The ROI of WOM: Fusing Connections With Strategy

Studies have gone back as far as the 1960s and WOM is the most powerful form of marketing and rightfully so! Think how powerful it is when a friend who actually uses a product evangelizes or gives his or her endorsement of the product. Trust is a big key.

92% of consumers believe in WOM making it the most important form of marketing. On that note, only 6% of marketers feel they are experts in WOM marketing and feel they need “more proof” since its very difficult to measure offline. Even if they may need proof for their own particular brand, WOM is responsible for $6 trillion of consumer spending each year.

WOM on average drives 13% of sales where all paid marketing is on average between 20-30%. Two-thirds of WOM is offline and is difficult to measure but can be tied to something that they saw online on social or in an email. Think of how often you talk to a co-worker or family member about an ad or post you saw in your news feed or Tweeted. You need to supplement your WOM marketing with paid ads because its likely that someone sees a paid ad and talks about it our tells a friend who goes to visit the site (both direct and indirect conversions).

WOM amplifies the affect of paid media by 15% and had a stronger and more immediate impact on the consumer. It appeared that conversions happened within two weeks of the recommendation, even for higher consideration items.

A WOM impression has more impact than a paid media impression but the increase is a wide gap (between 5x to 200x) depending on the pricing point, influence of the person who recommended, and budget. High consideration products and services are impacted more by WOM than a lower consideration product service.

Just starting your business? Make sure to work WOM into your marketing plan! New and smaller brands have a larger percentage of WOM marketing since they can dedicate the time to cultivating the relationship between the consumer and the brand. Lastly, we need to avoid the Paid vs. Earned silo because they work so closely together that it’s impossible to separate.

I want to thank Brad Fay, Lee Hurley, Beth Rockwood, Nancy Smith, Peter Storck, Erin Tavgac, and Jim Totten for a really great panel discussion. They really addressed a lot of concerns with measuring WOM and cutting through the noise.

Data, What’s Your Story?

On Tuesday, the “Leading With Facts! Using Data To Build Your Story” panel at New York’s Social Media Week brought together an all-star, all-female team of marketers to shed light on how companies and agencies can leverage data to execute marketing goals.

As data analysis becomes more integrated and sophisticated, both clients and agencies will have more objectives to reach. Sam Lim, Features and Branded Content Director at Stylecaster, added “people love facts and information and numbers, especially when you’re trying to sell them something.” Clients want to be reassured by quantitative proof that campaigns are successful and consumers like to see data points in marketing collateral. Though the purposes of data vary among different parties, the primary objective is to glean a story from the data.

But the numbers can’t speak for themselves. We have reached a point where we can no longer just look at the numbers without contextualizing where they come from, what they represent, and how they can inform future marketing decisions. The general consensus among the panel was that the industry is building bridges between marketers and editorial teams.

There will no longer be a divide between data analytics and creative/editorial teams. In fact, this hybrid is so valuable that the panelists agreed across the board that they were looking to only hire candidates that exhibited strengths in both quantitative analysis and creative production. Lindsay Kaplan, Vice President of Communications at Casper, summed it all up in her observation that marketing and creative teams must work together. “One doesn’t lead the other.”

Casper is currently running a campaign that is updated in real time and powered by numbers submitted by polled users. The numbers represent hours spent on Casper mattresses, but they are packaged in consumer-friendly, 21st century figures like hours spent watching Netflix or days spent spooning.

Jess Bahr, Senior Client Strategist at Social Flow, brought in another perspective in which data not only tells a story externally to the client or the consumer but also internally. She said, “People don’t just want data–even internally.” They need a holistic view to understand what the data means beyond the numbers. “Data for data’s sake is just hoarding numbers.”

Of course, “holistic” on the internal side can become difficult as the numbers come in from multiple sources and analytical tools. With regards to harnessing the varied data Bahr sees opportunity for a default metric that can standardize what clicks or impressions mean across different platforms.

With so many numbers and expectations of the numbers, it’s easy to get lost in the data. The panelists offer three leaves of wisdom to live by:

  • Anticipate and plan accordingly: Figure out what the client wants to measure and take the time to set up your metrics so you can measure things down the road. If you wait until you need a metric, it will be too late and you will have no data.
  • Practice quality control: Make sure data that you’re using is clean and accurate. Don’t take spikes or dips at face value. Consider the surrounding conditions to make sure what you think what something means is actually what it means.
  • Be curious: Ask questions that you didn’t even know you had. Why did a certain post spike, flatline, or dip? What day or time did this occur? Of course, all questions lead to the skeleton key to successfully wrangle data: Is there a pattern or unifying theme here that we can replicate?

