Online Information 2008, some notes and impressions.

The Online Information conference was held as usual at Olympia Hall, Kensington.

(To start) I was interested in particular in the Marketing through social media and Web 2.0 sections.
The first was open with a keynote by Michael Nutley, Editor-in-Chief of NMA. He concluded that advertising is no longer driving sales. This is the era of ‘people like me’ driven world. People like someone like them and brands are no more able to tell them what to buy. But their friends do. People ignore messages like never before. What is powerful nowadays, is the network; many-to-many communications. Now you don’t need to buy media, but to earn media. And if you manage to do it, media costs nothing, because your message is distributed by the friends of your target. The question now is How to influence influencers?
They are several mistakes to not do:
- To try to apply old media practices: people want to control what appears on their personal pages. So, they are happier, if there are not advertisements, but recommendations.
- To control: in social media, if you buy a commercial, you don’t know where it is going to appear. It is not possible to make track, impossible to monitor all these pages. So, it is difficult to a brand to accept that their product could be associated with a universe that has nothing to do with the brand’s universe.
- To posses media. People are building their own network. They want to express themselves and don’t want to set up their place to speak. You don’t own a community.
(Tendencies) I have heart many participants on the conference express the same idea: Conversation leads to value. It was stressed several times that in tough times, using 2.0 is a solution to reduce costs and generate profits. It allows reducing the number of call centers, to identify problems very quickly. But it is also a challenge for your organization, because of the extreme transparency it is exposed to. So, make sure where your staff goes on network and monitor!
(Metaphors) I like a metaphor used several times during the conference to express what is Web 2.0 and what is marketing as conversation: Communicating in social media is like meeting all your customers in a pub. You ask each other who you are, where you from are, what do you like…
(The big issue) The big challenge is about measurement. Click doesn’t measure what is crucial now. Will Critchlow, Director of Distrilled, UK gave us some tips.
Brand coverage
People generated content, adverts contest could bring you some big brand coverage on internet. The risk is that you can loose control on content related to your brand created by people and distributed around Internet. Engaging with people On social media people will engage with brands, but be prepared to loose control…
What is a key measure?
Enjoyment/discussion metrics:
o “Recommendations”
o Share of voice
o Bounce rate
Recommend is a good metrics and also allows having access to personal email of a person.
Share voice. Number of mentions of your brand. It is a metrics used in offline word. In online word it is easier to track. Online buzz reflects it.
Bounce rate – proportion of visitors disappearing on a web sites 50-60% is average rate on web. 90-95 %, on social media, but during campaigns – 30% stay to the site.
(And to dream a little) For Engagement we use targeting metrics to discover ‘who has been visiting your website’. We are interested in specific individuals. Google Analytics let us know not only how people have found your site, but also who they were. The new revolution will be the correlation between IP addresses and company data. A way to measure the engagement is to receive an alert telling you that these people visited your website. After that you can check on social media ‘who these people are’. This way, advertiser data meet demographic data.
(Key word) For me, at this conference the key word was ‘monitor’. Whatever you do, listen! You have to monitor your reputation: -your brand -your product -your people -your competitors -your issues
How? Using :
- Search engines
- Google Tools (Google Blog Search, Google reader for unread posts. Shows your identity on Google reader)
- Social media searches Paid tools:
· Reputation monitor
· (:o))
· etc.
(Web 2.0 Search) The influence of web2.0 on search was discussed on several presentations. Karen Blakemann, RBA Information Services, give the audience a complete toolkit for search 306° trough:
- Email discussion groups
- Web based forums
- Usenet, Google and Yahoo Groups
- Blogs, photo sharing videos, presentations
- Social professional networks
- Mashups
- People search tools
(A search tendency) Now everyone can make his own search engine. Like www.
(To be aware) Have to be beware of mash-ups with no human involved. Sensitive topics are also privacy, online security and ownership of data.
(Tendency) There is a tendency to integration between mobile phones and social networks and to smaller, private social networks.
Knoll from Google is a community solution of new gender which is open to everyone, but is more authoritative and where each article is signed and owned by a person. Authors/owners can remove inappropriate comments on them.
(As some kind of conclusion) Search trough content on social media is important for brand monitoring, but also for business intelligence. Fred Wergeles, Principal of Fred Wergeles&AssociatesLLC showed how to use semantic search and analysis to identify centers of influence for a business. The challenge is to quickly identify local opportunities using people-to-people connections, then people-to-people-to-organizations, and finally, between different groups of people. Don’t forget to look for hidden connections! When analyzing, you can find how long the relationship between people and organization or people and people last. The strength of connections is important, is it casual or long-lasting. With semantic web relations are displayed automatically, with expression of the type of connection. Semantic web allows looking deeper trough connections.
(To dream a little bit) A challenge for the future is to connect today’s news with a database? Other future development will be an automated information processing and organization, and display could highlight connections before the system is ‘asked’.
(And to finish, for now) Thanks to Ciaran Norris, CEO & Social Media Director of Altogether Digital for giving the audience the formula for Planning social media strategy
People: Who you try to talk to?
Objectives: what you want to achieve?
Strategy: change relation with customer?
And only at that point – what channel?
Here Altogether digital intervene: What could be a wrong way of using social media?
- Mismatches (support/target)
- Lack of defined objectives
- Strategic timidity
- Flowed technology implementation
(What else?) It is impossible to cover here all the aspects of social media use in today's marketing and knowledge management that where discussed on the Online Information, the biggest European information professionals' forum.
- Microsoft, and adCenter Community Manager where there to add some knowledge about auto-regulated CRM,
- Down Jones, showed how to make social networking for business development and increasing sales… (On this blog next…)