Last week, I had the opportunity to attend and represent The Millennium Alliance at Social Media Week held at the Sheraton at Times Square in New York City. In its 10th year, Social Media Week New York (#SMWNYC) brought together big businesses, leaders, and professionals looking to explore new ideas, innovations and emerging trends in social media. The week’s theme ‘Closer’ aimed to propel those who attended to explore the ‘intensifying conflict between individualism and community’ by addressing big sub-themes that included The YouUniverse, The Social Divide and AI vs Humanity. The event captured the spirit of social media, and brought individuals from all walks of the industry into one place, allowing for open conversation and for knowledge to be freely shared between those who participated in all four days of the event.
#SMWNYC: The Greatest Hits
Social Media Week NYC provided attendees with an in-depth and relevant program that was designed to provide us with a deeper understanding of what tools, strategies, and tactics we should be investing in. With more than 200 speakers from around the world that took the stage during the course of the 4 days at Social Media Week, these influential speakers shared ideas and actionable insights with an audience eager to listen and learn from their expertise. Of course, my personal favorite speaker was Joesph “Rev Run” Simmons of the famed hip-hop group Run-DMC.
Joseph “Rev Run” Simmons is one of the most iconic figures in music, having sold tens of millions of records worldwide and is widely credited for ushering rap music into mainstream culture. Also, he is accredited as being a massive social media influencer, especially within the giant music and fashion industries. Hosted by Suzy, Simmons spoke on “Brands Are People, People Are Brands”, highlighting how the power in media has decidedly shifted from networks to individuals, entering us into the golden age of celebrity influence.
“What inspires me is that I love knowing that I am not gonna chase what somebody else is doing to get a result. I’m inspired to stay in my own lane. Don’t follow the trends, be the trend.” Joesph “Rev Run” Simmons on what inspires him to be his authentic self on social media.
For example, Simmons mentioned how the 1986 hit song “My Adidas” was the first mainstream song which infused a well-known brand into its lyrics, leading to hip hop’s first major endorsement deal with Adidas which included a $1 million dollar fee and a custom sneaker line. Not only that, Simmons spoke on the origins, current state, and future outlook of celebrity influence, mentioning successful celebrities like Drake and Jessica Alba, some of who have firmly established themselves as influencers in their respective industries. It was a very interesting perspective, definitely to be my most authentic self on social media well worth the time to sit and listen to him speak.
Nature Meets Technology: The Conversation with National Geographic
Over the course of humanity, people have been connecting with each other, with the past and future generations through storytelling. In the past century they have been in circulation, National Geographic has been a leader in elevating unique and awe-inspiring stories from around the world, capturing nature’s finest through photographs and compelling articles detailing their perspective of the world’s best creatures and places. Hosted by National Geographic, Brendan Ripp, Executive Vice President, Sales & Partnerships of National Geographic Partners, discussed why meaningful stories matter more than ever, and why storytelling is foundational to the National Geographic brand.
“Don’t just be a publisher of content. Build a community. A good story can change the world.” Brendan Ripp speaking on the importance of storytelling.
As digital media integrates itself more and more into our lives, the way a brand tells a story is imperative to their success, due to the rapid changes each industry is experiencing regularly and the trends that are emerging with every month that goes on. With proven results and successful media initiatives, Brendan Ripp pointed out that National Geographic’s digital efforts are noted to have been at the forefront of this digital trend, with the brand standing today as the number one brand on social media across all verticals. This is a testament to humans’ desire for powerful storytelling and to National Geographic’s ability to deliver on this promise time and time again to both it’s customer and fan base.
“Investing in story-telling is how you create that thumb-stopping moment.” Brendan Ripp commenting on how to achieve a “thumb-stopping” moment on social media.
Social Media Week NYC: Technology has Met Humanity
Although it was sad to see it end, Social Media Week was an amazing experience. It was a pleasure to represent my company, The Millennium Alliance, at such a massive event that was attended by so many influential people from all industries looking to expand their social presence. By having the opportunity to attend this event (and eat the delicious cookies provided by American Express), I learned about new trends impacting my industry and how to overcome them. Even though I am still relatively new to the event-marketing industry, I am hoping with the acquisition of new skills and the ability to comprehend what is vital to a business success, I can help my company increase our social presence and assist in their growth as we continue on into 2018.
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