Top 5 Things I Learned at Social Media Week NYC

Margot Underdown Margot Underdown, Product Marketing Manager

This was my first time attending Social Media Week NYC, which hosted approximately 2,500 attendees, and over 200 seasoned marketers and industry thought-leaders, so I tried to attend as many sessions as I could. While there were many thoughtful and insightful angles on familiar topics, here are the top five lessons that stood out for me:

1. “Social media was supposed to be fun”

Advertising firm Grey argued that culture is challenging our ability to have fun, because people aren’t doing activities primarily for fun anymore. We’re reassigning what used to be fun to other motives. For example, reading a book to be smart instead of for pleasure. Pressure to attain something other than pure enjoyment is exhausting us. So, what can marketers learn from this? Start creating fun content through understanding what’s relatable versus aspirational because that’s what speaks more to people. If your brand’s content depicts experiences that are unattainable you’re not offering the type of escapism that people truly need. P.S. this talk was SUPER fun!

2. Video marketing: save the best for first

Marketers often make the mistake of modelling their video storytelling off films through surprising or delighting viewers at the end, says Jason Hsiao, Co-Founder of Animoto. But people consume and experience that media type in a completely different way than ads and social media. If you don’t grab your audience’s attention immediately, you’ll lose them. Start with the most interesting element of your story to make them want more.

3. Most traffic from influencers isn’t measurable

The Outloud Group says that influencer marketing hits all elements of the funnel, but 75% of traffic is not directly attributable. And that’s okay. However, how can you get your organization to believe and trust in this strategy? Think of ways you can correlate different data types to your activations. For example, measure website traffic volume and follower count in relation to your influencer campaign.

4. Don’t limit your competitive audit to competitors

We hosted a talk with Jay Maldonado, Senior Social Media Manager for MailChimp, where he spoke about social listening. A key area for their organization focuses on brands they aspire to be. Paying attention to the content these companies post helps the team learn what resonates with specific audiences, and how they can improve their own strategy, tactics, and brand voice.

5. Insight-out approach

H.L. Ray, VP of Marketing and Business Development at Samsung, said there’s a lot of opportunity to cultivate your brand persona’s values internally. He called this the “insight-out approach”. Have internal subject matter experts that understand your target audience, as it gives you the tools to speak to them authentically. Look to bring on advisors that know the community. Shared value systems will help your brand speak organically and naturally.

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