The Social Media Week kicked off in twelve cities yesterday, with tons of fascinating talks and workshops taking place everywhere from Shanghai to London. While we won’t have time to attend every event (there is work to be done, too!), we’ll be posting interesting nuggets from the events we’ve managed to go to throughout the week. I started the week by attending a social media case study evening, where four speakers took turns to get on the stage to showcase the social media campaigns they are most proud of.
The cases presented highlighted that we should be getting creative in the ways in which we use data generated by social media, as it can help us understand not only what people think about a brand but what they think about a whole category, it can inspire us to come up with ideas for campaigns, and we could even use the data from social media to track how advertising campaigns are doing in the future.
The various campaigns for the quickly-growing craft beer brand BrewDog, presented by Manifest’s Alex Myers, showed how you can get brilliant ideas from social media conversations that are already taking place. For instance, while listening to conversations about beer, Alex and his team noticed that many beer lovers were ridiculing the cheesy limited-edition beers launched by various brewers in the run-up to the Royal Wedding. Tapping into that, Manifest created a different kind of beer for the occasion, the Royal Virility Performance beer -a beer to commemorate the royal wedding night, enhanced with Viagra. Another idea that derived from listening to online conversations – not just on the brand, but conversations taking place in general – was the #BrewPedia campaign they created on the day of the Wikipedia Blackout. Alex and his team noticed that when lacking accesses to the omniscient wiki, people were asking each other tons of factual questions online.They decided to launch the BrewPedia hashtag campaign, offering answers to any questions that BrewDog drinking social media users might have – these ranged from when Chuck Norris was born to where kebabs originate from.
Christian Gladwell from Human Digital told us he was using social media in a very different but equally ingenious way, and introduced the idea of creating an ad tracker using social media data. While I can’t imagine this working for every campaign – say, those targeting the over 65s- the idea seems to have future potential, especially considering that social media ad tracking could cost much less than traditional ad trackers done via surveys. More detail is going to be published soon in the Harvard Business Review, and it’ll be interesting to see whether or not social media ad tracking will catch on in the coming years.
Another insight from the cases presented was that bloggers are feeling increasingly bombarded by brands. The examples by Jam’s Mel Kirk and 1000head’s Molly Flatt showed ways to approach bloggers who are feeling increasingly protective and sceptical. Mel Kirk offered an example of reaching the very top tech bloggers though Samsung ‘extreme unboxing’ campaign. This campaign tapped into the unboxing craze (tech geeks unboxing and reviewing the latest gadgets in front of a camera as soon as they get home from the shop), and offered bloggers an extreme experience they’d enjoy – giving the bloggers a chance to ‘unbox’ a Samsung phone in an extreme situation such as a rally car, a rollercoaster or whilst skydiving – with the experience being filmed from a camera attached to their helmets. However, Kirk highlighted that having built relationships with the bloggers over time was crucial – her team meets up with bloggers over a pint to discuss ideas before even presenting them to clients to know that the ideas are something that bloggers actually find relevant and interesting.
Molly Flatt from 1000heads showed us how Nokia teamed up with fashion bloggers to get into the conversations of a completely new type of audience – not the geeky tech freaks who were already discussing Nokia but the arty, mostly female crowd consisting of bloggers, fashionistas and photographers. The problem with reaching out to fashion bloggers – as is with mummy bloggers – is that they are targeted by every possible brand, all trying jump on the bandwagon and get some of trust and admiration that the bloggers inspire among their followers. Because of this, Molly’s team decided the most influential fashion bloggers were a no go, and decided to reach out to bloggers still on their way up. Teaming up with Elle, they set up a fashion journalism challenge, the winner of which would get to report for Elle from the New York Fashion Week. Through the campaign, Nokia actually became a part of their rise to the top and helped them gain followers – and hopefully turned these budding fashionistas into loyal Nokia fans who won’t forget that the brand helped them get where they are.
We’ll be posting daily round ups, raves and rants throughout the week, so do check back tomorrow for more insight into the big themes of the Social Media Week .