8 things we learned from the #SocialBrands Conference

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  • February 12, 2013
Georgia Halston

Georgia Halston

Social Media Strategist

Along with Branded3’s Head of Content Mark Bowering, I attended the #SocialBrands Conference in London last week, for what was an insightful day into the world of social media.

For those of you who were unable to attend, myself and Mark took away these shiny nuggets of social media gold with them for you your enjoyment:

The main issues associated with ROI in social media

How do we define ROI?

How do we define ROI?

The dreaded ROI was always going to be the elephant in the room, so it seems best to get it out of the way first. In a panel discussion: Measuring Reach, Engagement & ROI: Will The Ever-Evasive ROI Formula Be Revealed? This group of social media experts wrestled with the subject:

During the discussion, a tweet came in from Head of Social Consulting at Adobe, Jeremy Waite:

The panel came to the conclusion that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for ROI – each client needs to be viewed differently and managed with a bespoke concept of ROI as a unique driving force.

For example, the social aims of say, a restaurant chain and a high street bank may be completely different. With the restaurant, social media could be used to increase footfall by utilising and mobilising their social following with an exclusive offer, the bank on the other hand, may want to ease the costs of their call centres and really push for a customer service element on their social accounts.

We need to get over “analysis paralysis”

Julia Monro, Social Media Manager at Marks & Spencer, reminded us during Driving Real Engagement: Social Is The New Oil, So How Do You Refine It?  That, with the powerful social media monitoring tools we now have at our finger tips, we can get lost in a never-ending sea of metrics.

Julia highlighted that if we’re ever to properly express ROI to our clients, we must first very conscientiously refine our reporting processes.


Brands should play it cool

During Mixing The Perfect Social Cocktail: Integrating & Distributing Social Media Across All Touchpoints, Carlsberg Group‘s Media & Digital Director, Jakob Holm Kalkar, explained how, using minimal branding and attempting to solve a genuine problem, brands can create a subtle campaign that has the potential to enjoy great success.

For example, here’s is the Super Bock video asking Facebook to change their Like button to have a superlative-style three-tier system.

User-generated content works best

Lars Silberbauer, Head of Social Media for LEGO Group, gave us some great food for thought during The Fundamental Shift in Digital Cultures – What Does The Social Brand Look Like Now?

We all know that user-generated content is great for seeing your engagement levels rise, but what can we do to create that link between engagement and that elusive conversion from fan/follower to paying customer?

Lego’s Cuusoo project is a truly inspirational example of what can really be achieved by high-quality, user-generated content from lifelong brand ambassadors.

Lego Project


Be creative, not officious

Phil Sherrel of Bird&Bird gave some really great advice around some of the tricky legal pitfalls associated with using social media during Legal Update: What You Can & Can’t Say On Social.

One of the best bits of advice was that we should be creative when it comes to dealing with people on social media, instead of going down the legal route.

The three C’s of crisis management

Crisis management is a growing concern for anyone working in social media as Thomas Knorpp, Corporate affairs & Digital Media Manager at Sainsbury’s, explained in his talk: Every Crisis Is Now Social, Global Viral: How To Manage Your Reputation Before, During & After A Crisis. The 3 Cs are:

  1. Concern – Show genuine concern for the issue and user/customer;
  2. Control – Take charge of a situation by explaining the scenario to your fan-base;
  3. Commitment – Clarify what steps you intend to take in order to work towards a resolution.

Responsive Social Strategies

Employ a social media SWATT (Social Weapons and Twitter Tactics) team

Jeremy Waite, Head of Social Consulting at Adobe UK, had his own session – Connecting Social Brands to Social Business: Gaining & Maintaining Boardroom Backing.

His presentation was based primarily on how we can convince less-than enthusiastic clients or boardroom members of the power social media actually wields.

Jeremy was the first of many to reference the lightning-fast action Oreo took when the Super Bowl suffered a power cut, using it to highlight the growing need for those brands that want to seriously compete in the social media arena to employ a social media SWATT (Social Weapons and Twitter Tactics) team, due to the effectiveness of real-time engagement.



Live tweeting has been part of many a social content plan but hijacking a hashtag takes it to the next level.

Perhaps the duty of a social media SWATT team, hashjacking requires attentive social listening and a creative brain or two if you’re going to find something good and make it relevant to your brand.

All it really takes to make something work for your brand is some quick thinking and perhaps the use of Twitter’s promoted tweets.

A great instance occurred at the conference itself where marketing software company Marketo were the first to get a promoted tweet in the conference hashtag.


As Jeremy Waite tweeted, it took a matter of minutes for someone to make the most of this opportunity to hashjack!

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