I just got back from Media Post’s Search Insider Summit in Park City, Utah  where 110 leaders in the search space congregated for some drinks, skiing and in-depth search discussion. Moderating a roundtable on the impact that social is having on search, I wanted to share three takeaways from a very lively and interesting discussion:
1. Social is difficult to classify. Here are the responses when asked the “best answer” for each of the participants:
- Survey Responses:
- 31% – To me, social is about being there, being a part of the discussion
- 38% – To me, social is a media exercise, but a top of the funnel media exercise
- 31% – To me, social’s best value is increasing engagement of direct response channels
- 0% – To me, social is a direct response channel
2. Active moderation is the key to growing sustainable Social:
- You want to gain new fans only as fast as your moderation supports them
- Anecdotal stat: 95% of fan posts go answered in Facebook – a big opportunity
- Building a compelling Facebook app along with the request for permission it entails allows a community manager to get more detailed data on fans and engage in customer reactivation activities
- Breaking out statistics around “new customers” and “lifetime value” are the key to successfully valuing social
3. Areas of thinking:
- Social is often split between organizational departments – paid DR, brand, community/communications. Cross-communication is key but how is it best facilitated in divergent orgs?
- Paid ads perform better when pushing to internal Facebook pages, but they then exist for fan acquisition – how can activation exercises like sweepstakes and coupons move fans into CRM activity?
- Bob Evans is using social to build around focused keywords like “farmhouse feast” that have low CPCs in search – how can brands use search to build keyword ownership in low cost keywords and measure together with social?
- Advertisers have used focused Facebook pages like “Black Friday Sales” to build fan base and increase likes around specific concepts for later value – how can brands leverage this idea?
- Trueview ads on YouTube and pushing to a YouTube brand channel set up for remarketing can show a funnel with buying efficiencies right now (30 second views at $.21 in one example + remarketing data) – are more advertisers going to push into video?
- ZMOT introduces a way of thinking consistent with the panel note of “social as a research buy.” How can marketers best allocate budget for the important but difficult-to-measure research stage of the funnel?