OI Conf 2016

technology, talks & time

Last week our Social Media Executive, Rachael, attended The Online Influence(OI) conference in Cardiff, she shares her thoughts and key points from the event…

OI conference is the largest social media and new technology event in Wales, and one that I very much look forward to every year. I was fortunate enough to attend the very first Oi Conference in 2013, and every one since so it’s been great to see the event grow in size, quality and popularity.

This year more than 450 delegates from across the UK flocked to hear the latest insights on online and mobile marketing. The line-up was better than ever with a mix of top guest keynote speakers and industry experts from the digital world. Some of the big names included Unilever, Google, Buzzfeed UK, Amnesty International UK, World Wildlife Federation (WWF) UK and Salesforce.

After an inspiring and thought-provoking day, I thought I’d share some of the top tips that I picked up:

Mass takeover – user generated content

The success of social media marketing doesn’t necessarily rely on company generated content; modern businesses can delegate their brand-building responsibilities to their followers and customers.  Businesses should focus on creating opportunities for conversation so that audiences can share their own stories and be in control of their own digital narratives. This user generated content can bring fantastic results. In fact, Unilever’s Jeremy Bassett explained that Magnum Ice Cream experienced a 10% rise in click through rates when user generated content was utilised.

Small team, big impact

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You don’t need a massive budget or a huge social media team to achieve your company’s social goals. As mentioned by both WWF UK and Amnesty International UK, they work in relatively small teams (3 or 4 people in each) and they don’t have a “Coca-Cola sized budget”. Increasing social media reach and engagement is inextricably linked to strategy and good content, and this is something that you can clearly see with both Amnesty and WWF!

Size up the competition

If your resources are limited, it’s vital that you know what’s working and what’s not working for your industry. Benchmarking yourself against your competitors and analysing what they’re doing well will help boost your own social media strategy. Media intelligence company, Meltwater, were right when they stated that “social listening is arguably the most significant technology to hit the marketing since social media itself”. Gaining intelligence on your competitors helps you stay that one step ahead of the game.

Identity, emotion and information

So why do people share content on social media? According to Simon Low from Buzzfeed UK, it has a lot to do with 3 factors: identity, emotion and information. Although this certainly wasn’t groundbreaking news, it was interesting to hear Simon consider these 3 factors in relation to specific social media platforms. For an example, Facebook shares are more likely to be based on identity, whilst Twitter shares are more likely to be linked with emotion and information. This is because Facebook is an arena of self-expression, where decisions to share are often based on your perception as a person. On the other hand, Twitter is more fast-paced; people react with emotion and collect information.

Technology is stealing our time

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It’s an all too familiar sight: people sat with their phones in one hand and scrolling with the other. It’s no secret that technology is taking over our lives and stealing our time. James Craig from True Digital actually went as far as to say that our days are “bookended by screens”; we check our phones within 5 minutes of waking up and then check them just before going to bed. James’ talk really did shine some light on the powerful nature of technology and how we should use it more productively. It was an interesting talk and one that had the biggest impact on me.

Whilst technology is undeniably a great thing, we’re all familiar with that feeling of wasting an entire evening on Facebook. From a marketing perspective, James’ talk was inspiring in suggesting that we start giving time back to consumers. With UX design, we can speed up processes so it takes less time for people to complete customer journeys. Another example is using social media to create memories and experiences. It’s time that we start using technology in a more productive way, and those of us working in digital should lead the way by helping consumers to interact with technology in a more constructive way.


All in all, it was a fantastic event and we gained some inspiring insights into the future of digital.

Categories: Digital Marketing

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