I have to admit I was a bit late in arriving to this year’s Social Media Summit, organized by Romanian Biz magazine (at Howard Johnson, on February 19th), so my take on the event is going to be based on the presentations that I took part at.
My first session started with Adela Parvu’s speech and I was right on time to catch Dana Paun (blogger – thecolorstalker.com). Although a little bit shy at the beginning, she did a really good job in entertaining us with a good and interesting presentation and marked, for me, the start of a great event.
I must confess that I usually get a little bit bored at this type of events, probably because, during my career, I had the opportunity to witness many great speeches and go to several top key international events. Therefore, I am pretty hard to be pleased. During the last years, I had to downsize my expectations, especially when it came to Romanian events, so imagine my surprise when I didn’t realize when the time passed and the day ended.
The highlights for me were Catalin Dobre from McCann Erickson, Vali Petcu (Zoso.ro) and Cristian Manafu – and not necessarily in the written order. They managed to entertain us in the real sense of the word, and even if most of the information was a total novelty, we were surprised and curious to see their presentations unfolding.
Vali Petcu, probably the most notorious Romanian blogger (known to everyone as Zoso – which is the name of his blog) focused his presentation around what types of news are interesting and generate noise on social media platforms in Romania. He also tried to explain why the most stupid articles are the ones gathering the most views in social media (ex: Danone and the vaginal bacteria, the death caused by Coca-Cola or Red Bull, Ponta – the killer) and how can this trend be stopped.
“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing”, Vali said, quoting Edmund Burke. In other words, we could stop sharing stupid articles just by documenting and informing ourselves on the subject and really reading it, not just pressing the share button after only skipping through the title and the lead.
But what should you do when you are at the other side of the problem and you represent the company in question? Vali Petcu believes that the only solution is to address the problem right away and give an answer fast. The more graphic it is, the better. In his opinion, the best answer would be a video showing how things really happen, as people believe in what they see and hear.
It was then Catalin Dobre’s (Executive Creative Director McCann Erickson) turn to entertain us. He showed and explained to us how his agency managed to create such a huge media buzz on several campaigns made during the last few years, some of which brought them international recognition and important awards (Rom – Romanians are smart, Bucharest not Budapest, The Big Digital Union; Vodafone – Ghita The Shepard). He took us behind the scenes of every campaign, showing us how each of them goes beyond a TV spot, being more a conversation with the target.
“Some of the ideas were very risky. You, as an agency, launch an idea and you have to be ready to improvize, because you will never know where the campaign might take you”, said Catalin Dobre.
The most important lessons to remember when involved in a social media campaign:
- be ready to react and take advantage of the opportunies that offer you
- pay attention to what people are saying in social media about your campaign, what ideas they have and how you can implement them into the campaign
- be ready to “collect” partners along the way (people, brands, etc.)
- be real! (people want real contact, a real story)
- it is awesome if you have haters!
If the presentations so far were more about how to and study cases, Mugur Patrascu (Managing Partner iLeo) decided to share with us which are clients’ expectations of social media and summed that up in two words: “pure magic”. He believes that only 20 % of clients and agencies in Romania really know how to use the social media channels. All of them want magic, but most of the times have no idea how to even get close to it. There is a chance though, as in the last years the criteria is moving towards performance, also in Romania. But how can you achieve it? When dealing with social media, Patrascu says one should know that:
- Social is not the objective, but the meaning
- Social is not only Facebook
- Your social brand is different than you TV brand.
- Social is about a cultural connection.
You have to understand the medium, you have to have commitment, because 2014 is the year of evaluation how good you understand the social media. Social is about people, platforms and language.
To better help the client understand the social media language, Patrascu “translated” some real life moments into what they really mean.
- “It costs money” = You have no charisma
- “It doesn’t help me with my initiatives” = You have no portofolio strategy
- “I have no response” = You have no commitment
Only when you truly understand all of the above and only then magic Happens.
After a drop of happiness with Anca Nuta (Head of Identity and Communication UniCredit Tiriac Bank), statistics in Facebook in 2013 with Catalin Tenita (Managing Partner TreeWorks) and what is new on Facebook with Alex Negrea (Head of Facebook Department Spada), the day ended with a beautiful, inspired and with a great sense of humor presentation offered by Cristian Manafu (social media trainer, consultant, blogger).
And what I’ve learned is as follows:
- The Facebook user is not your friend
- He is not stupid and you should treat him like you treat your wife ! (be ready to surprise him from time to time; offer him gifts, competitions; don’t forget to call her when you promise to do so; communicate!; spend time appart; remember the beginning of the relationship from time to time; don’t try to change him into something he is not; show him you appreciate what he does; thank him)
- And most of all: if it doesn’t work out, try a counselor!
I will end my social media summit experience with a study realized by Biz, during 15th of January and 15th of February, with 50 PR & communication agencies and regarding the most used bloggers in campaigns during 2013. The top is as follows:
- Victor Kapra
- Cristian Manafu
- Andreea Ibaka
- Cristina Bazavan
- Radu Dumitru
- Simona Tache
- Cabral Ibaka
- Vlad Petreanu