DIGIDAY:SOCIAL – Integrating Social Media for Brands and Agencies

Panel – Breaking Social Out of the Silo

The last panel of the day sought to investigate how social media activities are (and should be) implemented by brands and agencies.  One of the keys to implementing social media is to get buy-in internally.  If you cannot get support or funding, you cannot succeed in adding social media to your branded message.  The key is to determine how to integrate social media into an organization; is centralization or decentralization the right direction?

Scott Bender, VP of Brand Sales at IGN Entertainment (moderator)

Doug Akin, Chief Engagement Officer at Mr. Youth

Nathaniel Perez, Head of Social Marketing at SapientNitro

Kurt Genden, CEO FOCi Group

Social marketing is a mindset, not necessarily a speciality, in the words of Perez.  Akin believes that social needs to be “injected at birth” to a brand message.  From a consumer behavior standpoint, online and offline behavior are related, so it makes little sense to separate online and offline marketing.  Genden adds that social is more than just marketing, be it reporting or legal, so it’s critical that social media is cross-organization.  Akin worries that siloing social media limits the ability of brands to use it for research and innovation.

Perez notes that brands usually implement social media through hub and spoke.  It usually requires a key hire and then sufficient buy-in.  Agencies, on the other hand, often work better with a more distributed approach.  It’s less who owns social than when social come to the table, according to Genden.  The key is to have social at the table from the beginning, whether it’s a centerpiece of the campaign or something that extends other areas.

Akin recommends that marketers disrupt the model (TV, print, outdoor) and look at where to advertise in a new lens.  He believes that campaigns can now engage in new areas, and money should be spent where that engagement is maximized.  Perez recognizes that social is measurable and testable in similar ways to traditional media buys, but they may be smaller and easier to implement for a smaller brand.  Genden advises using listening and social monitoring to involve consumers and shape the campaign at an early point in a campaign.

Soon companies will have no choice but to monetizing relationships, according to Perez.  At this point, an integrated social media strategy will no longer be an option.

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