Most importantly, data is a new world, so don’t be afraid to experiment with it and push the limits of what you can utilize. As long as you remain curious and careful with your data, there are countless useful stories that you can tell. Rest assured, “The thing we need is never all that hard to find…”

Jacqueline Ly is a MA/MSc Candidate in International and Global History at Columbia University. She is also a freelance editor in lifestyle, travel, tech, and sports.

TimeOut Maps Out Their Strategy For Multi-Platform Success

In Time Out’s Print to Digital Evolution Towards Creating an Interconnected Community, TimeOut’s Roman Tagoe, Head of Digital Content, and Terri White, Editor in Chief, hosted a masterclass targeted to individuals interested in learning to achieve a more connected global community via Time Out’s digital initiatives. Tagoe discussed the global content strategy and expansion into new cities, and White discussed the print magazine’s integration with digital and social and the shift in editorial content strategy.

Create a seamless experience through consistency

Readers loved the print edition of Time Out, but weren’t having the same experience online. For the brand to transition from a successful print product to being multi-platform, the ‘print first; digital second’ manifesto needed to go. One of the first things White did when she joined the company was eradicate silo teams. Writers pooled to become one department, each working across both platforms.

When it came to digital the question was, “With editions in 85 cities, how do you create a consistent experience online?” Time Out built a Global Platform, a CMS utilized by all editions worldwide that not only ensures each site has the same landing page and design and navigation aspects, but which also allows for the seamless sharing of content between cities.

Go to your audience

Tagoe stressed the need to be where your audience is, saying “We have to reach people on different platforms, and go to where they are instead of expecting them to come to us.” He noted that in this social age, people look to Instagram for inspirations and restaurant recommendations as much as a magazine.

Find out what the people want

SEO research allows Time Out to create content tailored to their audience. They employ Google AdWords and Google Trends, and take the keyword lists back to the editorial team to see which could inspire a feature.

Social media is content

A key part of the brand’s transition was overturning the myth that social platforms were there to help promote “real” content. Instead, White emphasized the learning that social is content by itself.

Make use of your users

Think hyperlocal user generated content. White noted that it’s impossible for their food and drinks team to know every place in the city, but the brand can reach out to an army of readers to contribute their finds. Their Love Local Awards, as an example,  asks readers to nominate and vote for their favorite local attractions.

Get your readers involved

Making the audience part of the content creation has been a key aspect of Time Out New York’s evolution towards creating an interconnected community. As part of their Food & Drink Awards 2014, the brand partnered with Instagram and asked readers to submit images (using predetermined hashtags) from finalist restaurants and bars. The best image ended up on the cover.

When Lena Dunham was chosen for a cover story, TONY hit Twitter to ask readers to submit questions for Dunham. A selection was posed to Dunham, and the video interview shared on the website before the magazine containing the separate print interview hit newsstands.

Jenni Dawes is the Principal Consultant at COLLABORATEUR, a collective of creative and digital strategists based in New York City.

Labels Are Out, Emotions Are In: Tapping Millennial FOMO

Millennials. I learn something new about this group everyday, and you would think I’d be an expert considering I am one of them. Yet, each time I sit through a talk on Millennials, I’m surprised by how little I actually know. Does your brand know how to target this group efficiently? I actively try to answer this question everyday.

I work in the higher education industry, so Millennials, Generation Y, Generation Z, etc. are the prime audience that I try to target. Kelly Meyers from Code and Theory did a wonderful job dissecting the younger Millennials and Generation Z by explaining how they think, behave, and feel. She walked us through innovative campaigns she’s worked on (Burger King & Maybelline), trending platforms teens primarily use (Instagram & Snapchat), how this generation really expresses themselves, and how marketers should integrate these insights into their daily strategies.

Beyond the captivating statistics Kelly provided on Millennials, a few key points from her presentation really stood out to me:

  • Teens are not necessarily addicted to their phones but addicted to being connected with their friends.
  • Teens value shared and unique experiences, are more willing to share those experiences publicly, and need a sense of collective community more than ever before.
  • Teens could not care less about designers and labels because they care more about what their friends are doing and who they are doing it with.
  • Contrary to popular belief, teens don’t use Snapchat to send dirty pics but to simply tell a story though photos.
  • Teens and young millennials use their phones as an extension of themselves that express who they are.

Kelly stressed that the next generation puts a huge emphasis on community and life-experiences:

The internet is not a place, but rather is woven in and out of their life through mobile. There is no beginning or end to where real life stops and the internet begins.

That was pretty darn poetic! It’s time for us marketers to listen to this new and emotional generation by tailoring our strategies to what they want to see rather than what you want to post. User generated content is so successful because it plays off their experiences and uses their language. Break out of your comfort zone and try something new on your platforms today!

Erica Santiago is an Assistant Director of Communications at NYU Stern by day and a part-time MBA student by night. You can follow her on Twitter @ericasantiagony.

