Top 3 Takeaways from #SMLondon Live

Last week’s #SMLondon Live event hosted at Rich mix in Shoreditch saw several hundred social media managers, marketing managers, community managers, social media strategists from agencies and brands alike pack into the trendy London location armed with numerous mobile and tablet devises, spare chargers and some thought provoking questions for the speakers of the day.

For me, the three key, and re-occurring topics and trends to come up were data, community building and social stakeholders – Aligning social planning with all key business stakeholders, and moving the function beyond marketing to really start to add value across the business at all touch points.

So, 3 nuggets from the Day:

1) Data:

Pearl of ‘data’ wisdom of the day came from Twitter’s @TariqSlim. Alongside an impressive intro to Twitter’s latest ad units he tabled Twitter’s #EverydayMoments –

This tool is an interactive visualisation that shows tweets about everyday moments in the UK & Ireland over a typical week.

For our teams, who are working across various FMCG snack food products it was surprising to see the conversation around chocolate for example, explode after 8pm. No more assumptions from our community managers that the best time to join that conversation is in the post work lull at 2pm – This data, although still in BETA, and with a limited repertoire provides some tangible insights into consumer behaviour to help us refine and target our conversations, ensuring maximum relevancy and engagement.

2) Community Building:

Nancy Kinder from FeverBee spoke around how to grow a community.

A women after my own heart, her opening slide focused on the need for research, research and research and putting the ‘would be community’ at the heart of the planning phase.

3) Social Stakeholders;

The guys from SocialBakers presented a session around the evolution of businesses to meet today’s social challenges (and how their nifty tool is helping some of the world’s biggest brands do this).

The stand out point here, was about defining a channel strategy, based on the business objectives first. Again nothing new, but great to see it being championed.

As a channel, social is now, like it or not, fully entrenched within all key areas of business from customer service and sales to marketing. The channel choice can no longer be made based on what’s new and shiny or where people will expect the brand to be. It needs to be a strategic decision, made top down by social specialists who are working closely with key senior stakeholders across the board to create commercially viable social presences.

If it remains firmly within marketing, the true potential will be increasingly hard to unlock and the value of social near impossible to articulate.

All in all a good day with some smart people. We’ll look forward to #SMLondon Live 2015.

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