Social Media World Forum – Morning Round-up

Session 1. Katy Howell – MD, immediatefuture.

Katy was a last minute addition to the agenda and rocked the stage. Great speaker, no BS, no jargon and lots of real “from the front-line” experiences to share.

We’re at a time of Shifting sands. Hidden costs.One client lost their Flickr page mid-campaign. Be warned that there are some drawbacks, hidden costs, content risk (who owns the data). Popular platforms are looking at charge models.

52% of people on soaicl networks have more than one sn.

Influence should not be a replacement for audience. There is no cost per influence.There are different types of influencers. Authoratative, popular and collaborative influencers.
Another problem – brands shout all the time. How do you compete with this? Authorities hate to be shouted at.

Realtime conversations and the 1st page as brand entry point.

Katy does echo Kevin’s marriage analogy. Social media is not a holiday romance.Are we getting viral and app fatigue. Such strategies smack of the one night stand. B2B example = xerox. They have great multi-platform presence and connect people who are really passionate about their products. Really highlt engaged community. 4 out of 5 tweets generate ocnversation (OMG!)

74% of companies feel that proving ROI is the greatest challenge for social media.

Setting out KPIs and “showing your working out” is extremely important. Look at objectives, what are you trying to acheive and what is the unit value of that and Work back against what you are measuring for returns.

We’re looking at a really cool client greaph (anonymised data) where we’re seeing correlation between Twitter conversation spikes and search spikes. Really close correlation between the two.

Biggest blocks for social media is often the senior management attitude. Katy gives an example of negative comment on a third sector facebook page. Management response was to shut the page down and call in the lawyers; which of course just moves the problem around.

Of course the Habitat intern gets a mention. (I think I shall refer to this as the Habiturn incident from now on).

M&S Direct – each section has social media evangelists in each section.

Session 2. Trevor Johnson: Head of Strategy, EMEA – Facebook

Trevor drops some amusing anecdotes about a FB engineer on holiday working on a pineapple farm. On telling the farmer he works for FB, the farmer says “oh facebook! I love that farm game”.

Also – the burgler that got caught because they couldn’t resist the opp. to check in with their FB network whilst on the job.

Point is: FB shouldn’t be considered as a complementary marketing strategy, or something new/different. FB touches so many of us.

FB is…

#1 web property

5BN pieces of content per WEEK

6BN minutes per DAY spent on FB

(and loads more hugely impressive stats that I didn’t get…)

FB have a trilogy of customers, all equally important – users, developers and brands.

Brands can now communicate with customers and potential customers on a one to one level, which is hugely significant.

Summary points

1. Make it social – leverage the platform of the social graph

2. Keep it simple

3. Don’t think campaign-specific – develop a conversational calendar

4. Think differently, harness new opportunities and experiment.

Session 3 – PANEL

  • Allison Wightman, Head of Marketing, Virgin Atlantic Airways
  • Sienne Veit, Social/Mobile Commerce Director, M&S Direct
  • Igor Beuker, Founder, SocialMedia8
  • Freddie Laker, Director of Digital Strategy, SapientNitro

Session is moderated by Guy Pendleton.

I missed the opening premise from Guy, however it must have been something about where we’re heading in terms of opportinities and difficulties, as Freddie is talking about where social meets mobile and how that’s for him, the most exciting area of development, particularly for emerging markets.

Sienne – linking up all your social touchpoints can be a difficult task.

Igor – Disjointed paths can pose a problem for brand participants. As an example we know that peer approval is an immensely powerful driver of purchase decision. If we have 1500 interactions about a new brand of trainers on Facebook – that is great from a positive mention p.o.v. however where is the shop? An easily tracked conversion journey is a challenge for social media.

Other questions are about difficulties, what happens when the voice changes, how do we justify spending time on listeners/talkers that aren’t buyers?

Sienne – with any friendship we don’t know at what point a relationship may become useful and listeners can be connectors, not just direct buyers.

Question from the audience about the “thank-you” economy (this idea that more and more of the signal/noise mix is just meaningless thank-you noise.

Igor – reminds us that conversation must be two-way and by that, not just about speaking, responding but listening. Therefore the thank-you matters as it is a way to infer some level of recognition for being heard.

Freddie – Yes there is some criticism that the thank-you is just noise; therefore offer some value-add. A link with a thank-you, a voucher etc. Don’t just add to the noise.

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