Engage London 2014: A Day of Insights & Smarter Social Marketing (Part 1)

Braving the transport strikes, people from over 41 countries welcomed the next wave of social marketing at Engage London 2014. As promised, Socialbakers delivered the insights, the experts, and the solutions required to achieve exceptional social content and customer care. Today we begin a series of highlights and follow-up coverage of our biggest event yet!

Engage London 2014: A Day of Insights & Smarter Social Marketing (Part 1)

For complete videos of some speakers’ presentations, scroll to the bottom of this article.

“We’re All About Insights. But Mostly, We’re About Keeping it Simple”

Socialbakers Chief Marketing Officer Neil Morgan took the stage first to welcome a broadly international audience. With over 500 people registered to attend, an impressive list of industries were represented – from media and publishing to fashion, IT, telecom, and banking. Attendees flew in to London and made their way – despite the strike – to 155 Bishopsgate from South Africa, Australia, United States, Dubai, Indonesia, and most European countries.

Engage is a conference that demonstrates how we think about social, Neil explained. And he proceeded to introduce the day’s agenda. Citing the role Socialbakers has played in helping brands to analyze their content for actionable insights, Neil kicked off Engage London 2014.

“We’re all about insights. We’re all about actionability. But mostly, we’re also about keeping it simple,” Neil stated of the values at Socialbakers.

This Socialbakers conference would not only the most engaging, Neil promised, but also be the most interactive in history. Among the first announcements made at Engage, Neil invited everyone to download the brand new Socialbakers Events app. The app enabled the audience to vote on the hottest topics, and monitor the event’s social activity. Introducing the day’s agenda and sessions, Neil set Engage London 2014 in motion.

Becoming Socially Native

“He champions the vision of the industry,” Neil says, welcoming Socialbakers Co-Founder and CEO Jan Rezab for the keynote address. Jan took the stage and described the Socialbakers mission to help enable a better, smarter form of social marketing. ‘We want to start this year by giving you some recommendations based on what we see on the market, and how to reflect that with insights,” Jan said.

Jan proceeded to explain that social media is not about platforms – it’s about the people on those platforms. “They create the context,” he said. And while there has been a rift between “connection networks” like LinkedIn and “content networks” like Facebook, these have slowly converged into similar practices, content, and measurability.

What this means for marketers is that they need to understand how to build social connections on multiple networks, and integrate their content into this process. Social marketing is not just about publishing – it’s about doing some homework. It’s about using insights for targeting, segmenting audiences, and relying more on measuring performance than SEO to optimize content.

Without experimenting and without some risk, marketers won’t be able to harvest the real advantages of social context, Jan emphasizes.

“Respond. Be open. Be transparent.”

– Jan Rezab, CEO & Co-Founder

Jan recommended that marketers view their efforts in three stages: Setting Up, becoming Socially Devoted, and then Socially Native. The goal of this process is to fully integrate social into business practices. Most brands are at the first stage, many are Socially Devoted – leveraging social to provide customer care – but only a few are Socially Native; that is, best practices in social are part of the enterprise, from recruiting to customer service.

After delivering several key findings and recommendations (complete video coming soon!), Jan concluded with three succinct take-aways:

  • Take action to become Socially Native.
  • Invest in new content, new platforms, and innovation.
  • Build and insight-driven social marketing organization.

The floor was then given to Socialbakers co-founder and Head of Product Jiri Voves, who walked us through some enhancements to the Socialbakers suite: Builder, Ad Analytics, and the new and richly upgraded Analytics. We’ll be releasing videos for each speaker in the coming days, so stay tuned and see the new customizable dashboard for Socialbakers Analytics, and its broad new feature set designed for the next wave of social marketing.

Helping brands become Socially Native is part of our mission at Socialbakers. And we were thrilled to offer an exclusive preview of our new and enhanced suite of optimization products. Watch this blog for daily recommendations, insights, and more announcements on coming upgrades.

Session 1 – Analyze the Content

Following a 20 minute break, Neil brought to the stage Socialbakers VP of Sales Luca Benini to moderate the day’s first session: Analyze the Content.

Luca’s first speaker was Rod Strother, Director at Lenovo’s Digital and Social Center of Excellence. Rod introduced the audience – including everyone watching the live stream – to the PC-Plus era. That is, the world of communication and interaction via smart devices. Rod explains that to excel in this world a brand must be social at heart. Additionally, a brand must:

  • Be a brand worth talking about.
  • Humanize the brand.
  • Listen for opportunities.

“A human connection brings the product to life,” Rod says, “and we want to bring the brand closer to the consumer.” And that requires more than authenticity. It also means taking some risks with content and then testing to learn what works, when, and for whom.

“Knowledge and information lead to action. And in order to establish ourselves as a leader, we need to take positive action,” Rod asserts.

See Rod’s complete presentation online soon! Check back to this blog.

Next on stage was David Isherwood, Global Social Media Manager at Renault. Before using Socialbakers, David confides, Renault had one guy tracking every page, noting performance stats on paper. Now they have 50 people in the organization using Socialbakers to measure and understand performance with competitive insights.

“Every message is a test that we can check and do better next time,” David says. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution. But social media optimization surfaces with analyzing data, comparing it, and integrating this process with business at large.

Finally on stage was returning speaker and crowd favorite Yossi Erdman, Head of Brand and Social Media at AO.com. Yossi’s charisma and personable style drew the audience into his key messages. “Delivering business messages in a ‘fun’ way” is the bread and butter of AO.com’s engagement. Yossi went on to share a few of AO.com’s social campaigns which invited that audience to participate in guessing games and quizzes.

“Let’s engage!”

– Yossi Erdman

Yossi demonstrates that having a sense of humor goes a long way to win interactions on social. After all, who doesn’t like to laugh? To announce a “cashback promotion”, AO.com literally froze money in one of their appliances, and published the video on Facebook.

Social media impact is about bringing the customers into the internal culture and care of the organization. Sharing values and humor has visibly paid off for AO.com, largely for their practice of monitoring and measuring interactions. “Capturing the data from people interacting is very important,” Yossi asserts. “Social is the hub for everything we do.”

More Highlights Coming Soon!

Stay tuned to this blog for more coverage, video content, and highlights from Engage London 2014, including the next two sessions: Engage the Socially Devoted and Promote the Advertising.

It was by far our biggest event yet – and we’re thrilled to get such a warm and enthusiastic response to our speakers, product announcements, and insights delivered. A big thanks to all in attendance, and to our esteemed panel of speakers.

Yossi Erdman, AO.com

Rod Strother, Lenovo

Social Media Analyst

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