A panel discussion on social media for business [video]

What does the future look like for social media in the small and medium business setting?

That’s one of the questions addressed in a panel discussion I moderated for Dell in May, the video recording of which is available for viewing.

(If you don’t see the 46-minute video embedded above, watch it at YouTube.)

We did this live in a Google+ Hangout On Air, the free service from Google that lets you conduct such real-time collaborative video discussions via Google+ using only your web browser and a webcam, and which is recorded and optionally posted to YouTube (where others can discuss the recording).

From left to right as you see the video, the panelists were:

  • Benjamin Ellis, founder and CEO of Redcatco and Social Optics in Camberley, Surrey in the UK.
  • Kerry Bridge, Social Media Manager at Dell UK in Bracknell.
  • Lionel Menchaca, Dell’s Chief Blogger.
  • Shel Holtz in Concord, California, Principal of Holtz Communication + Technology (and my co-host on the FIR podcasts).
  • Susan Beebe, Chief Listening Officer at Dell.

There were three questions before the panel, their discussion of which added insight and credible opinion from each of their perspectives and experiences, from the small and medium business viewpoints as well as from Dell’s enterprise view:

  1. What is the future of social media for small and medium businesses?
  2. What primary tools do you use to listen to what your customers are saying online about your company and products?
  3. Does your company have social media guidelines to enable employees to engage online with customers effectively?

The panel discussion was the culminating element in a communication programme for Dell that included a series of tweet chats addressing a number of social media topics of interest and relevance to SMBs.

All of this is related to The Social Media Toolkit, a free guide to social media seen through the lens of small and medium business that I worked on with Kerry Bridge as a client earlier this year. It’s a useful resource.

What’s your take on these topics? Add your thoughts here, at Dell’s G+ Hangout page or at the YouTube page.

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