8 Key Take Aways From Social Media Week London

Yesterday I had the pleasure of traveling to London for Social Media Week UK and it was well worth it! Social Media Week Miami which coincides with Social Media Week London might have even sent us some sun. It was a fabulous day in Bloomsbury, London where Social Media Week London took place. I have so many highlights of the event one being my photo making it to the big screen!

The variety of speakers, companies and especially the topics for discussion made for a very interesting event! Here are my key takeaways:


Future Marketing Decisions Will Be Made Based On Information Outside Of The Organisation

Next on the agenda was 'digital influence', the challenges of getting it, guiding it and growing it. Heidi Myers, Head of Marketing at Meltwater explained that she felt the marketing decisions of the future would be made based on external data rather than internal data. 

Heidi spoke about how powerful the marketing tools of today and into the future.  She said that in the future we will be able to use them to track competitors every move more so than we do today. 

She gave the example of a tech company who operates in a local marketing  serving recruitment advertisements for staff from India. This marketing information can be tracked and used as part of the overall decision-making of companies. 

The buzz around both internal and external big data is not a new phenomenon but as Hedi points out in the future we will be able to analyse more of it.

I am not sure I agree that all future decision making will be based on data outside of the company. I feel it is important not to rely on watching competitors too much because you want to do better than them and not just as good as them. Of course monitoring them is still important, I would just be careful to over focus on what competitors are doing.

The future is not products or services, it is experiences.

BBC television presenter LJ Rich carried on the discussion and made a point I talked about before in previous blogs. Customers no longer was a product or service they want a fantastic user experience from the moment the first touch your brand.

LJ added that on social media the focus should not be on follower count or the number of page likes you have but instead how engaged your fans are. I completely agree Lisa, a smaller less engaged following is better than a large one that is disengaged.   


Brand love does not get you purchasing behaviour

Neil Davidson was next up on the main stage at Social Media Week with a powerful piece of research relating to the behaviour of today's customers and 'brand love'. 

Neil explained it is possible for a brand to become customers very best friend. He said 35% of Apple customers feel Apple is their best friend and 55% went as far as saying they could not live without it. 

But does brand love equal dollars - Neil did not seem to think so. The research he discussed found that although customers loved certain brands they did not buy from them very often. Neil compared it to a 'friends with benefits', relationship. 

Neil had the room chuckling when he said customers of the fast food chain McDonald's seem to have a 'secret fling' with the brand. When asked if they ate in McDonald's prior to the study they said no but actually ended up eating their quiet often. 

It is all very interesting and it shows that it is really important to know how customers use your products and map their entire journey. 

Conversation Is Your Best FrienD

That is according to Melissa Clark she pointed out that customers are more likely to listen to and buy from the voice of the customer rather than some corporate voice over. 


Melissa spoke about her work on branding Punkt a basic mobile phone that can only make calls and send texts.  


Emojis are most definitely in. 

There was lots of talk about emoji's at Social Media Week this year and Adrian Cockle from WWF explained how they created a hugely successful marketing campaign based solely around emoji's

For every emoji of an endangered animal tweeted 10p was donated to WWF. The charity utilised Twitter and influencer marketing to spread the word about their emoji campaign.

The statistics and results of the campaign were very impressive. Not only did they get lots of people talking about their brand they also gained a large amount of donations. 

The lesson is; emoji's work! They are even hoping for a rhino emoji in the update coming next May. 

I also periscoped part of this talk, you can watch it here

We should switch our centre of gravity from story markers to story creators. 

Sarah Drinkwater from Google was one of my favourite speakers of the day (we even had a quick chat after she spoke). 

Sarah said we should focus more on those that create stories and tell stories as part of marketing. She added to constantly keep delighting customers, who does not enjoy being delighted!


Saatchi & Saatchi, spoke after Sarah, and also focused on the importance of story-telling. They felt creating a series off commercials that told stories or a single part of a story in each commercial works far better than creating one traditional commercial and they had results to prove it based on a campaign they created. 


Owned sites and email lists are the best way to grow an audience.  

That's according EY who worked on a case study with a smaller group of people at Social Media Week London. Email is really powerful and relatively low cost thus normally giving a great 'bang for your buck'. 

That may be for most customers but having been on a campus talking to students over the past week, I found they are less reliant on email and more on social. Many said they would much rather communication via Snapchat over email. In my opinion, it is important to examine how your target customer uses email before investing time and money into it.


Spend less money producing YouTube videos 

This is a brilliant take-away for both big brands and small businesses. You do not need a big budget to produce YouTube videos. In fact the less you spend the better. 

The nature of YouTube is the 'home made', type of videos are not studio produced with a film crew or director. Just look at the most popular YouTubers, the majority shoot all their own videos and do not have a big budget.


These are my main take ways from the day, I couldn't stay for the last two speakers, I had to catch a flight home but no doubt they were brilliant too. 

I had a fantastic day at Social Media Week London and I would highly recommend attending the event if you have the opportunity! The topics discussed were very current and the speakers were great.  Shout out to Tyler who was generous enough to invite me to Social Media Week :)

If you have any questions on what it was like to attend the event, feel free to comment below or tweet me.

As always thanks very much for reading!

Signature Padraig O'Connor