Last month I attended Social Media Week 2019 in Los Angeles. This was my first ever professional conference, and I was so excited to go! Ask anyone in the office and they'll tell you the week before heading out west I would regularly gush about what talks I wanted to sit in on and who the guest speakers were, I was just so excited!!
First off this is a conference all about social media, hence the title, and they've been hosting an LA conference for five years now. I have always had a hand in social media with all of the people I've worked for. Be that strategy and implementation, analytics, copy, or actually going out and creating content. I used to hate being tasked with social media work, I always thought it was so lazy to make the millennial do it, but now I have a genuine love of social media and using it for business.
Social media can get a bad wrap for being all about self promotion and vanity, but it's also a great tool for discovery and marketing. Now I don't condone all social media behaviors or trends but I think it's important that businesses view social as a tool for growth rather than a distraction. If Social Media Week confirmed anything for me it is that social isn't going anywhere and there truly are so many things you can do with it.
This conference featured lots of topics from politics in social media, Artificial Intelligence, and influencer marketing. While I didn't hear anything that was mind-blowing I do think this helped me to realign and think back to basics. Here are some of my key takeaways from the two day affair:
1. Social media is like any other story where there is a Hero, a Heaven, and a Hell - your job (as a company providing goods or services) is to explain how you are the Help in between Hell and Heaven (a hokey example but the alliteration is nice and makes sense)
2. Brands are less trusted than influencers and the most trusted is “a person like myself” so either get to that level or find a voice that can genuinely speak to your brand in that way
3. When creating a social campaign think about the case study you want the campaign to look like when it’s done
4. Align with an issue that aligns with your brand - CSR is dead and it’s time for real philanthropy (millenial and Gen Z see through charity for publicity very quickly - they’re the most woke & diverse generations)
5. Standing for something and making a statement can net more money but it doesn’t always immediately translate into dollars
6. Messenger Bots are where it’s at - open rate is 80% and click through is 20% (examples = Manychat, Chat Fuel, Mobile Monkey)
7. Micro/nano influencers - They have smaller followings but if they genuinely post about your brand and become big then you have a great in if you’re already working with them
8. Using AI to help understand trends and social listening is becoming more popular - the best approach is a hybrid of AI and human to put background to the data that AI can’t understand
9. You can’t sell your product to everyone - but your demographic will respect a certain type of communication, you can speak to that group more authentically just by sticking to your mission statement
10. When running a social account you have to follow the rules that you put in place when you started. I.e. don't start using slang or posting personal anecdotes if that's not in your brand guide
Well that's all I've got folks! Social media is ever changing, but it shouldn't be intimidating. There's always a new trend to watch, or even start, so get to Tweeting, posting, and playing with social!
Kaitlyn Fitzpatrick is an Account Executive at Spool and a social media lover, duh.