Is Social Media Everything? Advertising Research Foundation Social Media Council Panel

by Bradley Jobling on October 1, 2010

As part of Advertising Week 2010, the Advertising Research Foundation Social Media Council hosted a panel discussion sponsored byBloomberg with speakers from:

Social has been around for a few years now and is being consumed by all aspects of marketing and media hence the question, is social media everything? Points of interest from the discussion include:

  • Facebook and Twitter are an important part of sharing,yet email is still the most prevalent. Facebook is number 2.
  • Martha Stewart’s fan base relates to her on social media. Twitter provides a convenient and easy way for Martha to engage with her audience. New blogs on specific craft and food topics are popping up on the Martha Stewart website like, well, daisies. Martha uses analytics to find what social media followers do once they’ve come to her Web site.
  • Venu Vasudevan discussed Motorla’s work in creating platforms to make television more interactive. This includes social bookmarking tools for the sharing of your favorite television clips. A “Now Watching” option will show your friends what you are viewing providing the opportunity to chat about it online. The mission in bringing the digital water cooler to the couch is to make watching television alone, a less lonely experience.
  • Rob Gorrie from ADDCENTRICITY talked about how social is extending to out-of-home. This will most likely focus on bringing the location-based social media platforms into the fold. The top FourSquare check- ins are food, shopping, and other. The food and shopping locations meld perfectly with out-of-home advertising. Social within out-of-home has actually increased point-of-purchase sales.
  • Discovery Communications used social media to hold an online memorial service for the “Deadliest Catch” captain.
  • Social media is not always flush with successes. One of the Discovery Communications promotions had fans un-following and then following for entry into a contest.
  • Social media ambassadors are a great way to help you create and manage content.
  • Since content creation involves a constant and consistent effort, non-media companies can partner with media companies who can help them create marketing content .
  • Some brands are boutique. You don’t necessarily need a million followers for social media to be a success. This comes back to the quantity versus quality issue.
  • Social hasn’t absorbed a large part of the population. A site with 1 million fans is only 0.3 percent of the U.S. population. The next steps of social media growth will involve turning those 1 million followers into 30 million for a better ROI.

In conclusion social may not be everything, but is part of everything and needs to be encompassed in all media and marketing material strategy.

Many thanks to the Tweeters @The_Arf, @ebensiegal, @MargitDetweiler, @mikemaziarka, @shelila, @lynneluvah, @Iluvblackwomen, @paulbanas, @wondermerchant, @mediaempress, and @kjwelborn whose Twitter streams helped write this post with their Twitter stream recaps.

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