How to Win at Instagram

Patrick Janelle is a self-proclaimed Man About Town, and with over 340,000 followers on Instagram he’s also the man to ask for tips on how he successfully parlayed his lifestyle into brand opportunities.

In Tuesday’s session “Custom Content: How Publishers and Instagrammers are Leading Campaigns for Brands” we heard from Melanie Altarescu, Head of Strategic Initiatives, WIRED and Patrick Janelle, Executive Director, Spring Street Social Society. Patrick outlined some of his best Instagram advice.


What’s your story? What’s the world that you’re sharing with followers? Janelle treats his feed as a journal, posting 2-3 times per day, always chronologically. He adds context to his photos – and further insight into his world – through always including captions, saying “Instagram is a personal platform, and it’s important to connect your photos to your story.”


For Janelle, it’s food, fashion and travel. He’s had success portraying those aspects for brands in those specific industries, as well as on broader campaigns for companies such as Capital One and Amex.


Janelle noted that one of the key reasons people follow him is to see the streets and cafes and restaurants around New York. He creates scenes that people can project themselves into, allowing his followers to imagine that it’s them taking New York by storm.


While Janelle uses his iPhone to take all his Instagram images, he doesn’t skip on the editing process. Images are run through at least one, and typically several, editing apps before being posted. Janelle’s top three recommendations are Snapseed for the selective adjust feature, VSCO Cam for its filters, and Afterlight for adjusting midtones and highlights.

Altarescu noted that, from the brand perspective, one of the key aspects of working with Instagrammers is receiving images they can use on other platforms. The brands leading the field, such as Park Hyatt and Victorinox, are tapping influencers and taking the content they create and crafting it into campaigns for their website, social media channels and even print initiatives.

Jenni Dawes is the Principal Consultant at COLLABORATEUR, a collective of creative and digital strategists based in New York City.

The Easiest Way to Get More Video Clicks

Let’s just say I’ve been a fan of Vimeo since way back when. In my film school days, Vimeo was where all the cool kids were, and I’m here to confirm—they are still there.

With 170 million global viewers, and an artistic community of friendly filmmakers at their full disposal, hearing Vimeo’s video insight was as exciting to me as hearing Martha Stewart had a drone battle at Social Media Week NYC. Wait, what? (See it for yourself)

If you are in the business of generating video content for your brand (and you should be according to Vimeo), then I’m here to share a piece of golden advice from Mike Weissman and Andrea Allen, presenters at Social Media Week NYC.

Your video thumbnail is easily the most important part of the video. That sounds crazy doesn’t it? But think about it for a second…just like an email header can single handedly ruin your open rate even though the email is full of gold, so can the video thumbnail.

The video thumbnail is the only thing users see before they click.

There are two thumbnails that offer the most clicks:

  1. Pictures of smiling people
  2. Pictures of cute animals, naturally

Turns out, the title card that you have a graphic designer whip up isn’t going to do the trick. People like people. I guess that explains the selfie craze.

A great thumbnail isn’t the end all, be all. You definitely need a video that speaks to your audience, like this indie creative Penny x Hundreds video that feels less like an ad, and more of an experience. Just because a viewer clicks your thumbnail doesn’t mean they are going to stick around.

Next time you create a video, don’t just haphazardly slap up a thumbnail. Think about what makes a great first impression, and perhaps consider a smiling animal—the ultimate video thumbnail combo.

I’m an NYC digital content professional and social media lover. Proudly born and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Connect with me on Twitter @casscakey and if you liked this post please like, comment, and share!

Become A Cult Brand With These #SMWNYC Sessions

Today’s wave of cult brands – Uber, Warby Parker, SoulCycle, Tinder – are using the basic principles of branding and taking it to the next level by creating on-demand apps, social followings and customer incentive programs that breed extreme customer loyalty and fanaticism. These brands create experiences so transformative and disruptive, that once a consumer tries them out and likes what they see, they never look back. What’s more, they become their biggest champions.

Find out what it takes for your brand to succeed with these #SMWNYC sessions:

1. Tapping Millennial FOMO: A Brand’s Guide to Relevance Beyond “Real-time Marketing”

Tue, Feb 24 — 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM
From tapping into “FOMO,” to understanding teen etiquette on platforms like Instagram and Snapchat, attendees will learn how to integrate new millennial insights into their marketing plans, and offer a new real-time playbook for social media marketers.

2. From Fans to Advocates: How to Build Community and Grow #BrandLove

Tue, Feb 24 – 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM
Join Hootsuite for an interactive session discussing the best practices and real-world examples of how a strong community of fans and followers can become a powerful tool in activating others to get involved and fall in love with your brand.

3. Swipe Right: What Tinder Can Teach Brands

Tue, Feb 24 – 5:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Peer through the window into the microcosm of human behavior that exists behind the walls of online and mobile dating services, and ultimately reveal how marketers can connect with their audiences in a more meaningful way.

