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Social Media Week Barcelona: a Change in Language and Perspective Goes a Long Way

Jarobin Gilbert February 24, 2014 Category Social Media

SMWBCNSocial Media has become a global phenomenon in the last few years. This winter for Social Media Week as part of the Path Interactive team, I was given the opportunity to participate in the Barcelona installment of the conference. Hosted by Buzz Marketing Networks and held at the Mobile World Centre in Plaça de Catalunya, advertisers, markers, community managers and the generally curious all gathered for what is one of Spain’s most popular conferences – the other being the Mobile World Congress held the week after.


This year’s conference theme is The Future of Now.  Judging by what was reported at the conference in Barcelona, Social Media is changing facets of Spanish life.  From using digital platforms to help make political figures more influential and human such as Xavier Trias, whose election was made more possible through such platforms, to making sure to tap into your cultural identity to portray your brand to the world as Estrella Damm, Barcelona’s most famous beer does, to even making sure that your social media properties exist in real-time to connect with people. In Spain, these concepts along with others are part of the blossoming creativity that like many of its famous artists and writers are making daily impacts.

smw barcelona

Plaça Catalunya, Barcelona

Here are some of my key takeaways from the two days I was able to attend:

  •  “Take Social Media Data more seriously and focus on quality”-  Javier Godoy, Data Strategist & Managing Partner at MindYourGroup , presented on not just how you can measure Social Media, but how you can optimize your channels from that data. Speaking from the perspective of a search marketer, the Barcelona audience was shown that even with the certainty of numerical data that also quality of social media interactions is important as well. You can focus on more than just “Likes”, “Retweets” and even clicks. Who is interacting with you, how often and why are also what can drive results of a successful social media campaign.
  • “Get more visually creative and focus on real time interactions”- Jemimah Pico, Account Director and Social Media Strategist at Buzz MN spoke on the needs for brands and businesses to be authentic and real in their social media communications. In telling the story of themselves, people should be relying on real images rather than memes which don’t build brands. Also, although there seems to be a tendency to put forth content calendars months in advance, planning to be interactive in the “here and now” would serve brands better in the long run and help them to be more human.
  • Everyone can be social, no matter who you are-  Carlos Fernandez Guerra (@Policia) & Francisco Polo of Change.org—On these platforms: the Twitter feed for the Spanish National Police Force and the other being Change.org. Both these presentations focused on making what may be perceived as authorities or inaccessible to unapproachable organizations in one’s daily life not just more human, but in fact more helpful and impacting the daily life of Spaniards everywhere.
  • “Adaptation is Creation”– Andy Whitlock, Digital Product Strategist at Made by Many— Products, services and social networks are always changing and evolving. Instead of thinking in short term gains and going for quick fix metrics, one should aim to develop the longevity of these standards/metrics so that they stay with consumers and they continue to be useful entities rather than easily forgotten.
  • Get involved in more networks, stop relying solely on Facebook- Another theme that was touched on throughout a number presentations, was how brands and companies should be looking to other networks to ensure a lively social media relationship with their consumers and communities. With the recent change in Facebook’s algorithm and reports of the lack of meaningful engagement on brand pages from users, one should think of where other attributes can be distributed, displayed and in turn, where we can continue to connect in other ways with the audience that one says he wants to capture.
  •  “Yo puedo cambiar el Mundo” (I can change the world) – Astrid Altadill Account Director and Social Media Strategist at Buzz Marketing MN–  After the change.org presentation from Francisco Polo, we were able to see how powerful the digital tools we have in our hands are. Whether you’re a baker, a banker a marketer, a politician, or just an everyday person, there’s a way for your voice to be heard and with the right tools in your hands a lot is possible.

As you know, I wasn’t able to stay for the entire week in Barcelona. The messages and central points resonate within not just the marketing community in Spain, but with different levels and kinds of consumers. The change in perspective, language and growth in interest and usage have shed even more light on how one can continue to improve, optimize and connect with others, regardless of where or who we are.

Hasta la proxima vez!!!

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