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Tuning Into The Social Web: Thoughts from NY’s Social Media Conference

Tuning Into The Social Web: Thoughts from NY’s Social Media Conference
Advertising
Maria Vrachnos
  • 2 june 2009

The east and west coast technorati showed up en masse at the recent IAB Social Media Conference in New York’s Roosevelt Hotel. From Facebook to Kraft and the social web’s premier designers, programmers and analysts – this audience was engaged and tweeting about thoughts all day. Best practices were unveiled, branded examples were shared, myths were debunked and most of all- the audience’s fears and hesitations were assuaged by normalizing this emerging yet already highly populated and lucrative space. The underlining call to action was to get your brand out there now to listen, test and to learn. Peep listened, learned and was inspired to further experiment with how our brands can make a few (million) new friends and mine for insights via crowd-sourcing techniques.

Many claim branded two way conversations on the social web are the advertising model of the future and that brands need to inject themselves into the dialog instead of getting around it as they did in the past. One of the first steps is to identify what people are already saying about your brand online and where they are saying it. Once it is clear where the momentum lies, brands can leverage that network of interested and passionate people. The key is to pinpoint how an established digital community can produce for you. Therefore, listening and learning become the first two invaluable points of entry, Peep’s favorite activities.

Josh Bernoff, co-author of Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies, differentiated social media from a marketing “campaign” during his keynote address. Social is an ongoing strategy, without a launch or an ending—but measurement is still imperative. He outlines a simple 4-step process to make social assessable for any brand.

1) People: Assess your customer’s social activities.

2) Objective: Decide what you want to accomplish (don’t focus initially on the technology).

3) Strategy: Plan for how relationships for customers will change.

4) Technology: Decide which social technologies to use.

People want to talk about their problems, not brands, he said, but that creates an opportunity for marketers who are listening well and are able to integrate product talk in a meaningful way.

From a communications standpoint, the new paradigm is about curating conversations, a shift which must also informs social media research methodologies.

For more detailed information on the conference, download IAB’s Social Media Best Practices document. And to view excerpt videos from the conference scroll to the bottom of the IAB’s page here.

Contributed by Aliza Lewis

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