B2B Technology Marketing Journal

Social Media World Forum Asia – Day 2 Field Report

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SMWF

That’s the end, folks! Social Media has become a vast world in such a short time. And the future will only serve to blind us because it has tons of bright things in store like the evolution of next generation location based apps, SocialTV, etc. Ultimately, it is us who will benefit from such light speed progress and who knows, the way we interact with each other now may just be a prelude to what is actually in store for us. Thanks for tuning into B2Bento over the past couple of days. We had fun and learnt a lot especially about the B2C space. Back to regular programming from tomorrow – join us for the B2BBloggers chat on Content Strategy for Lead Nurturing, tomorrow at 8 am, Singapore time. Till then, signing off are Asuthosh and Marco. Learning everyday!

[Updated: 5.50 pm] Panel discussion on Geotagging: location is no game – the new dimension of marketing.

(Standing in for Stephen Dolan from Facebook) Chris Schaumann from Nokia: There’re two things about geo-tagging. Tagging yourself (and where you are) through location based apps and tagging pictures (putting in tags in the places where you took the pictures).

Winston Goh, Product Marketing Manager, Samsung Asia Pte Ltd: There is some resistance in terms of user adoption. There is a proliferation of Foursquare type apps. Frankly, there seems to be very little practical innovation that is happening in terms of location based apps.

Saumil Nanavati, Co-founder & CEO Chalkboard: Almost anything can be geo-located but you have to be creative to be able to do cool things that are not being done yet.

Winston: In terms of marketing, whatever helps Samsung devices get greater acceptance in the market is always great for us. It may be a location based app like Foursquare or something different. A practical business model has to be developed. Don’t think in short terms.

Chris: We have invested heavily into premium content like "Lonely Planet" and that really helps GPS data to bring value to the consumer.

Winston: Start talking to the creative agencies and media houses that big brands like us use. (Answering a question from the audience) Yes, Facebook Places will take off. Once we hit off the "right buttons", it is inevitable like it or not and it may displace Foursquare as the location based app of choice for regular people.

Chris: There will be a whole marketplace of apps for the users that will provide different things.

Saumil: Geotagging is not just restricted to mobile. It’s coming to the web also with HTML5. Eventually in the next couple of years we will see more on this.

[Updated: 5.20 pm] (Mega update once again)

James Walker, NDSThe role of key technologies in delivering social TV on the media industry as a whole. Set-top Box (STB) return path required for social interaction is becoming increasingly available – driven by content services. To be successful, SocialTV needs to benefit all players in the TV value chain. Social content discovery could deliver better subscriber appreciation. HooVu is a social TV web services that sits between connected TV devices and existing social networks. It is tightly integrated with a TV metadata service and TV devices, to put easily fulfilled TV context at the centre of social interaction.

Jörg Krahnert, APAC MD, Netbiscuits on Mobile Social Media. Among the key drivers of today’s mobile internet is the cheaper and simplified data pricing, higher bandwidth, better devices (smart phones), etc. Mobile internet is already a mass market. The mobile audience is mostly the same with the PC audience. Today, the user experience is key in terms of experiencing mobile internet. You can have both mobile sites and apps because they provide different user experiences. Look at the mobile site as a different channel from your website because it provides a different user experience. Creating a realistic business case and a strong brand is needed to leverage the mobile internet. And you should not wait for standardization because fragmentation will increase.

Panel discussion on The Impact of Social TV on the media industry as a whole.

Fotini Paraskakis, Director of Production, FremantleMedia Asia: Social media as a medium is becoming a lot more prominent and important. Fremantle is engaging people through social networks more and rallying social media content around our product.

James Walker, NDS: Social media helps with content discovery.

James Ross, Regional Director Asia, ITV Studios Global Entertainment: Coronation is a big game in Facebook where you can live the life of the 50 yr old UK drama series called Coronation Street. It has given freshness to a 50 year old entertainment institution.

James W: It’s great to have real time experiences while watching shows.

Fotini: Twitter and Facebook is used all the time to launch new programs, develop shows, get viewers, etc. And social media is also used to sort fresh talent. For example, Facebook is used to source out talent for "China’s Got Talent".

James R: Getting talent and finding interesting people is what television is about. A few years ago, everyone was saying that user generated content is the future. I think that it goes the other way around now. You don’t watch these shows for hours and hours. But the thing is, user-generated content is a great influence to how television is being run now. You can see viral videos break out and mainstream TV is taking context from them, etc.

