Swansea conference to provide new insights into social networking
Local businesses are being given the opportunity this month to learn how so-called social networking sites such as Facebook, Bebo and MySpace can help them to maximise potential from online communities.
The Communication for Profitable Customer Relationships conference, which will be held at the Liberty Stadium in Swansea on Wednesday, September 17, is jointly organised by Swansea University and The Chartered Institute of Marketing.
Professor Adrian Palmer of the University’s School of Business and Economics is chairing the conference.
He said: “Many adults above a certain age admit to being mystified by the so-called social networking websites that their children use. In many respects, this extends to business managers who understand that these vast online communities exist but who don’t know how to target them commercially.
“In business, as in life generally, communication is at the heart of good relationships. Speakers at this one-day conference will give new insights into the power of one-to-one customer communication as the versatility of new media develops and as businesses in Wales face the challenges and opportunities of a multi-channel and multi-lingual environment.”
Recent research by Microsoft suggests that up to 90 per cent of American college and university students have a Facebook account and spend an average of 19 minutes each day on the site.
Professor Palmer said: “What happens in America tends to head our way before long, and more UK-based students are now hooked onto their social networking sites. Facebook now has 24 million registered users worldwide, and has been growing at a rate of 300% each year, adding 150 000 new members every day.”
Some of the world’s leading experts in networks and customer relationship management (CRM) are converging on Swansea for the conference.
Leading academics such as Dr Neil Hair from the Rochester Institute of Technology, New York and Dr Tracy Harwood, Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Creative Technologies at De Montfort University, Leicester will share their latest insights into how businesses can harness social networking sites and technologies for their own benefit and profitability.
Professor Palmer said: “Many companies are finding out the hard way that it can be very difficult to know how best to keep people satisfied, and at the same time make a decent profit.
“Even the mighty Facebook hasn’t been able to crack the need to turn a brilliant idea into a profitable business model. But in Swansea, the experts will give insights and inspiration to businesses large and small who are trying to get to grips with the new landscape of Web 2.0.”
The conference will be preceded by the annual International Colloquium in Relationship Marketing, to be held at Swansea University from September 14-16. The Colloquium will discuss the latest trends in the theory and practice of relationship marketing.
For further information about the Communication for Profitable Customer Relationships conference, including registration details for companies interested in attending, click on this link.
And for further information about the International Colloquium in Relationship Marketing, click on this link.