Our first session of the Rising Voice in Social Media kicked off yesterday. , Associate Director – Social Media at Tamar (and hardcore Eva Longoria Parker fan) talked our delegates through how to get the most out of blogging and Twitter, with some case studies and best practice examples.
By Tony Effik, chief strategy officer, Publicis Modem
(Not necessarily the loudest!) Do you, like me, sometimes tire of all the noise in social media? As a group dedicated to the promotion of social media, we’re actually faced with quite a dilemma. Do we add to the hyperbole surrounding the discipline, while the substance suffers, or do we work together to contribute to a genuine future for social media? I think we’re all agreed on the latter.
Which is why we’ve launched an initiative that’s purely dedicated to nurturing new talent – a practitioner programme for new starters, cutting through the hype and educating them about the realities of social media. You can book here to be a part of it, (unless places have been booked up already!)
As mentioned in my interview with the IAB previously, we have now set up the framework for the practitioner course, a first for the SMC council, starting on 19th April. The programme will cover key areas such as the definitions of social media, challenges of measurement, how to evaluate a campaign, measuring the importance of online engagement, brand and reputation management, social media display-planning and buying, legal regulations and privacy issues. The course will be spread over a series of five sessions all lasting 2 hours each, with a graduation (party!) on 12 August.
The main reason for creating this credential is because we believe as a council that it is vital to support young talent within social media in order for the business to mature and go from strength to strength. Our core objective in creating this course is to ‘turn the inexperienced into real experts within the social media space’ providing them with a clear perspective of what it’s really like to work within this side of the industry. Various IAB SMC members such as Tamar, RMM, We Are Social and have joined forces to produce a diverse curriculum for the delegates in order to achieve this.
Throughout the course the attendees will be expected to complete work outside the class room as well as blog about their learning process. Those delegates that complete the certificate will be awarded with a ‘Rising Voice in Social Media’ badge to showcase on their own blog once they have graduated.
This is a presentation that I gave at the IAB Retail Forum (other presentations only available for IAB members). It gives an overview of the best and worst in class in this space as well as my view of the future of retail and social media.
One of my most endearing traits is consistently wanting to annoy the hell out of people, so hopefully the entire time you’re reading this you’ll have the ABBA song floating around your head and with any luck it will stay there of the rest of the day.
Now that’s the pleasantries out of the way… At the IAB we’re always eager to get our heads around the roles of ‘paid for’ and ‘earned’ media, and the relationship (sometimes conflict) between the two. Last year we hosted a debate on whether social media should be paid for, and I’m often asked why as the ‘Internet Advertising Bureau’ we discuss WOM at all. Well the IAB will be keeping its name for now but we’re always at pains to stress that as a trade body for digital marketing, we’re totally format agnostic – if it’s relevant for brands, then it’s relevant for us. In fact, we’ve been banging on about SEO for years and no one’s batted an eyelid, but with social media getting the lion’s share of attention at the moment, it’s a question that’s regularly posed.
With my background in PR, in fact my heart and head lie much more with the earned side of online communications – relationship building, researching, putting the time in to get to know your audience and impressing them with tailored messaging and content relevant to their interests. Getting a namecheck or coverage as a result of all your hard work is the result that PR practitioners yearn for, and I believe that not everyone has the ability to achieve it. But despite my PR snobbery, in this post I’ve decided to talk about the industry’s bread and butter: the advertising dollars that get ploughed into online making it the largest UK marketing medium, and where this dirty cash fits within the social media landscape (do you have THAT song going round your head now as well?)