This week I was at the W Midtown Hotel in Downtown Atlanta for Social Media Today's Social Shake-up Conference. I knew to expect a great event as this was my second Social Shake-Up, following the Social Media Today event in Austin during SXSWi in March. So, let's get to it. Disclaimer - Most of these notes will be from just one panel. Also - please excuse my phone's picture quality. Can't wait for the iPhone 6, also to avoid spending most of my time charging during events.
10:30am Data & Creativity: Defining Your Data-Driven Social Campaign
This panel explored creativity and data, and their combination for deeper story telling. Also discussed was social analytics, and the importance of having clear goals in social media campaigns. Laurent began by apologizing for his French accent, and the way he pronounces "Adam," although both Adam and I agreed it was a nice twist on the American pronunciation. Once the discussions were underway, Adam was quick to note the heavy lifting and social listening done by his Cox social care team, including Frankie Saucier, who I had the pleasure of sitting next to during the panel. Make sure all interactions are handled, and handled correctly - your brand sentiment is on the line! Consumers connect around their passions and creativity, social connects the two. David, with a background in statistics and market research, explained how he's basically paid to be a skeptic. David piggy-backed and agreed with Adam's thoughts on how to best engage with customers, and that the right way has yet to be determined. How do we engage customers at each touch-point?
Tracy noted that social can fill your gaps in customer service, as well as aid in sales and lead generation. Perhaps my favorite quote from this panel came from Adam when asked about social media tools, though. He stated, "Tools are tools, but people run social [media]. That's why it's called social media." Adam went on to discuss how Cox customers who are engaged on social media are 33% more valuable than a typical customer, and score 32 points higher in NPS (net promoter score). The goal here is to turn your social customers into advocates! Another interesting note from Adam came in that social is now the first place people go for customer servicing. It can't be any simpler than sending a DM, and seeing immediate resolution (again, props to the Cox social care team). Imagine a world where social media is the #1 place to go to seek technical support, and where brand advocates reply and assist even before the brand can.
What do you think when you hear the words engagement and organic? You probably think it's just some marketing buzz word lingo, but you'll be happy to hear that Adam Naide agrees with you. If he had it his way, he'd retire these words because they're "fluffy and everyone has a different meaning for them." Agreed!
An early takeaway from this panel was that customer's comments and thoughts are incredibly valuable social offerings. Cox ran a Facebook brand campaign with Nielsen to promote that Cox has doubled their internet speeds. By reading comments and listening to what customers thought Cox was able to gather feedback in their customer's context that they would've otherwise never known.
Tracy pointed out that your social media efforts support your creative processes. Listening to people and seeing how they react to your advertising is invaluable! How are they talking about the music in the background of a video? What do they think about the imagery? These are good to know data points gained through social that you may otherwise over-analyze. Feedback is different when it's live.
The panel went into a great discussion on feedback, and Adam actually played moderator for a bit, asking Tracy the questions. The takeaway - find real reactions buried in data. Use what you have and bring it back to a simple human reaction.
Adam then quoted Maya Angelou. "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." I love this, and the same goes in social. Your followers may associate with you because of one emotion-bringing post, but never actually remember what it was. This relates, in a way, to Cox's social strategy of using content like Game of Thrones as click bait, with an ultimate call to action behind it. Adam knows that Cox's fans share clear emotions about their shows, so why not go where they're already talking and sharing feelings? Another great example comes through the World Cup earlier this summer. Cox curated simple posts around existing conversations, just letting people know how to catch the games on their phones at work. Genius. Speaking of Game of Thrones, look who favorited one of my live-tweets...
David then brought up a question, "Do you need 30 seconds to tell people something, or just one?" Creativity is all over the internet these days, as seen through popular teenage Vine-creationists. These teens are so popular that they're being paid six figures to create content for some of the biggest brands in the world. Adam recommended a recent Nightline episode on this topic, you can find it here.
We then got into audience questions, the first naturally dealing with ROI. Adam mentioned that at Cox they haven't noticed a significant return on Twitter, but that they've been very successful utilizing paid promotions on Facebook, hitting the right people with the right messages at scale. The next question sought out more information on the structure of the panelists' social teams. Tracy noted they have a 4 pillar set-up, with teams segmenting data, enterprise, and deep analytics, with a team focusing on the more traditional aspects as well. Adam, again, pointed out that his care team does the heavy lifting, responding to every brand mention and engagement. Among others, the Cox team consists of 3 residential team members, and 1 B2B member in Cox Blue. Also, Adam noted that he instructs his team to talk about what others are talking about. You can't be too corporate, or boring, so he tries to keep the operations similar to those of a small agency: highly collaborative. Scale will eventually come in the end, so focus on sentiment from the get-go. It's important to get back to the basics of simply connecting with people, when the "sanitized version" of social media these days often requires heavy use of automation and tools. The final question asked about how they benchmark versus the competition. Tracy stated that no one metric works by itself, and that they all need to be combined to see the big picture, and Adam agreed. Overall great panel, I never miss an opportunity to see Adam speak.
