Following on from the here and now in part 1 of Gravity Thinking’s review of SoCon2011 is part 2 where we review how to monetise social med...

The social media revolution gains pace – Part 2

Following on from the here and now in part 1 of Gravity Thinking’s review of SoCon2011 is part 2 where we review how to monetise social media and the impact that social media is having on the way that we do business.

Monetising Social Media

This was a difficult topic with social media really still in its infancy and established models lacking however some interesting stats flew around.

• Nokia have directly attributed €10k to the value that an advocate brings to the business per year via seeding.
• John Horsley of Ace-A-Metric did some pre event research on Linked In and found that only 11% of people felt that social was integrated into the sales process within their business (this actually seemed quite high to us)
• Someone from the audience brought up the cost of not doing social with the Sony example of $420m lost revenue for not reacting within social media.

Integrating social within the business

Nokia systems and processes are truly impressive with the ability to listen, engage and measure the impact of social media in real time. What we loved was the fact that their social dash board is broadcast on screens within the office and that social actions are allocated and monitored in a controlled way through the organization. We come on to the future of social business later however this is a big first step in making the whole organization recognize the importance of and be involved within social media.

The power of the influencer

John Horsley (Chief Networking Officer, Ace-A-Metric and Founder of the Digital Marketing group on Linked In) had an interesting take on himself and the power he had as an influencer as well as realizing the commercial reality of that power (his group now has over 116k members). He certainly wasn’t shy in pointing out that he expects to be commercially rewarded for any recommendations and endorsements that he provides.

Social is not just another channel

Rich Sibthorpe from Warner Music has some interesting observations from his experience in the management of artists and bands. Social is part of everything that they do, they think of it as having a digital seamless dialogue with the fans. Here are a few of his rules;

• Offer exclusivity
• Don’t spam
• Be integrated
• Be entertaining
• Plan ahead
• Create a genuine dialogue
• Transact when relevant
• Analyse and understand
• Create global communities but local dialogues

Btw Rich states that TV is still powerful with significant peaks of traffic to social spaces when getting coverage and that mobile is the future with 85% of their activity taking place on mobile! All media is relevant and all media should be reflective of the social media context.

The future of business is social

As usual the day overruns and the thought leaders in the business that you turned up to see get cut from 30 to 15 minutes. However they were still able to pack a punch!

Social is changing society not just marketing

Anthony Mayfield the Author and Founder of Brilliant was inspiring. Social Media is not a marketing phenomenon it’s a huge change in society and therefore has an impact in the way that we live our lives, the way in which we do business and the way we market brands.

Just think about managing your own reputation online. What can people see and how does this influence them about you and your organization. Does it convert or put prospects off? It’s the same principle whether dating or looking for new business.

He was also very clear about the need to set up the organization to move with pace and speed. What new processes are required, which people with what skills do you now need, which technology will enable and enhance business performance... Don’t underestimate the scale of change that needs to occur within your business and the impact that it will have on you as an individual.

Social is changing the world not just society

Finally Will McInnes the founder of NixonMcInnes took the social business concept on to a whole new level focusing on the global shift across all aspects of life. A new age for democracy where participation and openness between brands and consumers / between countries and residents / between world powers and every single one of us happens in real time. Where global movements are created and news passed along in matters of seconds.

Our take on SoCon2011

For us there were 4 big themes coming through from the day;

Mobile – we’ve seen the trend with our own clients however if you’re not thinking mobile then you’re missing a trick. Over 30% of Qype’s 20m users access the community on the move – that’s 6m people – and 85% of Warner Music’s audience follow them on a mobile device.

Resourcing – it never ceases to amaze me how much just 1 person with a focus on social media can achieve within any organization (hats off to Andrew Smith at The FA who is single handedly taking their social media on to a new level). However, the theme came through that there’s just not enough time during the week (and what about weekends) and that organizations need to rethink their resourcing strategies.

M&E – still the hot potato for the day however brands are starting to see their way through this. The immediate measures of reach, engagement, data capture and so on seem to be taken care of. However now we’re looking into the downstream impact of social media on purchase behaviour and the impact of layering media.

The role of the agency – one that’s obviously clearly very close to our heart. The general consensus was for company’s and brands to focus on getting their own houses in order and outsource specific elements when there was a lack of resources or expertise in house. When thinking more strategically or creatively about the role of social media engage an agency that genuinely understands social media.


What this new world holds is not clear however thought leaders, creative thinkers and most importantly you and I as consumers and marketers are going to help define it. In fact we already have and are whether that’s as individuals or as a members of a group or community.

The rate of change within this space is amazing and will continue. What we all need to do is find the time to think about it, understand what it means to us and our businesses, and look for the opportunities that it offers us all.

No one person can see the social media future however we can all be part of it.

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