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Saturday, October 04, 2008

Social Media Breakfast 4 at URA Centre: corporate approach to social media

The fourth Social Media Breakfast (or Brunch, as the organisers renamed it) had a different format from previous ones. Whereas they used to be informal networking sessions with food, this one had a panel discussion... though still with food.

The topic was on how companies could make use of social media. Due to the make-up of the panelists, the discussion was very oriented towards public relations (PR).

Here are my notes:

Panelists: Willy Foo (LiveStudios) (moderator), Derrik Koh (Lenovo), Pat Law (Arc Worldwide), Supriya Addanki (Text 100), Daniel Goh (Samsung), Ben Koe (formerly from Hill and Knowlton)

Derrick: Social media is unconventional. It needs selling in to management. Social media is about creating / participating in conversations. 4 Ps: people, privacy, passion, perpetual beta.

Daniel: Conversations have shifted to online. 90% of customer service complaints are online. Marcom execs are resistant to adding more duties / KPIs.

Ben: Social media is not a one-time event, needs ongoing commitment from company even with agency changes.

Supriya: Agencies need to learn and engage in social media first.

Derrick: New metrics needed to measure social media / relationships / conversations, e.g. not measured in sales.

Daniel: Traditional management can barely understand "hits". It also needs to understand about message / tone of conversations (qualitative data).

Supriya: Need to know profile of bloggers that you are talking to. Build one-to-one relationships.

Derrick: Conversations need to be two-way, i.e. between bloggers and companies. Feedback is important between both parties.

Pat: went through her entry, "11 things you need to know when pitching to bloggers".

Derrick: Easy for anyone to talk about a brand, so management is tempted to pay bloggers, especially for positive comments.

Willy: No stopping professional bloggers from demanding payment.

Supriya: Agency's responsibility to educate bloggers, e.g. about journalism.

Derrick: There's a lot of good and bad social media "stuff", but it's up to management to decide how to engage. It's a derivation of the PR side of business, e.g. dealing with journalists. Social media is an evolution of traditional tools, e.g. CRM.

Daniel: Engage bloggers appropriately. Understand level of blogosphere, know who are the readers. Also, no one-size-fits-all solution to engaging bloggers.

Supriya: What do bloggers want in an event? (open to floor)
DK, NTT: It depends on bloggers
Claudia: Something fun, engaging, different
Cullen: Try the product, something friends can be engaged in

Derrick: Companies need to find out if new platform makes sense to them. E.g. Lenovo targets niche groups, not mass public. Give bloggers what they want, e.g. at events. Bloggers are not the same in other countries, understand local norms, e.g. in Japan and India, bloggers and journalists cannot be in the same room.

Geri (from Lenovo): Marcom execs are encouraged to innovate, e.g. seek out new channels.

(lunch break)

Willy: showed a Youtube video to illustrate how social media can bring fame.
Willy: demonstrated how LiveStudios uses Facebook.

(around this point, I dozed off from lunch, so my notes are sketchy)

Derrick: Use social media to build credibility. Corporate blog should be about what people want to talk about.

Melvin Yuan (from Waggener Edstrom): Social media is still in the honeymoon stage. Businesses are driven by bottomline, but social media is about relationships. Social media is today's PR.

Derrick: Companies lose control in social media, but PR still retains control of the message.

Pat: Too frivolous to claim that all companies need to engage in social media.

Derrick: Pick your weapons and tools.

Melvin: Social media affects everyone.

Willy: Different strokes for different folks.

(the end)

There was a much larger turn-out this time round. Aside from meeting some new social media enthusiasts, I also talked with some PR execs too. (I've even been contacted for an event already!) I think this is a good sign, especially from an event perspective. As I've lamented many times, I always see the same faces at different events. Hopefully, this will change after the PR folks meet unreached enthusiasts at SMB4!



Kwentista said...

Hey Yuhui,

Thanks for sharing your notes. Good meeting you at the brunch.

Yuhui said...

Joppa: Who are you? Your Blogger profile is blank.

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