It is because of this momentum that the San Francisco Bay Area Working Group of SEMPO organized its September Meet-Up last week around the topic of how best to organize social marketing campaigns. Hosted by Google at its San Francisco office, the event was simulcast live to Google's Santa Monica office, where the newly formed SEMPO-LA Working Group gathered to also participate in the event -- a SEMPO first, I think.
Event panelist Pierre Legrain, product marketing manager for monetization at Twitter, provided some of the most memorable examples of how search marketers should leverage his channel. He spoke about the recent announcements from Twitter that include Promoted Tweets, Promoted Trends, and its recently added Who to Follow feature.
Data that Legrain shared from the recent Old Spice social media phenomenon showed remarkable conversation spikes that coincided with releases of company videos on YouTube and Facebook (among other channels). One can imagine that by using Promoted Tweets or Promoted Trends, a brand could activate social conversations with promotional text and links -- which, obviously, should be highly measurable and accrue to the bottom line.
Co-panelist John Yi, Strategic Program Manager for APIs at Facebook, also showed compelling examples of campaigns that leveraged its targeted ads, Facebook Pages, and its Analytics-like tracking and reporting dashboards. A recent campaign by Starbucks, in which the coffee retailer promoted a free pastry giveaway through targeted advertising, the "Like-o-sphere," and its own well-branded page, showed once again the highly effective ways in which a brand can activate its markets through targeted engagement with audiences. According to Yi, the campaign was so successful that it increased intent to purchase by 94%.
Perhaps the most entertaining presentation came from panelist Rick Silvestrini of YouTube (owned by Google), who started with -- naturally -- a video case study showing how a brand with no traction or name recognition was able to generate millions in revenue by simply producing a highly effective video for its YouTube channel. Silvestrini really hammered home the point that YouTube - and all social media, really -- provides a level playing field. Marketing success need not be the sole domain of big brands with big budgets. As many start-up or smaller brands were represented in the audience, the message hit home. He also pointed out the obvious linkages between YouTube and Google's core search marketing offerings. Also interesting, and core to SEMPO, was his assertion that YouTube is the Web's second largest search engine -- even ahead of the Bing-Yahoo combination -- proof that understanding the "rules of engagement" in this slightly off-model search engine should be a key concern of search marketers.
As panelist Tezza Yujuico, Chief Sausage Maker (a.k.a., COO) of Athena East, a social marketing firm, pointed out, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube each represent unique opportunities to engage with audiences. But all three are also synergistic. Indeed, these three natural competitors (gathering, graciously, on Google's turf) demonstrated over and over again how each can feed into the other. YouTube is the vehicle of choice for video content producers the world over. That content is embeddable in blog posts and distributable via links on Twitter. YouTube videos are also playable in Facebook newsfeed updates and Facebook Pages. Each drives traffic, attention and engagement to the other.
Every day, according to Facebook, campaigns on its site increase search traffic by an average of 2.8x and CTRs by 50 percent.
What Yujuico really emphasized is by firmly establishing clear goals for social campaigns that complement, and indeed feed, search marketing efforts, Web marketers can effectively leverage each channel in concert. And because of constantly increasing measurability across all platforms, the ability to show precise ROI on a total Web marketing effort is nearly unparalleled.
As more and more SEM professionals are called on to broaden their responsibilities, SEMPO may want to add an additional "S" -- for "social" -- to its own title. Indeed, many in the audience already have.