4. The 10 Rules Of An Open Brand: Evolving With Your Customers and Industry

Wed, Feb 25 – 12:30 PM – 1:30 PM
This presentation provides guidelines for companies to use in establishing themselves as an open business; one that can build meaningful relationships with peers and consumers, and adapt and thrive when faced with change.

5. Cult Brands 2.0: How Today’s Top Brands Breed Loyalty and Fanaticism

Fri Feb 27, 9:00 AM — 10:15AM
On this panel you’ll hear from several masters of Cult Branding 2.0 themselves, who will showcase how marketers can cultivate brand loyalists.

6. Brand Reputation Management: Tactical Ways to Build an Army of Advocates

Fri Feb 27, 10:30 AM — 11:30AM
Learn the importance of brand reputation, the factors that impact brand reputation and what you can do to manage those factors and tactical ways to build an army of advocates for your brand.

7. People-Powered Marketing: A Crash Course in Putting Consumers at the Heart of Your Brand

Fri, Feb 27 – 10:45 AM – 12:00 PM
In this session, you’ll learn how forward-thinking brands are putting people at the heart of their marketing to drive product ideation, inform marketing strategy and create authentic content that fuels earned media.

Stay Class-y! Industry Experts Lead Over 30 Masterclasses At #SMWNYC

A huge part of SMW NYC is letting you get your hands dirty learning the latest tips, tricks and industry secrets to social media success. We’ve recruited some of the world’s top talent to do that and today we’re announcing the full list of SMW NYC Master Classes that you’ll be able to sink your teeth into!

The master classes offer lots to learn about  – whether you’re a beginner or experienced social media pro. Each class will have approximately an hour of presentation and demonstration from a long list of industry figures, as well as Q&A time – so make sure you’re prepared to follow along with the host and ask as many questions as you can!

Below is a little about what you can expect from each of the classes. For the full SMW NYC schedule click here.

The platforms you know and love

Each of the major global social media platforms will be hosting their own individual master class to teach you how to get more out of the content, communities and conversations you’re starting through their platforms.

Mashable’s Jeff Petriello will give you tips for Storytelling With Vine, and for creating short form video that people remember. ICED Media’s Greg Littley will demonstrate the essentials for Maximizing Your Snapchat, and help you get the most out of the most popular in-the-moment social sharing platform among millennials.  Vimeo’s Mike Weissman and Andrea Allen will also teach you how to Make Your Videos Better and reach global audiences using their creator toolsets.

Top social talent

As well as tips and tricks from the companies that make social media possible, SMW NYC includes a variety of sessions from the people who are using them best and often making their living doing it.

Hootsuite’s VP Community & Customer Experience, Jeanette Gibson, and Dr. William Ward, Director, Education Strategy will share best practices and real-world examples of how a strong community of fans and followers can become a powerful tool in activating others to get involved and Fall In Love With Your Brand. From tapping into “FOMO,” to understanding teen etiquette on platforms like Instagram and Snapchat, Code & Theory will give a Crash Course On The New Millennial Consumer and show you how to integrate millennial insights into their marketing plans.

Industry greats

SMW NYC also has some of be best digital minds, working at top agencies and organizations, that are creating best in class social media experiences for companies and consumers. The line up of industry greats hosting master classes combines decades of insights and experiences  to give you powerful and practical takeaways from the events.

Mattan Giffel, Founder and CEO of One Month, will share best practices on Growth Hacking Quick Wins, presenting tactical, practical skills and strategies to significantly increase your customer base.  Trina Albus, Founder of Magenta Agency, will help you Learn How To Pay Like A Pro. In this class, you’ll earn how to select the best platform for your brand and how to optimize campaign performance across the top social platforms including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ advertising.


We could rave on for ages about all the great classes and speakers happening at SMW NYC, but we’ll let you browse the rest yourself. All the ones that haven’t been mentioned here are just as amazing, and you can find the full line-up here.

Get To Know Generation Z: Marketing’s Next Big Audience

Bob Dylan once sang, “The Times They Are A’Changin’,” and in the world of marketing, truer words have never been spoken. The rise of the connected class, along with the advent of the social web, have made it theoretically easier to reach target audiences but more difficult to forge authentic connections with consumers. This shift is seen most prominently in the ever coveted millennial audience, where conventional approaches to marketing are rendered ineffective and demography-based segmentation strategies prove to be unsuccessful.

This “upwardly mobile” generation of consumers is neither traditional nor monolithic, and in an omni-connected social landscape with diverse curation of cultures, brands must work harder to be culturally relevant, and often come up short. Marketing to the connected class will require a deeper understanding of cultural influence and the role social plays in the spread of products and ideas.

