Announcing New Dates and Venue for #SMWNYC 2018!

Social Media Week New York (#SMWNYC) celebrates its 10th annual conference in 2018 and to mark the occasion, we are launching a new global edition of the conference taking place in New York City between April 24-27.

Passes go on sale Tuesday, July 18 at 12pm ET

#SMWNYC will be a significantly improved and enhanced version of the 2017 event, which will now take place at the Sheraton Hotel. The new venue can accommodate twice as many attendees, a significantly upgraded exhibitor marketplace experience and a premium upgrade option for professionals who are looking to get more out of the conference experience.

To mark the occasion we are offering the first 100 attendees who register with an opportunity to secure their passes at a discount of 70%, saving more than $800 off the standard pass. The first few blocks will be sold as follows:

  • – 70% discount for first 85 passes sold
  • – 60% discount for the next 140 passes
  • – 50% discount for the next 145 passes

Your pass package for #SMWNYC 2018 will include:

  • Full-access to all 3 main stages for keynotes, panels and workshops
  • Opportunity to meet 200+ world class speakers and thought leaders
  • Enhanced networking experience through Connect Lounge and Mobile App
  • Access to exhibitor marketplace, branded installations and co-working lounges
  • Exclusive discounted hotel room packages at The Sheraton Hotel
  • Membership to SMW Insider, including access to livestream and 150+ hrs of past talks

We are also offering a new Premium Pass for attendees who are interested in high-level networking and access to a relaxing and fully catered Premium Lounge experience.

The 2018 New York conference will be a celebration of human connectivity and the power that social media provides in bringing the world closer together. Don’t miss out on all exciting events we have planned for this year’s event.

Passes go on sale Tuesday, July 18 at 12pm ET. Don’t miss out on saving more than $800 off the standard pass!

See you in April!


Learn the latest trends, insights and best practices from the brightest minds in media and technology. Sign up for SMW Insider to watch full-length sessions from official Social Media Week conferences live and on-demand.

9 Events for Publishers, Journalists, and News Outlets at #SMWNYC

The state of publishers and news coverage is constantly changing, and at Social Media Week New York, you will hear from the industry’s trailblazers on how to break through the noise. Below are eight events that will dive into these questions, and get you up to speed on the latest trends.

Get your pass here before we sell out.

1. Distributed Media All-Stars: Experts Share Their Viral Content Secrets (Insider)

Insider has nearly 2 billion video views each month across platforms including Facebook. Nicholas Carlson (Editor-in-Chief, Insider) will moderate a discussion with some of the leading distributed media content creators — all of whom will share their own secret sauce for creating and distributing content with the power to go viral like wildfire.

2. Transforming a 160-year-old Magazine into a Multi-Platform Brand (The Atlantic)

Six years after turning a profit for the first time, The Atlantic begins 2017 with its audience, revenue, and staff at record highs. This year will be marked by a global focus and continued expansion of and This talk features The Atlantic’s president Bob Cohn, who will detail the transformation of The Atlantic over the last decade, and the challenges and opportunities ahead.

3. Don’t Call Snapchat a Social Media Platform (Sweet)

Snapchat is expanding into a full-blown entertainment and communication platform; it’s so much more than social media, and it is becoming deeply personal. In this talk, Ross Clark (VP and GM, Sweet – Snapchat Discover Channel) will speak on the importance of creating a two-way dialogue with conversational content and about future trends of different digital media that have outgrown their early “social” beginnings.

4. How Hearst’s Prestige Brands Are “Doing the Internet” (Hearst Magazines)

How do you satisfy your core audience while still giving them a variety of what’s trending or relevant? From ELLE’s creative and fashion-forward use of live video tools to Esquire’s Election 2016 coverage to Marie Claire’s insane growth on Instagram, we’ll take a look at how three of Hearst’s titles are harnessing their unique voices and satisfying the rapidly changing social landscape.

5. Video + Media: The Power of Visual Communication in the Digital Age (Brit + Co)

It’s no secret that video now rules the digital media world. Whether it’s a video mini-series, a Facebook Live, or a GIF, visual content is catching the attention of consumers and brands alike. Brit Morin, Founder & CEO of a digital media and commerce company Brit + Co, has always been focused on the visual, and she’s speaking at #SMWNYC on why video is the center of media right now, and the benefits and challenges of making visual communication a core focus of your business.

6. Experiential Brand Storytelling (The New York Times)

In 2016 the New York Times acquired design agency Fake Love as part of an ongoing effort to offer more creative and marketing services to agencies and clients. In this session, NYT’s SVP of Advertising and Innovation Layne Braunstein and Fake Love’s Chief Creative Officer, Sebastian Tomich will share their vision for how they approach experiential brand storytelling.

7. Smart Publishing Automation: At the Intersection of Content & Technology (Reuters)

Nowadays, social channels are driven by algorithms that are reshaping the way content surfaces, and how people interact with it. The only way for publishers to really leverage the scale of content produced – and better serve a differentiated audience in real time – is to adopt a structured data-driven approach to news circulation on those distribution platforms. This session will explain how Reuters automates the publishing of 9,000+ stories a month across multiple geographies and languages using natural language recognition and predictive analytics.

8. Future Publishing Models: VR and 360 Video (The New York Times)

Via NYT’s VR app, users can go underwater or on the campaign trail, experience life through the eyes of a refugee or explore previously unseen worlds and experience stories reported by award-winning journalists, all told in an immersive, 360-degree video experience. In this session, Sam Dolnick (Associate Editor at NYT) and Andy Wright (Publisher, The New York Times Magazine) will share how they have embraced, integrated and innovated in VR and 360 with exceptional results for brands and readers alike.

9. How The Verge Builds Audiences Across Multiple Platforms (Vox Media)

Finding success as a publisher in 2017 means creating content not just for your website, but for platforms ranging from Facebook to Google, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter. Each has its own audiences, algorithms, and best practices — which can make optimizing even a single story or video a daunting project. Helen Havlak (Engagement Editor, The Verge) will help attendees determine which platforms to invest in, explain how to grow audiences on those platforms, and break down the ways to re-edit and package a story or video to serve those audiences.

Social Media Week returns to New York this February 28 at The TimesCenter. Register to attend here before passes sell out, and view more events on our official schedule here.