[Updated: 4.10 pm] (Mega-update of afternoon sessions. Was too quick to post after each talk.)

Panel discussion on Developing and Monitoring trends in your industry

Lars Voedisch, Regional Head – Media Intelligence, Asia Pacific, Dow Jones & Co.: From all the ‘noise’ and data, the first part of monitoring is trying to get relevance from all the data. Analysing data is always vital after accumulating it.

Anshul Jain, CEO, ThoughtBuzz: Yes, it’s important to identify relevance from the data that you have. Seniment tonality is also important.

Stephen Dolan, Commercial Director, Facebook: It all comes back to having objectives that are aligned to the strategy.

Julio Romo, PR & Communications Consultant, Twofourseven: It’s still early to say if we can optimise news for social media. But yes it can be done. To what end is still not sure though since things are still early.

Lars: Yes there are different methods to optimise all kinds of content for social media.

Julio: Creating value is important in social media. What social media is now doing is now enabling you to listen to journalists.

Lars: If you want to measure behaviour, you have to look at relationships.

Anshul: Yes monitoring helps identify those super users who can give you opportunities where you can elevate your brand.

Julio Romo – PR and Communications Consultant, Twofourseven – Social Media – First for Breaking News. We used to get our news through print. But news has moved on. In 1994, one of the first news outlets that adopted the web as a news platform came out in the UK. Back then, there were clear barriers between news outlets. There was no integration. And the media controlled the messaging, content and how it was reported. Issues only became crises if the media reported about it. But of course today that is different.
Technology is influencing change. With the adoption of technology, people started become empowered. For example in the mobile world, changes have helped evolved how we consume and even transmit news. We are seeing an emergence of powerful new voices that can act independently from traditional media. The rise of the internet has helped people connect and share information with each other. Social networks outperform news sites in terms of engagement. Social networks (Twitter, Facebook) are breaking news faster than the news agencies themselves. The term social media will die. It not becomes real time. Social media will continue to grow of course. But in the context of the news, we will see a great shift towards real time and data mining journalism. The rise of real-time publications will affect how we communicate. The audience will no longer be the advocate or critic. They will also influence and shape business decision. News is happening now on social media sites. So we must take it upon ourselves to be transparent and responsible.

Roderick Low, Principal Trainer, Adonai Training, LLP – Online Crisis Management in the Digital Age using Social Media. Case Study: How crisis Struck BP. The impact of the BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico is obviously a huge thing. And needless to say, managing the crisis is a monumental task. Greenpeace created a contest that mocked the brand of BP. They conducted a contest where people sent the jazzed up logo of BP in light of the spill. Facebook groups sprouted up that protested the company and protest and mock videos  quickly viral. Social media channels spread backlash with or without the knowledge of the company in question. The biggest damage is happening in the social media platform. BP should have owned up to what they have done and aired it via social media. The Zappo example (the 6pm.com incident) is a testimonial to this. It’s all about transparency. Social media is interested in what you can show. Accountability, sincerity and transparency will give social media the reason to empathise with your brand. some businesses are not prepared for crisis management through social media because they just don’t see the value in it.

Andy Oliver, Sr. Vice President, APAC, Lewis PR – The impact of social media in the PR industry. The first thing that social media has done is that it has accelerated communication. Speed affects the way brands are dealt with on social media channels. It can make or break a brand. Accuracy is often the victim of the necessity for speed. So in that context, crises must be handled in real time. We have to be super responsive. For the PR industry, the PR person must assume the role of crisis expert. The target for PR companies are now moving towards being conversations rather than on media. Technology is going to become more important to PR than relationships. Nowadays, relationships are taking a back seat to technology in terms of how the PR industry conducts itself. Media databases are dinosaurs. Twitter, Google, SM tools now give you tone, personality and real-time info. PR agencies have always competed with each other before but now, since the advent of social media, this has evolved into something new. PR agencies are also competing now with brands, companies, and even individuals who are influencers. The appointment of social media managers and specialists is a short term reaction. PR will fully integrate social media into agency and in-house skill sets. Social media will provide the shield to the advertising sword.

