Millennials Check Their Phones More Than 157 Times Per Day

At this morning’s first SMWNYC session at the TimesCenter, we heard from Michelle Klein, Head of Marketing for North America at Facebook. Michelle began her presentation emphasizing all of the technology at we possess at our fingertips, calling us almost superhuman.

She then presented us with some figures from today’s digital age: the average adult checks their phone 30 times a day, and the average millennial checks their phone more than 150 times a day.

What exists in our lives is a “sensory experience of communication that helps us to connect with others, without having to look away,” as Michelle explained. This is great for marketers, like herself. It gives them a million ways to connect with audiences.

Next, Michelle discussed how to use technology to benefit people and create the best communication. As she said, the best technologies include: “something that makes things better, connects people through storytelling, is immediate, expressive and immersive, and adapts and changes.” Michelle spoke about the apps she uses on a day-to-day basis, which make her life easier and better.

In terms of storytelling, Facebook enables people to share and connect, through viewing the narratives of each of their friends’ lives. She then mentioned how 6 out of the 10 most downloaded apps in the world right now are messaging apps.

These messaging apps, like Facebook Messenger “are real time, and now” technologies. Michelle then discussed the “expressive”, illustrating how images help us navigate the world and tell stories in a simple and fast way.

Read the full session recap at SMW News

Secure your spot in February of 2017 to join 2,000+ leaders in media, entertainment, and technology for a week of inspiring and educational events learning.

To Find Success on Snapchat, You Must Think of Your Audience First

We heard from a panel of four Snapchat experts, who discussed the “Best Brands on Snapchat.”

The panel included Sarah Epler (Senior Director of Social Media and Fan Engagement at MTV), Bridget Evans (Account Director at VaynerMedia), Aaron Wolfe (Social Media Specialist at American Airlines), Carla Zanoni (Executive Emerging Media Editor at The Wall Street Journal), and Jeremy Skule (Chief Marketing Officer at Nasdaq) was the moderator.

Jeremy began the panel by presenting the audience with some figures: Snapchat has about 100 million active users, there are about 400 million snaps taken every day, and it was the fastest growing social media platform of 2014. “It’s an important platform, and an emerging one,” said Jeremy. Each member of the panel emphasized Snapchat’s emergence as a story-telling platform.

Regarding their audience, Carla said that, “I think it’s a misunderstanding that young people aren’t interested in business and marketing. We’ve been happy to see an entrepreneurial and aspirational audience is interested in engaging with The Wall Street Journal.”

Also talking about engagement, Sarah, noted how MTV’s Snapchat audience will often call them out on other social media sites if their content feels too branded.

The panel then spoke about what it’s like managing a corporate brand on Snapchat. Aaron mentioned how “We like to think about putting out content that your friends would want to see. Are they going to want to see the big corporate, this is where we are sort of thing? Or are they going to want to see us in a city, actually enjoying that city?”

Read the full session recap at SMW News

Secure your spot in February of 2017 to join 2,000+ leaders in media, entertainment, and technology for a week of inspiring and educational events learning.

At #SMWNYC, Mashable Will Outline The Future of Publishers Using Messaging Platforms

Across the globe, messaging apps are amassing huge audiences. Though initially made popular as an alternative to SMS, chat apps such as Snapchat, WhatsApp, Viber and LINE are increasingly gaining traction as hubs for multimedia content.

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

In this session, “The New World of Social: How Publishers Are Using Messaging Platforms to Engage with Audiences“, we’ll hear directly from the strategists influencing the way these publishers approach emerging digital platforms – from the opportunities they see in messaging apps to the challenges they’ve encountered in developing strategies.

Register your pass to attend SMW New York, and join us on Tuesday, February 23rd at 5:30pm at The TimesCenter to hear from Ryan Lytle (Director, Social Media and Platform Partnerships, Mashable), Samantha Barry (Sr. Director of Social News, CNN Worldwide), and Eytan Oren (CEO of messaging app agency, Block Party).

