Social Media Week London is Europe’s premier media and marketing event so our Social Media Exec Hannah headed down to London’s QEII centre to join them for their 10th annual edition. And it didn’t disappoint …
Back with a book full of notes, here’s a few of Hannah’s top insights shared by the line up of industry experts.
1 – Added value
People are increasingly placing value on digital content and creators. We’re now seeing online communities fight for ownership of content and brands must be seen to respect the creators or risk facing backlash. This trend is driving behavioural change in the industry, people are now paying their favourite creators for content, boycotting career plagiarists and calling out brands that don’t credit.
As a result, brands must champion the audience as well as the creators and respect the online communities. Brands can no longer force themselves into a community, they must invest in them and be accepted before they can start using their content.
2 – Social self-care
Digital users are seeking a healthier relationship with their digital consumption and looking to rebalance their digital lives. This has resulted in people seeking out online optimism, engaging with more wholesome content and consulting with digital therapists. Screenshots of step trackers and running apps on our feeds have been pushed to the side and replaced with screenshots showing people’s screen time, giving people bragging rights over how little time they’ve spent scrolling.
We’ve also seen Instagram introduce their hidden like feature, designed to break unhealthy social habits. But what does this mean for brands? For Steeve Dool, Head of Community Partnerships at Depop, the removal of likes will allow brands to communicate their brand message and examine whether their content is enriching enough as opposed to solely seeking out likes.
3 – Bad influence
Influencer culture continues to face backlash with audiences starting to question the true value of influencer marketing. According to research by We Are Social, influencer ‘relatability’ is twice as important as popularity when it comes to product endorsements, proving that viewers are seeking ways to engage with influencer marketing in a more valuable way. To overcome this, brands should shift their understanding of influencer marketing by moving from influencer to community marketing, and embracing the fact that not all influencers are influential.
4 – Follow your audience
When it comes to social media analytics, it’s crucial that companies follow their audience. This means working out where audiences are spending their time, which platforms they’re using and what content they’re engaging with. To do this, brands must start with a strategy and think about the full user journey.
Once the journey has been mapped out and the strategy is in place, brands are able to analyse how the users are interacting with their channels and whether their social content is meeting their business objectives. To measure this effectively, Tom Szekeres, recommends that brands and businesses move away from analysing the number of posts and clicks and focus on the conversion percentage, revenue and bounce rate.
5 – B2B businesses can and should be on Instagram
Instagram is the fastest growing social platform of all time, so it’s important that businesses think carefully about their Instagram strategy. There’s a common misconception that B2B businesses can’t be on Instagram; however, this could not be further from the truth. To make the most of the platform, businesses need to understand who their content is for and what value it brings to their audience. Alison Battisby, founder of Avocado Social, suggests her top tips for business:
- Set your objectives – be clear with what you want to achieve with your Instagram profile.
- Brand your Instagram– it takes 3 seconds for someone to land on your account and decide whether to engage with you or not, make it count!
- SEO your bio– make sure your account has a clear bio and includes a call-to-action and URL.
- Think about your content strategy– what would your audience share with a friend? What would they save for later? What value does it bring them? What content do you already have available – think about your blogs, infographics, videos etc?
- Research your hashtags– Instagram allows you to include up to 30 hashtags per post so it’s important that companies research the most effective and relevant hashtags to drive engagement. Use a mix of popular and niche hashtags to reach maximum audience.
- Measure success to drive growth– refer back to your objectives to see whether or not your strategy has been effective. Look at which posts have driven the most engagement, how much traffic has been driven back to your website, what has been the best type of post, are there any notable days or times that have worked best and is there any activity that stands out? Use the answers to work out the best content and continue to produce it for the future
6 – Go audience first
There are more media outlets and platforms than ever before. But time, budget and resource are being stretched like never before which is resulting in brands and businesses now needing to be across more platforms with less resource! The fight for user attention is increasingly competitive meaning that the demand for exciting, creative and experimental content is at an all-time high. Failure to produce current and exciting content will result in your audience going elsewhere. Claire Hodgson, Editor in Chief of Cosmopolitan UK, explains that standing still is no longer an option for brands and if they do, their readers will run on without them.
To avoid losing or isolating your audience, ask yourself four key questions when creating content:
- Will it grow your audience?
- Will it grow your revenue?
- Will it grow your influence?
- Are you experimenting to learn?
Did you attend Social Media Week London? What were your favourite insights from the event? Let us know in the comments below …