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Why 2015 Will Be All About Transferable Social Media Audiences

Article first published as Why 2015 will be all about transferable social media audiences on Technorati.

A lot of marketers are bemoaning the fact that they’re reaching less of their Facebook fans than ever before with organic posts. While this may be annoying, it is not to be unexpected. Social networks are incentivized to attract brands to participate in the early years, so that in later years they have access to their brand budgets as they search to monetize their services. That’s exactly what has happened at Facebook, and other social networks are following suit.

Whilst some companies may see this as a threat, I believe smart marketers should see this as opportunity. It requires a change in mindset, from one of social networks as independent silo channels with their ‘followers’ or ‘fans’, to a wider view of community, where brands can transfer and track audiences across multiple networks, continually linking back to a socially optimized brand website that operates as a social hub of owned media. I predict 2015 will be all about transferable audiences. So get ahead of the game now.   

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Because newer social networks are incentivized to partner with brands to build their networks and provide future monetization opportunities, there are fantastic opportunities to take advantage of the rich social features on these new platforms without incurring paid media charges.  As competition for brand participation grows amongst a larger number of social networks, we may find there is real pressure to provide value added services to brand marketers for little or no investment. Marketers should think of social networks a bit like credit cards – which network is offering you the best deal? Does it make sense for you to move your audience to that network from others that are perhaps not giving you the best deal?

Just with managing money, managing an audience is best done when it’s diversified across different channels. This spreads risk and allows you to be insulated against the monetization strategy of any one network, whilst quickly taking advantage of new opportunities.

So if you currently have an unbalanced social strategy, with too much of your audience residing in one social network, this is the time to think about transferring audiences. It requires some joined-up thinking, but is actually more straightforward than you might think. I was advising a Fortune 100 company on this recently. They had tens of millions of Facebook fans but very small followings on other social channels. It was time to rebalance. This involved stepping-up activity on Twitter and Instagram, as well as experimenting with new channels such as Kik Messenger.

As with most companies, the brand website had been neglected for years as simply an informational and transactional hub. This would need to be re-designed to incorporate social features that make it more of a social hub, fit for the social consumer coming from multiple channels. Onsite activations to encourage sharing of content back out through different social platforms are a must, as we move into a world where thinking of social as a ‘channel’ separated from the rest of digital just doesn’t make any sense.

The first step of transferring audiences is to define a series of campaigns on other networks such as Instagram, Twitter and Kik Messenger that are promoted to multiple channels (including to your Facebook fans).  Encouraging more of the Facebook audience to connect with the brand on different platforms will build a broader social community, with many more ways to both connect and organically share content.   

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Take Kik Messenger for example, this network has free one-to-one mobile messaging for brands if users connect with that brand’s ‘Kik Card’ and includes very easy sharing mechanics for friends to collectively engage with that brand’s content. With very few brands on the Kik platform, it presents a fantastic opportunity to get in early and open up a new way to connect with mobile users and to get them to share your content to their friends. Kik has 125m registered users, primarily between the ages of 17 and 26. That’s not a bad opportunity if you’re targeting the youth demographic.

Transferable audiences makes sense, particularly when a brand has a social infrastructure that allows it to build-up an audience database of how people are connecting with content and campaigns across channels. But, make sure you have the capability not just to engage social consumers, but to also track them to understand their behavior and preferences. It’s your audience and you need to understand as much as possible about them in order to target marketing that drives revenue. Don’t forget that key point as you explore new channels and methods to connect with social consumers. Looking forward, 2015 may be about transferring audiences, but 2014 will be about putting in place social infrastructure that allows you to make the most of that effort next year.

RICHARD JONES, CEO

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Webinar: What is The Future For Social Marketing Platforms?

It has now been over a month since Google announced it won’t continue to support or innovate its social marketing platform Wildfire. Since that time their customers have been left without a technology partner, social marketers are wondering what new business models and opportunities this change may create, and more importantly, the whole industry is asking what the future look like for social marketing platforms.

