Guest contributor Martin Pasquier was at the launch of Social Media Week in Singapore, and he offers a few takeaways from the opening keynote.
With 13 true friends on average, human beings of this century seem to contradict our Facebook and Twitter stats. But we have acquaintances, too, from university, or our first job — they are about 30 to 40 to come and go in our lives. And then, we have our “online friends,” a crowd of 50+ more people we have either met in real life or not, but with whom we share an interest. In the end, we are people connecting to other people, and sometimes interacting with a brand or a product.
The opening keynote of the Social Media Week this morning at Raffles Hotel laid a good foundation for the next days of free events, conferences and parties where marketers, experts, bloggers and creative types will discuss and analyze the links between social media and a wide range of industries, including dating, recruitment, music, and retail.
Damien Cummings, Regional Marketing Director at Samsung, and Laura Balkovich, Head of Social at Google APAC, provided a full house a 2-hour exploration of the secret of social.
- Yes, we’re more and more social, and more and more mobile, as 6 out the 7 billion inhabitants of our world are now connected to a smartphone.
- No, people in their majority don’t want to interact with brands, despite their efforts to make us like, follow, and +1 them.
- Yes, you can deal with a troll as he’s providing a feedback and your community could manage it by itself.
- No, you should not do banners again because it doesn’t bring any value to your audience.
Damien Cummings (Samsung) and Laura Balkovich (Google) for the opening of the Social Media Week Singapore at Raffles Hotel
This year’s Social Media Week theme is “Open and connected,” and the opening keynote was a good opportunity to understand it live. We live in an open world where 75% of the content on any brand is generated by users, where 78% of consumers can and will check for peer recommendations. We’re in a connected world where brands can at last get in touch with their customers, 40% of which connecting with a brand online for customer service issues.
In the realm of social, there are a lot of bad practices and marketing myths that pollute what could be a useful and win-win relationship. Our morning guests both confirm that brands — and this is also true for startups — should focus when going social: not on their product, but on what we can do with it, and how it brings value to our life.
A few tips can help you on the beginning of this path, such as:
- Including social in all your marketing, as did singer Alicia Keys by offering her fans a preview of her new album on Google Hangouts.
- Identifying the three types of influencers of your audience: (1) Celebrities, not engaged but powerful; (2) Expert bloggers influential and linked to communities, and (3) Brand advocates who are less influential but users of your products.
- Amplifying your super-fans, by giving them an exclusive content or access they can in turn make available for their own communities. Check how Toyota got fans to discuss about its concept cars. Check how the band the XX literally used one super fan to go viral and track their message.
- Going from a brand+country to a passion+brand mindset, which will make content production and interaction with communities easier as you connect with their daily lives rather than hard-selling a product. RedBull with extreme sports or Coca-Cola with happiness are good examples of this, as both become publishers on social media.
Music group the XX identifies a super fan and tracks how an exclusive content go viral in the world: http://coexist.thexx.info/
As for Asian countries, Damien and Laura say that the field of social is a growing opportunity. The next billion users of social media will come from Asia, with access through mobile. If this doesn’t change the foundations of marketing, the user experience will be very different. Then, the reluctance to speak openly about contentious issues will also have Asian users go to social platforms to talk about these with friends or like-minded peers.
The Social Media Week will give more insights as the week goes on, so check out their schedule of events and book where you can, as many events are already sold out.
About the author
Martin Pasquier is a social media strategist based in Singapore. He is currently the head of marketing at Crowdonomic and founder and partner at Agence Tesla.
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