Saturday I attended SOCON10 which was hosted at Kennesaw State University’s Center for Sustainable Journalism. The sold out event attracted several hundred social media enthusiasts ready to network, hear keynote speakers and attend breakout sessions.
The morning consisted of back to back keynotes followed by lunch at KSU’s new “green” dining hall The Commons and then two breakout sessions for the afternoon.
First keynote was Carol Kruse, the Vice President of Global Interactive Marketing for The Coca-Cola Company. She mentioned that consumer generated content is much more effective than “corporate” generated content. So at Coke they encourage consumers to generate content in the form of photos and videos and post onto Coke’s Facebook fan pages. Often times launching promotion contests like “Show us where you drank your last Coke” to encourage participation by consumers. Carol says Facebook has been the most effective platform for Coke. And one lesson they have learned is that it’s better to just use the free features of Facebook versus creating custom Facebook apps. Notable quotes from Carol’s talk were “Fish where the fish are…the essence of social media” and “Facebook is the worlds 3rd largest country after China and India.”
The mornings second keynote was by Dan Siroker who left Google where he was the Chrome Project Lead to become Director of Analytics for the Obama Campaign. He talked about how they used social media to attract donors to raise over $500 million for the campaign. His emphasis was on applying analytics and experimentation using multivariate analysis and A/B split testing on web sites, which he did for the Obama sites to dramatically increase donor contributions. He was also asked by the Clinton Bush Hatti Fund for similar assistance with their donor site.
Dan’s presentation included discussion of five lessons learned from working on the campaign.
1. Define quantifiable success metrics.
2. Question assumptions.
3. Divide and conquer.
4. Take advantage of circumstances.
5. Always be optimizing.
Now Dan is starting a new company called Optimizely.com which provides tools for web site analysis and optimization. Doing some research I also found Google Website Optimizer which seems to also perform multivariate and AB switch exierimentation testing for web sites.
After lunch there were way too many breakout sessions from which to choose and I could only attend two. After a difficult choice my first breakout was Delivering Content Through Social Media – What works best for your message” by Kristin Parrish of Ogilvy Public Relations.
My second breakout of the afternoon was “Are You Crazy? Launching a Web Startup with 3 People, No Money and a Good Idea. ” by the three co-founders of the startup Regator.