[Updated:  2.40 pm] HIGHLIGHT!! Brian Solis on Marketing to an audience with an audience via Skype Chat. 500m connect their social graphs in Facebook. 145m tweets, RT, etc… But #SOWHAT? Must have some greater meaning, so that as business leaders we are steering our passion into a direction that matters. This is also new and different depending on opportunity. 72% of companies are operating a social media strategy (really?! BS. Twitter presence – check, FB brand page – check, Socialized business strategy? – Not so sure). Attention becomes the major currency in content commerce. To compete for that is where the future of social media lies. Attention dashboard – The centre of attention – where you learn what’s worthy of your attention. Information can get quite overwhelming; it’s going to take something fascinating, dynamic and wonderful to get you to click, see, appreciate and share outside the attention dashboard. How do brands get into the attention stream? Where people are sharing valuable information? And where people are following you because you are sharing valuable information?

Social feeds = Content discovery. How to get into the feeds of the social consumer? Purchase decisions are usually dependent on search; but to influence decisions – you want to get into their social streams. We’re talking about designing and experience that empowers social consumers to share relevant content, make decisions, refer decisions, and share experiences. How to earn attention when it’s so fleeting because of the pace of the real-time web. Real-time web will give way to brands who compete not for real-time, but the right-time. Compete both for the moment and for the future.

No brand is an island. Social media is forcing brands to come to you. It’s not about what you say that counts; it’s what everybody else says. People are in control of the social media perception of your brand. It’s your job to figure out what people are saying. (See http://theconversationprism.com/1024/). We have to look beyond the 3Fs (Friends, Followes, Fans). Friends + Followers + Fans = #FFFFail.

Data is just data without analysis. Unless you can analyse and interpret it, it’s useless. What are the recurring themes? What are people saying? What are they missing? We need to find a reason to make a difference. This is about enhancing experiences to meet the needs and expectation of the social consumer – what social media stands for. Social media is becoming a social science – “behaviourgraphics” not demographics.

We are defining a new era of society – down from six to four degrees of separation. We are architecting our own experiences. Our attention dashboard is focused on who you follow, what you share, what you find interesting. Brands have to realise that your social graph may not be as simplistic as they think, nor as complicated as it’s going to be. You are defined by who you know and what you share. Networks change based on the themes and conversations. CONTEXT not Content is king. We are seeing a dawn of contextual network or social “nicheworks”. Nicheworks change every time the subject matter changes.

Relations vs. Relationships. Social Graph Theory – pattern of social relationships between people. ‘Me’ in Social ‘Me’dia is more important than we realise. our actions (say, ret-weet, etc.) equate to social currency. Brand is defined by our participation. A place to build strategic social capital. When you ‘Like’ something, it’s an endorsement. Reputation is earned through actions and words.

A credit score for the social web. Social capital measurable across different platforms (e.g. Klout). People are focusing on relevance, quality, content and context to improve social capital. Companies must build social capital to ever hope they can attract attention.

You have an audience feeding an audience. Your message has to be clear to your audience so that their audience is clear about what you are saying. Be clear about context so it can be channelled and curated. You are now vested in your community. With relationships come responsibility. You are going to find and feed relevant information to your community. As a brand and marketer, you have to connect to a partially distracted audience, looking for feed to their audience. Participation is not a right. It’s an earned privilege. They don’t have to connect to you. You have to earn it over time. Not all followers are created equally – not following you for the same reasons. Who’s not connected matters more. You have to socialize the 4Ps – product, price, place, promotion – around people – the 5th element.

Critical path for social media: RRS – relevance, resonance, significance. That’s how you succeed. Design relevant content and engagement strategies. Introduce the ability to make content consumable and shareable. Keep your mission and purpose in the stream longer. The Old Spice campaign didn’t have resonance built in. It just vanished. What can you do to keep it resonant to earn significance? Timing, content, and networks matter in virality.

In social media presence is felt. Keep it Significant and Shareable (KISS). Make people compelled to share content (retweet, blog, like). You need to be the source of content that’s incredibly insightful.

We earn the stature, relations and experience that we deserve. And that’s transformative. This is your time to make a difference to #Engage. Make business what it should always have been – provide an experience to customers to make them your advocate and salespeople.

(B2Bento recommends Brian’s ENGAGE! where a lot of the thoughts above are considered in greater detail)

[Updated: 1.05 pm ] Greg Joy, VP New Markets of Lithium on Social CRM+Gaming Science: Building thriving communities that impact your bottom line. Gaming science can teach us several things. Like in games, today users are retelling the company’s message. More than 25% of Google search results links to user generated content, not the company’s information. “Superusers” fill the online trust gap. Super users are creative and identified through robust social media reputation systems. Rewarded and motivated by higher needs. Spend substantial time in the community. Emotionally tied to the success of the company. And they form 1-4% of user base.

Gaming Science = Superusers = Social CRM success.

