Let’s get social
On Tuesday the 14th of October, my fellow DCU Business School students and I had the great pleasure and opportunity of attending the free social media and social media marketing mini-conference, Get Social. The mini Conference was held in The Helix’s Mahony Hall, DCU and ran from 14:00 till 18:00. At the conference there was a range of seven speakers from completely different companies and organisations discussing separate topics and elements however the distinct theme of social media in today’s modern world ran throughout the entire conference.
The first speaker at the conference was Dr. Theo Lynn. Dr. Lynn is the Business Innovation Platform Director at Dublin City University and he is also a Senior Lecturer in the DCU Business School. Dr. Theo Lynn posed many interesting and thought provoking questions during his talk which included some of the following, why do academics use twitter? , what do people talk about on twitter and why? And who is influential on twitter and why? From Dr. Lynn’s talk it started to become clear to my peers and I that the real reason academics use twitter is simply to escape boredom whether it’s in a seminar, boring meetings or just to legitimize their web surfing which everyone thought was quiet humorous. The answer wasn’t earth shatteringly shocking or anything as academics are people too but you’d still imagine, well I did anyway that academics would have better things to do with their time than procrastinating on twitter like the average teenager. Dr. Lynn then went on to ask us, the youthful technology generation a simple question of who we thought generated more Twitter buzz when they died the Fast and Furious actor Paul Walker or the World wide respected Nelson Mandela ? I found the answer that the death of Paul Walker created more twitter buzz than the death of one of the world’s greatest leaders Nelson Mandela utterly shocking and damn right disgraceful. They’re deaths were only a mere three days apart yet the actors death created a sickeningly higher number of tweets the day he died. Dr. Lynn then asked the audience who they thought was more influential on twitter a fictional meerkat Aleksandr Orlov or our national Taoiseach Enda Kenny. The fact that the audience got the answer correct that the cartoon character had more influence on the social networking site not so much as surprising but extremely humorous and interesting in the fact that people have more interest in what a cartoon character has to say on Twitter than one of our national Leader. All of the following questions brought Dr. Lynn presentation to the conclusion that what society wants and what they’re interested in is extremely important to digital marketing as what society wants is constantly changing therefore it is essential for digital marketers to be able to predict future trends in social media so they can adapt and develop information to create new social media networks in the future.
The next speaker to make a presentation was Dr. Deirdre Hogan. Dr Hogan is working on Gajo, a spin-out company from DCU which provides advertisers and marketers with a unique audience targeting capability based on social media. Dr. Hogan began her presentation with a quote from John Wanamaker, who once said, “Half of what I spend on advertising is wasted, the problem is, I don’t know which half” Dr. Hogan went on to describe how Gajo partakes in audience targeting and how she believes Gajo provides a solution to inefficient and “mistargeted” advertising. She described how Gajo uses its engines to filter through posts, tweets etc on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to automatically find a company’s target market. This will then allow companies to direct specific adverts at their target market. Which I thought was a super clever idea of using secondary information (already available information) to create a target market and I think we can all agree it would be great to not be bombarded with adverts that have no appeal to you while scrolling through various social networking sites. Dr. Hogan described Gajo as “filtering the noise” which I believe perfectly describes the company.
