Today I had the great pleasure of speaking on behalf of Sainsbury’s at the Social Brand Conference in London. A packed day of brands and agencies talking about all things social media. From best practice customer service, content strategies, legal frameworks and ROI – there was just so much information to take on board and digest.

I spoke about how in today’s digital age, every crisis is now social, global and viral. I’ve embedded my slides below, but before I get to that, I wanted to put to paper some of the thoughts and inspiration from the other speakers that stayed with me.

Hats off to @Larssilberbauer from Lego for the work that his team has been doing. I’ve mentioned them on my blog before and I was very excited to hear first hand about how they go about social. What stuck with me the most was his deceptively simple approach to developing a social media strategy for Lego: If you understand people to be hard-wired to be social, then you have to understand what your customers social needs are. In the case of Lego, this is the need to build together and to show off that sense of pride you have when you’re completed your creation. Combine your business strategy with your customer’s social needs and hey presto, you have a social media strategy.

The results speak for themselves – just check out Lego’s brilliant “Brickmented Reality” campaign.

Lars then went on to talk about the simple yet entirely brilliant Lego social media driver’s licence. Put simply, a day-long course at the end of which Lego executives have to pass a theoretical and practical exam on social media. And much like any driver’s licence – if you mess up, it can be taken away from you.

A big theme of the day was that of agile social media teams (or SWATT – Special Weapons & Twitter Tactics, thank you @Jeremywaite for that bit of awesomeness) that sit somewhere between PR and Marketing and are not only plugged in to the big events and news stories of the day, but have the authority and resource to develop creative content for their brands to be a part of the bigger conversation.

With the Superbowl powercut fresh in people’s memory, no wonder then that it was Oreo’s ‘You can still dunk in the dark’ Tweet – created, approved and posted within minutes of the lights going out.

Other examples were Lego’s tribute to Neil Armstrong, Spec Saver’s cheeky ad on the back of the Eden Hazard/Ball boy incident and some more from the Superbowl:

@Jeremywaite provided the best definition of ‘Return on Investment‘ I’d ever heard at a social media conference: the actual definition of the concept, which was a very pleasant surprise.

ROI%  = ((revenue gained – investment) / investment) x 100

That definition coupled with his 1 slide social media report (Who is saying it? What are they saying? When are they saying it? Where are they saying it? and Why are they saying it?) will prepare you for any budget meeting with the CFO.

Finally on to @BruceDaisley from Twitter who showed a great clip about how the news of the recent helicopter crash in central London was shared on Twitter. The visualisation clearly shows how initial tweeters are at the centre of the story at the start, but then the power of trusted sources on Twitter during breaking news events such as Sky News and more prominently BBC Breaking News become hubs for the news (as I’m sure both Sky and the BBC will be happy to learn).

My mind is still buzzing from all the input, inspiration and ideas so I’ll leave you with my take on crisis comms.