For those of you who didn’t know, it’s social media week this week (22-26 September 2014). So to kick it off I went along to the first event in London held by Battenhall, a PR and social media agency based in London.
The event; Battenhall’s What’s Next in Social Media breakfast briefing was held in the trendy Soho Hotel, and the doors opened early at 7.45am. The event got underway with a pretty damn good breakfast, alongside networking with some of the other lucky peeps to have bagged a place.
The event launched its FTSE100 social media report for 2014, so I was excited to see some of the findings from it.
Drew Benvie, Founder of Battenhall (twitter.com/drewb) addressed the event with a welcome and a brief overview of some of the key runners in the FTSE 100 social media report. Burberry came out top with more than three million followers on Twitter, more than Coca-Cola’s 2.6m, and six times the level of its closest FTSE 100 follower Marks and Spencer’s (M&S). M&S’s tweets are pipped as the most engaging.
Drew said that Burberry is a role model for other brands on social media. He talked about the separation of Burberry’s customer service and main Twitter account, saying the distinction allows for the company’s vast following to enjoy creative tweets and experimentation with new apps.
It was suprising to hear about how many brands (ones within the FTSE100), who are still not using social media as part of their marketing communications channels. It will be interesting to see how brands will favour with their audiences if they don’t start embracing it.
The event was then led by some of the team at Battenhall who all presented about their area of specialism.
What to include on your social media strategy for 2015
Sam Mason, Client Services Director (twitter.com/sammyps) who talked about private messages and how they are becoming a front runner in the social sphere, used more and more widely to communicate with audiences. Private messaging allows brands to communicate with select groups/ audiences, relaying tailored, specific real time messages.
Most social media platforms now have private messaging functionality built in. This is one way the media shares news and world affairs. Channel 4 news recently used snap chat and WhatsApp and Snapchat to update its audiences on the Scottish Independence Referendum.
Sam said that private messages are short-lived, so a great way to relay some key messages that you don’t want to go out to the masses. Some ideas Sam said private messages would be good for are Flash Sales and real time news. You could also promote events or commentary during a conference. Sam warned of sending spammy messages as private messages can be seen as an invasion of privacy, so avoid your communications feeling impersonal.
Video, the one to watch
Steph Bennett, Senior Account Manager and resident Vlogger (twitter.com/stephsbubble) talked to us about video. Steph begun with a run through of the history of how video ‘used’ to be recorded and how things have completely changed. Now the most common device to film a video is the smart phone.
Steph talked about the huge success of YouTube and how now so many of us use YouTube to not only watch videos, film trailers and adverts but also ‘hot to’ videos. This is a great way for brands to get some online exposure and convert their audience into advocates.
Burberry used an Apple smartphone to record the runway of its fashion show, at London Fashion Week event. Videos and still images were posted to various Burberry channels, including Instagram and a slow motion video was created using a smartphone.
Hyperlapse videos; basically a condensed video which is sped up, was another example used as a way of sharing video footage and Phhhoto was another cool tool that allows you to create short videos using pictures.
So there are lots of great ways to create new and interesting social content to engage your audience. You just need to decide what will work best for your audience, campaign and message. We can now put videos into pretty much every communication we send out. Texts, Whatsapp, Snapchat and Slingshot which all allow ways of instant exchange of videos.
Steph talked about the #icebucketchallenge as an example of how video allowed pretty much anyone to take part and post their challenge online, sharing it with friends and family. Video allows us to make emotional connections through the content, which effectively empowers the bond between brands and consumer, just as they would do with friends and family.
The Internet of Things
Drew Benvie talked about how you can make your experience as a brand more interesting, using things such as apps.
Drew talked about how we are all slowly reducing the length of time we spend using apps and talked about the predictions that one day there may be no more apps. His example rang true with me. He talked through how you check all your various apps, some of you may have a routine or you might just check them at random, but we check them just to see if we have any updates or if there is anything interesting to read, share or engage with.
Drew went on to talk about how brands will need to start working in the background on different devices in different ways and how brands will have to start planning ahead for these apps.
To download Battenhall’s FTSE100 report, you can do it here. I fully recommend it if you are interested in finding out about what’s changed in the social media economy and check out some interesting case studies.
To follow the conversation use the hashtag #SMWwhatsnext.