Crowdtap, The People-Powered Marketing Platform, Joins #SMWNYC as an Official Event Sponsor

We’re thrilled to announce Crowdtap as an Official Event Sponsor of Social Media Week New York. Crowdtap is the “People-Powered Marketing Platform” designed to deepen relationships between brands and the people who love them by putting brands back where they belong, inside the hearts and minds of their consumers.

At SMW New York, Crowdtap’s SVP of Research & Analytics, Peter Storck, will kick things off in a session hosted by IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau). “Social Media Measurement: How Everyone Wins” takes place Tuesday the 23rd at 9:00am at the SVA Theatre.

Peter will join industry leaders in social media to provide clear definitions of commonly used terms, as well as help attendees on both the buy and sell side know what questions to ask when selecting vendors understanding social measurement best practices.

Then, on Wednesday the 24th at 9:00am at the SVA Theatre, Crowdtap will host a session exploring the new and emerging behaviors of Millennials, Gen-Z, and Gen-Alpha consumers. From skipping ads and DVR-ing television shows, to installing ad-blockers and bypassing branded messaging, these behaviors have all become a common part of the Millennial experience, and Crowdtap is at the forefront of understanding where everything is heading.

This session, “Bracing For The Ad-Blocked Future: How Brands Are Moving Beyond The Impression” will bring together industry leaders including Afdhel Aziz (Brand Director, ABSOLUT Labs, Pernod-Ricard), Tracy Echikson (Marketing Consultant, Ricola Brand Team), Joanne McKinney (Chief Strategy Officer, The Burns Group), and Sean Foster (CEO, Crowdtap) for a first-look at winning marketing programs that have invited consumers to help shape and tell a brand’s story.

EVENT SPOTLIGHT: The Story of Pope Emojis and How Millennials Re-connected with Their Religion

Millennials now outnumber Baby Boomers, and marketers are constantly looking for ways to capitalize on this group of consumers and social media enthusiasts. Not only are Millennials the largest generation alive today, but they are the largest demographic identifying as unaffiliated with any religion. Why is that, though?

Join Kathleen Hessert (Founder and President, Sports Media Challenge), as she discusses her collaboration with Aleteia, a global Catholic Digital Media Company, and Tracx, the leading social business cloud, which resulted in an incredibly successful campaign that many know as #PopeIsHope and #GoodIsWinning.

Kathleen will explore how her team leveraged social media conversations in order to connect Millennials to the Catholic Church, and the rising popularity of Pope Francis. She was able to spearhead a campaign which not only reintroduced Millennials to the Catholic Church, but inspired them to take action for the greater good.

Along with Kathleen is Eric Berkowitz (SVP Global Services, Tracx), who will walk attendees through the journey of identifying and listening to relevant social conversations, and contributing to these conversations by engaging in real-time.

Hosted by Tracx, “Pope-Emojis And Millennials: How Pope Francis Engages The Largest Generation Alive Today” will show attendees how to target and leverage social influencers, both at a massive celebrity scale and a smaller, local scale, as well as discover the best ways to engage Millennials through integrated campaigns, and how to measure its success.

This event takes place Tuesday, February 23 at 10:00am at SVA Theatre (EDU Stage).

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

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

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

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

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

1. The Best Brands on Snapchat

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

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

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

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

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

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

Spotify’s Maureen Traynor Will Discuss Millennials, Music, and Social Sharing at #SMWNYC

You’ve all seen someone recording an entire concert on their phone instead of watching it. Sure, the video looks great and received likes from friends, but is it worth the distraction?

Social media has an overarching role in almost every experience Millennials have, and according to a recent study, 70% of Millennials feel that social media enhances the live music experience. In fact, most Gen-Y and Gen-Z individuals prefer music content in their Facebook newsfeed to show their knowledge and interests to friends.

Make sure you register for SMW New York, and hear from Spotify’s Sr. Director of Partner Solutions, Maureen Traynor, who will discuss the role of social media in the music industry. She’ll explore what the Spotify team has learned from billions of songs shared on Facebook and across social media, as well as why Millennials and younger generations view music as an integral part of their online activity.