12 Must-See Industry Leaders Speaking at #SMWNYC

Social Media Week New York brings some of the world’s most innovative, educational, and inspiring executives to the official stage. From major social media platforms and global agencies, to the technology startups and publishing powerhouses we read about everyday.

Here’s a sample of notable industry leaders speaking at #SMWNYC this year:

By the way, only 275 passes left. Make sure to get yours here!

  1. Brit Morin (Founder & CEO, Brit + Co)
  2. Sebastian Tomich (SVP, Advertising & Innovation, The New York Times)
  3. Neha Gandhi (SVP of Content Strategy & Innovation, Refinery29)
  4. Ross Clark (VP & GM, Sweet – Snapchat Discover Channel)
  5. Michelle Klein (Marketing Director, North America, Facebook)
  6. Bob Cohn (President, The Atlantic)
  7. Sarah Frank (Editor, NowThis News)
  8. Adam Leibsohn (Chief Operating Officer, Giphy)
  9. Megan Summers (Global Head of Production, Facebook)
  10. Sam Dolnick (Associate Editor, The New York Times)
  11. Nazanin Rafsanjani (Creative Director, Gimlet Creative)
  12. Yannis Kotziagkiaouridis (Global Chief Analytics Officer, Wunderman)

You can view more official speakers here, and the initial schedule of #SMWNYC events here. If you are planning to attend, we only have 275 HQ passes remaining and will sell out soon. Take advantage of the 10%-off sale to lock in your spot before it’s too late!

8 Reasons to Attend Social Media Week in New York

#SMWNYC is entering it’s 9th year, and this year feels as fresh and original as it’s ever been. We just announced the initial lineup of speakers and events, but if that’s not enough, here are eight reasons why you won’t want to miss Social Media Week this February 28 to March 3 in New York.

If you haven’t registered yet, be sure to take advantage of our 20%-off sale which expires on January 12. An impressive list of brands is already registered to attend featuring executives from Subway, KAYAK, Univision, Ralph Lauren, CNN, Justworks, OMD, Nickelodeon, Teen Vogue, NBCU, AMC Networks, MailChimp, TED, HSBC, The New York Times, Viacom, L’Oreal USA, and JPMorgan Chase.

Here are eight reasons to attend Social Media Week in New York this year:

1. Access new ideas and inspiration

Choose from 100+ talks, sessions and interviews across two stages at The TimesCenter. This year, you can learn from executives of Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Viacom, Gimlet Media, National Geographic, The Economist, The New York Times, Samsung, Johnny Walker and Accenture.

2. Explore emerging trends

Throughout the week, we’ll explore important topics including Platforms, Business Models, Content Creation and Storytelling, Fake News, Snapchat for Brands, Facebook Live and the Future of Video, Paid Social, AI, Chatbots and VR.

3. Take your career and business to the next level

Whether you need to become a better data marketer, understand Facebook’s News Feed algorithms, or learn the ins and outs of SEO, you’ll be immersed into an educational format with some of the industry’s best marketing and media practitioners breaking down concepts and strategies into actionable lessons you can implement into your business the very next day.

4. Make #SMWNYC your office + classroom for the week

In addition to the incredible program, we’ll have co-working lounges where you can meet with colleagues or clients, connect to WiFi to get your normal work done, ample space to relax, and more perks to enjoy throughout the week at The TimesCenter.

5. Network with leading professionals

Social media professionals are not only active online, but offline as well. We’re an open community of thinkers and doers willing to have a conversation or spur-of-the-moment brainstorm session. Even if you spend most of the day on your phone, at Social Media Week, you’ll be surrounded by like-minded industry peers and potential partners and clients. Plus the “Ask Me Anything” Lounge allows attendees to talk directly with 200+ #SMWNYC speakers as soon as their session ends.

6. Centralized location in the heart of New York

The TimesCenter in midtown Manhattan is accessible from many major subways, trains, and buses. It features a beautiful theater that holds up to 500 people, which means no long lines or sessions at capacity. There will also be a second stage with more intimate events catered to a variety of topics and industry trends. #SMWNYC returns to The TimesCenter, and attendees will get to enjoy free lunch, coffee, Kind Bars and fresh pressed juices each day.

7. Get a fresh perspective outside of office walls

If you’re searching for fresh ideas or just need to press the reset button on your brain, spending a week learning with others outside of your company’s office walls could be the solution to your creative road-block. You’ll meet new people from different backgrounds who share a passion for marketing, social media, technology, and innovation. Just one conversation or speaker insight could unlock your next greatest idea.

8. Have fun!

In addition to the exclusive Opening Reception that kicks off the week, SMW offers a relaxed, collaborative and friendly atmosphere that brings people together for a week of conversations and networking to celebrate our industry. The greater New York media and tech industry also participates with special events at some of the most unique locations in Manhattan.

There are less than 500 available passes, so make sure to lock in your spot by signing up at your earliest convenience. The 20%-off sale ends the night of January 12.

8 Sessions Exploring The Biggest Social Media Platforms and Emerging Trends

Across the globe, messaging apps are amassing huge audiences, social networks are attracting massive media budgets, and the next Mark Zuckerberg or Evan Spiegel might be sitting in the building right next to you.

The current social media landscape is a beast in itself, with Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Vine, Periscope, and a few others that dominate the conversation. But on the horizon, if not already here, are a combination of messaging platforms and emerging communities that could enter this mix.

WhatsApp, Viber and LINE are increasingly gaining traction as hubs for multimedia content, and other players like Giphy, Anchor, PicsArt, Dubsmash, and even Product Hunt are taking slices of the overall pie.

As organizations start to catch on, several publishers have already begun to pave the way for how to best deliver news and content, and engage with the growing user bases on these apps and platforms.

Register your pass to attend Social Media Week NYC, and bookmark these events to your schedule.

1. If you want to learn about the future of communications from a Facebook executive…

The Future of Communications with Michelle Klein, Facebook’s Head of Marketing for North America
Hosted by Facebook • Tuesday 2/23 at 9:30AM • TimesCenter
The shift to mobile has already happened, and it’s radically changing the way businesses and people connect. Michelle Klein, Facebook’s Head of Marketing, North America, will explore the new kinds of tools and groundbreaking innovations completely transforming the way we communicate.

