Priscilla Tan, Senior Mar­ket­ing Man­ager (Greater China), Adobe APAC – LinkedIn

CaptureTwo years ago, if any­one had asked me, I would have proudly said that my only con­nec­tion to social media was my Face­book account. I didn’t tweet, use LinkedIn, or blog. Like many of my friends (or at least my mar­ket­ing friends) back then, I didn’t see the ben­e­fit of get­ting involved in lots of social media sites. Our jobs were already so busy, even with­out us get­ting onto the lat­est “social” band­wagon and there were very few com­pa­nies out there who stood out as shin­ing exam­ples of “dig­i­tal trendsetters”.

Fast for­ward two years to the Adobe Dig­i­tal Mar­ket­ing Sum­mit 2012 in Salt Lake City, Utah, add 4,000 mar­keters, and I can tell you that my per­spec­tive has com­pletely changed.

The two days that I spent at this year’s sum­mit have opened my eyes to new devel­op­ments in the dig­i­tal space, and helped answer many of my per­sonal and pro­fes­sional ques­tions. One par­tic­u­larly eye open­ing moment came when Brad Rencher, Senior VP and Gen­eral Man­ager of Dig­i­tal Mar­ket­ing, Adobe, empha­sized in his keynote that “The power of dig­i­tal self has gone from aca­d­e­mic to action”. I think this is a per­fect metaphor to describe the way my per­spec­tive has changed towards dig­i­tal and social media in recent years.

Though there are now many answers to the ques­tions I had sev­eral years ago, there are still more ques­tions that I think we all won­der about today. Here are three of the biggest ones for me:

  • How should a mar­keter or com­pany define social media?

The answer to this is sur­pris­ingly sim­ple. As advo­cated at the sum­mit by Ari­anna Huff­in­g­ton, Pres­i­dent and Edi­tor in Chief of The Huff­in­g­ton Post, social media is like telling your sto­ries and hav­ing a con­ver­sa­tion with friends. Social media, as a plat­form, is one of the best ways that com­pa­nies can begin to tell their sto­ries, in inter­est­ing ways that invite cus­tomers to have a con­ver­sa­tion with them.

  • What is the “dig­i­tal self” that a mar­keter or com­pany should project in the dig­i­tal world?

At the sum­mit, Biz Stone, co-founder of Twit­ter, shared his own “dig­i­tal self” is his actual self. At first, it came as a sur­prise to me that they were basi­cally the same. I would think the real Biz Stone would be dif­fer­ent from the dig­i­tal Biz Stone. But on deeper thought, it all makes sense. Com­pa­nies and/or mar­keters who hope to get cus­tomer atten­tion should be ready to project a real and authen­tic voice or brand image in the dig­i­tal plat­form. And it is per­fectly OK to show one’s vul­ner­a­bil­i­ties because cus­tomers can see through any­thing that’s less than authentic.

  • How do we define suc­cess from social media?

Biz Stone also com­mented on how we often define suc­cess as hav­ing cus­tomers “glued” to our social media pro­files 24×7 and never leav­ing it. How­ever, he said that true suc­cess is bet­ter mea­sured by how often the cus­tomers check out our social media pro­file a day.

After every­thing has been said and done, the best advice came from Ari­ana Huff­in­g­ton when she said that as dig­i­tal mar­keters, we need to unplug in order to recon­nect again. None of us wants to be “burnt out” from too much of dig­i­tal and social media. And what bet­ter way to “unplug”, recharge and learn than to be part of this Sum­mit com­mu­nity of dig­i­tal marketers.

Now I am a “con­verted” dig­i­tal marketer.