Creating Video Content For How It’s Consumed

On Tuesday, February 24, join us as Jonathan Perelman, BuzzFeed Motion Picture’s Vice President examines the evolution of media and how new innovations in distribution technologies have changed how it’s consumed.

From LOLS to CUTE cat videos that pull at your heartstrings, Jonathan will dive into the science behind creating shareable content for the social web.

 

To learn all the event details and to get your pass, check out the description here.

Yunha Kim, Founder of Locket: Why I Quit My Job To Launch A Startup

When you initially meet Yunha Kim, you wouldn’t automatically assume that she is the mastermind behind Locket, the super successful lock screen app for Android, but that’s before she begins to speak with an intelligence and passion that you would expect from the head of a company. I’m not the only/first/last person to take notice. When companies like TechCrunch and VentureBeat are writing about your company and when Tyra Banks expresses interest in investing in your idea, people are bound to jump on the band wagon. During my visit to San Francisco, I got a chance to speak to Yunha about her journey from Investment Banker to Founder and CEO of  her very own startup. Find out below what exactly it takes to get an idea from concept to realization.

1) You started your career as an Investment Banker and with your switch from iPhone to Android user, you quickly found the calling for this company. Can you tell me a little bit about your first couple of months of the company?

YK: I can barely remember the first couple months of the company. It was just so crazy.

In the first month, I was running around pitching our idea for investment. After getting funded by Great Oaks VC, I was then running around pitching to advertisers and I did that for a half year. Then I started pitching again for another round of funding.

When we had no money or product, I was getting somewhere around four hours of sleep every night. I was living with five other guys out of a two-bedroom apartment with three dogs and a hamster where we worked and lived. We were also getting by with hot dogs and ramen noodles.

Sometimes, I wondered, ‘What did I sign up for?’ but I think I was really happy, getting things off the ground, creating something out of nothing.

2) This idea actually came from our culture’s tendency of constantly checking our phones. Can you give us a little more insight into that?

YK: While pulling long but boring hours in investment banking (prior to Locket), I wasn’t able to do anything fun on my monitor, so I was checking my phone a few hundred times per day. That’s when I realized I keep on checking my phone every single day, bringing it to the restroom, everywhere I go. Every single one of those moments I was unlocking my lock screen which was a picture of a daisy which came as a default lock screen with my Galaxy S3.

One day, I was looking at it wondering why anyone wasn’t doing anything with the most valuable real estate in advertising. If people check their phone 150 times per day, with 71 million Android users, that’s 10.7 billion glances on the lock screen every day in the US that we have not been able to monetize. It occurred to me that this will be the next big thing in mobile advertising.

3) What do you feel are some of the benefits of Locket?

YK: Locket brings content you care about to your lock screen based on your interest, swiping habits and time of the day. It’s a quick passive way to learn about what’s going on around you, in your world. I am too busy to check out all my apps on my phone, but with Locket, I am consistently updated. I was able to learn about a fire in Soma which is only a few blocks away from our office through my lock screen, then I looked outside my window and I saw that fire.

4) How do you find a life work balance with being in such a busy and quickly expanding company? What does your typical day look like?  

YK: When you are in a startup, it’s really difficult to balance your work and life (if you even have a life). It’s like when you have a baby (your startup), and the baby cries, you can’t really say you are off your work hours and let it cry. So, it will feel like you are on call 24/7.

5) I know focus on the company has changed, can you tell me a little about that?

YK: Recently, we have stopped our paid-per-swipe-ad service. We are now focusing on contextual content on your lock screen. Based on an user’s interest, swiping habits and time of the day, we serve content that people care about in a visually delightful way on the Android lock screen, and as the apps is consistently used, the content becomes more relevant

For more on Yunha and Locket, please visit: http://getlocket.com/.

Stephanie Carino has spent over the past 10 years working in the city in the Fashion, Food and Event industries. She currently works in the PR Department at leading Technology and Business Book Publisher, Apress.  On the side, she also writes event coverage and reviews for, Socially Superlative, a NYC-based event website, covering predominantly food, travel and entertainment stories. Connect with Stephanie on Twitter.

 

Full Circle: An SMW Wrap-Up

This is a guest post by Gary J. Nix.

