Social Media Week 2016

Megan runs through her top 5 key takeaways from Social Media Week London 2016


If you follow Dog’s social media, you will know we spent last week at Social Media Week London. With the global theme of "The Invisible Hand: Hidden Forces of Technology (and How We Can Harness it for Good)," sessions sought to explore changes in communication and consumption, and the impact of technologies, data and connectivity on this evolving ecosystem. We’ve somehow managed to compress 5 days of fantastic speakers into 5 snappy and easy takeaways, enjoy!

The Power of UGC

80% of the web is User-Generated Content, and harnessing it is key, or unfortunately “UGC will kill us all” - a genuine quote from Vincent Deneux, Chief Content Officer, Publicis Media France.

Strong words coming from the King of Soundbites during a fascinating discussion with Lisa McDonald, Chief Creative Officer at Storyful and Publicis Media France. They honed in on their Euro 2016 campaign with sponsor Turkish Airlines. It was useful to gain insight into how social media and traditional media agencies collaborate and collide to tell authentic stories.

They boiled down success in harnessing UGC into 3 main points:

  1. Relevant content delivered in real time, know who your potential audience is.
  2. Identify unexpected extras and maximise, always look for people to collaborate with.
  3. Share the experience and UGC quickly, don’t wait for it go stale - acquire the rights and publish.


Information vs. Knowledge

There were a lot of interesting sessions about data’s place in social media strategy, as the discipline moves out of its adolescent phase focused on engagement into a phase focused on achieving real business goals. Data is often seen as the key to unleashing a world off super-targeted social, but as the team from Weber-Shandwick stated during the session: “You can’t put the genie back in the bottle. Tracking and data acquisition need to be put in place from the beginning.” - Something our analytics team has been telling us for years!

The most important part of collecting all this data is that, as Hollie Lubbock of Code + Theory states: “Data equals information, not knowledge.” Simply having the information does not mean we know how to implement it. If you’re not thinking about the people on the other side of the data, their needs, intentions and what they care about, it’s a house of cards. Track behaviours, not just demographics and apply it as insight to engineer effective strategies.


Silent Movies of 2020

The week opened with a fantastic talk from Ian Crocombe, Facebook Creative Shop, exploring the creative opportunities, read challenges, of new Facebook video options and the death of audio on the Internet's number 1 platform.

At the very least, video must be optimised for social, and ideally designed social first. To get users hooked on your video ad, Ian advised a ‘Heartbeat frequency’, which means having interesting nuggets on a 3 second loop in a vignette style, to keep attention-short users engaged.

This relationship doesn’t transfer however to one of Facebook’s newest features Facebook live. Only an uber-engaged user will take this route to follow a brand’s content, and if it’s not engaging or is of poor quality, they tune out. BBC NEWS stated that the most important thing to good Facebook Live content is to be confident, engage with users’ comments, and have a good internet connection!


Changing brand relationships

It has long been bemoaned that Millennials are destroying the tradition of brand relationships. We have no brand loyalty and engage with no particular brands via social, thus making us a traditional marketer’s idea of hell. We’re social butterflies, and we’re quick to turn off.

Neuroscience-focused Neil Davidson of Hey Human turned this on its head. He stated: “I want my brand to have a ‘friends with benefits’ relationship with consumers… we’re all short on time - shallow brand relationships don’t have to be bad.”

This is a great approach to take. And thought-provoking really. To think: It’s ok to create mini brand experiences that individuals enjoy. It’s ok not to be in constant communication. As long as when there is interaction, it’s genuine and meaningful, and both the consumer and brand get something out of it. Even if it is just for that moment. Social media strategies underpinned by this mentality could prove effective when targeting Millenials. And you never know, the relationship could go beyond a ‘friends with benefits’ arrangement, into a long term partnership.


Content is still king, but context is queen

Certainly the best received session of the week came from The Sophisticated Marketer himself, Jason Miller of LinkedIn.  He urged the audience to create a big rock of content, and then portion it up like leftover turkey. Lost in the analogy? Basically, don’t spend all your budget on a huge piece of content only to use it on TV, or any other one channel for that matter.

Be great at repurposing content and exploiting it for maximum impact. This way instead of one well received bit of content, you’ll have a whole playbook of optimised assets ready to generate high engagement. However, effective activation is nothing without the right context and relevance. Know your standing within your social networks, and understand what your audience values and has come to expect from you. Ask yourself ‘does this piece of content fit our Facebook, LinkedIn etc. community, or is it better suited to Snapchat?’ Having different audiences on each network is how it’s supposed to be. Chop content, use different formats or media, change the tone, language or creative. Give the individual what they want, what they need, and give it them however they want to receive it.


There was absolutely loads of useful tips, great speakers, and down right amazing people at this year's Social Media Week in London. If you'd like to chat more about anything we came across, or making the most of social media for your brand or organisation, just drop me an email!