Live Coverage of Engage London 2014!

Today, we'll be following all of the groundbreaking insights and announcements at Engage London 2014 LIVE from London! Keep posted to this blog for updates throughout the day.

Live Coverage of Engage London 2014!

That’s a wrap! The attendees now get to mingle and network in a socially lubricated afterparty!

[4:45 PM BST]

Jen Thompson, Youtube

Youtube viewing is centered around passions. As the network celebrates its 9th birthday and its 1 billionth viewer, how can marketers make the most of this?

“Find the right people through choice” – By using TrueView Ads, Youtube marketers can** invite users to connect** instead of forcing a content message. They can then respond to the passions people use Youtube to express and embrace. Often, they will collaborate with content creators on Youtube in order to target users who have already expressed certain interests by following certain channels.

For instance, Hellman’s worked with Jamie Oliver’s Youtube channel to work their mayonnaise into his channel’s annual December recipe calendar. So, they marketed their product to people interested in food. Lee & Perrins did the same thing with a channel called Foodsorted in order to encourage people to use their Worcestershire sauce in more recipes, and so increase sales.

Youtube is a great platform for building relationships with both fans and/via content creators.

[4:25 PM BST]

Georgina Parnell, Twitter

76% of Twitter usage is mobile now – and the network sees 1 billion tweets every 2 days.

Parnell asks, why do big moments, like the #Ellenselfie at this year’s Oscars, draw such a widespread response?

Because people want to communicate.

Brands need to be able to both campaign for Twitter, and be prepared to use it in real-time to respond with agility to unplanned moments.

Says Parnell, “A dynamic content strategy helps your brand stand out during big events.”

Using Twitter trends, marketers can learn when to predict customer behavior – for instance, that Tuesday seems to be the day people most frequently tweet about “shopping.” So American Apparel used that information to run promotions for free shipping on Tuesdays.

Other information is also useful for marketers – for instance, 76% of Twitter users in the UK did indeed begin following a page that they were recommended to follow.

[4:00 PM BST]

Beth Foster, Google +

Until recently, Google + made its bones with free functionality, like Hangouts. But two weeks ago, G+ launched +Post Ads, which will allow users to finally use paid reach in the Google ecosystem. Google + allows for total interplay between every aspect of that extensive network – so comments on a Youtube video go toward your G+ profile, for example.

Free G+ features like Hangouts still present very viable ways of creating uniquely engaging content. In fact, G+ is one network that seems to be experiencing an increase in organic reach.

One interesting example of a Hangout campaign involves Manchester United. For a team with 600 million fans around the world, many of whom will never step inside Old Strafford, the team’s question was: How do we get these fans inside the stadium experience?

Hangouts presented an answer. In conjunction with G+, Manchester United streamed hangouts with fans from around the world on to the pitch’s digital walls.

Wolfgang Sturm, A1 Telekom Austria

How does social as a ‘new’ field merit new content strategies? Sturm believes it is actually freeing in many ways. Now, for instance, brands can post at the right times, according to their knowledge of customers’ social habits.

Now that we are able to know more about what people want to see, and when they want to see it, the challenge is to find the middleground between what you want to say and what they want to hear, while only creating content that holds value for your customer.

For instance, they identified a major interest for their market – the Austrian National Skiing Team. So, they sponsored that team, and had fans of the best skiers upload their own content to be included in the pre-Olympic advertisements.

A major takeaway from Sturm’s presentation is that “Timing is King; Targeting is Queen.” In order to maximize the effect of targeting, A1 runs targeted unpublished posts to custom audiences, and only continues running the most successful content. More than that, they market intelligently – if something has not proven to be successful for them, they don’t do it. That is why A1 chooses not to be on Pinterest or Vine, for instance.

[3:22 PM BST]

Socialbakers VP of Client Services Helen Crowley introduces the first speaker in the Promote – The Advertising section, Wolfgang Sturm.

[3:21 PM BST]

Selfie resolved sucselfiessly.

[3:20 PM BST]

Neil Morgan takes a selfie. Will update ASAP.

[2:30 PM BST]

Socialbakers VP of Global Consulting & Professional Services Jana Zizkova leads a panel with Wilson and Groeneveld.

Among the highlights: Sam Wilson reminds us that in hiring, more than anything else, it is always important to hire people with common sense and a genuine passion for the brand.

After a final coffee break, we’ll be back in time for the last section of the day, and then the all-important networking cocktail party!

[2:10 PM BST]

Sam Wilson, Woolsworth

Sam Wilson, veteran of the pre-digital days, had to come into her job with Woolsworth with an open mind – and a small team. With an only 4-member team (compared to KLM’s 130-person operation), social devotion is made not just from managing customer queries, but from aligning social media with both the brand image and cultural zeitgeist.

But Wilson emphasizes that it is essential not to forget certain ‘Social Care Commandments’ – primary among them:

  • A brand is not a person, no matter how much it might try
  • The customer is David, and you are Goliath. Be respectful.
  • You don’t own a conversation just because you started it.

