Tweets and Likes to Sales and Dollars?

Oh, hello!  Remember last week when I told you about the CMA social media conference Colin and I attended in Toronto?  It was an amazing conference full of useful information.  In case you didn’t read, it was all about whether or not social media is good for businesses.  Here’s the thing: when going over the conference in my head, I realized that we were never really given a solid answer.  So, is social media good for businesses?

Some companies are banking on social media as a great way to get a buzz out there.  That buzz should really be bringing in the dollars right?  Recently, while reading Fast Company, I came across an article that tackled the exact same question.  Do “likes” and retweets add up to sales?

 Take Audi, for example.  With approximately 3 million “engaged” fans, Audi has become the most “engaging” entity in the vast expanse of Facebook.  That’s right.  Audi has surpassed the fan power of Justin Bieber.   Audi has even taken the next step in the world of advertising and social media.  During the SuperBowl, they revealed the first ever television ad with an official Twitter hashtag (#ProgressIs) being flashed on the screen.  The response was huge.

The hashtag went viral on Twitter and the “best tweet” containing the hashtag won an amazing trip to California to test drive Audis and have $25,000 donated to the charity of their choice (way to go @jetsetbrunette!  Jealous!) This is all well and good, but am I the only one who’s put two and two together?  Isn’t this costing Audi a lot more money than it’s making them?  Is all this online attention actually inspiring anyone to jump up and buy an Audi?

Doug Clark, Audi of America’s general manager for social media and customer engagement has the answer.  “The equation to measure that doesn’t exist.”

This is applicable to pretty much any ad we see in the social media scope.  Was it the ad you saw on the sidebar of Facebook a month ago that made you buy that pack of Excel?  Or maybe you just remembered that adorable doughnut on their TV spots.  Who knows?

According to Fast Company, funding for social media advertising is often pulled from the pile of cash labeled “experimental”.  But, when you think about it, pretty much all forms of advertising started out as a bit of an experiment.  Who knew telling people why products were “so great” on television would actually lead to sales?  In this crazy world we call the Ad-Game, social media advertising has clearly become the next big step forward, but it could just be a layover on the way to something bigger and better.  As of right now, nobody knows.  That’s what makes the future so exciting!

Is Social Media Good for Business?

Hello again, gentle readers!  It’s been ages!  How are things?  Have you been well?  We’ve been very well.  Thanks for asking.  We’re quite the busy bunch over here, at Chester + Company.  Summer is in full tilt, but that hasn’t stopped us from keeping our noses to the grindstone.  Did I mention there was a conference in Toronto?

On June 23rd, on a beautiful sunny morning in downtown Toronto, Colin Stinson and I ventured to the Allstream Centre for an exciting Canadian Marketing Association (CMA) conference asking “Is Social Media Good for Business?”

The line up of speakers was, as might be expected from the CMA, diverse, knowledgeable and eager to interact with the delegates.  Presentations topics included  Psychology of the Social Shopper, Measuring Emotional Response – Attaching Dollars to Sentiment Analysis, Monetizing Social and its Impact on Business today.

Vida Killian, Category Manager at Starbucks Canada, was a star speaker.  She had big shoes to fill, being the first of many presenters.  The word amazing comes to mind.  If you doubt the Starbucks brand power, or their efforts to communicate with their customers, Killian would convert even the most cynical of non-believers.

Something very different from other CMA conferences that I’ve attended were the interactive sessions.  Rather than just hearing about the practices, groups were assigned fictional tasks to take on and actually execute.  For example, Alfredo Tan, of Facebook Canada, asked us to design online campaigns for a new lip-gloss brand.  In a mere half hour!  It was a challenge, but a welcome change, and made for a refreshingly non-traditional conference setting.

What better way to showcase the value of social media, a non-traditional marketing tool, than hosting a non-traditional and cutting edge conference?  What I mean by this is that social media is not actually a direct tool of sales or marketing, but as a way of connecting people to each other and to a product.  Social media is all about people and our relationships.

This conference feels like a step towards the future of the modern business conferences.  Kudos to the Canadian Marketing Association, and to all speakers.  As usual, we look forward to another interesting experience to come with the CMA.



The Atlantic Canadian Marketing Conference

When someone brings together industry powerhouses like Facebook’s Alfredo Tan, and Coca-Cola’s Scott Cuppari, you know it’s going to be an interesting day, to say the least.  Yesterday at the Atlantic Canadian Marketing Conference, the CMA did just that.

At first glance at the program of speakers, it was no wonder the day was scheduled to last 8 hours.  Promptly at 9 am Steve Levy, of Ipsos-Reid took the stage with an extremely engaging presentation about consumer research and trends in the digital market.  Although digital marketing can sound a bit little dry, Levy gave a fantastic lecture covering a wide range of topics from television to twitter.  The day really started with a bang.

When Steve Cuppari was introduced he seemed like any other man.  Average build, average height.  There was actually nothing average about him.  Clearly a public speaking veteran, Cuppari’s speech about snap media and mobile marketing instantly had the audience’s ears wide open.  Sharing his knowledge of sports, movies, video games and augmented reality as tools in marketing while keeping us laughing was a sure bet for success on the stage.

With the late afternoon came the heaviest hitter.  Alfredo Tan, the Senior Director of Facebook Canada.  Man, oh man was he ever a heavy hitter!  The moment that man walked on stage, I can guarantee there wasn’t a single person in the room that was not completely captivated by his charismatic presence.  His presentation focused on the power of social media, and how friends influence friends.  Tan proved that the age-old strategy of word of mouth marketing is still alive and flourishing and can be brought into the digital world.   One of his most powerful statements was that if nobody is talking about you in the digital world, is anybody talking about you in the real world?

The gap between the real world and the digital world is shrinking everyday.  Hearing insights from some of the experts at the forefront of the Canadian digital marketing industry was an unbelievable opportunity, and I am positive I’m not the only one waiting with bated breath to see what the next year, and the future holds.