Richard Jones believes the answer lies in a combination of two major factors, culture within an organization and the dramatic speed of change within the industry. To find out more, join our webinar with Richard Jones, CEO of EngageSciences and Toby Daniels, CEO of Crowdcentric, the company behind Social Media Week, as they look into their crystal ball and discuss what Wildfire may have looked like if Google hadn’t acquired it and what the future looks like for social marketing platforms.

Webinar Details

Date:

Tuesday 29th April

Time:

3pm GMT / 10am EST

Speakers:

Richard Jones

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Richard is the CEO and Co-founder of EngageSciences. He has nearly two decades of experience in digital, working in both marketing agencies and the software industry. Richard has steered EngageSciences to be one of the fastest growing marketing software companies emanating from the UK in recent years, with clients in over 72 countries. Richard advises clients such as Vodafone, Microsoft, Nokia, AOL, UFC and Spotify on social strategy and is a regular blogger and speaker on social marketing topics.

Toby Daniels

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Toby is the co-founder and CEO of Crowdcentric. Prior to Crowdcentric, Daniels was the Managing Director of Online Creative Communications, a London based digital agency which he managed for 7 years. As a thought leader on a range of topics, including open innovation, crowdfunding and social innovation, Toby has been featured extensively in mainstream and trade media and speaks regularly at conferences. In addition to his professional endeavors, Toby is also a passionate contributor to a number of non-profit organizations, including CampInteractive.

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Photo (cc) Christian Schnettelker

FRANCESCA HEATH, PR AND EVENTS DIRECTOR

What Wildfire Could Have Been

Back in 2012 Wildfire was a social marketing platform to be envied and admired. We came up against them in a number of competitive pitches, sometimes we won, sometimes they won. But one thing was for sure, they were growing like crazy. They were one of the first players in the market, they had scale with 300 employees and a killer list of customers. Most importantly, they were staying competitive because they were innovating at pace.

Then in August 2012, Wildfire were acquired by Google and things began to change. The word on the street was that Google wanted to dumb-down the platform. Their new strategy was to enable their customers to log into Google, buy some AdWords, do some Analytics and launch some simple social campaigns. Google wanted to create a platform that every size of company could use alongside their existing products without the need for human interaction. However, they realized earlier this year that it’s impossible to build a social marketing platform that caters for small companies with part-time social marketers and large enterprise brands with teams of sophisticated marketing teams (and demanding agencies). This is especially the case when you attempt to remove account management, support and guidance from the mix.

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It must have been a challenging time for Victoria Ransom who had put her heart and soul into building a trail-blazing platform to have it handicapped and simplified by Google. But hey, I bet $350m made that bitter pill slightly easier to swallow.

So, what would have happened if Wildfire hadn’t sold-out and what would they have become? Well, in the last few weeks, we’ve been talking to a large number Wildfire customers and there’s a common theme in what they say after seeing the EngageSciences platform. And, it goes a lot like this “Wow, you guys are what Wildfire would have looked like if Google hadn’t restrained development for two years…”

As our CEO Richard Jones pointed out in a previous blog post on Marketing, the world of social media moves at a blistering pace. If your main focus is integrating your existing technology into a huge stack, rather than innovating, then you’re screwed. So, in an alternate universe (where Google didn’t acquire Wildfire) what would they have looked like? Well, a number of things are certain:

  • They wouldn’t have remained so focused on Facebook. With organic reach being constrained on Facebook, Wildfire would have looked at other established and emerging social networks to activate their audiences within those platforms e.g. enabling brands to run effective UGC and hashtag campaigns on Instagram, Vine and Twitter.
  • They would have dragged the brand website out of the 90′s and turned it into the “social hub” of the future – a user destination that centralizes owned and earned media from across the social web to create credible and authentic content experiences that increase engagement levels and drive social commerce.
  • They would have doubled-downed on mobile. This means going beyond responsive campaign design themes, to enabling brands to engage with hundreds of millions of consumers on the rapidly emerging mobile messaging platforms. A great example of such a platform is Kik Messenger where brands can launch simple “Kik Cards” that can be shared amongst friends and then receive branded push notifications.
  • They would have enabled marketers to create interconnected campaigns that focus on ongoing fan engagement. By launching gamified campaign experiences, they’d have offered brands the ability to reward loyal followers for their social actions and let them compete with their friends.
  • They would have nailed the imperatives of content marketing by creating a tagging infrastructure for posts, messages and campaigns. In this way brands could use a taxonomy of their choice to track the performance of different content categories and themes, and then use this to optimize their ongoing content strategy.
  • They would have focused on the importance of deeply profiled and segmented audience data. By activating and tracking fans across multiple networks, brands would achieve a single view of their audience members and this could be used to power the performance of other marketing channels e.g email, online advertising, loyalty programs etc.
  • Finally, they would have continued with the unshakable belief that a strategic vision, a relentless focus on innovation and fanatical customer support are at the heart of social media marketing success.

