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Questioning the value of social media in the business world was laid to rest at a recent BlogWell social media summit called “How Big Brands Use Social Media.” Hosted by SAP, other presenters included The Hershey Company, Johnson & Johnson, Discovery Communications, Scholastic, Pfizer, Sungard and BlackRock.

SAP Taps Social Media Ambassadors to Create Conference Buzz

For SAP, a robust social media strategy was deployed to support its customer conference, SAPPHIRE NOW. According to Brian Ellefritz, senior director of social media marketing at SAP, the main objectives were to treat the audience as peers, not as recipients, showcase SAP as a savvy user of social media and extend the event to those who couldn't attend. "We created an aura that we were virtual and available in real time," said Ellefritz. A majority of SAPPHIRE NOW content was either streamed live or taped and available to download online.

To help raise awareness of news and hot topics happening at SAPPHIRE NOW,  Ellefritz also deployed "Social Media Ambassadors",  a group of SAP employees, acting as reporters, that became "the eyes and ears" for those who couldn't attend. The ambassadors roamed the SAPPHIRE NOW conference armed with Flip Video Camcorders grabbing reaction and commentary from attendees, presenters and influencers. Videos and blogs from ambassadors were posted to an online newsroom that was refreshed throughout the duration of conference. Updates were pushed out via Twitter. While SAP kept a close eye on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube activity before, during and after SAPPHIRE NOW, creating an energetic and positive vibe was far more important than gathering statistics, according to Ellefritz.

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