Saturday, August 7, 2010

Digital Engagement: Making the Ripples Count

Undeniably, the social networking fever has caught on with some local businesses here in the Philippines. 

Daily, our Facebook accounts are now bombarded by "like" requests from friends and strangers alike asking for our support because they joined a Facebook contest whose winner is determined by the most number of "likes."

At first, I thought that it was an effective way to virally spread a campaign message or simply increase awareness of the brand in the network through the business' Facebook profile or fanpage. Just like ripples in a silent pond.

A similar approach would be contests in the number of comments and photo tagging. Now, if "like" requests wasn't "rippling" enough, I'm sure that the number of notifications saying that the thread was updated with a new comment will surely catch your attention.

Being in the industry of internet marketing myself, I should say that I have employed the same strategy in some online campaigns and contests I have organized for local clients. In fact, I started doing it as early as mid of last year.

Today, companies have realized its power, speed, reach, and influence over relevant online networks. It was creative until they came in horde; daily.

Well, this might be actually relevant for important discussion threads which you really want to follow; but not for contests in which you were just obliged to do for a friend.

Now, the question nudging my brain is, with such an unappealing personal experience (like in my case), could the method actually hurt the involved brand/message more so than their expected social benefit?
As Rob Angeles of Social Media Philippines said in a related article: "It’s not enough to know and understand the tools and technology behind Digital Marketing. It’s also important to know how and when to engage your customers..."
The technology is there, but is the engagement proper? Where do you draw the line between effectiveness and just making a loud virtual noise?

With the upcoming marketing summit focused on internet and mobile entitled "The Digital Ripple 4th Internet and Mobile Marketing Summit 2010," I hope to learn a lot and get answers to my questions. Organized by Internet and Mobile Marketing Association of the Philippines (IMMAP), it's going to be held this August 19 and 20, 2010 at SMX Convention Center, SM Mall of Asia in Pasay City.

IMMAP Speakers and Program (click to enlarge)
In particular, I am interested in the following key topics:
  • Going Social with Your Brand
  • Digital in Measuring Brand Health
  • Digital Engagement That Delivers
  • Social Listening
Moreover, the conference is filled with digital marketing experts from different sectors of the of the industry including Jeremiah Owyang - Web and Digital Marketing Strategist from Altimeter Group, Nick Seckold from Mindshare UK, and Paul Papadimitriou of Driving Left. I also look forward to the round table discussions with Dr. Donald Patrick Lim (MRM Worldwide), Ms. Janette Toral (Blog4Reviews) and Abe Olandres (Yugatech / Red Media).

For more information, check IMMAP Summit, follow IMMAP on Facebook and monitor #immap summit discussions via Twitter. See you on the 19th of August and together learn to make our digital ripple count!

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