Contrary to the belief of some, digital marketing conferences are not merely another chance for people to showoff how awesome they are, learn new autocorrect facts, such as the word Livestream converts to Kirstie Aimee (don’t ask), and come up with new-fangled buzzwords like screenagers and platblishers. These conferences are an opportunity to reinforce the fact that, no matter what adjective you use, it’s all marketing. This is something we must all remember, especially once you see the tag #MarketingMarketing on Twitter. And here’s why:

Games People Play

The IAB conducted a discussion on the relationship of today’s gaming and social experiences, both on and offline. Besides the fact that data tells us that two billion people are playing games digitally and about 900 million of those are doing so on mobile devices, the huge point is that people enjoy competition, collaboration, and sharing. These three levers are used in digital gaming now and have always been used in marketing.

Adding these elements in your marketing mix at the right time and in the right way will give consumers another reason to be involved with your brand. Plus, there’s a reason “Shall we play a game” is one of the most popular movie lines from the 80’s.

The Revolution won’t be Televised, but it May be Streamed

As expected, there was plenty of talk about content at Social Media Week. The most poignant from a marketer’s general point of view was presented by Percolate in a discussion that was really about content delivery has been revolutionized. While it is important to understand the seven core components of content marketing — audience, trigger, brand element, topic, campaign, business objective and platform — along with the importance of context, content has been delivered way before we’ve done so digitally. I only mention this to clearly state that content marketing is not a magic bullet. It is important for discovery and delivery in the world as we know it today; however, it is nothing new. We’ve been doing this for many moons and will continue to do so. It’s marketing. #NODISRESPECTOTPERCOLATE #ALLDISRESPECTTOJIMMYKIMMEL. That last hashtag was clearly a joke.

Millennials are Humans

This is a direct quote from a fun-filled discussion about the millennial demographic. Many truths about millennials were examined, such as their actual loyalty coupled with the ability to adapt, their demands regarding innovation and entertainment, their level of thoughtfulness, their aversion to banner ads, and their respect for serious issues. However, we have been talking about them as if they were some new species. Many of us have gone through a period of life with these characteristics, and some of us, like me, are still going through it. It’s good to know what makes this age group tick, but please don’t confuse them with a flying machine that can make the Kessel run in less than 12 parsecs. Please don’t confuse them with #GenerationSelfie either.

Culture and Behavior Trump All

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, marketing relied heavily on focus groups and surveys for the data needed to understand what people wanted. Yes, these are still important actions, but we can get a plethora of information from the social web by simply listening. The discussions that take place reveal so much psychographic information as to how people behave and people follow and create culture.

To me, this is the most important recurring theme of the conference. At times it seems that we forget that the most important part of marketing is figuring out to whom we will market our product or service. We’ve become so caught up in how we will deliver the message, we’ve forgotten to make sure it goes to the right people or that the message even makes sense. So, before you go off with a beautifully designed visual campaign with bells and whistles on the newest platform, make sure that you remember that the consumer retains control over our businesses and we need to go to them and show them value. They’ll appreciate you for it.

Just my two cents…

Gary J. Nix is known as many things: Your favorite brand’s de facto ambassador. Propagator of true brandwagoning. Zeitgeist Firestarter. [American] HYPE man. Digerati Deputy. Random comedian. Life observer. Founder of #bespokehashtaggery a/k/a Cobra Kai. Enigmatic wunderkind. Zen BRANDarchist. Keyser Söze. But most importantly, he’s all about marketing, identity, and branding in business. Strategy, Testing, Implementation — all of these things must be done in order to ensure success. Risk & Reward are his R&R. Learn more here.

“Games People Play” image courtesy of Joshua, WarGames, MGM.
“The Revolution won’t be Televised, but it May be Streamed” image courtesy of Web Solutions of America.
“Millennials are Humans” image courtesy of Disney/LucasFilms/The Corellian Engineering Company.
“Culture and Behavior Trump All” image courtesy of KeyChangeNow.com.

SMW NYC Recap: Day 3 From Social@Ogilvy

Day three at Social Media Week was all content, content, content — from Vice’s discussions on long form video to JWT stressing our need to change as images take over the web.

The Social@Ogilvy team pulled together the best five ideas that came out of the day’s sessions. Let us know what you took away from the penultimate day at Social Media Week New York.

  1. Great content will come from anywhere
    We need to be more creative with multimedia in an age of social and mobile. At one time, text was the main tool of reporting news. But with more people creating rich media content, mainstream reporting has discovered new ways to use multi-media.

    Anything that doesn’t entertain, engage and inform will not break through the noise. Ironically enough, the most accessed and engaged content on the NYTimes.com website isn’t even a feature or news story. It was a quiz that identified your regional dialect though a clever quiz…written by an intern!

