Strategic social that wins heads and hearts



Influencers. Omnichannels. User-generated content. These were some buzzwords we were expecting to hear. Watermelon boy. Plane-porn. And hollographic lectures? Perhaps not so much – however surprisingly, these were just as relevant. Suffice to say, this conference navigated it’s way around the entire global jungle gym that is social media and left some vital tips and ideas to share.

1. Social media today.

Super diversity is already here. As Simon Young from syEngage mentioned, Auckland is a micro version of planet earth. If you have customers in Auckland, you are a global company and it’s a necessity to construct your social media strategy to compete with everyone in the world. WeChat is the latest social media powerhouse that is taking off internationally, specifically in China. The company, which is primarily a messenger app, has now fully integrated itself into the daily lives of their customers where you can do everything and buy anything on one single app. Catch up Facebook!

2. Twitter updates. Exciting ones.

Twitter is best known for being that live connection between yourself and the rest of the world but with a catch – a limitation of 140 characters. Thankfully Nathan Burman, Head of PR and Communications at Twitter Australia, was able to tell us that in a couple of months, photos and videos will no longer take up any of your word count. Hallelujah! With the prediction that 84% of all internet traffic will be for video by 2018, the social media empire are evidently shifting towards more video with First View and live video streaming via Periscope. 

Other updates include “whitelisting” (promoting someone else’s positive tweet about your brand), “brand carousels” (tweets about the brand keep going as you scroll to the side), and “Twitter’s Moments”.

3. Database growth.

Who owns your Facebook database? You’re right – it’s not you, it’s Zuckerburg. He chooses exactly who sees your sponsored content. Therefore having complete control of your solid and consistently growing database is crucial as this is the only database where you can connect to your customers directly. Jon Randles (Director at MOSH Social Media) identified that the real questions on expanding your database are how many people are you getting on your database from the campaign, and how much did it cost to get them? Make sure it is easy for people to sign up – if they perceive they are getting something valuable from it, they will happily come on board. Also to maintain a quality database, reach out to a specific target market so you don’t attract the people who just want to take advantage of a free deal and never connect with you again.

4. Taking those creative risks (that your boss may not approve of!)

With the help of creative genius Matthew Pryor, the Civil Defence Waikato Facebook page went from being a regular government page to hilariously witty and fun NZ icon. Creating engaging content was the main goal for Pryor because he knew that if an emergency situation did strike, people would know that the page would be an active source of information and could reach out to people fast.

General Manager Ben Cumming from a brand notorious for it’s risk taking (Hell Pizza/Hell Revolution Ltd) shed some light on it’s craziest examples of marketing to increase engagement, including this one below:


Ben explained you can have outstanding brand awareness and engagement, but if people don’t know your product and value the problem it is solving then they will never purchase.

5. Putting people at the centre of brand story-telling.

This concept ran throughout the entire conference, and especially for Air New Zealand. Their Senior Social Media Manager, Cassie Roma, discussed that knowing your ethos and always thinking about what the human is feeling will guide you in resonating with your audience through social media. Ghada Vanderpool, Digital Marketing Manager of KiwiRail, noted their “Find time” campaign of rewarding the people who found time for themselves to take a break. 

6. Authenticity and genuine partnerships.

There is nothing more off-putting than seeing an unauthentic collaboration between brands and influencers, and we’ve all seen this before. Katy Medlock, Head of Marketing at JUCY Group, perfectly summed this up by saying that picking a social influencer is like picking a partner for marriage! Her tips included loving them for who they are, being sure you want the same things in life, not marrying for the money, setting your boundaries, and that polygamy (with other brands) is cool.

7. Content is King, but distribution is Queen.

What we’ve been hearing a lot lately is content, content and more content. However, we need to start creating less noise and content and create a stronger signal instead – stories that people want to engage with. Communications and Online Manager of Netball New Zealand, Amy Wadwell, established that she manages five different websites as well as various social media platforms to engage and captivate their audience, having her finger on the pulse at all times to provide the news and stories that people want. What channels are appropriate and necessary for you to push your message out, and when?

8. How to market to millennials.

They hate being told what to do, loathe self promotion, and detest blatant advertising. So how do you sell to them? The only person who knows how to sell to a millennial effectively is another millennial, so Emma Mildon (Online Marketing Manager at Les Mills) recommends you hire one. Les Mills doesn’t want to be your dad’s gym, so they are always on the lookout for new trends including virtual classes (e.g. “The Trip”), partnering with Reebok and the creation of The Les Mills Instatribe which is growing at a rate of 40% per month! Cassie Roma also analysed that with millennials, you need to be relevant and genuine (especially with influencers), concentrate on the experience and make digital easy.

9. Video. And live video.

Those in control of the social media are the guardians of the audience. This statement by Marcus Wild, GM New Zealand at 90 Seconds, becomes even more vital regarding video as this allows you to connect even more with your engaged customers – the most valuable and dangerous group of people to your organisation. And if anyone has conquered the art of live video, it’s Pandora. 

10. The future of social media.

What now? With an exponential increase in technology advances and global connectedness, there are endless opportunities looking forward – now more than ever. Jessica Moloney (Social Director at Sherson Willis) determined that there will be increased ad spend with better capability to track ROI, more unbranded story telling (e.g. L’Oréal Tutorials) and user generated content (e.g. Adidas), as well as higher demand for smarter data. Of course, VR and 360 degree video will reinvent and augement the way we interact with our customers.

Thats a wrap everyone! Looking forward to the 2017 event!


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