As social media rages around us, clients from the consumer space and B2B are pushing their agencies and marketers to find the latest and the greatest, most creative and targeted social media program ever! For content providers, like publishers, television and radio creators, social media has become part of the content offering, not just a way to market their products but to have a true give and take with their audiences who expect information wherever and whenever they want it.
If anyone on either side of this want hard answers and rules of play, they won’t find them.
The Alliance for Women in Media New York Chapter hosted a panel discussion entitled: “Up Your Digital IQ” which focused on the ballooning offerings in social media from the stalwarts like Facebook and Twitter to the newbies like Pinterest, and best practices and trends surrounding them.
Panelists were Sylvie Schnaier, Director, Digital IQ, Johnson & Johnson, and Andrea Wolinitz, US Director of Social Media, PHD Media.
Schnaier stressed, “manage expectations” from the beginning of a project. What does the client want from this and how will outcomes be measured. Make sure the plan and the social outreach are a good fit. And since, social media is immediate be prepared to take the good with the bad. Not everything you do will be loved by your audience.
Wolinitz spoke about the overall universe of social and how it’s changing. She does not see YouTube as social. It is a great place to post video but does not offer the engagement other forms do. She also reminded the audience to make sure the client site is engaging and points to the other forms of media that are part of the campaign or program.
Attendee Debbie Durben said her takeaway from the panel was: “Don’t social monologue,” as Wolinitz described the one-way push some brands have tried in social. Just telling the world what you want them to know is not enough. She stressed, you need “social listening” and responding. She described a video campaign by Starbucks that struck a negative chord reported in comments. Starbucks chose to pull the video and apologize for its attempt at humor.
Recently, a campaign by Huggies, making dads seem incompetent drew the ire of the blogosphere and Huggies was forced to change direction and apologize, too.
Panel was moderated Stacey Deziel, VP, Director of Digital and Direct Integration, Carat. Stacey reminded the audience that “Paid, Earned and Owned” was still at play in social media. It just takes on new dimensions. Deziel said her biggest take-aways were “Give consumers a reason to come, stay and return and be responsive to feedback and embrace the change.”
From the content standpoint (where I stand), it’s a very similar discussion. In the end how do you measure the ROI of social–the time and energy, along with the spend–versus the return that may seem less tangible? But the opportunity to engage an audience with such immediacy and get feedback so quickly adds an exciting dimension to content delivery that is ever expanding. Social must be part of the 360-degree delivery but do your homework. Not every platform works and you cannot engage in every form of social all the time. Choose and focus on what is right for your audience.
Of course, the questions regarding personal-social-branding were asked. Quick reminders from the panel:
- Google yourself. Where do you rise?
- Get published as an expert. Use good SEO skills.
- Are you LinkedIn? If so, have you updated your profile?
- Use Twitter as an expert in your field. Curate good content to share but don’t forget to comment on and share others. (Maybe a how-to Tweet is another program at another time.)
Sharing this blog post is a good start.