Andy Sernovitz: State of the social media industry 2014 — Live from the Brands-Only Summit

Coverage of this session by Bridgette Cude of Connect with her by following her on Twitter.

8:50 —'s Kurt Vanderah introduces CEO Andy Sernovitz.

8:51 — Andy: The theme for this conference is super heroes because we think of you guys as super heroes. The super hero defends the city. But the city doesn't always appreciate the super hero. The city never really supports the suer hero with resources. That super hero is fighting for the Average Joe. Friends, you're that super hero.

8:52 — Andy: Every super hero has an origin story. For social media people, we all have our origin story. The social media crisis, Dell hell, everyone else is doing it.. However this happened to you, you start to realize you're doing something special.

8:53 — Andy: We need a place for people like us. That phrase has been the guiding principle for people like us at our organization. We knew it would turn into an amazing support network. We're your Justice League. We're all doing something that's never been done before. But more than that, the challenges we're facing are not something someone can sell to us.

8:54 — Andy asks a bigger question: Who is looking out for you while you're looking out for your community and company? The answer to that is that we do. Not the organization, but the people in this room. It comes from a spirit of friendship and fellowship that you just don't see in a regular business group.

8:55 — Andy: This is the most generous helping, kind group of business people I've ever met. Partly becaue that's the only people we'll let in the group, and partly because the people who take this job are just that kind of people.

8:56 — Andy: Whatever crazy situation you're in, someone in this group has been there before.

8:57 — Andy: You have a weird job, your day belongs to everybody else. Your lawyers are always freaked out, and everything you do is in the public eye, everybody has an opinion.

8:58 — Andy: You're supposed to have a meaningful conversation while delivering a corporate talking points. You're supposed to do customer service while making sales, and by the way, can you do our HR on that same page.

8:59 — Andy: And by the way, we're going to give a 1,000 times more money to our ad agency and they're going to do social media too. I hope that's ok with you.

9:00 — Andy: There's no place to learn and experiment that's not in the public eye. But as they say, just because your paranoid doesn't mean they're not after you. The good news is you're not alone.

9:01 — Andy: No one believes you until they pay a consultant to say the exact same thing. we knew this would be a successful business group. But we didn't expect this to become therapy.

9:02 — Andy: Each of us believes in the power, purpose and importance of social media. Openness, authenticity, being nicer: Social media has forever changed companies for the better.

9:03 — Andy: We're working to make this happen and we know it's worth it. As gigantic brands you have the opportunity to make positive change.

9:04 — Andy: As a social media leader at a big brand, you are the steward of your brand.

9:05 — Andy: Those agencies and tools we have don't come with those switches to help decide if we're doing the right thing legally.

9:06 — Andy: We keep getting offered all of these native advertising campaigns and things seem off. You're the ones who have to stand up and do the right thing. If you choose to keep social media clean, it will stay clean. It's time for us to stand up and say we know what the right things are and we're going to do them.

9:07 — Andy: We don't try to pretend our ads or our marketing aren't ads or are consumer opinion. When someone tells you that the best way to promote your brand is to hide it into someone's blog post, that doesn't make sense and it's a clue to run away.

9:08 — Andy: We're calling on you to hold the line on ethics and honesty. Say something when something is wrong.

9:09 — Andy: As a social executive you have a great responsibility.

  1. We will listen and advocate for the consumer.
  2. We will support our companies — we'll teach them how to do it right.
  3. We will be stewards of this medium. Social media isn't even ours. It's the home of a far greater conversation. We'll make a meaningful contribution.

9:10 — Andy: We honor your work with the theme of this event. I challenge you to raise the bar, insist on the highest level of ethics.

9:11 — Andy: We're the ones who are defending this for our friends and families. You're the one who stands on a point of leverage and represents the voices of the greatest brands on earth. And if there's one great soul inside each of these corporations, it's you.

9:12 — Andy: When you look at the scale we're operating on, a tiny bit of extra goodness if a massive wave of goodness and kindness. And while you do that, we've got your back.

9:13 — Andy: Each and every person in this room is dedicated to this goal and willing to be there for you.

9:14 — Andy: I'd love ot welcome you to our family reunion, our secret lair. This is our once a year secret party. We're glad you're a part of it.

9:15 — Andy: Welcome to's Brands-Only Summit!