Here is my event blog for the Social CRM 2013 Conference at the Cavendish Conference Centre in London. CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management, so the main focus of the conference was on how Social can be used to build customer relationships.


The day was kick-started with welcome drinks and networking and a brief introduction by Luke Brynley-Jones, CEO of Our Social Times.


The second speaker of the day was Ben Kay (@Benjamin_Kay) – Digital Strategist & Digital Media at Everything, Everywhere.


Ben spoke about “Bringing Social to the Heart of the Business”, and how EE combined social and mobile to create the ultimate mobile network.

After Ben spoke about how EE became a ‘Social business’, we were then shown a short video of EE’s ‘Social Hub’. Rather than placing staff in a typical office or call centre environment, EE chose to design a purpose-built room called the ‘Social Hub’ as a central HQ for their Social operations. The video can be found here.


It was then the turn of Jacqui Taylor (@jacquitaylorfb) – Managing Director at FlyingBinary, to speak about ‘Looking beyond Social Data to Social Business’. As a data scientist, Jacqui showed how mentions through social channels can be categorised by sentiment then analysed.




Lunch break! We were all given an hour’s lunch break which also facilitated networking and discussions with sponsors and exhibitors.



Nico Henderijckx (@tweety2b) – European Forum & Community Manager at Sony Europe spoke about “Managing relationships with Brand Fans and Superfans”.

It was interesting to hear about how Sony uses “superfans” to moderate the online community and engage with fans and forum members on Sony’s behalf. Whilst these “superfans” are not paid a salary as such, they are provided with a support package which includes regular training, bi-annual conferences and week long team-building trips where Sony flies them out to a location in Europe along with a number of top-level executives to allow them to bond together. Sony’s “superfans” are also given confidential information and access to new products before everyone else.

At the end of the presentation, a representative from Spotify had asked about how they could make the most of their “superfans”, so it was good to see that they had set an example for other companies to follow.


Bian Salins (@b1an) – Head of Social at NOW TV.

Even though NOW TV was part of Sky, it was reassuring to hear that they had still faced the typical barriers that many start-ups face relating to getting their initial brand message out. Bian spoke about how they had run a number of Twitter campaigns with free tickets to exclusive cinema screenings.

Bian was very engaging throughout, and I’m sure she helped inspire the attendees.


Next up, it was Tom Ollerton (@mrtomollerton) – Marketing Director at We Are Social.

Tom spoke about how We Are Social had created a unique marketing plan for Marmite (Unilever), where they created a “secret society” group called the “Marmarati”!

A detailed case study can be found here:

This actually turned out to be the most memorable presentation and talk of the day, as it was a rather unique marketing strategy.


Next it was a panel discussion with:

  • Guy Stephens, Managing Consultant – Social Business IBM (Host)
  • Naomi Trickey, EMEA Sales Director, Brandwatch
  • Thomas Messett, Head of Digital Marketing & Advocacy, Nokia
  • Matthew Brazil, COO, Conversocial

The topic of discussion was “Breaking down the ‘Social Façade’ between Internal and External Media”. Whilst members of the panel seemed to agree that internal social tools such as Yammer and Socialcast (although sometimes beneficial) actually wasted time, the opinion of the majority of attendees was actually the opposite.

One comment I found funny was that employees were getting emails from their CEO to say “I have just posted something to Yammer” – professional or what!


The day ended with Ronan Gillen (@AskeBay) – EU Complaints, Community & Social CS Manager at eBay, speaking about “Improving the Customer Experience with each social interaction”.

This was a good talk as I was interested to hear how eBay deals with what must be a large amount of enquiries coming in through Social channels.


eBay realised that social media could be used as a Customer Service channel and whilst they still have traditional call centre support are now focusing their efforts on providing support through social media (Twitter and Facebook).





Overall, it was a great event with interesting speakers, from which I learnt a lot about what companies are doing to utilize social media. It is clear that CRM through Social growing and is an area to watch out for.
The live ‘Tweet wall’ throughout the day was a great idea too! Thanks to Our Social Times for organising the event!