Social media has become an integral component of any marketing strategy, but according to our expert panel at BIMA’s first Breakfast Seminar, sponsored by Rackspace, there is much more to be gleaned and utilised from social than quality content.
Following an impressive breakfast buffet and hosted by BIMA chair Justin Cooke and executive member Justin Pearse, the event featured presentations from John Webb, Cloud Marketing Director at Rackspace; Ron Peterson, Social Director at AKQA; and Dara Nasr, Head of Agency Sales at Twitter.
Rackspace’s John kicked off the presentations with a brief analysis of the current social landscape, stressing the critical importance of distinctive, high-quality content in an age of what he termed a ‘content deluge’. In addition to content, John was keen to highlight the redefinition and increasing significance of context. This, he explained, involved making stories relevant to consumers, using social insight, location data and as it becomes increasingly accessible, human API data, in order to effectively and personally engage with consumers.
Ron, of leading digital agency AKQA, argued that marketers need to invest more in social media on the basis of three key properties:
-social provides a truly unique channel that is always active and live
-effective use of social provides brand value through trust, sentiment and advocacy
-social media allows businesses to uniquely connect with their consumers on an individual basis.
The future of social is not to connect more, but to connect smarter, Ron asserted. Social is, and should be more than just a platform for marketing purposes, and will become used more frequently to inform and guide all aspects of management, from operations through to sales.
The distinctive nature of social media was echoed by Twitter’s Dara Nasr, who provided compelling examples of how Twitter connects brands to their customers in real-time, allowing businesses to gauge the tone and sentiment of consumers and to respond accordingly. Dara argued that in order to fully engage with social, brands must absorb it as part of their wider communication strategy, rather than treat it as a tool to be employed on a campaign by campaign basis.
To conclude, attendees were given the opportunity to question our expert panel on the future of social media, how to best to go about investing in social strategy and the importance of an integrated marketing strategy.
The event was well-received and well-attended, with many of those who couldn’t attend in person following BIMA’s live tweet stream online. It was a promising start to this new series of events from BIMA. Photographs to follow soon!
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