Social Media Week 2014: 3 Things You May Have Missed

Social Media Week 2014: 3 Things You May Have Missed


Twice each year, professionals gather in major cities around the globe to share and learn from each other. Sponsored by Microsoft, Social Media Week brings around 30,000 participants to discuss what works and what doesn't. But you don’t have to attend the event to learn from the sessions. Here are a few underlying themes from this year’s sessions.

The Importance of Influencers

In a panel titled Audience is Power: How Influencers Are Changing Brand Marketing on YouTube and Beyond, brands discussed how to successfully use influencers to promote a product or service on social media. In Chicago, the panel discussed the difference between influencers and advocates. While influencers may be able to spread a message, advocates get behind it and truly believe in it. Pinterest was especially found to be beneficial to brands, since 80 percent of content on the site is repins. Pinterest content also lives long after it has been posted, with half of visits coming between three and six months after the initial pin.

Shareable Content

Reaching people on a personal level is the key to success in social media, according to Andy Wiedland, Buzzfeed’s chief revenue officer. In a session titled Creating Content for How It’s Consumed, Wiedland emphasized the importance of generating content that users want to share. Instead of focusing on content that will reach the masses, he recommends going local with content. One of Buzzfeed’s most popular posts at the moment centered on issues specific to short girls. This small group is more likely to relate to the post so much that they’ll share it with others, Wiedland said.

Social Media’s TV Impact

One theme ran rampant among the cities hosting Social Media Week in the panel titled Has Social Changed TV Forever? Social media has the ability to reach a far larger number of consumers than television. This dramatic change requires a shift in the way the television industry reaches worldwide audiences. Just as brands have been required to shift from blasting a message to participating in a conversation, so has the broadcasting industry. Industry experts discussed how they now use social media to gain insights into audience behaviors and preferences.


Marketing professionals from around the world eagerly await Social Media Week each year to learn more about the industry. These major shared lessons can help your brand as you form your marketing strategy for the coming years. For the full scoop on Social Media Week, check out the organization’s news page or use the hashtag #SMW14 on Twitter.

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