Social Media Marketing & Monitoring 2011 (London): Round-up

(c) Naomi Bullivant / Viadeo

(c) Naomi Bullivant / Viadeo

For anyone who didn’t make Social Media Marketing & Monitoring 2011 in London yesterday, I’m sorry to say, you missed one of our best events ever. On the plus side, though, you can read about it here for free.

The highlight of the day, most agreed, was Jon Morter’s incredible story (photo above / presentation below) of how he beat Simon Cowell’s X-Factor to the Christmas #1 in 2009.  Far from a one-off fluke, it was actually his second attempt (he’d got Rick Astley to #73 the year before), and one for which he learned the rules of the chart listings, exploited loopholes in Facebook’s privacy settings – namely the ability, at that time, of someone to take over abandoned groups (Jon “adopted” 300+ groups) – and regularly changed his Facebook Page logo to drive home calls to action. His crashing of a local radio station chat-room with 15,000 Rage Against the Machine fans is an object lesson in PR stuntery.

First up, though, I chaired the keynote discussion on The Future of Social Networking, with panellists Charles Arthur (The Guardian), Jenni Lloyd (Nixon McInness), Wayne Gibbins (Viadeo) and Neville Hobson (The Hobson & Holtz Report). We asked if Facebook fatigue is terminal? (No) Whether GooglePlus is a genuine contender? (Yes – especially when it integrates seamlessly with other Google properties, such as YouTube). Have we “bloated our streams” and made services like Twitter unusable without third party apps? (Yes, possibly, we now need to filter incoming updates and syndicate outgoing ones to remain sane).

We then had a case study from Edelman’s Marcus Dyer and Mark Wheeler from Diageo citing a social media campaign for Captain Morgan’s rum, in which they tracked and measured the sales made via social. They introduced us to the term “social emphasis” for media that isn’t paid, or earned, but somewhere between. We don’t have their presentation to share yet.

Next up was PJ Verhoef from Clarion Consulting, who illuminated us on the rampant rise of location marketing and the many opportunities opening up to the socialmedologically adventurous. See my previous review of his location marketing statistics. His six steps for getting started in location marketing are: link, locate, listen, attract & engage, transact, analyse & retain. See his full presentation below.

We then had a truly great presentation from Bridey Lipscome and her colleague from The Rabbit Agency and Naomi Bustin from bmibaby, the low-cost airline. Their innovative, and highly successful, Instagram competition incited travellers to share photos via an unbranded #hashtag on the high-quality photo-sharing network, delivering over 2300 entrants and a lasting legacy of relevant social content. They weren’t measuring ROI – this was about PR and buzz. Here’s their presentation…

We then reverted to discussion, as Andrew Grill (PeopleBrowsr), Giles Palmer (Brandwatch), Joshua March (Conversocial), Catriona Oldershaw (Synthesio) and Tammy Kahn Fennell from marketing dashboard MarketMeSuite, explored the latest thinking on social media monitoring, customer engagement and social CRM. Lloyd Grofton from Liberate Media has summarised this panel here quite nicely, but the suggestion that the Met could have used “Hate Language Analysis” to pre-empt the London riots was an interesting one.

After Jon Morter’s virtuoso performance, gaming consultant, Raf Keustermans gamely ;) took to the stage to explain one word: gamification. He did so in fascinating, high-definition detail (see his presentation below), citing examples from McDonalds and CitiBank and warning against mere “pointsification” (as if we needed another -ication to grapple with!). True gamification must tap into our desires for reward, urge us to share our experience, and ensure we know when we’ve won.

Marcus Taylor from SEOptimise then gave an understated but somehow spell-binding introduction to the relatively new ground of social SEO, social search and personalised search. Do Facebook +1’s affect your rankings? No – according to Marcus, though I’ve previously written the contrary because they used to (prior to Google+). Do Google+1’s affect them? Yes – quite a lot. And how can brands get into your personalised search results? Encourage people to click a link to a Google results page rather than your own website – and, settings permitting, you’ll appear in future search results. Tricky stuff!  Marcus has done a fine write up of the day here and his presentation is below.

We were then treated to a truly refreshing review of a social media marketing campaign that didn’t go according to plan. from Vue Cinema’s Director of Sales & Marketing, Mark de Quervain described how, in spite of conducting in-depth research and spending money (£300k) on the campaign, their high-profile Teen Screen Facebook offer failed to deliver meaningful results. The reasons? Teens are lazy and can’t organise, but they also relied on a “tell your mates” approach without incentivising the act of sharing. We can’t share Mark’s presentation at the moment, but hope to in due course.

The final presentation of the day was from Chris Howard of Play.com. One of the UK’s largest online retailers, Chris demonstrated how, but using a third party application, EngageSciences, they managed to dramatically increase both the # of fans, level of engagement and sales returns that Play.com gets through Facebook. It was a compelling study of how a brand can drive their own social media success without an agency in sight. See the presentation below.

Last up was the hotly previewed discussion on Social Commerce. I was joined by Amy Kean (Havas Media), Robin Grant (We Are Social), Jenny Chiu (BrandAlley) and Peter Parkes (Expedia) – who all had strong views. Is Groupon “social”? No. Is social commerce simply buying on Facebook? No – it includes reviews, recommendations, sharing offers, YouTube stores, Twitter engagement and more. But do we want to buy things through social media? Well, yes, but some things are easier than others (e.g. books are easier than holidays). Interestingly, BrandAlley have tracked £30k (a month?) coming through Facebook sales, based on exclusive, time-limited offers.

As I wrapped up the conference, I was joined on stage by Stella English, Winner of the 2010 The Apprentice TV show, who expressed her enthusiasm for and excitement about the future of social media in business. A fine way to close the day.

Resources from the day…

  • @jas has helpfully shared all the Tweets from #SMM11 here.
  • Photos of #smm11 are being uploaded to the Viadeo Flickr page here.
  • We will be emailing attendees and Live Stream viewers with access details for the videos of the event. These will be made public in 2 weeks.

Please feel free to add links to your blog posts, photos and videos from the day in the comments section below.  Your feedback is also  welcome (except if it’s about the wi-fi, which the Cavendish has upgraded twice at our request – but we still manage to break it!).

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