By: Lawrence Mak

Inte­gra­tion of Social was the core theme of this week’s Social Media Insider Sum­mit, and we at Effi­cient Fron­tier and Con­text Optional enjoyed meet­ing new faces and adding to the great dis­cus­sions around what chal­lenges brands are fac­ing today, par­tic­u­larly focus­ing on the inte­gra­tion and mea­sure­ment of social media. Here are some high­lights from the last few days:

Has Face­book peaked?

Top inter­net stock ana­lyst Jor­dan Rohan exam­ined the rel­a­tive safe haven social media is enjoy­ing com­pared to the greater woes in the econ­omy. Has Facebook’s growth peaked, and if so what does that mean for our indus­try over­all? Face­book accounts for 75% of all Inter­net traf­fic, and nearly every other action a user does online is on Face­book. But there are signs of decline, and Face­book is vul­ner­a­ble to changes in cus­tomer pref­er­ence and sen­ti­ment. Ulti­mately, Rohan does not believe Face­book has peaked, but will peak some­day due to plat­form short­com­ings, lead­ing to oppor­tu­ni­ties for com­peti­tors like Google+ and Twit­ter to swoop in and gain mar­ket share. 

Social and Mobile

The inte­gra­tion of Social and Mobile is still in dis­cov­ery and devel­op­ment phase, accord­ing to a panel of experts. While around 50% of social net­work traf­fic comes from Mobile, less than 10% is mon­e­ti­z­able and there is a high rate of acci­den­tal clicks on Mobile ads. Poor ROI and lim­ited learn­ings are deter­ring mar­keters from greater Mobile spend and dig­i­tal bud­gets. Mobile, Social and emerg­ing tech­nolo­gies together are still only a frag­ment of over­all ad spend.

Social and Search

Inte­grat­ing Social and Search was a big topic at the sum­mit for pre­sen­ters, pan­elists and atten­dees alike. There was a lot of open dis­cus­sion around Social’s effect on Search behav­ior and results, ben­e­fits of Social ads like Facebook’s Spon­sored Sto­ries, and learn­ings around Social/Search ana­lyt­ics. Kris­tine Seg­rist of MEC Inter­ac­tion claimed Social actions are a new brand of cre­ative, and Con­text Optional CEO Kevin Baren­blat spoke to Spon­sored Sto­ries’ role as the mid­dle ground between Search and Social. He empha­sized the rela­tion­ship of opti­miz­ing ads and improv­ing cus­tomer engage­ment, which increases fan base and Social endorse­ments, adding more fuel to the Social and Search fire. Indeed, Big Fuel CEO Jon Bond revealed there is a 50% lift in click-through rates from con­sumers exposed to both Social and paid Search.

Social and Social

Accord­ing to sev­eral pan­elists, Social is not just Face­book; there are other social net­works you should be pay­ing atten­tion to — Google+, niche play­ers like Spo­tify, and the greater open social graph. These ser­vices enrich your audi­ence data and expand oppor­tu­ni­ties for acqui­si­tion and engage­ment. Mar­keters have a big oppor­tu­nity to merge data sets across com­mu­ni­ties and exam­ine fac­tors that iden­tify true brand advo­cates and pref­er­ences to bet­ter mar­ket to them.

Social as Seen by Twenty-somethings

A panel of twenty-something col­lege grads and work­ing pro­fes­sion­als at the end of Day 2 put many things into per­spec­tive for Social Media Insider atten­dees and put a human face behind the num­bers and met­rics we as mar­keters spend so much time focused on. The power of word-of-mouth is what dri­ves their actions on social net­works, from decid­ing whether or not to Like a brand, to real, hon­est engage­ment in the news­feed between the user and the brand.  Incen­tives are still a pow­er­ful attrac­tor at the local level, and while MySpace is out and Face­book is in, this demo­graphic is not tied to one plat­form for all they do online.

Tahoe 

A lot of insight and a lot of learn­ings to be had by all at the Social Media Insider Sum­mit. Thanks to Medi­a­Post for putting on a great event and hello to all the cus­tomers, part­ners and new friends we made up here in beau­ti­ful Lake Tahoe.

See the Agenda:http://​bit​.ly/​q​L​Z​s5E