Social Media: my conference take-aways

Another day out the office (I attended Interiors Birmingham Expo last week) and this time for The Future of Social Media conference, hosted at The Cumberland Hotel, London. Social Media is something that has varying degrees of understanding. I’m sure even the the Social Media pros still debate the true definition. Rohit Bhargava summed up Social Media neatly in a couple of words – demystifying the often over-complicated versions:

“Social Media is where people are sharing information socially like comments, discussions, photos, music, etc (not just blogs, twitter, YouTube)”
Rohit Bhargava, SVP Marketing, Ogilvy

As usual I took notes, but in the end I’ve decided to write this post on *just* one of the presentations – actually a workshop – from the conference. Kevin Lawver, Chief Architect, Music Intelligence Solutions entitled: Making Marketing More Human Through Technology

Making Marketing More Human Through Technology

Making Marketing More Human Through Technology

Here are some of my take-away’s from Kevin’s presentation:

  • Social Media is a “Silly Term” – all media is social, all media begs commentary
  • Cluetrain Manifesto (1999) – was a prophecy, not a manifesto
  • Social Media is about the all the conversation
  • Social Media is about: Following them , starting them and joining them
  • Every online community is a tribe
  • Feed reader – get it. It’s the fastest way to scan and track the right conversations
  • Google alerts – important
  • Twitter: The web’s dinner party
  • Constant partial attention phenomenon
  • Starting conversations: get a blog – validate humanity

On Twitter:

  • Don’t just broadcast
  • Be useful
  • Don’t follow everyone
  • Don’t be annoying
  • Do follow those who follow you
  • Offer support where you can
  • Follow: @garyvee, @zappos, @twalk, @railsmachine, @halcyon
  • Twitter’s not for marketing – it’s PR. Some argue that Twitter is Marketing and some argue that’s they’re both (My tweet and the subsequent responses from @EEPaul, @BenLaMothe and @kaigani)
  • Don’t inflict rules for bloggers in corporate environments – they’ll do their own thing.

The future:

  1. Reputation – biggest missing piece out there. Creating ‘Reputation Models’
  2. Aggregators – people love these. FB’s wall is interesting
  3. API Traps – need to make sure that they’re around for soem time – if they go down what happens?
  4. Activity Streams – slow uptake, but people love it.

The Presentation:

The Future of Social Media conference – January 2009

Last October I attended the Future of Social Media conference (FOSM) with my colleague, John Welsh (Digital Director, UBM Information), full of expectation. I was not disappointed. The content and speakers were good and found the practical real-life talks inspiring. After all, most social media-type events cater more for the technical geek-type audiences – not marketers actually going back to an office implementing Social Media (SM) campaigns.

Many questions like: what’s the ROI for SMM?, how does SM actually benefit our business? and commonly how do we actual measure SM success – is there a formula? weren’t fully answered in my opinion. British Airways – on the other hand – was particularly useful – managed to coach the audience through Social Media marketing campaigns like the Metrotwin one.

This years FOSM conference includes a music theme with Last.fm speaker Spencer Hyman in the line up. A question I’ll have for Spencer is whether the now not-so-recent redesign has had any effect on their audiences?

I’ll be writing up notes from the conference, but only after the talks. Here are the speakers from the conference:

Determining the future and maintaining the momentum in Social Media marketing
Andy Hobsbawn, European Chair, Agency.com

Counterintuitive new truths of marketing
Rohit Bhargava, SVP Marketing, Ogilvy

The new generation – reaching your audience through Social Media applications
Jackson Bond, Senior Manager Corporate Development, Xing

Understandign and leveraging future online communities
Mark Watts-Jones, Head of Innovation, Orange

Social Media marketing and social music revolution
Spencer Hyman, COO, Last.fm

The future of search engines – exploring how the future of Social Media will be incorporated into search
Cesar Mascaraque, Managing Director, Ask.com

A web analytics view of Social Media – the future and the measurement challenges
Vicky Brock, Strategic Programs Director, Web Analytics Association

Establishing tomorrow’s Social Media’s landscape
Hart Cunningham, Founder, PerfSpot
Kevin Lawver, Chief Architect, Music Intelligence Solutions

The full speaker line-up and agenda for this years show can be found on the FOSM website.