Social Media must be a Team Player

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World Cup Think Tank

This year’s World Cup in South Africa will be the first of the “social media age,” according to many. With the kick-off just around the corner, VideoEgg President Troy Young recently led the latest in a series of Think Tank events in London to discuss marketing strategies with a first team line up comprising Carat, FastWebMedia, McCann Worldgroup, Lyris and New Media Age magazine.

Among top concerns was how to engage with fans in a relevant way. While the temptation for brands may be to shoe-horn themselves into the World Cup (a point our Think Tankers thought was true of marketers feeling an obligation to use social media channels), it’s clear that fans favor information sources, affiliations and interests. That’s not to say they won’t engage with messages and content as long as the brand adds to fans’ existing conversations rather than distracting from them. Something which came through loud and clear was the need for timeliness, relevance and exclusive content over noise and needless distraction.

Measuring the impact of social media tactics on campaigns was also a big topic of consideration. Will Cooper from New Media Age identified the lack of available case studies proving positive or negative results, further hampered by a lack of consistency in measurement. There is optimism however, that the World Cup will shine a spotlight on social media successes as brands leverage their experiences to really nail the best way to use social media channels.

Who’ll win? Attendees felt on the whole that it will be the fans – not the brands – that pick the marketing champion. That may be a Maradona-esque hand-of-God moment, an amusing blooper going viral, or even a brand tactic that hits the back of the net with audiences. What’s clear however, is that social media has to be a team player rather than the only one on the field.

Thanks to our attendees for coming along and look out for our next Think Tank debate some time in September. We’d also love to hear from you in the meantime if you have any ideas on themes that are ripe for an industry debate – get in touch!

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