2. If you want to find out which brands are crushing it on Snapchat…

The Best Brands On Snapchat
Hosted by Nasdaq • Tuesday 2/23 at 12:30PM • TimesCenter
Snapchat is the new battleground for the most innovative brands. Meet the marketers behind the ghost that are already killing it on this emerging platform. Join leaders from MTV, VaynerMedia, Nasdaq, American Airlines, and The Wall Street Journal to learn more about the most innovating brands creating lasting experiences (that are more than 24 hours) on Snapchat.

3. If you want an overview of platforms taking over the media industry…

Mediapocalypse! Are Platforms Killing The Business Of Media And Advertising? And Why Won’t Anyone Talk About It?
Hosted by Deep Focus • Tuesday 2/23 at 2:30PM • TimesCenter
Platforms like Facebook, Pinterest, Snapchat, and Twitter are up-ending the media business. But will that end up killing it in the process? Publishers and advertisers, content producers and creators, advertisers and agencies are all dealing with the repercussions of distributed media models. Join Ian Schafer (Founder and Chairman, Deep Focus), Ricky Van Veen (Co-Founder and Executive, College Humor and IAC), and Lisa Weinstein (CEO, Engine Media Group) as they explore the end of times.

4. If you want to hear Mashable’s predictions on the future of multi-media messaging…

The New World of Social: How Publishers Are Using Messaging Platforms to Engage with Audiences
Hosted by Mashable • Tuesday 2/23 at 5:30PM • TimesCenter
Across the globe, messaging apps are amassing huge audiences. Though initially made popular as an alternative to SMS, chat apps such as Snapchat, WhatsApp, Viber and LINE are increasingly gaining traction as hubs for multimedia content. In this session, you’ll hear directly from the strategists and producers at Mashable on how publishers are approaching these emerging digital platforms.

5. If you want to explore BuzzFeed’s lessons on creating cross-platform content…

Building A Great Social Presence The Resourceful Way
Hosted by BuzzFeed • Wednesday 2/24 at 11:00AM • SVA Theatre
In this interactive presentation, you’ll learn how BuzzFeed used careful targeting and precise forms of social media storytelling to build BuzzFeed into what it is today. Social experts Rachel Christensen and Summer Anne Burton will discuss the scrappy and unconventional ways of thinking about content to create sharable, memorable experiences without a sizable budget.

6. If you want to learn how to develop a Snapchat marketing plan…

Snapchat: How Brands Can Effectively Market On The Platform
Hosted by VaynerMedia • Wednesday 2/24 at 12:00PM • SVA Theatre
There’s no doubt Snapchat is the hottest social media platform in 2016. In this masterclass, you’ll learn the strategies behind the brands finding success with Snapchat marketing, and how to think about this new platform in the context of your brand. Speakers of this session include Dan Grossman (VP of Platform Partnerships, VaynerMedia), Farrah Bezner (Head of New Business Ventures, Mondelēz International), and Talya Minsberg (Social Media Editor, The New York Times).

7. If you want to learn about social media automation by building your own Twitter bot…

Twitter Bots And The Automation Of Everything
Hosted by Code and Theory • Thursday 2/25 at 11:00AM • SVA Theatre
In this session, you’ll get a hands-on, step-by-step explanation of how to build a Twitter bot, and why algorithms on major social platforms are maturing to become more relevant and meaningful to digital professionals. Nick Macri (Associate Director of Analytics, Code and Theory) will lead a conversation around automation in social media, and how you can use it everyday on a variety of platforms and networks.

8. If you want to have an intimate dialogue with social media leaders…

The Future Of Emerging Platforms: An Interactive Shorty Awards Trivia Game
Hosted by The Shorty Awards • Friday 2/26 at 4:00PM • SVA Theatre
Join digital media executives from leading organizations on social to discuss in an interactive format what captivates, engages and moves audiences, and then put your noggin to the test with game show trivia questions on emerging social and digital media platforms, and the new ways that brands are publishing content and growing their community at scale. Hear from Reelio, BuzzFeed,, Bravo & Oxygen and other individuals from innovative brands.

We hope to see you in New York for Social Media Week! Join over 1,000 leaders who register each year, and in 2016, #SMWNYC features two official venues: The TimesCenter (FWD Stage) and SVA Theatre (EDU Stage). Attend the 70+ events with 200+ speakers for an incredible week you won’t want to miss. Get your pass here!

Facebook’s Head of Marketing, North America Will Deliver “Future of Communications” Talk at #SMWNYC

The shift to mobile has already happened, and it’s radically changing the way businesses and people connect. We’re spending more time with our phones than ever before, and every interaction, click, swipe, tap, message, and pinch is a new data point and experience that impacts the world around us.

Facebook’s Head of Marketing for North America Marketing, Michelle Klein, will join us for Social Media Ween NYC to explore the new kinds of tools and groundbreaking innovations completely transforming the way we communicate.

You can click here to see the schedule of events for the rest of the week, and be sure to register your pass to hear Michelle’s talk, The Future of Communications with Michelle Klein, Facebook’s Head of Marketing for North America on Tuesday, February 23rd at 9:30am at The TimesCenter

Michelle Klein is Head of Marketing for North America at Facebook, where she oversees the vision and strategy for marketing as it relates to advertisers and the advertising industry, agencies, small business and Facebook Marketing Partners.

Prior to Facebook, she was Vice President of Global Marketing for Smirnoff, and in that capacity, spent eight years guiding the world’s original vodka brand through a complete brand reinvention. From the creation of a global experiential and social campaign spanning 50 countries to overhauling the entire packaging design for Smirnoff’s product range, Michelle played a key role in driving the 150-year-old brand into the future.

Image Credit: The Internationalist

Need to Dig Deep Into Snapchat? Learn The Latest Trends At These 3 #SMWNYC Sessions

Snapchat has an estimated 200 million monthly active users, and 100 million daily active users. It’s one of the most popular mobile apps for Millennials, Gen-Z, and even younger generations (30% of U.S. millennial internet users access Snapchat regularly). It’s so much more than a social network too. It’s truly an entertainment network.

It’s visual messaging, text messaging, mobile payments, art, comedy, storytelling, news, live event coverage, and a major advertising for brands and businesses across the world. 8,796 photos are shared on Snapchat every second, and Snapchat sees 6 billion video views every day. TO say the least, Snapchat is robust, and shows no signs of stopping (stats via DMR).

