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State of Social ’19: Where to from here?

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28th June 2019 in

On June 25th one of Australia’s biggest digital marketing conferences, State of Social ’19, took over Optus Stadium for the second consecutive year. Focused on the timely topic of “Where to from here?”, the event provided clarity and fuelled debate across a range of social media and digital marketing industry news and trends.

With keynote presentations and panel discussion by some of the world’s leading innovators and authorities, State of Social ’19 did not disappoint. The three main themes of the day were the evolution of brand communication, the voice revolution and increasing demands for trust and authenticity online. Co-founder Chris Wirasinha (@chriswira) kicked off the day with his presentation on “The Changing Digital Landscape”. He shared how he created Australia’s largest youth-focused publishing brand by distilling the world into “spicy nuggets” and adopting changing digital distribution channels. Chris drove home the idea that in order to survive in a world of social media algorithms, your brand needs to stand out with the content it produces; and challenged the audience through divergent thinking to view their brand through a headline.

Next up was former Twitter News Partnerships Director and ABC Journalist Jonathan Harley (@jharleyaus). With the proliferation of “fake news” across social media causing widespread confusion, he covered how brands could redeem themselves by using the Trust Trilogy – content, conversation and credibility. By producing well researched and accurate content online, brands can start genuine conversations with their target audience and as a result, gain their trust through credibility.

Former UK Government Digital Communications Lead and The Next Web Social Media Director Matt Navarra (@mattnavarra) spoke about the importance of brands building communities online and picking social media platforms that align with their business. He said brands should be thinking about what type of content they produce, how its distributed and how it contributes to their community. As for marketing professionals who are struggling to get senior management on board with the value of social media, Matt recommended they point out how brand conversations are already happening without them and to collate good and bad examples of brand participation as proof.

Instagram is one of the strongest community building tools for marketers according to Instagram Blogger and Expert Jenn Herman (@jenns_trends). She deep dived into how businesses could better leverage the platform by cracking the algorithms of its hashtags, stories and feed features. For example, profile placement on stories is determined by personal interactions followed by chronological order. Jenn also emphasised how the Instagram and Facebook algorithms were completely different; quality content is more important than trying to follow algorithms and that your content should be about what your audience wants.

Impact, Interaction and Innovation. These are the three principles Klick Communication Founder and Director Kim McKay (@kimmckay_) said brands should focus their marketing efforts on to stay relevant. Impact means how a brand is seen and heard, Interaction is the brand experience and Innovation is how a brand evolves. She pointed out how over the last 12 years there has been a great shift in power from brands to consumers. Marketers need to focus on elevating the positives of their brand and identifying how their product is relevant to their customers. For example, Nestle US’s recent sale of their profitable confectionary business to make room for health and wellness products such as vitamins, which is in line with changing consumer behaviours.

Rounding out the day was Hashtag Inventor Chris Messina (@chrismessina). He shared how we’re currently in the midst of a voice revolution thanks to our rapid adoption of smart devices, such as Google Home’s and Amazon Alexa’s, which is the precursor to the mind evolution. Chris also posed the question about whether the voice revolution would be the death of brands, as artificial intelligence simplified the consumer journey and placed the consumer in control. As messaging applications including Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp drive mobile usage, demand for private communication on customer terms means brands must be agile to capture and retain their target market’s attention.

If you attended, what were your key learnings from the conference?

As proud partners of the State of Social 19 conference, we were chuffed to see so many industry professionals looking to learn, share and network in such a collaborative and engaging environment. Congratulations to #SMPerth on yet another incredible event, bursting with thought-provoking ideas and conversations!


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