Pseudo liveblogging from #media140

[EDIT: I only stayed for the 1st panel as the wireless connection was never resolved, and as my job was to liveblog from the event I couldn’t do my job – so I left.]

We’re getting started at #media140. I’ve so far had issues with the wireless connection as well as the mobile connectivity. Not a good start.

I’ll keep trying but if nothing happens everything will need to be recorded as notes and uploaded in the breaks. This is a lesson for all people running tech oriented events. If you want advice and implementation of an appropriate network connection for streaming and live connections, you really should bring in a private network.

Andy is doing the intros and advice on connectivity.

Tom Bedecarre (@tombed), CEO of AKQA, is doing the keynote. He suggests we should put aside train delays and difficulties and to have a ‘fun day’. He suggests we start by introducing ourselves to those around us. @tombed asks whether there are any twitter haters in the audience. He’s relieved to know the audience is made up of 99% twitter lovers. He says he’s dismayed by the number of twitter haters out there. He notes that the usual accusation of pointless babble and faddishness, age segmentation and so on is indicative more of the fact that there is less data and decent research than the reality of the value of twitter.

@tombed answers ‘why twitter?’: he say it’s an easy way to communicate and keep up with his industry, as well as keep up with news items and so on. When people ask whether there is insufficient time being spent on work, it’s a misunderstanding of the value of the technology as a fun way of doing market research and solving problems.

@tombed discusses examples of twitter as a promotional vehicle – for films, for products and even for government. He notes that the questions that need to be considered include why marketers do need to pay attention to twitter and how best to engage. Some of today will involve addressing these issues as well as dealing with ethics and raising questions about the process of engagement.

@tombed opens the floor to questions. One question is raised: as an agency, are clients asking for social media. Tom says that social media is the #1 thing that clients are asking for. Social media is being integrated into all campaigns now. Second question: how do you turn the thinking of clients from push media to resourcing of engagement?

@tombed says that clients struggle to adapt to the notion of engagement. The good news is that new things get attention so there’s an opportunity to use the novelty of social media to inform clients about the need to engage. Client meetings have become more complex as a result as the engagement protocol is becoming layered.

@tombed responds to a question on sales and measurement with twitter. He notes that the cost benefit of using twitter as a customer service channel is not just in terms of the immediacy of the medium but the fact that it can be used as evidence of engagement. He says that the process of inspiring continued engagement is an ongoing challenge – but moreso in terms of resourcing conversations that innovation in content presentation. There are no limits of social media as such, just limits in terms of accessing the right information, useful information and resourcing engagement. Hard to know precisely what it is that social media platforms will do now; need to experiement. There’s something wonderful going on. Twitter will inevitably be a great resource for business.

@tombed requests in closing that he needs about 140 new followers to get up to 5000, and that he wants everyone to tweet what they had for breakfast.

9:45am Panel: can you change a brand in 140 characters.

The first panel of six people is mounting the stage, tripping over the wires at the front.

@IABUK (Kieron Matthews) introduces the panel. @ng01 from British Airways is replacing Paul Hopkins from easyjet. There’s also @robingrant, @bbhlabs (Mel Exon), @gj (Gareth Jones) and @scottseaborn (from Ogilvy) on the panel.

@robingrant says that other people’s experiences inherently transparent is a key feature of social media.  Even without social media acting as a way of connecting you with other people, but instead as finding out information about a brand or an idea, social media is still useful to help shape the brand Previously it was easier to dominate messaging about brands, now it’s less possible.

@scottseaborn says that twitter is like WOM on crack.

@IABUK challenges the notion of twitter being particularly important. @scottseaborn says the paradigm shift is that consumers/people have the power. Where it fits for brands is in realising that markets have the power. Brands need to acknowledge that consumers have the powere and to give them the tools to act on behalf of the organisation.

@gj (editor of Revolution) sasy that instead of just pushing content out to readers, publishers need to access all channels for content and to inspire content generation. @NG01 says that twitter allows British Airways to consider how to generate real time information and discover what is going on. Many still don’t understand the power of social media in BA. Varied response within the BA departments – some unexpected support.

Unfortunately there are so many poor stories that PR department have to deal with, that it’s hard to get PR to engage thoroughly but they are on board. @IABUK asks if social media is just PR.

@robingrant says there’s rejection of the term ‘social media’ because it’s deceptive – need to think of media in the McLuhan sense – that it is a medium rather than ‘media’ in the way that broadcast or print are perceived. Social media can be considered useful in PR but it’s not appropriate as a means of how PR works.

@gj says socialmedia would bever change the way journalism works. But twitter allows access to personal perspectives – lets you look behind the scenes. To some extent as a journalist it cuts out PR.

@scottseaborn says media is a channel, social is a direct relationships channel and PR is an information channel. Need to understand twitter can really do all these things.

@robingrant says that there is no magic bullet for measurement of social media. It is hard to map the spend on an individual campaign and the return on investment. We are getting better at setting meaningful KPIs for a social media campaign and measuring on *that* rather than anything else. A lot of spending is not particularly wise.

@scottseaborn is associate with mobile, and his interest is that clients don’t have any reach. Understanding the value of reach (volume versus influence) is vital to competitive advantage. Engage – acquire – activate is the strategy at Ogilvy, the power of pull is activated by the relevance of push for specific markets.

@ng01 notes that direct revenue should not always be the focus of the social media strategy, that sometimes it’s about information communication, changing business practices, etc.

The audience want some key examples from the agencies about use of social media in specific campaigns. Some examples given; more available in the break. Useful question from the audience about the shift in marketing and communications businesses from short term campaigns and broadcast messages to platforms and programmes for consumer engagement. @bbhlabs notes that even historically broadcast messages were social, but now there is a backchannel.

[[At this point I’ve left the auditorium to upload this post using my mobile connection.  Not sure there’s much point in me being here if I can’t liveblog.]]

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