Social Media Today brought its old friend, Frank Eliason, back to talk about how brands can engage authentically in the new world of social and digital communication. Known as "the most famous man in customer service," Frank, as always, was controversial and passionate in his view of the need for truth, justice (for customers) and the (socially connected) way. He was joined by the very expert Director of Social for Hyatt Hotels, Dan Moriarty, as well as Jordan Slabaugh, VP of Marketing for Wayin, which sponsored the webinar. Over 250 people attended this discussion, which made for a very lively Storify on Twitter.
We kicked off with Slabaugh proposing that now, more than ever, trust and peer recommendation trump traditional and "programmatic" messaging from brands. For all of the agencies and brands that still try to use sophisticated ad tech, what Eliason--quoting David "Doc Searls" author of "The Intention Economy: When Customers Take Charge," referred to as the "cancer" of advertising-maintains that durable brand engagement is still reliant on human endorsement and strong storytelling.
Dan Moriarty fleshed out those views with two excellent case studies from his leading hotel company: One used guests' own photos supplied by Instagram to help other guests get a feel for a destination; and one arose from the CEO's interest in parenting concerns, which invited comment from customers and non-customers alike.
Will CEO engagement on social become a core requirement in the new world of authentic advertising? Or at minimum, should CEOs be the source of the public mission of the brand?
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