The first part of the evening detailed the findings of the study by Beyond and M Booth which examined how consumers interact with brands online and identified the channels that influence them.
The second part of the evening was a panel discussion with myself, Rick Silvestrini from YouTube, Carla Bourque from Buddy Media, and Drake Martinet from AllThingsD (a WP.com VIP) – and moderated by David Hargreaves and Josh Rosenberg.
We covered a ton of topics and one in particular was the question of where to author your content and on which of the various services. I opened things up with the concept of using an open source / open SaaS platform such as WordPress/WordPress.com as a digital hub (hosted on your own domain), where you author all the content and then smartly push it out to your YouTube/Twitter/FB/Instagram.
I think the entire panel agreed, although we are seeing some exceptions where brands are choosing to do Facebook only campaigns for example. Later in the q&a, there was a great follow-up question on this topic of how to deal with services like FB who are trying to monetize your users and at the same time control every aspect of the platform, all the while providing an impressive social experience. It’s a tough balancing act for brands, and I think it speaks to the advantages of a digital hub strategy, where ultimately there is a home for all the content and interactions which a brand ties back in from the various social services – and it removes the grasp of a single service controlling the entire set of interactions with your audience/user base.
The evening discussion was also a kick-off of sorts to the San Francisco Social Media Week which will be held in February 2012 – and is shaping up to be a great event. I’m an advisor and helping where I can — and if you are passionate about this area and looking to get involved or interested in becoming a speaker at the event, drop me a note — we’d love to hear from you.