Maureen’s session, “How Social Has Rocked The Live Music Experience” will take place on Wednesday, February 24 at 4:30PM at The TimesCenter (FWD Stage).

EVENT SPOTLIGHT: Don’t Call Them Gen-Z, They Call Themselves “The Founders”

When MTV first began researching post-Millennials, none of the generational names currently in play seemed to sum up the essence of the kids themselves. So MTV asked, why not go straight to the source?

The MTV Insights team went to work with a group of 13-14-year-olds in-person and via virtual focus groups who identified more than 500 potential generation names that were ultimately tested in a nationwide, quantitative survey. The top choice? “The Founders”. Yes, seriously… The Founders.

If you’re eager to hear more about what MTV learned and discovered after their conversations with these 13 and 14-year-olds, register for SMW New York, and attend their session on Friday, February 26 at 2:30PM at The TimesCenter (FWD Stage).

Along with this new name comes instructive insights into what drives this generation on-the-horizon, and the responsibility they feel is required to build upon the societal blocks that Millennials are famous for disrupting.

5 Events at #SMWNYC on How to Engage Gen-Y and Gen-Z on Social Media

Over the past few years, Millennials and members of Gen-Z are creating more conversations than ever before. They are some of the most active individuals online, as well as consuming media and content at all times throughout the day. From quick Snapchat Stories from friends, to binge-watching Netflix and streaming digital-only shows, Millennials and Gen-Z are changing the industry, and everything we thought we knew about it.

At Social Media Week New York, several sessions from leading brands and organizations will host conversations on this topic. Which types of campaigns resonate the most with Millennials? How are they spending time online? Who is the next generation, and what do we call them? Join us this February 22-26 by registering your pass, and participate in these forward-thinking conversations with thousands of leaders across media, marketing, and technology in New York all under one roof.

1. Pope-Emojis and Millennials: A Case Study in How the Catholic Church Engages the Largest Generation Alive Today

(Presented by Tracx US) – Tuesday Feb. 23 • 10:00AM • SVA Theatre

As social media usage continues to grow exponentially, it is becoming an increasingly effective medium for brands and organizations to connect with audiences of all ages, but in particular younger generations. Learn how a collaboration with a global Catholic Digital Media Company and Tracx, the leading social business cloud, resulted in an incredibly successful #PopeIsHope #GoodIsWinning campaign.

2. Online Identities and Impact on Gen-Y and Gen-Z Consumers

(Presented by Code and Theory) – Wednesday Feb. 24 • 1:00PM • SVA Theatre

60% of Gen-Y (globally) say it’s important they’re connected at all times. This session will cover the ins-and-outs of how Gen Z and Gen Y manage identities and relationships across multiple social networks, hide in plain site, and what type of content and brands they are willing to engage with.

3. Keynote: The Millennial Ideology, with Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Refinery29

(Presented by Refinery29) – Friday Feb. 26 • 9:30AM • The TimesCenter

Through the rise of social networks and smartphones, the Millennial ideology has transformed communication, making instantaneous, raw, and constant contact the norm. The ability to connect with anyone, anywhere has created a global information network and universal ideology, and Philippe von Borries, Co-founder and Co-CEO of lifestyle media company Refinery29, will discuss the advantages and challenges that this new landscape presents using concrete examples of how Refinery29 is capitalizing on this shift.

4. The Millennial Guide to Being a Boss – Secrets from Forbes 30 Under 30 List Members

(Presented by Forbes Media) – Friday Feb. 26 • 11:30AM • The TimesCenter

This session, moderated by Tom Davis (Chief Marketing Officer at Forbes Media), will feature members of Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list. The focus of the discussion will be on leadership lessons from Millennials who are leading top companies or startups, and how they’re doing things different than generations before them.