My Favourite presentation of the get social mini conference had to be from Jane McDaid,the co-founder of Thinkhouse. Jane described how ThinkHouse specialises in youth communications and its aim is to connect older brands with the youthful age group of 18-35yr olds. Jane highlighted how the company uses Brand Strategists, Digital Natives, Social Animals, Publicity Seekers, Movie Stars, Party Throwers and Guerrillas to attract the youth of today to appeal to the brands they represent including Heineken Ireland, Ben & Jerry’s, Unilever, European Tour, Coca-Cola, innocent, Three, eBay.ie, Movember and more. Jane’s presentation consisted of numerous video clips of advertisements that Thinkhouse has created which I believed brought the presentation to life and most definitely appealed to the 18-35 year old age group in which my business peers and I are in. Jane also had some really interesting facts and figures about how one third of Irish people spend the same time on YouTube as watching TV and that 50% of Irish people take action after watching a video. This information has meant that advertising companies like Thinkhouse have had to adapt to this growing trend of communicate with the younger generation. Jane also spoke about the “7 sins of Killer content” (“sins are good things by the way “) which Thinkhouse believe, at least one of the 7 sins should be included in advertisements to catch the public’s attention which included humour, the epic wow factor, emotive, the wtf factor, Zeitgeist, NSFW (risky moves) and of course be informative. Perhaps this is why Thinkhouse is so successful in the advertising sector with adverts like theses…
The next speaker to take the stage was Lucy Campbell, the marketing director of RTE Digital . Lucy’s presentation was based on expressing the reinforce leadership of RTÉs Digital Products and Services. Throughout the last decade technology has changed drastically therefore RTE has had to adapt itself to achieve and deliver the audiences wants and needs. Nowadays people are switching to watching their favourite shows online, resulting in Ireland having the second fasting growing online audience in Europe. This has made reaching the audience more complex for traditional broadcasters like RTE. The average household in Ireland has 4 Potential Portable Online Devices in their homes and this figure then rises to 6 with people aged between 15-34 years of age. RTE Digital have used these statistics to create various outlets such as RTE player, the RTE news app, GAA app, RTE radio app etc which allows RTE to stay connected with the younger generations technology needs. Lucy also presented a shocking but sadly realistic fact that 53% of 16-30 year olds would rather lose their sense of smell than give up the technology that keeps them socially connected! Which I think we can all agree perfectly sums up RTE’s need to change with the times and create not only laptop and desktop sites but also mobile accessible sites.
The next presentation was from Alan Coleman, founder of Wolfgang Digital. Coleman described how his company create and manage high performance digital marketing campaigns and also run a sex shop on the side (yeah you read right a sex shop). Coleman then spoke of Thursday the 16th of August 2013, the day/night (depending where in the world you were located) Google went black for 4 minutes. The experimental blackout showed the world the true power of Google and Coleman himself described Google as making the web world go round. He went on to describe the greatest Medium in today’s world… Facebook and how it has the capability of reaching an astonishing 2 million people every day in Ireland. Alan went on to inform us that his company have worked for Brown Thomas, Facebook and Littlewoods and that some of their work has even been used by Google which is pretty damn impressive if you ask me. Alan then spoke of digital marketing strategies such as Facebook’s transition of moving its advertisements to the centre news feed instead of the side bar and how this small and simple move had a massive effect on users’ response rates to advertisements.
The next speaker to take to the stage was Nicolas Cappiello, Nicolas is the EMEA Sales Director at LinkedIn . It’s up to Nicolas to design and build strategies for addressing mid-market opportunities across EMEA for LinkedIn. Throughout Nicolas talk about LinkedIn he stressed how “It’s all about the content” and that excellent content is essential for the site. I was intrigued in how he described LinkedIn as a site where people go to invest their time so they can get better professionally and that LinkedIn was designed to help its members get more informed and inspired. Since Nicolas talk I have since created a LinkedIn account and I recommended you to also join the content orientated, professional site this minute if you’re not already a member.
The last speaker I’m going to talk about is Eric Weaver, a veteran marketer. Eric began his talk describing a marketer as a “cheerleader and ambassador” who helps build awareness, revenue and loyalty for brands they represent and throughout his presentation he kept referring to ‘The great 2014 social media crisis of faith.’ The media crisis in which Eric referred to was the disillusion and disinterest people have been experiencing in social media because it’s basically become quiet predictable and boring. Social media doesn’t have the same buzz any more and this is resulting in a fall in the amount of advertisements being watched. Eric stressed the issue that ‘It’s all about content’ and that the more money you put into paid boosting and advertising the more money you get out of it which can be perfectly seen with the 100 year anniversary ad campaign for Oreo which generated an enormous amount of social media interest with an impressive 280% increase in Facebook shares, 231 million media impressions, 433 million views on Facebook resulting it has the highest brand buzz increase of 2012.
From the Get Social conference I learned that technology and social media fads and fades are forever changing in today’s world and what’s classed as cool today is yesterday’s news. Therefore everyone working in the marketing, media or the digital world must be constantly on their toes and constantly looking for the new “big thing”. I believe Jane out of Thinkhouse put in perfectly that if Thinkhouse aren’t one of the first to do it there’s no point in doing it at all…