Social + Cash was the theme of the sixth edition of Swedish social media conference held last week by Annika Lidne, CEO of Disruptive Media. She has been organizing social media conferences in Sweden since 2007, attracting international guests and keynote speakers like Chris Heuer, Brian Solis, Stowe Boyd, Steve Rubel, Natasha Friis Saxberg, Henriette Weber, Jyri Engeström, Neville Hobson, and Peter Parkes. (See videos from all six conferenses and read Brian’s thoughts on his previous visit).
The one day conference has from the start been streamed live free of charge, having twice as many simultanious online viewers as the 200 attendees on site. The conversations on the live video chat and on Twitter have become the natural ingredient and trademark of the conference.
To quote the keynote speaker Chris Heuer, founder of Social Media Club:
“I really love Sweden and a big part of it is the experience I have at Annika’s conferences. There is just a different energy there, you can tell she really gets it, and wants to help others understand why this media is disruptive, too.”
Swedish State Of The Internet
A few figures from the state of the Internet in Sweden might be interesting to put the conference in context. 62% of the population of 9,3 M uses the Internet on daily bases, and according to recent report, the number of sold Iphones “in the home of Sony Ericsson” reaches up to 500 000. 5 % of the people blog, 27% read blogs, nearly 40% have a Facebook account, and Sweden is holding the 19th place on the list of unique Twitter users in the world. Sweden also holds the top position in the Nordics with highest number of blogs among listed corporations (17,9% Nov -08), thus higher than among Fortune 500 companies (15.8% Dec -09).
So, how does the social capital that individuals and brands earn by engaging on the social web convert to ROI, return on investment? Does it, and if so, can it be measured?
Chris Heuer opened up the conference by urging us to move the lence of focus to delivering the promise of social media by changing from management to leadership, as by finding new success stories like clubs on Sunset Strip instead of the good old Dell story. Since free is not free, it costs time, money and attention, and the time being our most valuable resource, there should be a balance between what one gives and takes. Chris warned us from being selfish cookie monsters. Everybody needs to get paid, as one can’t live of Whuffie alone. He also talked about consious capitalism, where in the light of social media transparency, only individuals and companies who want to do good and make good products, without exploitative profit plans, will survive, thus profiting from social media. Watch the entire keynote and presentation on Slideshare.
The day offered many good examples of ROI, e.g. how an author, by releasing her book for free on the Pirate Bay, instead made money through donations, or how by engaging influential fashion bloggers in a transparent and trustworthy way with help of Bloglovin’ (Browser based blog reader with 96% female users and 5,5 M visits/month), Modcloth sold out clothes within 24 hours, or how the satisfied bank customers are the ones doing all the selling by discussing and commenting on the CEO’s blog. (All presentations in Swedish.)
To my liking, the day also highlighted the importance of ambassadors, how there simply is no universal social media strategy to be implemented, and how creating relationships and trust takes as long time online as it takes offline.
Catch up the whole conference in English and in just 53 min! with key takeaways summed up directly from stage by Chris Heuer, Annika Lidne and myself, moderated by Joakim Nyström, host of the Sweet Sunday Web Crunch, Swedish weekly live podcast show with everything Internet.