    This is proof that great content can come from anywhere, not just professional sources.

  2. Things designed to be shared will have higher value
    Trust is the most profound part of this collaborative economy. In a sharing economy, buyers and the sellers are peers, and entrepreneurs are designing things that are more easily shared because we want them to go through many hands. Thus, things designed to be shared will have higher value. For example, people drive 80% less when they use Zipcar than if they owned their own vehicle—and 40% of users have never owned one, which has led to our streets being filled with 40,000 fewer cars.

    As Robin Chase, founder of Zipcar and Buzzcar noted: “You have to be building community in everything you’re doing.”

  3. Longform video works…if you do it right
    The whole notion that people don’t want to watch long stuff on the internet is not true. People are watching longer videos than ever before and not just the 2 minute plug & play. Of course this only works if they are packaged effectively. It’s more about how you package and showcase a story than having a well-known celebrity in your video.

    Where do publishers like Vice and Motherboard get their stories for videos? By reading everything and being early to report. It’s about working with what you’ve got. If you have a good story, go out and make it.

    “When we look for a great character, we look for someone is going to be open and has a great personality,” said Motherboard’s editor-in-chief, Derek Mead.

    A cleverly staged moment in a long form piece, can result in a genuine emotional reaction from your viewers but if the story drags on, it won’t work no matter the length of the video. Always leave them wanting more.

  4. Images are supplanting words
    Imagery is supplanting text and changing the way we process the world. Reading is no longer fundamental. People process images 60,000x faster than text– this has enormous implications for our communication.

    The web contains 40% images and social has 70%. The popularity of image-sharing over social media has a great deal to do with the crunch for time. 60% of social users create and share images on their social channels and the balance of curators vs. creators is shifting.

    Our short visual vocabulary is spurring new creativity – we need to create something compelling in a glance. What are we losing as we move toward visual? Context. Images can be taken out of context. The entire web has been set up to look for words…what happens if the text starts to disappear? The rise of rich content demands smart tagging and automated categorization solutions for indexing.

    Does communicating visually jeopardize the relationship between a brand and consumers? Now brands need to be able to speak visually as well as LISTEN visually. The key challenge for brands is devising how to relate to audiences in each image sharing social network.

  5. Content lasts longer on Pinterest
    Each day there is 60+ million users, 100s million pins, 1B+ connections on Pinterest. It’s a very aspirational platform and allows you to show who you want to be. On the other hand, Twitter is about what you are doing and Facebook is about who you are.

    It makes sense that the half life of a tweet is 5-25 mins, the half life of a Facebook post is 80 mins, and the half life of Pinterest content is >1 week. This means you MUST think about quality rather than quantity when you pin, and determine what the best content is around the topic that you can curate? It’s especially important as pins are more than images. Rich pins provide context, commercial foundation, and addresses stale links.

    As content lives longer, if you want to get people for the Christmas rush, posting in November is too late. The optimal time to pin for Christmas is August or September due to the long half-life.

SMWNYC Recap: Day 2 From Social@Ogilvy

Day Two at Social Media Week started off with a bang – Eli Pariser took to the stage to talk all things Upworthy, for the first time since the site has become viewed by over 60 billion people a month.

Here are the 5 takeaways the Social@Ogilvy team have from day two…what were yours?

  1. What’s trending isn’t always important
    Good news organizations (and brands) bring together aspirational and behavioral signals to balance their content. Both need to be treated equally and both need to be fed. This includes looking at what people do (share, click, create community action) and what they say.

    Is the content both compelling and substantive? The answer should be yes. And importantly, companies like Upworthy are looking at a new engagement metric they’re calling attention minutes and are going to the community to get their feedback on what they want the future of content to be.

    By reading behavior in the context of aspirations, we should now look at content in terms of “Am I doing it right?” and not “Are they interested?”

  2. Data will rule – but we won’t care
    Data is becoming more relevant and accessible and more tailored to our personal interests. By 2020, we might see Google Now-like technology permeate our lives, making data available before we ask for it, and helping us keep track of our habits and routines. Our main function will be to optimize the feed, or adjust it in the moment.

    Any app that’s relevant to you will be able to provide alerts or info, relevant to you, at a key time, possibly before you ask for it. For example: Your fitness-activity monitor, which knows you go running every Tuesday and Thursday, will let you know one of the streets on your route is closed due to construction and will know how to adjust your route, while keeping your distance, elevation, and other metrics generally the same.