As Snapchat continues to expand and innovate, we want SMW New York attendees to learn everything there is to know in order to stay on top of its growth and capabilities. It’s not easy to fully understand everything there is to know about Snapchat, but a few events at SMW New York this month will teach you how to use it properly in business and in life.

Purchase your pass for SMW New York, and attend these three sessions that will dive deep into the world of Snapchat, and pull apart the many reasons why it’s a must-know platform for marketers and digital professionals.

1. The Best Brands on Snapchat

Hosted by Nasdaq • Tuesday 2/23 at 12:30PM • TimesCenter
Snapchat is the new battleground for the most innovative brands. Meet the marketers behind the ghost that are already crushing it on this emerging platform. Join Nasdaq, the bellwether for innovation, for an exciting chat with these Snapchat trailblazers, featuring executives from MTV, VaynerMedia, American Airlines, and The Wall Street Journal.

2. Atomization of Business: Content Strategies for Speed, Quality, and Efficiency

Hosted by Code and Theory • Wednesday 2/24 at 11:30AM • TimesCenter
As today’s brands, organizations, and governments confront the challenge of reaching multiple audiences with multiple stories, Atomization offers a playbook for producing content rapidly without sacrificing quality, reacting to popular news cycles with sensitivity, and injecting brands into culture with sincerity. Code and Theory Co-Founder, Dan Gardner, will introduce attendees to Atomization, and how today’s businesses take advantage of strategic opportunities via social media.

3. Snapchat: How Brands Can Effectively Market on the Platform

Hosted by VaynerMedia • Wednesday 2/24 at 12:00PM • SVA Theatre
There’s no doubt Snapchat is the hottest social media platform in 2016, and this masterclass will detail best practices for how brands can market on Snapchat. Attendees will walk away with answers to questions such as, “What makes Snapchat the “hot” platform in 2016?” and “What is the differentiation of Snapchat and its ROI vs. “more established” platforms like Facebook, Twitter & Instagram?”. Dan Grossman (VP of Platform Partnerships, VaynerMedia) together with Farrah Bezner (Head of New Business Ventures, Mondelēz International) will lead this session.

These three events are targeted at digital professionals who have experience leveraging social media as a key marketing initiative, or professionals in marketing who want to deepen their understanding of how brands can effectively market to the ever-growing consumer audience on Snapchat. Click here to register for Social Media Week New York!

Building an East Coast Tech Center: What’s in Store for NYC’s Future?

Last week’s panel, “New York City’s Tech Future“, got everyone thinking about how far New York City has come and how much farther we need to go. There was a lot of discussion about how New York City differs from Silicon Valley. In New York the innovation is at smaller venues and companies, we haven’t quite gotten our big Google or Facebook yet. However, Jonathan Bowles, Executive Director of the Center for an Urban Future, noted, “we’re seeing that a lot of corporations are reaching out to these smaller companies for acquisition and services”. Alan Patricof, Managing Director of Greycroft Partners, also noted that the model of fundraising is different in NYC. He noted that few firms do B-Round ($5-$15MM) here and there is a lot of seed capital around, a lot of VCs have cashed out and become angels. Additionally, Patricof noted, “A-Round requires going to an organized firm like Greycroft and there aren’t a lot of firms like these in NYC.” Nevertheless, Bowles noted that 486 start-ups got VC or angel funding last year and of those, 15 had raised $50MM+.

There are also several issues related to the recruitment of talent in NYC. Bowles pointed out – liveability and quality of life are key issues. He suggested that, in order to attract more talent in engineering and entrepreneurship, the next mayor will have to focus on creating more middle-income affordable housing, as most tech/start-up employees aren’t making six figures.

Students are another big issue. A few of the panelists suggested that there is a tendency for recent grads to start their companies near where they went to school, especially because of the focus on intellectual property on campuses, how students can and will take risks, and the advantageous recruiting opportunities that proximity presents.  This focused the conversation on the new Cornell Tech campus on Roosevelt Island. Anne Li, the Managing Director, EVP at NYCEDC, argued the case for NYC to focus on tech. Li said, “NYC is underweight in the number of engineers we produce…there are not that many industries we can diversify ourselves into but tech is one”. She also noted that similar projects in other countries have been funded by the government. However, our city’s government doesn’t have those kinds of funds to give. So, the focus has really been on the universities. That’s where the partnership with Israel’s Technion came to play on this campus proposal. Israel has demonstrated itself as a country that has a strong grasp on how to commercialize research. Additionally, several other city universities have started to further develop their tech programs. NYU has started a Center for Urban Science & Progress in Brooklyn and Columbia University is expanding its engineering school. Li estimates that the three projects combined will double the number of engineers (PhDs) in 20 years. She also suggested that work is being done at the high school level as well. Li says, “great coders learn how to code in high school not college”, so there’s a computer science high school in the works.

The discussion of what students want to do after they graduate also came into play. Patricof suggested that most students in NYC want to start their own company when perhaps instead they should be “looking to join a big company to bring entrepreneurial spirit or join an existing start-up”. He noted that there are a lot of companies that are imitating one another these days:  “You should start a company if you have a passion and you’ve learned a lot about it and you have a plan, not hunt for ideas or copy what someone else has done and say ‘I’m gonna do it better'”. Scott Anderson, Partner & Chief Strategy Officer at Control Group, backed him up by saying that his company looks for more skilled workers and sees great value in new recruits who have failed before. Patricof furthered the argument of the value of having worked at a failed start-up: “They don’t assign people different roles so you learn everything…you watch and learn from an unsophisticated leader and then you’re ready to do a start-up because you’ve seen the pitfalls and not spent your own money.”

So, the overall feeling was that New York City can become a more attractive destination for engineers and entrepreneurs by building more academic resources for students and by making the city a better and more affordable place to live for experienced talent. Recent graduates will need to start shifting the attention toward joining existing start-ups rather than creating imitative start-ups of their own. There will also need to be the economic support and incentive to allow them to do this – through improved fundraising avenues for  start-ups, affordable housing options, etc.

Victoria Harman (@vc1harman) is a social media content & strategy specialist and entrepreneur based in New York City.

