The story of Social Media Marketing 2012 #SMM12

Last week Our Social Times’ hosted Social Media Marketing 2012. This is the third year we have hosted the event and we were pleased to be joined by...

Last week Our Social Times’ hosted Social Media Marketing 2012. This is the third year we have hosted the event and we were pleased to be joined by an excellent line up of speakers from leading brands and agencies. In case you missed it, here’s a quick round-up.


Missed out in 2012? We’re holding Social Media Marketing 2013, hurrah! 23/24 October in London, find out more and book tickets here. 

Why nearly everything you thought you knew about Facebook is wrong

To kick off the day Mat Morrison gave us a metaphorical slap in the face. If you’re focused on managing and optimizing your Page: you’re crazy. 90% of people view your content in their News Feed, not on your Page. If you’re trying to build a community: stop it. Facebook Pages aren’t designed for user-to-user communication and nobody sees fan posts anyway. And guess what? 20-30% of your fans can’t click through the links you post because they’re on mobile devices and you aren’t optimizing for mobile.

Social strategy in practice: How to meet the challenges of adopting a social approach

Next up Ruth Coates (Staples Inc.) and Katy Howell (immediate future) walked us through the creation of a social strategy for international retailer, Staples. Key takeaways included the need to conduct a social media audit over at least 2 years, to allow for peaks and troughs in activity and to conduct internal forums to coordinate social media. It’s also crucial to analyse the data. Apparently Staples customers enjoy discussing laminating, sharing advice about chairs and raving about types of stationary. Who knew?

Why social data is essential to consumer marketing success

Richard Jones (Engage Sciences) and his client, Ross Nichols (A&N Media) then explained how, through a systematic process of content sharing, engagement and social CRM, they have been able to generate direct profits on Facebook for brands such as A&N and They recommended creating engaging apps instead of spending money on ads and urged us to “optimize for people, not data”, highlighting the practice of capturing and analyzing data on a per-fan basis (i.e. social CRM) as one of the keys to success.

Big data presents big challenges

While it’s easy to judge social media success on the size of various numbers, Naomi Trickey (Brandwatch) urged us to consider other factors: velocity, for example, i.e. how rapidly content attracts mentions. TV’s Great British Bake-off (#GBBO) attracted over 6k Tweets per minute during the final show – creating a huge and rapidly emerging spike in mentions. The London underground, on the other hand, has a daily cycle and gets spikes every day between 8am and 10am and 4pm and 6pm.

What’s the real value of 1 million fans?

Following his start turn at Facebook Marketing 2012, Jeremy Waite (Head of Social Strategy – EMEA, Adobe) returned to deal with the lingering question social media ROI. After rewarding Mat Morrison with a bottle of Bombay Sapphire for giving us the equation for ROI (above), he proceeded to calculate the return from a hypothetical marketing activity. Crucially, he separated cash ROI from the social value of engagement, increased likelihood to purchase etc. He suggested that “Social Net Promoter Score” is likely to become a recognized metric for social success in the future.

Is social media marketing good value for money?

We then invited Jeremy Waite, Mat Morrison, Katy Howell and Nicolas Chabot (VP Europe, Traackr) to debate the question of whether, faced with increasing competition, pressure to advertise and hard-to-measure results, social media is still worthwhile. While Katy pointed out that we’ve all collectively failed to measure social media properly, Jeremy and Mat got stuck into the Gin. Mat urged us to focus on attracting new customers, rather than new fans, and Nicolas explained how B2B organisations can maximize returns by targeting their efforts at key influencers.

There is no influence out of context

We then had a short, smart presentation from Nicolas Chabot who suggested that we forget influence scores and instead target influential people on social media according to the specific topics they are interested in. That’s what Traackr does.

Beanz for grown-upz! The social media launch for Heinz FIVE Beanz

“A presentation about baked beans from a ginger man with a beard: all your Christmas’s have come at once!” Tom Ollerton (Marketing Director, We Are Social) knows how to capture an audience’s attention. He also, clearly, knows what makes a successful Facebook launch campaign. When you’re dealing with fanatical fans, personalization isn’t enough, which is why they sent their top fans beans with their names written on.

