Social Marketing and Engagement. Chaired by Andy Atkins-Krüger.

The first speaker is Pauline Ores from IBM. She starts by saying that social drivers are behind the social media. You want people’s time, so they expect value for it. Also, if a company engages in social marketing, it needs to integrate their feedback, otherwise there’s no point in the first place.

Today’s market is so much different to how it was. The audience was collected, growing, low competition and high budget. The opposites are now true. The challenges are different but the rewards the same.

The numbers in this field are just phenomenal. Trillions and billions of everything – links, blogs, conversations, click throughs. It just dwarfs traditional advertising media.

She thinks search is the centre of everything. Don’t even bother with getting into the social scene till you’ve got your SEM right. Eat the veg before dessert.

People look for value in marketing, but the social media spend brings real value in product dev, brand loyalty and customer satisfaction, which is really important.

More change = more value. Give up some control and get creative – the social scene is about people. Just get into it and see where it takes you. Be in it to win it.

Communities already exist, it is often better to join one than create one.

Next onstage are Richard Chinn and Paul Clement from Resident advisor, the electronic music website.

The site won a Webbie award last year after a low budget launch in 2001 by people with other full time jobs. They now get half a million unique visitors a month – and the website considers itself very niche.

Back in the day, it was a small site with a news bias that would now be called a blog, but they didn’t really exist then. It has since become much more magazine like but retains its focus.

Their marketing spend has been poured into development and content, hoping that inspired visitors will spread the reputation, and that’s what happened.

Innovative tools within the site help to keep it current, such as charts and favourites, DJ profiles and events listings. Putting in the hard work to get the software right helps the site to stay fresh and updated with little effort, because is crawls itself.

And they are not afraid to link outwards; losing traffic on clickthroughs to MySpace and all sorts of other sites has only increased their popularity because they are a base site now. A centre of information from all over the place.

The podcast and the ticketing engines are also driving traffic to the site as it gives artists and promoters incentive to drive traffic to Resident Advisor too.

Fun and exciting is easy to share, which brings us back to Content is King.

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