Who is best positioned to exploit social media panel: Will McInnes, Judith Lewis, Paul Fabretti, James Lowery, Massimo Burgio
Massimo Burgio, from Global Search Interactive, kicked off the third session of the day by querying the panel question ‘Who is best to exploit social media’ by saying that social media isn’t about exploiting anyone, it’s about sharing. Among the rustling of boxes of Heroes being passed round, this was a great way to kick off this interesting discussion of social media and how it sits alongside search marketing.
Paul Fabretti, from Gabba, started off by saying that PR, SEO and social media all have to fully integrate to get the most value out of social media.
This was followed by the idea (from another panellist) who said the people are getting most out of social media are the people who engage, so brands need to know who to engage with.
Judith Lewis, AKA deCabbit, said: ” Search and social media are coming together and becoming one thing. It can be about exploitation in that how can I leverage all my sites to work better for business. But mostly it’s about engaging, instead of traditional pushing messages one way to consumers.”
The discussion moved onto say that inside a company everyone should be given guidelines on social media, but the freedom to engage.
Paul Fabretti said: “Different departments will look at social media for different reasons in terms out what they want to achieve We want to use it to bring out what the business is about, but we need to realise that each different person within a company has different objectives.
“There can’t be a model for one company – they need to understand where the opportunities lie.”
Massimo Burgio added, “Social media conversation depends on what your internal goals are, not just marketing goals. It could be human resources.”
Will McInnes, from Nixon McInnes, said: “Traditional media has been about storytelling, but now search is an ingenious game to get to the top of the rankings BUT was it the story that sent me there?” He asked the crowd how many people just wanted to use social media to get to the top of rankings and very few people put their hands up.
Paul Fabretti added that there’s no point in having a great community but it’s sat on p5 of search rankings, so it just has to be integrated. He explained, “Technically they are two distinct disciples but agencies that combine that successfully will be able to take advantage of these opportunities.”
He went onto say, “A few years ago companies would say theyÂ need a Facebook page because their competitors had one, but I always say don’t do something that will be half-baked. I spend two to three weeks looking at conversations and whatever your campaign, you have to make sure your messages are absolutely relevant.”
James Lowery, from Latitude, said: “If it’s a customer service role then it has to be owned by that team. If it’s branding or marketing then it’s different. The person who needs to take responsibility is the CEO or who’s vision it is.”
Judith added, “We need to know why you’re doing something. You have to think does the world really need another Facebook app?!”
At the end of the session, an interesting question was asked by someone in the audience, who said: “Does social media just reflect your brand or can it develop the brand?”
Paul Fabretti said it can be successful if you find the right approach or message for the right audience. With retail clients if we find the right hook you can make a splash, and increase search activity.
Overall, it was generally agreed that SEO and social media have a massive overlap, but with different standpoints and objectives. A great conclusion was that social media will make big national companies and politics even better because people can engage with them and contribute to the ongoing conversation.