As a brand, you are playing in someone else’s private space. When customers or a general culture steer away from the brand’s interests, don’t try and force it back the way you want.

A real instance of this rule for Woolsworth came when Nelson Mandela died last year. Although the company had planned to have the Soweto Gospel Choir sing James Brown’s I Feel Good in the form of a ‘flash mob’ at one of their stores, that obviously became instantly inappropriate. Instead, the company had the choir sing Asimbonanga, a Mandela tribute written when the leader was jailed in 1987. It became a way for the nation to come together to mourn its common loss, and allowed the brand to submit itself to the larger conversation and play the facilitator role.

[1:45 PM BST] Engage – The Socially Devoted Section

Robertjan Groeneveld, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines

KLM began using social media for social customer care out of necessity. When Eyjafjallajökull, the Icelandic volcano, erupted in 2010, all flights were grounded at Amsterdam’s Schipol Airport. Questions began appearing on KLM’s Twitter account, which was still being used somewhat experimentally at that point. After KLM received great praise from customers and media for handling customer questions on social, they decided to continue doing so after the crisis had passed.

This year, KLM has seen a 250% year-over-year growth of questions on social, driven by winter operations. Their dedicated social response team is built to handle questions like these; they also report to upper management weekly on their customer care.

Except, when KLM began using social for customer care, people were surprised to hear back from the airline. Today, they demand it – 24/7.

[1:35 PM BST]

We’re returning now from a delicious lunch, and as of now the CheerMeter shows Yossi Erdman and Rod Strother leading the mentions. Way to go, guys!

Socialbakers CMO Neil Morgan wants to know about your posting habits. Do you post very often, but get low engagement on your posts? Maybe it’s the other way around? Hopefully, neither is the case – in an ideal world, your brand would post often and receive great engagement every time.

To try and push that goal, Socialbakers is launching a new initiative in line with Socially Devoted.

Introducing: The Smart Storytellers Award

[12:05 PM BST]

Before the lunch break, the audience at Engage London 2014 has a chance to tweet questions to a panel with Benini and our first three speakers.

Some questions attendees had for the panel
Some questions attendees had for the panel

[11:45 AM BST]

Yossi Erdman, AO.com

A legend in the UK Social community, Yossi Erdman took an appliance company and turned it into a social superstar. At Engage, Erdman talks about how having a sense of humor completely transformed what it can mean to have a buzz-worthy business.

Like Lenovo, AO.com uses their own social team to show off some of their funnier competitions and promotions. With a product as…practical…as home appliances, it becomes necessary to leverage the people who use the products in order to liven things up. Among their promotions, AO.com has customers post their own photos with appliances from AO.com every Friday. Erdman himself starred in their most engaging promotion, in which fans can count the number of clothes he fits (from off his body!) into an AO.com washing machine (which, of course, was the prize at stake).

Their content is almost unavoidably engaging, as their marketing efforts behave almost like games. The results bear that out: with Socialbakers Analytics, they could see that their promotions were actually working, showing a constantly increasing engagement.

Social for Customer Care

In a natural extension of their engagement-minded content, AO.com uses Social media to listen to and interact with customers. They even export both positive and negative feedback from Facebook onto the AO.com website itself.

For a business where customers interface primarily with drivers and installers, it is very important to be able to use social to keep the whole organization attentive to customer happiness. AO.com started a Driver Book for customers to talk about specific drivers and write praise or criticism. This encouraged the drivers to personally ask the customers to write good reviews on Facebook. AO.com CEO John Roberts got so excited about hearing back from customers on social that he hand-signed letters to everyone who wrote in! They, in turn, often posted pictures of the letters they received on Facebook, generating even more positive buzz for AO.com.

And that is how a home appliance company became one of the best brands on social.

[11:30 AM BST]

David Isherwood, Renault

Renault’s social strategy is all about measuring social content comparatively, and understanding what best practices for posting are. To this end, the best aspect of using Socialbakers Analytics is the Content Newsfeed. At Renault, they really want to make content posting as efficient as possible – remember, don’t post at irrelevant times (assuming your content is relevant to begin with)!

[11:00 AM BST]

Rod Strother, Lenovo

A Scottish social expert who has been working in Singapore for 17 years, Strother believes most in having a socially optimized communication strategy (even though having a social media strategy is necessary too, of course).

His social media team aims to be global in nature – to become something part of daily conversations people are having the world over. Lenovo wants to be an integral part of the social conversation – whether it is initiating them, interacting in them, or just facilitating them. The real key is to take peoples’ passions and work backwards from there to see how you can add value and be relevant.

The Art of Conversation

Strother and Socialbakers Co-Founder Lukas Maixner
Strother and Socialbakers Co-Founder Lukas Maixner

The most important part of facilitating conversations that people will participate in passionately is to maintain a balance between being contagious and being provocative.

“We need to ignite conversations that will engage our audience, create an emotional response and provide practical value,” says Strother.

That begins with your own teams – not to say that everyone should be tweeting about the company all the time, but they should be proficient in Twitter, and hopefully become brand evangelists from the inside.

