Winning a pitch is one thing, but winning awards is a completely different ball game and winning awards for social media is another thing altogether.
From new platforms springing up to near-constant changes to success metrics it can be difficult to know what to do and, more importantly, what not to do.
So, as the deadline for this year's Social Buzz Awards approaches (Friday 5 August) we've rounded up some of this year's esteemed panel to find out what they're looking for and what entrants should be avoiding at all costs.
Hollie Bennett, UK digital community manager, Sony Computer Entertainment
I want to see amazing entries that really make me think about my job, what I do and what I can achieve. I want people to show me clever ways to use the platforms available to us and I want them to inspire me to take that back to my company and achieve something great with it as well. I'm a big believer in stronger together. I believe in sharing and being supportive rather than putting each other down. I like to see creativity but not at another's expense.
Kat Brown, social media editor, Glamour UK
I'm looking for smart use of social media that cultivates the differences of each platform, while maintaining a distinctive voice and brand identity that's really focused on the audience. Failing that, lots of animal Vines will please me no end. Social media is littered with terrible mistakes; we've all made them, and we'll make them again. But for me, the worst faux pas is to try and be something you're not, whether that's in tone or content. I'd much rather see someone's who's happy being themselves. That's what we all take joy in seeing, and it's what gets you following someone or something you might not have thought about previously.
Laura-May Coope, co-founder and director, Social Life
I'm looking for original ideas that are social at heart, rather than wider campaigns that use social elements. It's always awesome to see ideas executed by people who really understand the internet and the audience they are speaking to. The worst mistake an entrant can make is splashing loads of money on paid spend to generate numbers, rather than making genuinely good stuff that people find and want to share organically. Or making amazing content, then forgetting community management and conversation.
Jerry Daykin, digital partner, Carat Global
In terms of entries, don't be nervous about putting something forward if you're proud of it, even small campaigns from small brands can stand out if their strategy and results are really powerful. That said, be clear on what makes your entry unique and special and get to the point quickly - don't just bury your success at the very end of a long case study or it won't get a true chance to shine. The biggest opportunity is to step change the level of creativity on social platforms, for me it's much less about forcing new innovations or coming up with clever hacks, but really driving powerful creative. Although driving big reach is critical there are opportunities for customised targeting and creative within that, and to use insights to really shape that approach.
Lucie Kerley, founder, creative digital strategist and social media consultant, Agent K
I'm excited to see how brands and agencies are continuing to push boundaries and introduce new and emerging technologies into their creative thinking. I want to see teams conjuring up campaigns that have pulled out all the stops and force people to sit up and think differently about their everyday lives - compelling communications that tap into our social consciousness. I want to literally feel the blood, sweat and tears - the hours - that have gone into making post-it note ideas into jaw-dropping creative executions. As entries, to be any good, they've got to be tangible.
Kristian Lorenzon, head of social media, O2 UK, Telefonica UK Ltd
I'm really excited to see a range of entries, big and small, that draw on the best creative thinking, excellent planning and data driven execution. I'll be looking for entries that have utilised data, whether to establish an insight or inform a successful integrated creative and media strategy. Entires that prove real ROI (e.g. sales or impact) will stand out versus those that don't.
Ryan Murphy, creative director, VaynerMedia
I'm looking for work that really drives business results. The work has to be emotional and good, if it's just fun creative for creative's sake I feel like that's cheap. I want it to sell products or shift perception of a brand. That said, I'm not one for blanket dismissals.
Laurier 'Lo' Nicas Alder, head of social, TMW Unlimited
I’m looking forward to seeing work from sectors outside of my day-to-day. But don’t just present stats without passion. The numbers are impressive and important, but I want to hear about the inspiration and impact of the work that you’ve done. Who did you influence and why does it matter? What was achieved and what has happened since? I want context to those numbers that let me understand what was truly achieved.
Jorgen Sundberg, founder and chief executive officer, Link Humans
I'll be keeping an eye out for innovative campaign that benefit not just a short-term push, but the brand and organisation as a whole. The worst faux pas would be do have done a campaign just to win awards.
Jack Wallington, community director, The Student Room Group
I'd especially like to see work that marries intelligent data tools, like audience segmentation and targeting with the power of above-the-line branding and storytelling. That said, I'm hoping to avoid entries that are more style over substance, a simple but effective campaign is better. Submitting an entry that is visually or technically impressive but failed to make an impact with the audience would be the biggest mistake - clear evidence of results is hugely important to me.
The Social Buzz Awards, sponsored by Buzzoole and Tint, are open for entry until Friday 5 August, for more information on the awards, how to enter and this year's judges visit the Social Buzz Awards site.