Attending Social Media Matters Hong Kong
I’ll be adding to this blog throughout the day as I attend Social Media Matters Hong Kong. And I have a confession to make. I snuck in. InvestHK gave me a guest pass, but I forgot as I was walking in and told the folks in registration I was with the media, since that’s how I got into the last conference on Friday by dint of writing for Forbes and StartupsHK. They gave me a media pass and off I went. I only just realized hours later that there must be a pass with my name on it somewhere, instead of this one that just says “Media” on it. The question is, I suppose, which one do I prefer? The other question I have is whether it really is this easy to just walk into any event, claim you’re with the media, and get a free pass.
I also must say that since arriving in Hong Kong I’ve become convinced I need to modify my wardrobe. People dress nicer here, and the Matix jeans and Lakai’s aren’t cutting it. Well, maybe if I slip on a sport coat I can get away with it. But I like how everyone is dressed here and it’d be fun to dress up a bit more after being relaxed for several years. But on to the program…
I’m not going to give a play by play, you might as well just read the program for how interesting that would be. But here are some thoughts on the morning.
We seem to be hearing from a lot of big brands; Ford, Philips, Coca-Cola…I wasn’t terribly impressed with what Ford and Philips are doing. The presentations were delivered just fine, but they came across as a bit artificial. But Coca-Cola, wow. They are doing some innovative things, and I found myself forgetting they’re a huge corporation with one goal in mind–to sell lots and lots of high-fructose corn syrup. I think their point is to make me forget that. They’ve got vending machines and a system where you can buy a Coke for someone in a different part of the world, and the person can record a video message on the vending machine thanking you. That’s been around for a year or so, but I had never seen it. They are working on a campaign to get rid of bullying, and it was quite clever in how it involved schoolchildren and created a moving video. I really think people in the audience were crying, the video was that good. Pay no attention to the HFCS behind the curtain.
Line was interesting, but not compelling enough to get me to sign up for the app. I thoroughly enjoyed the interview with James Kondo, Managing Director, East Asia, Twitter (yes, that’s his very long, official title). I wish it could have gone on for another hour. Then I had to leave and go to the lobby to plug in my laptop. Note to self, if I ever put on a conference I’m going to have a media section inside the venue with a bunch of power strips so all the media folks can plug in and keep listening to the presentations.
Little break there, now we’re into the evening presentations. I ended up being inspired by a remark Esther Dyson made and wrote up a Forbes post based on it. It will go live sometime in the next 24 hours, once I figure out if I can use an image from Napoleon Dynamite or not.
Darin Williams, head of Southeast Asia for Facebook. Hey, I had lunch with that guy today, but he was out of cards and his name tag was obscured so I had no clue who he was. The conversation was mostly about car races in Singapore. I gave him my card, I hope he emails me because now that I know who he is I’ve got some questions for him.
Key points from his presentation:
- 41% of Facebook revenue comes from mobile
- 819M users access Facebook via mobile
- 699M people use Facebook every day
- 469M on Facebook mobile every day
- 89% of all Internet users in Indonesia use Facebook every month
- 92% of Facebook users in Japan are doing it on mobile
People dis’ on Facebook, but man, they’ve got some big numbers and I think they’re smart enough to figure things out. Then again, that’s probably what I would have said about Microsoft in 1999.
Simon Prestridge, Vice President, Marketing, Greater China, Nike is getting started…oh my, apparently the YouTube sensation is here, based on the screams of teen girls coming from the lobby.
Nike shows that it’s impressive what you can do on social media when you have impressive amounts of money. That’s one thing about this conference, it’s all very interesting, but a lot of the strategies are hard to follow because they’re big campaigns being run by big companies. We’ve already seen about $250K USD worth of videos in this presentation, and the videos aren’t even the point of the presentation. It would be interesting to know what people will really take away from this conference and implement in their jobs/businesses.
Alrighty…this YouTube girl and her 200 fans that came in are a bit crazy…I guess this is what I have to look forward to once my daughter becomes a teenager.