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Engage 2015


With social media, one size most certainly does not fit all – a fact that was highlighted this week at Engage 2015, the world’s best social media business summit, hosted by Socialbakers.

A stellar line up of speakers, including Universal Music, Desigual, Loreal, the BBC and even NATO enlightened attendees, on the very different, yet highly targeted, approaches they all adopt in reaching their audiences via digital. No two strategies were the same but there was a very common theme – storytelling.

Incredible insight was gleaned from the conference (more below) but something that stood out, which caused a gentle sigh of relief to ripple throughout the room, was NATO’s Steven Mehringer confessing that they too have to educate their leaders on social media and the benefits of it. We’re all in the same boat, after all. Pun very much intended.

Despite close to 1.7 billion people having active social media accounts (source: Jeff Bullas), some leaders are still a little hesitant to tap into this information hungry audience. But perhaps this hesitancy stems from a lack of clear objectives and measurement, rather than a lack of understanding.

The nature of your business will ultimately set your objectives. NATO, for example, isn’t actively selling anything tangible, yet Desigual has a load of clothes to shift.

Desigual’s Dimi Karavasilis explained how they use the website as an e-commerce hub and social media channels as traffic generators with different roles‬, with each channel telling a different story.

The Desigual approach:

•Buzz and Broadcast

The Desigual Approach

One other nugget from Desigual; their influencer management is conducted through agency, allowing a single team to build those vital relationships and manage them closely. Prospective clients, I’m just sayin’.

Universal Music’s, Olivier Robert-Murphy announced that people would not care if 73 per cent of brands disappeared tomorrow. Ouch! Brands must adapt to survive, focusing on something more meaningful – storytelling. He argued that we are no longer selling products, we’re selling emotions, lifestyles and solutions.

In order to do this we must conduct audience-led storytelling, according to BBC Worldwide Digital Studios. Alex Ayling advised to become like your audience by putting them at the heart of digital content.

BBC World Wide Digital

Loreal’s Alex Onish utilises employee engagement campaigns to harness the power of employees’ networks, effectively making them brand guardians. Cue shameless plug for our very own Employee Motivation Day campaign from Argos for Business.

Alex also declared that, thanks to many organisations blocking social media channels on desktops, “40% of young adults use social media in the bathroom. The other 60% are lying.” Lovely.

Social media measurement also differs from brand to brand. NATO focuses on indirect messaging, whereby key influencers deliver the same message across NATO’s digital channels. It also tracks awareness (views), appreciation (likes / shares), action (clicks) and advocacy (long-term support). Desigual counts earned media. Earned media (mentions, shares, reposts, reviews) is the vehicle that drives traffic to Desigual’s e-commerce site, translating to sales.

The takeaway message from Engage 2015 – storytelling, with context.

Facts and stats according to Socialbakers:

•Social media advertising is predicted to reach $100bn
•Facebook is now the primary source of information in the world
•Only 3% of Desktop News Feed content is sponsored
•Every News Feed is composed of 71-76% user posts, and 24-29% page posts
•Most brands are not using social media to build loyalty and create audiences like celebrities do
•Do not promote Facebook posts immediately after organic posts. Leave the organic space to grow (around 4 – 6 hours)
•Good storytelling creates stronger connections with audiences

If you’d like support with your social media storytelling contact to discuss your objectives.


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