A London Social Media Week Special, LinkedIn Elevate And More In This Week’s Friday Download
November 26, 2018
By FTI Consulting
Last week the Friday Download’s crack team of reporters hit the streets to get the latest goss from Social Media Week. The event, as ever, provided us with a chance to rub shoulders with the likes of Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, as well as take the temperature of the industry to find out who’s hot and who’s not. Before we dive into the detail of a couple of sessions hosted by our favourite social media platforms let us first divulge the five key trends which everyone was talking about:
1. Fake news – No surprise here that the omen of digital communications was lingering around SMW. There was a strong desire to change the industry from within and a sense that it would require both platforms and publishers to take responsibility for creating meaningful interactions online.
2. Rise of brand activism – The modern consumer expects companies to be agents for change, as is clearly demonstrated by the popularity of Iceland’s banned Christmas ad. Yet is there a danger of reaching saturation point, should we expect a backlash against “purpose-washing”.
3. Moving the advocacy needle – Gone are the days where comms, marketing and HR can be neatly siloed. As lines become increasingly blurred between audiences we must adjust our objectives to appeal to all of our stakeholders and key within this is unlocking pride in employees that encourages them to be an advocate of the business both internally and externally
4. Mental health – All social media companies have taken big steps this year to clean up the platforms and make create positive communities. Yet we must also look within for solutions, a key theme at SMW was how can companies move from a “say a lot” to a “do more” approach where it is truly interacting with its consumers.
5. What is the future of Facebook – The company has had an interesting 2018 to say the least and while some have questioned its longevity, we ultimately feel that Facebook will continue to evolve, adapt and survive as it moves more towards a holding company model.
Community, Opportunity And Responsibility
“When you have such a large voice, not all the impact will be positive” – this was the opening message from Facebook’s Planning Director, Ian Edwards.
This may not sound great at first glance but in fact the session demonstrated the positive steps that Facebook is taking to improve the community. Much has been said about the algorithm changes announced earlier this year but Facebook was keen to highlight other initiatives it has implemented to have a positive impact on people’s lives:
• Launching Birthday Fundraiser where users can raise money for a cause of their choice on their Birthday. So far, the feature has raised over £250m for charitable causes this year
• Removing 837m pieces of spam before users flagged or reported it in Q1 of this year
• Adding a ‘why am I seeing this ad’ button to all targeted ads, helping users to better understand how Facebook is using their data
• Sharing election advertising details with users, including who paid for the ad and the creation of an archive for all previously run ads
While some at Social Media Week were questioning the future of Facebook it is clear that the company is currently moving fast and fixing things. Yet Edwards also quite rightly put the onus back on publishers, explaining that it’s everyone’s responsibility to build meaningful communities; “Connecting real people, giving them a voice and helping them find their community is one of the big ideas of our time.”
Of course this leaves us with the question is our content creating real connections?
To Trust Or Not To Trust
As trust on social media was a key theme through multiple sessions over SMW, it was unsurprising that employee generated content was praised as a way to boost authenticity and advocacy for organisations.
Jason Miller (on his last day as head of content and social media for LinkedIn) presented research showing that LinkedIn Elevate content performs stronger than that shared on company pages – this is perhaps unsurprising, but we love a good bit of data that helps prove we were right all along. The good news for all of us who’ve been on the Elevate train (Elevate elevator?) for a while now is that the platform really can help you connect with a greater audience and boost content interaction:
• Employees’ combined connections on social networks are, on average, 10x larger than a company’s followers
• Only 3% of employees share content, yet they generate 30% of all content engagement for a typical business
• Employees get 2x higher CTRs from their shares, compares to company shares of the same content
Other great news for those of us trapped in yet. another. grey. template. AB testing of content shows bold, bright and dynamic content on the platform performs better than corporate templates of Arial doom. So get thyself a new font, check out a new wedge of the colour wheel (may we suggest oxblood red?) and get vibrant! While you are at it, #DYK that Carousel content can increase engagement by over 30%. Every little helps!
The views expressed herein are those of the author(s) and not necessarily the views of FTI Consulting LLP, its management, its subsidiaries, its affiliates, or its other professionals, members or employees.
FTI’s digital practice in EMEA operates as a centre of excellence for digital communications within the firm and is staffed by a team of practitioners with industry experience of consumer, corporate and financial communications. The team runs an active portfolio of multi-sector brands and partners with FTI’s teams and clients to provide a wide range of online reputation management services.