Although the presenters were interesting, engaging and expert at the Dublin Web Summit last Friday, they were not the best thing about the event. It was an absolute pleasure to be surrounded by positivity and creative thinking at every turn. Not one of the dozens of people I spoke with whined or complained about the government or the economy; it was all new ideas, possibilities, innovation. That respite from doom and gloom alone made attending worthwhile.

That said, there was a lot of interesting information in the Social Media stream that I attended. Here are my favourites:

Most Devious

Rick Kelley of Facebook outlined how Nike’s clever World Cup viral was so successful that their exposure and profile rivalled that of official paid sponsors. Their games and videos on Facebook garnered:

2,500,000,000 views
3,000,000 likes
6,400,000 video plays
169,000,000 impressions

Very clever of Nike, and shows what can be done with a little imagination.

Most Obvious

Like common sense, which is alarmingly uncommon, we can sometimes be blinkered about the most obvious building blocks of a marketing strategy. The neat example from the excellent Vanessa Fox of Nine by Blue was research she conducted for the UN, whose target keywords were their preferred terminology of “climate change”, when their target market were searching for the less PC “global warming”. The UN now has website sections targeting the latter, with improved traffic to the site.

So, obvious but bears repeating: put yourself in your target market’s shoes.

Most Comforting

Joe Cosgrave, the analytical wunderkind behind Joe’s SEO, had reassuring news: even bad reviews improve search engine ranking. As online reviews are a big concern for many clients in the tourism sector, this silver lining is heartening.

Most Alliterative

This coveted accolade has to go to the “C”-obsessed Conor Lynch of Connector. As well as fabulously alliterative, his 10-step social media strategy framework really covers all bases and is a clear checklist clever creatives could copy:

– Context
– Consumers
– Community
– Concepts
– Collaboration
– Content
– Connections
– Conversation
– Contagious
– Conversion

Most Clever

The question of “monetisation” arose – and was fudged – several times during the event. Then Joe Fernandez of Klout spoke without slides and captivated the crowd with his description of their business model. I was already aware that Klout measured online influence: Oprah Winfrey’s 4.5m+ followers vs. 10 following, among other things, gives her a clout of 65. I imagined that they had a vague notion of monetising this in future, like so many others.

Klout’s clever approach is inspirational. They identify influencers in specific areas through their semantic analysis of social media. This data is hugely valuable to an unlimited range of businesses: a 21st Century take on the ‘brand ambassador’ concept – “The Joneses” online and without the creepiness.

Klout’s clients include hotel chains, allowing them to pull out the stops for identified influencers, and an airline that invited influencers in their industry on a new route.

Most Challenging

David Sowerby of Straker provided stark but fascinating details on Internet use in different languages and the costs associated with translation and localisation:

72% of people consume media and information only in their local language
73% search only in their local language

I was happy to have confirmation of my own tests of various online translators in Spanish and French: Google Translate gives the best results.

Most Reassuring

It was encouraging that both Jack Dorsey of Twitter and Niklas Zennstrom of Skype said that failing at earlier ventures contributed to their current success. Failing and learning from it was viewed as a positive for someone they might hire or invest in.

And finally, with all of the talk of apps, innovation and technology, it was heartening to hear Zennstrom say that, for success, “number one is the people”.

I am a digital marketer who has recently returned home to Ireland, following a two-year stint working in Silicon Valley, California. I am an avid traveller, reader and oenophile, always happy to connect with new people, online and IRL. All content (c) Karen Henry 2010-2016