Superusers can deflect calls away from company call centres. They can increase sales, help retention (users can go to somebody, not a call centre), aid innovation (they tell you what products to create so they can buy them), brand-building (positive word out), WOM enhancement (you get resonance when super users talk about you), and reduction of negativity (on company sites and 3rd party sites) – they can give the peer-to-peer safety net to mitigate negativity. Social CRM on the larger social web must include other channels besides the company website. Superusers can create a long lasting effect. They are advocates of your products. They are strategic assets = equivalent of 100 full-time marketing employees. You don’t compensate them – but appreciate them and treat them like rock stars. Once you compensate, they move from the “peer” side to the “company” side – and lose the trust in the community.

The Customer Network is the opportunity. Research is investigating the influence of not just the customer, but their networks – and how to identify and retain superusers.

Financial impact of superusers. 1 superuser = USD 50,000! Driving real business results in: Support: Linksys – $20m saved in call deflection – superuser community saved Linksys when customer support was knocked out by a hurricane over Christmas, and user base went up significantly; PitneyBowes – $3m saved in call deflection; HP – 2m questions answered, cust sat scores up 15%; Sales: HP – positive sentiment up 300%, negative sentiment down 50%; Innovation: iRobot – $50m new market opportunity identified through the community. Sage increased beta participation by 300%.

Superusers love privilege and status – and like feeling recognized. (Even a simple postcard from the CEO will do!).

[Updated: 1245 pm] Panel discussion on Increasing customer intimacy and empowerment through Social CRM.

Damien Cummings, SMB Online Director – Asia Pacific & Japan, DELL: Social CRM is just a buzzword. CRM is a cornerstone of marketing, “social CRM” is a natural extension of our CRM efforts.

Dr Alvin Chan, Chief Technology Officer & Co-founder, Brandtology: Traditional CRM is about info you gathered and the relationship with your customer. In Social CRM, you are managing what’s happening between customers as well.

Nik Ong, Regional Digital & Social Media Strategist, MRM Singapore: Misnomer about CRM is that in the last 10 years there wasn’t really any relationship between the brand and the consumer. It was mostly one-way and “push”. In Social CRM, database is no longer within your organisation, it’s “out there”. You are talking with audiences who already have an audience. Be careful about using “social” CRM. Unless you have somet form of tracking and identification that go all the way to sales, you don’t really have a CRM.

Shalabh: Social media has been about engagement mostly, not sales.

Damien: Social CRM is social sales. Difficult to say social and sales in the same breath. Social “just happens” around “cool ideas” and passions. CRM is about hard-core selling – building a relationship and hitting them with an offer. Haven’t really seen effective social CRM. Maybe better to call it as Social Demand Generation, e.g., Net Promoter Score. For Dell, NPS is around 30, while Apple is 70+. They have some very passionate fans, but don’t have any social media strategy either.

Dr Alvin: In the social network, consumers have the power to speak anywhere. How do you get those conversations into your CRM?  That’s the challenge. Measurement is also key – but not just on the sites you own, it’s got to go beyond that.

Damien: Dell has co-browsing enable. You can get your friends engaged as part of your buying process.

Shalabh: How’s the social consumer different from traditional consumers of the past?

Nik: I don’t think behaviours have changed over the last 1000 years. Technology has just made it easier to transmit Word of Mouth.

Shalabh: Any concerns about privacy to consider?

Dr Alvin: If you use social media, you are sacrificing privacy.

Damien: Social media doesn’t give you a right to be stupid. Don’t share personal info – if you do, you deserve what happens. But social media marketing is a much bigger play. For example, on Dell site, we don’t sell any product that’s earning 3.5 stars or less by consumer reviews. So social behaviour is dictating the product catalogue. Our websites are still like in 1995 – there’s a catalogue and pricing. What if you make it experience-oriented? See your friends who have bought stuff and share their experience. And that’s what buying sites could evolve into.

Nik: For our work with Microsoft, we looked for the intersection between brand and product, and customer preference. We put you among people with the same passions and pains and developed a community around that. As long as discussions are factually correct, the brand doesn’t step in. When they are not, brand steps in as the authority advising on solutions.

Damien: We haven’t yet set up for hypertargetting. Our advertising kinda sucks right now. We need to start segmenting customers.

Shalabh: What can we do to start segmenting customers based on experiences and preferences?

Damien: Demographics don’t apply any more. It’s more about psychographics. Someone 12-15 years may not be looking into building a small business. They are looking at becoming the next Google. The old paradigms don’t apply any more. Can’t make any assumptions based on demographics. Listening to customers becomes key, tools and everything else comes after.

