Last week, I had the opportunity to attend this year's New York Social Media Week with a few members of the Social Media Marketing team here at Blue Fountain Media. Although it was a busy week in the Blue Fountain Media office, I was able to attend a handful of the events, learn more about the wonderful world of social media, meet a bunch of great people in the industry, and drink more Vita Coco than any one person should within the span of a week. From masterclasses to panels and discussions, my experience at "SMWNYC" was a fruitful one. While all of the events provided great information about the world of social media, my personal favorites were as follows:

The New Frontier of (Un)Branded Content: A Screening and Discussion of Farmed and Dangerous, Hosted by Chipotle

  • Mark Crumpacker (Chief Marketing Officer of Chipotle)
  • Brian Sirgutz (Senior VP Social Impact at Huffington Post)
  • Daniel Rosenburg (Partner at Piro)
  • Antony Young (President, Water Cooler Group)
The Chief Marketing Officer of Chipotle, Mark Crumpacker, gave a brief introduction about "unbranded" content campaigns before showing episode #1 of the series "Farmed and Dangerous", Chipotle's comedy series on the controversial world of agriculture.
Post film, he outlined their concept behind this "unbranded" marketing tactic to spread awareness and to stimulate buzz around the topic and the brand. This marketing approach has gained much traction in the digital advertising community recently, as well as right here at Blue Fountain Media. We recently teamed up with Bonvoy, a social-based travel tool that allows you to "Name your own price" when planning the perfect trip for you, and created an outreach campaign in the streets of New York. By hiring a Grilled Cheese truck during lunch hours, customers were allowed to choose the price they would like to pay for their lunch, stressing the ideology behind their "Name your own price" concept in their business model. This was a great event to learn more about the strength of these unbranded marketing campaigns, and was an exciting event to attend (as you can see from my excited "selfie" prior to the event). Not to mention, Chipotle tweeted back at me, and all attendees were given certificates for free Chipotle. Solid event at SMWNYC!

The Future of Content in a Mobile World

  • Ian Schafer (Founder/CEO, Deep Focus)
  • Ji Lee (Creative Director, Facebook)
  • Callie Schweitzer (Director of Digital Innovation, TIME)
  • Adam Rich (Co Founder/ Executive Editor, Thrillist)
  • Janet Baslis (Partner & CRO, betaworks studio)
So much talent, so much to offer, in just 75 minutes? Yes, I had the same reaction when reviewing the list of speakers that would be a part of this discussion. There was some serious expertise sitting on the Social Media Week stage during this session. Of course, the discussion, moderated by Ian Schafer, touched on the obvious - mobile is growing, and if you want to be successful, you'd better keep up. Each speaker touched on the importance of owning their initial goals, while also adapting to the technological changes of the time. For example, Callie Schweitzer of TIME outlined the consistency that TIME aims to achieve by maintaining the importance of print in their product spectrum, while also adapting to changing technologies and giving consumers content on mobile as well. She hilariously poked fun at Schafer for not reading the latest from Time, leaving the tech-savvy crowd in a fit of giggles. In his defense, it is difficult to keep up with the changing "Times".
Here at Blue Fountain Media, our teams work cohesively on the cutting edge of mobile technology, providing responsive design website products that work and look great across every platform.

Masterclass: Beyond 1.3 Billion: Understanding China and Social Media

  • Yuanbo Liu (Sales, Percolate)
The last of my top three events from Social Media Week in New York would have to be this masterclass that outlined a few key differences between China and the west. In such a connected world, we're constantly engaging and working with people from across the globe, and it is of increasing importance that we as westerners understand other cultures and markets. It was rewarding to learn some of the differences in social media platforms in China - from no Twitter, Facebook, & YouTube, to differences in design and purpose for social apps and websites. Social messaging services are becoming increasingly popular as well, similar to our WhatsApp or WeChat, with emoji-type characters that people can actually purchase and gift to others on the network. These playful social media platforms are different from that of western culture and are a bit out of our comfort zone. It is important for brands and marketing professionals to increase familiarity with such platforms in order to successfully permeate the Chinese market in the future, just as LinkedIn began to do this week. As a key takeaway, Social Media Week in New York had a great turnout with impressive talents and great events overall, and we are looking forward to applying some of the new ideas and concepts from this event towards future projects. We're already looking forward to next year's event! Do you have any questions or comments about this year's Social Media Week? Let us know in the comments section below or by tweeting us @BFMweb.
The Right Digital Agency Whitepaper