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7 point summary of the AOP Social Media Forum

Missed AOP's Social Media event, or need a quick summary of the key points raised? Here it is, in 7 points.

1. Think of your audience as a host of niche communities

Niche audiences are the only area where ad yields are rising – hence the Mirror’s launch of specialised 3am and mirrorfootball sites, Paul Hood explained.

Kate Day: reaching out to social media means understanding who your niche community is talking to and where, not simply going onto all platforms. She cites the example of Labour’s ‘Change We See’ campaign, which faced daily sabotage on Flickr from photographers angry about an increase in police stop & search.

2. Anxiety over social media is nothing new

Always useful to put our approach to social media in context - Kate Day drew a parallel with the BBC’s first live Election broadcast in the ‘50s. At the time, a cue for much anxiety over people saying the wrong thing – a good example to roll out when you see hand-wringing over social media experiments. In other words, we should be listening & evolving all the time, not trying to pen the perfect strategy document.

3. App fever vs. massive mobile potential

To say we’ve all gone app crazy at this point might be a bit of an understatement. Why is no-one talking about active app users though, and just downloads? Like monthly uniques, isn’t this measure a bit past it? Early signs are that apps have a lifespan of about 4-5 weeks.

*That said* early signs are that people may be even more willing to engage on mobile than on PC, and mobile remains one of the biggest growth areas for the future. Still, if we were pursuing the mass market, we’d be looking at Nokia, not iPhone users, (via James Bromley)

4. Launch of Open Graph = start of the Facebook/Google War

Twitter is great, but let’s not forget we inhabit a digital media-shaped bubble: press coverage in no way reflects its diffusion in the UK. Meanwhile, Facebook is moving towards micropayments, and 50k publishers flocked to add its ‘like’ buttons in the first days of launch. However, a note of warning from James Bromley: “once you take the platform onto the destination, everything changes.”

5. Most people only want to get ‘slightly involved’

'It’s fashionable to assume everyone wants to be at the top of the ladder' of interaction. MailOnline gets 350k comments/month, but 90m votes on articles/month. At the other extreme, at iVillageUK says Lulu Phongmany the community owns the message board (& maybe even the product).

6. Audiences are already empowered – deal with it

In the words of Neil Perkin, ‘tech changes, people don’t’. Agility/responsiveness is key, but publishers should combine the best of the old with the best of the new. By all means focus on spreadable content, but at the same time, don’t underestimate the importance of being a digital authenticator.

7. Making money from social – a key part of the CPE puzzle?

The old ad model is gone, says Trinity Mirror’s Paul Hood, and we have to think of campaigns in terms of measure which work for the advertiser. Paul gave the example of 3am’s campaign for Samsung, a three-stage competition with social media at its heart, and a forthcoming Jukebox feature, linking interaction and ecommerce.

All evidence of a ‘paradigm shift’ in how publishers are working with clients.

Download presentations from the event (members only.)

Feedback on this article/suggestions for future posts? – please contact Ron.

(hat-tip: Matt Bourn)

Homepage image 'Notes for NNFP webinar 090108' by esagor

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