Last week, The Motherhood attended the Social Media Strategies Summit in Chicago, where industry leaders shared strategies, trends and great examples of social media at work.
Read on for some of our top takeaways from the event:
Start by Listening
One of the most prevalent themes of the summit was listening. As Dan Soschin, Vice President of Marketing at The Ultimate Medical Academy, said during his session on effective customer service: “Every good conversation starts with listening.”
Whether you’re building your corporate or personal brand, looking for the next great campaign idea or trying to resolve a customer dispute, active listening via social can help you understand your industry’s landscape and develop the right strategy for engaging in a conversation (or knowing when to keep quiet).
Not sure what to listen for? Put yourself in the mindset of your customer by taking the time to create a journey map (check out this article for more). This exercise can uncover listening terms, new opportunities and avenues for engaging with your audience and insights on how your audience interacts–or how they want to interact–with you and your competitors.
Shape Your Content
The Clorox Company shared a shining example of how listening can effectively shape content strategy during the Summit. Wanting to engage millennials, the company keyed in to that audience’s online behaviors, and also the white space where their company could fill the void. Their insights led them to build Gather, a destination for millennials to get and share ideas for social gatherings, inspired by life stages and what’s trending. In six weeks alone, the site generated more than 428,000 impressions.
Laura Wilson, Director of Digital Engagement & Social Media at Georgetown University, also shared some helpful tips on sharing stories that stick:
- Always stay authentic to your brand and voice.
- Keep it simple.
- Ensure it has structure. If something doesn’t add to your story, it detracts from it.
- Focus on making a connection and a memory.
- Create stories with the intention of involving others, so that their interaction becomes part of the overall story (and results in sharing).
Twitter’s own Gina Ballenger said to “create repeatable brilliance.” If you’ve found a format or a theme that resonates with your audience, build on that by repeating it and turning it into an episodic series.
“Content is King, but Distribution is Queen and She Wears the Pants.”
With so many social media platforms, and more inevitably emerging, it can be overwhelming to know where to communicate what. It’s true that the right distribution is integral to any social strategy, but as many speakers affirmed, you don’t need to be all things to all people.
So what works?
Leveraging the power of social stars (like The Motherhood’s network of incredible online influencers!) is key. When it comes to working with ideal influencers to carry your message, Ballenger made a great point that our team passionately agrees with: instead of looking solely at their reach, choose target-right stars who resonate with your audience.
Andrea Leitch, National Geographic Travel’s Digital Director, also shared what platforms work best for their content, including Instagram and Facebook. With the largest number of Instagram followers in the world for a non-celebrity account, National Geographic is clearly doing something right.
For more takeaways from the Chicago Social Media Strategies Summit, and to stay on top of future events, follow the #SMSSummit hashtag.