Social Media Week: Continuing the Global Conversation

Twice a year, a global platform brings together people interested in better understanding and leveraging social media for their companies or clients. Social Media Week is a bi-annual world-wide event centered around the social, cultural, and economic impact of social media. This year’s second global platform was held in 13 cities from September 24th to the 28th:social media week world map

An exciting part of Social Media Week is that you don’t have to travel to one of the host cities to attend, because many of the presentations and discussions are broadcast in real-time on Livestream. The live broadcasts allow anyone interested in social media access to presentations by industry experts. Viewers are also able to chat live with others watching the presentations on Livestream and those attending the events, by using promoted hashtags assigned to each city and event, thus creating a truly global conversation.

Below are recaps of just a few of the great presentations from the most recent Social Media Week.

Social media & Mobile: Is Your Social Media Strategy Mobile-Ready? – Social Media Week Chicago

As two-thirds of traffic on Facebook and Twitter currently comes from mobile devices, mobile is the most powerful social media tool, and it is only going to get more powerful. However, a mobile-ready social media strategy isn’t solely about social media platforms, it is also about the call-to-action within messaging (tweets & Facebook posts).

If you are using social media to drive people to your website, you should assume that a large amount of your followers or fans will be viewing your social media messaging on their mobile devices. A recent Google study reporte

d that 61% of mobile users are more likely to leave a non-mobile friendly website before completing the call-to-action, than a mobile-friendly website. If you don’t have a mobile-friendly website for followers to access when clicking a link posted to Facebook or Twitter, you will most likely lose customer engagement.

Having a mobile-ready social media strategy means having consistent engagement with users across all channels: full and mobile website, social media, and traditional media.

Raves and Reviews: How Consumer Feedback Can Make or Break Your Business – Social Media Week Chicago

Online reviews can have a large impact on a potential customer’s decision on becoming a patron of a business. During the presentation, Laurie Foster, the National Dealer Training Manager at, focused on how to manage online reputations by:

  • Monitoring online feedback and reviews
  • Leveraging consumer generated content
  • Learning from negative comments and promoting positive reviews
  • Understanding and responding to consumer reviews

One thing that I really struck me from the presentation was the discussion about how consumers view online reviews of businesses, and what can influence their decision to trust a review. When reading online reviews, consumers often place a lot of value on the percentage of negative and positive reviews. If all the reviews are positive, consumers will often not fully trust the reviews. In comparison, if all but one review is negative, and that one positive review is five-stars and includes nothing but praise, consumers will often view that one positive review as false and most likely written by the company to improve ratings. Consumers often prefer a natural mix of positive and negative reviews, as they are more likely to trust the reviews.

Is Viral Really Viral? A YouTube Campaign Case Study – Social Media Week Los Angeles

During this event, Simon Jones, the SVP of marketing at the advertising agency Alphabird, dicussed how to integrate social video into a marketing strategy and engage a quality targeted audience. The presentation focused on the three components of a viral video:Sharing Content

  • Content – A video that creates an emotional reaction for viewers.
  • Contact – Creating awareness of the content for an initial audience, by making sure that the content is discoverable.
  • Context  – How viewers become aware of the video, who is watching, and why they chose to watch or share the video.

One thing that I found interesting was the focus on using a multi-channel strategy to distribute the video, and the importance of creating specific messaging and calls-to-action for each delivery channel.

Keynote: Erik Qualman, “Socialnomics” – Social Media Week Chicago

Are you failing fast? Are you failing forward? Are you planning better?

These are questions that Erik Qualman, author of the popular books Socialnomics and Digital Leader, posed to his audience at Social Media Week Chicago. During his presentation, he discussed the importance of “going back to the basics”, remembering that the key components of social media are:social media basics listen sell interact react

He discussed why social media is not meant to be limited to one department or one role, instead it takes on many different roles including sales, PR, marketing, and customer service.

The presentation also focused around the importance of responding to both positive and negative mentions on social media. Many companies react only to negative mentions or feedback; but, he explains that reactions to positive mentions are just as important. Don’t be scared of negative comments; instead, view to them as opportunities to turn your customer’s negative experience into a positive one. As Erik Qualman calls it, focus on being “Flawsome”: through your flaws, show your awesomeness.

If you are interested in watching replays of these presentations, or any of other videos from Social Media Week, head over to LiveSteam for a full list of archived presentations.

For a recap of the first bi-annual Social Media Week of the year, which took place this past February, check out Social Media Week 2012: A Global Platform and Social Media Week 2012 – Miami.
By Brianna Smith