On Wednesday February 25, join Marcus Collins, Executive Director of Social Engagement at Translation, David Arabov,  Founder and CEO of Elite Daily, Jonathon Francis, Founder and COO of Elite Daily, and Mitch Brooks, Senior Research Strategist, Crimson Hexagon to uncover how brands can tap into the dynamic upwardly mobile, millennial audience and benefit from their network of influence. This event will target advertisers and marketers who seek to spread messages, ideas, and products to this coveted consumer.

Looking for even more insights into the millennial audience? Find out everything you need to know about millennials — as well as how to connect with the even younger, hyper-connected Generation Z — during these SMW NYC events:

Not only will you get to know Generation Z at #SMWNYC, from February 23 to 27, but you’ll hear valuable insights from global thought leaders from every industry.

Get your pass today here, and join us and our partners for what will be an extraordinary week of exploring our upwardly mobile, connected world.

Stop Chasing Rainbows

Keeping up with change in our industry is like chasing rainbows; largely impossible.  Rather than bounce around from one latest trend to the next shiny object, we’re recommending that you use SMW to take a breath and explore what’s really working for today’s modern marketer.

During SMW you’ll hear from leading voices from BuzzFeed, The New York Times, IAB, Added Value, MRY, Starcom MediaVest and WIRED on the best practices that have defined some of the most successful campaigns in recent times.

Find out where we are headed, and how we will change as marketers, at the following SMW events:

  1. Measuring Attention and Intention, With The New York Times
  2. Is Social Media Just Media? The Future Of Paid, Earned And Content, Hosted by MRY & Starcom MediaVest
  3. Custom Content: How Publishers and Instagrammers Are Leading Campaigns for Brands, Hosted by WIRED
  4. Creating Video Content For How It’s Consumed, Hosted by BuzzFeed
  5. User Generated Content: The Ultimate Human Content Connectivity, Hosted by IAB
  6. The New Reality Of The Changing Marketing Landscape, Hosted by Added Value

Marketing and advertising insights are a big part of what you’ll find at #SMWNYC, from February 23 to 27, but there are so many other topics to explore.

Get your pass today here, and join us and our partners for what will be an extraordinary week of exploring our upwardly mobile, connected world.

Beyond The Moonwalking Bear: New Ideas In Understanding Human Attention

How does advertising need to change in order to adapt to a fragmented, saturated media culture and a sweeping evolution in how people communicate? The ad industry has discussed ad nauseam by now that it’s tough to get through to distracted, overloaded consumers — we’ve all seen that “moonwalking bear” video that explains human attention, probably multiple times.

We’ve acknowledged that we can’t actually increase the capacity for human attention, and how it’s a problem for advertisers, marketers, and storytellers in our hyperconnected world. So how do we actually apply this knowledge to day-to-day leadership in the industry?

On Tuesday February 24, join Sarah Hofstetter, CEO of 360i, Joe Marchese, CEO of true[x] and Faris Yakob, Principal at Genius Steals, as they examine the problem of attention from a decision-making standpoint.


To attend this event, get your pass today here, and join us and our partners for what will be an extraordinary week of exploring our upwardly mobile, connected world. Grab your pass to get full access to SMWNYC!

Growth Hacking Quick Wins: Strategies To Increase Customer Base

Growth hackers are a hybrid of marketer and coder, one who looks at the traditional question of “How do I get customers for my product?” and answers with A/B tests, landing pages, viral factor, email deliverability, and Open Graph. Some of the most successful startups of all time have used growth hacking techniques to grow products up to millions, 10s of millions, and in some cases 100M+ users, including Facebook, Mint, Dropbox, Zynga, Twitter, Pinterest and Quora.

There are a lot of things you could be doing (or at least testing) that you probably aren’t. Instead of talking about a lot of theory, on Wednesday February 25, Mattan Griffel, Founder and CEO of One Month, will share ideas for what you should be doing and why. He’ll also cover some interesting case studies from companies to see what worked and what didn’t.

This Master Class is targeted to marketers, business developers, startups, and anyone looking to get more users and grow their products. Users will not only learn about growth hacking and the methods that come with it, they’ll walk away with tactical, practical skills and strategies to significantly increase their customer base.


We’ve announced many new incredible official and independent events. Check out the latest lineup here.

Get your pass today here, and join us and our partners for what will be an extraordinary week of exploring our upwardly mobile, connected world. Grab your pass to get full access to SMWNYC!

Make Videos That Matter With These Tips From BuzzFeed, Mashable And Vimeo

Video is the future of content marketing. That is, if it’s not the here and now. But celebs, cute cats and babies don’t guarantee viral success.

