3 Insider Marketing Lessons from our Smart Social London Event

“We all feel like something is changing in social media. We are in a state of transition.” These were the opening remarks from Spredfast’s CMO, Jim Rudden, at Smart Social London 2018; an event that brought together over 200 of the brightest minds in social media. And his sentiments were echoed throughout the day.

This year’s event took place at Kings Place—a self-proclaimed hub of arts and dialogue—and spanned across two halls for the days’ keynotes and breakout sessions. The purpose? To connect social media leaders and glean insights into the future of social media and tips on how to deliver value to our organisations. Here, we’ve collected three key and thought-provoking take outs from Smart Social London:

#1: Actions Speak Louder Than Words

In the first keynote session of the day, Jim—later joined onstage by Web Psychologist, Nathalie Nahai and Lloyds Banking Group’s Head of Comms, Jean Reddan—discussed the “acts” of social. “Social can be used for good—to unveil social injustices, to fundraise, to raise awareness. But it can also be used for ill—to spread fake news, to isolate and to market around certain groups,” Jim said. As social marketers, then: “In 2018 we find ourselves with incredible power. How do we use it justly?”

Leaning on the most recent Edelman report, the session explored how (and why) organisations are in a place of mistrust, with 63% of consumers having a difficult time establishing what is real journalism versus what is fake journalism. Before handing over to Jean and Nathalie, Jim concluded with three concrete actions that brands can take to build trust among consumers:

  • Engage: Social is a 1:1 connection opportunity. At the root of social media is people. As organisations, we need to take it back to the roots and engage with our consumers and prospects.
  • Elevate: As a brand, you have the opportunity to pick causes and stand for something
  • Activate: Move beyond saying you stand for something to doing something about it

Later in the session, Nathalie Nahai claimed that ultimately everything comes down to trust: “Trust is the single most important ingredient for a healthy, meaningful and mutually beneficial relationship,” Nathalie said. “A lack of trust is one of the biggest impediments of e-commerce.” How to build that trust? Nathalie urged brands on social media to “be more real” with the words they’re using—again, to make sure their actions match their brand values.

To build authenticity, ensure that your brand's actions match its values.


And finally, Jean Reddan discussed how advertising is failing to reflect modern Britain. A study found that minority groups felt underrepresented in advertising with 67% of those surveyed feeling that advertising should show the more diverse aspects of the country.

Using Lloyds’ Channel 4 campaign around mental health as an example of “being brave”, Jean urged brands to be “be distinctive and brave. Be authentic. And incorporate it into your strategy”

#2: Don’t just Eat, Sleep, Work and Repeat

According to Bruce Daisley, VP of Twitter (EMEA) and Host of Eat Sleep Work Repeat, we have too many meetings, we pour our energy into the moments we don’t need to be at our peak and we’re easily distracted by emails and calls. Furthermore, fear is the number one trigger that is preventing us from being creative. “Forty percent of productivity is created by face-to-face interaction,” Bruce said. “It's the driver of workplace creativity.”

While meetings and emails are necessary, there are other factors we need to take into consideration to ensure we have a happy and healthy work/life balance. Bruce took the audience through his top tips to make themselves happier. His topline advice:

  • Sleep more.
  • Get happier friends: in your time off, surround yourself with the people who radiate happiness and positivity.
  • Don’t fall for the smoothie delusion—just because it's a smoothie doesn't make it healthy for you, and you should approach your work the same way: make sure you're taking actual care of yourself, not just working and living by the motions.

Sounds so simple, right? But when it comes to work, we are all guilty of falling into vicious cycles of unproductivity, assigning our precious time to menial tasks that lack creativity.

#3: Technology alone is nothing without incredible people

Finally, Smart Social London saw a session that left attendees mind-blown and questioning the future of their jobs—Jeremy Waite’s. IBM’s Chief Strategy Officer revealed that marketing is now the least-trusted department in the boardroom, with 80% of CMO’s no longer trusted by their CEOs.

Jeremy also shared IBM’s incredible AI technology, Watson, a question-answering computer system that was also used to create highlight reels at Wimbledon 2017. But while 3% of European businesses have already embedded AI in their operations, Jeremy stressed the need for marketers to not only embrace new technology and use it responsibly, but for the room to keep creating compelling content that resonates with our audiences: “We need to create content that people fall in love with,” Jeremy said. “To create those dopamines. To make people keep coming back for more.”

The session drew to a close with a Q&A between Spredfast’s VP of Strategy, Spike Jones, and Jeremy Waite, before delegates poured out of the auditorium and up the stairs where canapes and cocktails awaited them for their post-Smart Social London discussions. With notepads brimming with new insights from our expert speakers, guests left Kings Place with a wealth of ideas to take back to their offices and to ensure their social media efforts are delivering the best possible value to their businesses.

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Kate Parker is Spredfast's marketing coordinator based in our London office, managing communications, events and campaigns.