Ten Things You may have Missed at #SMWNYC

Last week, the Community Management Team at MRY attended Social Media Week. They attended panels with topics ranging from Snapchat, comedy, GIFs and Internet of Things. After having some time to digest all the information, here were their top takeaways:

  • “Data informed” is a phrase we heard throughout the panels. As Mary Gail Pezzimenti of Huffington Post put it, “We can’t allow raw numbers to tell us what our messaging is; rather, we combine these with our own reasoning to create strategies.” Hard numbers only tell one side of the story. Marketers must also use their intuition to build the bridge from analytics to concept. As Summer Anne Burton of Buzzfeed said, “Data can’t tell you where to start.” You need creative minds.
  • Branded content should always be upfront with what it is. If you let people know there’s an angle, they won’t feel betrayed when there is one. Additionally, content – branded or not – must offer utility to users.
          • Sharing has become more personal. Gone are the days of sharing content to your entire network. Buzzfeed knows it, and they’ve adapted their content to appeal to a more one-to-one sharing landscape.
          • Don’t be afraid of messaging apps. Messaging apps are key to cracking global markets; conversely, global markets help to understand the appeal of messaging apps (i.e. Snapchat).
          • You don’t have to use puke rainbows to be relevant on Snapchat. Wall Street Journal maintained their brand’s voice on the platform and have experienced great success. Millennials do want to know what is happening in the world and if they click on WSJ in Discover they expect to read journalism and not see quirky filters (not that there’s anything wrong with that).

  • The corporate world is embracing Snapchat. NASDAQ and American Airlines have found their place on the app. American Airlines showcases different travel locations whereas NASDAQ shows the floor of the stock exchange. This brings validity to the app that had a bad reputation in the beginning and now validates it as a necessary social platform for your marketing campaign.
  • Teams are being built specifically for Snapchat. Early adopter brands like Beats by Dre have been doing this from the beginning; however, this trend is only getting bigger, which validates the platform. Brands are investing in mostly graphic designers to help create content for the platform.


  • Pizza rules the internet. Food, animals, celebs and nostalgia are the biggest drivers of traffic for Buzzfeed.
  • Content is like spaghetti. You have to make a lot of it to see what sticks. Buzzfeed creates as much content as possible to refine their audience even further. Once they’ve nailed down content (perhaps with a listicle) that resonates deeply with their community, they adapt content to share across platforms.
  • Quality content is not enough. Content must also be clued in to the zeitgeist to ensure it’s shareability.

    0997ccc3-eba6-43ae-ab7b-21002a6e418aRelatable content works well, but relatable and absorbing content works best.

OK, OK – there’s no way we could have caught everything going on at Social Media Week. So what did we miss? What stood out to you? Get at us on Twitter or Facebook and let us know! (And yes: we’re on Snapchat: mryagency.)

Written by Kimberlee Van Der Wall with contributions from Jonathan Kaufman, Jessie Miño and Jason Morton.


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