Innovation. Ideas. Insight.

Notes from Digiday: Social

In Ideas, Innovation, Insight on March 13, 2009 at 9:09 am

On Thursday I went to Digiday: Social, hosted by DM2:Events. Special shout out to Nick Friese for the invite. Lots of good people from the NYC Social Media world were in the house to here from a number of noted marketers, brand managers and researchers.  There were of course many things said worth sharing. Here’s a brief recap:

Scott Monty, Digital and Multimedia Communications Manager at Ford Motor Company, was the keynote and his presenation was quite compelling. Among the insights he shared:

  • Before you jump into Social Media, have a strategy. Know why you are, or aren’t, blogging, tweeting, etc.
  • “Getting” Social Media doesn’t mean you understand the intracacies of Facebook or Technorati, it means understanding the importance of human relationships

Scott also shared a video of Seth Godin, who not surprisingly provided some great insight:

  • Networking isn’t amassing hundreds of Facebook friends or thousands of followers on Twitter. Networking is helping other people achieve their goals.

Reuben Stieger, CEO of Millions of Us, moderated a panel that included Monty, Robert Hayes of Showtime, Michael Lazerow of Buddy Media and Paul Beck of Ogilvy Worldwide. I can’t remember who said it now, but a couple of interesting comments:

  • Building buzz and then letting it die is worse than never building buzz in the first place
  • Social Media is CRM, Product Development, Customer Service, HR, Marketing…

It’s tough to figure out which department should own Social Media at a company because it can be so many different things, depending upon how you use it.

Richard Ullman of Ripple6 shared some thoughts on social media engagement:

  • Understand that people are people – treat them like humans, not numbers
  • Watch out for the creepiness factor – people still like their privacy
  • Engage people in their backyard – go to them, don’t make them come to you if you really want to know how they behave

Cynthia Francis from Reality Digital:

  • Like Scott Monty, she stressed the need for clarity before you begin. Make sure you have clearly defined goals
  • Then build a strong strategy that aligns with those goals
  • Also, be sure your measurement metrics align with the goals. Measuring page views doesn’t work if your goal is to change consumer perception
  • Think carefully about how you design online experiences. A sweepstakes will get a consumer to come to your site once. Create experiences that encourage repeat visits

Don Steele from MTV Networks offered the following:

  • Walled gardens are no longer viable, brands have to play in an open landscape
  • Sometimes it’s better to showcase the work of your consumers than your own
  • His four keys to engaging in Social Media
    • Organic
    • Smart
    • Engaging
    • Honest

The final portion of the day I was able to stay for focused on Measurement, always a hot issue in the world of Social Media. Stephanie Miller from Return Path moderated; along with Jon Gibs of Nielsen Online, Dr. Augustine Fou of the Marketing Science Consulting Group, Michael Burke from appsavvy, C. Francis from Reality Digital and T.S. Kelly of Quantcast. Highlights from the panel discussion included:

  • You can’t determine a program’s ROI without establishing your goals first – Gibs
  • The challenge is that the conversations are 1 t0 1; 1 to many; many to many – Kelly
  • The deeper the understanding of your goals, the better the ROI metric – Francis
  • Consider search volume as a ROI metric – Dr. Fou
  • A challenge in measuring Social Media is the fact that conversations continue and are archived past the length of the campaign – Dr. Fou
  • Efforts in more narrowly focused communities lead to better qualitative data.
    • My example: YouTube comments are filled with noise because it’s such a large community. But comments in a hardcore skateboard community are going to be much richer and more relevant (if you’re selling skateboards)
  • Website iInfluence can be measured by what consumers say after they have read an article on the site, not just by how many people read the article – Gibs
  • Should SocMed just be considered a sunk cost? – Miller
  • SocMed is not advertising – Dr. Fou
  • It should be called Social Marketing, not Social Media – Dr. Fou
  • Social Marketing returns come over time, they are not immediate – Kelly
  • When you stop thinking of Social Media as advertising, you realize you don’t have to spend a lot of money – Dr. Fou
  • Social Media is customer service, not marketing – Gibs
  • Focus on the audience, not on the media channel – Burke

 Overall, a really good afternoon of learning, I hope these notes did the event, and speakers, justice. 

Check out David Berkowitz’s site for more details from the Digiday event.

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