Things I Learnt From Social Media Week | DMA

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Things I Learnt From Social Media Week


Did you miss SMW LDN this year? If, like me, you enjoy attending industry events just to make sure you’re not missing anything, these events usually leave you feeling secure in the knowledge that you’re an A-Okay marketer. You can pat yourself on the back that all those hours scouring your Twitter feed to pump your barely-awake morning brain with up-to-the-minute marketing news is paying off. However, the occasional golden nugget of new knowledge or inspiration can pop up at an event and makes the commute and awkward entering-and-finding-a-suitable-seat-pronto all worth it.

I was lucky enough to be let loose in London to attend several of their events, so here’s an overview on what I enjoyed:

Stats Lie

Courtesy of Karin Robinson, AD at Ogilvy, she asked us why we’re all so het up on these social media analytics when not only algorithms but people can lie to us! For example, not everyone has updated their Twitter profile to say male or female AND a certain percentage of followers will always be “undetermined” e.g. you may think you have 60% male followers, but some of those may be companies, so neither male nor female.

Karin herself had painfully downloaded and scrutinised her own followers and discovered that at least 20% were actually not a person/of any gender (media, agency, brand etc). Put that together with the amount of fake profiles out there, those who haven’t corrected their location and who knows what your actual demographic really is.

Then we have sentiment...most monitoring systems can still get this wrong sometimes anyway BUT with the rise of slang and different meanings for words, it’s an ongoing struggle to obtain a true sentiment analysis (without trawling through the negatives manually or course). If you are a ‘basic’ and want your millennial game ‘on fleek’ I suggest reading Huffington Posts’ article.

Do Celebrity Influencers Really Help A Campaign?

Another Ogilvy presentation this time with Brandwatch on the panel. The main point I took from this session was that, yes, a brand’s ego will be seriously boosted if a celebrity endorses them/their product with a Tweet (note: even retweets are seen as endorsements now) BUT this doesn’t necessarily mean more sales. In fact, these can do more harm than good sometimes, ahem, Kim K/Diclegis - we’re looking at you (begrudgingly).

So, before you add “Celebrity endorsement” to your new product marketing campaign, make sure the rest of your plan is solid.

Young Women, New Brands

First of all, a commendation on the breakfast and freebies (which should definitely be standard at morning sessions, always). Our gift bag included a free new alcoholic drink ‘lbd’, which was the “new brand” of focus for the event.

The panel from Communicator, Brown Forman and Starcom Mediavest took us through their campaign for this new drink aimed at 18-25 year old women. As well as picking up more new slang, “Prinking” - a hybrid of “Preening” and “Drinking” we learnt that lo and behold young ladies (as well as the rest of the demographic pool) don’t like to be sold to or condescended.

A big part of their strategy was to become part of their “Squad” or friendship group to you and me. They achieved this by providing content that was useful to them, e.g. sharing suggesting party outfits and competitions, lots of fun images and video content during the week so they were front of mind by the weekend, when their target audience were deciding on which drink to buy. With a successful run exclusively selling at Asda, they were able to produce results and profits on a small marketing budget.

We Are Social’s, Err, Social

The Social Media Pub Quiz at Ticketmaster was a great night (they have a slide entrance) and is how I’d like to do all my learning going forward. We didn’t win BUT I learnt some key facts (debatable)...

1/7 people logged into Facebook in one day - biggest user milestone to date

The most wanted new emoji is...the unicorn

Snoop Dogg is the vainest rapper, with the most selfies

Well, it was worth it for the wine and pizza...a definite again for next year.

Disposable Content “The New Awesome”

Real-time marketing was a hot topic for 2014 (I wrote a blog about it for DMA last year) and it’s still a hot contender for key marketing campaign winners. The thing I like most about this type of content, is that you can’t predict where it will go, how far it will reach and no matter how “expert” you are in this field, practically anyone can do it and be a success.

This is evident with the rise and rise of bloggers, they’re just as (or more) important than a celeb at a launch event. Malcolm Green of Green Cave People, gave a passionate presentation on why sometimes, the simplest of ideas are the best and they don’t always come from agencies, but members of the public, as this rogue Colin the Caterpillar account shows. It garnered more buzz than M&S’s own campaign.

The torrent of new social marketing fads, memes and platforms will continue to emerge, but as marketers we will advise our clients or departments on the right strategy, because it is right for that campaign, not just because it seemingly worked elsewhere.

Thanks for reading.

Did you go to SMW? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Set up in 2015, T/F/D works as an in-house virtual marketing team with clients who disrupt in their space.

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