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Exploring the Power of Stories with SMW Manila

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Visit www.smwmanila.com to learn more about the SMW ACCRA speaker lineup, schedule, and more!

As one of the world’s leading conference series, Social Media Week has an undying commitment to equipping community members with the tools, insights, and practices for shaping their business in profound ways that positively define the industry.

This year, with the global theme, “STORIES: With Great Influence Comes Great Responsibility,” SMW Manila will bring its unique perspective into the power of storytelling in changing how people think and act, and our responsibility to use this influence for the greater good to the discussion table.

We sat down to speak with the organizers of SMW Manila about the forthcoming event, what sessions have the most intricate ties to this year’s theme, which partners and brands they’re most looking forward to working with, key questions that will be addressed in their specific SMW edition, and much more.

What do you think will be the most important attendee takeaways from this year’s conference?

The Philippines is known as the social media capital of the world, and it’s been recognized that more than 67 million Filipinos are online. This has caused a dynamic shift for the people who constantly check their social media accounts, to also rely on it for news or important announcements. Soon, fake news began popping everywhere and was used in every corner of the world wide web. From politics to class suspension announcements, false news became a growing nuisance; and one great way to put an end to it is education. We wanted to teach the social media capital of the world how to use social media properly and responsibly so that Filipinos could recognize it as a powerful platform where they should be responsible in using their power to craft stories that mater.

What session is your team the most excited about?

Social Media Week Manila’s second year is packed with a great list of speakers, among them are:

  • Assistant Secretary Kris Ablan from the Presidential Communications Operations Office; Bong Nebrija, Head of Traffic from MMDA; and Michael Charleston “Xiao” Briones Chua, a Filipino historian. who will all be featured in a panel about promoting positive social impact in the digital era.
  • Jenny Chua, the Head of Partnerships and Communities at Rappler, will lead a keynote session unpacking the power of storytelling.
  • Michelle Cruz, Klook’s Market Lead, in a separate keynote address, will tackle the topic of destination storytelling through a local lens: the filipino market.
  • YouTube’s Jolly Estaris, Google’s Al Lim, and Samuel Jeanblanc. Zomato’s Christopher Evans, and TikTok’s Donny Eryastha

How do your overall agenda tie into this year’s global theme?

We recognize that humans love stories. Psychologically, we are wired to seek and enjoy stories. Historically, stories are made and told to influence others. Today, technology presents so many dynamic opportunities to create new content. That’s why humans will still crave stories, so they can make sense of the world.

Given its scale, social media has become the world’s most influential storytelling platform. It’s vital that our industry takes responsibility for the stories we put out in the open. With the advent of greater technologies, the way we share stories will surely change; but we must never lose sight of out prime goal: to create a social media environment where stories are propagated for positive change.

Which partners or brands are you most excited to be working with this year?

This year’s main brand will be Angkas, with its CEO Angeline Tham as a key speaker. Angkas is a mobile transport app that helps Filipinos commute the Metro Manila traffic in a safe, fast, cheap, and comfortable way, Their way of solving traffic and helping Filipino commuters earned them the favor of the people, along with their witty posts on social media with various content (jokes, memes, etc.). Angkas became an icon of relief for Filipinos both online and offline.

Another brand is TikTok, a social media platform famous for its short-term mobile videos. Its Head of Public Policy will discuss how an app like TikTok became a part of the new generation’s lifestyle, and how it keeps its market’s creativity fresh and viral.

What are some local trends you are seeing in your market?

Content in video formats, jokes, and memes, are among the trends in today’s market.
Social media influencers also have a great impact on the local market, Youtube stars who talk about games, lifestyle, and beauty, are the most popular ones.

Celebrities also found Youtube as a platform to show organic content. Most of them have their own vlogs to show life behind the scenes.

What are some of the key questions that will be addressed during your edition of SMW?

The Philippines is the social media capital of the world, but because of this the term “peenoise” was coined. It’s a derogatory term referring to Filipinos in online communities who wreak havoc by being “pabida” and toxic. Based off this trend, our program will tackle questions that include:

  • Why do you think Filipinos are notorious for this, and what can we do about it?
  • What kind of content do Filipinos like to see on their screens?
  • Do you think that the Filipino audience wants to see traditional content to be strengthened, or do you think they want to shift and experiment to something more unconventional?
  • What’s the best advertising medium for your brand?: If you’re a small business, a medium-scaled business, and a big business.
  • Why are girls rarely recognized and usually outnumbered in the business industry, and what can we do to make a change?

Where can potential attendees find news and updates about your conference?




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