The history of social media traces back as far as the late 1970s, with the launch of the bulletin board system (BBS). The launch of the Mosaic web browser in 1993 gave birth to the World Wide Web, and from here we never looked back.
The issues under discussion for this 6th Thought Leadership Digibate were:
- Should social media be one the lead pillars in your marketing strategy today
- Social media ROI – what is effective, how do you measure?
- Picking social platforms – how do you go about finding what platforms to use?
- Earned media versus Owned media – which is which?
- In-house versus Outsource social media – pro’s, con’s and things to look out for
- The role of content in social media – what is it, why do it?
- What other mediums does social play well with?
- What is a realistic benchmark to set
Meet the panel and hear what they do currently in the industry and what positions them as the right people to share their insights with the market through their business experiences.
Where is social media heading?
If we could predict this we would all be incredibly wealthy. We are seeing it evolve beyond a marketing element and more into the creation of social business – Mike Stopforth / @mikestopforth
We are moving into an arena where we can monitor social media better and gain a better understanding of the communities, which will lead marketers to making better decisions in the online arena – Uno de Waal | @Unodewaal
We will see a consolidation when it comes to generalist social media players and the niche players will become much more focused. We will also see many more brands entering the social media arena – Jerome Touze | @jerometouze
Social Media will start being more strategic from a brand perspective and the use of personalities to drive the brands social media will become more evident. Where we definitely need to be heading is how do we convert social media into Sales? – Dr Sarah Britten | @Anatinus
Let’s look at the R.O.I
Let’s start with setting the scene – do clients have a proper understanding of social media; do they have the right approach, have they been given the right advice and what are their ultimate business objectives and how will the R.O.I model going forward be established?
A few years ago clients wanted clicks, today they want engagement, what we are all still in the process of figuring out is how do we put a monetary value on that engagement – @jerometouze
Social media allows brands to cut through the clutter and get to the consumer and engage, but there is so much pressure from a financial perspective to allocate a return on investment – imagine you are sitting at your dinner table chatting and suddenly a person walks in and wants to sell you a car – is this way of engaging right and do you really expect a return on that? Establish your strategy and goals first then engage on those terms – @mikestopforth
Social Media is still in its early stages, we have to move beyond ‘LIKES” and really start engaging with content and really understanding what your community wants from your brand – @Unodewaal
Don’t panic and say I need to be involved in social media. Ask the following first – What do we do? What do we offer, who are our market and what do we want to achieve in the marketplace. You may well find that social media is not for you – @Anatinus
If you are not prepared to have a conversation with a consumer then someone else is going to, so what advice would you give clients on this?
Firstly establish what your objectives are and look at a long term strategy – social media is a truly sustainable business tool and should not be seen as a quick in and out – @jerometouze
If you are anxious about being in the social media arena, address the anxiety and strategically plan to move forward with your set objectives – @mikestopforth
Social media channels are a fantastic sounding board for your brand to truly understand what you consumers are saying and not what you think they are saying – @Unodewaal
Brands fear negativity, but instead if remaining fearful about the negative rather create conversations and engagement around the positive so that when the negative does come along, you are able to converse about it through the positive – @Anatinus
It’s about content – there is social content; these are the things people want to talk about and share and then there is viral content; things people see and want to forward as a link to their friends. Often brands put out the initial content, but then the consumers become the content providers and the brands the custodians of that content – @Unodewaal
Often businesses small and large struggle with setting up social media content – what tips can you provide?
Being a smaller business is to your advantage as you can turn things around quicker and provide relevant and engaging content sooner, whereas the larger companies have a lot red tape to get through. Most of the social media innovations are coming from smaller businesses – @jerometouze
For smaller businesses it’s great to create a “personality” for your brand in social media. People like people and like to see what they are doing and how they are doing it – this is great way to create content and get your followers engaged and involved in your brand and provide content. Before you just jump in though, spend time online and see how people are engaging, what the tone is, what sort of things they like to engage with, etc. – @Anatinus
Brands encourage personality adoption, but there is a fine line between brand personality and the personality of a member of the brands staff and this has to be taken into account so that the personality does not out grow the brand– @mikestopforth
Social Media is going to be a beast I can’t control – so do I keep the content generation internal or do I outsource it?
It’s natural for brands to have these anxieties about not having control of social media, but the strategic approach is to create internal content and then allow it to flow into the social arena and allow people to add to the content. Social media for brands can be broken up into 3 stages – Emergency Room (trying to figure it all out) then the Reactive Stage (responding to what is being said and put out content wise and then moving into the Proactive Stage – where real engagement and interaction is happening – @mikestopforth
Let’s not discredit the work that strategic agencies do, but we are seeing more and more social media champions emerging and moving the content into the direction that they choose, this is not controlled internally by the brand– @jerometouze
Often clients are over anxious about control, if you go and do a Google search on any brand you will see that more than 80% of the content out there has not been generated by them – Dawn Rowlands
There is a new trend word on the block……FLAWSOME – which is a combination of Flawed and Awesome and this is what people want to see in brands – we don’t want perfect, we like it when people are just people with flaws, negative stuff along with all the wonderful stuff – @Anatinus
Twending on Twitter by the Tweeple….whilst OUTDOORS
In the open Q&A part of the Digibate these were some of the questions asked from the audience:
- What are the thoughts on Facebook and Twitter integrating #tags and twitter handles?
- What is Twitter Trending and how is it calculated?
- Do we need to look at a set format and regulations for all these new media platforms so that people are all operating / working off the same page or do we focus on great content?
- As consumers are spending more than 80% of their time out of home how can brands leverage social media in the Out of Home arena?
- Are marketers today ready to embrace the integrated communications and marketing platforms that are available into their strategies?
- Do you think that social media is the corner stone of the marketing mix today?
Don’t ask if Social Media should be a pillar of your marketing mix, rather ask what matters to the people you want to engage and what is relevant to them – @Anatinus
Be relevant, engaging and adaptable and understand that social media is just one of the elements in the marketing mix today – @jerometouze
It not about the implementation methods – it’s about having conversations as your marketing corner stone today – @Unodewaal
Focus rather on social business than on the terminologies and platforms of social media – @mikestopforth
Start with a very clear objective as to what you want to achieve out of your marketing and social media strategies. This clarity will allow you navigate where you want to be – Dawn Rowlands
The Thought Leadership Digibates are held monthly with the aim to discuss, debate and share insights and trends within the media marketing sector. The podcasts will be available for download after the event.
About Aegis Media
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