  3. Wearable tech continues to innovate
    Wearables help amplify our expression and provide control over the sea of data we generate and have the ability to turn any activity into play. By putting the consumer at the center of action and allowing them to see how their actions impact the data and benefits – create a lasting bind between the person and tech.

    Sports, fitness, wellness, heath are sizzling with opportunity in the wearable tech space. But, in addition to counting our steps and perspiration and pushing email notifications – there is great opportunity to aid integration into life of those who might have a disability or impairment.

    Old school keyboard and mouse cause carpal tunnel for millions and it’s even more challenging for those with a disability. Wearables are here to change that.

  4. The leaders of the next digital revolution will be unexpected
    Steve Case, CEO of Revolution, a Washington, D.C.-based investment firm he co-founded in 2005, is best known as one of the founders of America Online, launched when only when only 3% of personal-computer users were online.  AOL was the first Internet company to go public, in 1992, when it had only 200,000 users. “You just gotta persevere,” he said.

    To find innovation, it pays to look beyond Silicon Valley and New York City. “Good ideas can be anywhere,” Case said, citing hidden gems like Austin and parts of North Carolina. Young entrepreneurs live in a world of greater diversity and opportunity where the people behind the company matter less than the quality of the idea.

    To fully access troves of talent, America needs immigration reform to compete with countries with more lax laws, Case said.

  5. The death of CPM ad units is near
    Storytelling is exactly the same as it was 50 years ago. That’s how we like to consume information. The “way” we tell stories is what has changed. Can’t just put an ad on the internet because it doesn’t make sense.

    Native advertising has a great role to play in the solution, but makes up a very small amount of ads. We have developed banner blindness – so we can develop social sponsored blindness too.

    Advertisers should be scared by the prospect of Pandora One, Netflix – places where consumers pay to not see ads. Just because attention is there, doesn’t automatically mean advertising will follow. But if we do have the attention, the frequency model goes away. Everything changes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So, what is the solution for brands?

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

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

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

2014: Trends in Social Marketing

The year social matured.

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

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

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.

Social Media Week Un(filtered): Steven Rosenbaum’s Guide

Another Social Media Week rockstar who will be joining us this year is Steven Rosenbaum. Steven is best known as the producer behind the creation of MTV News UNfiltered. Then, in 2011, he published Curation Nation, a book that explores the need for brands to curate content that engages their customers. Currently, he is the CEO of Magnify, a video curation platform that enables companies to create a uniquely engaging experience for their customers. Needless to say, he is an expert on all things storytelling and all things millennial. You will not want to miss these events, so  register for SMW before it’s too late!

In Stevens’ own words, here are 5 reasons he is pumped about Social Media Week: 

The thing is, I’m a long-form storyteller that’s increasingly in love with the democratization of new platforms that are connecting audiences with new voices. Ah, therein lies the conundrum. Are we unleashing a new force for social and editorial good, or are we hooked on a new drug that ties speed, viral headlines, and funny cat videos to an audience that scans rather than reads?

With those big questions in mind, I’m counting on SMW to provide the answers (or at least engage in a smart conversation about the trends facing storytelling). So, my Curator cape is on, and I’m ready to nail the five most awesome presentations and panels in this week, chock full of content.

Here’s my Curator’s top 5.

  1. Is Social Killing Storytelling?
    This panel is going to be a minefield of twists and turns. The panelists are from ‘big media’s Bravo TV, The guardian, The Atlantic, and ‘big web’  Huffpo and Mashable. So they are going to say that social is awesome! But at the same time, what happens when social “Is Storytelling” and Twitter replaces The Guardian. Yikes.
  2. Keynote interview: Jonah Peretti, Founder and CEO of BuzzFeed
    So, first off — Toby isn’t going to let Jonah just have a BuzzFeed commercial. The fact is, BuzzFeed is a traffic machine. Massive and growing. But is it a trick, or is it really the future of editorial? Toby will find out – and the whole world will finally know 🙂
  3. Upworthy’s Real Mission: A Keynote Announcement from Eli Pariser, Founder
    Since I can’t see Eli and Jonah in a cage match, this is the next best thing. Eli has a mission, and I think we know what it is (see: moveOn.org) but there may be more. And in a world of Filter Bubbles, Upworthy needs to continue to grow while not creating a bubble of it’s own. Can’t wait to hear what he’s got to say.
  4. Five Ways Millennials’ Habits Are Changing How Content is Made and Shared
    Even as BuzzFeed and Upworthy sort out the new traffic world, millennials are morphing yet again. From computer screens to mobile devices, from SMS to vanishing text, Vine, Listicles – the kids today are turning content upside down. And they’re just getting started.
  5. The Future of Giving: Storytelling, Big Data, Crowdfunding, and Finding New Donors
    Storytelling at its core is about having an impact. And this panel connects the story of change with the dollars that drive change. It’s a unique conversation -and the kind of panel that makes me love SMW all the more. Stories connect and change the world. I’m in.

