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Social Media Research Summit

Social Media Research Summit

In a nutshell


This event has taken place.

Social media offers brands and organisations a fast track to the hearts and minds of customers. This conference will showcase some of the most creative and resourceful new thinking that allows for effective communications and transactions.

If you want to get closer to customers and make sense of their interactions, this conference will help you separate the signal from the noise.

Learn how insight is being maximized and energized through social media – and listen in as techniques are shared.

The conference will offer you a concentrated day of intelligence, practical advice, debate and strategy. Whether you are an insight professional, or a brand manager, this event will help equip you to face the considerable challenges, and reap the considerable benefits, of using social media to better understand your customers.

  • How can social media insights be successfully placed against real world conversations?
  • What are the real secrets of viral success?
  • What is Twystery shopping and how can it help brands?
  • How can social fingerprinting offer you a truer picture of customers?
  • How can you tap into valuable cultural networks through social media?
  • How can social media be used to prove a research hypothesis?
  • How can brands improve social media listening strategies?
  • How can diverse social media sources be drawn together into a unified and coherent whole?

This interactive conference will allow you the time and space to examine some of the profound strategic and technical issues facing us all in trying to harness social media for the benefit of understanding.

Join us for a day that could change the way you interact, understand and transact with customers.

Participants include:

  • BDRC Continental
  • Cassidy Media Partnership
  • Firefish
  • HSBC
  • IPG Mediabrands
  • Kantar Media
  • Keller Fay
  • MediaCom
  • Populus
  • Pulsar
  • The Answer
  • Twitter


Where is the event taking place?

Radisson Blu Edwardian

9-13 Bloomsbury Street

    With thanks to:


    09.25 Registration and coffee

    10.00 Opening remarks

    Marc Brenner, former editor of Research

    10.10 Why does content go viral?

    Laurence Stellings is a regular panellist/guest contributor on BBC 5 Live’s ‘Big Share’ programme, which discusses that week’s trending and viral social media stories. He often interview the people behind the Tweets, videos, and posts that go viral and find out why they shared the content and what’s happened since. In this opening session, he’ll share some of the lessons he’s learnt along the way about why content goes viral and what it means for brands and corporates in engaging with customers.
    Laurence Stellings, Director, Populus

    10.40 Social Media and the New Visual Grammar: learning to speak the new consumer language

    Social media has brought about a fundamental change in the way people communicate - from the textual to the visual. Although the research industry has made great progress in the adoption of new techniques and methods for the digital age it has struggled to comprehend the full meaning and value of consumers’ unprecedented use of visual images. How can we read and understand the new visual grammar of social media, how does this expand our understanding of contemporary consumers, and what is the role of brands and companies in this communicative field.
    Dr. Nick Gadsby, Founder and principal, The Answer: the Cultural Value agency

    11.10 Refreshment Break

    11.30 HSBC and the path to broader social media listening

    At the start of the year, HSBC formalised an enhanced social media listening (SML) approach to support them with 'broader social media listening' – so not anchored in a pre-defined topic but driven by what is being discussed amongst businesses and influencers, both in relation to HSBC and the wider banking sector. Listen in to how this financial sector giant uses social media to give faster, deeper and more agile insight while also providing valid and credible results.
    Lucy Fairhall, Head of research and insight, global commercial banking, HSBC
    Nikki Boore, Global head of customer strategy and insight, HSBC

    12.00 Fresh insight on Twitter usage and its implications for brands

    Firefish and The Numbers Lab have conducted a new multi-discipline study into the behaviours, habits and attitudes of Twitter users. What fresh insights can be gleaned from this research? And how can this insight be used by brands to better communicate and engage with existing and potential customers?
    Nathaniel Greywoode, Research Manager, Twitter UK
    Lizzy Moroney, Director, Firefish

    12.30 Social media analysis and the shift towards a hypothesis-driven approach

    Social media data helps us understand audiences at scale, but it has grown into an ocean of interactions which can make analysis challenging. Next to this, the introduction of privacy-first data sources like Facebook Topic Data and LinkedIn, offering unprecedented access to data in an aggregated and anonymised form, question the fitness of online qualitative methodologies that rely on analysing individual posts to make sense of the data. A new research approach is emerging where the focus is not on using social data in an exploratory fashion, but as a tool to validate specific research hypothesis. This session demonstrates how to turn an insight, creative or media brief into a research hypothesis, how to translate the hypothesis into a series of signals that can be extracted from the topics, and how to craft insights to validate, disprove the original hypothesis or drive completely new insights.
    Francesco D’Orazio, Co-founder, VP product & research, PULSAR

