Monday, February 23, 2009

The Digital Tipping Point: The Future of Branding and Social Media

I attended a conference last week on social media.
There were range of speakers from the social media space;

Brett Brewer (President of Adknowledge & Co-founder of Myspace) - President of the conference sponsor with an argument that for brand it is not a case of should you be active in social media but how.

Brian Garret (Crosscut Ventures - California) - Interesting perspectives from someone who looks to invest in start ups and therefore looks for financial and viability from social media. Brian had some great example from the US of social networks and their approaches to generate revenue over and above display advertising.

Alistair Henderson (Director OMD Fuse). Alistair shared his Case Study: V-Raw for V Energy Drink, which should be familiar to most, let us know if would like details.

Fi Bendall (Director Bendalls Group), who gave an interesting perceptive in using Social media as a WOM tool. The amazing thing here was how a tweet (via twitter) from someone in the audience about the earlier presentations had influenced her;

"So I decided to share my displeasure with my friends and followers on Twitter.Minutes later I received a tweet from one of the conference speakers asking me where I was!When she got up to speak she acknowledged me by name and stated that she wouldn't be talking about advertising.Had I inadvertantly invented virtual heckling? Probably not, but I did prove my theory that social media has to feature voices of dissent as well as support." Stan Lee

Laurel Papworth (Social Networking Strategist) “The Business of Being Social: Monetisation Models in Social Media.” Check out her presentations via slideshare. Laurel's deep knowledge of this space was clear, most interestingly was her comment that she had edited her presentation based on twitter feedback from the Sydney event a couple of days earlier.

For me the biggest learning was the influence of social feedback on last two speakers, and the speed of the speakers reaction to their audiences feelings.
This is the real power of social media for brands & advertisers, but it is also the scariest. As Susan Taylor, Vice President International Communications at Elizabeth Arden puts it, "We use blogs where appropriate. However, with bloggers the message is out of your control"

The other things I took away were
  1. The more time you spend in the digital space the more likely you are to see the impending death of newspapers.
  2. New websites & books for me to check out - Tom Himpe,,,
  3. Even the experts agree it is a complex environment.
  4. And in a conversations during the break....There are opportunities to tap into the anti-movement to social networking where people have 'feed' fatigue and twitter posts/users - tweets or twits?


RobPyne said...

Also attended the conference (in Sydney). Big take out for me was the massive contract between what Adknowledge do (place ads onto the periphery of MySpace, Faceboook, Bebo pages) and what Al said about V-Raw which is all about the power of content. I have never ever clicked on an ad on Facebook or Myspace and so I believe Fuse's approach is much much better.

Laurel Papworth said...

Thank you for your kind comments :)
Talking of co.mments - I think they have gone out of busines now. If you want to track comment conversations, Backtype might suit?

Ian Harris said...

Attended the conference in Melbourne and found it inspiring. Much to learn! And that is the best part! This space is still in its infancy. Speakers were good and not over-the-top.For a mere accounting practitioner interested in this area it gave me heart to contrast with the pessimism that presently pervades business.

tomhimpe said...

Thanks for the mention. In case you didn't know, this is latest book, which contains many campaigns/initiatives on digital/gaming/mobile/branded content: