Seth Grimes, Alta Plana Corp (moderator)
Loic Le Meur, Seesmic
Scott Spaulding, Technorati
Cory Hartlen, Radian6
Giles Palmer, Brandwatch
To preface the discussion of social media monitoring, Grimes asked the panel to discuss the future of social media. Hartlen foresees an advance of technologies (in line with his love of science fiction), and is interested in seeing what effect nano-computing and holography will have. Spaulding spoke from his media experience, and has seen how the evolution of social media is accelerating. He related a story for a holding company head that every marketing effort in 2011 will include a social component.
Le Meur sees the next big wave to be around social commerce, in a way that hasn’t yet been achieved. He believes that social media will move from being defined by clicks and retweets to defined by leads and sales. He expects social media to be the center of lead generation. Palmer has three predictions. First, traditional and social media will converge into a blended model. Second, he sees privacy to be a growing emphasis, referencing Eric Schmidt’s comments on young adults changing their name. Third, he sees social media moving even more from the desktop to mobile devices.
Grimes followed Le Meur’s point, and asked the panel about a move to social media-driven sales. Spaulding is seeing it gain speed, although it’s still in his infancy. In order to track the effect, he finds that it has to be married into a rich direct response advertisement. Le Meur sees it less as a question of tools than a people issue. In regard to scale, he referenced Zynga’s growth in social gaming. Growth to scale is going to require larger teams to supply enough feedback.
Palmer thinks that social media, social data, and social commerce is good now, but will be really great in a year or two. Hartlen agrees, and sees universal adoption of social dashboards that supports communication and monitoring. Grimes referenced the classic Henry Ford anecdote about building a faster horse, and he suggested that there is likely to be a disruptive force in the upcoming years that hasn’t been predicted by the panel.
To wrap up the panel, Grimes asked the panelists to sum up their thoughts in a few words:
- Palmer: integration, local, ROI, segmentation
- Hartley: geo, analytics integration, mobile
- Spaulding: adoption of brands by bloggers
- Le Meur: all employees will be responsible for monitoring