#SMWChicago: Trending Topics From Days 1 & 2

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Social Media Week 2015 kicked off bright and early on Monday, November 16 across three cities: Chicago, Mumbai and Santiago.

At #SMWChicago, over 270 speakers have convened to discuss the cross-section of industries including advertising, communication and technology (just to name a few). Fortunately, we were able to attend a few inspiring sessions and are happy to report back what we’ve learned here in the Windy City.

Below are a few quick glimpses at some of the topics discussed in Chicago over the first two days. Happy reading!

Day 1

1871’s Howard Tullman Presents Top Tech Trends for 2016

By Kristen Sala 


1871 CEO Howard Tullman speaks about 12 top trends impacting technology and the way businesses interact with consumers.

Howard Tullman, CEO of 1871, spoke about 12 top consumer and technology trends that are changing the way businesses interact with consumers. He says the same trends apply to B2B interactions, as well. Below you’ll find brief summaries of the trends Tullman discussed:

1. Time is the scarcest resource of all.

2. “I want it my way.”

3. Attention is the newest currency.

4. Context is more important than content.

5. We live in a world of constant connectivity.

6. Messaging increasingly trumps e-mail, and even social.

7. Search used to be the only way; today’s it’s basically “no way.”

8. Personal data is the oil of the digital age.

9. Access is more important than assets.

10. It’s not about sharing, it’s about surplus.

11. Video here, there, everywhere.

12. The Internet of everything.

Day 2

Chicago’s Professional Sports Teams Get Social

By Max Stewart

Chicago Sports - Social Media Week

Day Two of Social Media Week Chicago kicked off with a panel focused on five Chicago professional sports teams and the marketers who drive their social media: the Cubs, White Sox, Bulls, Fire and Sky.

These days, sports fandom is behavior that extends beyond the stadium or bar to a 24/7 conversation on all major social channels.  Social media users want to follow their favorite teams without constant bombardment of sponsor-driven messages or simple posts about the final score of the game.  Fans want to feel as though they’re engaging with a person, not a brand.

How does a social team improvise in changing circumstances the way Jay Cutler sidesteps a blitz?  How do they engage their fans in new and exciting ways that not only increase loyalty, but increase attendance?  Quick reactions, humanity, and creativity rule the day:

1. When President Obama showed up to the Bulls’ opening night game against Cleveland, security reasons prevented anyone from notifying the social team.  The Bulls left the @POTUS alone to enjoy the game and were rewarded with a Twitter shout-out from the Commander-in-Chief.

2. When Sky guard Elena Delle Donne’s record-setting night drew sexist social media attention, the Sky social team faced it head-on by filming her reacting to some of the mean tweets, Jimmy Kimmel-style.  The team had the reaction video online the following afternoon and not only amplified their coverage, but refocused the conversation around the accomplishment, not the trolls.

3. The Cubs and Sox engage fans on a one-to-one level and deliver unique experiences, like the 105-year-old White Sox fan who received birthday cupcakes delivered by White Sox ace Chris Sale.  The Cubs had an extended conversation with a persistent 12-year-old who insisted on a Kyle Schwarber jersey.  The Cubs made sure he got one, along with an autographed ball.

There are tremendous benefits to staying true to your voice and being ready for whatever your fans, critics, or influencers will throw at you.  Focus on staying true to your personality as you push your content to your audience.

The Rise of Social Data: Planning Winning Engagement Strategies

By Anna Marevska

Social Data - Social Media Week

Hosted by Chris Kerns, VP or Research and Insights at Stedfast and Jason Miller, VP of Emerging Media at FleishmanHillard, the session discussed the brand strategies, engagement and discovering new audiences by using social data the smart way.  

Key takeaways:

  • Reddit is the best and most untapped social platform to reach consumers/audiences and get social data from a different perspective.
  • Reddit has users chatting using different verticals, and the most common ones are sports, makeup, fashion and cars. The site even has a sub-reddit called “What car should I buy?” that profiles different brands from a consumer stand point.
  • “Even if you don’t have a social strategy for reddit, your brand is probably talked about in reddit, “ Chris Kerns said. Use that information to power new engagement strategies for your brand.
  • How can a brand start successfully using reddit? Follow these steps:
    • You are a guest, act like it
    • Add value to the conversation
    • Experiment with advertising
    • Monitor posts for patters, questions and issues.

How can a brand divert/avoid/handle crisis online using smart social data? According to Jason Miller, it is important to change the direction of the conversation online by:

  • Owning it: “We no longer can be idle participants online. Own your moments.”
  • Evaluating the situation: “The ability to act quickly should never take priority over analytics.”
  • Listening to the customer: “Transparency and client interaction is crucial.”
  • Planning and monitoring opportunities to extend a concept: “Data is only as good as the people tasked to analyze it. “

Social Best Practices from Top Brands in Q1-Q3 of 2015

By Anna Marevska

Social Media Week

Most of us don’t go on social media to interact with brands. The truth is, however, we ultimately do. Hosted by Shareablee, the session delved into how have brands utilized social engagement so far in 2015.

So far in 2015 (Q1 through Q3) brands have seen a 40 percent growth in social media engagement, which equates to more than 57 billion social actions on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Instagram captured a majority of the growth in engagement, increasing 94 percent from 9.7 billion actions in H1 2014 to 18.8 billion in H1 2015. Twitter and Facebook followed in growth in engagement at 40 percent and 26 percent, respectively.  

Here are some other key takeaways:

  • Total actions on video content grew a whopping 123 percent in cross-platform actions, topping photos.
  • What drives people to share content? Women tend to share content that is smart and useful, while men prefer to share content that is funny.
  • How can brands create shareable content and engagement? By creating posts that:
    • Evoke emotion
    • Tell a story
    • Are co-branded

Tips on successful social strategies:

  • A one-size-fits-all answer doesn’t exist. Brands can use best practices, but ultimately must understand what works best for their brand.
  • Learn from case studies in your industry.
  • Don’t focus on just social platforms – all platforms are growing.
  • Video is becoming a vital component of successful social strategies.
  • Practice in the new social media market to reach new audiences and monetize your existing social audience.

Data-Based Decision Making for Strategic Marketers and Communicators

By Lena Milcarek


Brand reputation is built on strong relationships. Your brand can benefit from relationships with prospects, clients, bloggers, journalists and even employees. Telling stories that resonate with these key stakeholders is the core of strategic communications.

As a marketer, you need to develop KPIs that speak to the business impact your relationship building has. To inform your strategy and planning around KPIs, integrated channel analysis is necessary. What does your audience see, act, say, think and do? What specific customer segments manifest in the dialogue that presents opportunities for your product or services?  Look to audience analysis, thematic analysis and industry influencers to shape your strategy.

To effectively discover and monitor your audience you need to look not only to social networks but also to unbranded content on communities and forums. Spreading your message broadly may get a lot of visibility, but it may not be the right visibility. Sometimes the loudest speaker in the room is not actually the most influential. Once you identify the target audience, where they are and what they care about, you can begin to shape their perceptions.

Effective campaign measurement combines quantitative data and qualitative insight. Measuring the impact of communications and marketing efforts needs to integrate other business data such as news, social media, brand health tracking, survey data, owned media, reputation studies, search and web traffic data.

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Tags : social media

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Cision's research staff makes over 20,000 media updates to Cision's Media Database each day! For more updates and other thought leadership in the industry, follow @Media_Moves.

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