Adtech Sydney – social networking questions
It’s good to be back in Brisbane after a few days down in Sydney attending the Adtech conference this week.
We went down excited by the prospect of Adam facilitating a session on email marketing discussing acquisition, retention and marketing strategies. No doubt he’ll fill you in on a bit more detail when he gets the chance.
From my point of view, there were some great keynote addresses from big wigs around the globe particularly discussing digital trends and digital strategies. One of the best sessions was a panel discussion between the regional managers of social networking sites. Facebook, MySpace, Friendster, Bebo and LinkedIn were all present giving their ideas of the relevance, development and future of social networking.
Personally, I would have liked to hear a bit more nitty gritty in terms of successful approaches to using these forums but here were a few take home messages:
- Advertising on social networks is powerful because of the data they have about each user – gender, age, interests, geography – the list goes on. This level of detail means that an advertiser can be extraordinarily specific in the way they target their audience!
- Social networks can be a great trialling/market research tool because of the data outlined above.
Quite a few of the speakers spoke of “user engagement” and other broad, ambiguous terms. For me, when it comes to strategies for social networking (or any other marketing), I feel as though the key is once again your value proposition to your target audience.
The creativity of concept and execution lies in how you choose to answer the following questions:
- What is in it for users?
- How do they want to be communicated with?
- What incentive is there for a user to sign up to your company group/page or download your application or theme their page with your brand?
- Now that they have signed up/downloaded/themed, what’s in it for them to hang around and listen to your story?
- Now that they are hanging around and listening, how can you take this interested relationship and influence them to actually buy your product/service?
Simple questions, difficult answers.
So – take your creative concept, encourage users to sign up, then retain your users, then influence them to purchase from you. You will need a powerful value proposition to convert the users at each of these points.
Then comes another big question: How do I track it? At this stage, no answer. At least not for the whole cycle. And very much more difficult if you’re talking about the conversion to an offline purchase.
Final take home for me: Social networking is new, fun and like all great challenges, requires commitment to maintaining the relationship you start.