At EngageSciences, we believe all of the enhancements listed above would have made it into Wildfire 2.0, as these are the hallmarks of the needs of today’s savvy Digital Directors and Social Media Managers. We have moved beyond the age of social media hype, where social interaction is getting baked into what we do across channels. We are moving into an age where marketing is focused around people, not at them. This is why we’ve included all of these features in the current EngageSciences platform. So, if you’re looking to take your social marketing to the next level, or you’re looking to replace Wildfire within your organization, learn more about People Powered Marketing from EngageSciences.

To delve into the topic a bit further, we’re holding a webinar on Tuesday 29th April (10am EST / 3pm GMT). The speakers during the webinar will be Toby Daniels, Founder of Crowdcentric (the company behind Social Media Week) and Richard Jones, CEO of EngageSciences.

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MICHAEL WRIGLEY, CMO

Michael Wrigley

Selfies, Socks and Social – 5 of the Best From #SMMW14

It seemed the main theme of Social Media Marketing World 2014 formed around the new craze of selfies, whether it’s the #nomakeupselfie the #catselfie or the #oscarselfie #SMMW14 was definitely on trend and did not disappoint when it came to insights, knowledge sharing and new connections.

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The event took place Wednesday through Friday last week and concentrated on the ever-changing landscape of social media marketing. The impressive list of speakers shared their unique insights and advice with the 2,000 strong audience on how to keep up with the current trends, how to be prepared for the future and how to thrive and embrace change. And of course, no event with Ted Rubin involved would be complete without the cheeky sock flash.

It was like being a kid in a candy shop with the amount of insightful sessions there were to choose from but I’ve managed to pull out a few gems to share with you.

Real-time Marketing: How Big Brands Engage Fans in the Moment

In this session Jay Bear was joined by Charlie Kautz (TaylorMade Golf) Vanessa Sain-Dieguez (Hilton) and Justin Gardner (AMC Theaters) to discuss if brands really are taking advantage of the instant opportunity real-time marketing now offers.  Are they inserting themselves into the cultural conversation or just sitting back and ignoring it?  Where is the line when it comes to fast vs. foolishness? Hopefully some of my key takeaways will help answer these questions.

1. There is too much hype around targeting trending topics. Real time marketing is all about what is relevant, not what is trending.

2. Take it in your stride if a competitor copies you. If they do steal your idea it was obviously awesome and you are doing something right. Take it as a compliment.

3. Take advantage of every opportunity, but be smart about it.  Take your time, analyse each situation and make sure you have a comprehensive channel strategy in place.

How Big Brands Creatively Engage Their Facebook Fans

Considering the backbone of EngageSciences is all about engagement and advocacy, I was really keen to hear from the brands in this session on how they engage with their audience, what tactics they use to navigate the ever-changing landscape of Facebook and their strategy for dealing with social complaints and comments. My key takeaways from the panel with Rick Mulreasy, Umang Shah (Walmart) Nikki Newman (Whole Foods) and Joel Price (San Diego Chargers) are below.

1. Keep geo-targeting in mind when it comes to creating Facebook content. It is a very effective way to expand your reach and engagement without having to pay the big bucks.

2. Always encourage your staff to focus on being part of a community rather then being focused on just selling. Facebook is a place for connections and trust. Be engaging not pushy.

3. Focus on your audience, don’t just use Facebook ads. Although they are easy to create and target, they tend to attract the wrong audience to your brand unless linked to a social experience that is relevant.

