Earlier this week, I was at the Social Media World Forum Europe, hearing a range of presentations from advertisers, agencies and social networks.
Key insights from the 25 or so panels, keynotes and presentations are available here. One report deals with some of the general issues associated with social media, including its impact, its social use and what the future holds; the second report focuses on practical social media tips from clients including Speedo, Stella Artois and Talk Talk.
For me, one of the standouts was day one's keynote from Kevin Eyres, managing director of LinkedIn Europe, a business network which retains 40 million professionals as members. He said that 1bn searches for people had been conducted over the network over the past year, and that, of this total, half were for looking for skills.
Monetisation options related to social media were also put under the microscope by one SMWF panel. FarmVille, a Facebook game developed by Zynga through which players can purchase virtual goods, has proved a phenomenon; its user base has grown to 80 million members and driving annual profits at Zynga of over $200 million a year.
Adam Caplan, vice president for virtual currency at Adknowledge, added that web publishers were moving towards a "microtransaction model", rather than attempting to fund their operations from clicks on banner ads alone.