“From Listening to Activation”: a Conversation at Converseon with Crepes 2/4/10

dani1About this Social Media Week Guest Blogger: Dani Klein is Founder and Blogger at YeahThatsKosher.com, Founder/Consultant at SocialCity Marketing and Social Media Director at StandWithUs. You can follow Dani on Twitter @YeahThatsKosher.

Today’s #SMWNYC event for me was the most insightful event of the week. It was held at the Converseon offices in Midtown, which hosted an intimate crowd, albeit a packed room, enjoying breakfast crepes, freshly squeezed OJ, and Mimosas. Why couldn’t all of Social Media Week be this tasty (& educational)?

The event was moderated by Converseon’s CEO: Rob Key

On the panel were 3 well-informed & knowledgeable digital marketing professionals who had much to share:

Jon Burg – Emerging Channels Specialist at Digitas (@jonburg)
Craig Daitch – SVP of Activation at Converseon (@cdny)
Andy Von Kennel – SVP Growth Director at Rapp (@avkthinks)

Rob kicked off the event by asking us to “stop using the term ‘social media’ (would defeat the purpose within Social Media Week) since it is a limiting term when discussing it as a business solution.” “The next steps in social media won’t be about the next Twitter account or viral video.” It’s beyond that. Rob introduced us to Converseon, the agency, which leads the way in Social Media listening tools and metrics.

The purpose of the panel was to discuss listening while participating in social media campaigns – something not discussed at the other #SMW events I attended this week. The overall concept of the panelists discussion was to think of social media as a listening tool. By listening, we can gather insights into brand perception, brand awareness, be able to provide appropriate customer service, etc.

Let’s hear from the panelists…

Listening & Challenges
Jon – brand marketers need to be listening and engaging an active vocal audience. Get to know your audience as people / as human beings. This is the first time that we can listen to what millions of people are doing and saying. Social media gives us those tools.

Andy – social media allows us to get specific guidance from listening for products and branding.

Jon – the challenge with our clients is getting out of the perception & expectation that social can do everything. It is not the end all and be all. The social fluency of your client will affect how you are able to run your campaign, or your campaign in general.

Craig – another challenge today is that CMOs have little time to prove results. We live in a world of accountability – it is no longer about the checklist anymore (do we have a Facebook & Twitter acct?).

Rob – Social Media ROI is like dark matter in the universe.

Jon – there are different ROI models depending on the agency. We’re trying to remove “media” from “social media” –> different forms of ROI will come together.
Today, we can demonstrate that social media does things, but we don’t have the full picture yet. What agencies claim they can do, they often can’t.
It’s not about technology. It is about the insights & value the social media intelligence brings to the company. The technology is just the tool or platform to get us there.

Craig – (agrees) it is not technology, but the human intelligence behind it. In social, human power trumps technology.

Andy – (also agreeing) understanding sentiment takes a human element.

Jon – sentiment is a metric, but it doesn’t necessarily give insight.
Twitter is disposable. It is only valuable if RT’d or blogged about (which has a longer lasting affect).

“The social media space is still very new, the industry is still taking shape.”

Social Media Intelligence
Andy – we were able to use social media with a client to figure price and a new flavor. Social media was used as a means to do market research.

Jon – social media intelligence helps brands define the company components and how we work with people.
–> “The Web is the world’s largest focus group”

Craig – Consumers don’t care what position you hold within the company, they just want to get what they want. Social media professionals can be on the clock 24/7. Consumers are agnostic to your position.

Rob – we (agencies) need to talk about (social media as) business solutions & what social media listening can do to help their company. We need to talk about what social media does and stop talking about what it is.

Jon – an important question to ask is: How do we bring social media to your business, and how do we bring your business to social media?


Great questions were asked, and of all the events I had to attend this week, this one gave me the most insight into ways marketers need to be approaching their clients concerning social media as a tool.

I will be posting videos of the event shortly.

Also, shout out to @AmandaRykoff who also Tweeted some great quotes from this event.