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Published May 30th 2012

Highlights From iStrategy: Social Media Expertise

Stamford Bridge was the focus of a giant celebration last week, as fans everywhere heralded in the dawn of a new era. That’s right, we’re talking about iStrategy’s social media conference, held in the ground of some insignificant sports team that no-one’s ever heard of, which was held on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Well, putting jokes and Champions League trophies aside, the iStrategy conference was genuinely a highlight of the week in social media, as it saw big names from across the industry contribute to a hive of expertise.

Here’s a couple of the best talks from the event:

More than just a résumé: Maximizing LinkedIn for social media marketing

Neal Schaffer of Windmill marketing was on hand to discuss the merit in leveraging LinkedIn for a variety of uses.

He began by outlining the huge stats in the network’s favour.

  • Over 14% of Brits are on LinkedIn, which is more like 25% when you exclude children
  • 66% of LinkedIn users are male
  • Over 1/3 earn over £50,000 a year

He also showed some figures illustrating how LinkedIn has a much higher rate of lead generation over its main rivals, Twitter and Facebook, supposedly around 2% higher at 2.7%.

Making the most of the opportunities that LinkedIn presents then, was largely focused around groups and personal profiles. Neal’s advice was to include as many appropriate keywords in your profile as you can, and to tailor your location to where you want to be considered for, rather than where you may literally be.

The SEO of LinkedIn, rather the ability for your personal or company profile to be searched for within the site’s many search facilities, is central to increasing the visibility of you and your brand. Getting recommendation on not just your personal and company pages, but also your individual products, is also key.

Groups, and the ’answers’ features within them, are the best way of getting your message across. They’re excellent for establishing the owners and major contributors as thought-leaders, and are a superb hub at finding prospects as the communities are so specialist.

Neal’s final tip was to avoid all salesy techniques in groups. You won’t be respected or trusted as an expert if you’re constantly trying to sell directly all the time. The talk also featured some case studies and further metrics to confirm his message.

Neal was also totally on the right track when he said that the thing that excited him most in digital/social was ‘the growing number/increased sophistication of tools to help social media marketers better measure and analyse results’. Too right.

Taking a strategic approach to making social media a business value-add

Wolfstar PR took the stage later in the day to discuss how they used social at the strategy level, and went far beyond just the likes and followers-type philosophy.

Will McIntyre, the director of the company, discussed how a strategic approach to employing digital insight has helped them foster a fully social marketing campaign around Sony’s Xperia product.

Coming from a PR background in which the only way of measurement was through editorial coverage, Will explains how there are much greater ways of measurement that simple social media engagement metrics.

Heavily pivoting the talk around the Xperia campaign, he describes how Wolfstar identified a suite of influential bloggers in the industry (gaming) and carefully courted them to become brand advocates. The next steps were to build a portal around the product, centralising all content into one hub.

This allowed Wolfstar total control of the content, with over 200 titles using the portal for as the press release channel. Using social media to broadcast your message yourself is all well and good, but Wolfstar illustrate how, by using the nurtured network of influencers, the news, hype and other messaging can be communicated more organically.

Brandwatch and the iPitch

If you were lucky enough to have been at iStrategy this week, you’d have also had the chance to watch the Dragons Den-based iPitch talk, which pitched five companies against each other in a bid to convince the judges that their company was the best, under strict time conditions.

We made a fun video to show how social media monitoring can cut through the noise, something you can find out for yourself, by requesting a demo.


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