One of the best things about living and working in Atlanta is the amazing industry conferences that come to the city each year. From May 22-24, I had the pleasure of attending Social Media Today’s Social Shakeup Show. The conference brought together more than 600 social media professionals with the same goal of “shaking things up” in their respective social media worlds. In case you missed it, here are my top takeaways from this year’s Social Shakeup Show.
Integration is key to success
Traditionally, sales, PR and marketing teams have a weird relationship where their work often intersects with or depends on, one another. However, logistical, budgetary and other hurdles like plain ol’ animosity often get in the way of true synergy between these teams. If an executive truly wants to shake up their company, they should begin with augmenting how these teams are structured and work with each other. For brands and agencies, teams must get used to working under a common goal and stepping outside of their comfort zones. The research and analytics of the marketing team gives more information to the sales team, who in turn is able not only to sell more effectively, but also share deeper customer insights/trends - both of which help PR and marketing teams earn additional media and share the brand’s message more effectively. Agencies that adopt this holistic structure will have more ROI data to show, much to their client’s delight.
Engaging your audience via micro-influencers
The use of micro-influencers (people with small to medium social following but strong creditability on a desired topic) is becoming more and more popular in the social media world. It has been said that in today’s environment, brands that are seen as authentic will do the best; and with this in mind, brands partner with these individuals to promote products with more visual and authentic social posts in favor of sponsored advertisements. This practice has grown in popularity recently, as micro-influencers tend to have more targeted audiences and higher engagement rates.
Snapchatter Shaun “Shonduras” McBride spoke about this practice at SSU and revealed that audience engagement can actually help to build your brand and shape its identity. “Sometimes all it takes is free pizza” to get a micro-influencer on board with your product/service, said Shaun. Brands have seen success with campaigns like Instagram or Snapchat take-overs to connect with their followers. Once trust has been gained via micro-influencer, constant and genuine engagement with your target audience or “tribe,” as Shaun called it, will let you know how well your brand is doing in accomplishing its goals.
Keep messaging relevant to your followers
A major theme throughout the breakout sessions was the importance of being relevant to your followers by getting your message across on platforms and from voices that were a part of their daily lives. One point that struck me was, “Find who the best people are to tell your story.” Sometimes the best way to get your message heard is for it to come from someone else (see micro-influencer above) or from your audience themselves. As brands continuously seek to improve customer experiences, content and messaging should be formed with your audience in mind. This is why many brands are giving their followers activities/experiences to give them personal connections to the brand and including them in the brand’s voice, seeking to turn a customer into a brand ambassador.