Storytelling with brands and engaging audience: Social Media Week London’s theme

bubbobar social media week london

London — London was filled with internet moguls and tech experts. It was that time of the year where all bloggers, streamers, social media connoisseurs look forward to: Social Media Week. Representatives from major brands such as Facebook, Instagram, and BuzzFeed were among the key speakers in each session. Information about branding and targeting viewers were the most interesting, which kept the crowd captivated. Entrepreneurs filled every seat in the basement of Victoria House. Overall, as an amateur in the social media world, I took in loads of information. Yet, in most sessions, the general theme and advice given by the experts were to focus on storytelling and engaging audience to develop a successful brand.

“No presentation about mobile would be complete without a story about Kanye West.”

As a novice social media enthusiast, taking in all the information was a bit overwhelming but it was a fortunate experience being able to feel the passion everyone has for writing and technology. I started Social Media Week on day two. Entering the main stage room I walked into a full room of people engaged in the ongoing session about mobile devices by Tariq Slim, Head of Telco and Tech for Twitter UK. Unfortunately he was at the end of his speech. Yet he still drew me in as he posted up a picture of Kanye West and said, “No presentation about mobile would be complete without a story about Kanye West.”

Snapshots are now the new autograph.

Slim explained how Kanye West’s visit to Nando’s shows how much impact social media has with consumers. With the crowd leering over to see West he announced, “Let’s get this over with, go ahead, take a picture.” The crowd was illuminated with iPhones, iPads, and cameras. Snapshots are now the new autograph. This event revealed how instantaneous content is within the social media world, and in seconds the world knew West was at Nando’s. The evolution with connection has changed tremendously, and by finding that connection brands will find it easier to access their audience.

It was not until the creation of blogging and online diaries when the boom of social media was created. Early social media was presented in outlets such as Myspace and Xanga in the early 2000s, which commenced the overload of information. Years later Twitter and YouTube were born. Social media is thriving after many years with an overload of many networking outlets. What keeps everyone engaged? Why do we want more and how can we become successful at it?

The development of technology provides us with an influx of communication agents, but it should not inhibit socialization. What social media creates is an instant community where creativity meets business. For day three I began my first session with Sarah Drinkwater’s (Head of Google Campus London) Connecting Spaces: Nudging Collaboration in Your Community. She explained how today’s society is at a peak of overindulgence with social media. With this issue, original content is very important. By creating great storytelling (content) it would create an engaged audience. Engaging audience will cultivate an empowered community to use the brands to create themselves both online and offline.

Great content generally grabs interests of the audience, but what makes a brand grow is relatability and personalization. The following sessions continue to adhere to the message about having approachable and comfortable content. Tim McLoughlin, Pierandrea Quarta, and Gord Ray focused on consistent brand storytelling, and how personalization to a target audience will continue to provide a consistent audience in an age where consumer behavior is now unpredictable. Video is another form of content that continues to popularize in the social media world. Vysia Duffield, Guy Larsen and Nicolas Roope’s session centered on new ways to liven up video content by using three methods in video: relatability, approachability, and comfortability.

In a world where millions use the same social media networks to grab attention, it’s imperative to provide something others do not have. The difference in what is successful or not is how deeply connected you are with the remaining relationships you do have with your consumers.

The last day ended with Ed Couchman’s session on reaching the connected consumer. He comments,

“In order to fit in you must stand out.”

(Kathy L. contributed editing)


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