Social Media Week is a week-long conference that occurs in major cities around the world that celebrates the latest and greatest in communication, engagement, tech, marketing, PR, publishing, and social media.

Some of the best reasons to join are to network with social’s most brilliant minds, attend sessions presented by some of the world’s biggest brands, and learn about emerging trends.

I’m thrilled to be attending Social Media Week again this year, and am here to keep you all updated on what’s happening!

Here’s what you need to know from the first day at Social Media Week in New York City.

Tapping Millenial FOMO: A Brand’s Guide to Relevance Beyond “Real-time Marketing”

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22% of teen girls report that they suffer from FOMO (fear-of-missing-out), and 28% of millennials say their cell phone is “an expression of who I am.”

Not necessarily surprising, and yet brand marketers often have difficulty relating to this generation and keeping up with their online habits.

This session broke down the younger generation and how their thought patterns differ from consumers of the past.

  • Teens would rather lose their wallet than their cell phone
  • Teens view work differently; they are 2x more likely to pursue what they want out of life (i.e. go after their dream job) than their parents, who viewed an occupation more as a means to provide for a family)
  • Teens are using Instagram and Snapchat to document a life full of experiences, whereas Tumblr, Pinterest, and We Heart It are the places where they dream about future experiences
  • Phone calls and voicemails can be viewed as an annoyance
  • Texts describe an experience, snaps let your friends experience it with you
  • Engage millenials using their own language
  • Millenials  value community and experiences over material goods

From Fans to Advocates: How to Build Community and Grow #BrandLove

How can brands engage with their audiences to build lasting relationships that take them from fans to advocates?

This session was presented by Hootsuite’s VP Community & Customer Experience, Jeanette Gibson, who shared best practices and on how a strong community can become a powerful tool in activating others to get involved, advocate for your brand, and impact your bottom line.

  • Invest in community; it costs 80% less to retain a customer than to gain a new one
  • Create an ambassador program that rewards advocates with swag, beta testing, LinkedIn badges/recommendation, etc.

The New DIY – Drones, Makers, and Bots: A Fireside Chat with Martha Stewart and CEO of The Barbarian Group, Sophie Kelly

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Martha Stewart at SMWNYC: Photo by Say Hey There LLC

When you think tech, you may not think Martha Stewart, but she’s an early technology adopter, has a collection of drones, and her enthusiasm for the tech-enabled DIY was showcased at CES this year in the form of her partnership with ‘Makerbot.”

This session focused on the maker movement and how technology will revolutionize entrepreneurship, economics + mainstream manufacturing.

  • Martha Stewart on the Maker Movement: “It’s amazing that it has begun to grow and burgeon”
  • “To be a trusted, used, and relevant brand is very important to business.”
  • The best advice Martha Stewart has ever received came from her father: “If you apply yourself you can do just about anything”

Why 2015 Will be the Year of Social Video

Native Facebook videos stormed onto the scene at the end of last year, much to YouTube’s dismay. Video is also embedded in Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and Vine. Make no mistake, the future of social will center around video, likely with short, succinct clips.

  • Social video is now one of the largest trends in social media marketing with a high rate of engagement
  • Over the past year we’ve seen a dramatic shift from YouTube hosted videos to native Facebook videos with campaigns such as the Ice Bucket Challenge bringing its ease of use to light (sorry, YouTube)
  • The fact that Facebook adopted auto play helped with the shift, and Facebook’s happy because it keeps traffic on the network
  • Facebook advertising dollars can go further with video ads versus page likes campaigns
  • Shareable is the new viral, that should be the objective
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