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The Annual Habari Media Symposium 2010

The Annual Habari Media Symposium 2010

The second day of the symposium has opened with Trevor Johnson  (Head of Strategy and Planning, Facebook EMEA). His phenomenal presentation on the importance of understanding social media and Facebook and it’s relevance to the South African market – clearly emphasized the keen interest that Facebook has expressed in being heavily involved in making the application more relevant to the African market and it’s desire to co-operate with cellular brands to enable this initiative to be a success.  He further stressed that Facebook prefers to be acknowledged as an online provider and not a social media platform. Johnson highlighted the influence that Facebook has in the digital landscape via statistics such as 200 million people logging into Facebook  on a daily basis with  100 million people utilising their  mobile devices to engage with the site.  Johnson highlighted that you have to make the user engagement an experience of value. Johnson advised that it’s time to think differently instead of relying on traditional media metrics to try and define the value of campaigns in the social media space. 

Angus Robinson (Founder of Brandsh Media) in his presentation relayed how brands are utilising social media, highlighting how cellphone companies are integrating social media within their application strategies.  He also addressed the attributes of openness, contribution and vulnerability of brands within social media. Robinson also discussed the way brands should  gear themselves up for addressing briefs that require social media as part of their campaigns.  Content augmentation and community functionality were areas that he highlighted to note when working on social media campaigns – he stressed the value in considering the mindset of the user when structuring social media campaigns.  Robinson also presented case studies emphasizing the tidal wave of social media has arrived and agreed with the statement made by the franchise MacDonalds – “The head of your social media strategy is your customer”.   Robinson stressed the importance of taking care of the user beyond their action of a click and that it would be beneficial for one should have an intimate understanding  of the principles of the Conversation Prism (by Brian Solis) that would guide companies in humanizing their brands within the social media communities – thereby bolstering perception of the brand within the social media space. He also punted the benefits of social media releases.  Robinson also touched on the practice of Primal branding which encompasses points such as the creation story, beliefs, icons, rituals, non-believers, language, leader.

In terms of identifying additional opportunities for social media – Robinson recommended Sports sponsorship as a favourable route to explore. Johnson further reiterated the importance of crowdsourcing being a powerful mechanism for  knowledge-sharing in the social media space.

Andy Ellis and Adam Whitehouse, Creative directors at Stonewall+ The Digital Marketing Agency delighted the audience with the analogy of The Web in Wonderland.  They colourfully described how they take brand stories and translate them online. They further elaborated on how important it is for a brand to understand it’s story  and know how to skillfully communicate it online- meeting the needs of their target audience.  They explored the positivity of In the box thinking and brainstorming works with the current parameters that exist for translating stories  in the online space.

This symposium has been a worthwhile event and we wait in excitement for the next one in 2011!

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