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Update from Kellogg Social Media Symposium

Chad Stoller

Chad Stoller (left) of Organic, Inc., discusses the aftermath of purchasing social media with fellow execs and Kellogg students (Photos copyright Daniel B. Honigman)

Kellogg’s Social Media Marketing Symposium got off to a good start Tuesday, as news-types and Web behemoths alike rubbed shoulders and drank coffee in the somewhat cramped quarters of Kellogg’s 4th floor conference room.

I started chatting with Scott Skurnick of, the #1 (ranked by Google) car search service about their branding experience with social media. For all of you aspiring online entrepreneurs, even the big boys are using Google as their big gun, which is equally good and bad.

“You never want to depend solely on one source, but that’s the way [the search engine business] has become,” he said. “If you lose your rankings on Google, you’re out of business.”

Edmunds is comparable to the Kelley Blue Book brand, the brand. Thing is, said Sturnick, they’re just not doing anything online.

“Brands and properties have to realize that negativity is out there, and they need to police it,” said Chad Stoller, Executive Director of Emerging Platforms for Organic. For newspapers, they’ve forgotten that they’ve always been leaders and conversation starters. Newspapers that don’t want to blog — I just don’t get that.”

“If you’re the newcomer or the advertiser to the social media party, you have to bring some beer and pizza,” he continued. “If you don’t contribute something… and give back to the community, you’re not enhancing the experience.”

The beer and pizza, he said, were upgrades to social media platforms. A MySpace plug-in that lets people see their top 24, instead of eight friends.

We can create the social media, but can we attract the 18-24 year olds?”, asked Tony Wright of Schurz Communications. My guess: No, it can’t be done. Unless there’s unique content.

More to come, folks.