But beyond that, driving conversations means engaging with your own ideals. For Lenovo, that means being one of the “People who DO.” To that end, the social team created funny content that showed off their product; they humanized the brand in an extraordinary effort to help one family; and they showed off their own social team with a fun video. Lenovo let itself become a part of the conversation, and so let people do the talking for the brand.

Socialbakers Comes In

Before Socialbakers Analytics, the great Lenovo team was thorough, but inevitably limited because they couldn’t know how they performed relative to their competitors. They were also a step too slow with their own data.

It wasn’t until they began using Socialbakers products that they could really be as nimble as they needed to be, and know just what the social team could achieve.

[10:51 AM BST]

It’s official – we’re trending in London! We’re second only to #tubestrike…

Socialbakers VP of Sales Luca Benini hosts the first of the day’s three panels – Analyze – The Content. Brands today have to work for a new kind of customer; one who is informed, tuned in, and attentive. The speakers who will present in this section represent brands that have mastered the art of speaking with these fans. They are definitely part of the rare group of Socially Native companies.

[10:15 AM BST]

Jan Rezab

After Voves, Rezab returns to the stage to discuss an exciting acquisition Socialbakers has recently made. Social Insiders, a premier social listening software. To go with that, Socialbakers has now appointed a head of R&D to ensure further innovation going forward.

Socialbakers now has the technology to determine how relevant content is to users. We’ll be building it up in the future, but are looking for partners who want to understand how best to speak to their audiences going forward. Now, we’ll be taking a short coffee break!

[10:00 AM BST]

Jiri Voves, Socialbakers Co-Founder and Head of Product

Socialbakers has been working on a new version of Analytics, our flagship product, and is thrilled to be able to present it to you today!

On the new Analytics, you’ll notice many new changes. You can read all about them in our thorough product announcement. It includes a Multi-platform Dashboard, specialized to allow users to compare brands – on any platform – specifically as best fits their needs. We aim to make all of our data visual and comprehensible, so that you can learn as much as possible about the pages you monitor. On top of that, every section will be fully exportable for ease of reporting. In addition to the extant Executive Report, the new Analytics will include a Custom Report that you can have sent at whatever day of the week and time of day you’d like, however frequently you’d like.

[9:30 AM BST]

Jan Rezab, Socialbakers CEO

Social Media is, at its heart, about people marketing to people. Our vision to help connect people in the most social way possible. Even though 80% of time spent on mobile is spent on social, we find that social is looked at as a subset of digital. It is much more than that – it is its own entity.

This takes us to the question – what makes a social network? Is TripAdvisor.com social?

Of course, the answer is yes – because social is about people marketing to people. If you do a full-text search on Google for restaurants in an area, the results you get will be very different than what turns up if you search social to see what restaurants your friends frequent in that same area.

And yet, many marketers have not yet abandoned older media like television in favor of social. These marketers are certainly not running brands that we would call “Socially Native.” In fact, we find very few brands do qualify as such. There are three tiers of social proficiency that we like to recognize

  • Early Stage
  • Socially Devoted
  • Socially Native

Rezab mentions a bank he spoke with recently. “We have 8,000 fans!” They proudly exclaim. “But you have 10,000 employees!” Rezab told them – and then he found out that they ban Facebook for those employees. They are definitely not socially native.

Yes, all businesses must have a social layer. Customers expect brands to be responsive on social, and now so many questions come through that businesses using native platforms to respond can wind up with unhappy fans or find themselves facing very sticky situations. Brands need to respond rapidly, and do so from one account – NOT a dedicated customer care account!

There are some big things ahead this year: most of all, Rezab believes that by the end of 2014, the majority of digital ads will be social. But on Socialbakers side, there are some big things happening right now. And so comes Socialbakers Co-Founder and Head of Product Jiri Voves, to talk about how Socialbakers is moving into the future!

Neil Morgan, Socialbakers CMO

As Morgan welcomes the crowd, it is great to note that we have guests from over 41 countries, representing dozens of industries and companies of various sizes – from 10 employees, to 10,000! It’s really a diverse group, and everyone in it is using social to change the way that their brand operates.

As the conference begins, two things are important to remember: For guests at Engage London 2014, the Engage App is a must-download. And for everyone who unfortunately could not make it here today, remember to follow the live stream.

The day will be split into three distinct parts:

  1. Analyze – The Content Section
  2. Engage – The Socially Devoted Section
  3. Promote – The Advertising Section

For both attendees and those watching from the live stream, remember to cheer for the speakers with the Socialbakers Cheermeter. And with that, we begin! Next up on stage – Socialbakers Co-Founder and CEO, Jan Rezab!

[9:06 AM BST]

The fog outside is as thick as the traffic, but inside Engage, the seats are filling up, the speakers are tweeting their arrivals, and anticipation is hitting fever pitch. This is turning out to be by far the largest Engage crowd we’ve ever had!

Welcome to Engage London 2014
Welcome to Engage London 2014

Socialbakers CMO Neil Morgan is preparing to take the stage; warming the crowd with a London local – especially such a dourly charming one – is always a good idea.

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