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BizReport : Social Marketing : October 27, 2010

Social Events vs. Social Marketing: Is one approach better?

In the social space, there is traditional marketing and then there are events. Each has a unique set of rules, positive impacts and negative effects. The question most brands ask, however, is which type of social campaign will have the biggest impact on their profile? The answer? It depends on the event at hand.

by Kristina Knight

"Social media events are typically much more engaging and interactive because the end users are competing for some sort of outcome. The events are much stickier, the users are encouraged to share the events across their social graphs to solicit support from fans/friends/family, and most importantly to marketers, the end users are much more willing to share intimate details about themselves during the registration process," said Alec Shankman, CEO of, a social event platform.

First, what is a social event and what is a social campaign? We'll tackle the familiar first. A social marketing campaign is simple a marketing campaign set within the realm of social networks. A social event, however, has a beginning and end date - just like a campaign can - but also ask the consumer to compete for a specific outcome. For example, a recent social event asked viewers of the popular "Project Runway" reality show to compete to determine who would be eliminated week to week. The even drove millions of impressions for the branded sponsors of the event - Dove, Garnier Fructis, L'Oreal and others.

Do social events only hold benefit for mega-brands such as Dove or L'Oreal? Not necessarily says Shankman. "Ultimately, as long as the outcome is aspirational and the event is properly produces, the [brand engagement] will be huge," he said.

The key is to give the social viewer something they want - and not just a coupon for a favorite product. These consumers want a role on a favorite TV show or a job with a top brand, for example, rather than a year's supply of Product X.

Shankman expects social events to begin taking up more marketing dollars over the next year as brands see the benefits of partnering with reality-based video programming because these types of events allow consumers to get excited about their favorite brands. It also helps lesser known brands place a strong foot-hold into a space where previously only national or 'classic' brands may have been admitted.

"Social media allows advertisers to directly engage consumers, collect intimate/real time data from them, and reach people in a cost effective manner online where they're spending a lot of their time," said Shankman. "Clunkier, more expensive, and less trackable campaigns will begin to give way to their newer, sexier, more efficient social media counterparts."

Tags: GotCast, social advertising, social events, social marketing, social networks

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