Master Class: Engagement@Scale – Three Steps to Leveraging Brand Advocates

On 20 February 2013, I had the pleasure of attending Master Class: Engagement@Scale – Three Steps to Leveraging Brand Advocates with Dachis Group. Speakers from the Dachis Group included: Michael (MJ) Jones, Vice President of Technology; Liz Schroeter Courtney, Social Strategist and Allison Squires, Social Strategist.

The presentation focused on social marketing as the ideal way for brands to authentically interact and scale engagement with customers. Social media facilitates messaging large groups of people. Additionally, panelists spoke about leveraging brand advocates, a brand’s most trusted and effective audience group, to spread a brand’s presence beyond internal corporate efforts.

The Dachis Group offered a three step approach to working with brand advocates around (I) identification, (II) mobilization and (III) measurement.

How do companies identify advocates?

+ Frequently talk about particular brands
+ Have positive feelings about particular brands
+ Desire to influence others
+ Advocates should be people that others trust

According to Edelman’s trust index, people trust academics, experts, people like me and employees at a company more than CEOs, government institutions and financial analysts.

“Friends are better marketers than marketers.”

92% of people trust earned media, such as word-of-mouth.

What’s more, 67% spend more online after receiving recommendations from online communities.

It’s the power of advocacy.

How do companies mobilize advocates?

+ Foster relationships — Make advocates feel valued
+ Create mutually beneficial relationships – Reward your advocates
+ Must be authentic, not just driven by money

Good examples of brand advocacy include:
+ Red Bull
+ Coffee Mate
+ Starbucks
+ Vitamin Water

How do companies measure results of working with brand advocates?

The aforementioned companies successfully mobilized advocates to increase customer awareness and mindshare in the market.  Things to consider:
+ Increasing the reach of the brand
+ Enthusiasm and sentiment
+ Conversion patterns and business impact
+ Community engagement
+ Frequent activity, frequent brand mentions and frequent purchases

Finally, give advocates space to engage with the company’s audience. Does your company provide forums, community events, product initiatives, etc. Help advocates develop a suite of experiences for audiences to engage and invigorate positive feelings about your brand.

Want to see it for yourself?

Lisa Chau has been involved with Web 2.0 since graduate school at Dartmouth College, where she completed an independent study on blogging. She was subsequently highlighted as a woman blogger in Wellesley Magazine, published by her alma mater. Lisa currently works as an Assistant Director in Alumni Relations at Dartmouth College. She has been published in US News and Forbes. You can follow her on Twitter.

Local to Global: Social Media in the Markets of New York City

New York City is known for many things: Broadway, art, crowds, music, fashion, tourism, etc. But, the core passion of every New Yorker is our dedication and passion for food. Delicious food.

It was of great interest then for Karen Seiger  (Author/ Founder of Markets of New York City) to moderate a panel discussion with local, food entrepreneurs on their use of social media to cultivate an audience – Local to Global: Social Media in the Markets of New York City. The five food artisans in attendance were:

Fany Gerson, chef and owner of La Newyorkina
Liz Gutman, co-founder of Liddabit Sweets
Simon Tung, co-owner of Macaron Parlour
Susan Povich, co-founder of Red Hook Lobster Pound
Allison Robicelli, chef/author/blogger/co-founder of Robicelli’s

Developing an Online Voice and Personality. While each purveyor differed in their preferences for a social media platform, the general consensus was the need to 1) develop the right tone that best reflected the personality of their brand as well as 2) the right interaction to engage their online audience. Social media has greatly hastened and cultivated our current need for transparency. Now, customers want to know the full 360 who is behind the product, what is the owner’s personality and background, what happens on a daily or weekly basis, etc. Fany Gerson, whose paletas (Mexican ice pops) are highly popular in Manhattan, noted that she tweets in both Spanish and English as a nod to her cultural roots and diverse clientele. Allison Robicelli recounted she began with the oft-started professional tone. But when she finally let her true personality/voice take over, posting comedic and entertaining accounts of her life via stream-of-consciousness thinking, her online audience increased dramatically not only locally, but internationally as well.

More Content Than Advertising. A beginner’s faux-pas that each panelist stressed should be avoided was the assumption that every post and tweet focus on advertising the product. You want to be a conversationalist, not a commercial. A majority of online actions should be focused on interacting with your customers (answering questions, commenting on their posts/tweets) and providing content (industry-related topics or news, photos, events, personal opinions).

Crowdsourcing Ideas and Feedback. Social media is instantaneous and real-time, so business owners can immediately receive feedback on their customer needs, preferences, and requests. It’s the improved, straight-from-the-source, focus group model. Simon Tung relayed an experience when he received customer comments regarding an issue with one of his baked goods. He quickly examined the product, confirmed the validity of his customer critiques, and immediately removed the product from the shelves. Allison Robicelli continually asks her customers for cupcake flavors as well as recommendations for past cupcake flavors that should be reintroduced.

Crowdfunding for Business Growth. Not only does social media provide audience engagement and communication, but it can also be used as a vehicle for raising capital. Both La Newyorkina and Red Hook Lobster Pound suffered great loss during Hurricane Sandy as their kitchens were located in Red Hook. Fany Gerson, of La Newyorkina, created a Kickstarter campaign to raise capital ($20,000) in order to rebuild her entire kitchen. Gerson’s strong community of fans and peers mobilized as fundraising ambassadors on her behalf via social media networks, resulting in La Newyorkina over-exceeding the initial $20,000 goal within one week.

Handling Customer Complaints. Most of the panelists handle customer complaints through Facebook and Twitter, but mention Yelp and everyone lets out an exasperated sigh. Yelp seems to be the bane of any food-related business owner. While there are valid criticisms, a majority of the negative reviews are from privilege-minded individuals who expected special treatment  during their visit or from individuals who leave negative reviews to receive future special treatment. Business owners must learn to ascertain and identify which reviews are legitimate in order to conduct follow-up. Susan Povich of Red Hook Lobster Pound reviews Yelp for dissatisfied customers and sends them a specially coded gift certificate. When someone shows up with said coded certificate at any of the locations, employees ensure that specific customer has an exemplary second experience. Additionally, this allows Povich to track conversion rates for customer service.

