This year at SXSW, there seems to be a great focus on the startup, entrepreneurialship and business. Also more and more of the sessions in the various streams seem to be crossing over each other. Interactive isn't the only place to hear about moves into the digital space and integration across channels so those here for Film and Music are getting a great deal of interactive learnings.
The Econsultancy US team are going strong in Austin covering sessions and conducting interviews of some of of the great speakers converging on Texas. You can follow along on our interactive board "SXSW Live" as we pull in the best Tweets, pictures and articles as the conference goes.
We also pulled together a list of the few things that are going to be great to see (or at least we hope so). If you are down here at SXSW, make sure to look out for our #SXSWRedBus (we even have a real-time map to track it's progress) and follow SXSWRedBus on Twitter.
The importance of content marketing in a world inundated with data is becoming increasing apparent. In fact, if you aren't doing it, the money and time spent on what you are producing is frankly a waste. Content is now a vital part of search as marketers move away from thinking only in an overabundance of keywords.
But what about story and the future of narrative? We looked back at a couple of the videos from our recent JUMP conference that highlighted the importance of story and looking at new ways to create it.
Over the last week, the Econsultancy team has been jumping from venue to venue, listening in on some great sessions and workshops as part of Social Media Week 2013.
As we know our readers are not all based in New York, we thought we'd go through the list of some of the great sessions we saw and share those that have a recorded live stream that we liked so you can watch it for yourself. It's like you were there with out having to deal with subways or the rain of last week. It also means you weren't in New York, but hey, it's much cheaper this way.
As we approach the end of Social Media Week, we caught the last session at Hearst with Beyond the Like for Lifestyle Brands with presentations by Richard Jones of EngageSciences, Eve Sangenito of Brandwatch, David St. John Tradewell of Econsultancy, We Are Social's Robin Grant and Craig Hepburn, Global Head of Digital and Social for Nokia.
One of the biggest takeaways was an urge for marketers to look beyond sheer numbers and to look at who is engaging and what actions these lead to. Why blanket market to 50,000 fans when only 9,000 are actually bringing in the majority of engagement, shares and revenue.
I spent a number of years as a social media manager - first for PayPal, then giffgaff and, most recently, I was the corporate community manager for the BBC. I feel a strong affinity to those behind the brand handle after being through the wars myself. It's not uncommon to spend sleepless nights at a keyboard, or take a night bus home so you can stay above ground to tweet during an issue ,or be attached to your phone on your only vacation in months. This is the current state of our community directors and their staff.
It was great to see Ogilvy feature three social community managers on their recent panel, The Rise of the New Community Manager, as part of Social Media Week. The panelists included Karen Untereker, U.S. Manager, Social Media at Ford Motor Company, Ariel Norwood, Online and Social Media Team Leader, Northeast Region, Whole Foods Market and Vanessa Wojtusiak, Head of Social Marketing, iHeartRadio and was moderated by Rachel Caggiano, Senior Vice President, Social@Ogilvy.
Social Media Week in New York started big with Ford's announcement this morning with a new Ford Fiesta ad campaign that will use content created only by users - in fact, it'll be their first ever user generated campaign that spans the entire advertising year.
Ford are focusing on creating a team of 100 social influencers who will create the advertising material that Ford will distribute through a mix of paid media, social media and experiential events. These will be the new Ford Fiesta Agents - I'm just glad they didn't opt for Guru or Ninja. Phew.
So the content the agents create can be in whatever form they choose to do. Ford gives them cars, a camera and in addition to this open remit of any content goes, the group will also have to complete challenges with properties such as American Idol, the X Games and music festival, Bonnaroo.
Valentine's gets a brief mention in the midst of chocolate, watches and shoes in our weekly showcase of The Dachis Group's Social Business Index.
Our focus is on three companies – The Swatch Group, Foot Locker and Ferrero International known for the popular chocolate spread, Nutella - as analyzed by the team at the Dachis Group.
We'll also take a glimpse at the top twenty brands on the Social Business Index, a real-time ranking of more than 30,000 global brands based on their performance in the social space, to see how the biggest brands in social are faring.
Well, it's that day again. Valentine's Day is here yet again to the delight of retailers everywhere. No wonder, when online sales in the US and the UK have continued to rise year-over-year in the run up to Valentine’s Day and retailers have had to learn to scale for seasonal surges.
The folks over at Rakuten, the online marketplace that's quickly catching up to Amazon and eBay, shared a few stats and a lovely infographic (don't say we didn't give you anything for Valentine's!) detailing the global spending trends surrounding this love-sick holiday.
Next week marks the fifth year of Social Media Week in New York and this looks like the biggest one ever. With sessions around the globe, the team has events in NYC, Lagos, Hamburg, Copenhagen, DC, Miami, Milan, Paris, Tokyo, and Singapore. Alongside four content hubs at Bloomberg, 92Y Tribeca, JWT, and Hearst, New York will also boast a global HQ including a state of the art, experimental space presented in partnership with MKG and Crowdcentric.
Of course, the most exciting part is that Econsultancy will not only have it's own event with a few of our own staff on panels but as global media partners, we'll be covering some of the 150 events taking place between February 18-22, 2013.
As usual, Econsultancy is trying something a bit different with it's Social Media Showdown at Whole Foods Tribeca.
Strides in social commerce have been made with Facebook and Pinterest but, until today, brands and ecommerce specialists haven't been able to crack the code when it came to Twitter.
American Express and Twitter have announced they are joining forces by allowing members to sync their Amex cards with their Twitter accounts and then tweet special hashtags to make purchases.
This is not the first foray into connecting American Express member cards with social networks. They have focused on the interconnection with commerce and social since it launched its Link Like Love program with Facebook in 2011 and they have been promoting Twitter deals since last year.
But is this Twitter partnership just another gimmick or something more?