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5 tips for brands on social media marketing

We joined the throngs at the 2014 Social Media Week conference in New York to hear the latest and greatest best practices in leveraging the hyper-social phenomenon to inspire customers and make the world a better place for brands and people.

You can read about the five key social trends for marketers in our latest white paper:

1. Everyone is a content creator and that’s a good thing
2. Relevance and responsiveness are the new gold standard
3. Storytelling will never go away
4. No one is reading anymore
5. Innovation is at the heart of content creation

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5 tips for brands on social media marketing

  2. 2. Remember when “What happened in Vegas stayed in Vegas?” Today, with just under 2 BILLION SOCIAL NETWORK USERS AND OVER 4.5 BILLION MOBILE PHONE USERS worldwide, what happens in Vegas gets live-tweeted as it happens and the photographic evidence is broadcast to Instagram and Facebook audiences around the world. To understand the impact of this hyper-social phenomenon and what it means for brands today, we joined thousands of marketers at the 2014 Social Media Week conference in New York. Together, we examined how brands can use the scale and virility of social media to influence customer decisions, spark revolutions and change social consciousness. Source: eMarketer, April 2013 (, eMarketer, December 2013 (   /2
  3. 3. HERE’S WHAT WE LEARNED AT SOCIAL MEDIA WEEK Beyond the hype of social media and its evolution across apps, channels and devices, one underlying theme holds true: at its core, social media is and always has been a natural human behavior and not just a medium. These five trends can help marketers create and evaluate social media content: 1 EVERYONE IS A CONTENT CREATOR AND THAT’S A GOOD THING PG. 4 2 RELEVANCE AND RESPONSIVENESS ARE THE NEW GOLD STANDARD PG.6 3 STORYTELLING WILL NEVER GO AWAY PG.8 4 NO ONE IS READING ANYMORE PG.10 5 INNOVATION IS AT THE HEART OF CONTENT CREATION PG.12 /3  
  4. 4. EVERYONE IS A CONTENT CREATOR: IF YOU CAN’T BEAT ‘EM, JOIN ‘EM At one time, marketers and publishers were the sole proprietors of media messages. Today, thanks to platforms like Vine and YouTube, everyone is a (viral) content-creator. And this democratization of social content brings with it both challenges and opportunities for brands. Consumers have become increasingly jaded toward marketing messages, especially online where they head for the close button as soon as a banner pops up. The rise in mobile-based social media consumption has made this even more challenging. /4  
  5. 5. Armed with the “four C’s”—collaboration, co-creation, curation and crowdsourcing—marketers can empower consumers to talk about their brand: 1 EVERYONE IS A CONTENT CREATOR: IF YOU CAN’T BEAT ‘EM, JOIN ‘EM At Investing in relationships with bloggers the sole 2 one time, marketers and publishers wereand influencers is the new celebrity endorsement. Not that to platforms proprietors of media messages. Today, thanks David like Beckham’s H&M-brief-sporting-days are content-creator. Vine and YouTube, everyone is a (viral) numbered, Andbut marketers might be better served CO-CREATING this democratization of social content brings with it both WITH BLOGGERS to drive deeper challenges and opportunities for brands. engagement with fans. 60% of social users create and share images on their social channels better balance of curators than to have shifting. 3 Whatand theway to involve users, vs. creators isthem help CROWDSOURCE YOUR CREATIVITY? For Consumers have become increasingly jaded toward film example, Airbnb’s “Hollywood and Vines” short marketing messages, especially online where users head for invited users from around the world to submit their the close buttonvideos and each of thepops up and hover over six-second as soon as a banner Vine directors whose the “skip this ad” button on YouTube before the coupons. content was selected received $100 Airbnb ad even plays. To add to it, the rise in mobile-based social media consumption has made this even more challenging. Platforms like Facebook have eliminated a designated ad space and brands are forced to compete for newsfeed real estate. EVERYONE IS A CONTENT CREATOR: TIPS FOR MARKETERS IF YOU CAN’T BEAT ‘EM, JOIN ‘EM Image Source: Jerry Wong In business and in content marketing, COLLABORATION IS THE NEW COMPETITION aiding brands in content discovery. /5  
  6. 6. BE RELEVANT. BE RESPONSIVE. THE AVERAGE CONSUMER CHECKS HIS OR HER PHONE 150 TIMES A DAY. This new cultural attachment to mobile devices even sparked the genesis of the word Nomophobia, or the fear of losing one’s phone. In this new reality of the “always on consumer” and the tremendous data mining fueled by smartphones, it’s all about context. And with location-based technology, marketers can target contextual messaging to a consumer whether he or she is in line at the grocery store, watching TV, or even watching TV on an iPad while eating dinner. /6  
  7. 7. 1 KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE. Brands that understand and respond to the micro-cultures of their target audiences get the most out of their media spend. Take Visa’s NFL sponsorship campaign on Facebook; by glorifying the NFL Steelers culture using its symbol, “the terrible towel”, the NFL forged an authentic connection with fans. 2 BE RESPONSIVE. By now, you’re probably familiar with Oreo’s real-time lightning in a bottle epitomized by its Super Bowl “Dunk in the Dark” tweet. But beyond the real-time war room, effective marketing responsiveness is more about an always-on ethos that’s committed to customer experience (think moments of surprise and delight) and quality service. 3 BE RELEVANT. BE RESPONSIVE. HARNESS THE POWER OF NOW. In our instant gratification world, consumer priorities are shifting from where products are from, to when they can be delivered. Popular new apps are driving Amazon Prime’s two-day delivery into extinction with premium one-hour delivery options. Brands that can bank on this growing appetite for urgency in content and service will get ahead. TIPS FOR MARKETERS Image Source: lkurnarsky /7