The Future of Social Media: What Businesses Need to Know

When I heard Mark Schaefer, author of The Toe of Twitter, Born to Blog and Return to Influence, as well as the owner of grow, one of the top marketing blogs in the world, was holding a panel on the future of social marketing, I could not resist. I wanted to know what was on the horizon for social media and how marketers should prepare for this exciting, yet rather daunting future.

1. When it comes to content marketing – you don’t have to be the best, just be first and be overwhelming!

2. The average Facebook user can see 1,500 possible stories a day – content shock is happening, so make sure you have a strategy behind your post – be heard in the noise.

3. How do you stand out in a busy digital marketing space? Simple, be more human, people need to trust you. Trust leads to loyalty and loyalty tumps everything.

7 Rules to Writing Blog Posts That Get Read and Shared

Considering one of my many roles at EngageSciences is to look after our blog and the link love it gets I was really keen to head along to Michael Hyatt’s session on how to create content that readers will love to share and contribute to. I wanted some advice on how to grow influence and blog traffic enabling me to take our blog to the next level. I have cheated a bit and added 7 key takeaways to this session, but Michael’s 7 rules were too good not to share.

1. Focus on the reader – if your post is meant for everyone it is meant for no-one.

2. Speak in your authentic voice – don’t be something that you are not. Your readers have a BS filter.

3. Create a powerful headline – so simple but so true. Check out ‘Writing Riches’ by Ray Edwards for some advice.

4. Include a relevant photo – we live in a visual culture.

5. Lead with a personal story. Give people a way to connect. It makes you three-dimensional and it gives people a way to engage.

6. Write scannable copy. Brea- up your text, give your readers a feeling of psychological progress.

7. Make your posts easy to share, eliminate the friction. Add a share bar with a share count, it gives you social authority.

Tools to Better Manage Your Social Media Marketing

We’re always looking for social marketing tools to recommend to our clients to ensure they can achieve the maximum out of their campaigns, so this session with  social tools expert Ian Clearly was a clear must. Ian’s session was packed full of practical and easy to apply insights, tips and tricks to help any social marketer rise to the top. Check out of the top three tools I would recommended from Ian’s insights.

1. www.piktochart.com  – design super awesome infographics in no time. A great tool if you are short on design resource and budget.

2. www.semrush.com – a tool to evaluate your competitors. Be able to see where they are ranking in Google and Bing results for the top 106+ million organic keywords.

3. www.grouphigh.com – great tool for blogger outreach. The software helps you identify influential blogs, automate research, and measure engagement to make outreach marketing more successful.

#SMMW14 was a fantastic insight into the changes that are taking place in the social world. It not only looked into the future and how to prepare for it, but it also looked at the now, and how to always make the most of this awesome new social adventure we’re all on.

Thanks to the #SMMW14 team for the organization, the speakers for offering their insights and the participants for just being awesome. If you want to have a look back on the event and check out a few of those cheeky #selfies why not check out the EngageSciences social hub where you can see all the social chatter from the event.

FRANCESCA HEATH, PR AND EVENTS DIRECTOR

California Calling #SMMW14

Three great things you look for in a social marketing conference; inspirational speakers, thought provoking takeaways and priceless professional connections. Drop in the added bonus of sunshine and sea lions and Social Media Marketing World 2014 tops the list. And, the EngageSciences team are lucky enough to be going along.

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#SMMW14, the largest social media marketing conference kicks off tomorrow in San Diego with an opening-night networking party aboard a naval aircraft carrier… just your standard opening night party then. The event continues to delight and reward its attendees for the next few days, not only with some fascinating content and influential speakers but with never-ending networking opportunities to make the most of this gathering of great minds. And if the naval aircraft carrier was not enough, night two will see the attendees gathering aboard a beautiful yacht for an evening cruise of networking around the lovely San Diego Bay. Is there a better way to network?

The 80+ speakers for the week include many that I have admired from afar over the years, following their Twitter updates and getting my hands on the informative books many of them have written. So to get the opportunity to meet them face to face and put a name to a Twitter avatar will be a real treat. Some of these social media pros include names such as Jay Bear, Ted Rubin, Chris Brogen, Amy Porterfield, Michael Hyatt, Pam Moore and Mari Smith to name a few. A full list of the speakers can be found here.

