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August 11, 2009

In the Now: Conversational & Real Time Marketing

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The next session is part of the ClickZ/Google/YouTube sponsored Social Media & Video Strategies Forum. Lee Odden is moderating and our stellar speaker line up includes:

  • Martin Green, COO, Meebo
  • Richard Jalichandra, President & Chief Executive Officer, Technorati
  • Steve Grove, Head of News and Politics, YouTube
  • Ricardo Guerrero, Founder & Principal, Stwittergy

Lee says that this morning there was an article in MediaPost by Dave Berkowitz. It brings up the question: in the midst of geographic and behavioral targeting, what’s next in targeting consumers based on their associations with others?

Ricardo thinks the next step is applications that will localize tweets, allowing users find people near them. Lee asks what about the issues of data portability and how can marketers leverage this? Martin says that targeting around a user will probably only increase with media fragmentation. A national advertiser will define a set of characteristics of the people they’re trying to find. They’ll want to define it not just by age and gender but also by their interests, people they associate with and their mindsets.

Martin says he’s done testing around people that have engaged with their ads, looking at those that shared the ad with their friends. They saw double the interest. Richard says that he’s seen the ad industry undergoing a titanic shift in how user and audience is targeted. The implications of this audience targeting in respect with how to get in the social graph, it’s quite dramatic.

Although, there’s a lot of misinformation and fear, a lack of awareness around these technologies. This can be a big influence on how things play out. It’s still up in the air and could go any way.

Lee asks Steve to talk about all the video that’s being used in the debates over health care. Steve explains the new media cycle that was fed by online activity during the recent happenings in Tehran. We’re seeing a similar occurrence with the health care debate. During small gatherings, people are video taping the discussions and sharing them online. They aren’t waiting for a professional organization to come video tape the event. This can be called activism or news.

There’s also very localized news that’s being posted on YouTube. People are served local news by IP address and these stories are finding a three-times more frequent click-through rate.

What can marketers do to tap into that, Lee asks. Steve says that you have to have your finger on the pulse. The other thing that’s important is knowing how to connect the message to the audience, by paying attention to the opportunities of the platform, like tagging. You have to have a strategy that involves responding right away, so allocate your resources for these important tasks.

Should we pay attention to how celebrities are using Twitter? They sure have a lot of followers. Ricardo thinks this doesn’t matter. He sees the “suggested user” part of Twitter is skewing these numbers. Celebrities also attract un-savvy users who don’t really use the service.

Richard says that we have to remember social media is a media channel. We get caught up in creating new toys, and we forget that we’re creating a new media channel. If you’re a brand or a marketer trying to catch the viral phenomenon, you can count those on one hand. If you don’t look at this as an overall media channel with an overall strategy, you’re not going to reach many people.

Lee asks Martin about the idea that Twitter and instant messaging are on two ends of a spectrum. On Twitter he says that there are often more people following a user than they actually know personally. Blogging is on this same end of the spectrum. On the other side of the spectrum is instant messaging. For this medium, it’s a short list. People who you talk to on IM have gotten permission to talk to you. It’s more like text messaging. You know these people intimately. Social networks are in the middle of this spectrum.

Richard says that the professional set of bloggers (about 5,000 self-described professional bloggers) use Twitter as their number one marketing vehicle. For the long-tail of content creators, Twitter has probably dampened some interest in these blogs. But the professional set of bloggers is using Twitter to drive mini media businesses. Steve calls it RSS with context. Richard says RSS is waning in the presence of Twitter.

Lee says he’s wondering about examples of innovative uses of real-time marketing. Ricardo points to Woot.com and their business model because it plays into the strengths of Twitter. He says that driving enough demand through Twitter means that you may not have to offer such dramatic sales.

Lee asks what monitoring tools they’d like to share with the audience. Richard turns it back on the audience and asks how many people are using free monitoring tools. A good number are.