We only let Steven choose 5 events, so make sure to check out our schedule for a wealth of events on topics like journalism, marketing and technology.

The Present and Future State of Media, Featured at SMW NYC

Many have touted 2013 as the year that changed publishing and media. From listicles taking over our news feeds to the growing dominance of native advertising to Upworthy’s staggering growth numbers (which have outpaced even that of the New York Times), last year we witnessed a seismic shift in the industry.

We’re diving deep into these at SMW NYC, and you’ll be able to know what lays in store for media in 2014 with event like these:

Distribution is Key

Few companies have scaled quite the way BuzzFeed has, especially with its range. It truly is the epitome of a digitally native brand and a perfect case study, which is why we’re bringing in CEO and Founder, Jonah Peretti for a conversation on original and branded content, data analytics, mobile apps, and which social platforms are most important for BuzzFeed’s model.

Later in the week, BuzzFeed will be sharing specifically on how they have emerged as king of content distribution. Social is the new starting point for how we discover, consume and share content. But good content doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll go viral. So, Jonathan Perelman, VP of Agency Strategy and Industry Development at BuzzFeed, joins us to explain how content and distribution can work successfully together. If your brand is engaging in content marketing on any level, this conversation is one you can’t miss.

Harness the Power of Social

If it’s not BuzzFeed clogging up your newsfeed, then you’re seeing the world’s fastest growing media brand, Upworthy. Upworthy curates meaningful content on social, economic and societal issues that is then massively shared by the site’s community. Upworthy.com routinely breaks its own traffic records and has more views than the New York Times, FOX News or BleacherReport — meaning, Founder and CEO, Eli Pariser, knows how to harness the power of social media. He’ll be on hand at SMW NYC to share his secret sauce and where Upworthy as a media entity is heading.

Get Mobile

Nearly 1 in 10 U.S. Adults now get their news on Twitter, with 85% of those consuming it on a mobile device. This means media organizations are more than ever needing to address this change. So, we’re featuring a debate between publishing industry leaders and an interactive audience discussion centered on the future of digital, mobile, and social platforms for news organizations. At the end of this event, we’ll all have an understanding of how outlets can make the most of mobile and social platforms and what journalists and editors need to know.

Overall, we’ll be presenting a solid look at the present state and future of media, along with a focus on leaders you can look to. All we need is you.

Get your pass today here and join us for a serious look at media.

Buddy Media In Action

The social enterprise software of choice for eight of the world’s top ten global advertisers, Buddy Media is truly a leader in their field- a global brand leading from right here in NYC. With their global presence, we’re excited to see what Buddy Media brings to SMWNYC. While hosting events in other cities, what this local sponsor is putting out in our fair city is exciting. Check it out:

Tuesday, February 14 at Hearst Magazines in New York, Social Syndication in 2012: Experiences First, Networks Second helps refocus on the “what” of social media. Featuring Sam Champion of Good Morning America, Kelly Balz of Avon, Michael Svatek from Bazaarvoice, Kristine Welker of Hearst Digital, and Jeff Ragovin at Buddy Media, this team will explore strategies for creating and distributing real-time social content and how social syndication powers monetization.

Thursday, February 16 at JWT in New York, Michael Lazerow, CEO of Buddy Media, Inc. will give a keynote sharing his expertise and experience. As an entrepreneurial leader, this is one keynote we’re stoked to see happen.

Thursday, February 16 at Ogilvy in New York, Social Commerce Is Here, Is Your Brand Ready? takes on e-commerce. As 90% of all purchases are subject to social influence, Myles Kleeger of Buddy Media, Jonny Cottone from Busted Tees, and Kelly Solomon at L’Oreal share the importance of implementing programs that turn social connections into revenue and conversions.

Proving their not a company that’s not all work and no play, they’re concluding the week with a cocktail hour Thursday night. A little bang to end their participation. Now, let us know which events you’ll be seeing Buddy Media!

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.