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Published March 3rd 2015

Taking Command: A Look Back at Social Media Week NYC

Want all the juice from Social Media Week NYC? Look no further.

Social Media Week is one of the most anticipated events in the industry, and I have to admit – it is unlike any other event I’ve been to. The last day was certainly an emotion-filled one.

Sleep deprived bodies yearning for the horizontal bliss their beds would soon offer, saying goodbye to the friends you made (even if the crux of your relationship was their booth’s free water), pawning off excess swag to lighten your load, and recovering from the odd sensation of ‘becoming another person’ at the virtual reality booth.


As one of our designers described it, the theme of the event seemed a crossover between sensory overload and extreme enthusiasm for social.

From the minute you step in the 14th Avenue entrance, you depart the norms of NYC and enter a rabbit hole of gadgets and excited salespeople entrancing you with their pitch and promises of free coffee.


A stop at the lifeblood of the event (the coffee station) brought you right in front of the Brandwatch booth.

Between our dazzling Vizia display tracking various speakers and sponsors of SMW (Martha Stewart, Jesse Jackson, Buzzfeed and Mashable to name a few) and our Brandwatch socks, our booth felt pretty loved by the attendees from all over the country.


A highlight for Brandwatch was definitely our content track on Thursday.

CMO Will McInnes kicked things off with an overview of the social media landscape and the future of social media intelligence.

What followed was a panel on command centers with some of the top thinkers in social media; James Pandora of Kohler, Melissa Zimyeski from Droga5, and Brian Wright from Wells Fargo.


Key takeaways from the panel were shared on Twitter with close to 300 mentions using our designated hashtag (#SMWSOCIALDATA) that day.

A shared feeling developed that command centers have reinvented business in that they offer intel about the social landscape, inspire new types of thinking and levels of insight and are applicable to all departments.

Social listening was formerly an area left to marketing departments, but applications are being seen across all areas of business as social command centers foster collaboration and inspiration in the digital age.

An interesting distinction came up in the discussion between proactive and reactive approaches in business.

The audience was reminded that optimally command centers are about 90% proactive and only 10% reactive in that they can identify emerging opportunities.

The direct line to the raw customer voice that command centers provide, yields a more intimate and real relationship between brand and consumer than ever before. Long term brand love can grow from using a command center.


Monster presented the aggregate changes their social command center has brought to their company, demonstrating how social listening can act as a living and breathing example of a company. The headquarters may be the physical location, but the heart of the company is alive in the command center.

While SMW New York was exhausting to say the least, it wasn’t exhausting in that people grew tired of the content and the conversations, but rather in that there was so much to see and learn and do that you never wanted to leave (until your body reminded you that caffeine is not the same thing as sleep).

It was a truly inspirational week that almost broke your brain with the sheer volume of new information, but a week not to be missed.


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