    13.00 Lunch

    14.10 The need for perspective: Placing social media insights alongside real-world conversation

    There is great value in monitoring the visible conversation that’s available in public social media. However, private and online conversations lurking under the surface are more numerous, bigger -- and often very different. In this session you’ll learn how to ground social media insights in the broader context of how and why consumers communicate with each other about brands and products.
    Steve Thomson, Managing director, Engagement Labs UK

    14.40 Cultural insights drawn from social media listening

    Social listening is being used to create cultural frameworks that can help to understand the success (or failure) of TV programmes featuring client content. It’s helping to drive the development and effectiveness of these programmes. But what can the commercial world, outside of the world of media, learn from cultural analysis?
    Kitty Jansz-Moore, Research manager, Real World Insight, MediaCom

    15.10 Twystery shopping: a new way of benchmarking brands

    Twitter is increasingly important as a customer service channel, used by consumers to contact companies to find information and solve problems. It’s particularly important to brands as it’s public - all questions and responses (or lack of) can be seen by anyone. BDRC Continental wanted to use a traditional approach of customer satisfaction research, but update it for the world of social media. This session illustrates how they used Twitter itself as a platform for a mystery shopping programme, sending c.10,000 tweets to c. 400 brands. Listen in as BDRC reveals the lessons learnt and the pitfalls to avoid - both for brands using Twitter, and when conducting similar research.
    Tim Barber, Director, BDRC Continental

    15.40 Refreshment break

    16.00 Understanding UK Women via social media:a usage & attitudes study

    In July 2016, Kantar Media conducted a usage and attitudes study of women’s drinking habits in the UK, by analysing social media conversations. They wanted to understand what influences women in their choice of alcoholic drinks. Learn how they tapped into a hard to reach demographic, leveraged visual social media content and applied a language lexicon of affinity to categories and brands to capture genuine consumer conversations and uncover fresh insights. Discover how to capture candid descriptions of habits which may not be possible using other forms of consumer research.
    Gaelle Bertrand, Head of Brand Insight, Kantar Media

    16.30 Social fingerprinting: conversation analysis that drives marketing strategy

    Social Fingerprinting is a research technique developed for extracting insight from large Twitter datasets. It works by quantifying and visualising how conversations flow between brands, consumers and others. The insight it provides enables clients to understand who the key influencers for their brand are, what conversation content is most resonant and how their brand’s ‘talkability’ and capacity to connect with consumers measure up against the competition.
    Geoff Copps, Head of research,IPG Mediabrands Marketing Sciences

    17.00 Debate: Social insight can only thrive when it gets out of the social silo

    In this final session of the day, representatives from leading brands reveal the challenges they have faced in proving the value of social insight and how they have been overcome; Is the social silo the main issue? We find out where they turn for help and what the tipping points were for them personally and for their organisations? And we hear their responses to the challenges and assertions made through the day.

    Chair: Fran Cassidy, founder, Cassidy Media Partnership and Project Lead, #IPASocialWorks


    Pete Evans,Head of Research, Insight & Marketing Effectiveness, RBS

    Chloe Harper, Marketing Business Manager, TfL

    This is the other tab


      Tim Barber

      Tim Barber has been working in research for nearly two decades, focussing primarily on media and communications, for the some of the world’s leading organisations. He’s particularly interested in developing and implementing innovative methodologies.

      Gaelle Bertrand

      Gaelle is seasoned market research professional with 19 years’ experience (TNS, Dunnhumby, GSK and Coca-Cola). Gaelle has been delivering strategic insights through social media research for 8 years, first at SDL/Alterian, and then at Precise, now Kantar Media, where she helped develop and grow the company's social media intelligence capabilities.

      Nikki Boore

      Nikki heads up Global Customer Strategy and Insight at HSBC which covers all business lines including Retail, Private and Corporate Banking. She is passionate about exploring how HSBC can utilise predominantly B2C approaches in B2B research, and vice versa. She has extensive experience within the financial services sector, having worked for HSBC for over 20 years.

