Fashion hunting with #smwstyle

This week from Bogota to Barcelona thousands of social media enthusiasts are gathering for Social Media Week. While every participant comes with their own agenda, be that to learn, network or create, they will all bring one thing in common –  #smwstyle.

Whether you’re the type that spends hours agonising over which hat to wear or if your approach is more impulsive, you will all create the #smwstyle of 2012.

To celebrate the sartorial diversity in our wonderful industry, Headstream is collecting photos from SMW sessions and gathering them on Instagram around the #smwstyle hashtag. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to get our own #smwstyle updates.

So if you have a particularly funky pair of shoes, exceptional spectacles, or hipster iPad case please get involved with #smwstyle and post away.

Happy Social Media Week one and all, let’s do it in style!

Doing it hipster style

Social Brands 100 – Nominees saluted at #SMWSB100

It’s Social Media Week 2012 and London is packed full of social media enthusiasts comparing their wares and experience. Events are happening across the capital and a huge amount of live tweeting is filling up our TweetDeck columns.

We thought this was the perfect time to acknowledge the near 300 nominations for the Social Brands 100. So, at 5pm on the 15th February, in a snug and moodily lit bar aptly named The Social, a large group of passionate people huddled together to celebrate with the nominees – and it was great to see so many of the faces behind the nominated brands there. Here at Headstream and for our friends at data analysis specialist Brandwatch, this is the real kick off moment for the research.

Once we’d all had a chance to settle in with a drink, our own Julius Duncan took to the stage and after some initial problems with the microphone (sorry about that everyone, my bad – Sam)….

“Congratulations, you are the nominated brands!” – Cue rapturous applause.

After introducing the room to Brandwatch, the SB100 ranking methodology, and announcing to an excited crowd that this years expert judging panel will be made up of people from Facebook, Twitter, Google, IAB, AAR, PWC and other independents, it was time for our esteemed guest from last year’s number 1 ranked brand, Dell, to take to the stage.

Stuart Handley, Dell’s Director of Communications, EMEA gave some fantastic insight into how Dell approaches social media. It is always incredibly refreshing to hear big brands talking so openly and honestly about their use of a new medium and how it is having a positive impact across the business as a whole. Everyone in attendance took a lot away from what Stuart had to say and we’ll be uploading videos of his talk as soon as we can. Some highlights were:

A tip for brands who don’t know where to start? ‘It really is about active listening – taking listening to an action

What about the negative?  It’s not lovely, warm community engagement all the time ‘Just acknowledging a problem and taking it seriously can turn unhappy people around’

Small businesses are the ones pushing the boundaries ‘As a big brand we keep an eye on the innovation that the small businesses bring to social.’ 

It was great to see so many people making new contacts and discussing their own approaches to social. The Social Brands 100 community goes from strength to strength.

Now it’s time for the real hard work to begin, the top 100 ranking. Good luck!

‘From Silicon Roundabouts to a Silicon World’ #smwldn

‘From Silicon Roundabouts to a Silicon World’, a Social Media Week event hosted by the UKT&I this morning, looked at how UK brands need to think about behaving as they expand their businesses internationally.

The theme the panel came back to repeatedly, and what is emerging as a theme of the week at events I’ve attended and followed, is that wherever they do business, be it Bolton or Boston, brands need to understand their communities in a few different ways.

First, where are they?  Microsoft’s Mel Carson made the important point that companies need to remember that social media is not just about Twitter & Facebook. Should you consider using rich media, mobile technology or gaming to connect?  He also pointed out that old-fashioned email remains an important tool to include in a social strategy.  Apparently 25% of Facebook traffic still comes via Hotmail accounts.

Moonfruit’s Wendy Tan White emphasised the need to consider what your brand’s community wants.  The agency is launching a new website soon, that will merge its internal and external communities removing, what she called the ‘walled garden’ around what could be a brand’s most important advocates, it’s employees.

As for how you engage with your communities, there are a huge range of technological toys to play with these days, but as Nokia’s Ash Choudhury pointed out, it’s not about the technology, it’s what you do with it that counts.  If your brand’s priority is B2B, your time may be better spent developing meaningful niche networks with the few hundred followers you have on Twitter, than focusing resources in other areas that may go for maximum, rather than meaningful impact.

As this was a UKT&I event, the question had to be asked – what is the UK’s brand strength? Tan White highlighted the UK’s reputation as a leader in design and innovation, Choudhury and Carson championed the UK’s reputation as a barometer of change, quick to pick up and also move on from trends compared to other markets and therefore, something of an early warning system for brands who want to stay ahead of the game

Social’s a lot like looking for E.T. #socialbrands #smwldn

Good news, we’ve found a planet just like ours! NASA has discovered it orbiting a star named Kepler-10. 560 light years from here and described as the missing link between earth and the giant gas planets found before.

On the face of it, we’re one step closer to finding alien life.

Only thing is that this giant rock, so much like ours, has a few less appealing qualities. It has no water, is blasted by radiation and has an iron like density. No life could possibly exist there. It’s the most hellish place not on our earth.

This new planet is a lot like social media. A great discovery, a familiar looking thing and at first glance, just what brands have been searching for.

Here’s another problem. Because we keep finding inhabitable planets, astronomers are starting to rethink the likelihood of ever finding alien life.

According to the famous Drake equation, we’re supposed to detect 10 advanced civilisations in the Milky Way. This discovery makes that less likely, which is a shame, as the entire search for extraterrestrial life was based on this formula. All that time, money and effort potentially wasted.

This month has social media week in it. We at Headstream, like many others, shall be singing the praises of all things social. We do so with the advice that before you put a load of money into something that looks great, it’s worth checking the atmosphere.

There are so many exciting things to talk about next week. Our contribution is that we think we can help organisations to establish whether social is worth their effort. Take the speculation out of it.

If you’re a brand wondering if social is worth serious investment, then you’re not alone. Which is more than we can say for humans, for now at least.