Syndicating Social Media Content: 3 Key Takeaways

If 84% of brands consider it a priority to create social media content, then one priority among social media practitioners during the Social Media Week New York panel, ‘Social Syndication in 2012: Experience First, Networks Second’ was this:

Show us some case studies!

Any high-level marketing executive can deliver marketing jargon, but all social media practitioners really want to know is what worked, why, and how. Michael Svatek, Chief Strategy Officer at BazaarVoice, mentioned Best Buy’s Twelpforce, a famous ‘Best Practice’ example of how to use your employees as a live customer service work force, while Kristine Welker, Chief Revenue Officer at Hearst, spoke of how easy it was to get caught in the conversation crossfire of Twitter simply by using the same catchphrase that another person might be using. In Seventeen Magazine‘s case, their ‘Pretty Amazing’ Real Girl Cover Model Contest crossed paths with a pro athlete’s ‘pretty amazing’ play.

Pretty amazing, eh?

However, the best part of the panel may have been the live Twitter feed showcasing the audience’s thoughts. Although the panel missed out on the opportunity to answer the live questions during the panel, Doug Winfield appropriately asked what many were wondering at the start of the panel: ‘What is “Syndication”? Content themes shared by others? Crowdsourced content aggregation? Content seeded across sites/networks?’

Panelists referred to UGC (User Generated Content) seeded across networks and seamless sharing through new offerings like Buddy Media’s ReachBuddy. Also discussed: user generated content gathered by companies like BazaarVoice who pull together online ratings and reviews for brands like Lowe’s, Best Buy, and Avon, and then display and re-purpose this user generated content for other marketing collateral (print, on-air, etc.). Other key takeaways delivered by Kristine Welker and Sam Champion of ABC’s Good Morning America included:

  1. Tailor content according to the brand and platform. – Make sure the content you’re creating is right for the platform where you need to be. If girls looking for the perfect prom dress snap and share mobile photos of different dresses because they’re looking for opinions, creating a sharable prom dress mobile application is a natural way to demonstrate that, when it comes to finding the right ‘fit’, it’s all about social proof among friends.
  2. Not every platform is right for every brand.  – Not every brand needs to be on every platform. Period. Seventeen Magazine might be the right place for Facebook, but Pinterest might be perfectly suited for Country Living.
  3. You can’t ask something out of someone without giving something of you. Sam Champion delivered this simple truth, and it opens up a veritable Pandora’s box of other questions. When it comes to the weather, UGC has almost become a necessity. When a weather front hits, it’s often the people who live on the ground who are the first to share their stories and images. This content also helps increase a network’s market share by offering ‘you heard it here first’ news. In return, Mr. Champion establishes and maintains relationships with these loyal viewers. He tweets them back and even re-tweets their family’s birthday wishes.


That said, for all the incredible business value that ‘free’ UGC, social sharing, and subsequent syndication means to businesses, is a re-tweet a fair value exchange?

What do you think?



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Layla Revis

VP - Digital Influence Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide Layla Revis began her career in the Hollywood trenches at Creative Artists Agency (CAA) and Warner Brothers Studios. She has served as a Vice-President at Hollywood-based entertainment marketing agencies specializing in feature film and television and has written and conceptualized advertising campaigns for high-profile clients including: E! Entertainment, Discovery Networks, Miramax, and Sony. As a journalist for more than ten years, she has also covered media, marketing, and emerging trends in entertainment and tourism as a Columnist and Contributing Editor at several publications including: Los Angeles Confidential Magazine, GenArt, Teen Vogue, Town + Country, and Surface Magazine. In 2007, she founded two online travel blogs, and, to cover luxury travel and stylish, eco-friendly goods for the modern adventurer. Most recently, she led grassroots social media marketing initiatives in the United Kingdom for the non-profit sector as NGO’s transitioned from traditional marketing to the social media space. She brings her understanding and passion for media and marketing to Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide because she believes that “innovation is the last refuge of the revolutionary.” Revis was awarded a Distinction from The London School of Economics where she achieved a Master’s of Science in Media and Development and holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Pennsylvania in English Literature.