5. Hello “Founders” – Meet the Generation After Millennials,

(Presented by MTV) – Friday Feb. 26 • 2:30PM • The TimesCenter

The MTV Insights team went to work with a group of 13-14-year-olds in-person and via virtual focus groups who identified more than 500 potential generation names that were ultimately tested in a nationwide, quantitative survey. The top choice – The Founders. Yes, seriously… The Founders. Hear from the experts at MTV as to what sets The Founders apart from Millennials, what principles brands will need to consider for future marketing and how Founders will change the social media game.

Click here to register your pass for SMW New York, and join thousands of leaders across media, marketing, and technology this February 22-26

MTV Continues to Pioneer Content and Talent with Millennials

Natan Edelsberg, the Senior Vice President at Sawhorse Media and Senior Supervising Producer at the Shorty Awards, moderated a strong session including panelists from MTV and entertainer and director, Todrick Hall. These specialists discussed MTV’s success with engaging audiences through deeper, personal connections, rather than lumping them together as “influencers” in a specific vertical. MTV recently started working with Todrick Hall on his new unscripted show “Todrick,” which takes viewers through a completely new type of reality program, intended for the Gen-Y audience.

Todrick Hall’s previous experience includes performing on Broadway shows, reaching the semi-finals on American Idol, and establishing himself as a prominent YouTube creator. With his fame and recognition, both on television and the digital world, Todrick has developed his community of fans and followers into devoted “Toddlerz” as he calls them, and for Todrick, he’s confident the hard work and years of growth won’t be forgotten. In his show, viewers experience a documentary-style perspective into the production and build-up behind each of his videos, where Todrick and his troupe connect with fans beyond the surface of the videos themselves.

Todrick told one of his favorite moments in his career during the session:

“When I got the chance to work for Beyoncé, I received a call from a blocked number. Now, normally I don’t answer blocked numbers, but for some reason I answered this one, and on the other line was Beyoncé asking me to be her choreographer for the ‘Blow’ music video. That’s when you know you’ve made it. It was a moment that proved to me all of this hard work, dedication and financial struggle was worth it, and this opportunity could make my passion a reality.”

Todrick even has an international following, which, in a way, is more feasible for internet-celebs than it is for traditional ones. Recently, Todrick had a “Twerk Du Soleil” event in London. There, in addition to everywhere he goes, Todrick continues to engage face-to-face with his fans. He will always take time with a fan for a selfie, and continues to give credit to his “Toddlerz” for helping him get to where he is today.

YouTube creators can become just as successful, if not more, than traditional celebrities, and those lines blur more and more every day. There’s a difference between celebrities and YouTube stars. Today, you don’t need a record label or television network to get started because digital creators are doing this on their own. The social platforms, and even YouTube multi-channel networks (MCNs) allow creators to establish a direct relationship with audiences around the world.

People want to see their favorite creators succeed, especially Millennials and Gen-Z, and there “selling out” to these individuals is not as common, if at all, compared to household names, celebrities and performers. It’s the power of the Internet that’s changing this ecosystem, and regardless of the channel or platform, content creators should strive to be the best you can be in as many different ways.

Labels Are Out, Emotions Are In: Tapping Millennial FOMO

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

13 Events At #SMWNYC To Understand, Reach, And Attract Millennials

Whether you’re a brand strategist, content marketer, or account director, chances are you’re trying to see “what’s next” in and around the industry. So much of this “what’s next” question is dependent on one generation as well: Millennials. Members of Generation Y are the future consumers, the future decision makers, and the future innovators, and today, we’re trying to figure out what they like, and how they like it. If you’re attending Social Media Week NYC this February 23-27, be sure to check out some of the events that will discuss and dive into the world of Millennials, here are 13 sessions you should bookmark right now.


Tue, Feb 24; 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM
“In recent studies, 70% of college students reported that they would open a Snapchat from a brand, 22% of teen girls reported that they actually suffer from FOMO (fear-of-missing-out), and 28% of U.S. millennials said their cell phone is ‘an expression of who I am.’ In this session, a seasoned strategist on the front lines at creative agency Code and Theory will give a crash course on who this “new consumer” really is – how they think, behave, and feel – and will offer a new real-time playbook for social media marketers.”