What’s all the fuss about Pinterest and why should I care?

One of the most popular presentations of the day was given, quite understatedly, by Michael Litman of AnalogFolk. Specific insights included finding out how many people have pinned images from your site to their page by searching Pinterest search using /source/[yourURL] and that, if your business is not visually exciting, to consider creating “lifestyle boards”, as General Electric have done very effectively.

Social media engagement strategies are condescending and crass: discuss

The provocative topic for this session was inspired by Jon Morter’s Condescending Corporate Brand Page on Facebook, which is designed to “out” brands that are employing dubious strategies to coerce people into liking their page and its contents. How better, then, to pit Jon against two major brands, Sharon Flaherty of, Toby Chishick of Samsung’s Social Media Centre? Tom Ollerton also joined the fray.

Squeezing the social SEO value out of your social media campaign

Why bother with Google+? Well, even if you aren’t planning on building up a new social network, the SEO value is potentially dramatic. Kelvin Newman explained how: previously SEO was based largely on links and site ranking; with Google+ the ‘author rank’ combined with the # of social shares gives a more accurate ranking. He added some handy tips: you can use to schedule posts on Google+ and ensure Google knows who you are by implementing Rel Author Mark-up.

Cute cats and talking dogs: Building a social business from scratch

Matt Rhodes (FreshNetworks) and Steve Soden (PetNet) were recently faced with the challenge of building a business around a social community. They created a community for cat owners called Scratching Post and it taught us a few things about how communities form and how consumers interact online. 1 – Photos and text make good stories: yes cute cat pictures are popular online, but long stories were just as common. 2 – Cats can type (sort of): after a few months an increasing number of stories were being written from the animal’s point of view. Interestingly, cats only wrote ‘happy’ stories whilst anything serious or sad was written by the owner. 3 – Expert advice is critical: advice from fellow cat owners is great, but the site is most popular during the regular surgeries with vets and other experts. 4 – A community can provide an outlet for people’s passions: even cat owners are reluctant to overload their Facebook friends, but Scratching Post allows them to “bring out the crazy cat woman inside”.

Gamification for marketing

For our final session of the day, we were joined by Scott Sinclair (CapGemini), Toby Beresford (Leaderboarded) and Charlotte Beckett (The Good Agency) for a panel discussion on gamification. Despite being a new word, gamification is not a new concept. It is simply using game mechanics and game thinking in non-games and can be very effective for getting people to do what you want them to – which has been done in offline marketing for years. Scott was at pains to stress that gamification does not lend itself well to short-term marketing campaigns, but is better suited to driving on-going motivation among staff  (perhaps over 10-15 years). Toby pointed out that leader-boards are more compelling if they are updated on specific days, so people check to see who’s top, rather than being on-going. Charlotte echoed Scott’s point, saying that gaming mechanics can be a great way to “progress a community”. The quote of the session came from Scott: “for the social aspect of gamification to work, it needs to be an activity you want to share. Nobody checks into Boots“.

The photos of the conference are available on our Facebook Page and there’s a great Storify page for the event here. The discussion among attendees is also still going strong at #smm12.

Thanks to all our sponsors, speakers and delegates for helping to make it such a great day. If you fancy a trip to Paris, please join us at our next event The Social Customer 2012 Paris on November 29th.

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  1. Nana Agyeman-Crawford Reply

    Sad I missed this event, but thanks for the great summary and presentation shares! Looks like it was a very good event!

    1. Jez Taylor Reply

      Thanks Nana, we had a great day. Sorry you couldn’t make it, but hopefully we’ll see you next time. The rest of the presentations will be up on slideshare shortly.

  2. Guest Reply

    Nice event

  3. Kamaldeep Singh© Reply

    WOW it was nice Event