- Dan Rose, Facebook VP
Last night I attended a social media forum hosted by Kellogg. It was moderated by Tom Bedecarre and featured: Dan Rose, Vice President at Facebook; Seth Goldstein, CEO at Social Media; Jeremiah Owyang, Partner at Altimeter Group; Marisa Gallagher Vice President User Experience at Razorfish; and Clara Shih, Author of The Facebook Era.
I "live tweeted" the event and earned some geek cred (not quite as cool as "street cred") when Tom Bedecarre gave me a free copy of Shih's book for being the most prolific tweeter.
Here are some of the highlights of what the panel had to say to the roomful of MBAs:On the state of the industry:
Goldstien: Advertising is changing. Ads need to be real messages from real people; otherwise people ignore them.
Shih: Facebook is still dominating. There are more users on Facebook Mobile alone than on Twitter.
Owyang: Facebook's biggest competitor is Google.
He mentioned that Google has set up a stealth social network, referencing Google Profile (here's mine) and highlighting the fact that users interact through e-mail, IM, Google SideWiki and Google Wave. Shih also mentioned Google Latitude. Later in the evening Owyang claimed that e-mail itself is a social network, an idea which had Goldstein shaking his head in disagreement, but a debate did not ensue.
Owyang: Social media impacts all of your digital marketing assets. Social media is a horizontal in your strategy, not a vertical.
Owyang: Social search will be very disruptive to the SEO/SEM industry.
On brands getting involved in social media:
Rose: You're on Facebook whether you want to be or not.
Owyang: The earliest brands that got punk'd on social media are now the most successful.
Gallagher: You shouldn't use Facebook and Twitter for the same thing. The content should be different.
Gallagher: Customers are looking to engage with brands. And they want discounts.
Who's doing it right?:
Shih: BestBuy and 1-800 Flowers are doing a good job of letting you buy on Facebook.
Owyang: Volkswagen uses your Facebook profile information to recommend a car for you.
Rose: Sprinkles gives away a free cupcake to the first 25 people who mention a secret word revealed on their Facebook fan page.
On new tools:
Rose: Brands with Facebook pages can now send messages targeted by geography and language, so you don't spam all of your fans.
Owyang: Flowtown will find all of the social networks a person is on, based on their e-mail address.
Goldstein: There are 100 thousand people on FourSquare. Checking in on FourSquare is even easer than tweeting.
Gallagher: Yelp's augmented reality iPhone app uses the phone's camera and GPS to show reviews of the businesses right in front of them.
On data and privacy:
Owyang: I believe Facebook has more information on Gen Y than the U.S. government.
Shih: Use privacy settings in Facebook to segment friends because "our Facebook profiles represent our personal brand."
There was a lot of discussion on privacy, what information Facebook and other sites have access to, and how individuals and brands should manage data-related risks. There were many people in the room who don't trust Facebook to keep their personal photos and information in a silo if they also set up a business presence on Facebook.
Although the panelists noted that using Facebook's privacy settings is easy, the attendees did not agree. Some users even admitted to setting up fake individual Facebook profiles to use in order to set up fan pages for their business. Rose's response was "why wouldn't you want to be associated with your business on Facebook?"
Actually, there are many reasons someone might want to keep their personal and professional lives in iron silos. For instance, those in certain professions need to avoid any crossover: psychologists, prosecuting attorneys, etc. Those types of professionals might want a Facebook page where they post resources, etc., but they don't want their patients or clients to have any chance of window into their personal lives.
Overall, the panel did a great job of discussing what's going on in the industry today and Bedecarre did a great job as moderator, getting the attendees involved in the discussion. Below is a (blurry) picture of me and Jeremiah Owyang at the event.
The Facebook Era - Amazon US
The Facebook Era - Amazon UK