Nik: We need to look at scalability and sustainability. Tools need to support both areas.

Dr Alvin: Technology is needed to support the vast amount of information out there. Social media tools are going to get more intelligent over time using data mining algorithms. At the end of the day though, no tool can overtake human decision-making.

[Updated: 11.50 am] Laurel Papworth, Social Network Strategist, on Monetising Social Media & Social Networks. What is Money? It’s not worth the paper is written on. Currency by very nature is virtual. Money and currency is a game – we are looking for more than what we actually need. It’s a resource for goals, and as a means to gain respect, status, etc. Not everyone plays the game (call them ‘hippies’). Gift economies of 100,000 years ago have returned – “thank-you”, “ratings”, “likes” and “favourites”. We are generally uncomfortable if people keep doing things for us for free. Currency becomes a “conspiracy” of the community. It’s not about the value of the things we sell, but who buys and sells. Check out Social Web – Reputation Management Cycles.

With social media, forms of ROI: Loyalty (up), Brand (up), Acquisition (down), Support (down). Convince CEOs of the COI = Cost of Inaction of Community Engagement. Conversations affect stock prices (Toshiba Prius). What are the revenue streams? Check out Monetizing Social Networks – Revenue Streams. Donations, Freemium (LinkedIn, Flickr), API economy, Member to Member trading, Peer-to-peer lending market (Lending Club), and finally the Facebook Credits Economy.

[Updated: 1120 am] Fernanda Romano, Global Creative Director of Digital and Experential from Euro RSCG Worldwide on The New Creativity: Social Media. (Fernando was a really “hyper” presenter touching on many things at lightning speed. Only a sampling follows.) There is nothing really that you can bestow/inherit these days. Everything is public. Cyberspace is more fun. Kids are finding fewer differences between virtual and “flesh-and-bone” worlds. [Aside: “Behaviour changes happen first in Japan!” – Virtual Girlfriends in LovePlus+. A decrepit resort town, Atami, advertised as the perfect destination to “take your virtual girlfriend”. 1500 people have already bought a holiday package!] Cyberspace is the “learning space”. Kids absorb information better when they “experience” learning. [Aside: Send a Geminoid to your meeting. Whoa!]. Jobs of the future: digital architect, avatar designers, space tour guides. Jobs of the present: social media specialists, community managers. Anyone can sell anything, to anyone, by any means, anywhere. The more information in your brain, the more you will be creative. A company mission activated the advertising and social media campaign (letscolourproject.com). Always be open to ideas – be a child. Watch your kids, if you don’t have any, borrow others’ and learn.

[Updated: 1050 am] Panel discussion on Selecting your Social Media Agency (B2Bento note: we know “social media” and “agency” don’t quite sit well together with social media purists, but fact is companies do rely on them, so there goes).

Lito S German, Marketing Director, BMW: Agencies have their own strengths in terms of digital and social media.

Ed Mapa Jr., Managing Director, Media Contacts Philippines  Agencies should be “digital navigators” (nice term!).

Nicholas Tay, Digital Group Head, Zenith Optimedia Group: Social media is multi-discipline. Depends on whether you need a PR (tonality and communications strategy), media (sell and numbers) or advertising (visuals). Are you using the social platform for posturing, numbers, or visual pomp?

Ranjeet Singh, Digital Project Manager, Ogilvy One Singapore: From a campaign point of view, we look at social media as a channel to achieving the client’s objectives.

Lito: When selecting a SM agency, we look for research capabilities (how much information can they give at the onset – finding out which platforms and languages work best for us); basic skill sets (tools, visuals) ; and networks (Do they relate to us?).

Ed: When selecting  SM agencies, keep in mind the 4 I’s – Information (resources of the agency for planning, crucial ; dispatch creative messages in an orchestrated social manner); Insight (cull among the many layers of conversations, trends in social groups, sentiments – and transform this into applications); Interaction (capacity to create a meaningful brand experience and execute in a social manner); and Ideas: ability to come up with ideas that will trigger positive responses and build engagement with groups – identify, utilize and maximise most effective social media tools in brand interaction).

Nicholas: We have a rather blinkered outlook – how many campaigns were run? How much revenue? How much brand resonance? So it’s important to identify the success metrics and make the agency commit to it. JamiQ (good friend of B2Bento) was mentioned as a great tool for metrics.

Ranjeet: Credibility and background of agency is key.

