3 min read
Austin Williams - Mar 2, 2017

SMW Buzz: Visuals, Words, and Actions

There were lots of fascinating and insightful presentations given on day two of Social Media Week, and there are sure to be lots more as the week keeps moving along. But everyone can't be everywhere. So, for those who missed out, here’s a recap of the most interesting presentations of the day:

The were actually two presentations that caught Digimind's eye yesterdayDoner's More Than Words presentation, followed by Masters of Storytelling: How NatGeo Engages 350 Million Fans on Social. With the former being a presentation on how brands can live by their words, and the latter being a demonstration on how to speak through visuals, at first, these two sessions felt wildly different.

By the end of them both, though, Social Media Week attendees were left with similar ideas.

Throughout his session, Marcus Collins, Head of Social Engagement at Doner, emphasized the idea of "walking the talk."

"When words don't match actions, we don't trust...your actions and your words have to align. Because marketers love words so much, we don't spend a lot of time thinking about the actions...people don't trust brands because they're all talk."

In driving that point home, Collins employed the same Uber example Digimind once used for a previous post. "Brands can't get away with faking the funk anymore—it impacts their business.

For a brand to "walk the talk," Collins explained, they must have a defined purpose—or as he referred to it, "a why."

"Nike believes every human body is an athlete, so as a brand, they exist to help you realize your most athletic self. They use words like 'Just Do It' as that provocation. They make it real with things like Nike Run Club, because people are more inclined to work out with other people—walking the talk."

For Collins, what a brand does and how they do it should come second to why they do it—much like NatGeo.

Later in the day, Rachel Webber, EVP of Digital Product of NatGeo, explained the importance of the brand's visual storytelling on Instagram and other social media platforms, along with Amy Toensing, a contributing photographer for the world-famous publication.

Speaking to the idea of "taking [readers] with our photographers around the world," Webber notes that "National Geographic stands for the power of storytelling...but in addition to that, it's how we're telling those stories. It's the methods that we use to empower those who are doing the storytelling."

Webber then went on to reveal that over 100 photographers have the password to NatGeo's Instagram account, and access to their 70 millions followers.

"It's our photographers that own that Instagram channel, because we believe that's their power. We want to give them the chance to engage directly with the community and to tell those stories."

It'd be safe to assume Marcus Collins and the folks at Doner would agree that by allowing photographers to work autonomously, NatGeo is "walking the talk" and staying true to their mission to "stand for the power of storytelling"—staying true to their "why"—and finding the method along the way.

For more Social Media Week updates, check back here tomorrow, and don't forget to follow @digimindci on Twitter. We'll be live-tweeting all week!digital-marketing-glossary-ebook

Written by Austin Williams

A New York based writer and pop culture enthusiast, Austin is your best bet if you ever want to know about the MTA or Love & Hip Hop.