Social Media Week, is a leading news platform and conference taking place in London from the 11th-15th September 2017. As a platform that showcases the best ideas, innovations and insights from within social media and technology, we thought we’d delve a little deeper into what this year’s Social Media Week has to offer and bring you a round-up of the best bits!

With this year’s global theme for SMW focused around “Language and the Machine”, which explores how algorithms are shaping human language communications, it’s set to be an exciting schedule, let’s take a look! (Below is a little sneak peek from the same event held in New York at the start of this year).

MONDAY: 11th September

The opening day of any eCommerce marketing event is always brimming with buzz and for #SMW17, it’s no different! Kicking things off this week are the independent only events, hosted in a variety of hip venues away from this year’s official venue – BFI Southbank.

And what better way to mark the opening morning of the conference than a breakfast buffet at the swanky Soho Hotel and a little look at #whatsnext for social media in the coming new year? All courtesy of Battenhall.

Social Media Week | Future Trends | iWeb

Key Themes:

  • Future social media innovations to plan ahead for
  • Key skills and experience you will need
  • Ways to spot innovation for brand communications on social media

Navigating The Real-Time Era – Carve – 4PM

Social Media Week | Navigating The Real Time Era | iWeb

From one swanky hotel to a hipster loft in Shoreditch, this event was hosted by social business consultancy, Carve. This talk utilised the expertise of Vodafone and Hearst, where they looked at how organisations can navigate today’s real-time era.

Key Themes:

  • Welcome to the Realtime era: opportunities and threats, winners and losers
  • Panel Discussion: How can organisations build real-time operating models?
  • Hashtag: #SMWRealTime

How to Reach Elusive B2B Audiences And The Role Of Social – Seven – 4PM

Social Media Week | The Role of Social | iWeb

Held at the spacious, open plan offices of SevenC3, this presentation from UK digital content marketers included a B2B panel that discussed how content can be used for hard-to-reach audiences, interesting stuff!

What’s Next For Influencer Marketing? – Takumi – 5PM

Social Media Week | Influencer Marketing | iWeb

Oh, yes you guessed it, the final talk of the day comes from another post-industrial loft space, hosted by influencer service Takumi. Here’s a brief look at what was discussed at this talk:

Key Themes:

  • How can brands and influencers work best together?
  • Will sign-posting on Instagram encourage greater trust between brand and consumers?
  • Will sign-posting deter brands from considering influencer marketing?
  • How should influencers integrate paid posts into their feed?
  • What sort of influencer content performs best for brands?
  • What’s next for influencer marketing on Instagram and other social networks?

TUESDAY: 12th September

So, what’s the talk on Tuesday? Well, we’ve been keeping our ear to the Social Media Week street and we’ve discovered the big themes being bandied around at this week’s conference, here’s where you should be focusing your marketing efforts:

  • Fashion Marketing
  • Understanding Influencers
  • Content Marketing
  • Writing for Social
  • Video Content
  • Engaging a Global Audience
  • Social Growth
  • Paid Social and Data Strategy
  • Multichannel

Masters of Storytelling: How NatGeo Engages 350 Million Fans On Social – National Geographic – 10AM

Twitter was swamped with Tweets from this talk and if we’re being honest, it did look pretty cool. The talk was hosted by Nadine Heggie, Vice President of National Geographic and Stephen Alvarez a photographer for the brand.

As one of the most revered brands in the world, they boast over 102 million followers on Instagram, (this makes them the biggest non-celebrity brand on the platform) and over 28 million followers on Twitter and their incredible social media footprint gives them a great sense of legitimacy when it comes to offering advice on social media strategy to other businesses.

Social Media Week | Masters of Storytelling | iWeb

As a brand, they look to celebrate the explorer inside all of us, always aiming to inspire, enlighten, and activate audiences around the world. With an unwavering commitment to the power of science, exploration and storytelling to change the world, National Geographic is a truly forward-thinking multi-media company with a great mix of profit and non-profit endeavours at its centre (27% of its proceeds go to the non-profit National Geographic Society).

Paid Media For The Socially Awkward: Planning, Producing And Executing With Confidence  – Social Deviant – 11:45 AM

Led by company president Linda Johnson and Marc Landsberg from the ambiguously named social media agency, Social Deviant. The aim of the offering from this Chicago based agency was to teach us some tips on how to transform our social media efforts from socially awkward to socially confident in the world of paid ads, using everyone’s favourite format, the social media pyramid.

