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Atlanta Ad Club Social Media Roundtable

Last Thursday night the Atlanta Ad Club had a social media roundtable. It was a great presentation done by industry leaders. I know lately I have said a lot has been great, but it’s the way I call them. I have enjoyed going to some really great events. Ok, here is something on the down side, it was held at East Andrews Upstairs and they had so man people that I had to stand for the entire program. Which I was not happy about, but the two standing next to me talking the entire time was a bigger joy, said sarcastically. I heard from another fiend that seems to be a theme for people not sitting in the down stage area.

Here is the Panel from last night:

I will say that David did a great job as moderator. He’s an expert on the subject and kept it going.  I’m going to use bullet points for the majority of this post because it will be easer to follow then me typing it all in as you can tell some of the questions didn’t follow the topic. Things just happened and the conversation flowed:

Is social media important for SEO?

  • Bert said that you need to focus on brand building with social media being a part of the overall mix
  • Nicola said you have to do social media right. Social media should be judged on the participant and not the customer. Because there are many more participants with your brand then just customers. The important things are being transparent, social media is a conversation (it’s a two way street). Lastly that social media should be part of the infrastructure and not just a tool.
  • Jennifer added that you couldn’t look at social media as a campaign. There is no end, it must be intergraded into your strategy
  • Chad said that you must have a plan for social media and it must tie in to the brand. He went on to say tat a fan is more valuable these days then an email.

What is the Value of a Fan?

  • Was said immeasurable, not something you can place a value on
  • A fan will tell your story for you (forget which said these)

Marketing Mix

  • Bert answered the value of a fan staying that in crisis management, it is your fans that will defend you. When the Graco division had issues with a recall. The website went down, so they had their people on twitter and Facebook to talk to people, answer questions and direct people to the information they need. Fans also carry over to blogs and message boards, so your message gets carried farther then you could do on your own.
  • Jennifer – Advertising is for attention getting, PR is for getting your message out and having it validated by the press and social media is for spreading your message.

Where does Social Media Live?

  • The panelist said that it lives with the people
  • Jennifer said that customers want to talk to brands not have things constantly sold too. It will turn fans/followers off.
  • Nicola said that social media lives in all place.

Did Facebook Eat the Micro Site?

  • Chad said now you can use Facebook connect to get people information rather then create a micro site.
  • Jennifer said that yes she agrees that Facebook is taking over
  • Bert said he doesn’t care for micro sites and they have used their community site.
  • Nicola agreed saying that Facebook has replaced the Micro Site and social media may take over for display advertising.

What is the social media budget? How much should you spend?

  • Bert said that each VP of the brand has a budget for the year and they have to decide how much to use for social media. But the spend is small due to the cost of social media.

Is it the Year of Mobile?

  • Nicola said that 2009 was the year of mobile and now it’s expected that you be in mobile. She said she see’s it as the future of advertising.
  • Chad said that more people would be sharing information and GPS applications of where you are, like 4 Square. He also added that social media should focus on the users, like Facebook. If they fail too they can end up like My Space.

What is the future of Twitter?

  • Chad said that it would be the use of video or pictures. They have sites that are like twitpic but for businesses. They are customized to the branding. He also said that it would focus on business more.

What is the future of blogs? Are they dead?

  • Jennifer said that they aren’t going away. Look at the power the mommy bloggers have gained. They change will be from quantity to quality. It was brought up if that twitter was taking over from RSS and she noted that Twitter is not a push technology.

What are the legal implications facing social media?

  • Nicola said that it’s a mixed depending on clients. No aren’t set yet in a lot of companies and it’s always a concern. As more rules gets set we will see how it plays out. The agency should do response management
  • Bert said that you should set up rules and pointed out a Dilbert cartoon from Feb 2, 2009, that sums it up. He also stressed transparency. They don’t play bloggers, they gave out samples with no strings, and no conditions. If they like the product write about it if they don’t say that. There is a fine line between building a relationship and stalking in social media. He also stressed know when to participate and when to let the conversation just happen.
  • Jennifer commented that you could have bloggers spread your message. They worked with ING and had bloggers roundtables where they talked about the economy. It was a conversation that let the company and the bloggers ask questions and then the bloggers reported on what they talked about. This proves there are ways to engage and still be within the FTC guidelines.

Who is doing a good job in Social media?

  • David
    • Dunkin Doughnuts
    • Starbucks
    • Chick-fil-a
    • McDonalds
    • Chad
      • Best Buy
      • Comcast
      • Bert
        • Coke for Expedition 206
        • Southwest Airlines Bags Fly free
        • Nicola
          • Puma & Nike Both had an engaging concept.
          • Jennifer
            • Coke for their interactive vending machine

That sums up the event. I know it can be crazy to follow at times. But it was a great event. One of the things I heard in questions that more then one panelist agreed was that the future of mobile is the mobile web. Apps can be expensive and you have to build one on each platform.

I heard one other thing I’m trying to find out more about. The Organic impressions on Facebook. David Rollo spoke about it and said it was on the analytics page in Facebook but I haven’t found it yet. If anyone knows about it, let me know! I Tweeted him and he said:

Organic Impressions are total comments (to posts) x average Facebook friends per person (130) =Total organic impressions.

I hope to see more events like this soon and I got a lot out of this event.

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