It's clear to see that the social media train has well and truly left the station. With the rise of mobile and new visual platforms such as Vine and Snapchat, what does the future of social hold? Last week we headed down to Social Media Week London to get some insight from the best in the industry. Here are our five key takeaways:
Create things that will make a difference.
Will Hayward, Chief Commercial Officer at Dazed Group, opened social media week with a bomb when he announced that “the era of content is coming to an end.” Hayward clarified this by explaining that content marketing and native advertising has reached its peak, and people are becoming blind to it. Havas Media conducted a study this year to show that ‘banner blindness’ is spreading on social media, with just 20% of seen content driving an emotional response. The solution? Create something that provokes change. Hayward closed with a great example of content which did just that: the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge which had 14bn views on Facebook and YouTube last year.
Is .com dead?
Nescafe announced their switch from a static website to Tumblr, sending out a provocative message that .com is dead. The move from .com to Tumblr is driven by their ambition to connect with more millennials. They believe Tumblr gives their customers the ability to stay in the moment. With coffee as the focus, people can share their moment through the digital space by taking selfies, sharing images or even taking videos. The nimble and ‘throw anything at it’ nature of Tumblr means Nescafe can be fully responsive which opens doors to procreation. This is a bold move for a global brand but the question is, will others follow?
Video hits tipping point
“Digital ads are just not cutting it.” declared Sarah Wood, Cofounder and COO of video ad tech company Unruly. Wood believes the problem is that there is so much content out there, we are unable to consume it all, meaning we have hit a video tipping point where shares have dipped. With 97 per cent of us not trusting brands and ad blocking going up, how can we keep the future of video alive? Going back to our first takeaway, we need to create content that brings value. Authenticity is the key to credibility. Wood left the audience with a compelling thought - if your brand went to a party, how would it behave?
Short content is the new buzzword
The artist formerly known as ‘Snackable’, ‘Micro’ or ‘Bite-sized’ content has a new monicker: Short Content. While the word on everyone’s lips at Social Media Week may be ‘fresh’, the meaning is nigh on identical. Short Content is simply the current trend of video, Vines, Gifs and Flat Gifs on social media rebadged.
A talk from Twitter’s Tariq Slim displayed that real time, reactive and conversation-led messages truly work. He went on to show an example of Topshop’s campaign #Livetrends. Topshop encouraged fans to tweet them using the trend hashtag by beaming the latest London Fashion Week trends onto digital billboards up and down the UK. In response they received tailored content back, and it related to that specific trend. I.e. we like tartan too, have you seen our latest tartan skirt? (including a link to product page). This two way communication helped drive results. So much so that Topshop reported a 75 per cent uplift in sales in response to the #livetrends campaign.
Influencers are still key
Over the course of the week we heard great examples of snazzy social media campaigns but what was even more apparent was that the success often stemmed back to the influencers involved. Sophie Mindall from TMW Limited shared with us their ‘Non Stop Summer’ video campaign for deodorant brand Sure. They created a video competition with a series of three short videos, which resulted in over 95K video views and 2K competition entries.
Their initial worry was that Sure UK only had 1,500 followers on their Twitter page. To help combat this they enlisted the help of influencers. They got in touch with YouTube sensations Bethan Mary Leadley (397K followers) and Steve Brooker (446K followers). Tapping into their mass following, they were able to connect with the right target audience and receive a total engagement rate of 25.6 per cent. Don’t underestimate the power of an influencer!
For more, click through and watch our #SMWLDN story unfold via a series of tweets on storify.