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Brief Published: 17 Sep 2015

Key Themes from Social Media Week

Social Media Week London 2015

At Social Media Week in London (September 14-18), the talk is all about how to further break down the barriers between brands and their customers.

Swiss multinational Nestle’s coffee brand Nescafé kicked off the week with a presentation on how and why it moved its entire customer-facing website to Tumblr’s micro-blogging environment. Peter Blackshaw, Nestle’s global head of digital & social media, said the move opens doors for content co-creation around the brand, especially among the coveted Gen Y and Z demographics. Meanwhile, Michael Chrisment, Nescafé’s head of global integrated marketing, digital and media, stressed that when monitoring online brand buzz, the company is actively moving away from a mindset of “what we own” and towards “what we impact”.

Hierarchy-flattening views like these are key to lively interactions with your consumer base. To find your social media tone of voice, Sarah Wood, co-founder of Unruly – the video and ad platform that was just acquired by NewsCorp for £58m – recommends considering “how would your brand behave if it went to a party?” Wood concluded her talk with a reminder that perfection is not the aim of the game here: “If you have a personality, not everyone is going to like it – and that’s fine.”

In the end, your brand is not the centre of the universe for most, so there’s no use in trying to occupy that spot. During a panel presentation on radio’s future in social storytelling, Jem Stone, BBC Radio’s editor of social media & syndication, said: “The audience are interacting with each other – they’re just using us as catalysts.”

Look out for our full coverage of Social Media Week London 2015, publishing soon. In the meantime, we explore these less-perfect approaches to marketing in-depth in our latest Macro Trend, Get Real.