To learn the secrets for making killer videos, we’ve highlighted the best events taking place at Social Media Week NYC:

Creating Video Content For How It’s Consumed

Join us as Jonathan Perelman, BuzzFeed Motion Picture’s Vice President examines the evolution of media and how new innovations in distribution technologies have changed how it’s consumed. From LOLS to CUTE cat videos that pull at your heartstrings, Jonathan will dive into the science behind creating shareable content for the social web.

Storytelling with Vine: How to Create Short Form Videos That People Remember 

Today, storytellers are finding increasingly imaginative ways to share their ideas with interactive and visual elements, bringing their messages to life.

As the head of the visual storytelling team at Mashable, Jeff Petriello is responsible for the creative behind many branded social advertising campaigns, having worked with Olympus, Hewlett-Packard, Hot Wheels, MasterCard and more just in the past few months. This masterclass will explore Jeff’s storytelling techniques using Vine, specifically how to create short form videos that people remember.

Vimeo Video School Live: Creative Toolsets To Engage A Global Audience

Video is exploding online for many reason and the experts at Vimeo are here to teach you how to make your videos better and reach global audiences using their creator toolsets.

Vimeo will give a hands on tutorial on their industry leading creator toolsets with examples showcasing how to use video to engage your audiences more deeply and for those professional creators, best practices to market and even sell their work to viewers worldwide.


See the full preview of Campus at Highline Stages here, then get excited to join us for a week you won’t forget. Grab your pass to get full access to SMW14!

23 Reasons Why Marketers Love Podcasts

Recently, Convince and Convert launched the brand-new site, the first-ever search engine for marketing podcasts.

1. They have two podcasts of their own: Social Pros and Jay Today

2. Podcast listening increased 25% last year in the United States

3. Increasingly, business people (especially marketers) are using podcasts to stay on top of trends because it’s the most time-efficient way to get educated. You can multi-task your podcast listening in ways you simply cannot with other forms of content.

Learn more below in their new infographic.



The Problem with Cross-Posting: Mastering Your Brand’s Identity in Social Media

This is a guest post by Kelly Meyers, CODE AND THEORY


Posting the same piece of content across every social channel, all at the same time, without modifying a word, is something the average person would never do on their own social profiles. Yet, while the “brands should behave like people,” social media movement is far from new — agencies, marketers, and brands are all guilty of cross-posting content every single day.

Why don’t we cross-post in real life? And why shouldn’t your brand?

It’s simple. As my colleague Saeid and I discussed on Tuesday (and again on Thursday!), the Internet is made up of subcultures. Each environment has different relationship dynamics, communication styles, and cadence.

For example, I use Facebook to reach the closest people in my life, past, and present. It’s my “home” voice. Twitter is almost the complete opposite. It’s my “Monday-Friday, 9am-9pm” voice. Posting the same things on both channels could be perceived by each community as unproductive, awkward, and possibly rude.

We all use our different social profiles to participate in and build relationships with different communities. Not unlike relationships in real life, we behave differently from relationship to relationship. And your brand should too.

So, what is the solution for brands?

Ideally, when you are developing a social media strategy, you should always consider a unique approach for each platform. However, creating quality content for each channel can be time-intensive. To help decrease repeat-post offenses, here are three simple strategies you can implement today:

  1. Understand the different personality types of social media users and where they play.
    This will help you make better decisions of when it might be okay to share content across channels.
  2. Establish conversation guidelines for your community manager that will open more opportunities for real-time content on more fast-paced channels like Twitter.
  3. Don’t put Facebook first.
    Split your content creation priorities in half. For example: 50% of the content should be created with Pinterest or Tumblr in mind, 50% with Facebook, and Google+ in mind. At least you won’t seem like a one-trick pony.

Bottom line: Every Internet subculture has different needs, behaviors, and rules. The more you understand and adapt to these communities, the more impactful your brand can be.

2014: Trends in Social Marketing

The year social matured.

The entire industry continues to recalibrate their mindset on social. Is it tactical, is is about community management and customer service or is it really about real time insights? All of the above (plus, 100 other things). But, social has matured and is now  a core function or marketing — not a “really fun, cool add on.” We live in a social world, and here’s the reality of how social has matured.

Existing social platform use has steadied amongst consumers — leaving room for emerging platforms of course, but I’m not certain we’ll see the hockey stick growth patterns of years past. Because of that, brands will be able to take a time out, recount the successes/failures of their pilots from 2013, get their footing, and most importantly the appropriate BUDGET according to a survey from

I think we’ll see:

  1. Investment in customer insights and analytic software
  2. Social diversification: matching content and cost to the right platforms/consumers
  3. Marketing leaders will gain additional headcount, and hire talented individuals (vs. interns) and integrate social into their discipline
  4. Measuring (and making sense of) quality engagement metrics vs. only quantitative ones

The winners will be the ones who invest in quality talent, to collect the right insights to keep their audiences engaged across multiple platforms (desktop mobile, tablet). Want more stats? There’s expanded reading on it from the Altimeter Group here and the Harvard Business Review: What’s the End Game for Social?

