Last week our Brand Communications team spent three days at the UK’s top social media marketing event, SocialDay. Promising one of the strongest lineups yet, this event raised the bar pretty high from the very beginning. Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook, The Hook, Guinness World Records – these there just a few names on the list that caught our eyes immediately. So, while the memories are still fresh and vivid, we’re sharing our insights from the most prominent talks at SocialDay ‘19.
Ed Couchman – Snapchat Keynote
As the platform with the biggest 13-24 year old audience (called “camera natives” by the Snapchat team itself), this app is definitely leading the way as one of the craziest, creative and goofy platforms out there.
#1 Snapchat aims to be more than just an app that you open and close. They plan to create a world where people could do everything they usually do within the app. And they tackle this challenge from the very basics. Need to do your math homework? Scan the equation that you have and Snapchat automatically solves it for you. You don’t need to leave the app and can continue to use it for sending funny snaps to your friends. Great, isn’t?
#2 According to Ed Couchman, “camera is becoming a new creative canvas”. And these promises are already taking shape. In the AR form. In the beginning of April, Snapchat introduced a few new lenses and features for its users. Together with Amazon, it created a new shopping experience allowing to shop using the camera and introduced “Landmarkers” – new AR lenses that bring the most famous landmarks to life:
#3 With less technology restrictions, marketers will have more ways to be creative, unique and maybe a bit “out there”. Instead of just promoting products or services, they can give their users enhanced visual experience. Just take a look at this awesome Game of Thrones promo:
Timothy Armoo (Fanbytes) – Influencer Marketing
“Forget advertising and entertainment – it’s time for advertainment,” started Timothy Armoo, a CEO of Fanbytes. According to Timothy, we live in an age where we have to entertain the audience through our ads. And the only way to do that effectively is to allow people to express themselves as much as possible. Whether that’s creatively, emotionally or allowing them to show what they value and support.
#1 By blatantly promoting products using influencers, brands won’t get far. But by using the platform influencers have built with their audience, they can create long-lasting value. The latest example of this was a campaign they did with TikTok to promote a new up-and-coming artist RuthAnne. They focused on the idea of loving yourself in the song “Love Again” and found several influencers on TikTok that already discuss such topics with their audiences. They just asked them to share their insecurities with the #PromoteLove. Within one week, over 1,800 unique videos were created by fans, with over 200k hearts on the content created and 1.5m views of the hashtag.
#2 Social media is a personalized TV channel and people want to be starts of their own TV show. They have a certain image of themselves that they want to convey and marketers need to take this into account when thinking about social media marketing campaigns.
#3 Marketers need to look for opportunities to enter the conversation what is already happening, so they wouldn’t need to additionally educate the audience. This not only saves time and money for the brands, but also ensures that campaigns are relevant to the audience.
Mark Kelleher & Carlotta Merzari (BBC) – Insight to Generation Z
As one of the biggest broadcasting companies in the world, the BBC does its homework to understand Generation Z and how it’s different from millennials. While millennials are the ones who adjusted to technology over time, Gen Z was already born in the digital age and is now currently between ages 4-25. You know those toddlers that intuitively know how to unlock an iPhone and open up a camera? That’s Gen Z for you.
#1 Many wrong assumptions about Gen Z are drawn from the fact that data used to determine their behaviour and needs, is actually the data on millennials. Marketers usually think that “young people” are all the same and simply call them with one name – millennials – applying the same marketing strategies to all “youngsters”.
#2 Gen Z is advanced tech-driven – they are more likely to embrace AR, VR and AI technologies in their everyday life. Like the true ambitious youngsters, this generation wants to be ahead of everyone and try out the newest tech there is. And given their digital environment growing up, they’re more likely to easier adapt these technologies and utilize their potential.
#3 Their more liberal outlook on tech carries on to their personal values as well. When it comes to content, they want non-negotiable equality everywhere – a brand that fails to do that is immediately boycotted or, in their words, “cancelled”.
#4 This generation doesn’t approve of the status quo and wants to be a part of the conversation, not to be told what they should think, do or how they should act. A brand or a business that understands that can win their hearts and will know that they’ll have a loyal advocate from a very young age.
So what’s next in social media marketing?
#1 The rise of raw content – when it comes to content, everyone seems to agree that we’re coming into an age where people prefer something raw, uncut and authentic. This means that brands need to be more spontaneous with their posts and worry less about maintaining a cohesive style. And social media platforms are enabling managers to do that – Instagram Stories, Facebook Live Streams or TikTok are great places to start. Focus on showing real, unfabricated feelings that help people to emotionally connect to a business/brand/product/service.
#2 User-generated content is growing – instead of trying to come up with content ideas yourself, look around the people near you. It’s the easiest and best way to get that raw and authentic content that others can connect to emotionally.
#3 Social currency will be valued even more – now more than ever people expect brands and businesses to be smart, witty and socially relevant. People want to see whether various brands and businesses aware of what’s happening around the world, whether that’s politics, pop culture or the newest episode of Game of Thrones.
#4 One customer, multiple touchpoints – reviews have been a headache for social media managers for a while now. We’ve all seen cases where a great customer support response brings more traffic than any purposeful marketing campaign. And at the same time, we’ve seen how a bad (or late) response can cause quite a stir. So as social media managers, it’s important to have not only the right approach to handling these situations but also the proper tools to track all the reviews people leave about your business.
#5 Focus on creating great content – many like to focus on various metrics, analyze the data behind every social media channel and worry which one would work the best for their business. The truth is, if you put out great content, it’s going to reach people on various platforms, no matter where they are. All the statistics for low attention span, low engagement works only with bad, useless content. Producing great, memorable, exciting material should be your top priority, not focusing on whether you should post on Instagram, Linkedin or Facebook.