It’s Wednesday afternoon and Media Post’s Social Media Insider’s Summit has just come to a close. As I sit next to the pool typing up my wrap up notes, I feel invigorated from the past four days of events. Hats off to Media Post for doing an excellent job organizing the conference and attracting a high caliber group of people. I enjoyed the quality of sessions and networking. In short, it was a great conference.
I tweeted many of the things that struck me during the conference and I’ve embedded my favorite tweets and retweets later in this post. From a high level, one thing that made this conference unique was the mix between approaches to social media marketing. Discussion covered acquisition, direct, and transactional marketing with a touch of retention. A few themes emerged for me as the most thought-provoking:
Direct marketing vs. PR
One thing that became obvious to me was the difference in approaches between direct marketers and the PR/community folks. Many of the direct marketers had email marketing backgrounds and they brought that experience forward into social. It’s a somewhat controversial view to the PR/community focused practitioners, because it’s seen as violating the spirit of social media. Personally, I think social media is ripe with consumers with intent to buy, which makes direct marketing principles appropriate. I also think there are many people using social media with no intent to buy and even wanting to be left alone. In my opinion, direct marketing tactics that respect consumer engagement preferences in social media are going to be what unlocks the budgets for social media marketing.
Earned media and engagement
I’ve been thinking about earned media and engagement quite a bit lately, so I’m hyper aware of discussion about this theme. Lots of discussion focused on how earned media works, how to measure it, and what are the pitfalls from pursuing it. Engagement also came up quite a bit. While the subject may feel tired to some, the reality is that engagement is something that social media brought to the online experience that was new. Understanding what value it has for businesses and how to encourage more value from it are going to be hot topics for the foreseeable future. In fact, this one inspired me to write a whole post dedicated to it. Stay tuned!
Monitoring, mining, and measurement
Rob Key, CEO of Converseon, had some gold in his presentation. I would have liked to see him get more time to share. A while back, I had a Twitter discussion with Anna O’Brien about the distinction between social media monitoring and social media measurement. Rob made me clear about the difference between monitoring and mining. Social mining is an analyst task focused on studying historical data for lessons to apply in the future. Monitoring is the practice of watching news streams in or near real-time in order to save and/or respond. Measurement is tracking the events that occur on and off of your properties that represents the history of interaction. Monitoring, mining, and measurement are all valuable and distinct practices; each valuable to businesses.
In several of the sessions the idea of crisis management came up. Much of the discussion centered around validating that it happens and it can seriously impact your business. A few people touched on what to do about it, but Anna Banks from Organic had the best tips for outlining how companies can prepare for a social media backlash before it happens. The points I could capture are in my tweets below.
One of the big surprises of the conference was the student panel by Michelle Prieb from Ball State University. Michelle lead a panel of local college students through an insightful discussing about their experiences of using social media. This is one place where the audience really shined from the questions that were asked. One woman had particularly good questions about what engagement tactics felt uninteresting, creepy, or desirable. I recorded many of those insights below in my tweets. I’m now more interested in what Ball State and the Center for Media Design are up to. I encourage you to check out them and their research.
Roundtables and questions
Not only were the speakers fantastic, but the attendees also made the conference an educational and provocative event. From great questions to engrossing roundtables, the event really felt like it was filled with industry insider’s. I made several connections with people who I know I’ll have some meaningful follow ups and friendships. High marks here again.
The following is a selection of my Tweets and retweets from the conference. You can find more tweets with the hashtag #mpsmis.