SoCon 10 was held in Atlanta this past weekend. Desiree gives us a recap of the sessions that she attended and some of the takeaways from the keynote presenters on this week's Bella Buzz. This fourth annual event was once again presented by the Center for Sustainable Journalism at Kennesaw State University.
The event provides great networking opportunities as well as the ability to share best practices among other social media specialists. We are going to embrace the use of the term since, in this field, it is challenging to achieve "expert" status. Small business owners and others with marketing responsibilities would find this conference helpful for learning where things stand in the world of social media.
Our first discussion on the podcast revolves around the presentation of Carol Kruse, the Vice President of Global Interactive Marketing for The Coca-Cola Company. She indicates that major brands are starting to let their customer-base have a voice in some initiatives. It is helpful for her that she has been given an opportunity by the company to test and experiment to determine what does and does not work.
Facebook has been the best platform for Coke, they have some direct access to developers at Facebook as a way to build and deploy apps very quickly. In the past we have mentioned that the Facebook Fan Page was created by two fans well before Coke even appeared on Facebook. Kruse also indicated that they are heavily involved in geographic targeting of customers as you would expect from a global company.
One of the applications that Coke hopes that you will interact with on Facebook is about the Happiness Campaign. Details of the campaign can be found through the web site Expedition 206, about 365 days, 206 countries, 1 mission. By digging around the campaign web site you can see some of the features that they have built using Facebook Connect as a login and posting mechanism. There is also a tab on the Fan page in Facebook to follow the route of the "ambassadors".
A great analogy that Carol made was "social media is like a puppy, everyone wants one ... but they grow up to be dogs and need constant care and feeding." This is such a true statement that we want to call it out here. If a brand were to just abandon a social campaign, there would be a tremendous backlash within the general community, generating serious damage and lots of dollars incurred trying to correct it.
A very interesting presentation came from Dan Siroker who detailed the Obama Presidential Campaign's social efforts during 2008. His key message was to have definable, measurable success metrics before starting any online effort. For the campaign is was obviously donations and fund raising as the goal.
They used the web site, email campaigns, and social apps as the tools that they used to reach out to potential donors. In particular, the speed of using a tool such as email in response to the competition was a strong method for achieving their goal.
Dan is currently working with his brother on a company called Optimizely.com, which provides web site optimization analysis using multi-variate (or A/B) testing. This approach to analyzing how a site, email, or campaign will perform is preached in many successful marketing circles, and with the help of Dan's company could be a more achievable objective for companies. We will be looking closely at the launch of this company in the future.
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