I just finished scanning 28 pages of tweets from OMMA Social San Francisco, which was held on Monday. If you couldn't make it, it's a great way to get a quickie synopsis of the conference. If you did,
it serves as a great reminder of all of the insightful things that were said from the stage.
There are also other observations of the conference, at other locations, like Shiv Singh's
posting on Charlene Li's presentation on the personal CPM
, and David Berkowitz'posts; he has probably provided more published content about the show than MediaPost itself.
show's chairwoman, emcee, and chief chef, here are my five main takeaways:Damn the economic torpedoes! Social media is still hot!
There we all were, on a day that dawned
with the news that tens of thousands more people were being laid off, and the conference was packed, and stayed packed all day right through cocktail hour. This, I think, speaks to the hunger that
many people in the marketing industry have to figure out what social media means to their businesses, even when budgets -- including budgets to attend conferences -- are tight.Among clients, social media is lukewarm.
Many attendees were surprised, as was I, when my quickie poll from the podium about what kinds of people were in the audience yielded only
three or four clients in a room of roughly 300. Agency people made up the vast majority of attendees. Even if my poll allows for some clients not raising their hands -- so as not to be attacked by
agencies who want their business all day -- it makes you wonder if agencies have drunk the Kool-Aid, while marketers may not know it's even being served. The personal CPM will be
one of the hottest topics of the year.
Although the idea has been around for awhile that, in a social media context, different people have different values to marketers, our panel on the
personal CPM demonstrated what a hot, and controversial, topic this will continue to be. Moderated by Altimeter Group founder Charlene Li, it touched on many issues that could have made up a full day
conference just by themselves. Those included whether influencers should be compensated by those who wish to use their influence, the increasing use of systems that grade the influence of individuals
in the social graph, and whether this kind of marketing is indeed "kinder and gentler," as Brand Networks' Jamie Tedford said, or the opposite. As one person in the audience commented, "The more you
guys talk, the more you creep me out."In some categories, advertising as we know it may go away.
One statement that seemed somewhat overlooked in all of the chatter up on
stage, was this one from keynoter Chris Curtin, vice president of digital strategy for Hewlett-Packard: "What we would like to do is dial back on our paid media" in favor of social channels. That's a
devastating statement for traditional advertising, but it also shows how powerful a marketer who is deeply immersed in social media is finding it to be.Whenever Twitter does find a
business model, it will be controversial.
The panel in which four Social Media Insider readers pitched the audience on Twitter's business panel proved just how thorny finding its business
model will be. While there are plenty of good ideas out there - ranging from users subscribing to a limited number of sponsored feeds to various takes on a paid subscription model -- our panelists
were passionate about the models they pitched, and about how advertising would destroy Twitter, on the one hand, and how a subscription model would destroy it on the other.
If the thoughts
above seem rather random, I think that underscores how many issues there are still to clear up as social media moves ever forward. Fine with me. Lots of fodder for future columns, and conferences.