On April 19 I was honored to join a panel at the Mid-Atlantic Marketing Summit to discuss ‘Social Media: What’s the Next Big Thing?’ Fellow panelists included: Brendon O’Donovan, Product Marketing Manager at Vocus; Gayle Weiswasser, VP of Engagement at New Media Strategies; and Susan Ganeshan, CMO at New Brand Analytics. Technology Columnist Rob Pegoraro led an engaging discussion around up-and-coming social networks; lessons learned from early adoption; deciding when to quit a social campaign or platform; and thoughts on future trends in a social world.
What’s on our radar?
Panelists mentioned the unavoidable giants: Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin; alongside Pinterest, Instagram, and in particular – Tumblr. Video apps were also of interest—most recently Twitter’s Vine app—and finding a better way to build a community around video content (above and beyond YouTube which does search far better than social).
To early adopt or not?
While Gayle and Brendon gave examples of both successes and failures, the takeaway on early adoption was clear: Know your audience, understand the capabilities of the new platform, and set up measurable goals ahead of time.
So when do you decide to quit?
Well, why did you start in the first place? Measuring success has to be more than likes and followers; it must be linked to goals, leads and sales. If you’ve set measureable goals, benchmarks, and metrics that fit you’ll know what’s working and what’s not. As with all social media platforms it’s important to establish the ‘Where?’ ‘When?’ ‘What?’ and ‘Why?’ before you jump in.
To round out the session panelist fired off one future trend they expect to see on current networks:
- More options and avenues for advertisers to push content at more relevant times: making ads native and unique to the experience
- Truly functional personal social media content/interaction hubs – all your content in one stream
- Mobile web experience is key, more people are using mobile most of the time
- Greater control for brands on social networks