SWAT Summit Gets Social
Yesterday at San Francisco's Westin St. Francis, Room Full of People held the SWAT Summit, a one day conference which covered the topic of social networking. Topics such as metrics, best practices, user engagement and social advertising were covered.
After Room Full of People CEO Christian Perry gave an engaging overview of Obama's brilliant use of social media as compared to McCain's abysmal use, IDC Research Analysts Caroline Dangson gave an overview of people's outlook on social media and their willingness to allow advertisers mine personal information and online social behavior in order to provide more targeted advertising. Perhaps it was the way IDC asked the question but unsurprisingly, a very low percentage of people said they'd be OK with that.
MediaSmith CEO David Smith presented for the first time his Eight Levels of User Engagement, a detailed look at the buzzword du jour "engagement." It was one of those presentation that was so elaborate and so complete that no summary would do it justice. Besides, I can't remember the half of it but don't fret. He's taking it on the road for six months and there will be a book (or a paper).
After lunch, I had the pleasure of moderating a panel on social media metrics with Sometrics CEO Ian Swanson, Federated Media Director of Marketing Kim Kochaver, VideoEgg CEO Troy Young and McCann Worldgroup VP of Digital Strategy Anna Banks. While we did share some actual metrics with the audience from campaigns Anna had done for clients and Kim had done for Dell (which were very positive), a fair amount of discussion, as is always the case, centered on how social media should be measured as compared to other media.
The answer to that question - if there is ever one - may never be met with agreement. After all, does anyone put any credence in television ratings? And ho long have they been around? For a wonderful look at what the perfect social media tool might look like, aside (of course!) from Ian's Sometrics offerings, check out Alisa Leonard's proposal of what a social media super tool might look like.
In the afternoon, I ran into Ariel Waldman who had spent the morning at the across-town conference, PSFK, where the supreme ad ranter of them all, George Parker, who I'd had dinner with the night before, was moderating a panel on how companies can "leverage social media to enhance consumer dialog."
In addition to moderating the panel, I, after some frustrating technical fuckery, gave the closing keynote, a quick 15-minute summary of my views on social media along with a few examples of how brands can easily get into the act without a lot of difficulty. In the presentation I shared with the audience how Stride Gum latched onto (twice) the already popular Matt Harding Dancing videos using an Adopt Versus Create approach to social media as well as how Miller Lite did the same with the dude how turned his house into a Christmas light show.
Along with viewpoint and examples, I shared with the audience the notion of the Conversation Department, an idea UnderScore Marketing CEO Tom Hespos and I came up with at about the same time. The basic role of the department is to monitor, join, engage, participate and otherwise don't be a dick about your brand in social media spaces. Above all, listen, don't preach.
Anyway, the conference was well organized. Kudos to organizers Christian Perry and Cassie Phillips. There was much information shared and many learnings to be had. And, of course, many drinks to be had after the conference ended with Violet Blue, Jonathan Moore and Ariel Waldman.