Thursday, May 2nd, 2019 | 5 min read
Social Media Week NYC is nearly over, with a packed agenda of speakers and panels spanning from Tuesday, April 30th to Thursday, May 2nd. While there were hundreds of speakers at this year’s event (212 to be exact), many of the talks focused on a few central themes:
Storytelling, Influencers, and Transformation.
The global theme for Social Media Week 2019 (which will continue its tour in different cities around the world) is “Stories: With Great Influence Comes Great Responsibility.”
Here are some of the key thoughts surrounding these topics, as told by #SMWNYC speakers.
Digital media is constantly changing the way we communicate. Whereas brands have traditionally focused on broadcasting their products and features to the masses, in today’s connected world that isn’t enough. Consumers are exposed to product ads all day long. The challenge now is getting consumers to care enough about your brand to make them want to make a purchase from you, specifically.
In his talk, “The Copernican Shift: Three Stages of Marketing Evolution,” Sprinklr CXMO Grad Conn explained it this way: “We’ve always had the customers revolving around our products. The way the world is changing, we need to revolve around our customers.” To do this, he has three main tips: Listen to, Learn from, and Love your customers.
Listen, Learn & Love — We need to do a better job of listening to our customers, a much better job of learning from what we're listening to, and show our customers the love that they deserve. –@Sprinklr's @gradconn on the three stages of the marketing evolution #SMWNYC pic.twitter.com/1SuOnXxczO
— Grey New York (@GreyNewYork) April 30, 2019
Sounds simple, right? By listening to what your customers want, learning from their feedback, and leading with love, brands will be better able to tell the stories that matter. And don’t be limited by the written word — see what gets people’s attention and best represents your brand.
“A story can be anything,” said Dan Gardner, CEO and Founder of Code and Theory. “It manifests itself in many different ways. Every touchpoint is an opportunity for a brand to tell a story.”
Every single tweet, graphic, video, email, and blog is part of your brand’s story. Make sure it’s something worth reading (or viewing or watching).
Influencer marketing has created major buzz at this year’s Social Media Week NYC. Everyone seems to agree that it’s important, but choosing the right influencers is where things get fuzzy. Fortunately, panelists offered some advice on selecting the right influencers for your brand.
“You have to understand as a brand what your KPIs and goals are, and what type of influencer will help you achieve those goals,” said Leah Logan, VP Media Products Strategy and Marketing at Collective Bias. “Working with a nano-influencer, you won’t have the same scale and reach, but you might get more conversions.” She explained that snack brands would benefit from working with influencers in that space, where their audiences are already interested in that type of product.
Brands should also seek out influencers who actively engage with their followers, rather than simply posting content.
“It’s the engagement with their following that we love,” said Anna Ritchie, Head of Social Media at Campbell Snacks. “If an influencer is posting content and not engaging with followers, we likely won’t work with them again.” It all goes back to building relationships and storytelling. A good story is nothing without an engaged audience.
When thinking about leveraging #influencers for your brand, ask yourself: Are we using influencers as creators or as a distribution platform?
— Liza (Dorison) Padellaro (@lizapads) April 30, 2019
Okay, maybe you’re tired of the whole “digital transformation” thing. But the truth is, transformation is constant. For brands to stay relevant, they must continue to learn and master new tools and strategies.
“Businesses that embrace transformation are growing at exponential rates,” said Hope Cowan, Director of Creative Agency Partnerships at Facebook. “People’s modes of expression have moved from words to images to video,” she explained. “We evolved with them to stay relevant, in turn. We’re still amazed at how [Facebook] Stories has eclipsed the Newsfeed.”
By continually developing new features based on user behavior, Facebook maintains its dominance in the ever-changing digital landscape.
— Michelle Pinchev (@citybyheart) April 30, 2019
Spectacular Smith, CEO of Adwizar follows a similar approach to growth, constantly iterating his social media strategy to see what works and what doesn’t.
“You have 10 different strategies that you do, and maybe two that work. Get rid of the eight that don’t and fine tune the ones that do,” he suggests. This is why data and social media insights are crucial to the success of a brand’s digital program. You need to see what’s working well to see where your efforts should be focused.
Social Media Week is a great resource to see what’s new in the industry and where modern leaders are finding success. Don’t let the learning stop once the week is over! As you begin to unwind and get back into your daily routine, check out the speakers you may have missed or follow up with those you found particularly inspiring. And most importantly, start implementing some of the strategies you’ve been learning about during event.
Tell better stories. Harness influence. Embrace transformation.
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