      Fran Cassidy

      Fran has worked within agencies, brands, and media owners. She has run Marketing Departments within TV Networks, Outdoor and Cinema and now runs an independent marketing and research consultancy. Fran is also Board Director of The Marketing Society. Clients include Facebook, Channel 4, BARB, and the IPA. Fran was one of the founders of the #IPASocialWorks project – the first project of its kind to isolate robust measurement and effectiveness strategies for social media.

      Geoff Copps

      Geoff is IPG Mediabrands’ UK Head of Research. In addition to leading data projects across a range of clients, his key role is in the development and integration of marketing-leading tools across IPG’s agencies. Over his career he has worked in roles for research supplier, media owner, and media agency. Geoff is also active within the media industry at JIC technical committee and board level.

      Franscesco D'Orazio

      Francesco D’Orazio is a researcher and designer with a social science and digital media background. He is co-founder and VP Product & Research at Pulsar, Chief Innovation Officer at FACE and co-founder of the Visual Social Media Lab. His work focuses on designing systems and research frameworks to analyse social data using computational social science and data visualisation. Most of his research focuses on virality, social influence, audience segmentation and content strategy. He is a regular speaker at research, innovation and technology conferences such as Big Data Week, Social Media Week, Strata, IIEX, WARC, MRS, Esomar. His work has been featured in the likes of BBC, Guardian, CNN, BuzzFeed, Mashable, Quartz, The Next Web - and on Commander Hadfield’s Twitter feed.

      Lucy Fairhall

      Lucy is the Head of Research and Insight for Global Commercial Banking at HSBC and is a huge advocate of innovative research techniques. Lucy began her career at GfK, moving to HSBC to lead the UK research and insight team. For the past four years, Lucy has headed up the central research team and has taken on the challenge of evolving the way in which HSBC conducts research. She recently published a thought leadership piece on the topic in Marketing Week.

      Nick Gadsby

      In his 16 years as a researcher Nick has helped numerous companies invest in the cultural value of their brands and transform this into successful commercial outcomes and is a highly respected presenter on the conference circuit, being nominated for Best Presentation at the past two MRS Annual Conferences.

      Nathaniel Greywoode

      Nathaniel is UK Research Manager at Twitter, working with brands to help prove and improve the value that Twitter creates for advertisers. This role manifests itself in many different ways; from using the billions of Tweets sent daily to understand consumer behaviour to measuring campaigns for clients to track ROI, by way of Neurological research to understand the impact of Twitter and it's role in how we communicate. Prior to Twitter, Nathaniel worked at global media agencies MediaCom and Dentsu-Aegis, specialising in quantitative and statistical approaches to understand the performance of advertising activities for some of the world’s biggest advertisers and optimise their future deployments. He is currently Twitter's Global Mix Modelling lead, whilst also being a member of the IPA SocialWorks steering group and sitting on the I-COM Attribution board.

      Kitty Jansz-Moore

      Kitty is a Research Manager in the MediaCom Real World Insight team, working on quantitative and social listening projects across a range of clients and sectors. Her research background has been built through roles in various media and communications agencies.

      Lizzy Moroney

      Lizzy is a Research Director at Firefish. Her specialisms include audience behaviours, brand communications strategy and proposition development and she won the MRS New Consumer Insights Award in 2015 for work on BBC 1Xtra with The Pineapple Lounge. Lizzy has 13 years’ experience and joined Firefish from Bauer Media where she was Head of Brand and Commercial Insight.

      Laurence Stellings

      Laurence has more than a decade’s experience helping corporates, public bodies, and political campaigns develop and implement evidence-based strategies to best communicate their messages, manage their reputations, and understand their key audiences. He is a Director in the Reputation and Strategy team at Populus and Tweets @LaurenceThinks.

      Steve Thomson

      Steve is the Managing Director of Keller Fay UK. He is acknowledged as a leader in the holistic measurement of brand amplification and buzz, and has widespread experience in researching the issues of brand advocacy, word of mouth, and social influence from many angles.


    Delegate fee until 25 November 2016

    MRS Member £335 (£402 inc VAT)

    Non-Member £465 (£558 inc VAT)

    Please note: Early Bird fees must be paid in full by 25.11.2016

    Delegate fee from 26 November 2016

    MRS Member £435 (£522 inc VAT)

    Non-Member £565 (£678 inc VAT)

    Company Partner Discount rate - £300 (£360 inc VAT) or 1 Company Partner ticket


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