The actual reason why I went to NYC wasn't as much lobster rolls or Julia as it was work. I went to Social Media Week to get heaps of inspiration and a little bit of insight as to how other companies reason around their social strategies - both companies whose main presence is on social (like Buzzfeed), and ones which haven't typically had a social presence but is getting around to it, with great results (like Burger King).
A lot of people use the word "hate" in relation to conferences. I'm not one of them. It might be because I haven't been to enough conferences to be bored, or that I'm easily entertained, or just that I love what I do (or perhaps a combination of all three). I'm pretty specific in the stuff I target at these sort of events, and I try to go to all the stuff I'm interested in, as opposed to all the things that are available. And it makes sense. I'm not very interested in how to self-publish a book (as of yet, anyway), but I'm very interested indeed in what Facebook's Head of Marketing has got to say about the future of marketing.
I'm also particularly interested in what the likes of NY Times are doing on Snapchat, which is pretty representative of how social media is changing media consumption for younger generations at large. What keeps coming out time and time again is how the notion that young people aren't interested in news is a gross misunderstanding. Instead, the youngest generation isn't happy with just being talked to or talked at, they want to participate in the conversation. They engage in conversation with news channels on different social media, have incredibly high standards, and will dismiss channels and outlets they don't feel they can connect to. It puts a higher pressure on storytellers (whether they're marketeers or journalists) to create content that is as appealing as it is important. Like the CEO of Refinery29 said - "one of our most important responsibilities is to keep the right balance between content about the Kardashians and Syrian refugees". Quite.
The way young people (by young I mean people aged 10-18) use social media - in a way that's pretty different from even my generation - is fascinating. Since Instagram introduced account switching, teenagers have started to keep two accounts - one they call Finsta and one they call Rinsta. Finsta means Fake Instagram and is an open account where they'll upload the typical pretty, edited Instagram-esque photo we're used to seeing on Instagram. Rinsta (Real Instagram) on the other hand, is a closed account only one's inner circle is invited to, and here you'll get to see the unedited reality - a bit like Snapchat. Apparently these are the latest Instagram trends, and I think it's pretty fascinating that it's even been possible to distinguish these trends since it's been less than three weeks since Instagram released the account switching feature. Things move quickly in the kids world. In any way, it reiterates the obsession with Snapchat and the importance for brands to show real content to the younger generations - content they consider real, worthy, and possible to connect to.
Basically, the key takeaway is - want the kids to learn about Syrian refugees? Send a Snapchatting influencer to the Jungle.