Your Peers Are Also Your Community. It’s a small world and in the food entrepreneurship industry, it’s even smaller. Each of the panelists stressed the importance of authenticity and relationship building not only with customers, but also with fellow peers within the field. Working in silos was never an option to them, nor was it a mentality they wanted. The panelists and their peers became secondary family, helping one another during various markets, providing advice on business matters, brain-storming ideas on culinary initiatives, and sharing kitchen space and resources when needed. This community spirit, carried over on to social media platforms, indirectly helped increase customer engagement and followers. Customers would read online interactions between the business owners; begin following the companies they were previously unaware of; involve themselves within said business conversations; visit the recently-followed food establishments to taste the products; and most importantly, the customers would then provide reviews and endorsement of the products/companies through their own personal social networks of friends.

For the burgeoning food entrepreneur, the major takeaways to heed are: find the right platform; create your online voice/persona; interact with your audience AUTHENTICALLY (talk with them, respond to them, ask for feedback); don’t be a commercial and hard-sell your products; always provide content through your social media platforms; and create a community with your peers.

Success takes time, but community support is what carries you to the finish line.

Lisa Hoang is an arts administrator who is now immersed in all things digital media, tech, and healthy eating. She is currently the Assistant Director for NYU-SCPS overseeing academic programs in Digital Media Marketing, Digital Publishing, and Leadership/Human Capital Management. Lisa has a B.S. in Fine Art/Illustration from Towson University as well as an M.P.S. in Arts and Cultural Management from Pratt Institute. She spends a majority of her time testing the limits of her metabolism. You can find more about her at:

Social as the Great Equalizer

By now we’ve all heard about the pervasive presence of social media, and we as a society join increasingly more platforms all the time. In the business space, thought-leaders have started to wonder if social media can be the great equalizer between small and large businesses alike. So, those at Social Media Week gathered some of the industry’s most recognized names in social media and held a panel moderated by Dominic Chu from Bloomberg called Social as the Great Equalizer: Interviews with Companies Large and Small.

Representing the small businesses were Divya Narendra, founder of SumZero, and David Fudge, the Director of Brand Marketing at Bonobos. Hailing from the larger companies were Craig Hepburn, Global Head of Digital and Social at Nokia, Scott Roen, VP of Digital and Partnerships at American Express, and Sara Larsen, VP of Digital Marketing at SAP.

One of the first questions put to the panelists was: How do you know whether your social media efforts are working? David Fudge explained that it starts with figuring out what your goals are. Before you are able to measure success, you have to figure out what metrics you are going to use.

Craig Hepburn chimed in next and said bluntly: “If you don’t understand the value of social, don’t do it. You need to make sure it fits the culture of your business.” Hepburn advocated creating contextual experiences to build stronger relationships with customers, and using social to understand what your customers really want and need.

After this discussion the conversation came around to exploring what makes content engaging, and how you can drive conversation. Scott Roen noted that in B2B relationships it is all about getting the emotional connection. For American Express’ Open Forum they tapped into business’ challenges and they saw a huge influx of participation. American Express gave small businesses a tool to utilize during the tough economy, and established their site as an insightful resource.

Hepburn championed getting behind a social cause as a brand that people already care about, and helping the community amplify it and make it more successful.

Ultimately, the panel agreed that any business or individual could get into social very easily. However, it can also get complicated really easily. Researching to truly understand the psychology and sociology behind social media makes a huge difference.

Last tips for businesses using social media focused on being authentic and timely. You have to be authentic to the brand, but you also have to be authentic to the social channel you’re using. As long as a business stick to their core values and uses social to benefit their customers, social very well could be the next equalizer.

Image courtesy of Flickr, luc legay

All Earned Media is Not Created Equal

This week we’re hearing a lot about earned media, ROI, storytelling and brand ambassadors. But is all earned media the same?

Our partners House Party say no.

It’s a bold statement and they can back it up. Friday, they’ll be covering in more detail (and we recommend you check it out here). But to prepare, we think you’ll enjoy their newly released White Paper.

We know that creating experiences is invaluable for brands. It’s not about pushing out content; it’s about conversation and relationships. You hear it every year. But what may get overlooked is that experience-driven social marketing, when properly done, can be the most powerful medium in the mix.

Brands seek out earned media over paid media because it is the most powerful form of advertising. The same should be true for experience-driven advertising. The deeper engagement of in-person brand experiences will ultimately drive stronger advocacy. This leads to bigger and longer-lasting brand and sales lifts. And the better you do, the stronger results.

But it doesn’t stop there. If you have a truly experience-driven social presence, then the rest of what you do is so much more effective- and much more measurable.

“Experience-driven social wins hearts and minds.” House Party has found that experience-driven social can increase favorability by 161%, advocacy by 206%, and purchase-intent by 187%. That’s impressive.

“Experience-driven social opens wallets.” House Party also found that it can increase sales by 10% and ROI by $2, in gross profit.

What’s more, if you do your campaign well, you come out with incredible content, and user-generated content at that. There’s also more opt-ins, feedback and audience feedback. This all goes back to your ROI- and doesn’t let up.

The moral of the story? Create experiences. Download House Party’s White Paper to learn more- then join us tomorrow to engage in a deep discussion around it.

Digital Quicksilver – How Marketers Can Harness the Power of Influence on Social Media to Drive Brand Affinity

This is a guest post by Rob McLoughlin, SVP Consumer Insights at Buzzmedia

Influence is a fluid social currency connecting those who possess knowledge or topical expertise and those that seek it. At Buzzmedia, we study these dynamics every day to provide insights into the complex relationships between brands, content and millennial consumers.

To that end, we partnered with NewStream Research on original research project to explore this important topic and are thrilled to present the results for the first time this Friday at the Lifestyle and Culture Hub at Hearst.

Here’s a preview of what we found:

+ Social media plays a critically important role in the dynamic relationship between brands, content and influencers. Seventy-six percent of millennials follow brands on social media and when seeking to obtain information about brands and products, social media influences four in ten millennials. Recommendations from friends and family are most influential, but recommendations from a perceived topic expert carry nearly equal weight in social media. Over 70 percent of millennials share items from brands and nearly 40 percent of millennials have had their view of a brand and site changed positively due to a mutual association. Branded content on social media is influential and helps drive positive and sometimes immediate action for brands. Influential content has driven over 82 percent of millennials to visit a brand website and over two-thirds of millennials have purchased, saved or shared something that they viewed as influential or interesting.

