I spent the last 2 days at SES Toronto 2009, a global conference on Search Engine Marketing. Aside from catching up with friends and old colleagues, I enjoyed meeting Emanuel Rosen, the author of The Anatomy of Buzz Revisited and his was by far the best session. I liked it so much I bought his book and I swore I would not buy any more books until I had read the 5 beside my bed. Sound bite: 73% of buzz (viral sharing about brands) is in person, 17% by phone and 10% online. The top category people talk about is …… Food! Three meals a day… I guess it makes sense.
Most of the booths (other than Microsoft, Google and Yahoo) were small tech startups providing incredibly niche services that most of my CEO clients would be hard pressed to understand. And there is so much hype in this space. If you are not careful you can start to feel like you are a total loser because you didn’t name your kids based on the available domain names and google keyword bid estimates. Everywhere you turn someone is taking a photo with their iPhone and posting to Twitpic and Facebook. I had to send someone into the bathroom ahead of me to make sure the coast was clear.
Microsoft has a nice big booth promoting their new search engine bing.ca. Bing looks interesting and I’ll give it a try. I like competition – it keeps everyone on their game.
I came away with several good ideas on how to develop more successful social media campaigns for CPG clients – which is one of the biggest challenges out there. Here are some other random things I learned:
My big learnings from the SES Toronto 2009 conference:
- You must stimulate your happy customers to talk in order to overcome the 30% of brand buzz that is negative and comes from people who have never used your brand.
- We imitate some people and we distance ourselves from others. Fairly key ☺
- If you want buzz you must give people something to talk about. There must be a good story. Check out “Will it blend iPhone” on YouTube below this list or Tom’s Shoes.
- Dispersion matters. People are clustered into social silos and you must get buzz from across a diverse group of people, including across different social clusters, to predict success.
- You have to prepared to do 10 social media initiatives to get 2 winners. Paraphrased from Jim McDowell of BMW.
- Mobclix is a great tool for iPhone app developers. Great stats on best apps by category.