Build a Social Media Strategy at SMCHI

Here are the notes from the networking event at the Hawaii Chapter of the Social Media Club: Build a Social Media Strategy. We mixed up our format to complement the venue, Ka Restaurant. We met in the intimate (read: packed!) lounge room for a brief presentation of the highlights of social media strategy. Presenters were Tara Coomans, Rob Bertholf, and myself. We were limited to one slide each, plus the cheat sheet that we posted on all the tables scattered throughout the bar – and to where we adjourned for robust conversation after the overview. Download the PDF here.

Tons of links at the end of this post; get your goodies there!

Building a Social Media Strategy is like building any strategy: you start with that brilliant question, “What’s the point?” The catch with many of us in these rushed times is that we tend to jump into social media before thinking about strategy, and then forget to come back and revisit why we jumped in, in the first place! It is very easy to get sucked into the stream of activity and distractions, playing a few rounds of copy cat, and then being stuck having to write an annual report that basically says, “Well, we were really busy this year but don’t have a clue what we actually accomplished!”

This SMCHI meeting was an antidote to that. And, it used our guiding principle of “If you get it, share it” to bring us together as business collaborators. Of course, there were companies in attendance who normally think of themselves as competitors, but the beauty of social media is that we actually can help all of our businesses grow though collaboration. Just like how the gas stations learned long ago to all set up on the same corner.

Another aspect of social media at present, is that there are so many tools to use and it is not easy or obvious to know which ones are more efficient at specific tasks. I find people complaining that they don’t get results with SM, however when I look at their platforms in use and the activity taking place, I can see why. ;-) Twitter is the easiest example – where people start accounts, post some things, yet aren’t aware of the faux pas they are creating or the opportunities they are missing by not using links, keywords, and etiquette to their best advantage. As we help each other get smarter, our Hawaii business community gets stronger.

The concept was simple, even if the execution is not so easy – pretty much a metaphor for our evening. Seems the flat screens at Ka require a very obscure cable: VGA to RCA. Not being able to secure one in time, we could not use the TVs for the intended live Twitter stream. Nonetheless, we pursued our goals and you can see the results by searching “smchi” on Twitter. Here’s a screen shot with a curated sample of some of my favorites! (Click the image to see full size.)

We are purchasing a couple of those mystery cables and will be gifting one to Ka Restaurant so other groups who meet there will have an easy process of connecting their laptop media to the house screens. We’ll be heading back there December 15 for our Social Media Year in Review Party. Please join us!

Thanks for reading! Here are the goodies I promised above.
Handouts that we shared can be dowloaded here. Thanks to Tara Coomans for posting those.

You can the slides and photos from this event on Flickr.

You can view the live stream video of the presentation on

You can play with the interactive Social Technographics Tool from Forrester Research.

Follow the tag #smchi on Twitter to catch some of the comments from the evening. (And remember, if you don’t include the tag, it’s nearly impossible for us to include you in the conversation and discover you!)

You can see who attended this event on our RSVP page.

Mahalo to Lululemon for donating a $25 Gift Certificate. Lucky winner was @lorenawire (photo attached of the cool Lululemon bags.) YOU can win a free yoga class, just by checking in to Facebook Places the next time you are at a Lululemon store. We have one here in Honolulu at Ala Moana Center. Tell them Tess sent you!