Social Media Week | Paid Media | iWeb

Key Themes:

  • Make the right budget decisions and identify expected return
  • Use platform nuances to your benefit
  • Create and execute impactful campaigns

WEDNESDAY: 13th September

Yep, we’re back to bring you the best from all the midweek madness at #SMWLDN! Here’s a roundup of all the hot topics from today’s talks:

  • Framing Video Content
  • Social Responsibility
  • Business Growth Through Social
  • Storytelling
  • Influencer Marketing
  • Building a Brand
  • Human Vs Machine
  • Analytics and Performance
  • Brand Voice and Tone
  • Authenticity in the Marketplace
  • Artificial intelligence

Oh yes, you guessed right, kicking off today is another networking breakfast buffet with what looks like every pastry variety under the sun. Hosted at the Riverfront Cafe, this talk was a tripartite effort from Rachelle Denton and Gloria Bertazzoni from BBC Creatives and Strategists, alongside Sally Freeman, the MD of Love Live Music UK. This talk was organised under the umbrella of the DevelopHer strategy, an organisation aimed at elevating women in technology.

Social Media Week | DevelopingHer Networking Breakfast | iWeb

Key Themes:

  • Understanding the different needs of different audiences
  • How to choose the right social channel for your audience
  • How to manage the tasks and tools around this.
  • Looking at Influencers, the use of FOMO ( fear of missing out), tone and channel choice for different generations.

Love Island: How to Handle a Hit – ITV – 2PM

Social Media Week | How to Handle a Hit | iWeb

Wait, what? Not what we were expecting, well maybe that’s the point. Just like the reality show itself, this talk created its own social media buzz at SMW, everyone was tweeting about it. This ITV2 show broke social and digital records for the channel, the show now has over 500,000 followers on its Love Island Twitter page.

But what is there to be learnt from the success, yes it became an overnight success, but how did it handle a hit? The panel (featuring Love Island contestant Montana) discussed.

Key Themes:

  • Digital Strategy – Planning for the Unknown
  • How to Control the Conversation
  • Social Viewing
  • Social & Sales
  • Dealing with Demand

Process Vs. People: Everything You Need To Know About Influencer Marketing – Amplify – 11:15AM

Influencer marketing seems to be a recurring topic at Social Media Week 2017, so we thought it’d be a good idea to get the lowdown on this emerging area of social media. This session was run by theAmplify, a creative influencer service, led by Justin Rezvani, the company founder and CEO.

Social Media Week | Influencer Marketing | iWeb

Key Themes:

  • Content creation: how to streamline communication with brands/influencers
  • Closing the conversion loop: using paid media to market test, optimize, and boost content to exploit the full value of influencer campaigns
  • The ideal role of people: free up human experts to focus only on the things tech cannot do better

Telling Impactful Stories With Social Video – Adaptly – 10AM

Hosted by Adaptly President Sean O’Neal and Angela Bertra, the Senior Social Media & Content Manager for Carphone Warehouse, they looked to explore how the world of video is rapidly changing, with the rise of ephemeral platforms like SnapChat & Boomerang (Instagram) which allows advertisers to be more experimental and authentic.

Social Media Week | Social Video | iWeb

Key Themes:

  • Cases of newer video formats like vertical video and live streaming and the opportunities (and challenges) these present for advertisers
  • Social video best practices for brands
  • How to measure success and understand video metrics across the various social platforms

THURSDAY: 14th September

We’re nearing the end of this wonderful Social Media Week with the last full day of the conference. Here’s a round-up of all the marvellous hot topics being talked and tweeted about this Thursday:

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Influencer Marketing
  • Micro-Moments
  • Customer Experience/Journey
  • Brand Engagement
  • Human V Machine
  • Personalisation
  • Consumption Habits
  • Virtual Reality

Love The Brand: Evolution Of Content Consumption Habits – Sky – 5:25PM

In a talk led by Sky’s company director, it was discussed that audiences for traditional platforms like linear TV or Video on Demand are increasingly crossing-over to non-traditional platforms and supporting channels like those on YouTube.