SMMW14 Social Hub

As you can imagine with this audience, there is a lot of social chatter across multiple channels, so to make things a little easier for you to keep up, we have designed a social hub for the event on the EngageSciences social marketing platform, allowing us to discover, filter, curate and publish the very best social buzz around the event. Your social content could be featured, all you have to do is make sure you tag any updates with the event hashtag #SMMW14. Check-out the SMMW14 social hub here.

Keep an eye out for our updates and learnings from the event, and if you want to feel like you’re there (just without the sunshine) keep our social hub refreshed.

FRANCESCA HEATH, PR AND EVENTS DIRECTOR

Webinar: Replacing Wildfire in Your Organization

If you’re a Wildfire customer, you’ve probably heard the news from Google that they will no longer be investing in the platform, driving innovation or accepting new customers. So, where does that leave their existing customers? And, what are the alternatives?

To find out, join us for a webinar on Thursday 3rd April at 3.00pm PST / 6.00pm EST.

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In this half-hour session, Richard Jones CEO of EngageSciences will outline why the EngageSciences social marketing platform is the natural choice for brands looking for an alternative to Wildfire, and will cover the following topics:

KEY FEATURES
Key features of the EngageSciences platform that are more streamlined and more effective than Wildfire
- Simple scheduling and publishing of posts
- Stunningly flexible and easy to use campaign builder
- Custom sharing options for the major social networks
- Deeply profiled audience database and incredible infographic reports.

ADDITIONAL CAPABILITIES
Go further than you can with Wildfire with these core features:
- Optimizing your content strategy with post and campaign tagging
- Driving ongoing re-engagement and advocacy with gamification and social loyalty programs
- Socializing a range of digital properties and social networks with content aggregation and curation.

CUSTOMER SUPPORT
- Many Wildfire customers have been frustrated with the lack of consistent support from the Wildfire team.
- Find out about our refreshingly hands-on approach to customer service any why it’s so valued by our customers.

MIGRATION
- Finally, learn how your company can migrate seamlessly and securely from Wildfire to EngageSciences.

In the meantime, this video illustrates the key features of the EngageSciences social marketing platform.

MICHAEL WRIGLEY, CMO

Michael Wrigley

Wildfire Goes Up In A Puff Of Smoke

Following today’s announcement from Google that it is winding down the Wildfire social marketing platform that it bought for $250m less than two years ago, there’s going to be some customers with some very justifiable concerns. And, whilst the news won’t come as a total surprise to many in the industry (the lack of investment and innovation has been clear for a while), it will send shockwaves through the marketing community.

Back in 2012, the acquisition seemed like a relatively smart (if not over-priced) move by Google. It was a shot across Facebook’s bows (as Facebook had brought Wildfire into its inner-circle) and it gave Google a new perspective on its major competitor and a way to cream-off some marketing dollars spent on Facebook social media management fees.

However, as of yesterday this dream has come to an abrupt end. Wildfire is no longer signing-up any new customers and Google’s ongoing investment in the platform will be limited. This represents a big problem for Wildfire’s customers and those currently considering the platform.

Wildfire Google Split

 

Here’s an extract from Victoria Ransom’s blog post on the changes over at Wildfire:

“The Wildfire Social Marketing Suite, which helps businesses manage their posts and content on social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest, will continue to be supported, but further investments will be limited: we won’t be building new features or signing up new customers.” 

In the world of social media marketing, brands need a platform that is constantly investing to simplify and automate as many processes as possible, whilst still providing a unique and immersive experience that creates long-term engagement and value amongst their followers. So, if Google is no longer willing to invest in innovation, their customers are going to have to make some clear decisions about their choice of social marketing platform.

A LIFELINE

In response to this difficult situation for a large number of Wildfire’s existing and prospective customers, EngageSciences is inviting them to move over to our social marketing platform.  In fact, there are already a number of well-known brands that have transferred the majority of their social media marketing from Wildfire to EngageSciences. They now experience the benefits of a flexible and powerful social advocacy platform, backed-up with superb customer service.

SO WHY SHOULD WILDFIRE CUSTOMERS CONSIDER ENGAGESCIENCES?