The trend: Building marketing efforts around shifting and sometimes transient customer behaviors  — “Marketing For a Social World”.

Interested in learning more about trends in social media? Join us at at Social Media Week New York February 17-21 at the Highline Stages.

Jess Seilheimer runs a consultancy called Cretegic– your insight-driven partner for a digital world. We accelerate strategic planning into actionable ideas & marketing for brands and startups. She is also the Strategy & Marketing lead for a startup Birdi. Prior, she was the SVP of Digital Innovation and Strategic Planning at Havas.

Image courtesy Engagor.

3 Ways To Grow Your Brand with Google+ at SMW

Google+ is heavily favored among early adopters as a social layer. With 540 million monthly active users, with 300 million viewing their Google+ stream at least once a month, while an additional 1.5 billion photos are uploaded to the site every week. “Slowly but surely we are getting a feeling that there’s a real momentum, but it is still early days and there are plenty of opportunities to grow and add new features and make them easier to use,” Matt Cooke, product marketing manager for Google+, says.

We at Social Media Week are big fans of the tool. Our office regularly uses Google Hangouts for remote meetings. And we are building our own Google+ community (if you aren’t already joining us there, you should…) So, naturally we were excited to have them join us here at SMW NYC as a City Supporting Sponsor. Through their multiple events at Social Media Week New York, Google+ is teaching us how to do social better and connect with customers in a personalized way — something we all need help with from time to time.

  1. Grow With Google
    Every brand wants to grow and expand their influence. This practical session will outline examples from smart brands that are using Google platforms to do just that. Learn how to get more content in a Google search, how to increase android downloads, and meet your marketing objectives.
  2. Make Your Brand Social Across The Web
    Did you know that your Google+ posts show in search results? It’s just one way you can use Google+ to help get your brand discovered across the web and build deeper relationships with current and future customers. Through social, brands are becoming more human and Google+ can play a significant role in helping you and your brand make more meaningful connections.
  3. Continue the Conversation with Google+ Hangouts
    Used by Barack Obama, the NFL, and the Huffington post, Hangouts are a great way for brands to connect with their customers in an increasingly personal way. In fact, our team regularly uses them to conduct remote meetings. Additionally, their feature set facilitates continued engagement by allowing you to record and rebroadcast hangouts, embed them into your own site, and allow users to subscribe for future Hangouts. Which means the tool could really help your business advance.

We are definitely looking forward to learning from the experts at Google at these seminars this week. When a leader offers to show you how to maximize what they do, you take note. Join them.

Getting Personal: 140 Proof Makes Advertising Social Again

Ever wonder how much someone can learn about you from your social activity? 140 Proof has come up with a creative way to show you just what your social presence reveals about you. Bringing caricature artists, Dan Springer (aka, the “Caricature King”) and John Sprague along with them to Social Media Week, you will be able to see 140 Proof’s work in a personalized way.

140 Proof is a social advertising company that allows brands to send their messages to the people who are most likely to be interested in them. We keep talking about content marketing, but what if your following isn’t where you want it to be and you want to expand, reaching new users where they are? That is where 140 Proof comes in, a social advertising company that allows brands to create advertising content native to social media platforms that is inherently sharable.

274532334_640140 Proof allows brands to create an advertisement that looks just like a Facebook post or tweet (bonus: you can also add images and video) and push it out to the most relevant audience possible. They do this through their Blended Interest Graph technology; they find the most relevant users based on who they follow, what they like and many other interest signals. For example, if a brand wanted to target people who who are interested in comedy, they could advertise during the Daily Show or they could target people who had engaged with Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Ricky Gervais, Steve Martin, or checked into The Improve through social media, so they find the people most interested in engaging with the brand.

And we’re not the only ones who are impressed with these options. Some notable brands that use 140 Proof’s API include Victoria’s Secret, Nike, GM, Chevrolet and Microsoft. All of which makes us excited to have them join us at SMW NYC — and give you a chance to see it in action. At SMW, they are turning this incredible technology on attendees to create your unique personal social portrait.

So, join us and 140 Proof to analyze your interests based on your social activity and then have artists draw you with what you care about. So what will be more embarrassing: your most prominent facial feature or your loves as revealed by Twitter? All you have to do is bring your Twitter handle, visit the 140 Proof installation and you’ll walk away with your own social portrait. Get yours done, and then look for more by searching #MySocialPortrait. 

