Sep 2010

The Social Media World Forum Asia is one of the few big Social Media conferences in Singapore and even in Asia. According some past attendees, the conference size has doubled since last year, which is good new for conference organisers, UK based Sixdegrees and the social media industry.

There were speakers from Media Agencies like Blugrapes and Pinstorm, from the client side like BMW and NTUC FairPrice, and also technology developers like Amazon Web Services (I had no idea Amazon had a techie arm, but smart move) and who could forget, Facebook (a big let down that the speaker didn’t mention any date when Facebook Places would be launched in Asia).

As you read from Rachit’s last post, social media is big and it’s getting bigger. Most of the cutting edge social media (and more commonly referred to) examples are coming from the US and Europe. From the case studies that were mentioned, like Toys R’ Us integrating video and NTUC FairPrice with their community interaction tactics where simple and rudimentary but believable because they were local case studies. A case study that stood out for me was the BMW ‘Joy is ____ ‘ campaign.

If I had to gripe about something, it would be the panel discussions. There were a few ‘interactive’ panel discussions…which weren’t very interactive at all (though people didn’t seem to mind). I didn’t really hear anything valuable coming from those speaker, perhaps because the topics were very ad-hoc. The speakers seem to ramble on at times and it was challenging to catch anything salient.

Complaints aside, the two speakers that stood out for me were Asia Pacific’s shining star Thomas Crampton from 360 Digital Influence (of  Ogilvy). The guy, in my opinion, has the ‘best job in the world': talk about social media at conferences, wow the audience, get business and delegate all that stuff to his team, repeat.

I enjoyed looking at statistics of Asia’s social media usage. In Asia, content creation is strong, women like to share information, and men are ‘king’ of downloading information (you fill in the details). Korea and Taiwan are big on gaming networks, Twitter is big in Indonesia largely because the price of mobile internet is cheaper than home broadband. Singapore is big on video consumption. I think it’s really important as a trainer and consultant to keep on top of the industry trends, so Thomas’s presentation was an encouragement to do that.

The second point that stuck with me was from Freddie Laker from Sapient who shared his predictions for future trends in social media. He had many great points and which I think can be summed up into this: Influence and Relevance will become more important in the future. Your social profile (your likes, hobbies) and your network (what your friends like) will influence search rankings (Google already has blog and twitter listings) even more than before. Being relevant both location-wise (mobile / location-based platforms) and to who (Open Graph) will become paramount for brands to effectively connect to consumers in the future.

To quote Freddie, “As marketers our mission is to create relevancy for our clients and brands. What do you think?


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