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What I Learned at Social Ad Summit (Part 1)

September 17th, 2008 · No Comments

Social Ad Summit was a conference held in NYC this week and billed as the “invite only” event  ”focused on strategic issues driving the growth of advertising in social networks.”   The team at Social Times blog did an excellent job pulling it together.

I do however have one complaint and bit of advice for them and anyone holding an event of any type.  The audio system was working but almost everyone was having problems hearing and understanding the speakers on the first panel.  The old joke is that the first rule of holes is; when you find yourself in one stop digging.  As it applies to this situation, stop the presentation until you can get the audio adjusted.  The only reason people were in that beautiful room was to hear what was being said.  Soldiering on inspite of the problems in that case is simply foolhardy.  That’s my only complaint of the conference.

One question asked of the Social Network Advertising panel was, “How does the industry get credit for social ads as opposed to the CPM model?”  The panel agreed that it is a big problem, but there are some new developments; Facebook has recently started delivering statistics on mentions of brands to advertisers that are not tied to ads.  In other words FB is delivering non-sponsored mentions of an advertiser on it’s network.  (For many of us this is considered as basic metics that need to be offered in any social media network.)

Gordon Peters of Social Cash discussed the fact that impressions are becoming worthless, there are 15 billion impressions on Facebook every month.   Is this the beginning of the death of CPM as it relates to Social Network advertising?  I don’t think so.  Because as several panelists said, we’re looking for Life Time Value of a customer.  We’re looking for engagement, and relationships, and one of the ways that you do this is with repetitive contacts.  The nature of these contacts will change but impressions and contact points will be need to be meausured and tracked for analysis.

One interesting point that came out was that JP Morgan uses Facebook in recruiting.  Of course they aren’t doing much recruiting today with the market meltdown.  But presumably they will be recruiting when the new owners take over. (that’s a joke.)

Choosing your primary social network is still a simple matter of deciding where your customer is and meeting them there.  JP Morgan choose Facebook because they are targeting college students.  MTV’s Comedy Channel choose MySpace because there is a strong community of commedians there. 

Ford Motor Co. has strong enthusiast communities on both MySpace and Facebook.  Ford has targets everywhere, “everyone who drives” according to Scott Monty the new Digital & Multimedia Communications Manager at Ford Motor Company.   (Why do big companies give people huge titles like that?)  Scott’s a friend and we had lunch together, and I wish him the best of luck with Ford.  Ford is doing some interesting things with technology today (Microsoft sync in cars), they are reaching out to bloggers and doing some real social marketing.  Expect to see more interesting things coming from Ford in the social media space.

Further analysis will be coming in a second article later this week.

Tanks for reading,


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