My Round Up of The Social Media Results Conference
Yesterday, myself and Victoria Blount, a senior Web Design team leader, went on a little field trip; we ventured down to the big smoke for a conference called the ‘Social Media Results Conference’. There were great some great speakers on the bill from a variety of established and powerhouse companies who run and manage some great social media campaigns, and we were confident that we could expand our knowledge of the industry in a way that we can transfer to our own client’s social media campaigns. Not only all this, but the sun was shining for the first time ever it felt, so spirit’s were high – and rightfully so it turned out to be!
On top of the 21 speakers (distributed between speakers for individual presentations, speakers for workshops and a guest panel of a further 5 experts), there were a really good mix of attendees from a variety of social media backgrounds – Carphone Warehouse, L’Oreal, Boots to name just a few! So some big names were there just to learn; highlighting the draw the guest speakers had on everyone there.
Have to say first however how great I thought the venue was. The venue was the Great Connaught Rooms, a first class conference venue in the heart of London. All of the staff were more than helpful and the food, though I don’t claim to have the most sophisticated palette, was top notch! A big thanks.
The individual guest speakers ranged quite a bit in their background and what they wanted to convey to us via their presentation. Notable speakers include;
- Emma Roffrey; Her presentation was focused on how to embed social media into an organisation. The point I most took away from this was the importance of having social media ‘buy-in’ from the executives of the company is vital if you want usage to trickle down the ranks. (Emma also treated us to the most controversial comment of the day too, “E-mail is dead”. Take that how you will!)
- Paul Madden; Main social media man at Mitchells and Butlers; owning company of a number of chain restaurants and pubs. Great, useful info from Paul on how they manage their multiple social media campaigns. Really emphasised the importance of not just visibility, but of social ‘engagement’. A reoccurring theme throughout the day, the idea is that engagement with fans/followers needs to be of greater importance than the number of people in your circles.
- Delphine Remy-Boutang; Her vast experience of social media management at IBM really shined through on this day. Emphasized the importance of anticipating and listening to what people are saying via social media to help with brand awarenesss and business plans. Also, try to turn any negative experiences towards your brand into positive events.
- Jake Steadman; Accompanied by an array of random and often humorous slides, Jake stressed that driving visibility is nothing without consumer engagement. With Facebook’s Edgerank algorithm, it is the most engaged topics that remain at the top of people’s walls, not those that are posted by companies with the largest visibility.
- Thomas Knorpp; Demonstrated through the great example of the new and improved ‘Giraffe Bread’ (look it up if you don’t already know what I mean!), how important it is to treat every one of your customers with the same level of customer service. You never know when a good act will result in a huge PR event!
- Chris Howard; Interesting to hear that Play.com only focus their social efforts on Facebook. Really important to set clear and defined goals and strategy at the start of any new campaign. Don’t integrate social media into any existing campaign for the sake of it; ensure it will improve and work alongside any projects you may already be promoting as a business.
As you can see, the range of topics varied immensely, though it was all good useful stuff too. Whether you’re looking to develop in-house social media tools or simply want to increase the level of visibility and engagement from your current efforts I’d definitely be making this event something to consider.
From my point of view, the overriding message from the day was that social media is growing up. No longer is it important just to get ‘likes’. It’s important to have engagement with as many people as you can, and interaction is a key ingredient to successful marketing and brand awareness. Great point put forward by Dom Dwight from Yorkshire Tea (check out their Facebook page if you haven’t, and you’ll see a great page as he says ‘punching above its weight’ in terms of overall market share the company has) , in that engagement is great but it needs to be mixed with targeted brand messages; constantly asking your audience if they don’t like Mondays or what their favourite TV show is doesn’t necessarily count as great engagement!
The obvious topic of ROI reared its ugly head as well! It can be difficult to provide returns in terms of a successful social media campaign, but one way in which does help to quantify ROI is making use of the new features in Google Analytics. Something that was not mentioned yesterday, but a great tool we ourselves use is the ‘Top Conversions Path’ tab in Analtyics that effectively shows if social media has had a part in the completion of a defined Goal. So if you measure ROI by how many sales your site makes, or by how many enquiries you receive, you will be able to clearly see if your social media channels have at some point had a hand in the user’s journey to this Goal. I appreciate this won’t be applicable for all companies, but I thought I’d put it out there if some weren’t aware of this great feature!
Overall an enjoyable day had by all! Big shout out to all the speakers and attendees that helped make the day not only comfortable but stimulating. And highlight of the day has to go to Delphine Remy-Boutang’s reaction when she spilt her glass of water half way through an engaging presentation! I won’t say exactly how she reacted, but she followed this up with the immortal words “Excuse my French”!