Freddie Laker of Sapient Nitro at #SMWF

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In the last of my posts from the Social Media World Forum, comes a stand out talk from Freddie Laker, Director of Digital Strategy at Sapient Nitro. He kicked off his presentation stating that he was going to talk about “everything else that is social media”. Social Media is everywhere and is being used to:

  • Understand Influence
  • Create “The Digital Outdoor” billboard
  • Develop Product Design
  • Encourage Social Commerce
  • Design Augmented Reality

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Today we live in a world of “Social Media Everything”, even TV is going online and becoming social. Brands need to recognise that consumers interact regardless, they don’t care if it is social media, they just interact.

The digital ecosystem is complex. We are now seeing the “digital outdoors”, with billboards being powered by Twitter.

Sites such as Meetup.com, are great sites to discover existing communities for your brand, you don’t always have to create one.

Freddie, discussed that the following brands are the ones to watch for social media:

  • Disney
  • Zappos
  • CocaCola
  • Unilever
  • Pepsi
  • Virgin

He noted, that we are building a massive, “Global Social Brain”. The share of voice is becoming more important than anything else.

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P&G has taken a bold move, by allowing its audience to rate their products on the Olay website. Freddie says, “people are always rating you, don’t be afraid, embrace it!”.

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Location based apps such as Foursquare and Gowalla have the potential to become huge. Some brands in the US, are already giving people incentives to “check-in”, into frequently visited places. For example, if you check-in regularly, Foursquare will make you a “Mayor” of that place. If the place is a coffee shop, the retailer can offer to give the Mayor a free mug of coffee (loyalty reward).

Getting your legal department on board is crucial before any deployment. Otherwise, they will act as a big barrier to effective social media engagement. Freddie advises that Brands should become “early adopters to reap the benefits”. Geo location is going mainstream. Facebook recently announced that they would be adding geo locations to status updates soon.

What’s the next big thing? It may very well be, “The Semantic Web” and should be something that businesses keep their eyes on for the future – “Beyond Nowness”, as Freddie puts it.

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Author: Jas

Jas Dhaliwal is a highly experienced International Social Media Strategist. Currently working as AVG Technologies, Director of Communities and Online Engagement, he specialises in building and engaging with social communities across the web. Born and bred in London, he is passionate about technology and social anthropology. Prior to AVG, Jas launched the social media program for Microsoft’s MVP Award program. Jas holds a BSc (Hons) in Information Systems and has an MBA from Brunel University in London, England. You can follow Jas as @Jas on Twitter or on Google+

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