Tue, Feb 24; 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM
“Working with notable Instagrammers, publishers are now retooling native ads and enabling brand storytelling to start on social. This enables new paths to authentically capture people’s attention via the broader media ecosystem, often before the campaign appears in print or online. This ‘social first’ content discussion will unpack the ideation, pitching, and activations for these campaigns. This masterclass-style event will be followed by an audience Q&A.”


Tue, Feb 24; 2:45 PM – 3:45 PM
“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.”


Tue, Feb 24; 5:15 PM – 6:15 PM
“In an interview’s CEO, Sam Yagan, we’ll attempt to reveal how marketers can connect with their audiences in a more meaningful way wth inspiration from dating applications. We hope the audience will discover that although people share intimate details about their inner most desires on dating services every day, the most intriguing information is that which they offer without ever being asked.”


Wed, Feb 25; 9:00 AM – 10:15 AM
“How do you share an 8,000-word epic narrative in a 140-character tweet? How do you get today’s digital readers, accustomed to quick reads and rapid-fire summaries, to start reading a story and stay, actually stay, until the very last word? How do you bring writers, readers and editors together in conversation over the day’s most relevant news? This sessions will present insights into how The New York Times magazine is evolving digitally by building a new approach to audience development.”


Wed, Feb 25; 11:15 AM – 12:30 PM
“By 2025, 75% of the global workforce will be comprised of millennials. As millennials get jobs and become leaders, they’re bringing tech-savvy ideas that’s changing business. From integrating mobile apps into meetings and networking, to creating tech-centered products that are transforming lives, and even using new social media platforms and games to innovate, this generation is embedding tech into everything they do. In a discussions with members of the Forbes 30 Under 30 list, Forbes Editor Randall Lane will bring to light the not-so-distant future of our Millennial world.”


Wed, Feb 25; 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM
“This session will teach the essentials on maximizing your Snapchat strategy, and how to bring storytelling to the most popular in-the-moment social sharing platform among Millenials. With over 100 million monthly active users and over a billion Snapchat Stories viewed per day, we will help you leverage your presence on the mobile app.”


Wed, Feb 25; 4:30 PM – 5:45 PM
“With the advent of the social web, it is theoretically easier to reach target audiences, but more difficult to forge authentic connections with consumers. This shift is seen most prominently in the ever coveted Millennial audience, where conventional approaches to marketing are rendered ineffective and demography-based segmentation strategies prove to be unsuccessful. In this session we will uncover how brands can tap into the dynamic of this coveted audience and benefit from the network of influence.”


Thu, Feb 26; 2:45 PM – 4:00 PM
“While Gen Y continues to evolve and fascinate the world, attention is now turning to the cohort right behind them — Gen Z, roughly defined as those born after 1993 are some of today’s youngest entrepreneurs and consumers. Raised in an on-demand, connected and impatient culture, expectations are running high for this group that accounts for more than 2 billion globally.”


Thu, Feb 26; 3:30 PM – 4:30 PM
“In any given month, quizzes make up some of the most shared pieces of content on the internet. Chief Qwizzard, Owen Fuller, will share lessons learned from reverse engineering an inhuman amount of viral quizzes on sites like Buzzfeed and Qzzr. He’ll teach the secrets Qwizards use to drive social traffic and lead generation, including the keys to optimizing quiz titles, questions, imagery, calls-to-action and outcomes.”


Fri, Feb 27; 9:00 AM – 10:15 AM
“Everyone knows why companies like Apple, IKEA, and Southwest Airlines have become cult brands – it’s because they understand that they “belong” to their customers. Basic principles of cult branding can take companies to the next level by creating on-demand apps, social followings and customer incentive programs that breed extreme customer loyalty and fanaticism.”