The EngageSciences social marketing activation platform provides brands and their agencies with the tools they need to drive engagement and advocacy across a range of social networks, web channels and mobile messaging apps.  In addition, the platform also features the ability to discover, aggregate, curate and publish advocacy content from across the web into multiple display formats and destinations. With all campaigns and content optimized for both desktop and mobile, marketers can now use gamification and loyalty mechanics to identify, inspire and reward their best and most loyal followers.

With deep segmentation and profiling capabilities, social media marketers can now build relationships with the fans that matter most, understand the lifetime value of these fans and deliver a goldmine of data to the wider marketing department. These platform capabilities are all backed-up by a world-class services team of experienced social marketers.

UPDATE:

We held a well-attended webinar on 20th April detailing the Wildfire news and outlining the options available to brands and agencies. In light of the interest generated, we’re planning to hold another webinar for US brands looking for an alternative social marketing platform. So, please join us on Thursday 3rd April at 3.00pm PST / 6.00pm EST.

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In this session, Richard Jones CEO of EngageSciences will highlight the key features of the EngageSciences social marketing platform is the natural choice for brands looking for a Wildfire replacement.

If you’d like to find out more about the opportunity to switch to EngageSciences, please call us on one of the following numbers or contact us at sales@engagesciences.com

Europe: +44 (0)203 651 6300

Americas: +1 973-803-7132

APAC: +61 415 679057

In the meantime, please follow us on Twitter and get to know us on Facebook.

MICHAEL WRIGLEY, CMO

Michael Wrigley

Join us For Social Shenanigans at Digital Convergence

EngageSciences is thrilled to be supporting The Drum’s Digital Convergence event next week, a day dedicated to marketing professionals, helping them stay on track and transform customer engagement practices into integrated, customer-centric processes.

The event will consists of in-depth sessions and panels that will examine how the convergence of marketing silos is affecting the ways that consumers buy and the implications for the ways that brands can sell and interact with their fans.

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As well as hearing from the likes of Tesco, Channel 4, notonthehighstreet.com and Thomas Cook the attendees of Digital Convergence will also get to hear from Richard Jones, the CEO of EngageSciences during a roundtable session on how brands engage, amplify and reward their most loyal advocates across social and mobile networks.

For more details on the agenda and speakers, check-out the event website thedrum.com/digitalconvergence. We look forward to seeing you there.

FRANCESCA HEATH, PR AND EVENTS DIRECTOR

WEBINAR: How to Succeed in a Connected and Mobile World

Join Richard Jones, CEO at EngageSciences and Jeremiah Owyang, Chief Catalyst at Crowd Companies and Member of the Altimeter Advisory Board, for a live webinar on Monday 17th March at 3pm GMT / 11.00am EST.

Overview

The webinar entitled “How to Succeed in a Connected and Mobile World – The Future of Customer Engagement” will see Richard and Jeremiah discussing why the brand’s website is now more important than ever, the best ways to engage your social followers over the long-term and how to incorporate mobile into your social strategy.

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Background

There are a number of fundamental changes taking place in the social, digital and media landscapes that represent significant opportunities for marketers seeking to build true, long-term relationships with their followers.

Today’s socially savvy, mobile-oriented consumers are using a bewildering array of networks and mobile messaging apps to communicate with their friends and to connect with brands. But, how do these brands find out what their followers are saying across the social web and then display the best of this content on their owned digital properties? How can brands activate their followers on social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Vine and Instagram and mobile messaging apps like Kik? And, how can they deploy social campaigns that drive valuable engagement amongst their followers and generate rich audience data that can be used to power other marketing channels?

Intrigued? Well, to get all of the answers, you just need to sign-up and take part. Just follow the link below.

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 FRANCESCA HEATH, PR AND EVENTS DIRECTOR

 

Tweets, Takeaways And Even More Tequila #SMWNYC

It’s Friday, the last day of Social Media Week New York and time for the famous SMW closing party. What better way to celebrate a week full of insightful sessions, inspirational speakers and thought provoking masterclasses. So, wipe those tears away and take five minutes of your time to read the next instalment from #TwoBlondesOneCity, our top five takeaways from the sessions we’ve attended over the past two days.

