The Corporate Social Media Summit held in New York City brought together leaders from several industries including Coca-Cola, Hershey’s, Intel, The Kansas City Chiefs, eBay, Dell, Bravo TV, Google, Zappos and more. The central topic of the summit was the importance of social media as a platform to communicate with your customers, share ideas and stand out as a brand.
This year’s #CSMNY included talks on pioneering ideas and topics. We compiled a collection of some of our favorite insights from the conference.
Tim Goudie, Social Media Director at the Coca-Cola Company, urged brands to “Stop selling, and start telling.” Stories tend to have massive share appeal, especially when they touch upon individuals and their life journeys. However, brands should choose happy and joyous stories over of sad and touching ones. In Goudie’s words: “Sadvertising does not work.” The more uplifting the story, the more likely people are to share it. A great insight for any brand wanting to test out the “stop selling, start telling” approach on social media.
Kevin Hack, Head of Social Intelligence, Global Digital Marketing Advancement at Hershey’s, shared an excellent example of how to turn a media firestorm into a win for your brand. Reese’s Christmas Tree candies caused a stir on social media last year, with fans complaining about the shape of the candies not resembling Christmas trees, but blobs. The brand decided to respond to the complaints with the #AllTreesAreBeautiful campaign, based on the “it’s the inside that counts” mentality, to great success. Picking up on a social media crisis early on and choosing the right response can make all the difference in how your brand is perceived. In Hershey’s case, they will likely have turned many a frown upside down.
Gary Davis, VP Consumer Marketing at Intel, shared a case study on how they collaborated with Betty White for the “World Password Day”, to spread the message on how important secure passwords are to ensure that people can stay safe online. By launching videos with White discussing password safety, combining her signature mix of grandmotherly tone and sass with tech jargon, Intel was able to reach people across generations. As a fascinating insight, Davis noted that YouTube users tuned in to listen to a total of 22 years worth of “Betty White Password Pep Talks”. An impressive result for an important mission, proving that choosing the right influencer will have a significant impact on the success of your campaign.
James Royer, Director of Digital Media & Strategy at The Kansas City Chiefs, shared some words of wisdom: “Your content is just content – it’s only truly social once your customers share it.” He presented a case study on how they managed to bring the Kansas City Chiefs spirit to the UK. Royer noted that fans already have an interest in sharing what they love, so why not give them the tools to do so?
The Kansas City Chiefs distributed translucent cards, the size of a credit card, with one of the players on the front to all season ticket holders traveling to the game in the UK. People could then take pictures while in the UK, holding up the translucent card in front of the camera, snapping images of their time in the UK with the Kansas City Chiefs. In the time of Instagram, Snapchat and sharing images, the campaign was a success, using the tagline “Take a picture. Tell your story.” Sometimes it pays off to let your fans do the telling for you.
Abigail Cusick, Director of Social Media at Bravo TV, shared insights on the lessons Bravo has learned about their Snapchat audience. To date, many brands have admitted to not utilizing the platform to its full potential. Bravo on the other hand has jumped right in to Snapchat, allowing their “Bravolebrities” to express themselves on the platform, engage their fans and drive ratings as well as online interest. Cusick suggests that brands should not cut their Snapchat stories short, as longer stories keep fans engaged and interested. Wise words for brands taking their first steps onto the Snapchat platform.
In conclusion, social media is rapidly changing the way businesses and customers interact with each other. The #CSMNY conference was another apt reminder of how companies must now be inspiring, socially responsible and extremely responsive.