Social Media What? How to Design a Social Media Strategy

by Massimo Burgio, March 2010

I just came back from the amazing experience of discovering Iceland, where I spent a week to participate to the Reykjavik Internet Marketing Conference (RIMC) organized by my good friend Kristjan Mar Hauksson, the “Viking of search marketing“, now also a fellow colleague at the new SEMPO Board of Directors, who has been the perfect host for the Icelandic event.

Even if I find challenging and honored when getting invited to speak or moderate panels at great conferences at big venues, (like SES London the week before), I love smaller conferences like the Reykjavik event, with their networking atmosphere and mood. With less than 300-400 people in the room I feel free to walk among the audience with a microphone (or two) in my hand, make eye contact with the attendees and shoot the occasional question to the audience, even during my presentation and not just for Q&A.

This is why I’m a fan of smaller conferences and search and social media marketing events, such as the Search Congress / Web Congress series in Spain, MediaCamp unconferences (I signed up to speak at MediaCamp Perugia next month) and other “more intimate” events around the world. Right after SES London I also participated to a round table at SEO Campus Paris 2010, and I found both the event and the organization to be “human-sized”. I will also be speaking soon at SASCon in Manchester (an event about Search, Analytics and Social Media, organized by SEMPO UK), at SEMStandard 2010 in Warsaw (Poland), and at the Nonick Conference in Bilbao (Spain).

Back to the Reykjavik Internet Marketing Conference. the event has seen the convergence of some among the smartest international search marketing expertswith some of the most savvy online marketers in Iceland – all lead by the amazing Nordic eMarketing team guided by Kristjan Mar Hauksson.

Great speakers at RIMC. I had the pleasure to assist (again) to a presentation of my good friend Allan Dick of Vintage Tubs, who also moderated the Social Media Marketing session where I was presenting. I also enjoyed catching up again after SES London with Anne Kennedy, Mikkel de Mib Svendsen, Dixon Jones, Shane Borelli and Ashley Friedlein, and meeting my SEMPO Europe Co-Chair Paul Doleman and his iCrossing UK team. I shared the Social Media Marketing panel with Jens Hilmersson of Nordic eMarketing and Matt Sewell of Hunterlodge, and enjoyed other great presentations from Elísabet Grétarsdóttir of CCP Games (who did an amazing presentation about the virtual world of EVE Online), Kjartan Sverrisson of Icelandair, Sasha Berlik of Mexad and Jenny Leahy of Microsoft/Bing. Great questions and interaction from the public too! The only missing announced speaker was Mike Grehan, also recently elected as Board Director at SEMPO, who had a last minute problem that didn’t allow him to make it to Reykjavik.

My presentation “Social Media What?” has been direct and thought-provoking as usual. The audience was expecting to hear me speaking about how to make business on social media, as reported on the official event program, but I started my speech saying “forget about it, buy some ads on Facebook if you want to do some sales!“, then brought the audience back to what true social media engagement is, how to “behave” on social media networks, and I finally touched base on social media strategies: which channels? which goals? which resources? who’s part of your social media ecosystem? I uploaded my presentation on SlideShare, but you can have a look at it right here.

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I didn’t miss the chance to introduce a Social Media Landscape Comparison Chart that I got via Facebook on the same morning of the conference, and that I promptly integrated in the presentation. The cool social media landscape infographic (see image) compares the effectiveness of all major social media networks in terms of online marketing goals: communication, branding, traffic, and SEO. The comparison chart has been originally created and published by – good job, guys! Interesting analysis, even if I don’t completely agree on some of the points in the infographic about SEO value  – but overall the infographic is a great guide to understand the social media landscape, and to evaluate social media networks via online marketing goals and social media strategies.

Back again to the Reykjavik conference, something must also be said about the after-conference of RIMC 2010. The hosting efforts of Nordic eMarketing have been epic! Amazing speakers dinners, nice hotel in central Reykjavik and social activities such as the special tour to geysers, waterfalls and geothermal spas! And, most of all, a lot of fun! The climax of the conference aftermath has been reached during the visit to the art gallery and atelier of Haukur Mar Hauksson, Kristjan’s father and very talented, prolific and visionary Icelandic artist (center, in one of the pictures on the side).

Amazing location, lots of food and drinks, and plenty of music instruments that transformed the dinner into a jamming gig, where pretty much everybody played instruments or singed-along. Allegedly, I destroyed a tambourine, playing it like a drum with drum sticks. But you know… I’m a punk rocker at heart, dreaming of destroying on stage guitars and drums – so destroying a tambourine was not big deal for me! And the jam session has been awesome, and we even had a couple of moments out in the snow, chasing Northern Lights! =)

Before closing this post, let me share also with you more pictures from the amazing week I spent in Iceland. I rented a car for maximum freedom and I went off exploring glaciers, volcanoes, waterfalls, geysers, fjords and other stunning Icelandic natural beauties.

I uploaded an Iceland photo collection on Flickr, follow the links to see the photo sets of the RIMC 2010 conference, Reykjavik, amazing Icelandic landscapes, weird encounters like geothermic greenhouses at night, or dream places like the famous Blue Lagoon.

I Iceland!



[ Update 2015 ] has been updating the Social Landscape Comparison Chart since then, making it evolve to mirror the changing social media scenario. Find here below the latest version of the social media marketing infographic, reporting CMO’s findings about the 2014 social media landscape.