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/qLZs5E