5 Lessons Learned from Social@Ogilvy’s Social Media Matters 2013


Last week we held Social@Ogilvy’s 2nd annual Social Media Matters conference in Hong Kong. Five hundred or so brands, platforms and marketers came together to offer insights from experience in social media. Brands like American Express, Estee Lauder. Nike, Ford, IHG, Philips and more all participated. Thomas Crampton, APAC Director of Social@Ogilvy throws his heart and soul into making a spectacular event.

Scott Monty from Ford kicked off the day and gave everyone an inside view of what his team (which includes our team) has been doing to grow a social brand. I often use a picture of Ford CEO Alan Mulally surrounded by bloggers to make a point about ‘social brands.’ There were plenty of other highlights during the day including our new Global Advocacy Study .

Still, the emotional highlight came at the end when Bethany Mota, aka Macbarbie07, showed up fans in tow. Her simple videos on makeup have snowballed into a rather nerve-wracking YouTube stardom. A simple “let’s have a tweetup” tweet from her when she landed in Hong Kong led to 1500 Hong Kong girls around 13 years-old to storm the event. Shrieks and tears from adoring fans made the marketers nervous and reminded us all of the emotional connections we can all make via social media…and the peculiarities of stardom in the social age.

Here are 5 takeaways from my experience in Hong Kong at Social Media Matters.

  1. Brands on LINE grow followers faster than anywhere and drive them to buy  Shintaro Tabata, Executive Officer at LINE, is understandably bullish on LINE’s business strength. The mobile, sms, voice, video and character-driven emoticons platform has grown fast not just in Japan, its home country, but across the region and in…Spain? That’s right. LINE has over 200 million users worldwide and over 10 million of them are in Spain. Their annual growth rate is over 460%. People send over 7 billion messages a day via the service.
    Along with WeChat and WhatsApp, LINE is on a pretty meteoric rise. And brands are taking notice and jumping on board the platform. Mr. Tabata-san eschewed the complex metrics of social media and pointed out that LINE drives people in-store to buy. Lawson’s, the retailer, has over 10M fans on LINE and has driven over 500K (5%) of them into store to buy. That’s pretty powerful.

  1. Social CRM is as complicated as we think but hugely promising 
    Lucy McCabe from OgilvyOne shared a real view of social CRM in action. What began as bold theory – how to connect customer and social data to drive sales and advocacy – is now playing out in programs for Nestlé and other brands. Nestlé’s Choa Ma Tuan program in China is a great example. Hannelore Grams from Nestel shared about the community for pregnant moms in China that helps them not only get much-needed information on motherhood but also connects them with ‘sisters’ – other women looking to support peers when true siblings in a one child-state are hard to come by.

    More and more marketers are putting hard value on advocacy. That means they can assess the value not just of paying customers but of advocates and the sweet spot of customers who are advocates. Still, combining data sources like this and ending up with a cost effective way to drive advocacy and re-purchase is complex. More to come.
  1. Brands who put a value against real advocacy have an edge 
    Barbara Iliopoulos from IHG knows how to value advocacy. She knows that positive mentions and reviews online lead to a boost in revenue – an increase of positive sentiment by 1% in hotel reviews equals 1.42% increase in rooms revenue. She knows that guests pay 20% more for hotels with 4-5 star reviews. Hard numbers that prove the value of advocacy. I love them. They support our own Global Advocacy Study which we revealed at the event

  1. Brands who have clear business-related metrics always seem more serene 
    Both American Express and Estee Lauder have a refreshingly simple approach to strategy. They simply stay focused on what drives hard business metrics. For Carl Barkey, Global Head of Social Media and Customer Experience, that means driving brand re-appraisal, acquisition of new card members, and increasing spend.
    Pierre Abadie Lacourtoisie, Regional Director, Digital and Online, Estée Lauder had a similar message about how social builds their brand – balancing the needs of luxury and exclusivity with the realities of a more open, accessible platform.
    Despite this tension and the obvious tension of those of us proving the value of social every day, project-by-project, these two guys seemed more relaxed knowing their efforts were aligned with accepted business goals.
  1. China is multi-SNS and multi-time 
    If you look at daily usage between PC and mobile and across at least the top 3 social services – Sina Weibo, RenRen and WeChat – you quickly see the need from a multi-platform approach. People may start the day on Weibo via smartphone but they shift to RenRen via PC as the day continues.
    WeChat usage perks up midday.
    Alvin Cheng CMO from RenRen believes in cross-screen integration and in programming for these times of day. He knows from his own research that not only do Chinese internet users use different devices and sns platforms at different times, they will also use their smartphones sitting in front of their PC like the Google Chrome implementation around World Wide Maze.