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OMS kicks off with focus on social media

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San Diego—Social media was the hot topic on the opening day of the Online Marketing Summit here Tuesday, where more than 1,000 marketing executives met to discuss effective online strategies.

The conference, which features how-to advice from experts on online marketing tactics such as social media, search, website design and advertising, has had attendance double over the last two years.

During a packed opening keynote session, Mario Sundar, senior social media manager at LinkedIn, discussed the changing role of the social media manager at companies.

“There are two trajectory roles that are occurring at large companies,” he said. “On one hand, social media will be seamlessly integrated into other functions such as marketing, PR or customer support. At other companies, such as Ford and Citi, an executive social media role is emerging.”

He also discussed how companies are using LinkedIn features like custom groups to reach customers and prospects.

During another session, Chris Brogan, president-CEO of Human Business Works, said that over the last year, marketers have gone from starting social media efforts to demanding ROI on their efforts.

“Halfway through 2010, there were a lot of desperate lashings going on by the senior team, who were saying, "OK, we did it; now make my social media work.' They were Facebooking people into a corner and tweeting coupons all day, but still not getting much traction. Then desperation set in.”

He said the biggest opportunities for marketers this year lie in mobile apps that go beyond the smartphone/tablet world; using “unstructured” data from social media to close sales; and location-based advertising efforts that integrate off- and online.

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