MEC @ Social Media Week 2015
From publishers and influencers to brands and technology companies, the industry was out in full force for NYC’s 2015 SMW, assessing the state of social media and sharing predictions of where it’s headed.
Providing countless opportunities to get involved and engaged via panels and keynotes across three stages to interactive sessions and classes, SMW gave marketers the chance to step outside of their comfort zones and embrace social media as a means for enabling people and brands to have access to a creative collaboration platform.
By the end of the conference, marketers left empowered, armed with ideas on how to move their social strategies forward and best engage their consumers by connecting authentic content with valuable insights.
Data is shaping campaigns and content
Data is increasingly important, with smart marketers being driven by data-based insights. While in year’s past, campaigns and content started with a creative idea, some of today’s most successful concepts are rooted in data.
Marketers are using data to inform their social strategy and create stories to share with consumers. Brands are tapping into SEO to better understand their audiences’ interests and inform their content strategy; and organic social performance is informing paid investments (with engaging content getting additional paid dollars), while paid investments are informing organic content (with content that performs well at scale being mimicked for future campaigns).
For example, Roman Tagoe, Head of Digital Content at Time Out, shared how Time Out uses data to determine what content is “working” and then reapplies popular concepts to other cities and countries.
This focus on data is also changing the way organizations are structured, by breaking down the silos. Marketing, analytics and editorial teams are merging, and an increasing importance is being placed on left and right-brained individuals who have the ability to creatively use data to tell stories.
Authenticity is the key
As we learned at Ford’s ‘Make Way for Gen Z’ event, when it comes to Millennials, social media influencers are the new celebrities. The key reason for this shift is authenticity
. Quite simply, consumers trust people who are authentic and relatable because they remind them of themselves.
Influencers are seen as authentic because they don’t just tell you what they like, they also share what they don’t like. More times than not, social influencers will choose to forgo a relationship with a brand that doesn’t align with their values and audience.
The panel also discussed the use of social to create authenticity, giving brands an opportunity to allow its audiences to peer through the window and learn who they are and what they believe in. With this new generation of young entrepreneurs, it’s merely a cost of entry, as these consumers demand respect and will only trust and engage with brands that let them be a part of their story.
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