The challenge is, how to continue engaging audiences on multiple platforms?

Social Media Week | Evolution Of Content Consumption | iWeb

This Session Covers:

  • Content production and strategic content management to build a loyal audience and drive engagement
  • Brand development and the importance to engage audiences across multiple platforms
  • What does the future for content consumption looks like and key differences for building audiences on social to traditional linear TV and Video on Demand

Community Over Commodity: Working With The Creators Of Today – Twitter – 4:35PM

Today’s talk looks at how the demand for today’s digital creators is only growing. As a consequence, creators are constantly pushed to deliver more and more in an ever-expanding space.

Social Media Week | Working With The Creators Of Today | iWeb

However, Twitter’s work with Niche, (a creator-first platform, as well as a branch of the Twitter family since 2015) is an example of how you can achieve a higher calibre of output and better value for brands by investing in a community team. Gone are the days of treating creators as commodities!

FRIDAY: 15th September

It’s Friday! We all know what that means, it’s the last day of Social Media Week! It’s such a bittersweet feeling when great events like this end, we’ve learnt a lot and now we want to see all those predicted trends evolve into reality! Here’s a round-up from Friday’s talks:

  • Consumer Metrics
  • Invisible Marketing
  • Tech Tools
  • Performance Marketing

Well, what a weeks it’s turned out to be. We’ve seen the very latest trends emerging within the world of social media and the different and developing changes all marketers are facing everywhere. Oh, and those SMW snack bars looked pretty cool as well.

Social Media Week | iWeb

The talks from the last day consisted of official events and events hosted independently, away from the main arena. We were excited to see what was on with the curtains about to come down on SMW for another year.

Invisible Marketing – Stylus – 11:15AM

Mysteriously named, this talk was led by Stylus, an innovation research and trends membership service. Head of Media & Marketing, Christian Ward, takes us through the ‘invisible’ world of voice search, AI and how tech is beginning to mature and assimilate itself more into our lives without us even realising it.

Social Media Week | Invisible Marketing | iWeb

Key Themes:

  • How can brands employ AI technology for customer service, customer acquisition, advertising and content creation?
  • How will innovation in mobile, geolocation and digital out-of-home tech enable brands to target previously invisible consumer moments?
  • How are personal digital assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa transforming consumer search, discovery and purchase behaviour?

Why Metrics Matter: Understanding the Real Business Value of Scientific Measurement – Facebook – 09:30AM

In this talk, Kathy Dykeman, Head of Marketing Science for Northern Europe with Facebook helps us understand how measuring true business value is one of the biggest challenges marketers and brands face and who understanding the customer journey and running successful advertising campaigns have never been more important.

Social Media Week | Why Metrics Matter | iWeb

Audience Takeaways:

  • A working understanding of people-based measurement
  • How to optimize for business outcomes as opposed to proxy metrics
  • How to measure success

The Rise of Afropop: The Genre That Birthed Drake’s 1 Billion Streams – Verbal Vixen – 6:15PM

This independent event is something really unique and different from SMW, we were pretty excited when we saw it on the line-up for the last day. It got us to look and reflect upon the current state of the music industry and to revisit all those hits we’ve heard hundreds of times on the radio in our cars.

The talk got us to look at some of the biggest hits of 2017, track favourite like Drake’s “One Dance” & Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You” to see what they all had in common and it’s Afropop of course! This was an event supported by it’snotok, Nigeria’s #1 music video site and was led by a handful of music industry experts.

Audience Takeaways:

  • Understanding Afropop’s influence on UK music and beyond
  • Examples of how video is helping to shape the New African identity
  • What can UK-based artists do to take advantage of this new sound?
  • How are labels and platforms tapping into Afropop?
  • Will signed artists like Wizkid and Davido make a global impact?
  • What does the future hold?
With 80+ talks over a 5 day period, Social Media Week is clearly a real highlight for any business owner or marketer looking to keep tabs on all the developments happening in the world of social media and digital marketing. With all kinds of talks from all sorts of high-profile businesses, agencies and organisations, it’s a real varied event and you can learn a lot!
Oh and don’t forget, if you couldn’t make it to the event but still want to get the lowdown on some of the best bits, the SMW Insider live is available for a small fee, it’s well worth it!

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