Social Media Week NYC 2015

Photo by Death to the Stock Photo

Photo by Death to the Stock Photo

Late February I went Social Media Week in New York City. This conference happens four times a year all over the world. Conferences in Bangalore, Copenhagen, Hamburg, Jakarta, Lagos, Milan happened concurrently with the one in NYC. I was given a complimentary press pass but all thoughts in this post are my own. Signing up I was definitely interested in a number of panels for all of my businesses. For those who are new, I am a photographer but I am also creative director for a spa and beauty e-commerce store and I also consult with bloggers on building their brand and using social media. 

My favorite panel was actually on the Monday before the SMW started and was called Quantifying Fashion’s Love Affair With Instagram: What to Post and How to Calculate ROI. Viner Meagan Cignoli spoke along with Tony King of CEO King & Partners and founder of Sellect, Brendan Lowry, marketing director of Curalate, and Ted Harrington, founder of Terrapin Stationers. Even though I got a lot of great info and stats on the rise of Instagram and how it is the best to build your brand socially, I noticed the start of a trend throughout most of the panels I went to. This week was focused more on the big brands. It was fantastic if you did social media for Macy’s or McDonald’s, not so much for the rest of us. 

Another panel where I thought I would get great information was from Why 2015 Will Be The Year Of Social Video with panelists Chris Anderson, VP of editorial and content of Pixable, Viner Jessica Hansen, Jan Rezab, CEO & co-founder of Socialbakers, and Michael Scissons, entrepreneur in residence of Anheuser-Busch InBev. Jan started off with great stats on how Facebook video is getting many, many more hits than YouTube but it slipped right into how big brands should use Facebook instead of YouTube because of the shareability. That’s all well and good but again, what about the rest of us? The problem with Facebook video is there is no content ID system, meaning anyone can upload any video they want (including videos stolen from the actual content creator) and there will be no repercussion to that user. YouTube content creators who are trying to make a living off of their hard work can have their video ripped off the site, posted on Facebook, get a million views, and lose out on viewership and from that they lose money. Big brands don’t care if their video is stolen. Of course they want their product all over the place. The more people sharing the videos, the better.

So I was left trying to get some take aways from Social Media Week that can apply to us, the regular people. The people who want to use social media to elevate our small businesses.

1 // Instagram is King
Instagram has a 58 times larger engagement per follower rate and 200 times Twitter. If you want people interacting with you and your brand, Instagram is the way to go.

2 // Social Media is Not a Megaphone
You can’t just spout on about your product. You have to engage your followers. Talk about interesting topics. Get personal. They want to know about you just as much as your product.

3 // This is the Year of Social Video
No matter where you feel like posting it, people love watching videos. YouTube is the second largest search engine next to Google. This is why I am personally hesitant to give up on my beloved YouTube. If you can attach not just a face but a voice and a personality to you brand, it can only help to elevate your brand.