Lito: Preference for social media specialization when looking for a SM agency. Traditional agencies may not cut it (“coming to a party with a wrong suit”).

Ed: In marketing warfare, creative agency is the navy (they understand the brand), media agency is the airforce, and PR the army; social media agencies would be the intelligence provider to all these.

Ranjeet: (Responding to social not being about campaigns) Our work is 360 degrees. There are elements of media, print, marketing collateral, along with social. Campaigns are the stepping stone. Social helps build the brand in a more holistic way.

Ed: (Adding on to Ranjeet) Yes, it’s a bit of a challenge. Social media shouldn’t be like a faucet that you just close. It’s got to be ongoing. Intelligence gathering is not a one-shot thing – it’s a compilation of many learnings. Agency who can gather these learnings and transform this to value for clients is the true social media agency.

Lito: It’s important to figure out who owns social media strategy – is it marketing, PR, or somebody else? On the client side, there is a need to have a full circle of teams – PR, HR, marketing – this will allow full integration of your social media strategy and agencies.

Ed: In the ecosystem of social media, the more clients integrate social media on their side of the fence, the better the agency can respond to it.

Lito: (Challenges of integration) Mindset – make everyone understand everyone has a stake in social media, everyone is a brand ambassador, there are implications to their behaviour. Not a place to dump press releases, ad campaigns and taglines. Marketing is about engagement (intimate conversations) – like a commitment to be sustained. Important to be open about what customers says. It was fascinating to sit back and see the fans interacting on bmw.sg –some of them had more detailed info than BMW’s own press releases.

Nicholas: There are risks to the brand when you open up a social media platform. There is also the need for sustainable budgets. Bring all stakeholders together and decide what are the objectives.

Lito: (On minimizing the risk of unprofessional employees) Need to have social media guidelines. HR should take the lead in regulating social brand behaviour.

Ed: Who can drive narratives best for social conversations.  Creative agencies and copywriters should lead storytelling. Clients remain the custodians of brand and interactions.

Nicholas: (Crisis and reputation management) Work with brand and product teams for a strong response when customers complain.

[Updated: 10 am] Shalabh Pandey, Author and Founder of Chasingthestorm, gets the morning off to a start. Opening Keynote by Ganesh Kumar Bangah, CEO of MOL/Friendster (Note: MOL acquired Friendster late last year) on Monetizing Social Gaming. Social network trinity and the market leaders: Games – Zynga), Location and Loyalty – Groupon, Social Network – Facebook. Zynga and Groupon advertises on Facebook – so it’s a closed triangle indeed. Tough for anyone else to break in. Challenges of creating a social game behemoth in Asia: the big boys (USD 52m needed per year to compete!); a crowded marketplace (80% of game traffic on Facebook go to top 20-30 applications); and monetization – PayPal isn’t as relevant, and there is a fear of using credit cards for micro-transactions. But MOL has grown exponentially, so there’s hope! People are spending more on social gaming than prepaid cards. There are positive associations to social gaming: relieve stress, pleasant, etc. But they also find it inconvenient to buy stuff. A majority of users in Asia prefer to make physical payments (kiosks, convenience stores, etc.) for online transactions. Though a good 41% prefer online banking. In Indonesia there’s a strong preference for payment through mobile prepaid cards. More spend time playing games on Facebook rather than network with friends.

South East Asia requires a multi-channel payment collection strategy for monetizing social gaming, and this requires a lot of work. Social media is an effective way to acquire customers for social gaming and cross-selling communities could be an opportunity. Physical channels (for payment collection) and social media (acquiring customers) are important for monetization of social games in Asia. In the next 12-18 months, Ganesh sees a convergence of industries: arcade games move to console games; console games and arcade games go online (revenue from micro-payments make piracy a moot issue as Zynga has shown; also you grow your revenues as you acquire new customers – the new marketing model), and PC games go to browser-based games. More people will play browser games which will become more social. Social games will become more mobile; and mobile games will converge towards mobile location based social games. We will see a multi-faceted convergence of devices (arcades, consoles, PC, tablets and mobile), networks (stand-along, Internet, location) and interface (keyboard, touch, mouse, etc.). And that means limitless opportunities for all.

Aaaanddd.. we are back at Day 2 of the Social Media World Forum. If it’s going to be anything like yesterday’s session we are in for a rollicking good ride of furious exchange of ideas, networking and socializing. We missed out on the Helipad party last night, so if any of you were there, do tell us how it went! Today’s session is about to start; expect the first update in about an hour.



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