Content at the Social Media World Forum (#smwf) 2010 was mostly articulated around strategy applied to various objectives and environments (government, politics, PR, crisis communication, etc). From this stem my three trending topics.
A few nuggets however also made their way to the surface: those are “hot topics”.
Three trending topics:
– Strategy: what it is, how to draw one, what to look for when devising one, asking the right questions.
A tip from Muhammad Karim, Senior Brand Manager for Mars: DON’T launch into or try anything if you don’t have a strategy. Sounds obvious but apparently it’s not unusual that people launch into “campaigns” without having built a clear roadmap.
– Metrics: surprise, surprise — NOT (…) ! Measuring your impact. Keywords: ROI, results, brand. Luckily we were spared the awful “conversion rate”, which, apparently took front stage at SXSW (South By South West, held in Austin, Texas).
I noticed a certain schizophrenia on the part of the speakers who kept on oscillating between “how many” and “who” — quantitative vs qualitative.
Within the metrics issue lays the question of the measuring tools. The question was debated on and off-stage: free applications vs professional apps.
—> here’s another tip from Muhammad Karim : the difference is that you gain time on the long term with professional apps
– Facebook came up in 95% of conversations, on and off stage. Big buzz. There were also dedicated Facebook 101 workshops, called “Facebook Developers Garage” (Why garage, by the way ? Can someone tell me ? ). But where was LinkedIn ? The biggest buzz deficit I noticed was there. Although they had sent top representatives, it was hardly mentioned in official talks or lobby chats. On the other hand, the Viadeo representatives were very much there and very actively networking.
Two hot topics:
– Geotagging is the next big thing. It has great revenue-generating potential through its cross use on multiple platforms. Geotagging enables 1) to provide the user with information regarding services existing in his/her direct, immediate environment at any given time and 2) to provide tailor-made offers and suggestions to users locally as well as worldwide.
—> guess what ? Facebook is ready to launch its app. Get ready ! Yes, this raises the issue of privacy, indeed. But it’s another debate altogether.
– Virtual gaming: it is a growth market, with the U.S. representing a mere 1/5th of the size of the Chinese market. Currently, Asia is the sector leader. [thank you, Nichola Stott for the figures as I hadn’t attended that session].
For Muhammad Karim, the Social Gaming Market will be the biggest gaming market in the world in five years.
And according to Trevor Johnson, Facebook’s Head of Strategy and Planning, EMEA, virtual branded gifts are really big, especially with the virtual economy being valued at 10 billion usd in 2010.
There’s a controversy that makes me smile and I want to share it with you to wrap this up: it’s about Zynga’s Farmville game on Facebook.
About 1% of the world population plays Farmville. Trevor Johnson said that even real-life farmers enjoy playing it. Yes, it’s truly addictive, and I have no shame to testify myself, after having declined offers to play for a year, I’m now hooked. So the debate is a matter of “addictive” vs “I’m worried for the human race”.
… So what’s *your* take on it ?