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The SXSW Social Sessions We Won't Miss

Whitney Durmick
Senior Product Manager

Mere days remain before hordes of tech’s best and brightest converge upon the streets of Austin, Texas to participate in the ideation mecca that is South By Southwest.

An enthusiastic first timer, I look forward to lacing up my carefully-chosen shoes (they fit neatly at the intersection of style and comfort, thank you very much) and exploring the labyrinth of talks, panels, brand experiences and trade shows.

Perusing the schedule, the scale of information is overwhelming. Even focusing solely on the events with a social media bent, content ranges from health and wellness to social responsibility, e-commerce to food porn.

These are the sessions I’ve earmarked:

Content + Social Engagement

Attendees of this 90-minute trade show get a crash course on the latest innovations in social content straight from the freshest vendors.

Among the up and comers is Final Thoughts, a platform that serves up images and videos after a user has passed away. Consider my morbid curiosity officially piqued.

Social Video and the Future of Consumption

Publishing experts from Vice, Vox and NYT will discuss the undeniable takeover of video on social channels, and offer their take on where social media tech and consumption are going as networks proliferate and attention spans shrink.

Social is More than a Metric  

Presented by Spredfast, this session explores how brands can determine better ways to measure ROI based on their business case, moving away from standardized ROI metrics that might be meaningless to their goals.  

In an increasingly data-rich landscape, social measurement providers worth their salt will encourage their customers to find unique metrics that align with their social ambitions, so I’m curious to hear Spredfast’s take.

Shopping & Sacred Social Space

E-commerce specialists from eBay, Facebook, Flipboard and Imgur converge to share their strategies for engaging with consumers authentically.  Online shoppers continue to grow fickle in the types and frequency of brand outreach they’ll accept, so this think tank offers ideas to combine content with commerce to deliver value to the customer. As a frequent shopper with high CX expectations, I am hotly anticipating this one. 

#FoodPorn or Bust: The Socialization of Food

Asking the important question about eating in a digital world; “If you didn't take a picture of it, did you really eat it?”

Building Healthy Habits – More Social Less Media

Explore the intersections of mental and physical health as they relate to exercise and social media in this session hosted by active lifestyle brands Adidas and Peloton.

Payments Gone Viral: The Rise of Social Commerce

Social payments are the natural next step in digital commerce, and represent a fundamental change in how people could pay for things in the future. Moderated by a longtime finance pro, this panel of experts will muse on the opportunities and obstacles for social currency exchange.

Creators in Social Media: Enhancing Your Content

With no lack of quantity available to consumers, content producers need to embrace tools that foster quality in photo and video deliverables to stand out in the saturated social content market. 

This talk features YouTuber Devin Supertramp, who is well known for his prolific video chronicles of heartpumping adventures involving jetpacks, parkour and skydiving.

Social Media Real-volution: What’s After Perfect

This is one of many sessions woven into the SXSW curriculum looking at the role of technology in activism and social change. Social media allows people to show off the highlight reels and hide the low points of their lives, misleading observers who might react by feeling left out (FOMO, anyone?) or even marginalized. The session will foster a discussion of the role of authenticity in how we present our selves and our lives on social networks, and where self-acceptance fits in.  

Follow Oracle Social on Twitter and Instagram to keep up with us at SXSW.   

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