Celebrating Social Media Day #SMDay

By Helen Reid
03 Jul 2017

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To mark Social Media Day on June 30, the team here at Dog decided that BIMA Scotland should celebrate with a relaxed get together for our digital community, from novices to experts, agency folk and brand side marketers, and everything in between. So we set to work with the inimitable Anna Doyle from BIMA HQ to create a fitting celebration.

Driven from the US, Mashable launched this day in 2010 to recognise and celebrate the impact social media was having on global communication. In 2017, this continues to be the case. Social is ubiquitous in society. Pervasive even. It continues to influence communication, relationships, consumption behaviours, every day activities, and evolution. Basically, everything that makes us as humans, human. Social media is a driving force of change. Social media influences our professional careers, our lives at work and at home. So definitely worth an hour or two of discussion.

There’s a lot of agency view-points on the application of social media, so to ensure a rounded perspective, sought out a speaker from a different background to talk alongside our agency experts. So in addition to our very own Strategy Partner at Dog and the CEO from 29studios (who not only agreed to speak, but generously offered to host the event at their fabulous office space in Glasgow) we were privileged to also be joined by See Me Scotland, the Scottish arm of the national programme that works to end the stigma and discrimination surrounding mental health.

The day got off to a great start (having completely sold out) with more of a Friday night vibe in the 29ers Pirate Bar than your usual breakfast meeting. Once suitably caffeine’d and carb’d, it was over to our fantastic speakers. 

Laura Haggerty, Strategy Partner at Dog.

First up was Laura Haggerty, who spoke about how social media data can supercharge marketing and media strategies. Laura focussed on social media as a strategic planning tool that can be used in taking a holistic approach to creating effective strategies that resonate with individuals.

In her words, audience-led strategies are perhaps not new, but often our audience understanding is based on information that is: Vague, out-dated and not data-led. Based on assumptions or limited understanding, the strategy can miss the mark and fail to achieve the goals and ROI desired. Laura talked about the benefits of drawing granular audience insight from social media and crafting a strategy based on this data. From giving brands a competitive advantage through more effective communications, and personalising user experience with messaging that resonates with different individuals, to making it easier to select channels that the desired audience is most active and more likely to engage. Audience insight is gold.

She warned, however, not to be complacent. 

“The trouble […] is that people don’t think how they feel, they don’t say what they think and they don’t do what they say.” David Ogilvy

While this is today’s best focus group for marketers, social media data should be treated carefully. Laura talked us through the best way to go about gaining valuable insight from the channel. What to look for, what to count, and what to dismiss. She encouraged us to go beyond demographics, drawing insight from unprompted content, lifestyle information, behaviour, and day to day activity to create a more comprehensive idea of the individual. 

Ending with a detailed look into work she’s currently carrying out at Dog, Laura provided us with recommendations around best practice for gathering this extremely valuable qualitative and quantitative insight. Social media insight supercharges your strategy. And judging by the questions posed to Laura during the Q&A, it’s safe to say everyone in the room agreed.

Kev O’Neil, CEO & Founder at 29studios

Next, Kev O’Neil, took to the floor. He provided an interesting perspective of an agency using social content to impact its bottom line and grow business.

Discussing the agency’s successful 29ers show, Kev demonstrated the importance of context. Of course the actual content is crucial, but it’s the context that creates the real value of social media content to a brand. It’s the “how”, the “where” and the “when” of content publication and broadcast that makes the difference. He focused on the 29ers, a video-led social media marketing initiative, that delivers behind-the-scenes access to the agency and its people. With the end goal being face-to-face conversations with clients and potential clients, the 29ers has been extremely effective in its outcome and reminds us that people buy people. Social media now gives us the platforms to deliver that content to a wider network of people, and encourages deeper connections between people.

Kev shared with us his approach to business, seeking to disrupt it every day. Bringing in the oft-cited example of Kodak, Kev reminded us that we must innovate and disrupt our businesses every day, before someone else does. A stark reminder for all of us not to rest on our laurels, and constantly look ahead to the future.

Nick Jedrzejewski, Communications Manager at SeeMe Scotland

And last but certainly not least, Nick Jedrzejewski stood up to share his experiences of using social media campaigning to show that it’s ok to speak about mental health.

Based on the organisations remit, using social media is a very complex challenge. Through communications, it seeks to bring about behaviour change and perception among society of mental health. An historically taboo subject. Not easy.

The local team has grown its social community to an impressive 34,000 through campaigns such as #myunfilteredlife, ‘The Power of OK’ and ‘It’s OK’. And they’ve been able to measure the impact of their marketing and communications like never before through social media.

Nick spoke about its most recent and ongoing campaigns. ‘The Power of OK’ campaign seeks to normalise speaking about mental health. And it has been the organisation’s most successful campaign to date. Using plain language, animated engaging content like this GIF or campaign film, encouraging participation of individuals, and ensuring that all posts are responded to, creates a genuine communication campaign that supports the community and achieves campaign goals.

#myunfilteredlife has also been hugely impactful. An Instagram tactic as part of ‘The Power of OK’ campaign, SeeMe wanted to encourage conversations on mental health in a place you wouldn’t normally see them. The campaign #myunfilteredlife was launched, encouraging people to share the mundane, honest, often crappy times that make up daily life.

Incredibly honest about their previous activity on Instagram, Nick admitted that his team needed something that stood out and resonated with the Instagram audience, a community that is hyper-filtered, and rarely encourages people to share the downs, as well as the ups. Ultimately, SeeMe wanted to bring that ethos of asking each other if you’re okay to Instagram. Nick shared details of the launch campaign, the channel and content strategy to build a following on Instagram and encourage ongoing participation.

Taking the ‘Power of OK and #myunfilteredlife a step further, SeeMe wanted to continue the idea of creating a safe space for people to speak about how they really feel through the “It’s Ok” campaign. The team developed the ideas of those campaigns and aimed it at 13-18 year olds, a group that the charity knows from experience, is less likely to have the confidence to say how they really feel. 

Creating a campaign hub itsok.tv, the idea of the campaign is to show young people that it is okay to say how they are feeling, no matter what it is, there is no wrong way to feel. See Me Scotland wanted to continue to encourage people to share how they are feeling. Young people can submit posts to itsok.tv about what they think it is okay to feel, and actively “like” others’ posts. 

The sense of support and community created through this campaign led to over 1000 people sharing how they are feeling, all of which were shared to wider audiences across social channels.

One of the most important positive outcomes of the social media led campaigns, has been the amount of user generated content that the organisation can use to share the story and raise awareness of the campaign to a wider audience.

It is testament to the talent of the SeeMe team that it comes up with campaigns, time and again, that engage audiences and communicate messages in such an accessible way that resonate with audiences and break down barriers.

An extremely enjoyable and honest presentation from Nick, it provided us with plenty to think about.

So that was that. Social Media Day 2017 kicked off with a bang and a trio of terrific presenters sharing their knowledge and experiences of harnessing the power of social media. 

You can check out an excellent roundup video from the event, kindly created by our pals at 29studios, here:


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