The 5 key themes of Social Media Week London 2017
Social Media Week held over 50 sessions in London this September, featuring talks from the likes of Buzzfeed, Google, Facebook, Nat Geo and MediaCom’s very own Sue Unerman.| October 13th, 2017
We sent a few members of our team down to the week-long conference to hear all about the latest social trends and what they mean for brands. The following themes dominated:
- Language: To benefit from increased engagement, brands must understand tone science and the importance of consistent messaging.
The likes of Instagram and Snapchat have changed the way we communicate, with 92% of users now believing that emojis more accurately reflect their emotional state than words can. Though language snobs may be tempted to sneer at the thought of swapping copy for images, and believe emojis are detrimental to the future of communication, others will argue they are a natural evolution of language, which can be used to enrich digital interactions. There is a strong case for the latter; Emoji are universal, they cross borders, gender, race and religion. Whichever side of the coin you’re on, as a brand you must consider whether using this modern form of communication fits in naturally with your established tone of voice, or whether including emojis in your social posts could make you seem forced and even out of touch.
- Influencers: In 2017 and beyond, influencer marketing must be a strategy and not a tactic.
While influencer marketing is no longer a hot new trend, it was evident throughout the week that the buzz surrounding working with relevant social influencers is not going to diminish any time soon. This is not surprising when you consider that word of mouth influences 92% of all purchases, and that 54% of female internet users worldwide have made purchases after seeing an influencer’s post. With influencer marketing now reportedly accounting for over 20% of consumer media consumption, it’s time brands stop treating it as a short-term tactic and start developing lasting strategies.
- Platform Specificity: To succeed on social, you must understand platform differentiation.
To run a creative and engaging social account, you must follow news on updates and formats to stay clued-up on platform specificity and native innovation. The average person in the UK spends 1 hour and 16 minutes per day on social platforms, and thumbs through 300 feet of content per day on their smartphones. To stop these thumbs from scrolling straight past your post, you must create content with a specific platform in mind.
- Personalisation of Newsfeeds: Technology drives great value to users and the marketplace with its ability to provide personalised, relevant information at scale.
From customised searches to flexible products and tailored information, personalisation drives strong engagement and immersion across digital platforms. While precision medicine, tailored apparel and geolocation clearly add great value, personalisation also comes with a darker side; with filter bubbles meaning Facebook and Google users are almost exclusively exposed to news and articles that align with and confirm their pre-existing opinions, resulting in an increasingly polarised public sphere and less tolerance to alternative points of view. Personalisation must be used for the greater good, and not become isolation.
- The Human Connection: Technology relies on humans.
As brands increasingly rely on technology to communicate with their audiences, it’s important to create an authentic human connection in the process. To build personal connections, brands should focus on solving customer problems before tech, and building communities not just products. 86% of millennials agree that brands should use chatbots to promote deals, discounts and offers, and while these can bring huge efficiencies if the balance is right, customers should still be given the option to talk to an actual person.
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