Last week, I attended Social Media Week: Los Angeles in Santa Monica. SMW is a worldwide conference that curates and shares the best ideas, innovations and insights into how social media and technology are changing business, society and culture around the world. With the amalgamation of creative minds from top companies all over the world, Social Media Week is the perfect place to be inspired, discover new technologies and change our own methods of digital strategy.
After attending Social Media Week, I’ve rounded up my 10 key takeaways that will help you improve your brand or company’s social practices.
1. Creative blocks will happen. Know what to do to get yourself out of them:
Sleep on it.
Talk it out with someone who isn’t in your industry.
Go for a walk.
Work on something else & come back to it.
2. Focus on making an impact on culture rather than “going viral”:
Marcus Collins from the Doner Agency gave a recipe for creating cultural contagion (content that will have an impact on & change society rather than just being a video that gets a lot of views). When you focus on having an impact on the way that people live or behave in their daily lives, instead of just creating something popular, you’re giving your brand an influence that will last beyond 200,000 views on a FB video.
3. As technology shifts, companies need to shift their strategies.
Justin Rezvani from Amplify made a bold statement that “In 5 years, 90% of people will be making purchases through a chatbot rather than regular e-commerce.” With an ever-changing digital landscape, companies must stay on top of new trends, be flexible in their methods and take initiative to adapt new technologies or else they’ll be playing catch up.
4. “There is no better time in the history of the world to be a storyteller.”
Brett Patrick from Propagate emphasized how more emerging platforms bring an amazing opportunity for creatives & storytellers. With more outlets available to produce and promote your own content, you no longer have to rely on the “okay” of others before you create what inspires you.
While more platforms brings more opportunity, it also brings more competition; it’s increasingly harder to stand out & grab the attention of viewers in today’s digital space. Our tip: change your tactics frequently and keep your content fresh in order to keep users engaged.
5. Find your audience & discover who they are.
Netbase CMO, Paige Leidig stressed the importance of understanding your audience and how they behave. “Not every social channel is equal, and not every social channel for your audience is the same.” Every brand won’t need to be on every single platform. Do an audit of your content and engagement and focus your efforts on creating unique & exciting content for the platforms where your audience is the heaviest.
6. With the ever-increasing integration of social in our daily lives, we need to think about the impact it will have on our culture and safety.
It’s no secret that people are glued to their phones on a daily basis, but it is still a mystery of what the implications of having our entire lives online are. Jonathan Taplin, author of Move Fast & Break Things, has serious issues with the domination of Facebook, Google & Amazon in the digital & consumer space. We need to think about what a monopoly of these three companies means for business, community & safety online and in the real world. Buy his new book for a more in-depth discussion.
7. Diversify your content per platform.
What performs well on YouTube will fail on Facebook and vice versa. In the MACHINIMA workshop, we discussed how important it is to produce content per platform & tailor when necessary. Each platform has it’s own rules, audience & community. Your content for that platform should reflect that platforms community & engagement relationships. The days of posting the same content across every platform are over. If you want to grow, you must diversify.
8. Every brand will need to go through a refresh.
Has your brand been around forever? It may be in need of a marketing and strategy refresh. Execs from Morton Salt discussed how they implemented new creative initiatives to take their century-old brand to the next level & keep it current in digital times.
Set aside a time each year to go over past marketing strategies and discuss what is working and what could be improved upon. Doing a yearly audit is an important step in making sure that your brand is heading in the right direction.
9. Everyone goes through times of challenge.
Kelly Osbourne brought up the important fact that not every single day in the digital marketing world is going to be a walk in the park. It’s okay to go through times where you don’t feel organic or aren’t excited about what you are putting out into the world. The important thing is to recognize these times, take a moment to step back, & refocus on what you are really trying to accomplish.
10. Trust your gut.
Buzzfeed‘s Ashly Perez stressed that the most important thing is to trust your gut. You know what feels right to you & that you have something unique to offer to the world. Don’t forget about what you started out to do; keep doing it, even when others around you are doubting you.
Written by our VP of Operations, Marissa Stahl.
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