  8. 8. With content generation on the rise and attention spans on the decline, social engagement has never been more challenging. But regardless of the medium, the common denominator across successful content marketing will always be great storytelling. LESS SELF-PROMOTION. MORE STORYTELLING. A truly great story captures emotion and transforms a brand from a simple transactional machine into a multi-dimensional living, breathing thing—from something people buy into, to something consumers join and even befriend. Brands that have mastered this have taken a truly transmedia approach—recognizing the increasing possibilities of a seamless, online and offline world and the multiple canvases it provides. In its ideal state, this kind of storytelling unfolds new experiences across different devices while harnessing the unique functionality of each medium. /8  
  9. 9. 1 LESS SELF-PROMOTION. MORE STORYTELLING. CULTIVATE PURPOSEFUL STORYTELLING. This requires an experiential approach to set stories in motion. Stories that entice consumers to celebrate moments of discovery and claim bragging rights by sharing that personalized excitement online. 2 REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE. To maximize the impact of content marketing, often a cost- and labor-intensive production, marketers should ask themselves how they can “atomize” a story across media channels to engage diverse audiences. TIPS FOR MARKETERS 3 BRAND-TERTAINMENT. As brands follow a more purpose-led storytelling approach, we’ll see the rise of more media like Chipotle’s critically acclaimed “Scarecrow” film. A piece that associates the brand with social consciousness around food sustainability, versus a self-promotional cry for more burrito-buys, giving consumers a reason to share. /9
  10. 10. LET’S GET VISUAL The phrase “A picture is worth a thousand words” may actually be an understatement. The average person processes an image 60,000 times faster than text and at the rate that we consume and share media it’s no wonder that people are reading less. 70% OF SOCIAL MEDIA IS COMPRISED OF IMAGES, and with the rise of so many visually-led channels consumers have become both creator and curator in our increasingly visual culture. /10  
  11. 11. 1 2 VIDEO TAKES OVER. If you want attention for your brand these days, research shows you’ll get far more eyes and ears on it with moving images than with static ones. In fact, the average user spends 88% more time on a website with video. 3 LET’S GET VISUAL THE NEW VISUAL VOCABULARY. Memes are spontaneous, relatable pictures and their short captions are entertaining glimpses into recent cultural shifts. Look up “Bad Luck Brian” for an example of a really popular meme. SPEAK AND LISTEN VISUALLY. Brands should be judicious about images they use and prioritize being visually literate, versus just pushing content; things like using emojis for customer reviews. TIPS FOR MARKETERS Image Source: AnatolyV /11
  12. 12. WHEN BRANDS INNOVATE The stamp of successful content marketing will always be its quality, but as social media undergoes enormous shifts, marketers must always keep their eye on the next frontier. Whether that means optimizing content consumption for wearables, or creating apps that go beyond promoting a brand and its products to actually provide content that engages their core target. Smirnoff’s "Mixhibit" app allows users to pull photos from their social networks, arrange them artfully, add a custom track and then share their creation with their friends. /12  
  13. 13. 1 2 WELCOME TO THE SHARED, COLLABORATIVE ECONOMY. An economy where consumers want to share products and content. Airbnb does a good job of embracing this new model by enabling peer-to-peer communication, increasing the transparency and reliability of customer reviews. 3 MIND THE CULTURAL AND TECHNOLOGICAL SHIFTS. We’re moving to the “internet of things” with complete interconnectedness of products and the omnipresence of smart technology. This will enable far greater collaboration and a whole new consciousness about consumption. For example, the popularity of reinventing conscious consumerism for the digital age. 4 WHEN BRANDS INNOVATE INNOVATION CAN COME FROM ANYONE AND ANYWHERE. The world of e-commerce has been socialized with face-to-face selling experiences powered by products like Google’s “Shop the Hangout.” GOODBYE “MATCHING LUGGAGE.” There’s an easy, not altogether surprising tendency to translate one form of media into its matching luggage in another medium. But it’s an unsustainable tendency because every medium carries its own functionality. Case in point, the mobile-enabled social movement comes with its own constraints; brands must replace abstract functions like “clicks” for the tap and swipe gestures that to a degree define the mobile ecosystem. TIPS FOR MARKETERS Image Source: tinkerbrad /13
  14. 14. •  Content is king •  Mobile has changed everything CONCLUSION •  Democratization of content has changed everything, again •  It’s not quantity but quality—where you are and what you’re saying •  It’s about creating an experience that people want to share; from rich storytelling to innovative new content-consumption experiences /14  
  15. 15. ABOUT JACK MORTON We're an award-winning brand experience agency that turns brands into verbs and transforms customer experience into a competitive asset. TALK TO JACK We make brilliant things happen for our clients. We do that by bringing together brave, creative, collaborative people who are true believers in the power of experience to transform brands and businesses. We’re experts in brand experience strategy and activation. Our clients look to us to define and understand how their brands should behave in the marketplace, and create experiences that bring their brands to life. Our portfolio of award-winning work spans 75 years and clients like GM, Subway, Samsung and Verizon in areas like event marketing, sponsorship, employee engagement, shopper and retail, sales enablement and training, digital and social. CONTACT: Liz Bigham, EVP Brand Marketing Read our blog at Follow us on twitter @jackmorton Visit us online at   Our team of 750 works together all around the world. We're also part of one of the world's leading marketing holding companies, Interpublic (NYSE: IPG), and experienced collaborators with a global network of best-in-class partners. 2014