+ There exists a strong synergistic relationship between brands, online content and individual influencers. Each element adds logic and strength to one another in the consumer mindset. The combination of all three can help to reinforce the core values of the consumer, but it is a relationship that has preconditions and needs to be actively managed with care in order to truly be considered influential. Over 80 percent of millennials rank “trustworthiness,” “credibility” and “authenticity” as either the first, second or third most important element that impacts whether content, brands or people (influencers) are influential to them online.

+ Millennials consumers hold strong and definitive impressions about brands. These impressions are developed over time based on a mix of both online and offline experiences. Eighty-one percent of millennials view brands as a “measure of quality” and 77 percent consider brands to be “what distinguishes a product,” and therefore they are seen as “more than just companies.”  In order to build trust and foster credibility and authenticity, brands need to actively manage interactions to ensure that each exposure is constructive and fostering increased affinity and loyalty towards the brand.

+ Brand characteristics are incredibly important in creating influence among millennials. Brands that are viewed as “creative,” “innovative,” “compassionate” and “stylish” are key characteristics cited by millennials as helping to create and sustain influence. Female millennials in particular are slightly more likely to think that creativity is what makes a brand influential. Females are also more likely than men to consider “compassion” and “style” important brand characteristics for driving influence.

+ Brands can also drive influence via actions to connect with millennials and increase affinity. Millennial consumers see value in brands that provide “excellent customer service,” that create and share “humorous and engaging advertising” and “contributing to charitable causes.”  Additional actions that drive affinity include brands that “sponsor online content or events of consumer interest” and brands that “partner with companies that are perceived as cool or cutting edge.” Brands that execute these actions for consumers stand to reap significant rewards in terms of increased affinity and loyalty.

+ Millennials have strong opinions about the relationship between the type of information they seek online and the person they deem most credible at delivering that information. We asked millennials to rate four different types of influencers based on their credibility when delivering information on various product categories as well as their influence on a variety of brand dimensions. Across all product categories, topical expertise is most important for driving influence. Millennials feel that topic experts with broad fame and topic experts with contextual fame are most influential for sharing credible information across every product category.

+ Brands, content and influencers live a complex and ever changing ecosystem. In order to obtain, build and sustain influence and affinity with millennials, each must build a relationship that is based on a foundation of trust, credibility and authenticity. Influence is not an entity and therefore does not reside within one individual, site or brand. Influence is a process – and every piece of the process needs to be managed properly to have an impact.

Join us tomorrow to learn more!

Ford Remixes Old Fiesta Campaign for 2013 Strategy

Social Media Week has taken New York City by storm, as thought-leaders and innovators discuss industry trends and developments. Kicking off Tuesday morning at the Business and Entrepreneurship Hub at Bloomberg HQ was Global Head of Social Media at Ford, Scott Monty. Scott Monty has been ranked by Forbes as one of the Top 10 Influencers in Social Media, and his presentation clearly demonstrated his mastery in the industry.

Scott Monty started the session by emphasizing the importance of personal relationships in our rapidly developing digital age. Monty believes that social media is bringing business back to a trusted relationship, and it helps combat the impersonality of our mass media age.

After establishing these sentiments, Monty took the audience through the history of Ford’s social media efforts and the lessons they learned along the way. He pointed out that the lessons Ford learned were universal, and that both big and small businesses could benefit from them.

Four years ago, Ford launched the Fiesta Movement introducing their new Ford Fiesta. The campaign involved giving away 100 Ford Fiestas to digitally connected people around the United States for 6 months, and then tasking them with video challenges each month. The whole campaign was documented via social media platforms, and the Fiesta Movement videos earned 6.2 million views on YouTube, 750,000 views on Flickr and 40 million impressions on Twitter with the hashtag #Fiesta Movement.

All in all, the success of this campaign was measured by the 82% increase in consideration by consumers new to Ford, and a 30% gain in consumers below the age of 25. The lesson Ford learned: If you have a good product, let go of your fear and let others tell your story.

The success of the 2009 Ford Fiesta campaign must have pleased the Ford executives, because Monty announced a revamping of the same campaign for their 2013 initiative. This campaign is called Fiesta Movement: A Social Remix and is extremely similar to the campaign four years ago. It will feature 100 people, a mix of celebrities, alumni from the past campaign and regular people who will get to use a Ford Focus for six months. Like last time, each of the people will be tasked with creating a video around a specific theme each month, and this content will be eligible to be Ford’s advertising content.

Ford’s advertising for this campaign will be largely user-generated and crowdsourced from the missions and activities of the Focus advocates.

Recruitment to become a Ford Focus agent started Tuesday, February 20 and the whole campaign is expected to roll out in late April or early May. If you’re interested, you can register online at or follow the hashtag #FiestaMovement.

Image courtesy of toprankonlinemarketing

Thursday: Newly Added & Open Events

Day 2 is almost over, but that doesn’t mean SMW NYC is close to ending. With so many events, you could have missed some great ones. We also added a few new ones. So, to highlight open and newly added events, we recommend you checking these out:

New at our Global HQ

9:30: Master Class: Build Insanely Effective Landing Pages With Old School Secrets
4:30: Social Collaboration: Nokia Lumia 820 Design Challenge: The winner is…
5:00: Performance: Max ZT, Hammer Dulcimer

At our Content Hubs & Across the City

9:30 at JWT: FORTUNE Interview w/ Bonin Bough, Followed by panel: The Secret Sauce of Native Advertising? Authenticity
9:30 at 92Y: Half The Sky Movement: Using Transmedia to Inspire Real Impact
9:30 at Hearst: The Shift from Presentation to Participation, A Discussion With HuffPost Live’s President Roy Sekoff
12 at 92Y: Healthy Living: How Behavior and Patients Can Fix Healthcare, with Jay Parkinson, Greatist, StartupHealth.
12 at JWT: Technology, Advertising & Startup Council (TASC)
2:30 at 92Y: Cowbird and the Storytelling Life: A Visual Story Workshop
2:30 at Bloomberg: Purpose: Driving the New Economy
6 at JWT: Deep Focus Presents: An Evening of Disruption
6 at 92Y: Connections: How the Internet of Things is Transforming Our Social World
8 at JWT: Controller Rocks the Stage: A Night of Music at JWT
7 at Projective Space: “The Magical Sharing Experiment”: Launch of yerdle in NYC presented by Let’s Collaborate!

Don’t wait any longer- we’re running out of time! Register now, and join us tomorrow!

BuzzFeed & Entrinsic Create the Ultimate SMW Videos

One of our FAVORITE things about Social Media Week is all of the incredible content created around it. Memes, GIFs, photos — you name it. This year, both BuzzFeed and Entrinsic’s Eli Singer, went above and beyond by creating these hilarious videos.

BuzzFeed: The DOs and DONTs of Social Media

Entrinsic: Nobody Wants To Be Your Friend…

Have you created content for SMW? Shoot an email to We’d love to share it with our community!

Warby Parker & Google+ at Global HQ

It felt a little like Christmas morning when we found out that Warby Parker and Google+ were teaming up for a one-of-a-kind installation at our new Global HQ. This year’s theme is all about collaboration, so it’s a thrill to see incredible brands like these two doing just that.

Stop by the kiosk and check out what they are up to! Rather than looking at your new Warby frames in a mirror, you can show them to and get feedback from a Google Hangout full of SMW attendees from around the world — as well as celebrities, influencers, fashion experts, and Warby Parker employees — all of which will be jumping in throughout the day to share their thoughts with you.

Each Hangout will be streamed live on Warby Parker’s G+ and Youtube channels, and featured on a large screen monitor at the kiosk. So come by! Grab a pair of their signature shades, make some new friends and get the best tastemakers in the biz to weigh in on your new look!

Want to find out more first? Check out a Hangout from earlier today!


Wednesday Events You Can Still Sign Up For

It’s SMW NYC! We know not everyone has registered to join us but don’t fret. We have an incredible schedule for tomorrow with some spots still available for you. Without further ado, here’s our Top 10 events you can still sign up for!

9:30 at Bloomberg: Innovate or Die: Are You About To Have A Kodak Moment?
9:30 at JWT: Native advertising: An elegant evolution or just another paid placement?
9:30 at 92Y: Girls Education and Women’s Empowerment in Real World Social Networks
9:30 at Hearst: It’s Complicated: Dating and Relationships in the Digital Age
12 at Bloomberg: PSFK Presents The Future of Work: Making Social Work in Collaborative Workplaces
12 at Hearst: Running: Social Implications of the Global Equalizer
12 at JWT: What’s On Your Plate?: How Digital Has Evolved Our Palates
2:30 at 92Y: Social + Grassroots = Change
2:30 at Bloomberg: Social As the Great Equalizer: Interviews with Companies Large and Small
2:30 at Hearst: Daria Musk and Google: Social Media and the Rock Star
6 at Bloomberg: The Problems Entrepreneurs Should Be Solving Over The Next 3 Years, hosted by American Express OPEN Forum

Don’t wait any longer- we’re running out of time! Register now, and join us tomorrow!

The Secret’s Out! Ford To Distribute 100 Cars Through New Campaign

Today, Ford unveiled its new 2014 Ford Fiesta campaign at SMW NYC! It is the first innovative ad campaign created entirely by consumers.

The campaign, Fiesta Movement: A Social Remix, will choose 100 social influencers, or “agents,” and give them cars for a year! In exchange, the agents will compete in exciting challenges across major entertainment hubs including American Idol, Bonnaroo and all 4 Summer versions of the X Games. Along the way, agents will generate content that Ford will feature and distribute through paid media, social media and experiential events. To be clear: the entire ad campaign will be crowdsourced content — a bold and incredibly progressive move!

Think you have what it takes to become an agent and score one of those cars? Well, in honor of Ford kicking off this campaign at SMW, they are beginning their search for agents at our very own Global HQ!

Stop by! Check out the campaign and tell us why YOU should be the next Ford Fiesta Agent. Their fully experiential kiosk is a great place to flex your agent muscles — and it’s fun! Plus, while you’re there, you can pick the brain of our production partner MKG’s Digital Director, Dave Brown – he used to be an agent. (Where else are you going to find that kind of inside information?)

Can’t make it the Global HQ? No problem. Join the fun at

See you there!

New Events! Snag A Seat!

In the last few days we’ve added a number of incredible events, and we want to make sure you don’t miss them! Take a look at the schedule below and snag a seat while you still can:

Thursday, 9:30 to 11:00am: FORTUNE Interview w/ Bonin Bough, Followed by panel: The Secret Sauce of Native Advertising? Authenticity
Friday, 9:30 to 11am: Lessons from the Tumblr-verse: Creating Advertising People Love
Friday, 12 to 1:30pm: All Earned Media is Not Created Equal: Winning Hearts, Minds and Wallets via “Experience-Driven Social Marketing”

Tuesday, 9:00 to 10:00am: Social Wheels in Motion: Ford’s Lessons in Social Media
Wednesday, 2:30 to 4:00pm: Social as The Great Equalizer: Interviews With Companies Large and Small
Wednesday, 9:30 to 11am: Innovate or Die: Are You About To Have A Kodak Moment?
Wednesday, 6:00 to 8:00pm: The Problems Entrepreneurs Should Be Solving Over The Next 3 Years
Thursday, 2:30 to 4pm: Purpose: Driving the New Economy
Friday, 9:30 to 11am: Fostering Collaboration within Entrepreneurial Ecosystems

Tuesday, 9:30 to 11am: Culture and Community on Tumblr
Tuesday 2:30 to 4pm: Vivisection Live: The Inner Working of a Web Series
Wednesday: 2:30 to 4pm: Daria Musk and Google: Social Media and the Rock Star
Wednesday 12 to 1:30pm: Running: Social Implications of the Global Equalizer
Thursday 9:30 to 11am: The Shift from Presentation to Participation, A Discussion With HuffPost Live’s President Roy Sekoff

Wednesday, 9:30 to 11am: Girls Education and Women’s Empowerment in Real World Social Networks
Thursday, 6 to 9am: Connections: How the Internet of Things is Transforming Our Social World
Thursday, 9:30 to 11am: Half The Sky Movement: Using Transmedia to Inspire Real Impact
Thursday, 12 to 1:30pm: Healthy Living: How Behavior and Patients Can Fix Healthcare
Friday, 9:30 to 11am: Keynote: danah boyd on the Ethics and Challenges of Dealing With “Big Data”

AND we’re still selling passes to Ideas Connected at our Global HQ! Check out the schedules for Day 1, Day 2, Day 3 — then swing by and pick one up!

We look forward to seeing you there!