54 Key Learnings From Social Media Week London

Social Media Week London

This week I've been at Social Media Week in London, hearing from a host of brands, agencies and influencers about all things social media.

Here are some of the most noteworthy facts and ideas I took away from the four days.

  1. 1 in 4 minutes spent on a mobile in the US is spent on a Facebook app.
  2. On desktop, users spend 2.5 seconds looking at a piece of content on Facebook. On mobile, that drops to 1.7 seconds per content item.
  3. "Feed proofed" is the term Facebook use for video that was specially designed for a social feed; television creative won't work in a mobile feed.
  4. Videos with a "heartbeat narrative" work really well on social media; loop your videos every few seconds to keep the viewer interested. 
  5. National Geographic has given ownership of their Instagram channel to 100 photographers who post photos of their adventures.
  6. The board at National Geographic once thought that storytelling wouldn't work. Don't always listen to your board.
  7. Meet the consumer where they are on social media, not where you want to be.
  8. Photographer Robin Hammond says that "bigotry thrives in places where the voice of the abuser is silenced", but social media provides a voice to the silent.
  9. Vayner Media reminded me how magical it is that we're working in a space less than 10 years old.
  10. 53% of time spent on a mobile phone is spent on social media.
  11. "The only constant here is change" says Eric Fulwiler, Executive Director at Vayner Media.
  12. Don't change your strategy because of one mean comment. "One is a point. Two is a line. Three is a pattern" says Ryan Murphy, Creative Director at Vayner Media.
  13. Tight feedback loops are important: if your creative team design something for you, let them know how it performs on social. They can learn from it and improve next time.
  14. #EmojiScience is one of the coolest Snapchat experiments I've seen. 
  15. Social media is an immediate way to talk to your audience. Test out content on social media and uplift the content to a paid advertising campaign if it works well.
  16. Storyful think of social media as "democratised storytelling".
  17. 80% of online content is user-generated.
  18. "We live by the touch or die by the swipe" says Lisa McDonald, Chief Creative Officer at Storyful.
  19. Emotional moments will usually be your top-performing content.
  20. BBH think that having a "brain trust" is crucial (a group of creatives who you can collaborate and bounce ideas with).
  21. Don't be afraid for your brand to do things differently; the public want to see something that challenges bias.
  22. WeWork attribute their global success to the fact they always listen to people and pivot where they need to.
  23. Michaela MacIntyre, Business Director at Gravity Thinking, described Pinterest as "a place to keep wishes".
  24. When advertising tries to be too human, it falls into the "uncanny valley" (not a place you want to be).
  25. Brands are uninvited on social, so be personalised but not personal.
  26. Your brand's advertising is not competing with other advertising: you're competing with anything else on the internet which your audience could be looking at.
  27. "If you want your brand to be known for something, you can't post the mediocre" says Lee Walker, Global Managing Editor at Bleacher Report.
  28. Twitter is still the channel people are using to talk about sport.
  29. If you're having problems with brand awareness, the solution is social media.
  30. If you're a journalist looking for breaking news stories, use Tweetdeck to set up streams which monitor key terms and swear words. In an emergency (e.g. a terrorist attack), the most human response is to swear. 
  31. Social media has given rise to the age of citizen journalism - anyone can report news, but you have to question it's factual accuracy. 
  32. Brands should be focusing on integration across all of their social media channels. All customers are using multiple channels, so brands need to have a holistic viewpoint.
  33. Mothers are most likely to engage with social media content between 5 and 7am. 
  34. Your brand's mission statement should outline what you stand for, as well as what you don't stand for.
  35. You need to repurpose content like leftover turkey. 'Slice and dice' so that it keeps giving you substance. 
  36. A/B test your social media posts. Changing the image and wording of a post can make a big difference to click-through rates. 
  37. If you want your blog post to rank on page 1 of Google, it needs to be at least 1,600 words long.
  38. Our brains are hard wired to like human faces, which is why photos of babies and cute animals always go down well on social media.
  39. Novelty triggers dopamine. This means that if you're always doing new things on your social media pages, it will make your customers happy.
  40. Sound accounts for 30% of an advert's effectiveness. 
  41. You never have a person's undivided attention on social media, their peripheral vision is always working to read the next post. 
  42. In the last six months, Instagram has seen a 150% increase in video consumption.
  43. Instagram stories is a new way to share more content with your followers without seeming "spammy". 
  44. 1 in 10 people get their news for the day solely from social media.
  45. Buzzfeed has found that the most successful live videos are simple, have a sense of jeopardy or show extraordinary scenes to the viewer. 
  46. During a live video, you should always give a sense that you want to hear from the people watching. Ask them to comment or send in their questions.
  47. Always trial the WiFi before you begin live streaming. Use a private Facebook page or Periscope account to do this. 
  48. 92% of people trust word of mouth over traditional advertising. 
  49. 74% of people look for information about a product on social media before they buy it.
  50. Brands that engage personally on social media are the brands that win.
  51. People go to Instagram for beauty; you can't just post the same content to Instagram that you would on other channels. 
  52. Think less about age as a demographic when you're setting up ad targeting; it's all about behaviour and interests. 
  53. Your social posts should always elicit an emotional response. Emojis can help with that. 
  54. Snapchat is going to overtake Facebook by the year 2020.


You can check out everything else that went on using the event hashtag, #SMWLDN.

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