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Collision Conference 2021: Day 2 Highlights


Another exciting day of Collision Conference in the books! On day two of this event, we were reminded how social media really relates to any topic imaginable. 

Social media and content consumption vary for every generation. In an afternoon talk with journalists Versha Sharma @Versharma (NowThis Media), Noah Shachtman @Noahshachtman (The Daily Beast), Erika Allen @EriFaith (Vice Media), and Brian McCullough, titled "Media 101: What's the deal with generation Alpha," We learned about what makes our youngest generation unique in terms of consuming media. 

Every generation is more technologically literate than the last, this is nothing new. But generation Alpha is actually engaging with their screens far less than gen z and millennials - rather than tweeting and replying at the same rate as older generations, they're consuming passively.

As newsrooms around the globe prepare for Gen Alpha to become their target audience,  journalists are tasked with adapting to the youngest generation's preferred platforms and styles. 

"Our job right now is to be adaptable and turn to those spaces [discord channels] if and when we need to," said Erika Allen.

All three journalists concluded that the most important thing was to produce good journalism and that despite the cultural shifts brought upon by new generations, the mission remains the same. 

The next interesting talk we covered was "Help assemble a digital magazine with Glamour UK" with Deborah Joseph @debsjoseph (editor-in-chief), Camilla Kay (beauty and lifestyle director) and Dennis Lye (creative director). The well-known beauty magazine took the audience through the process of creating a magazine cover focusing on their particular issue, covering TikTok star Addison Rae.

Along with two still covers and one moving, Addison did a TikTok for them that reached over one hundred million views. It was one of their most successful covers to date, and it exemplified the influence social media has in every area of pop culture. 


Next was a riveting round table talk titled "How to create great community around your brand" with Vanessa Alexandra Gaik and a panel for small business owners from Jaclyn Shnau's Pumpkin Organic baby food company, to Jeff Daiter of InVintory wines

The panel was first asked what was the key driving force for startups - unanimously the answer was that building a tight community was the key to any new-found business. 

Christie Post of Studio X made an interesting point that a company doesn't necessarily need to be on social media platforms to find their audience. It is far better to connect with people of the same values and to see what relates to you both. Daiter on the other hand, infiltrate all channels when launching his company and used data analytics to find his target market. He believes it is important for brands to get involved to try and obtain media hype. Jaclyn's company is community-driven, which helped pull them into retail. She relies on her audience of mostly parents interacting as well as demanding change.

The panel went on to discuss data analytics, accessibility, and the importance of feedback and criticism.

The next talk that got our attention for its importance nowadays was "The power of purpose-led marketing during the Covid 19 pandemic" with Norman De Greve @ndegreve (CMO at CVS Health), Will Shrank @willshrank (CMO Humana Foundation), Allison Lawrence (VP at Stanley Black & Decker), and Michelle Hillman (Ad Council).

This talk began with an introduction of the speakers who are all part of the health action alliance and have been working to disseminate accurate and helpful information on the pandemic and vaccination. 

In the talk they mentioned targeting communities with an especially high risk of Covid,  and how having health professionals at a local level represent the community they serve helps to build trust. Trust plays the most important role in convincing communities to get the vaccine and subsequently promote herd immunity in the US. A combined effort is necessary in order to disseminate a single, unified message.

Finally, we had the pleasure of hearing Tom Keiser @tomkeiser (CEO at Hootsuite) and Michelle Castillo @mishcastillo (Senior Reporter at Cheddar) give a talk on "The Future of Social Media Marketing."

In this talk, Tom emphasized how important social media marketing has become during the pandemic. It was quite clear that this was an existing trend, but Covid accelerated the need for businesses to move their advertisements onto a social media platform in order to stay relevant. 

Previously, large brands viewed social media marketing as a side project to their main marketing strategies. Now, consumers are using these platforms so regularly that big brands must begin viewing it with the importance it actually holds. Additionally, the pandemic has accelerated the process of older demographics moving to social media for e-commerce. 

Tom also spoke about why brands might be hesitant to move on to social media due to concerns over inappropriate content being linked to said brand. However, as tighter restrictions are developed and enforced, the arena for brands on social media platforms becomes more hospitable. As time goes on Tom says we should see a cyclical effect of brands associated with social media networks bringing in users, which will lead to additional restrictions and giving social networks more control, and so on as the cycle continues. 

Check back in with Social Songbird tomorrow for our third day at Collision!

Read the highlights of day 1 and 3 here:

Adrienne Lucas
Executive Edito

A passionate writer with experience in editing, content creation, and social media marketing. A lover of animals, helping others improve their writing, and 2000's pop culture. 


Megan Howe
Editor, Writer, Podcaster 
A recent BA English graduate with experience in writing, acting and editing. Bit of a bookworm; a lover of Shakespeare and all things theatre
Collision Conference 2021: Day 2 Highlights Reviewed by Adrienne Lucas on Thursday, April 22, 2021 Rating: 5

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