Intro to Marketing Analytics: 7 SMW Seminars Worth the Trip

Most of us are familiar with famous quote by historic department store owner, John Wanamaker, “I know that half my advertising works; I just don’t know which half.” This need no longer apply, with the analytics available to marketers to measure exactly which of their efforts are increasing engagement and converting into sales. Learn just how to measure your advertising campaigns and what to do with the insight at these events at SMW:

  1. Powering the Consumer Journey with Social Marketing
    It’s no secret: marketers have embraced social media to connect with consumers in new and creative ways. But where’s the ROI? You gotta understand the data. So, Offerpop’s co-founder, Mark Cooper, joins Gabe Alonso, Marketing Communications Manager at Gilt. Together at this event, you’ll understand the consumer’s journey and how to leverage social data better.
  2. Crash Course: Social Strategy, Analytics, and Advertising for Brands
    Everything you need to know from social media advertising and analysis in just a few short hours. This course, led by Trina Albus (Magenta) and Drew Baldwin (from our own Social Media Week LA) breaks down the various platforms, how to manage paid advertising through Facebook, and how to see which of your social channels drive the most traffic to your site.
  3. Social Tech Demo Breakfast: Big Data, Social Analytics, Branded Content, and Paid Platforms
    Watch demos of the different tools available for marketers to track their effectiveness in real time. From trend analysis, social media analytics, to paid social platforms, this breakfast event explores the different options for marketers to engage customers and measure their success.
  4. Masterclass: Data-Driven Channel, Content, and Campaign Intel
    If you want to be the best, you gotta learn from the best. Join the Unmetric team in this masterclass to find out how you rank against others in your industry, learn how to expand your current reach, and better understand how to monitor metrics that matter.
  5. Go Ahead In Digital: Winning with Analytics
    What does social influence really look like in today’s digital world? Look at how the leading brands are using analytics to drive their strategies for the future. Hosted by W20, a panel of experts from Hewlett-Packard, Verizon, Podesta Group will discuss how data can be used to create actionable and achievable marketing goals.
  6. The State of Real-Time vs. Predictive Marketing in 2014
    If you even considering jumping into RTM, then this event is a must. You’ll hear both sides of the debate. With uberVu’s CEO, Mark Pascarella, sharing how to analyze opportunities and what to consider when jumping into RTM in one corner, we have MRY’s Chief Distribution Officer, Jeff Melton, in the other supporting his case with data on how to predict, optimize, prioritize and respond to conversation volume and velocity from all marketing efforts.
  7. What Is Data That You Can Believe In? A Discussion on the Latest Analytics and Audience Modeling Tech
    After being refined during the Obama campaign, learn what data means for the future of television advertisement. Hear from Mark Skidmore (Bully Pulpit Interactive) and Chauncey Mclean (Analytics Media Group) about the relationship between TV and digital and the impact of smart television on the future of advertising.

Register for your all-access pass to Social Media Week for more insightful events like these!

Student, non-profit employee or small business? Apply here a chance to win a scholarship to Social Media Week, sponsored by Nokia! Please note, that we have a limited number of Scholarships and cannot guarantee that your application will be accepted.

Featured images courtesy of bluefountainmedia.

How to Take Your Marketing Strategy Mobile at SMW

In a day and age where 75% of Americans don’t even go to the bathroom without their phones, it is clear that brands and marketers need a mobile strategy. Customer engagement is critical to success to a brand’s long-term success, so here our top three tips to keep up with your community, wherever they may be:

  1. Use Video
    Platforms like Vine and Instagram make it easier than ever for marketers to connect with their customers on the go. More than 40% of YouTube’s traffic comes from mobile devices. And that’s just one platform. That means it’s the most effective way to get your audience. Unruly seems to have helped master it, having delivered, tracked and audited 3.5 billion video views- they have “viral” down to science. So, if you’re going to use video on mobile, you should join Unruly for this seminar as they share their expertise and how to stay ahead of the competition.
  2. Use a Multi-Cultural Strategy
    If experts from Facebook, Twitter and Verizon care about multi-cultural marketing, you probably should, too. With our increasingly connected and diverse society, it is important to understand who your customers are and how to reach them. And marketing executives agree. African Americans and Hispanics lead the way in terms of adopting technology and represent a large portion of U.S. spending, creating vast opportunity for mobile marketers. Few get multicultural like IAB. So, don’t miss IAB’s Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence panel on how you can grow the multi-cultural marketing strategy for your business.
  3. Go Local
    Reach customers right where they are and when they are nearby. It’s the easiest way to get them in your door. Advances in technology allow marketers to target consumers more precisely than ever, factoring in location and customer profile. So, it’s time to learn these tools. Learn how to increase engagement and sales conversions with a smarter mobile strategy at this session with experts from Qualcomm, Control Group, and Ogilvy.

To dive deeper into these topics, register for Social Media Week here. We have an amazing lineup of speakers and events on topics from entrepreneurship, technology and publishing. And even if you can’t make it, thanks to our partner Nokia, catch these events on Livestream by creating an account.