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Facebook Connects Cape Town, Habari Media

18 Feb

Category colourworks

We’ve just got back from Habari Media‘s Facebook Connect conference at Trinity, so here’s a little rundown while it’s all still fresh in our minds.

The event kicked off with muffins, coffee and an intro by MD of Habari Group, Adrian Hewlett. Hordes of social media and digital nerds paged eagerly through Habari’s awesome Revenge of the Nerds calendar and set off at a gallop, tweeting and Facebooking throughout the series of talks (we know this, because we, too, were trying to encapsulate all the insights into 14o characters at high speed).

Mark Cowan, Head of Emerging Markets at Facebook delivered an address that detailed the power of Facebook to reach and grow fan bases and transform these seeds into ROI. He was followed by the very entertaining and candid Sifiso Maz, also of Facebook, who gave a quick look at what works locally, including things like Facebook polls, event ads and video ads. Dan Pinch of King James Group’s Atmosphere and +one then shared their trials and errors through well-known campaigns like the Steri Stumpie and Kulula integrated campaigns. One of his key insights was that social media teams have people dedicated to fielding customer service complaints and that they respond swiftly and with tact. Deleting a comment or post when it’s caused an outcry is precisely what not to do.

Nic van Den Berg, Head of Digital Media at Isobar, shared some of the agency’s strategy in the social media build up to the U2 360 concert – quite timeous, as people in the audience were clearly itching to go collect their tickets (or even to solicit some at the conference, if possible). Paul Coetzer, Creative Head of Oscar Tango, then entertained with stats taken from their Larger than Life campaign for J&B Met earlier this year. This campaign yielded a result that emerged as a trend across the talks – that brands need to identify groups of superfans that are potent enough to generate content and hype that is contagious.

Unfortunately we had to get moving, as duty was a’calling back at HQ, but we’d highly recommend the next Facebook Connects conference (there’s one every quarter) to anyone interested in keeping their brand fresh. The conference was informative, comprehensive and also a great networking opportunity for all that attended.

If we had to sum it up in one point:

Facebook (and social media in general) is a powerful marketing tool that you need to master now – as a platform it contains so many different avenues for generating awareness and developing fan bases, that few of us actually are aware of its potential. A small day-to-day sign of the magnitude of this potential is the mere fact that Facebook tweaks its platform more than any other site – a true example of trial and error proving itself. Definitely a lesson that all of us social media maniacs should look into.

A few stand out facts from the conference, courtesy of my Blackberry and Dan Pinch’s summary slide: