Crimson Hexagon at #SMWNYC on Social Listening 2.0 and How to Use Machine Learning

For years, the smartest brands have used social listening tools to keep tabs on their brand image and audience. But today that’s not enough—which is why companies want to get to the “why” behind these metrics.

New social media analytics tools, built on powerful machine learning and AI technologies, dive deep into the nuances of consumer sentiment and purchase intent and surface new trends and audience affinities as they evolve.

Crimson Hexagon is an enterprise social media analytics company providing insights for brand strategy, market research, and more. At #SMWNYC, attendees will hear from Mitch Brooks (Sr. Director, New Products, Crimson Hexagon) on the latest trends in social analytics and machine learning, and how today’s cutting-edge brands use these tools to stay ahead of the competition.

Social Listening 2.0: How Machine Learning Gets to the ‘Why’ of Analytics,” will demonstrate to attendees the real-world examples of how brands are using machine learning to gain deep insights on their consumers, as well as a bird’s eye view of the evolution and future of machine learning and deep social listening.

Social Media Week returns to New York this February 28 to March 3. HQ passes are sold out, but you can still watch the official sessions LIVE and on-demand through our video platform, SMW Insider.

13 Events on Data Marketing, Analytics, and Social Listening at #SMWNYC

Social analytics, data marketing, and machine learning has become the new guidebook for today’s most successful marketers and advertising agencies. Amazing creative alone is not as effective as it once was, and now the game has changed where insights and automation are almost essential.

At Social Media Week New York, attendees will get real-world examples of how brands are using data marketing tools and social analytics to gain deep insights on their consumers. Here are 13 events that will explore these topics and help you become a smarter marketer in 2017 and beyond.

1. Breaking Down The Facebook Auction: How To Combat Inflated CPMs and Bigger Budgets to Deliver More Sales In 2017 (Croud)

This session will break down everything from how Facebook auctions work. Learn new approaches to Facebook bid management, creative testing and audience fatigue. Attendees will also gain actionable insights to take away and implement on their Facebook marketing campaigns the next day.

2. Building a Billion Dollar Business: How Blue Apron Used Data and Social Media to Acquire and Retain Customers (Simon Data)

Join Greg Fitzgerald (Director of Acquisition Marketing, Blue Apron) and Joshua Neckes (Co-Founder, Simon Data) for an in-depth look into how Blue Apron employs a data-first, cross-channel approach to getting the most out of social media for customer acquisition, and how they grew from an innovative upstart to the undisputed market leader in curated home food delivery.

3. How To Use Bitly Beyond Shortening & Branding (Bitly)

Each month, five billion unique browsers engage with Bitly links, and 300 million links are created through the platform. This session with Bitly’s Senior Content and Community Manager, Denise Chan, will unpack the top 10 metrics of your Bitly dashboard, and how to use Bitly for A/B testing, UTM codes, and other data-focused capabilities.

4. Listen, Analyze, Inform: Pulling Human Insights from Online Interactions (Ready Set Rocket)

This workshop focuses on social listening, social analytics and their impact on the customer journey. Attendees will learn how today’s marketers are mining human insights from data and using that knowledge to effectively communicate with modern consumers to drive bottom line ROI.

5. Share Rate is King (BabyFirst)

BabyFirst’s General Manager, Yuval Rechter, will discuss the importance of “Share Rate” for exponential and organic growth on your social channels. This data-driven approach to custom content production finds what resonates with your target audience and optimizes for shares.

6. Objective Based Marketing: Using Creative Sequencing To Drive Sales (mllnnl)

Consumers need to see the right creative at the right time in the right place. In this panel featuring top paid social experts from invite-only millennial marketing agency, mllnnl, we’ll discuss when to shift measurement away from the sale, creative sequencing best practices, and the future of paid social planning.

7. Data-Driven Customer Experiences and the Voice Paradigm (Bitly)

In this session, Matt Thomson (Chief Product Officer, Bitly) will explore how data is being used in more sophisticated ways to keep up with the increasingly complex customer journey across channels and devices. He’ll also predict what the future holds for data-driven personalization, and provide actionable steps for marketers to take to improve the customer experience.

8. TeraBites! Feeding Algorithms With Open Government Data (BetaNYC)

Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer will moderate a panel discussion on open data as food for algorithms. Content is king and municipal open data allows social media teams to harness location sensitive information to enrich the user experience of the customer.

9. Words of Wisdom: Advanced Text Analytics and Strategies that Influence Consumers (Marina Maher Communications)

In this session, David Richeson (Chief of Innovation and Influence, Marina Maher Communications), will explore the vital role language has in helping brands, through advanced text analysis, find new ways into the consumer vernacular, and ultimately into their hearts, minds and purchase decisions.

10. A/B Testing is Dead. Long Live Rapid Mass Experimentation (Wunderman)

Join Yannis Kotziagkiaouridis (Global Chief Analytics Officer, Wunderman), as he discusses why ‘rapid mass experimentation’ (RME) is the future of experimentation, and how humans and machine-learning can come together to provide a deeper understanding of how emotions drive consumer behavior.

11. How Data Can Cure Your Influencer Headache (Truffle Pig)

Learn how data is bringing transparency to influencer selection and pricing, powering differentiated creative campaigns, and enabling brands to measure results that impact their bottom line. Executives from Thuzio, Food Network, Collective Bias, and Truffle Pig will also explain how to develop campaigns by merging data insights and creative ideas on emerging platforms.

12. Looking Beyond the CPA: Finding High-Quality Users that Don’t Break the Bank (Reuters TV)

In this session, learn some tips and tricks for looking beyond the most obvious acquisition metrics, and more into the metrics that measure true value for your app or website, with real examples from Reuters TV’s Senior Marketing Manager, Ashley Christiano. She’ll also discuss some useful ideas for what to do with data once you have it.

13. Social Listening 2.0: How Machine Learning Gets to the “Why” of Analytics (Crimson Hexagon)

Hear from social analytics and machine learning experts from Crimson Hexagon to learn how cutting-edge brands are using these tools to stay ahead of the competition. Attendees will get real-world examples of how brands are using machine learning to gain deep insights on their consumers, as well as a glimpse into the near future of deep social listening.

Social Media Week returns to New York this February 28 to March 3. HQ passes are sold out, but you can still watch the official sessions LIVE and on-demand through our video platform, SMW Insider.

Brandwatch’s Guide to Decision-Making with Data and Rewarding Your Customers at #SMWNYC

Brandwatch is one of the world’s leading social media monitoring and analytics tools, chosen by pioneering brands and agencies including Verizon, British Airways, Digitas, Whirlpool, Dell, PepsiCo, Monster and Papa John’s. They’re one of our official Social Media Week sponsors (read more about our upcoming work with them!), and we’re excited for their two sessions at #SMWNYC.

The first, “Democratizing Data And Decision-Making: Unlocking The Socially-Powered Invisible Hand Of Technology” takes place Wednesday, February 24th at 10:30 AM at The TimesCenter.

In this session, Brandwatch’s Chief Marketing Officer, Will McInnes, will highlight the transition from mundane, ineffective business intelligence and market research solutions, to the next generation of smart tools, and how they are disrupting the way we analyze, measure, and process our various marketing efforts, utilizing trainable agents powered by human and machine intelligence. This is the next horizon of social intelligence, and Brandwatch will explain who is at the forefront.

The second session hosted by Brandwatch is “Consumer Pulse: Giving The People What They Want” which takes place Thursday, February 25th at 10:00AM at the SVA Theatre.

Two of Brandwatch’s leading minds, Kelly Autenrieth (User Adoption Team Lead, North America, Brandwatch) and Brit Ferguson (Account Manager, Brandwatch), will highlight key use cases for planning a social strategy that features a rewarding shelf-life for you and your consumer. Attendees will learn the most practical and effective ways to interact with potential customers, and how combining emotion with purchase intent can transform someone into becoming a brand loyalist.

Purchase your pass to attend SMW New York, and learn how Brandwatch has helped brands around the globe achieve their goals through smart social data and customer engagement.

6 Events at #SMWNYC for Marketers That Want To Be Smarter With Their Data

If you work in digital marketing, chances are you stress over things such as data, analytics, metrics, KPIs, insights, and sentiment for your brand and the content you create. Each of these terms have become more important year after year, and the current ecosystem of social media monitoring and analytics has officially matured.

At SMW New York, several sessions are confirmed to help both data-rookies and veterans of analytics explore how data and insights can help us make smarter business decisions every day. Here are six sessions already confirmed to learn about data in marketing and content.

1. How Data And Analytics Can Transform And Enhance Native Advertising Opportunities

(Presented by Forbes Media)
This session, led by Mark Howard (Chief Revenue Officer, Forbes Media) will cover the benefits of always-on native advertising, specifically looking at the benefits of ongoing publishing campaigns, value of data and analytics for improving content, and the evolution of thought leadership.

2. Find Your Customers Through Open Data, APIs, And Machine Learning

(Presented by Decoded)
This masterclass will focus on how to leverage the data you have, and the data you don’t yet have, to determine who will buy your product, pay for your service, or hire your team. Jeffrey Lancaster (Head of Product, Decoded), will take you on a whirlwind tour of how open data and APIs (social media and otherwise) are being leveraged by industry leaders to determine the best ways to connect to consumers.

3. Data Versus Gut

(Presented by Hearst Magazines Digital Media)
Kate Lewis (SVP and Editorial Director, Hearst Magazines Digital Media) will join three Hearst Digital site editors to explore how large scale increases in social followings are achieved, and compare the effectiveness of two differing social strategies: the use of performance metrics and audience data to inform social content, and following gut instinct to create posts that resonate with audiences.

★ Register today by purchasing your pass ★

4. Making The Invisible Visible: The Evolving Roles Of Data, Trust And Transparency In Advertising And Publishing

(Presented by The Economist Group)
Marketers and publishers are using more and more innovative methods to create, deliver and disguise digital advertising. Native advertising is the latest under scrutiny from the FTC, which released new guidelines last month, but it won’t be the last as more examples come to light where advertising is indistinguishable by consumers from content.

5. Building A Startup Under The Infrastructure And Data Of A Legacy Media Company: A Great Big Story

(Presented by Great Big Story)
In this session, you’ll learn how to build a content strategy that’s informed by data taken straight from your social media properties. Find out the secrets that can harness your data for audience targeting, distribution and much more. Great Big Story, a socially-distributed video network that covers real stories, will lead this talk.

6. Create By Numbers: How Insights, Data, And Paid Media Shape The Creative Approach

(Presented by VaynerMedia)
The volume of data and insights available for social media is changing how agencies and platforms strategize, spend, and steer clients. An analytics-driven world means an elemental shift in how ideas are informed by data to better reach audiences. This session features speakers from VaynerMedia and Pinterest, and will answer the question: Which comes first, big campaign ideas, or testing multiple creative pillars to identify the big idea?

View The Initial Program Of Events for SMW New York

Social Media Week New York, now in it’s 8th year, brings together thousands of professionals in marketing, media and technology. We’re excited to announce the initial schedule and speaker lineup for SMW New York, which takes place this February 22-26.

Join us across our two official venues, and hear from organizations such as Ogilvy, Starcom MediaVest, MRY, Forbes, Mashable, MTV, The Economist, GE, Pinterest, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Spotify and many more!

Register for SMW New York

If you’d like to hear from visionary speakers, and join the thousands of attendees that come to Social Media Week in New York each year, register today by purchasing your pass. You can also save 20% until January 14th!

Take Command Of Your Data: Understanding Audience Through Social Listening

This post is the second piece in a multi-part series with our partner Brandwatch, in which Will McInnes, CMO of Brandwatch, examines how brands can unlock the power of social data and social listening for business. You can read the first piece here.


People may not always say what they mean, but consumers use social media as their proverbial soapbox. Folks on Twitter and Facebook vent and praise brands in an unfiltered and very earnest way. Social media conversations are a gold mine of likes, dislikes, desires, and wants. Not to mention a great way to learn consumer preferences and adjust campaigns and activities accordingly.

So why aren’t more brands tapping into these very public, very insightful conversations?

They can and they should be utilizing the power of social listening and analytics to learn about their customers and audiences. Social listening helps brands do more than find out what people are saying about their products and campaigns, but can actually help tap into the psyche of audiences to better understand what and why customers want what they want.

Here are just a few ways social data can help brands educate themselves on consumer moods, regional preferences, and reactions to product features. And so much more.


Where, who, what?!

Some may say that social listening is a violation of privacy. But when consumers publicly pose questions to brands or complain about customer service, they are actively seeking a response. A solution. A conversation.

Brands must be listening and tuned into conversations so they can address customer concerns, embrace candid feedback, adjust marketing campaigns, product updates, and even company culture based on the changing tides of the industry and consumer needs.

Demographics are a great way to break down social data by region, gender, life interests, career, and more to better understand what campaigns might work best for different audience segments.

Imagine seeing which cities and states talk most about your competitors, and being able to identify key pain points that you can then turn around through engagement or strategic promotions? Well, it can be done, all through social listening and analytics.


Timing can be everything

What time of day is best to Tweet? Do conversations spike about our new product during a specific month? A specific day of the week?

Timing, as we all know, can be everything. When to launch a campaign, when to announce negative company news, and how often to engage are all questions that community managers and brand communicators need to be ready to answer. And act upon.

Using social listening and analytics to research and determine time-related best practices for social media and campaign activities is a no-brainer. Just like with web analytics, the data paints a clear picture of what methods work best for which activities.

Are your customers most active on social at night? Then hire an evening community manager to answer questions and monitor the conversations.

Do consumers on Twitter talking about your industry (be it automotive, consumer goods, or manufacturing) tend to get angry if a brand doesn’t respond within an hour? Note it, and make sure your customer service reps are poised and at the ready to address all concerns within a specific timeline.

These types of insights are priceless and help your brand make better, data-driven decisions. All of this adds up to a more streamlined brand presence and a high-quality reputation that shows your brand cares enough to listen, before acting or reacting.


Preferences, moods, and trends, oh my!

How brands act and react on social media is scrutinized by the advertising and marketing/communications press to no end. It is absolutely vital that brands know what their audiences want to hear from them, how often, and what type of content and personalized responses they need to feel secure.

Social listening can be used to check out “white space conversations” – those discussions, posts, and articles online discussing your industry but that don’t necessarily mention your brand or competitors. This strategy allows brands to tap into trends and discover new influencers in their sector, or identify potential “super users” and brand advocates they may not have otherwise known about.

We live out our lives on social media and brands would be remiss to not place value on conversations happening digitally. Whether we’re disgruntled with the service at the local restaurant chain, thrilled with the latest software update, or yearning for more details on a new ad campaign, we discuss it on social. There’s no use fighting it, it’s a fact.

In this Brandwatch Twitter Happiness Report, our analysts sought out to learn something new about human happiness; how it’s expressed on social, and what trends we could pull from the data. Using social listening and analytics to better understand customers and audiences, helps brands to better understand the psyche of different groups of people and identify trends that can help them improve strategy and campaigns.


The future of data analytics

Brands are beginning to recognize that more investments need to be made in data analytics and they seem to be doubling down on budgets, according to data from a Duke University survey of CMO’s cited in this AdWeek article. They reported this week that brands will allot 11.7 percent of their marketing budgets for analytics by 2018, up from 6.4 percent currently.

Social is here to stay. Social listening and analytics are necessary equipment in the marketers toolbox. Brands need to embrace the power of social media, and listen carefully to what their customers, dissenters, and the general public is saying. Understanding needs and wants is paramount to giving the people what they want.

Let them be heard.


What new possibilities are there now that a business is social?  To learn more, join Will McInnes at Social Media Week New York on Thursday February 26, where we learn how to strategically use social listening for business.

Social Media Week New York begins on February 23. For the full event schedule and how you can join us, visit here.

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.

Brandwatch Watching Social Media Week

People are conversing constantly online, and that means an increasing likelihood that your brand is being mentioned in places that you aren’t aware of. Who is talking, who is listening, and what do you really need to be paying attention to? 

Brandwatch is a software that allows you to access the most relevant conversations happening on social media that impact your brand. Their platform gives you access to all of these data points, so you can slice and dice in the ways that make the most sense for your brand and their intuitive user interface makes it less frustrating to extract the information you need.

They use their own crawlers to look through over 70 million sources, which include blogs, news, forums and major social networks. Additionally, their channels allow the tracking of public Facebook pages, without needing any admin rights. That’s a score for your team.

And we couldn’t be happier to have Brandwatch joining us at Social Media Week Campus on our ground floor and hosting an event. We recommend you hear Will McInnes, CMO at Brandwatch, as he discusses his perspectives on 21st century business and how the internet is radically changing our personal behavior, our organizations and our society. Then, swing by our Future of Now Exhibition area to see them showing us data in real-time about what is happening across the social channels as it relates to SMW. They will monitor social mentions and display items for the top influencers, hashtags and topics. Get people talking about your event, and then see it up on the Brandwatch screen!

Today is the last day to get a campus pass at the current price- the price will go up to the walkup price tomorrow so don’t wait! Check out the schedule for the amazing lineup of speakers and events and make sure to check out our opening night party, hosted by Nokia.

5 Reasons You Need To Attend SMW NYC

We hear it all the time — but isn’t every week social media week? Social Media Week is much more than just a discussion on social media. We know you’re smart enough that you don’t need that. You get it. What SMW is though is a look at how and where humanity and technology converge. And it goes much deeper than just your Twitter feed.

Here are just five of the areas that we’ll be elevating to the surface and how you can join leaders to see what’s changing:

  1. Health, Wellness and Your Spine Online
    With our focus on the Future of Now, we’d be remiss if we didn’t have a steady focus on how technology is changing our relationship to health and wellness. With classes from SoulCycle, morning yoga, Breathe Repeat’s look at how being online affects your spine, and even a special track on innovation in health from Merck, we want SMW to have a holistic approach. And you can get in on it here.
  2. Content Marketing and the Machine
    Let’s face it: content marketing is THE buzzword for 2014. But that doesn’t mean it’s not critical to your brand’s marketing strategy. Which is why we’re hosting a pretty hefty grouping on events on this topic, with leaders like Percolate, Unruly, Click 3X and more sharing their insights. We even have true[X] examining how we can prevent the online digital advertising economy from losing an estimated $6 billion a year.
  3. Music, Travel & Entertainment
    It's not ALL about ROI and the bottom line. In fact, this SMW we're looking at all aspects of how technology is shaping our experiences.From Spotify’s special track on music’s future to Chipotle’s look at unbranded film to our travel gurus, if you’ve got a passion, this is the list you want to explore.
  4. Data and Analytics and the Search for Meaning
    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, when you have skills from these events.
  5. Social Impact and Doing Good
    One area we love seeing the impact of social and technology is definitely on our society. Social impact has changed drastically over the past few years, giving NGO’s and philanthropists more tools to create change. Few get this like Deanna Zandt, and she’s curated the perfect SMW Social Impact Guide. If that’s not enough, here are some we recommend, including the launch of Mission 31 with Fabien Cousteau!

And if you need more, we’ve got a masterclass lineup you can’t resist, including Big Fuel talking the participation economy and the opportunity to build your own wearable tech.

Friday is your last day to grab your SMW NYC Pass at the standard rate. Join us, Nokia, and MKG for what we know will be our best SMW yet.

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.

An Interview: Amanda McCormick of

Amanda McCormick has been published in the Village Voice, the New York Observer, Heeb magazine, and the Bellevue Literary Review. She honed her writing and online media skills working for big brands like Miramax, Bertelsmann and Lifetime Television, but she is driven by a passion for grass-roots initiatives, entrepreneurs and those working on behalf of the public good (she teaches nonprofits how to bootstrap social media-rich websites on

Amanda McCormick, twitter:@amandamccormick

She’s responsible for the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s first blog, as well as a blog with longer pieces covering social media trends and best practices, Social Media at Work.  She was the architect of the first co-branded web destination for New Directors/New Films, a copresentation of the Museum of Modern Art and The Film Society of Lincoln Center, which yielded the fest’s best-ever online ticket sales. She created the first social media rich website for the New York Film Festival, and has been seen speaking in places like:

  • Social Media Week New York
  • Wordcamp NYC
  • OMMA Social Media Conference/Internet Week New York
  • The Arts, Culture and Technology Meetup
  • The British American Business Association Marketing Roundtable.

Just recently, Amanda teamed up with the startup SocialFlow and focuseson delivering social media optimization technology to publishers and brands.

SocialFlow applies science/math/analytics to drive engagement in social media.  What are some trends you’ve seen working for the company?

Lots of really interesting ones — as we have a top-notch data and research team who harness the full Twitter firehose as well as a number of other rich data sources to generate incredible studies. A few of the lessons that have made the strongest impression on me: we increasingly use social media to break and talk about news. We did two rather extraordinary stories–one about the way the news of Osama Bin Laden’s death filtered out via the well-timed Tweet of a gentlemen that you may not have pegged as an “influencer,” as well as an interesting data visualization of the spread of news about the East Coast earthquake in the late summer.

One trend that’s been particularly fascinating is how important language is in defining who a person is and how they will engage (or not engage) on the social graph. The old holy grail of marketers–demographics–really only skims the surface. When you are capable of looking at the language people use to talk about themselves and what they care about, you have an incredible edge on predicting their behavior and likeliness to engage. That’s something we are able to do at the massive scale of the social networks and in real time at SocialFlow.

What were specific strategies you used when you created the New York Film Festival‘s website?

When I arrived at the Film Society of Lincoln Center, which produces the New York Film Festival each year, I knew there were tons of people, especially young people, who were out there who had heard of us and were highly receptive to our mission to present and preserve interesting world and art cinema, we just weren’t providing the tools that would make that happen. In my two and a half years at the Film Society, I developed their first blog and integrated presence across social networks, but when it came to marquee events like the New York Film Festival, I really wanted to do more, despite not really having any budget to work with.

In 2010, as we planned to world premiere David Fincher’s The Social Network at the festival, and I seized the opportunity to integrate cutting edge social tools on the web to create a new experience for festival-goers. In WordPress I found a framework that I could rapidly develop a flexible platform for our programming that easily integrated Facebook and Twitter in-page. While Facebook Open Graph was relatively new, and most film festivals were slow to adopt it, we were able to offer our audience easy, seamless sign-in and live updates from our events. It helped us capture and connect to a tremendous amount of dynamic discussion among our audience — for the first time, for web visitors, the New York Film Festival encompassed conversation through the web.

You are driven by a passion for grass-roots initiatives, entrepreneurs and those working on behalf of the public good.  Can you share some success stories? 

I really love the challenge of building something from nothing — and finding creativity within limitation. When you’re talking about grass-roots cause marketing and nonprofits, often you’re dealing with organizations that have a wealth of what most brands would kill for — genuine affinity in spades. Social media has leveled the playing field in a lot of ways for causes that have vocal and passionate audiences, so part of what I do through my blog and speaking engagements is to help people leverage that passion.

By that token, small businesses and nonprofits would do well to look within and really mine internal resources. When I worked at the British Tourist Authority, I formed and led a social media “working group” that brought together employees to brainstorm tactics for using social media to market British Tourism to Americans. The working group was egalitarian in natureand included members from all departments and seniority levels, from senior management to customer service reps in the call center. The tactic we came up with, a Facebook fan page about British Film and Television, is still going strong four years later with lots of daily engagement and over 55,000 enthusiastic fans. I think all it took to get there was a little collaborative ingenuity that was able to piggy-back on affinity that was already out there.

Your blog Jellybean Boom shows nonprofits, small businesses, entrepreneurs, artist, and writers how to harness digital and social technology to amplify their message on a low budget. How do you do that?

Here’s the unifying quality of the people that I meet who are in nonprofits, working in small business, or doing their own thing in the arts — none of them are “phoning it in” or punching a clock. They all radiate passion, so the thing that I aim to do with what I blog about is to help to capture that passion in the service of raising awareness around whatever they are trying to raise awareness around. Not everyone’s a writer, but I think everyone can be coached to help translate that passion into communication tools, whether it’s a presentation, a video, or a Tweet.

On, you advise nonprofits AGAINST blogging. What is the difference between a blog and a website?

Blogs completely democratized the process of getting a presence out there on the web — but the wonderful thing about platforms like WordPress is that they have grown and developed so much in terms of their complexity and capability they are incredible platforms on which the budget-strapped or budget-conscious can build a fully fledged website. I tell people to “make it not a blog” so that they take away the most obvious parts (comments, list of posts) that might signal to the visitor “this is a blog.” However I am a big advocate of having a blog be a part of the effort as well. 

What’s your advice for people just stepping into the ever-changing social media landscape?  

On the most basic level social should feel fun or connected to something that you or your organization feels passionately about. I always advise people to “dive in” and learn from the process. Rome wasn’t built in a day and many of us are better and more conversant on one social network than another. The trick is to start somewhere and find your niche.

You’ve co-organized the “Literature Unbound” panel discussion as part of Social Media Week NYC 2012. What was your inspiration?

I come from a background in both both film (I graduated from NYU film school and worked in production and development for many years) and fiction writing (I did an MFA in the subject at Columbia and worked as a reader for both the New Yorker and the Paris Review). At the same time, I am a lover of technology and felt a bit of frustration with the pace of innovation in both environments as digital and social media have transformed the audience’s relationship to interacting with stories in all media. Thispanel was a chance to bring together people I knew were working at and testing the boundaries of what storytelling and literature can be in the social age. We have innovators, entrepreneurs, founders, developers and academics on the panel — I can’t wait to hear what they come up with in regards to where “social literature” is going!

What do you hope to gain from Social Media Week NYC 2012?

I’ve been a part of Social Media Week as either a panelist or attendee since 2009. I’m just excited to see new types of organizations get involved and see what they are doing in the social space. I plan to attend as many events as possible.


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. Since 2009, Lisa has worked as an Assistant Director at the Tuck School of Business. In 2012, she launched GothamGreen212 to pursue social media strategy projects. You can follow her on twitter.

An Interview with Susan Halligan, SMW12 Moderator

Susan Halligan, the former Marketing Director of The New York Public Library (NYPL), established the first-ever marketing department for the 100-year-old institution, transitioning the library from traditional communication platforms to new media platforms.  The library’s “Don’t Close the Book” advocacy campaign was named by MarketingSherpa to the 2010 Viral and Social Media Hall of Fame.  Today, she is a Social Media Consultant based in New York working with cultural organizations such as The American Museum of Natural History, various non-profits, startups, and authors on social media strategies spanning channel selection, content marketing, employee activation, stream management, listening and measurement. As a multidisciplinary marketer, her specialty is integrating social media into traditional marketing and communications channels.

Susan Halligan, twitter: @srhalligan

A familiar face at Social Media Week, Susan moderated 2011 panel, “The Inner Workings: Social Media Success Through Coordinated Staffing,” and co-keynoted “The Connected Network” at the Arts Marketing Association’s Digital Marketing Day in London in November 2011. On February 14, she will moderate Literature Unbound: Radical Strategies for Social Literature at NYU during Social Media Week New York 2012. I spoke with Susan to learn more about her work and experiences.

You have quite an impressive biography.  How did you become involved in social media?

Thank you, Lisa. I began to explore Facebook and Twitter in the early fall of 2008. Honestly, I originally started playing around with the platforms, because I had a very small marketing budget and was lured by the fact that the platforms were free. It was very much a “let me see what we can do with this” undertaking. I had no idea, actually, what I was doing, but spent a lot of time exploring and learning, and began to see that social could be integrated into traditional communication channels and that it was an opportunity to take the library’s brand and initiatives to entirely new audiences in a very powerful way. I became very passionate about social and remain so. While paid media remains an important component in any marketing campaign, the trend for marketers is to spend more resources on social and less on paid.

You established the first-ever marketing department for The New York Public Library.  What changed?

Most of the library’s outreach efforts prior to my hire were concentrated on print advertising. I was hired to create and implement an integrated marketing effort across multiple channels.

In 2010, you helped The New York Public Library win the PR News Non-Profit PR Award: “Use of Twitter, Success through a Coordinated Staffing Model.”  What went into this work?

I built a teamapproach to content marketing at the library. Non-profits have limited resources (i.e., people) to push messaging. But a big organization like the library has multiple message points: programming, customer service, circulation, collections, to cite just a few. It’s a matter of coordinating outreach. Though internal education and training, a regular working group of key stakeholders, the creation and implementation of polices, including a Crisis Plan, Best Practices and an Editorial Calendar, we were able to dedicate staff throughout the organization to message on a daily basis using team tools like HootSuite and Socialflow.

What kind of metrics were used to determine that The New York Public Library is #1 public library in the world on Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare?

Community growth, brand mentions, interactions and referrals. We published a monthly Metrics Dashboard using Facebook Insights, the HootSuite and Socialflow Twitter clients, Twitter Counter, Radian6, AddThis and Google Analytics. We shared the data with key stakeholders and examined it closely for insights about messaging, engagement and content.

How does social media for a library differ from social media from other companies?

It doesn’t. Like any business engaged in social, we had a long-term customer-centric vision. One of our major goals was discoverability. We wanted social users to be to be surprised and delighted to find us online (and to discover online and offline resources, like free databases and thousands of programs) and to think “Wow, I didn’t know you could do that at The New York Public Library.”

Have your ideas ever been challenged?  Which ones and how did you overcome resistance from others?

If an idea isn’t challenged, it may not be that good.  The first step in social media iteration is to identify the organizational challenges: internal resistance (turf, legal, security), lack of resources, lack of skills, an ever-changing technology space and the ongoing challenge of measuring ROI.

Alignment is key: the ability to rally internal resources and stakeholders is the #1 skill in successful social media integration. Evangelizers must be able to maneuver adeptly within an organization and rally the “deciders” for support.

Does Foursquare have any real purpose in relatively remote towns with a maximum of 30 retail businesses?

As part of its 2011 Centennial, NYPL was the first in the world to secure a Foursquare badge. The badge was yet one more way to introduce the library to new audiences and it proved a very successful partnership in terms of unique users, check ins and check outs.

AdAge recently did a post about Foursquare’s connection to “mainstream” retailers. Chris Copeland wrote: “Foursquare is a regional play that masks what it is not – a middle America, mainstream tool.” He suggested that Foursquare needs to continue to educate businesses about the benefits of its platform.

What do you think is Foursquare’s future?

Mobile location-based social networking will continue to be adopted.

Of all the campaigns you’ve led, which was your favorite?

The Centennial of NYPL’s flagship Fifth Avenue building in 2011. It was a perfect storm of owned, earned and paid media: there was an exhibit; a microsite; multiple programs; an advertising campaign that included print, radio, outdoor, transport and online; publications; signage; ecommunications; and a deeply integrated robust social effort across Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and YouTube. I secured VIK sponsorships from The Wall Street Journal, Titan Outdoor and the MTA to support the efforts. One interesting metric from the campaign was the incredibly high level of engagement with the library’s social content.

What is the most innovative use of social media that you’ve seen?

I am a big fan of Coke’s social strategy and tactics. I love that their Facebook Page is governed by regular fans, not “experts.” At the library, much of its social success is owed to the contributions of its staff. Power to the people!

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. Since 2009, Lisa has worked as an Assistant Director at the Tuck School of Business. In 2012, she launched GothamGreen212 to pursue social media strategy projects. View her online portfolio or follow her on Twitter.

Spotlight on Buddy Media

Social Media Week is possible due to the great support of our global and local sponsors. This year, that group includes some major players in the social and digital space, all of them taking a a very active role in shaping Social Media Week New York. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be introducing you to these individuals and companies- helping you get to know them and how you can take part in what they’re planning for SMW12.

To kick this series off, we’re starting with Buddy Media, an analytics and connections-based digital organization. Co-Founder Jeff Ragovin shares more on the importance of cupcakes on birthdays, having a focus, and choosing the right partners.

Jeff, can you tell us a bit about your role at Buddy Media, and how Buddy Media got involved with SMW?
As Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer at Buddy Media, I’ve been with the company since the very start and have seen us grow from three people in one office to more than 200 in offices around the world. In my role, I work with our largest clients, advising them on how our social marketing software suite can help them grow their business. I also drive revenue generation strategy and adoption of our software suite by global brands and agencies.

With 60,000 attendees across 21 cities, including the four cities where Buddy Media has offices– New York, San Francisco, London & Singapore– Social Media Week is one of the biggest events of the year for Buddy Media. While Buddy Media is a global company, our headquarters is in New York, so we’ve known Toby and Ben, the organizers of Social Media Week, for years, and continue to be big supporters of the event. We’re doing more this year than ever before, with events in cities around the world. There is a lot of noise in the social marketing space, so we are laser focused on research, case studies and best practice guides for our customers and for the industry at large. The more we can help make things less confusing, the better.

How does Buddy Media support this year’s global theme, “Empowering Change through Collaboration”?
What makes social media so powerful is that it has turned everything on its head. No longer is marketing or communications about shouting your advertising messages to people. Social media has made all communications a two-way dialogue. This is something that marketers have to come around to, because they realize the potential is beyond anything the world has ever seen before.

We’re supporting this year’s theme by collaborating with our partners, and the greater community on our content. Just one example is our “Power Your Connections™ Illustrator Contest,” which asks artists to submit their illustrative interpretation of the art of connections in a social world. All of our new Buddy Media advertising creative is artwork, because art gets people talking. It is unique and exciting. So we’re super excited to open this up to everyone to submit their ideas. Not only are we interested in seeing how the community mashes up their own creative ideas with our existing work, but we’re giving away $5,000 to the best interpretation.

Buddy Media is known for its excellence in analytics and connection-based softwares- something that wasn’t needed 10 years ago. How do you see the increased use of social and digital media changing the way business is done? 
One of our clients, Ford Motor Company, recently said that social media is bigger to them than advertising. It’s very straightforward: companies that power connections and build their community and content to create deep, meaningful connections will create shareholder value. Those that don’t, will not.

How does Buddy Media stay on top of the quickly changing nature of social and digital media and technology? 
We developed strong partnerships with the major social networks early on. Buddy Media is the only company to be a charter member of the developer partner programs for Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+. We work closely with all of our partners, whether it be the social networks, our agency partners, or integration partners like comScore.

At the end of the day, you have to be genuinely interested in social media and how it is changing global marketing and communications. At Buddy Media, we’re never satisfied with the amount of white papers, research and best practice guides that we release. We always want to do more.

Culture is important to Buddy Media. How do you maintain an innovative, passionate and compassionate culture? 
We’re very invested in the culture at Buddy Media. We eat cupcakes on everyone’s birthdays. We buy all of our employees athletic sneakers once a year so that they can work out and stay fit. We have a food program to cater meals for our offices. We have quarterly events like our kickball game and scavenger hunt. We dress up on Halloween. Literally, everyone in the company dressed up on Halloween.

We give custom bobble-head dolls to employees at their one-year anniversary at Buddy Media. That is something no one ever forgets. Our CEO Michael Lazerow likes to say that work doesn’t have to suck, and I couldn’t agree more. We pride ourselves when our employees write on Facebook or Twitter about how much they love working at Buddy Media. There’s even been a bit of a trend with a Twitter hashtag called #ProudToBeABuddy.

What can New Yorkers expect to see from Buddy Media this SMW? 
Our CEO Michael Lazerow has a keynote speaking session in New York, which we’re very excited about. We’re also hosting events in London, San Francisco and Singapore. As usual, expect to see us delivering valuable insights and data. We take our relationship with the community very seriously and always make sure that we’re delivering valuable content. It’s going to be an exciting week!