exact science.  Chris discussed that we are all becoming news curators in which we trust our friends, family and acquaintances for news first before trusting major news outlets.

Chris and Michael ended the evening with a very enlightened, detailed discussion about Twitter and using “the strength of loose connections.”  More business activity is through business acquaintances connected in LinkedIn and other social media platforms than from our closest friends and family.  Statistics also included only 20% of tweets are actually read.  Michael suggested that 80% of your tweets should be about your industry, not about your products (a big no-no which turns off followers.) Chris supports “FARE” communications through social media: frequent, authentic, relevant and engaging meaning informative and entertaining.

As Chris and Michael pointed out, social media and its outcome really blends the use of social media tools with the psychology of sharing towards the final result of influence.  Advanced thinking, no doubt!  Powerful tools and tips.
Big thanks to John Gertsner of Communitelligence and Michael Terpin, for leading the daytime and evening event, T.J. Stevko, IABC-LA Chapter Member and event coordinator, who made event details happen, and Michael Terpin and Chris Bechtel for giving us even more valuable tools after a long day already.