Changing The World Through Sex, Hosted by Durex
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Some say it’s always on our minds, Salt n Pepa think it’s all we should be talking about! In this session sexy and savvy, pro-sex and pro-porn Cindy Gallop (MakeLoveNotPorn) curated a series of demos, talks and panels that were designed to demonstrate the tech, media and wider community in the industry. Certainly a raunchy session that we can safely say got our Twitter followers gagging for more!

1. People are fatigued and frustrated with dating apps like Tinder. We need to take dating to something we know, trust and makes us feel safe.

2. There is a market to create a safe space to talk and feel more comfortable about sex. Durex is a good example of a brave brand who is helping open up the conversation and destigmatize the barriers around talking about sex.

3. There should be more communication to women about something that is framed for OUR pleasure.

4. Customers feel unwanted by their banks when they transact on adult content making it more taboo.

5. I couldn’t have agreed more with this statement from @EstherPerel – “Between smut and sanctimony lies the conversation”.

The State of Real-Time vs. Predictive Marketing in 2014
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Real-time marketing, what is it, what is it not? What are the best ways to utilize it, and if you are going to jump on the bandwagon, what do you really need to consider. During this session Jeff Melton (MRY) and Lakshmanan Narayan (Unmetric) dive into this new trend and discuss how it may evolve in the future.

1. Look to hero symbols and micro-cultures when you have targeted your audience, understand them. Listen and survey them.

2. Social to the core is having a healthy ratio between paid, earned and owned media.

3. Consistent earned media comes from predicting audience behaviors based on deep rooted cultural values.

4. Prediction requires investment. Invest in analytics and insights will give you success.

5. Deep rooted culture and relevance will always trump timeliness.

Make Your Brand Social Across The Web, Hosted by Google+
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Google+, still quite a newby in the social space and, even though it is going strong and proven to have good results for engagement, there are still mixed reviews on the platform. In this session Diva Jolly (Google) talked us through how brands create a home for their brand on Google+ and, once they have, how do they start the conversations they need to be having with their fans.

1. Google realised that sharing in real life was more nuanced than sharing online. The fundamental reason behind Google+.

2. Engagement with an audience doesn’t matter unless you are discoverable. Make that happen.

3. You need to create a robust community on Google+ in order to increase your traffic from organic search.

4. Having a one-on-one discussion works much better than an ad in regards to conversion. Take the time and effort to create one.

5. Google Hangouts makes engagement a two-way street. It’s a fantastic way to drive interaction, so use that to your advantage.

Thanks for reading and don’t worry, this won’t be the last you hear from us. All week we’ve been asking the burning question – “What do you think the next big thing in social will be?” Watch this space for some of the best responses we got! So let’s raise a glass to #SMWNYC, we hope you’ve had as much fun as we have.

#TWOBLONDESONECITY

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Tweets, Takeaways and Tequila #SMWNYC

Social Media Week, the event that has every geek in New York City gagging for a front row seat kicked off on Monday with a successful opening party of mingling, munchies and margaritas. It’s a fact that women are the best multitaskers, but given we only have two laptops and twenty fingers between us we haven’t been able to attend all the brilliant sessions #smwnyc has to offer. As a treat we’ve managed to gather up our top five takeaways from the sessions we have attended so far.

Fueling Social Fandom at MTV, VH1 and Comedy Central
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Fans, every brand wants them and not every brand knows how to keep them. During this session we heard from Tom Fishman (MTV) Tom Chirico (VH1) and Don Steele (Comedy Central) about how they build true relationships with their fans and keep them engaged, something EngageSciences certainly knows a lot about.

1. Don’t aim for real time marketing, aim for real time engagement. Make sure you include a combination of content and context, and always remember to be timely and genuine.

2. Get to know and respect your audience, don’t force anything onto them. If it is good content, it will succeed. Create experiences where fans can be a part of something versus being forced to show off something.

3. I liked this comparison so had to include it. Managing your social media should be a lot like DJing, make a great mix of content to keep the party going.

4. Fandom is like a long term relationship, you have to listen, respect and commit. If you do take them for granted and don’t show them your love, then they will leave you.

