Social Media ROI and Likeminds – WOW

Friday the 16th of October saw Exeter welcome a new social media conference to the Westcountry – Like Minds. My company were lucky enough to be one of the local sponsors and our logo sat impressively on the big screen behind the speakers alongside the like of Magners and Starbucks – not bad exposure I say πŸ™‚

The reason for this post is to try and reach a few more people and explain the power of using social media in your business. I’ve also been flying high on a wave of social media love since the conference on Friday and want to tell the world about it πŸ™‚

A few facts first:

  • The conference tackled the issue of ROI in Social Media
  • There were over 200 people there
  • Over 500 watched the conference on Ustream – A live stream of the event – still available here
  • People interacted with the conference in real time from all over the world – Even Stephen Fry the Twitter God dropped in digitally to say ‘Hi’ to everyone there!
  • The twitter fall, which was projected onto the screen while panelists were talking had thousands of tweets on it
  • Two of the keynote speakers flew from America especially to talk at the conference
  • Another keynote speaker – @darenBBC worked for the BBC for some time and was instrumental in putting Microsoft and IBM together as well as working on the iplayer!
  • The last keynote speaker – @mazi is in charge of social media for SKY!

Now here’s the thing – The two guys in charge of this whole event @scottgould and @drewellis didn’t even know each other this time last year! They met on Twitter and through a building of trust using social media, became closer until they decided to launch likeminds together earlier in the year. Now take into account that every single one of the sponsors bought into the event and the organisers purely because of social media. None of us knew Scott or Drew this time last year but like they had done, we had met through our love of social media and innovative thinking. Amazing as this all sounds, its even more amazing to think that this WHOLE event was put on and organised using social media – not a single bit of traditional advertising was used – Scott interacted with and finally met @treypennington and @thebrandbuilder on twitter (our two American friends) and after a visit earlier in the year by Trey, they agreed to talk at the conference – Another victory for social media.

Now Exeter is not known for its conferences or foresight when it comes to technology so to get the numbers mentioned together in a room was a remarkable achievement. I’ve been working in Exeter for over 10 years now and never seen anything like it.

If you want to see the interest in the conference and everything it’s generated since, take a look at the hashtag #likeminds on twitter here. An amazing event experience.

Social media has the power to break down barriers like nothing I’ve experienced before, for example I sat next to one of my competitors all day as we tweeted and retweeted each other on the twitter fall. We then shared dinner that evening (with others I have to say ;)) and it just made me marvel at how important getting ‘like minded people’ together really is. We have undoubtedly become closer due to social media and I’m thankful for that. I also met a lot of fantastic new people at the conference and cemented relationships with others – I literally cant wait for the next one.

Likeminds in itself was a testimony to what social media can achieve if implemented correctly. The return on investment for all involved was huge.

If you’re not using Social Media in your business yet then I strongly suggest you start thinking about it. Of course, if you’re stuck, then Optix Solutions can give you a helping hand πŸ™‚


  1. Drew Ellis on 18th October 2009 at 8:19 pm

    Great post Al and thanks for your faith and support. We look forward to welcoming you to the next Like Minds and building on it all to help create a better understanding of how social media can change things for us all.

    • Banksy on 18th October 2009 at 9:07 pm

      Cheers Drew – Great day and look forward to being a part of Like Minds for many years to come.

  2. Scott Gould on 18th October 2009 at 9:34 pm

    Hey Al – we’re better together. End of story!

  3. Peter Stephens on 19th October 2009 at 9:22 am

    Glad you all had a good day, shame I couldn’t make it….. hopefully next time.

    • Banksy on 19th October 2009 at 9:36 am

      You’ll just have to make it next time Pete πŸ™‚

  4. […] I am Banksy: Social Media ROI and Likeminds […]

  5. Jonathan on 19th October 2009 at 11:40 pm

    Great post, Al. A good synopsis of the event, from origins to outcome. I think the most satisfying thing for me about Like Minds was that – despite it’s origins, promotion and content being rooted in social media – it wasn’t a conference about social media. It was a conference about how to use – in a strategic not practical sense. And that’s what made it really exciting, because you can take those thoughts and apply them to any message you want to communicate.

    And another point I want to flag up is a Tweet you posted during the event – something along the line of ‘Forget about company brands. It’s all about personal brands’. I think the thing businesses have to remember is that they have to have a personality – that’s the key. Because that’s what customers buy – not your products or your services, but your personality. It’s the thing that differentiates one business from another. It’s the one thing that a competitor can’t replicate. And that’s why a brand is so valuable – because your brand communicates your personality. And social media is a fantastic tool for communicating your personality.

    And I haven’t forgotten that it was you who told me to get on Twitter. Thanks for that.

    • Banksy on 20th October 2009 at 6:13 pm

      Thanks Jon, really good point and in ref to the tweet I made about brand – I don’t think 140 characters did it justice really (plus I was riding on social media love at the time :)) – Brand is essential for businesses and I think really my point is that in the next few years, companies will need to look more closely at their personalities as you put it and those of their staff because this is the new way people will buy. A very good point you make – thank you for bringing that up. πŸ™‚

  6. […] and then of course he blew everyone away by organising Like Minds entirely using social media (read my article on that here). Now he’s known all over the town – in fact some might say it’s the Scott Gould show […]

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