Social Media Week NYC 2014 – Day One Notes + Higlights

This year’s highly anticipated Social Media Week NYC kicked off it’s first full day of sessions today but not without some organizational issues. The venue (Highline Stages) itself seemed too small to accommodate all of the social media mavens in attendance, the line for the now infamous freight elevator was literally a NYC block long and the buzz phrase of the day was “at capacity” as many like myself were left out of sessions we had originally signed up for.

Regardless, the show must go on and so it did. First up for me was a “masterclass” on “Navigating Internet Subcultures: Reddit, Tumblr, Snapchat and Twitter” hosted by strategists from Code & Theory. Both strategists shared case studies from their subculture activities from beauty clients like Maybelline and Essie to “liquids” like New Castle Brown Ale. Some points that stood out were:

  • Subcultures enable you to be who you want to be, multiple identities are embraced.
  • To fit in a subculture you/your company needs an identity: character, personality, depth and values.
  • Brands have to be more like “digital artisans”.
  • No media (i.e. $$$) support necessary to participate in subcultures, you can achieve pure organic growth by lifestyle interactions and authentic conversations.
  • Overlays = the new avatar for teens on social media, my life in one picture.
  • When participating in Subreddits: Pay attention to and heed the rules outlined by moderator.
  • Brands: Be authentic and be realistic about what spaces you can engage in – see New Castle Brown Ale as an example.
Next up was a really engaging conversation hosted by the fashion/lifestyle site which is favorite among millennials, Refinery29. Titled “Building a Publishing Brand Today and Making Money,” the panel featured the CRO at Refinery29 and the SVP, Marketing at Armani Exchange. Both women discussed their current fashion brand+publisher partnership and shared some golden nuggets of content marketing wisdom, which included:
  • Digital brands can act as publishers and monetize.
  • Deemphasis on the social media “campaign” and more on establishing ongoing dialogues.
  • Gone are the days of seasonal or holiday-targeted campaigns… Now when fashion brands collaborate with publishers, there are daily pushes of content.
  • Gone are the days of “microsites” – hooray!
  • There’s not much of a consumer journey anymore. People are either inspired by your message/brand or they’re not and they move on.
  • There’s no such thing as failure! Look at all activities as an opportunity to grow and expand.
  • If your brand has a retail presence, translate the online experience your build for your customers into an offline, in-store event to capture that entertainment/emersion factor and connect in person.
  • When publishing content, think velocity and quantity but don’t sacrifice quality. (Refinery29’s 60+ editors publish 100+ pieces of content a day!)
  • As publishers, the quality of the content created for your brand partnership must match the content created in house – use the same production process.
  • New concept: The Brand as Newsroom – stay current and inform your audience too!
  • Monitor social happenings and pay attention to what’s relevant to you.
  • Curate your content for each distribution channel – one size does not fit all.
  • Don’t bother engaging in social media as a brand if you don’t have strong analytics, otherwise you will be driving blindly.
  • Respond to EVERY comment left by your social media followers.
  • Have your core set of social channels but don’t engage on all – look at your end goal(s) and find the right mix for you/your brand.
  • Stay away from channel-specific strategies which may waste a lot of time/energy and doesn’t leave room for new technologies.
  • Time, place and context are CRUCIAL to content. (For example, Netflix’s “House of Cards” full season release.)
  • When evaluating strategies, always ask yourself: What did work? What didn’t? How can we make it better next time?

smw nyc 2014 Refinery29

My third and final session was “Powering the Consumer Journey with Social Marketing” which was a panel featuring digital marketing folks from Live with Kelly and Michael, Gilt Groupe and Amazon, hosted by Offerpop (a social media marketing campaign management tool). For this session I managed to snag one of the popular Nokia-branded single-occupant work pods which enabled me to charge my dying digital devices (say that 3x!) and catch up on work email, so I only took note of a few interesting points:
  • Key metrics they look at are Referral Visits from social platforms and CPCs and CRMs for advertising.
  • Experiment with using UGC (user generated content) as creative assets for advertising on social platforms.
  • Use social campaigns to capture email addresses/opt-in.
  • No organic blogger outreach is scalable, so it just ends up becoming a media buy.
  • Facebook paid campaigns are a thumbs UP!
  • Find new customers through #hashtags (though tough to measure).
That’s all for today! Follow #SMWNYC on Twitter as many attendees are live tweeting from each session while other related event hashtags include #smwfandom and #smw14. Also be sure to check out the international Social Media Week events happening simultaneously in Bangalore, Barcelona, Copenhagen, Hamburg, Lagos, Milan and Tokyo. Or follow me on Twitter @mestrich for more live #SMWNYC tweets this week.

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