11:45am The Content Selfie: What to Serve Your Customers to Make Them Want You
This presentation dealt with vanity metrics, and how businesses sometimes place too much emphasis on these irrelevant figures. Tangerine Lab worked with Verizon Wireless executives to create an algorithm that scores and ranks content, identifying the characteristics of content effectiveness. It was a great presentation, we caught the beginning before heading to lunch, and unfortunately there was only standing room and I took no notes.
Lunch was fantastic. Huge ballroom with self-seating and a buffet complete with blackened catfish, fried chicken, cheddar macaroni and cheese, green beans, and salad. I was satisfied to say the least, but that didn't stop me from snagging a brownie during a later coffee break...
Walked through the demo/expo area after lunch, here's a picture. OH, and, got myself a portable charger from Social Chorus for my next event - thanks guys!
2:00pm Entertainment & Sports: How to Listen and Engage with Fans
This panel discussed how sports and entertainment consumers now have unbelievable access to their favorite teams, athletes and entertainers. The panelists talked curating genuine posts and reaching consumers authentically. Brian began by asking each panelist what their best, or most surprising, moment has been so far as a sports/entertainment social media worker. Katie from ESPN noted the 40 year anniversary of Title IX, where ESPN created the world's biggest collage of women athletes! They cut the barriers of entry in this campaign, by simply asking for picture submissions of women athletes, how simple is that? Dan from SAP used the DFB, or Germany national soccer team, as his example - so you know I was thrilled as a soccer guy! SAP's Match Insights training tool exceeded expectations in it's use and effectiveness in, for example, lowering the average time a player holds the ball until they pass from 5 to 3 seconds. This may have led the team to winning this year's World Cup! Morgan from Turner Sports stated that it's great to start conversations and organically join others, as opposed to forcing or butting in as a product hot for attention. At Turner Sports, Morgan stated that social is used to post specific social content, but also is great as an additional distribution channel. This, in turn, shows you the ROI of social for Turner, as sports are an inherently social topic, it's wildly important for them to not only have a presence here but also facilitate conversation!
The Ray Rice and Domestic Violence category was sure to come up in this panel. Directly mainly at Katie, she stated that in these types of scenarios it's important to use broad/open-ended questions when responding and interacting with followers. For example, "How did the Ray Rice news make you feel?" People often responded genuinely, and sadly, as opposed to aggressively seeking an altercation or ESPN slip-up. Again, people want to interact with people, and expect your social presence to be human.
3:15pm, Storytelling: What Is the Art and What Is the Science?
Speaker: Tamara Gaffney, Principal Analyst, Adobe Digital Index
Tamara's presentation dealt with big data, and related stories she's created around the World Cup and movie premieres. Also discussed were mobile trends, social predicting, and the anatomy of a story. This presentation was fascinating, and I'm bummed we missed the beginning because apparently Tamara stated that using Adobe's software they were able to predict an increase in American popularity of soccer! She discussed how they were able to predict the larger iPhone 6 because of mobile bounce rates and Samsung data, and how they were also able to predict that Guardian's of the Galaxy would be the summer hit by studying the impact of trailers and social mentions. She also stated that they sought to do the same with Fall television premieres, but were unable due to the fact that each show was receiving less than 100 mentions each. The reasoning? Television program producers and marketers are still advertising on TV! Hey, TV guys, we're not there anymore, we're on our 2nd screens!
Tamara went on to note that 60% of inbound website traffic from social is coming in through mobile. The takeaway here being that your website MUST be responsive and appealing! High bounce rates come through mobile, so strategize what you can do to counteract. Another noteworthy quote from Tamara came when she stated, "10% of TV-Everywhere (log in thru authentication) is played on Xbox and Roku" - this has huge implications on digital marketers in terms of advertising in this space. In conclusion, Tamara spoke on employee happiness, specifically for a company's social media employees. It's of the utmost importance to keep these people happy because if they're not it will reflect in the company's social posts and tone. Your character online can win you business!
That's it for the event. I definitely recommend checking out Social Media Today, they put out awesome content and host great events. Quick shout out to a few of the awesome people I saw and met at the event: Robin Carey, Adam Wexler, Kevin Hunt, JJ Imbeaux, Melinda Byerley, Jason Katz, Mary Liebowitz, and Rocky Chancellor. And thanks to the sponsors, below. Until next time, Social Shake-up.