Social Media Leadership Forum round up

vidsy social media conference

Round-up: Social Media Leadership Forum presents ‘How to create truly engaging social content strategies’ by Joe Cronin, Senior Account Manager (@joeybycro)

Last week, Isobar attended a workshop hosted by ‘Social Media Leadership Forum’, rather ambitiously titled ‘How to create truly engaging social content strategies’, which was held at The Telegraph media building. Speaking at the event was Stephen Hull, Editor at The Huffington Post, arguably the vanguard of a new generation of online media publications. In addition, short-form video specialists, Vidsy, were on hand to give their opinion. Here’s a round-up of our favourite titbits.

Think like a weekly editor, act like a daily editor

‘If it bleeds, it leads’. Or so the saying goes when describing the Fleet St. mentality, which has pervaded mainstream media for the past 30 years. With the agenda of a tabloid editor removed, it’s interesting to see how social media has begun to surface inspirational, heart-warming stories, in lieu of doom and gloom. When traditional print media is attempting to drum up national outcry over the latest tragedy, it’s encouraging to see that the most shared stories in your Facebook timeline will often provide juxtaposition. Take the London riots for example. Whilst the Daily Telegraph screamed ‘RULE OF THE MOB’, social media spawned @riotcleanup, encouraging communities to come together to and sort out the detritus on the streets. For Stephen Hull, this has meant social media content creators now need to ‘think like a weekly editor, but act like a daily editor’. Whilst the print industry used to have the luxury of seeing a story develop throughout the week before crafting a different angle for the Sunday papers, social media requires more decisive action. What can brands create that offers a slightly different take on the week’s news? Originality is key. If you can get this right, chances are you’ll start to see high engagement rates.

An emoji tells 140 characters

There is an on-going trend within the social media industry whereby agencies encourage brands to ‘humanise’ their content. If brands want to get their messaging across on social media platforms, they need to ensure they’re fluent in the language used by their consumers, whilst also ensuring they don’t come across as patronising. During the workshop, @justinhunt showed us; a simple tracking website which shows just how many emojis are being used on Twitter at any one time. It would appear that the old adage, a picture tells a thousand words should be updated to read, an emoji tells 140 characters.


Video content is this generation’s text-speak

The tendency to make use of visual content as opposed to text is nothing new in the advertising industry. However, the advent of 4G mobile connections and prevalence of high quality smartphone cameras means that video is increasingly becoming the ‘text-speak’ of this generation. In 2015, there is 340% more video content on Facebook than a year ago. This has resulted in the emergence of companies, such as @Vidsy who has enlisted a pool of creative 18-26 year olds to create 10-15 second pieces of video content based on a brand brief. Vidsy will then aggregate all the content created, producing a shortlist of videos to be used by the brand during a campaign. Posting an edit of your TV ad to social channels is no longer good enough; instead, brands must consider how they can get their message across in around 10 seconds, in a way which compliments their TV campaign.

The window of opportunity in which to grab people’s attention is getting smaller

It is often touted that the rise in video content is indicative of dwindling attention spans. However, Vidsy argued this is not the case; people still read books, still spend money going to the cinema to watch a film, or binge on a boxset through Netflix. In fact, congratulations if you’ve made it this far reading a blog post! It’s not that attention spans are decreasing; rather that the window of opportunity in which to grab people’s attention is getting smaller. The choice and quality of content now available on the web is staggering. Whilst Vine & Instagram may have defined short-form video, brands will struggle to gain significant reach through either platform until they clearly define their paid advertising offering. Since the advent of Facebook’s native video player, brands can take advantage of highly targeted, contextual advertising, reaching millions of people with video content that auto-plays in the timeline. Facebook is now emerging as the daddy of social video.

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