The 4 Social Media TED Talks You Need to Watch

By January 17, 2019

We have a strong focus on continuous learning and development here at CrowdControlHQ and one of the resources we use to broaden our thinking and get inspiration are TED Talks.

There are TED Talks on almost every topic you can imagine, presented by thought leaders, industry experts, and researchers who share awesome insights into their world!

While there are lots of TED Talks on social media and digital marketing, there’s a few in particular that caught our attention that we believe all Marketing and Comms folk should watch! These talks present new ways of thinking about many areas of social media that we take for granted.

So why not grab a hot drink and take a few minutes to watch some of these talks, we promise it’s time very well spent!

What makes something go viral? Dao Nguyen

If you’ve read the title of this first talk and can’t help but feel a little skeptical, we understand but bear with us!

You might have had a colleague request that you make their social media content ‘go viral’ and know well enough that the very nature of viral content is that it’s unpredictable and driven by your audiences, not necessarily by you.

But Nguyen (Media Analytics Expert @ BuzzFeed) argues that we just haven’t been looking at viral content in the right way… We all have a tendency to want to categorise content into topics and get lost in the themes, messages, and value of content. Forgetting that humans are emotional and wanting content that makes us feel something!

With that in mind, Nguyen and the team at BuzzFeed have flipped their viral video planning on it’s head and now lead with the emotional response they want to evoke. They’ve also created a map of these different types of responses which beautifully illustrates the feelings we can’t always put into words!

This talk is worth watching for that alone but we highly recommend taking the time to watch it in full!

In defense of emojis – Jenna Schilstra

It’s easy to overlook the role that emojis play in our lives and in society, after all, they’re just little faces and icons aren’t they?!

Schilstra (Analyst in Customer Technology Marketing @ UPS) helps us to see the error of our thinking. We might not have realised but emojis are actually a language of their own that derive from the earliest forms of writing such as hieroglyphics and ancient Chinese.

While their origins might be historic, emojis are paving the way for brand new opportunities to connect people across the globe including:

  1. Helping vulnerable children to more easily communicate the abuse they face at home with a dedicated library of emojis representing different types of harm.
  2. Helping people on the Austism spectrum to more easily recognise different emotions to help with conversations.
  3. Helping people with medical issues that mean they cannot speak to tell Doctors and other health professionals how they’re feeling and what level of pain they’re experiencing.

What the Ancient Greeks can teach us about digital marketing – James Dempster

Social media is still a relatively new concept but what we tend to forget is that the principles of marketing behind social media have existed for centuries.

In this very funny talk, Dempster (Managing Director @ Cobb Digital) explains how our thinking is still not so different to the Ancient Greeks, including:

  • Influencer marketing – Dempster explains that Gladiators would be asked to promote products to others as they knew the power of this support and influencer marketing today is based on the same idea!
  • Storytelling – if you’ve ever wondered how Greek myths and legends have survived to still be told today, it’s because they were the original masters of storytelling and knew that in order for them to stick in our minds, they had to be relatable. Much of social media marketing and digital marketing today is focused on telling a story because we know they’re more memorable!

3 ways to (usefully) lose control of your brand – Tim Leberecht

Last but definitely not least, we highly recommend watching Leberecht’s talk on reputation management.

Leberecht (author and consultant on the humanisation of business) highlights the fact that marketers have never truly had control over the perceptions of their brand because your customers and audiences determine it. This might sound like a scary thought, but thanks to technology and greater connectivity, you’re now at the table too and can more easily see what people are saying about your organisation.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean you should focus on taking control back. There are great opportunities to let your customer shape the feelings around your brand. Leberecht gives a number of examples of instances where brands have given the power back to their customers like the band Radiohead letting customers pay what they feel is right for their next album.

Not only did this result in record sales of their music but it created a feel-good buzz and sense of honesty that greatly improved perceptions of the band.

Watch this TED Talk to hear how other brands have successfully given the reins to customers and get ideas for your own organisation!

These are the talks we’ve been loving but we want to hear from you! Have you watched any of these talks? If so let us know what you thought of them @CrowdControlHQ or drop us an email to say hi to!