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Social Media Portal interview with Luke Brynley-Jones at Monitoring Social Media 09

Staff (Social Media Portal) - 10 November 2009

Profiled - Monitoring Social Media 09 - The first UK social media monitoring conference

An interview with Luke Brynley-Jones, founder at Monitoring Social Media 09, Europe's social media monitoring conference

The Social Media Portal meets with Luke Brynley-Jones who gives the low-down in the UK first dedicated social media monitoring conference

Social Media Portal (SMP): What is your full job title and role?Monitoring Social Media 09 logo

Luke Brynley-Jones (LBJ): Iím the Founder of Our Social Times, the UK-based social media consultancy and events company. Iíve been working in social media for over 10 years, developing numerous online communities and two social networks, etribes and Trutap. These days I advise companies on how to benefit from social media and I also teach social media marketing for the University of Essex.

SMP: Briefly, tell us about the Monitoring Social Media 09 event, what is it and what are you striving to do?

LBJ: Monitoring Social Media 09 is a one-day conference taking place in London on 17th November. Sponsored by Visible Technologies, the event will focus on the key issues in measuring and monitoring social media, including: how to identify influencers, sentiment detection, data sources and quality, the ROI of social media monitoring and how monitoring can instigate organisational change. Photograph of Luke Brynley-Jones, founder at Monitoring Social Media 09

With an impressive list of more than twenty social media speakers and panelists, including Marshall Manson (Edelman), Brad Little (Nielsen), Antony Mayfield (iCrossing), Neville Hobson (WeissComm Group), Philip Sheldrake (Influence Crowd) and Alan Moore (SMLXL), the day will be jam-packed full of practical advice, case studies and informed debate.

The conference also has an exhibition area, offering demos from leading social media monitoring services and agencies, including Visible Technologies, Brandwatch, Whitevector, Sentiment Metrics and NixonMcInnes.  You can read more or book tickets at

SMP: What made you start Monitoring Social Media 09?

LBJ: I have often blogged about social media monitoring at and with the rise of Twitter these services have suddenly acquired much more relevancy. If youíre a major brand you canít possibly read every Twitter post in real-time, but you can use monitoring tools to track them, aggregate them and view trends in frequency, location, sentiment and the influence of individual Twitterers.

With relevancy comes controversy and that brings the opportunity for interesting events. Hence Monitoring Social Media 09.

SMP: What was the most challenging part of building the visibility of the event?

LBJ: To sell 150-200 tickets you need to contact around 30,000 people in your target market. The only way you can do that without a budget is by using social media very actively and innovatively. We have two very active Twitter accounts, a blog and a LinkedIn Group. Most of our tickets have been sold indirectly via Twitter or through direct emails from event partners and via LinkedIn Groups. Itís been a lot of hard graft.

SMP: Who are your target audience and why?

LBJ: Monitoring Social Media 09 is primarily for digital PR, comms and marketing executives who are directly responsible for managing the brand and marketing communications of large companies. Most of our attendees are running social media campaigns now and wondering how they should be measuring the results. We also have some data-heads, start-ups, journalists, bloggers, academics and new media characters coming along.

SMP: What sort of guest speakers do you have and how does the day pan out?

LBJ: Speakers include leading digital PR and marketing thinkers, Alan Moore (SMLXL), Neville Hobson (WeissComm Group) and Antony Mayfield (iCrossing), social media monitoring experts, including Brad Little (Nielson Buzzmetrics), Giles Palmer (Brandwatch), Mark Rogers (Market Sentinel) and Nick Koudas (Sysomos), and some of the best agency minds, including Marshall Manson (Edelman), Amelia Torode (VCCP), David Cushman (Brando Social), Matt Atkinson (EHS Brann) and Robin Grant (We Are Social).

The day includes a mixture of panel discussions and presentations. Weíre also putting on lunch and post-event drinks.

SMP: How are you initially attract users to your site /service, and how do you do it leading up to the event?

: We have an excellent website, to which we are attracting attendees via blog posts, press releases, partner emails and posts, Twitter posts, LinkedIn discussions and adverts on other events.

SMP: What are the low moments of what you have been doing so far?

: Paying a large deposit for the venue and signing an even larger contract before having any registered attendees. But that sinking feeling soon disappeared once we had signed up our sponsors and first few attendees.

SMP: What are the high moments of what you have been doing so far?

LBJ: Signing up our Lead Sponsor, Visible Technologies ( - one of the most established and respected social media monitoring services in the US, with clients such as Microsoft and Xerox.  Also getting our first registration from South America.

SMP: Whatís the next big step for social media / networks and why is measurement important?

LBJ: Social media monitoring will become part of the marketing, PR and customer services makeup of any large business or brand. It will also start to impact the way organisations are structured. For many corporates, allowing their staff to engage with customers via social media will take more than mere technology; it will requires a profound change in their regulations and working practises.

SMP: Whatís going to be the most interesting aspect regarding social media / technology throughout the rest of 2009 and then into 2010?

LBJ: Micro-blogging services, such as Twitter, are going to revolutionise the way we read news. Social media monitoring services are the vanguard in terms of filtering and sorting real-time information to ensure we only see, comment on and share whatís relevant to us.

SMP:  Now it is reported that we may be moving out of the global recession what do what impact do you think social media may have upon a business such as yours?

LBJ: In an industry powered by start-ups and venture capital funding, the recession has limited opportunities for many people. Brands have tended to focus on their core business and cut budgets for experimental marketing and research. Coming out of recession will open up funding and investment into areas where the ROI is less easy to quantify Ė such as increases in social media interactions. Thatís good for companies like Our Social Times.

SMP: How does this fit into plans at Monitoring Social Media 09?

LBJ: We are hosting discussions on how to identify and explain the ROI of social media and social media monitoring. Marketing, PR and comms managers need to understand how to quantify the benefits of their campaigns in order to get financial backing from them internally, or sell them into clients.

SMP: Best way to contact you?

LBJ: Email: luke @ and Twitter: @oursocialtimes

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