Social Media Week and Beyond

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A quick glance at the Pinch Social website leaves no doubt as to the Toronto agency’s area of expertise. If you’re looking for social media marketing services and the first thing you read is “social media is what we do,” you know you’re in the right place. And it’s that expertise that Michelle Pinchev, Founder and Lead Strategist at Pinch Social, has strived to bring to today’s constantly changing marketing landscape. In October 2015, after years of honing her skills in the corporate banking world, Pinchev started her agency with a specific focus on social media and content marketing. “I really felt there was a gap,” explained Pinchev. “There was a need for a service that didn’t just “also do” social media but an agency where that’s what we do.” Marketer of the Year Entrepreneur One of the first steps in taking Pinch Social to the next level involved organizing the return of Social Media Week to Toronto in order to provide an “in-real-life” forum that would help advance Toronto professionals and showcase the talent and innovation the city has to offer. A passion project for Pinchev, Social Media Week brought together some of the best minds in social media marketing to venues across Toronto last June in a new independent cities program called SMWi. Not only did it have a strong impact on the marketing, media and technology community, it also marked Pinch Social’s arrival on the scene. “Suddenly we were extremely well known and a fixture in this space,” said Pinchev. “It also helped us forge some key, strategic partnerships with service providers in media, web, and video.” The event also landed Pinch Social in the media spotlight with coverage in Marketing Magazine, CBC, 24-Hour Toronto and Notable. After a three-year hiatus, Social Media Week kicked off in Toronto on June 6th in tandem with Social Media Week events in cities around the world including Los Angeles, San Francisco and Milan. Keynote speakers included leaders in social media such as Norm Kelly, Buzzfeed Canada and Twitter speaking at venues across the city. The critically acclaimed “art selfie” tour at AGO was a highlight of the event, as well as the social media “doors open” at Twitter and Google offices. A closing panel on social media, self esteem, and body image rounded out the event. The Future of Social Media Events like Social Media Week are significant as they allow for the sharing and exploration of new marketing challenges, ideas and trends. For Pinchev, one key trend today is storytelling. For example, she explained that social media today is not only making news, it is impacting the way news is reported. “The potential of social media to tell stories in real time from multiple perspectives around the world is one of the biggest things it has going for it,” she explained. Pinch Social Storytelling, however, is just the tip of the iceberg. Live streaming, VR and wearables are just a few technologies that many organizations are beginning to utilize for their marketing and storytelling tactics. While these technologies provide an exciting look into what may very well be the future of marketing, businesses will continue to face many new challenges as a result of a more connected consumer. Pinchev suggests that society’s attitudes around privacy and sharing content will continue to ebb and flow over the next several years and it’s important for marketers to take that into consideration. “We are increasingly sharing more,” she said. “And the nature of what we are sharing is increasingly personal and intimate.” Lastly, she warns that organic growth is going to become more and more difficult and more channels will become “pay to play,” giving a louder voice to larger brands with a budget. She suggests that in order to jump this hurdle, smaller players will have to be increasingly creative to cut through the noise on a budget. This is where she believes influencers will come into play, whose reach can be monetized as an alternative to paid advertising. Keep an eye out for Michelle’s lifestyle blog, City by Heart which will be re-launching soon under a new editorial plan as a project of Pinch Social. Related Links: Pinch Social is a finalist in the Entrepreneur category for our 2016 CAMP Marketing Awards. Winners will be announced at CAMP’s Awards Gala on November 2nd. To learn more about the event, please visit: About Author: Liam is a marketing and communications professional currently living in Toronto. Liam O'Donovan A global career has taken him from Edmonton to Copenhagen and Hong Kong where he has specialized in online marketing, social media and copywriting. He is available for freelance writing and marketing projects and can be reached at or at  

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