I’m reporting live from Social Media Week London again this year – covering the official event stream from the conference HQ in Holborn. So don’t worry if you don’t have a conference pass, just follow the #SMWLDN hashtag (or @JemimaG) on Twitter. There are also loads of unofficial (and free) events happening round town.
This year’s theme is Upwardly Mobile: The Rise of The Connected Class. The key question is how can all humans achieve more in a connected world? Fabulous question, but you might be disappointed looking down the schedule trying to find sessions that attempt to answer it. These ten get my vote:
1. Definitely Not Content Tues 15 Sept, 9am: Will Hayward spoke last year. He’s really good. This time he’s talking about the cultural significance of the social web and why why we should all aim higher than “content” marketing. Continue reading →
Next week is London Social Media Week. The fifth sixth time the event has taken place in London, and the first time founder Toby Daniels’ company, Crowdcentric, has been running the show directly. For previous events, Sam Michel’s Chinwag was in charge. I’ve live-blogged pretty much every time, and it’s been interesting to see the event grow in size and stature year on year.
Inevitably, the event has become more focused and commercial over the years. Like social media itself, it’s growing up. There are good and bad sides to that. People may gripe about inflated ticket prices and a monochrome agenda – but it’s more just the sheer size of the event that’s off-putting. If you look through this year’s agenda, there are plenty of gems to be found.
“Video is how everyone sees the world’, says YouTube UK MD, Kevin Mathers, speaking at London Social Media Week.
It’s our natural affinity with the medium – ease of use and comprehension – combined with rapidly improving download speeds, that has been behind the phenomenal growth of online video platforms, such as YouTube, in the past few years.
Kevin sees two trends driving video growth in the immediate future:
1. Freedom – the freedom to consume, and the freedom to produce. 2. Passion – we are seeing an abundance in video production: the more there is, the more we have to decide what we want to watch. For this reason, we only consume the things we’re really passionate about.
“4G is going to change the way we view video”, says Kevin. “3G is a bit like dial-up used to be. Commuters in Seoul today don’t wonder if they’re going to be able to watch a video on their way to work – they know they can. Soon, we [the UK] will be in that space too.
“We can all upload video today. That lowers the bar to entry – creativity can explode – there is complete freedom, and huge amounts of video online. YouTube is growing by 100% yearly in terms of minutes watched. There’s just too much out there.
“YouTube’s a big city like London: tens of small villages grouped round different interests. People are much more engaged with the video they’re watching. They’re in an alpha state not beta state: the fact that you’re choosing to watch [a video], means the power is with you. And also with the producers – it’s all encased in an all-consuming passion, driven by real fans. That’s different from the way video has been consumed in the past.”
Steve opens the session with a talk about Jaguar’s digital strategy. When he joined Jaguar two years ago, they’d just set up a Facebook page but weren’t really sure what to do with it. Today, Jaguar has 2.4m fans on Facebook. Steve’s strategy is highly visual – “It’s all about the sexiest models”. Jaguar reveals all new cars on Facebook first. During new car launches, they take questions live via Instagram and Twitter, and have used “one of those life-blogging cameras that you stick on your pocket and it records your day”.
“We draped the cars in red, white and blue and drove them down the Mall. It was all a little bit Austin Powers-esque but a bit cooler. We asked people to take photos, upload them to social media and hashtag them. It worked really well. That British essence is very important for us in overseas markets.”
I’m liveblogging the lunchtime event at #SMWLDN’s business hub – looking at social media’s impact on the financial markets. Speaking left to right are Robert Harles, Global Head of Social Media, Bloomberg; Allan Schoenberg, Executive Director, CME Group, Hussein Kanji, Partner, Hoxton Ventures and Jonathan MacDonald, Co-Founder, This Fluid World. Debate is chaired by Craig Welch, Head of Marketing EMEA, Bloomberg.
CW: Think back to the 30 April when AP’s Twitter account was hacked; how video consumption is increasing exponentially, 50 Cent caused a buying surge to his company by tweeting a request to invest. The first question: has social media become a really valid news source, replacing more traditional sources? Let’s start with Alan:
AS: No doubt social media making an impact. But of course you can’t rely on just one source of information. It makes complete sense as one of many channels.
10:12 We are at the very cool Beyond Retro café in Dalston (top pic of Karinna Nobbs from London College of Fashion and team chatting before the event). Karinna is just introducing the panel now (bottom pic of panel left to right: Karinna, Jonathan, Sophia, Hanna, Kat and Charlotte). This is a live blog so please keep refreshing the page for updates.
Karinna: Pinterest is dominated by women, has been very much in the press since around February. Pinterest great because you can really micro-segment your audience (into style tribes for example) and really engage with niche customers.
You can look at who’s pinning you and what they’re pinning for trend prediections – is everyone pinning a colour you don’t have in your collection? Pinterest has a much higher referral rate than Facebook, Twitter etc. The average time people spend on Pinterest has been quoted as 45 – 90mins – far more than other networks.
13:30: This pic is of host/ chair Mark Pedro Hindle and Futuregov’s Dominic Campbell a few minutes before this session on social innovation. This is a live blog so keep refreshing the page for updates.
Dominic: Social innovation needs to connect back with the system that it’s trying to challenge and change – we could do with government help on occassions. Often these two operate in completely seperate ways but it’s good to connect back. Social innovators often want to have fun as well as change the world: government seems to have forgotten all about that. Two of our projects:
Casserole Club was on BBC Breakfast this morning – tackling social isolation.
Enabled by Design: sod you NHS, your equipment’s crap, we’re going to bring together some amazing designers with 3D printers and actually make crutches etc.
Next up, Jeremy Gilley, Filmmaker, on his organisation, Peace One Day: On the 21 September 2007 we managed to hold a one day ceasefire called
11:10am It’s a great panel line-up here at Hub Westminster with Will McInnes (Nixon McInnes), JP Rangaswami (Salesforce), Barney O Kelly (Fresh Networks) and Tejal Patel. Chair: Michael Chiu (McKinsey). This is a live blog so please keep refreshing the page for updates.
JP: Social media is intrinsically human – satisfies a human need.
Will: We need to think more about how we can pipe social tech and more about what business will become. When I wrote my book last year a big theme is change velocity: when you look at how Netflix destroyed Blockbuster and how Amazon destroyed Waterstones and Barnes & Nobel. The faster you can orient yourself, the faster you can observe what’s going on, decide what to do, and then act – the better: an approach taken from fighter pilots. We talk about social technologies but it’s like looking at communication purely through words when 90% of communication is through body language.
Barney: The sooner businesses start thinking about the next level of social, where social can take them in terms of recruitment etc, the better.
Tejal: At Nokia, we’re thinking a lot about e-commerce, such as how do we start converting fans into sales. There’s also a big focus on ROI. We have an internal tool called socializer, developed with Dachis, which