SOCIAL MEDIA WEEK BRISTOL: THE VERDICT

The city of Bristol was awash with hashtags and emojis last week. Barely could one walk down the street without being bumped into by someone buried in their phone, excitedly tapping in #SMWiBristol.

Yes – Social Media Week was in town for the very first time.

A few months back, we outlined what we thought a successful Social Media Week Bristol would accomplish. Having made it to as many events as we could, here’s our verdict…

INSPIRATION

We asked for examples of brands cutting through the noise to create powerful social comms. APG West’s wonderful planning talk at the Everyman Cinema included some interesting examples of original, compelling uses of social from brands such as KLM and ANZ.

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However, we were especially inspired by Synergy and TINT’s talk on using employees to build brands on social. The range of examples, from small businesses such as hairdressers to behemoths like Coca-Cola and Emirates, was a real eye-opener and a lovely way of showcasing one of the less discussed use cases of social media.

INFORMATION

Facts and figures were what we were after, and again, the APG West talk featured many. With speakers from Facebook and Twitter, you wouldn’t have expected anything less.

Our pick of the bunch, though, was fellow Bath agency SearchStar’s talk on maximising social conversions.

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Dan Fallon used quiz app Kahoot to get the whole audience involved in uncovering the stats behind social engagement, with prizes for the winners. We were in contention, but just fell away at the end.

Informative, entertaining and fiercely competitive – the perfect blend. Well done Dan and co.

PREDICTION

As it prepares for a major stock market flotation, what does the future hold for Snapchat, the new(ish) kid on the social media block? That was the key question on our lips as we made our way once again to OVO HQ on Thursday.

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Our host was Alison Battisby – social media guru, Avocado Social founder and General Assembly instructor. She suggested that Snapchat’s phenomenal rise to prominence could be slowed by losing brand partners to Instagram Stories – a major development on Instagram’s part. What will Snapchat now come up with that Instagram doesn’t have? That’s the big question.

EDUCATION

Alison’s talk also answered our call to be educated on the latest developments in social media. She provided a detailed breakdown of the best way to utilise the power of both Snapchat and Instagram Stories, including tips on how to be creative, sage advice on context and consistency, and the need to plan (and even storyboard) your story rather than simply taking pictures and posting them in order.

The APG West event (our favourite – surely that’s clear by now?!) also featured invaluable lessons on how brands can get the very best out of Facebook and Twitter.

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COLLABORATION

What particularly impressed us was the broad range of businesses involved in social media week. We expected leading Bristol agencies like E3 and True to be in and around it. But additions to the mix included Visit Bristol from the destination sector, ADLIB from marketing recruitment, Silicon Valley start-up TINT, and arguably the region’s biggest creative success story, Aardman. (Not to mention Facebook, Buzzfeed and Twitter. The big guns.)

Our only gripe is that we would have liked to see more co-produced events, rather than individual organisations hosting their own. Granted there were a few, but even these tended to consist of separate talks. Cooperation and collaboration are essential to effective social media marketing, so next time let’s see more collaborative stories told.

All in all, it was a wonderful week’s events, and certainly delivered what it promised (and what we’d hoped!). Special thanks to Bristol Media (@Bristol_Media) and all other involved for their tireless work in making the occasion a success.

We’re already looking forward to next year!