So, on October 6th the IPA are running an event (at which I'll be talking) to have a conversation around what social really means for our industry. In the build up to the event, I've been working with a great bunch of likeminded folk from across our industry who all had opinions they wanted to express, and we have worked up ten principles to start the conversation. This introduction (written by Amelia) gives the proper context:
Social Media is a conversation. That seems to be one thing that we can all agree on.
But given that Social Media is a rather noisy and opinionated conversation, what value do we think we will have by adding our voices to it?
We are not Social Media gurus. In fact we are rather sceptical of people who claim they are. We are simply 10 people from across a wide range of communications disciplines in the UK and the US who would like to share some thoughts. Thoughts that have either been bugging us or inspiring us, thoughts that we believe could form some of the building blocks for succesful Social campaigns. We came together to respond to and add our voices to some work that the IPA had done earlier in the year.
We have each defined a Principle which we feel is important in this Social world. You will find each principle up here but they are also on our individual blogs where we will be curating the conversation which we hope they will generate. Please do get involved, maybe you think these principles don't apply, are there better ones? Are there changes that you would like to make? Are there examples that you could add to help illustrate them? The only thing that we ask is that as part of the advertising and communications community that you become part of the conversation. After all the more opinions that are being shared and built on, the more interesting and stronger the outcome. At least that's what we are hoping.
Thank you in advance.
The IPA have created a hub for all ten principles, along with a fantastic summary of the big picture written by Mark Earls, all of which you can find here. Each of us is writing about a single principle and encouraging as much debate through our own blogs, and around the #IPASocial hashtag on twitter, and the event itself:
1. People not consumers – Mark Earls
2. Social agenda not business agenda – Le’Nise Brothers
3. Continuous conversation not campaigning – John V Willshire
4. Long term impacts not quick fixes – Faris Yakob
5. Marketing with people not to people – Katy Lindemann
6. Being authentic not persuasive – Neil Perkin
7. Perpetual beta – Jamie Coomber
8. Technology changes, people don’t – Amelia Torode
9. Change will never be this slow again – Graeme Wood
10. Measurement – Asi Sharabi
These ten principles are just a starting point; provokers of conversation, thoughts, ideas… an invitation to you (yes, YOU) to join in. Why? Our aim with this project is to move the debate beyond simply the theoretical, and into the practical; examples of approaches that have worked, and which have not. What does success look like? What do you need to do first?
We believe that by sharing information and case studies around ’social communications’ we will all, from the largest agency to the nimblest freelancer, from the most traditional client to the youngest start-up, benefit from this open source of knowledge.
So please join the debate by leaving your thoughts around the principle I'm writing about in the comments below, and see the other conversation starters here.
IPA Social, principle 06: Being Authentic, Not Persuasive
Social marketing earns, not buys attention so have an opinion, be true to what you say, be of value, be open – above all be human #IPASocial
As 'markets become conversations' customer relationships and advertising models are changing for good. Passive consumption becomes active interaction. Monologue becomes dialogue. Control becomes collaboration.
Customers are empowered, well informed, connected. Companies are becoming more transparent whether they like it or not.
It's an environment in which the balance of effective communication shifts from being less about interruption to more about participation, less about delivering a message to more about being part of a conversation, less about what you say to people and more about what people are saying about you.
It's an environment, which operates to social principles – creating not subtracting value, serving a larger purpose than your own, being useful, facilitating.
It's an environment in which the more human elements matter – having a point of view, being true to yourself and what you say, being open, honest, transparent. Ford use social media to (in the words of Scott Monty) "humanize the Ford brand and put consumers in touch with Ford employees", and regularly reach out to bloggers for feedback and to encourage the spread of positive word of mouth. Zappos believe that their "culture is their brand" and use social media to create touchpoints throughout every area of their business and ensure customer service isn't just a department, it’s the entire company.
Authenticity is the currency that encourages trust, involvement, engagement. Authenticity is what turns an audience into a following.