Fri, Feb 27; 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
“Today, storytellers are finding increasingly imaginative ways to share their ideas with interactive and visual elements, bringing their messages to life. Outside of creating content for Instagram, Vine, and Snapchat each day, Mashable’s creative team is responsible for the creative behind many branded social advertising campaigns, having worked with Olympus, Hewlett-Packard, Hot Wheels, MasterCard and more just in the past few months.”


Fri, Feb 27; 11:15 AM – 12:30 PM
“In a world where everyone is creating their own content and distributing it themselves via multiple social platforms, MTV is pioneering the way media companies tap into new form content creators and not just for their massive social following. Today it’s no longer about marketing partnerships. Instead, it’s all about the modern day talent search. Participants will learn how members of this very talented generation are able to churn out amazing, relatable content that transitioned between multiple screens – whether it be television, tablet or mobile – and why young audiences are responding in droves”

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

The Millennial’s Guide to Social Media Week

Because of the way Social Media Week is set up this year, it can be tough to justify the expense of a campus pass if you are a recent post-grad with a laughable bank account balance. From one millennial to another, here are a few reasons why it’s worth it to shell out to come to SMW this year. It’s actually quite the steal for access to these amazing sessions and more.

  1. Beyond LinkedIn: Using Niche Social Media Platforms in the Job Hunt
    If you already have a job and aren’t living on your parent’s couch, you might not be a millennial. Jokes aside, landing your first “real job” is not an easy task, event if you did all the things you were told to- like go to a good school and get good grades. It takes a multi-lateral effort to get your foot in the door and this is a good place to start.
  2. 7×7 Mentor Session: Industry Leaders Share Career Advice on Getting Ahead
    And when we do finally get that job, how can we make sure that we are staying on the right track? Through mentorship. All good millennials have a copy of Lean In and know we need a mentor who can help us talk through the difficult situations in that life throws us as well as how we want to move in our careers.
  3. Secrets of Not-For-Profit Tech Success: Nancy Lublin, CEO of Do Something and Charles Best, Founder & CEO of DonorsChoose
    Having grown up hearing stories and watching documentaries about how terrible the education system is in the US, it is difficult to know how to respond. When the only option is to turn to the political system, it can feel like your small voice has no impact. I love Charles Best’s work to connect people who want to help directly with educators who need resources to continue their amazing work.
  4. The New Frontier of (Un)Branded Content: A Screening and Discussion of Farmed and Dangerous, Hosted by Chipotle
    With the unbelievable increase in connection through social media, how is it that we are still so disconnected with the sources of our food? I barely even buy groceries, and when I do I don’t have a good idea of where they are coming from and what the worker conditions were like. Though this web series is a humorous take on the idea of disconnection from our food, it is good that Chipotle is asking us think more critically about where our food is actually coming from.
  5. Hood to Hipster: Silicon Alley’s Impact on NYC’s Underserved Communities
    Not just because it has the word hipster in the title, but as wealth is created through innovation, how do we prevent this wealth from merely circulating through pre-existing networks of privilege? I’d definitely be interested in hearing about this- plus the title is great.

There’s only a few more days to go before the event so register now!

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: 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.

Privacy and Publicity in Social Media: It’s Complicated!

Moving life onto the web has only added new platforms for life’s complexities to manifest themselves, each platform with its own language and nuances. Facebook documents our lives and immortalizes our words and photographs (often to our future regret), juxtaposing digital permanence with human temporality. This creates new questions, like what to do with the profile of friends who have died or whether we should “defriend” exes?

We craft identities for ourselves using Facebook from the “stories” we allow to live on our walls and the information we share publicly. It often feels that people no longer value privacy when we read posts that can only be described by the acronym TMI.

danah boyd, Senior Researcher at Microsoft and ethnographer of the internet, researches publicity and privacy online, especially in teens. danah’s curiosity was piqued, when she read about a teen who was frustrated that her mother was accessing her LiveJournal, though it was publicly available. This teen’s seemingly contradictory frustration makes much more sense through danah’s definition of privacy as having control over a situation and how it will be interpreted.

