Brand Republic held its first Digital Peer-to-Peer Exchange event on Thursday and it really proved to be a great swap of ideas with roundtables providing an opportunity for people to share their experiences regarding social media.
What was so interesting was that there was a real mix of levels of experience and development in terms what people had done or wanted to do with social media.
What also appeared true was there was still a thirst to have the basic questions answered:
How do get more followers or fans?
How much should I tweet?
And what should I post?
The three speakers provided a lot of really useful insights the top points of which I’ve tried to pick out here.
Nick Gill, head of digital planning at Five by Five started by focusing on data and the central role it plays in what we do online.
Yesterday alone there were 13 hours of YouTube video uploaded onto the web; a million blog posts and around 400,000 tweets. Instead they are big numbers, but when you start to break them down you get somewhere.
What’s important about such stats is they underlie the conversation about metrics and metrics is how we make sense of what is going on. That can mean customers, rivals and colleagues.
He mentioned a couple metric tools that his agency used (such as Radian 6) and had a good line about the use of proprietary tools: “We don’t use proprietary social media tools; we use proprietary brain power”.
Nick talked about listening. Listen before you leap. People forget how important to listen to what is going on in a digital space can be whether it is Facebook, Twitter or blogs.
He tackled the ROI and social media question which was an issue that came up throughout the day. Always a hot topic.
He showed some good ROI examples in relation to gaming, but also stressed that it doesn’t always need to be about making money: ROI can be about engagement, loyalty, fans or followers.
He touched on sharing as all the speakers did. Whether it was a link in a tweet, good content or advice.
Stay the course – don’t start projects and then stop. Listen and think through before hand what it is you want to achieve with social media and then plan.
He finished up talking about integration, which was a theme that echoed throughout the day. There’s no point having Twitter and Facebook accounts if no one knows about them. They have to be integrated with websites and advertising to make them worthwhile.
That is how you drive engagement, win fans and followers.
Marcus Schmidt, director of product management for social media, Yesmail. The focus on Marcus’s presentation was about email and served as a reminder of the smart things you can continue to do with it.
Email can be as social as anything else. It comes down to what you put into it.
He showed how you could use it to drive user generated content by putting links, articles and images in well crafted email communications.
He highlighted how big brands like Burger King and Domino’s Pizza had used social to drive their email address acquisition programmes.
Again it came back to more integration and bringing together various social elements of marketing to create a bigger whole.
Doug Platts, head of natural search, iCrossing – More talk of integration and how important it was for organisations to create a seamless digital journey and how search sat at the heart of that.
He talked about making the best out of your brand collateral to gain the greatest visibility. Part of that was about developing content ideas and link activity.
He highlighted how iCrossing had created a campaign for Ann Summers around the budget based on bidding on keywords like ‘budget 2009’ and ‘Alistair Darling’ and the campaign message: ‘There’s no recession in pleasure’.
He stressed the importance of trends and how they can give marketers insight and help in planning. Ann Summers does that very well.
Think about different platforms and make sure you are addressing them with the rise and rise of mobile and how that ties back into other digital platforms.
Talk to each other – departments, colleagues and customers. And listen.
Some of it might sound incredibly basic but if there are words worth stressing, remembering and building into your social media marketing they are these:
Listen to the market and use that to help develop your activity
Integrate it with your over digital and marketing activity
Talk, share, respond – Take part in the conversation, be useful
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