5. Finally Snapchat does work as a great marketing platform. It’s a great channel for making your fans feel special and part of something such as insider access and teaser images.

20/20 Vision: Your Life Just Six Years
#smw2020

In this hyped-up session, the audience were able to step into Dr. Emmett Brown’s time machine to take a look at the world of social in 2020. The session gathered two big industry visionaries, Dachis Jeff Dachis (Dachis Group) and Marc Landsberg (SocialDeviant), who delved into the audience’s lifestyles and interests to answer the big question, what will our lives be like 6 years from now? Something we all want to hear the answer to.

1. Creativity will be: less predictive, of the moment, adaptive, responsive and engaging.

2. Culture will stay. The most successful brands will be those who are most connected.

3. Social is not a channel it’s a behaviour. We will see a significant shift from mass communications to the mass of communicators. A profound shift that brands will have no choice but to navigate around.

4. From marketing departments to maker departments. Brand managers will become content producers and put their finger on the pulse of their audience.

5. Mobile isn’t an entirely different animal – It frees you from the tethers you’re having on desktop. The only major difference is that it allows you to do things on the go.

The Future of Now: Connecting the Dots Between the Virtual and Real Worlds
#smwconnect

How long can you go without checking your phone, sending that tweet or doing some Facebook stalking? The answer I’m sure is not very long, unless you are without wifi of course.  In this session Greg Williams (WIRED), Jeff Martin (Tribal Brands) and Craig Hepburn (Nokia) looked into how our heightened connectivity through ever evolving technology is changing the way we live, work and create as a civilisation.

1. Recognising and rewarding your brand advocates is a great way to strengthen your community. Appreciation goes a long way.

2. Be open enough to let your consumers drive your brand.

3. Tap into your audience’s needs to be in know. If the news is important enough it will come to them, be the one to give it to them.

4. Be disruptive, but have a strategy. Stand by your actions and don’t be afraid to play with other brands.

5. Don’t just grab attention with an ad. Build meaningful content and become a thought leader. People expect more, treat them with anticipation.

Content is King, But Distribution is Queen, Hosted by BuzzFeed
#smwbuzzfeed

Social is the new starting point for how we discover, consume and share content. Good content doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll go viral. In this session Mohan Renganathan (Starcom MediaVest) and Jonathan Perelman (BuzzFeed) spoke about how content and distribution can work successfully together, and how quality content encourages social sharing to increase brand affinity.

1. Recipe for content = Emotion. Identity. Humour. Uplifting content. The most important question to ask yourself is – would I share this myself?

2. There are two types of content: functional and emotional. From a branding perspective, content must be both emotional and functional to be shared. Great content will find its audience. Why? The power of social web!

3. Let’s not be naive about this. People who share publications don’t actually read them, they share them because A. they’re interesting & B. it will make you look smart.

4. Tapping into what’s hot will drive conversation, people are already talking about it. You need a baseline of content, so the consumer understands your point of view….CONTENT IS KING.

5. Lists work! The 10 commandments were a list.

Tune in on Friday for some more key takeaways from the end of the week and keep your eyes peeled for our #TwoBlondesOneCity instagram interviews.

#TWOBLONDESONECITY

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The Strategy Behind The Latest Release of The EngageSciences Platform

To coincide with the release of our latest version of the EngageSciences social marketing platform (Version 4), we took the opportunity to interview our CEO, Richard Jones, about the enhancements to the platform and how it addresses some fundamental changes happening across the social, digital and media channels.

In this video, Francesca Heath, our PR and Events Director, asks Richard for some answers to the following questions:

- What were the goals for Version 4?
- What’s the new role of a brand’s website in today’s social media landscape?
- How do brand’s amplify the voices of their advocates by turning their websites into social hubs?
- How do brands use loyalty and gamification to create truly engaged followers?
- How can this social data be used to power broader marketing campaigns
- How is EngageSciences enhancing the audience database?

If you’d like to find out more about the EngageSciences platform, discuss how it can be used by agencies and brands to drive loyalty and value from an engaged social audience or would like a demo, please don’t hesitate to get in contact.

MICHAEL WRIGLEY, CMO

Michael Wrigley