Lee asks what tips Steve would give for optimizing video in YouTube. Steve says first you need an account. Second you need to wrap your video in Meta data that’s relevant. Third, he suggests using YouTube Promoted Video. It lets you bid on keywords to get your video in a promoted video section. Another opportunity is overlay ads. But the real basic key is to have good content. The wedding dance video that blew up a couple weeks ago was shared because the content was good.

Audience questions are up next.

Q&A

How do users filter through all the content?

Martin says that the discovery filter for most is their friends. He also says users want their network to recognize their interests and push related recommendations to them.

Richard says that there are lots of tools available to marketers. He was looking for a flight and couldn’t find a good one. He asked his Twitter followers for recommendations and he quickly got a great answer.

Ricardo says that he’s hearing more and more that people are overloaded by RSS feeds and are turning to Twitter as a trusted and focused feed.

How can marketers walk the line between creepy and useful behavioral targeting?

Martin explains that your local shopkeeper also knows all about you because of what you buy, and consumers like that. Be sure you’re adding value and not acting like you know-it-all. Richard says transparency is vital. Ricardo says that you should approach it like a cocktail party. Don’t just yell, “I sell widgets!” Talk to someone, learn about them, wait ’til they ask you what you do.

Do you have recommendations for using hashtags on Twitter?

Ricardo says hashtags are great for threading conversations. Adding more than one hashtag can make sense if the comment relates to several threads. He thinks is very valuable for people finding you when there’s context around it.

I find that I’m leading certain media in my local area. Has that been the case for other blogs?

Citizen journalism is a great business opportunity, Richard says. As any content creator, create something unique and of interest to people and you’ll become the authority. Go out and build a business around it.

Do you see any new ways or trends in the way businesses are using YouTube?

Steve says that using YouTube and the available tools at all is a huge new trend. Leveraging the user community is also a new trend that’s being leveraged in deep ways. Lee suggests embedding the video on Web pages and uploading screen shots to photo sites, linking back to the video.

Can you explain how YouTube channels can help businesses?

Steve says that channels are like a hub for hosting videos. Traditionally channels themselves aren’t traffic drivers. The traffic is coming from views from related videos. But there’s a new model for channels that’s being rolled out. It’s going to allow users to track what’s happening on channels and stay within that area of YouTube.

In social media in general, are most of the success stories B2C rather than B2B?

Richard says he sees the success stories split 50/50. Ricardo sees more Twitter success with B2C. Martin says that one of the issues he always tries to solve is the scalability issue of B2C on social media. In B2B cases he thinks the communication models need to scale. Richard reminds the audience that social media is a media channel. It needs to be alongside the right relevant content.

What are your Quick practical tips?

Martin: Focus on the interaction between users that step forward by opt-in and their friends.

Richard: Don’t forget that social media is a media channel.

Steve: A lot of the social media activity you take advantage of will multiply in effect when picked up by traditional media.

Ricardo: Make it personal by exposing the people behind the account. And to be retweeted, leave ample characters for RT text.

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3 responses to “In the Now: Conversational & Real Time Marketing”

  1. @ggroovin writes:

    Nice job, Susan & Viriginia! Appreciate you following up with me to get my tip in when I wasn’t able to share it with the audience.

    Take care,

    – Ricardo Guerrero
    Stwittergy
    twitter.com/STWITT3RGY

  2. @ggroovin writes:

    Nice job, Susan & Viriginia! Appreciate you following up with me to get my tip in when I wasn’t able to share it with the audience.
    BTW- since I didn’t get to give a tip, I’m encouraging folks to view my Twitter for Business presentation on SlideShare:
    http://Budurl.com/Twit4Biz
    Take care,
    — Ricardo Guerrero
    Stwittergy
    twitter.com/STWITT3RGY

  3. Virginia Nussey writes:

    No prob, Ricardo. I thought it’d be a pretty sad omission without it! Thanks for the link to your presentation — check it out, peeps!



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