Friday, December 3, 2010

Finger Candy Friday Meets Social in the City!

I’m in New York City this week for the BrandsConf, where a variety of Brands, icons and webrities are convening to discuss the how and why as well as the value that social media has to offer in the “Humanization of Brands.” In the tradition of Jeff Pulver’s 140 Character Twitter Conference (140Conf) events BrandsConf offers a wide range of topics from best practices to the legal issues to the natural conflict of personal and corporate branding. You might recognize Jeff Pulver as one of the pioneers of VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), Co-Founder of Vonage, a leader in the emerging TV on the Net Industry and founder of the #140conf events.

Since the emergence of the real-time Internet, many businesses around the world offering products and/or services have found themselves establishing a social media presence and have been challenged with the task of having to have someone (or a team) represent their company and become their online and physical voice for their brands. For many companies this is something both new and challenging.

In Radio, the “Humanization of a Brand” is similar to what we call “Stationality” I make a living helping clients find “Socialality”. Socialality should reflect you or your brands unique attributes including behavioral, temperamental, emotional and mental that give you character! For Radio stations this is usually tied to your format!

Here’s a shorter explanation: “For the past 50 years Brands have sold us a message. The humanization of brands allows consumers to engage, in a way that focuses on consumer needs rather than rhetoric” - @ozsultan

Brands obviously focus on a lot more than that – but I think that quote sums up how companies view social media and how Jeff Pulver wanted to explore this topic.

I was the moderator / presenter of a Panel / Q & A with Country Music Label Executive Larry Pareigis called “Bringing A Label To Life”.  Larry and I discussed how a record label can be human and reflect the times and excitement of the music business.

People typically think of a Record Label as being one dimensional. Just a circular label in the center of a vinyl record or on the back of a CD. Larry is redefining the way that Music Executives interact with radio, artists, fans and other industry professionals.

In addition to the humanizing aspect that social “conversations” lend, BrandConf took a look at some traditional pain points that any brand experiences.

@AmberCadabra of Radian6 looked at the problems that brands have in finding baselines for balancing personal presences online with corporate roles within social media. @gilgul of Microsoft spoke on finding “invisible audiences” that brands can overlook. @rozzy of NBC reminded us that Brands are listening to the consumer and that feedback is important. Finally, @hankwasiak covered one of the key elements of social and Brand humanization – trust.

BrandsConf also presented a wide range of insights on how Brands are addressing the human element absent in much of traditional marketing.

Social has come a long way over the past few years in terms of customer service, engagement, listening and trust. BrandsConf was an interesting showcase of how industry is not only starting to get it, but reclaim their human element.

If you’d like to see more, here’s a selection of pictures from the event: courtesy of @digitalfemme
Jessica Northey, SocialMediologist

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