Before attending the Social Media Masters Summit on Thursday, June 22nd, I knew social media was taking over the world, but this event taught me just how much it truly is. All aspects of social media are growing at a beyond rapid pace, and attending this conference gave me all the tips and tools needed to keep up with this widely growing field. This summit took place on the beautiful 7th floor of Morningstar Inc.’s office in Chicago and was put on by Digital Megaphone. It provided a very interactive and informative experience with a wide variety of talented speakers. Each speaker provided insights to different aspects of social media, but there were a few messages that really stuck out to me and seemed to be reoccurring themes throughout all of the talks.
- Listen to the consumer, and then diversify
Many companies are stuck under the impression that if they change their company at all, they risk losing their brand name. But there are numerous ways to stick to your brand name and at the same time change to respond to customer wants. Jon Harris of Conagra emphasized the importance of developing a brand narrative steeped in insights, considering more creative tactics to bring the narrative to life, and then measuring and adjusting in real time. The measuring and adjusting can be hard for companies, but it essential for long-term growth. Julie Michaelson of BabyCenter also emphasized the importance of trying new things and diversifying. BabyCenter strives to be “a brand that shares your values”, and Julie explained that the only way to achieve this is to listen to the customers and create a brand that speaks to each and every person’s values, not just one.
2. Connections are KEY.
Connections with other companies are essential to getting ahead in today’s marketplace. Amazon is using every connection they can get, and are doing so well they are destroying whole industries. RJ Hottovy from Morningstar Inc. explained that the only way Amazon successfully made it into the food and grocery industry was by making a connection with Whole Foods that increased their credibility, and now it is expected that they are eventually going to put a dent in the entire traditional grocery industry. Likewise, Mark Robbins of Twitch (the new live video streaming company) explained how Twitch paired up with Totinos for special events and advertising and both companies received tremendous amounts of new users/customers from this connection.
3. Answer questions before the customer has to ask them.
Having unanswered questions on LinkedIn, websites, or any social media platform is much more likely to turn the viewer away. Adam Bianco explained the importance of including all the information needed right at their fingertips, and how much more likely you are to get the customer or sale if it is all there. Andy Crestodina of Content Marketing World explained the importance of having a website that has all the answers and presents them in a smooth comprehensive way. Before his presentation I had no idea how strategic a website needed to be, and how much of an effect even tiny visuals have on consumer reaction. He showed a study where a figure looking up at a box instead of simply at you increased the click rate to that box tremendously.
Not only did this conference have great food, a beautiful view, and inspiring people, but I also walked away at the end of the day feeling completely up to date with the social media industry. I now feel that I have all the right marketing tools to use social media effectively with my company, and I will definitely be using all those tips in my future experiences with social media.