In-person conversations are by default, private, and require effort to be made public. Online interactions are the opposite. All interactions are recorded permanently, publicized, and are typically only made private after being posted. With this definition of privacy as control, teens are fiercely private, but often lack the agency to publicize and privatize material as they choose. They want to participate in the public space, but in ways that they can control and manage. It can often be easier to condemn the behavior of teens than to understand it, but danah’s research illuminates that today’s teens aren’t really behaving much differently than previous generations.

danah is joining us at Social Media Week with Andrew Rasiej, founder of Personal Democracy Forum to share her research on teens and her recent book, It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens. Additionally, she will be discussing public and private space as it relates to big data.

Make sure you don’t miss the chance to hear from danah by getting your pass to SMW NYC here!

Featured image courtesy of personaldemocracy.

6 Ways for Marketers to Understand Millennials this Social Media Week

Ok, New York, you’re stuck indoors with yet another snowstorm this winter, and we know what you’re up to. You’re feeding those guilty pleasures: those preferences on Netflix you never want anyone to see. Well, as much as we might hate to admit it, what we’re seeing on Hulu and other platforms is largely shaped by the generation coming behind us. There’s a reason Party in the South is debuting. And this is exciting.

Millennials are shaping our future, and we need to understand this. Everything from our recreational options to innovation in industries like health, you either gotta keep up or get out of the way. And we want to help you keep up:

  1. 5 Ways Millennials’ Habits Are Changing How Content is Made and Shared
    The first step is to admit you need a deeper understanding. So, we recommend starting out SMW14 with Complex Media and their friends to learn how the Millennial generation’s habits are causing a speedy shift in how content is created and distributed. From the discovery of new talent and Vine stars to the ever present listicle, you’ll need a deeper understanding of this generation to get your marketing on track.
  2. How To Build a Brand That People Don’t Buy, They Join
    The millennial generation is the most cause-oriented generation since World War II. So, how do you get them to buy into your brand with a movement? That’s exactly what Zady, charity: water, and Whole Foods have managed to master. Join them to hear more and take away from their case studies ways your brand can become more connected to our passionate generation.
  3. Fueling Social Fandom at MTV, VH1 and Comedy Central
    Once you understand millennials better, it’s time to look to those who serve them best. Comedy Central has the market cornered currently, and MTV was once king of youth. But for both, this demographic is key. The two have quite a bit they can share and learn from each. So, we’re putting them together with VH1 to highlight how you can keep your fan base engaged, drawing from their own examples in everything from online to apps. You can’t miss this session. (Don’t believe us? Comedy Central’s past event on How To Be Funny in 140 Characters was in such high demand that we had to repeat it last year!)

  4. It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens, a Conversation with Author danah boyd and Andrew Rasiej
    Now, it’s time to get advanced. Without contest, few understand youth better than Microsoft Researcher danah boyd. She’s written about what’s new in how teenagers communicate through platforms, and specifically how social media affects the quality of teens’ lives. And at SMW14, she’ll be sharing her findings on identity, privacy, safety, danger, and bullying. Anyone working with youth and millennials will need to stop in and check on danah.
  5. Reading Is No Longer Fundamental: The Shift to Visual Vocabulary
    Our streams are flooded with gifs, Instagram, emojis, and bitstrips. We’re moving to a very visual marketing period, and it’s driven by millennials. “Visual” is a new language that needs to be mastered. As we look to the future, we have to ask: Is this a new era for cross-cultural communication, or is it changing the way we think – and not for the better? JWT leads a group of experts to really look at this impact, particularly in commerce.
  6. The Future of Now: Health Innovation Track, Sponsored by Merck
    And while we’re talking about movements, no generation was more supportive of health innovation than millennials. They are now turning away from politics to find other ways they can create innovation in the healthcare industry. That’s something Merck knows a thing or two about. Value-creation in the healthcare arena is now inextricably connected to digital and social technology. In this special three-hour track, we’ll explore how health is innovating and what’s to come in the future.

Registration is open! Get your pass today here, and join us and our partners, Nokia for what will be an extraordinary week of exploring our always on, always connected world.