Three Takeaways from Social Media Marketing World

I just got back from San Diego and Social Media Marketing World. Conferences like this help me stay on top of the latest trends, concepts and developments in social media and put that information to the best use for my clients. It’s so important to make sure that our brand messages continue to be seen and heard in the complex and ever-changing world of online marketing.

I took in a lot of information I want to share with you, so let’s get to it!

My biggest takeaway … focus less on trying to grow how many followers we have and more on our interaction and engagement with the people who are already at our online party.

In the face of the recent changes in social media (with more on the way) it felt good to hear that we are now  coming off our high-tech high and getting back to what matters — the human element.

It’s our job to effectively connect with each other through great content across all our platforms. To go deep with people who already love us and create a beautiful digital world they want to visit again and again.

How? You ask. Here are three ways.

The North Face – Question Madness from Apollo Studios on Vimeo.

1. Create a Community of Belonging

Even with all the social media connections we make now, there are studies that tell us we feel more alone than ever. How can we reach out to our customers and let them know they belong?

The North Face did this with its #questionmadness campaign. Shunning conventional advertising, the company made a powerful video (linked above), that shows people going beyond their own human limitations. They cry, they fall, they suffer. And yet, they are driven to do what they are doing. They belong to The North Face tribe.

Take a look at your business and see if there are creative ways you can make your customers feel special; that yours is a world in which they belong.

2. Find a New Way to Share the Experience

Be unexpected. For three days in the Grand Canyon National Park visitors encountered something unusual after a 6-mile hike down to a scenic overlook — a $5 typewriter from Goodwill and a note that said:

Dear Hiker, welcome to Plateau Point. You’ve hiked a long ways. Please take a seat in the chair and relax. Look around. Take it all in. What does this moment mean to you?

Elyssa Shalla, a national park ranger, spearheaded this project because, she said, “We need to provide more opportunities to give people the chance to stop and think and feel at the same time and then give them a platform to share their experiences.”

How can you create more shared experiences not only at events, but within your company?

3. Connect with the Right Message and Tone

One of the main exercises we do in my Group Brand Therapy Sessions helps us define who we are as companies and service providers.

It’s simple — find three words that define why you do what you do. These words will help you set the tone for all your marketing from social media to your website.

What are your three words? Go beyond those crowd favorites such as fun, trustworthy and unique. Then turn them into your style. If one of your words is “leader” how are you a leader? How can you show us? And how can you infuse this in all of your messages? Here’s a good piece by speaker Ann Handley with more info on how to find your own voice.

There was so much more I gleaned from the conference and want to share. But this is a start!

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