Until next time Europe, stay beautiful, stay social

And…. we’re done. That’s Social Media world Forum Europe done for another year. This show’s been our best yet. It had everything; laughter, tears,  loads of content, insight, networking and a party that went so crazy one of our very own conference organisers felt obliged to take her shoes off and pretend they were telephones.

As a measure of the enthusiasm that’s currently rife in the social media space, these two days have showed us an industry that’s still finding its feet in a lot of ways, promising amazing opportunities in so many areas, for the right person with the right idea. Listening to the Social Media HUB start-up panel this afternoon demonstrated the infinite number of ideas for ways to weave social media into our lives and businesses; ideas just floating around in the ether, waiting to be had.

Many of our panellists are living proof that social media is one of those exciting areas where literally anyone can come up with a killer idea and implement it. The space is so fresh and rapidly evolving that it’s difficult to imagine exactly what it’s going to look like or where the next big thing is going to come from even a year from now.

We’d like to hear about all your favourite quotes, insights, moments and images from this year’s SMWF. Leave a comment, tell us about what you discovered this week. Who did you meet? What connections did you make? Whose dancing was the best at Tuesday’s party? We want to know all about it.

We’re not going to try and re-cap everything that’s gone down over the last two days. We’ve had Brian Solis’ keynote over skype, presentations galore and so many expert panels that the mind boggles.

However, here’s a couple of things we’ve picked up through talking and listening to SMWFers this week:

Mobile

Smartphones currently account for around half of all mobile sales. Mark Watts-Jones, head of product marketing for Everything Everywhere, which serves Orange, made an interesting point in the mobile social media panel this afternoon. People are constantly fiddling with their phones, he said. On the bus, in a bank queue, waiting for a train and even sitting in a conference session. They’re exploring, finding new things, and the extent of that exploration is only limited by the capabilities of their devices. Bottom line, mobile is the way forward; location and mobile payment is going to be huge.

Value

People don’t want to connect with brands. They really don’t. It’s obvious really, but for many people it took Brian Solis’ skype address to hammer home the point that for consumers to connect with them, brands have to offer them something really outstanding, something of tangible value.

Listen

Businesses are really listening to, and deeply analysing the conversations being had about them. Kerry Bridge, global digital media communications manager at Dell said today that her company had centralised its listening operations. Dell is mentioned online around 25,000 times every day, and there’s a central team of people whose sole purpose is to keep tabs on all of these conversations, producing any number of reports that effectively constitute the a measure of the temperature of the Dell brand at any one time, passing on crucial information or developments to the relevant departments of the business. Small companies should be doing this too though, she said. Start with Google alerts then explore some of the very effective listening tools available.

Reputation

If online reputation isn’t important to you now, it’s going to be in the near future. We spoke to Thomas Power yesterday, chairman of Ecademy, who said that there are some jobs that he won’t even bother interviewing people for if their Klout score is less than 50. Scary sounding, perhaps, but there are companies in America that apply this rule as a standard.

Like it or not, it looks like reputation measurement is here to stay. It might not be perfect yet, and yes, there are ways to ‘game’ the system, but as the technology evolves, you can expect reputation measurement to become ubiquitous. Azheem Azhar, CEO of Peer Index, made an interesting point about how his ideal would be to provide a service where you’d be able to measure the benefit you’re going to get by meeting someone, before you meet them, by looking into their online reputation score. Obviously we’re not there yet, but that gives you an idea of where we might be heading.

So, until next year SMWFers, stay beautiful. Stay social.

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