Social Media Week Singapore: Yahoo! and Trendwatching Keynotes

Yesterday was the start of Social Media Week in Singapore. The keynotes were presented by Henry Mason from Trendwatching and Alan Soon from Yahoo! SEA.

Social Media Week

Henry Mason – Trendwatching

Henry used some really good audience activation methods in his presentation – we exchanged ideas about new trends such as Pinterest, Drumo or the Swedish Twitter account with our neighbors.

Consumers always want the best, but “the best” is relative as it may not be the same thing for everyone – it could be the most luxurious product, or the cheapest one.

Discovery now happens by default. Online profiles are the new status symbols: it’s less about having and now it’s about finding and sharing. This is why Pinterest is very popular: through the boards, the pins, you can really show who you are.

The decision process has also changed through social media. Social media is a behavior change: the new decision ecosystem means that consumers benefit from recommendations from friends, peers or even strangers. For example, on Go Try It On, Baidu Travel or Drumo (Singapore startup), people ask strangers for advice.

Henry ended his talk by saying that you don’t need a social media marketing strategy, which a few people in the audience disagreed with. However, what he said made sense: you can have a social media customer service strategy, but you shouldn’t try to push irrelevant information onto your customers just for the sake of being “visible”. If you make great products, people will talk about you. Social media is NOT about you, it’s about the people…..perform or perish!

Alan Soon – Yahoo

Alan talked about the reinvention of news: news as a product and as a process.

In the “old world”, we had a highly centralized mode of distribution: news were picked by the press and fed to you. It was a one-way relationship, one size fits all model. Once it was out, the story died.

Now if we look at news as a process, every story is a “living story”. 5 to 10 seconds after posting a story, you can get dozens of people commenting and sharing their insights. News is also the result of collaboration: it is a community effort, it is not just about the reporters anymore. For example, Yahoo hires freelance writers and bloggers to find as many stories as possible.

The online model is more about the interpretation, the analysis than what/why it happened and breaking the news first. Authority is now shared, therefore news is in permanent beta phase and Alan thinks that if a news is important to you, it will find you.

It is no longer about “you are what you read” but rather “you read what you are”. Indeed, there is now a self selection of news that we choose to consume through social media. There isn’t an information overload online but rather a filter failure.

Alan concluded by saying that there are 3 things that people want to pay for: porn, sports and financial information (stock quotes). People don’t pay for content but for value. People’s motivations don’t change quickly even though technology and trends do.

Personal conclusions

The keynotes were very interesting and Henry’s workshop in the evening about being a trendspotter was also great. To be a trendspotter, you have to be very curious, ask yourself “why” and broaden your perspectives. Why not read design, architecture blogs to get some ideas.

Alan and Henry knew what they were talking about and their presentations were clear and to the point. No “death by Powerpoint”, which I’m very happy about. I feel speakers are finally getting that you need to put beautiful pictures and very few words on the slides not to kill your audience. I’m really looking forward to the other events!

  • That’s a surprisingly good summary of my ramblings! You do have a photographic memory!

    • Haha thanks! I mean, OF COURSE I have a photographic memory ;)
      You should come to SataySocial on Thursday at Lau Pa Sat. That’s where all the cool kids will be: 

      Hopefully see you on Thursday and if not, have a good time in Seoul !