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Social Media Week London 2015: Key Takeaways

In September I attended Social Media Week London 2015 and filled my brain with insights and inspiration from industry leaders in various corners of the industry.

The 2015 global theme was “Upwardly Mobile: The Rise of the Connected Class” and discussions were centred around the question of how we can achieve more in a connected world.

Personal highlights for me were talks from Twitter UK, Dazed, Pinterest UK, Tumblr, Nescafe, Facebook, Unruly, Qzzr, Iris Worldwide, Synthesio, Pinterest UK, Girls in Tech UK and Girl In London.

I thought I’d share with you a few takeaways (not just from Dominos)…


The Rebirth of Owned: How the world’s #1 coffee brand is changing the landscape with Tumblr

Tumblr & Nescafe delivered a panel discussion to explain why Nescafe made the decision to move its entire web presence to Tumblr. They suggested the end of an era for traditional .com websites and explained that customers are demanding more meaningful and personal experiences and interactions with brands.

The Rebirth of Owned: How the world's #1 coffee brand is changing the landscape with Tumblr


“Content is just content. It’s pairing it up with something your audience is interested in to make it meaningful.”

“Make sure the way you gather content is open and inclusive. Be as connected as possible and create opportunities for people to get in touch with you.”

“Two years ago, half of our audience was under 25. Now half of our audience is under 35. As time goes on, more people are starting to embrace Tumblr.”

“Websites are not dead. They’re just coming back in more compelling wrappers.”

Seven Steps To Surviving The Ad Apocalypse

Sarah Wood, the co-founder of Unruly, delivered a compelling talk about the fast-changing landscape of online advertising. She shared the shocking statistic that you are 475 times more likely to survive a plane crash than click on a banner ad, and also that 93% of viewers would consider using ad blocking technology in the future. That’s why it’s more important than ever to make your adverts personal, authentic, social and relevant.

Seven Steps To Surviving The Ad Apocalypse


“If your brand went to a party, how would they behave? Be true to who you are.”

“We make fast choices based on instinct far more than we make slow choices that are rational. Many of our purchases are based on emotional responses.”

“The real ad blockers are inside our heads. It’s only by creating interesting, personal, relevant adverts that we will break through.”

“Mobile ad spend is going to overtake print spend this year. Don’t sit at your desktop computer planning campaigns then convert them to mobile. Think mobile first!” 


Pizza, Tinder & Lols: Dialling Up Fun For Fans

This was one of the most entertaining talks of the week with lots of brilliant examples of making audiences laugh with social. Hannah Beesley, Social Director at Iris Worldwide, shared some of the work she’s been doing with Dominos to show how encouraging ‘lols,’ whether that’s by putting pizza on Tinder or enabling emoji ordering, can build great brand love. I was too engaged in this talk to write much down, so I’ll just show you some of the campaigns mentioned…


Your phone is changing the world

Tariq Slim from Twitter UK spoke about the new trends driven by the mobile phone and shared some examples of how brands have evolved in how they connect with their audiences. The three key trends he mentioned were related to communication, content and consumption. He gave an example of a town in Spain that uses Twitter to improve communication between residents, the council, services and the police (who wear their Twitter handles on their sleeves)!

Your phone is changing the world


“Someone tweeted a photo of dangerous electrics on a lamppost to the mayor. The mayor responded to say ‘I’m on it’ and tagged a local electrician. The electrician sorted it and tweeted them both to say it was done.”

“The current trend is short form content and the first 3 seconds are the most important.”

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

“We should not view mobile as a separate channel, it is relevant across all other channels too.”


Avoid Social Chimpery: Use social ROI to build quality campaigns and stop flinging crap!

Hosted by David Parkinson from Nissan and Matthew Zito from Synthesio, this masterclass was all about delivering quality, strategic and effective digital campaigns. They described ‘social chimpery’ as 1. The act of mistaking motion for progress. 2. diffuse, undifferentiated activity without a clear goal 3. Flinging one’s sh*t and shrieking at the top of one’s lungs in lieu of actually solving a problem.

Avoid Social Chimpery


“Look at the traditional sales funnel and target people in segments depending on where they are in the cycle.”

“Map out how much sold vs how much spent on the campaign. Look at areas of unexpected success and this will help you plan future campaigns.”

“People think social media is free beer… Nothing goes viral anymore. You need to plan well, promote well and prepare to put in the budget and resources.”

“Nissan compares itself regularly to the top five competitors in each market.” 


Anti-Social: Why Pinterest is all about the personal experience

This was one of my favourite masterclasses because it was so useful and practical. It was delivered by Zoe Pearson, Marketing Manager at Pinterest UK, who explained that Pinterest is not a social network, it’s a search engine. She gave some insights into Pinner behaviour and described the platform as evergreen, not real time.

Anti-Social: Why Pinterest is all about the personal experience


“Mimic Pinner behaviour… they’re not creating boards about food, they’re looking for burger ideas or vegan meals. Be specific.”

“Plan for the future rather than the here and now. If you’re doing a campaign for Christmas, pin it early. Halloween was trending two months ago.” 

“Pinterest is not real time, it’s evergreen. Popular updates tend to be about 2 weeks to 2 months old. Your content is not relevant to people until it fits their need in a specific moment. Last year’s Christmas content is just as relevant this year.”

“The pin is the most important thing. Think of it as an advertising canvas. Get pins right and you’ll be successful.”


Advanced Social Media Strategies

Julie Falconer, aka A Lady In London, is a successful blogger and digital strategy consultant. Her masterclass on advanced social media strategies was well structured and covered a wide range of best practice tactics. The focus was on creatively tailoring content to be native on specific social networks, instead of adopting a blanket approach.

Advanced Social Media Strategies


“Are you optimising the videos you are creating for mobile? 82% of users watch videos on Twitter and 90% are viewed on mobile.”

“Mix it up! Don’t always share video, have lots of content types and message variations.”

“Ask followers to get notifications, check the box to see your content first and add you to their interest lists on Facebook.”

“Instagram hashtags change constantly! Stay on top of them by following influencers in your industry who are in the know.”


Reaching The Connected Consumer

Ed Couchman, Head of Agency Relations at Facebook, shared  three seismic shifts in consumer behaviour that Facebook has observed. The first is the move away from from desktop to mobile – in two years the number of daily active Facebook users on mobile has grown from 21 million to 25 million. The second is a rise in more visual based communication – 12 months ago there were around 1 billion videos views every day on Facebook, and today there are around 4 billion. There are also 300% more emojis and stickers used this year. The third is the shift from searching for things to discovering things – everything competes with everything. The news feed is a mechanism to help us navigate the world of too much content and not enough time.

Reaching The Connected Consumer


“50% of content in your Instagram feed is from people you don’t know. That’s the fundamental difference between Instagram and Facebook.”

“Think about how you can fit in to stand out.”

“We are starting to see brands try new things and go out on a limb. My advice would be to pivot.”

“Facebook is a 3-second audition. That’s how long you have to capture someone’s attention.” 




Bethany Carter,  October 6, 2015

One Response to “Social Media Week London 2015: Key Takeaways”

  1. Lemon Squeezy Marketing

    […] wasn’t long ago that Pinterest was saying it is not a social network, but a visual search engine. However in a bid to stay current, the platform has been working on the […]

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