DaniWeb recently attended the ANA Digital and Social Media Conference in New York City which brought into focus just how much social media has become a powerful marketing technique. With speakers from companies including RadioShack, Coca-Cola and FedEx, a powerful message was broadcast: social media used to be a thermometer, today it’s a thermostat!
The various speakers got that message across loud and clear. FedEx, for example, proved how social media not only drives sales, but drives how people research companies; especially those seeking employment. The numbers were staggering, but we already have a good idea what they are. After all, FedEx explained, since we’re plugged into the internet most of our day, we should gauge how much we use social media to deliver us information and then multiply that by the population at large.
Then there was how different companies are using coupons through social media to drive sales. Take Gap, the clothing company, which claimed to be the first national brand to launch a deal on Groupon which has since become a powerful marketing technique geared towards getting the best deals towards consumers and exposing brand names to audiences.
Sandy Culver, Consumer Marketing Director with Lowe, detailed how the company has moved on from having just a print catalogue to creating communities online for their customers who are now encouraged to engage ideas with each other for their home improvement. This was demonstrated to be a huge success for Lowe’s, generating sales through social media constructs.
The most interesting speaker was Paul Dunay, Chief Marketing Officer for Networked Insights who spoke passionately about how you can figure out the Return on Investment (ROI) for Social Media platforms. Dunay reflected upon the 12 different ways to determine ROI. I don’t want to take the thunder away from Paul, but the most interesting mention I thought was teaming up with celebrities and getting a message across through their channels. Although Dunay suggested that not all celebrities might be the right fit using Lady Gaga as an example. Some companies can’t put their image on certain celebrities because they’re just not the right fit for their particular brand.
What lessons can DaniWeb pass on from this conference? Simply that social media is the new backbone of advertising. It has become a powerful tool to create sales, and that applies to both large and small enterprises. The more channels you’re tapped into, the more branding opportunities you will have. So, please, don’t resist social media any longer. Even the largest, and most established of companies, have figured that out and are already on board.