It’s been about two weeks since we got back from Social Media Week in London. The conference was so rich with information, if you’ve been on calls with me then you’ve heard me share bits and pieces of our learnings, but I figured it was time to put things in one place! Before I jump into our SMW review, I wanted to give a special shoutout to our partners, Hayley Hall at Skinny Tan for joining us for our main stage panel (read: BIG deal!), and Love Raw (Eve Rodway, Manav Thapar) for supplying some amazing treats for the grab bags. It was also great catching up with our other brands who were in attendance, thank you to everyone who came out!
Now I present my Key Takeaways from SMW Europe 2022…
Easing into Web3
The timing of this conference was impeccable. The day before, Elon’s Twitter Takeover began, and in the days following came FTX, more tech layoffs, and so much more. So I’m sure everyone is more skeptical than ever about Web 3.0. Hang with me, though! Beyond the buzzwords, there is a core component of Web3 that you can start to prioritize right now: Community. “Some of the biggest brands of this era will be built WITH the communities they serve…” – Lindsey McInerney. Tech aside, folks are flocking to places like the Metaverse to connect with like-minded individuals in a way that may not be available to them in the physical world. One panelist said to think of Social Media as Web 2.5.
You can incorporate the community-focused strategies of Web3 in your Social Media plan today – no crypto required. Explore involving your customers in decision-making to dip your toe in. Fashion brands are using things like avatar fashion shows to predict demand for physical products. You don’t have to go making NFTs anytime soon, but you can reach out to your Ambassadors or Social Squad members to have them take a vote on new products, rewards, experiences, and so much more. Not only does this help you assess demand or test some new ideas, but it makes the customer feel like a true stakeholder in your brand, driving LTV.
Influencer Marketing is an Ecosystem
In our panel, an audience member asked if Skinny Tan’s Social Squad was better than their other influencer initiatives. Hayley had the most brilliant response: “I don’t think anything worked better than anything else, it’s a part of a bigger piece that we do…For us it’s the holistic view we take on influencers.” You should have different buckets of influencers to drive different results. Take content creation for example. For the most authentic content, you’ll want to mobilize your ambassadors or social squad members. For quality content, you’ll want to engage with a micro or macro influencer. Set KPIs for each piece of your strategy, and use each of your communities to achieve results.
Let the Creators Create!
The message was clear from both Creators and brands; give creators the freedom to do what they do best. This doesn’t mean you can’t give any guidance. Actually, the creator “Lil Man” mentioned on the panel he likes a simple “Do’s and Don’t’s” style brief. On another panel, OpenFluence mentioned they gave a single sentence as a brief and returned the most creative, engaging TikToks. If creating amazing, engaging content was easy, we would all be doing it. Identify creators who align with your community, and give them the freedom to convey your brand’s message in a way that resonates with their audience for the most impactful results.
Other soundbites I loved…
A few quotes/Key Points that resonated:
- “Community > Target Market: Using the term “target market” implies there is a gap between the brand and the person you hope to serve” – Lola Okuyiga – Wonder
- On preferred social platforms: “YouTube feels more like A conversation, TikTok is more for one-liners and reactions” – Lil Man, TikTok Creator
- “The riches are in the niches” – Timothy Armoo – Fanbytes
- “Community in this era means community created and community-owned, not a list of followers that you simply publish to. Those who figure out how to power up their biggest fans with tools to create alongside them first will be early winners.” – Lindsey McInerney Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Sixth Wall
- On working with partners: “Trust in your partners. Wendy’s couldn’t have done what it’s done in the States or what we’re building here in the UK from a social perspective without trust on both sides – trust our partners know social, but also know the brand and have the best interest of the brand in mind – Tony Barr, Senior Director International Marketing, APMEA and Europe The Wendy’s Company