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I think I’ve finally chosen my favourite conference experience – last week I spoke at 3XE in Croke Park and thoroughly enjoyed myself. The venue, the organisation, the other speakers and the crowd were perfect. I spoke about “The Evolution of Social Media – People, Platforms and Performance”.

3XE 2018 Digital Marketing Conference Speaker Line-Up

3XE 2018 Speaker Line-Up

To give a personal view of the evolution of social media I returned to my first ever social campaign back in 2006 for Murphy’s called Murphy’s Live (and for authenticity, I included a picture of myself with a dodgy Eminem haircut). I like revisiting the campaign as the primary aspects of the campaign architecture are the same:

People – we wanted to reach people who had declared an interest in a passion that the brand could share (this passion being music).

Platforms – The fact that Myspace and Bebo are no longer the behemoths they were in 2006 reminds us that no platform is infallible and evolution demands adaptation and change

Performance – as marketers we all have to drive an action with our campaigns – this one being increasing awareness of the sponsorship and driving audiences to sites to apply for tickets and attend events. 

12 years on, these remain the cornerstones of social media campaigns, however, the mechanics have evolved significantly demanding our strategies change with them. 

After conferences, I like to review my Twitter notifications to identify which parts of my presentation resonated the most. 

  1. “Don’t just serve an impression, make an impression.”

This is a challenge to my background as a Media Man who was tasked with driving impressions. In my opinion, this approach will shortchange your social media opportunities to form value-adding relationships if you only view your accounts as another broadcast channel to shout slogans. 

2. “Nobody knows you better than your Facebook account.”

Nobody knows you better than your Facebook Account

The valuable by-product of digital activity is data and that data should be harnessed by marketers to design the ideal audience for their content. That’s why whenever I’m asked “can we just push this message out organically.”

I always answer: “Of course you can but why would you?”

Social Media’s advertising options are one of the best things about it. If you’re going to the trouble to create great content why not find the perfect audience for it? I often use the analogy of putting time into writing something amazing to say and then walking into an empty room to say it. Alternatively, you can put some budget aside for promotion and ensure that room is full of the perfect audience who may be ready to buy whatever you’re selling. 

3. “Content is King but Context is Queen”

A GIF that shows Content is King but Context is QueenEveryone working in Digital knows that Content is King and that’s true, however, if the context in which that content is displayed and consumed is wrong then that’s a waste of great content. When creating content social media marketers need to design for the environment in which it will be consumed and play to the strengths of the that platform. The example I used at 3XE (pictured below) showed the dichotomy of a marketer creating content with a captive family audience watching on a large screen in mind when in fact the content is most likely going to be consumed on a small screen in a public place with the sound off.

Cian at 3XE Context is Queen

I’ve shared the slides on SlideShare below – feel free to review!

My one regret of the conference was not being ale to hang around to see Blindboy Boatclub give his keynote speech as I’m such a huge fan of his podcast and I secretly hoped we’d become best friends. Next time!

Thanks for reading!

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