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AUDIENCE: Advertising professionals
VENUE: Seattle Ad Club November 2008 luncheon
SYNOPSIS: Last year we gave an intro into social tools. This year we're showing how brand communications can use these tools to be part of the consumers' solution rather than an obstacle in their paths.
(For the sake of this presentation, I will use "consumers" as a generic term that would include B2B "customers.")
Last year, Publicis' Laura Porto Stockwell and I presented to you. Those of you who attended remember that we discussed demographics, trends in culture leading to the emergence of social media as a powerful communication/community channel, and walked through numerous social tools such as Twitter and Facebook. A lot has happened in the past year. We're assuming most of you are using social tools and our discussion today will be more about where we go from here.
Since our last presentation, one in four of you has a new employer. Bloggers are regularly cited both on broadcast news as well as in the traditional press. Facebook has shot past long-time social network champ MySpace to become the largest social site. In fact, if Facebook were a country, it'd be the 11th largest, between Japan and Mexico.
Many brands have taken to social sites and engaged in social marketing programs. Starbucks, Dove, AllState, and many more have embraced these tools in fantastic ways. Also, the Obama campaign has proven the true power of this medium.
Forrester Research created their Technographic model to categorize the various levels of participation in the social space.
(for more about Technographics, go to http://www.slideshare.net/jbernoff/social-technographics-explained)
This year, Forrester updated their data and we can see several trends over the last 12 months. First, the number of people creating content has only grown marginally. But a large percent of the Inactives have become Spectators and Joiners. Critics and collectors are up as well, indicating significant numbers of Inactives are moving into the social space and participating, meaning the notion that social media might be a "fad" is clearly a falsehood. Once consumers have discovered the utility of collecting or joining, once they've found value in being able to express themselves or consume information, they will NOT relinquish that.
Last year I showed a Google search on the word "Comcast". Comcast's official sites showed up at the top, along with this hilarious and very critical video, at position #7, made by a disgruntled Comcast customer. The video, showing a Comcast technician sleeping on the customer's sofa, had garnered 1.2MM views. [ LINK: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6958342899875420422&hl=en ]
This year, Comcast has moved from target to participant, and is using Twitter to service customers. As people encounter problems with their service, they can interact directly with Comcast's Frank Eliason and get their problems resolved.
Last year, Starbucks often appeared to sit on the sidelines of the social space. Many were perplexed by their seeming avoidance of social tools. This Twitter user is clearly curious as to why Starbucks is not active on Twitter.
This year, Starbucks took to the social space in a huge way, opening up MyStarbucksIdea to solicit operating ideas...
...as well as creating an online community centered around doing good and volunteerism. They clearly are a social wallflower no more.
So....should you be advertising on social sites? Not exactly. Here's why.
Advertisers initially approached social sites like grazers at a buffet table. Each site looked like a juicy morsel of captive audience. 120-million actives! High disposable income! High literacy demo! Insane growth rates! These appeared to be perfect venues in