The 2012 version of SMWF London had a different feel than last year. Last year, I saw app developers everywhere I looked. But in 2012, these app developers were mostly replaced by social software and platform companies like Buddy Media. In my opinion, this is a testament to the evolution of the social space toward companies that offer more comprehensive solutions. We have moved away from one-off social campaigns to full-scale solution technology.
There were a number of outstanding speakers and presenters during the event, which hit on some of the biggest topics in social media today. Here are my three key takeways from the conference:
Double down on community building. Scott Monty, Global Digital & Multimedia Communications Manager at Ford, presented a keynote titled, “The Global Language of a Social Media Strategy.” During the keynote, Scott used a line that I felt was the perfect way to describe how brands should approach social media. He said, “At Ford, we act with two ears and one mouth.” What this means is that Ford listens twice before speaking once, which is the perfect way for brands to approach doing anything in the social realm. These powerful words should definitely provide a core for community managers to use as they begin crafting a strategy. Buddy Media is proud to work with Ford, who was recently recognized as a finalist in the Shorty Awards for our work with them to help build their community via engaging content.
ROI questions still persist. Many people were asking questions around returne on investment of social programs. When talking about KPIs, people want to talk about real business objectives. There were plenty of questions concerning how likes and shares impact sales, but they are in some ways missing the point. This kind of thinking is more relevant in direct marketing arenas. Instead, thinking about social should also include a focus on how it is affecting the brand as a whole, and how it is improving brand equity and value.
Integration of paid, owned and earned social media is key. I delivered a presentation titled “Content is King,” in which I explained how your social content is also your best social ad strategy, and how brands need to put their money where their mouth is, literally. This means that there is no more separate “earned” content and “paid” ad copy. You post to your social channels, and then amplify that same content via social ads. With the new Facebook ad products and model, and the ability to create great content that spans multiple social platforms, more and more people will begin taking up this topic in the coming months. It’s why Buddy Media recently acquired Facebook Ads API partner Brighter Option I wouldn’t be surprised to see this heavily featured during next year’s forum.
Want to learn more about the integration of paid, owned and earned media in light of the new Facebook ads product and Timeline for brands announcement? Click to download a copy of the latest Buddy Media White Paper: How to Master Facebook Timeline and Ads.
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