Live from #SMWF: Brian Solis skypes in

Blogger, speaker, thinker and general master of all things digital Brian Solis joined the people of SMWF for one of this afternoon’s keynote presentations, via skype from the safety of Toronto.

As always, he had some really thought provoking things to say; starting off by challenging all present to go away and do something to make social media better than it is today.

He said he was unconvinced by brands that put ‘follow us’, or ‘like us’ on the end of their communications. It’s not that easy, he said. What we’re really asking the consumer to do is trust that connection to deliver some kind of tangible value.

Value was the key word in his presentation. The two biggest reasons why people connect with brands on social media? To get discounts or make purchases.

Funny really to think, but people really don’t want to connect with your brand. They’d much rather connect with their auntie Mable in Sydney or their old uni buddies. “You’ve got an opportunity to add value to a channel that very personal,” he said.

He talked about large brands shying away from social media for fear of losing control of the message. And this is what he says to executives who give him that line…

You know what, he says, conversation and opinion was invented a long time before social media, and it’s going to happen regardless of whether you’re involved or not.

What social media does is give you a unique chance to gain some level of influence over the conversation that will happen anyway. Great stuff Brian.