Chris Brogan at #SMWF Europe


Chris Brogan at #SMWF Europe

I got a call a few weeks ago saying..

please could @RobinGrant be the chair for the main track at the Social Media World Forum Europe?

I said..

he’s out of the country, how about if I do it?

they said..

we’ve never heard of you

I replied

I’m much better at public speaking than Robin though

to which they said

yeah, but he’s a big name

which only left me with

What if I promise to write a really glowing blog post?

they replied

Oh, okay then

Here we go..

The SMWF was f**king a-m-a-z-i-n-g!!!!

Here’s why…

The main draw was the opening keynote presentation from @chrisbrogan

I was expecting a lightweight run through Chris’ “Google + for business” but instead Chris got stuck straight into pointing out common flaws in brand’s basic digital marketing and stripping away usual social media conference b/s. He did this cleverly through jamming his presentation full of tweetable quips such as “smartphones are the new smoking”. Mobile is a big deal for Chris and the following statements lay testament to this: “The laptop is no longer where we live and die”, “Embrace brevity. If it’s too long for you to read on your mobile, it’s too long”, “the best social network in the world is the mobile phone”. Other less able speakers would be telling us it’s the Year of Mobile so it was refreshing to hear Brogan put the importance of mobile in such blunt terms.

Chris’ talent is to make you feel slightly stupid and inspired in equal measure and he was soon to go after the ‘Like’ hunters in the audience asking if a bank manager would take a Klout score or number of fans as a down payment on a mortgage. Brogan reminded us that we don’t get paid on views (or likes), we get paid on business results. Chris took this a step further saying social tools are “like the phone on your desk. You wouldn’t just have a phone on the marketing person’s desk”.

There were no revelations in Chris’ presentation (as he warned there wouldn’t be) but it was worth reminding us that making a one to one effort with a potential client, though costly works at scale because it’s a revenue generator. Chris’ point boils down to basic questions – what does your customer want? What is the purpose of your activity? Is it driving business?

These are fair questions and ones that we often ask new clients although I’m yet to pluck up the courage to fire back Chris’ most memorable line – “The guy who thinks he’s in the PR department only is my new barista next week”.