SMWNYC 2011 – How Mobile-Social is Changing How Brands Connect with Consumers

Description from the Social Media Week New York schedule event listing:

2010 was the year that made the conclusion of the Digital Decade crystal clear: marketing is about the ongoing conversation, not the launch. Smart marketers today are utilizing digital to consumers on a more personal level wherever they are. Mobile and social are two emerging fields that are propelling this trend forward, as consumers use what are increasingly their favorite devices (their mobile handsets) to engage in some of their increasingly favorite digital activities (social media). Marketers who can start learning what works here can wind up well ahead of their peers and provide added value for their consumers in the process.

Mobile social media has much in common with online social media: the power of building relationships with consumers, the large and rapidly growing user base, and the potential to incorporate sharing and community functionality into every form of content. This session explores how brands are tapping mobile-social strategies to connect with consumers like never before, creating opportunities for ongoing dialogue that forge deeper relationships beyond the flight of a promotion.


  • Moderator: David Berkowitz, Sr. Director of Emerging Media & Innovation, 360i
  • Adam Mirabella, Head of Music Services, Nokia
  • Noah Elkin, Principal Analyst, eMarketer
  • Craig Davis, CEO, TextualAds
  • Tom Dorf, Director of Advertising Sales, MocoSpace – @Mocospace

Event Recap:

David Berkowitz, Senior Director of Emerging Media at 360i, is incredibly excited about the opportunities in the mobile social media space. He sees six types of mobile social media activities:

1)      Online social networks on mobile devices

2)      Sharing content via social channels

3)      Location-based check-in services

4)      Sharing and streaming content

5)      Social gaming

6)      Mobile social networks

The slides from the panel can be downloaded at

Noah Elkin, Principal Analyst at eMarketer, has seen a tremendous growth in how mobile users are utilizing social networks to communicate.  Mobile has become core to the social networking experience, and social networking has become integral to the mobile experience.  While the number of location-based service users is still small, those who use them regularly tend to be well-connected influences and an ideal target for marketers.

The motivation for users to check-in is driven by two items: finding useful information and finding deals.  Game mechanics are fairly low on the list of motivators, but they are important to get the ball rolling.  There are concerns about check-ins becoming a commodity, but ultimately they remain a database of intentions (as search has likewise been described.)

Craig Davis, CEO of TextualAds, spoke about adding context to SMS advertising and engagement in order to better engage users.  Tom Dorf, Director of Advertisitng Sales at MocoSpace (“the biggest social network that you’ve never head of”) discussed the Mobilista badge that MocoSpace developed for Nokia.

Over the next few years, the over a billion new mobile devices and over a billion new mobile uses will enter the marketplace, according to Adam Mirabella, Head of Music Services at Nokia.  As this growth occurs, he sees a few key trends

  • Communication
  • Companies will have to be socially responsible and give back to the marketplace
  • Marketers don’t own the conversation any more, the whole company has to get involved

The role of social and mobile marketers is to educate themselves and their consumers.  Being social is about sharing knowledge.  Only after this knowledge is gained and spread can the market accelerate.

While adoption of mobile social networks and technologies is growing, there are still challenges.  Some potential uses may not understand how a channel is used.  For example, many people who are comfortable with Facebook do not understand Twitter and may not be trying to.  Additionally, users may have existing perceptions, fairly or unfairly, that limits use or prevents adoption.  For example, people may not use Foursquare because they see it as just a game or because they fear an invasion of their privacy.

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