It’s the tail end of Advertising Week in New York. I have attended a handful of sessions in person, and have watched a bunch online. I highly recommend taking some time out of your day to watch the pre-recorded mobile sessions.
This morning I attended Wired’s Social Media Summit. It was designed to be an hour-long session about social media innovation through the eyes of sector thought leaders. It turned in to something much different.
The panelists included agency CEOs and senior executives. Wired’s NY Bureau Chief served as the session’s moderator. He certainly fueled an active discussion, but one that saw the panelists argue with one another. The panel devolved in to a philosophical look at what social media is and isn’t. The moderator threw gas on the fire by declaring that advertisers seek to “take advantage of” social network users. It’s safe to say that this wasn’t a comment warmly received by the panelists.
While the Chief Evangelist from social analytics company MicroStrategy used his spot on the panel to pitch his product, other panelists, including Y&R’s Global Chief Executive, tried to focus the conversation on enriching the user experience. In my mind, that should have been the focus of the entire session.
The days of brands inserting themselves into our social streams, using Facebook as a broadcast channel, are giving way to a framework that champions value-added brand engagements. It’s no longer about just “liking a brand.” It’s about weaving a brand into a user’s digital and physical lives, such that an enriching experience defines the engagement.