New Strategies for 2019

Key Insights from Day 2 at Social Media Week in Austin, TX

Day 2 of Social Media Week did not disappoint. Building on Day 1 and the theme of TRANSPARENCY, the speakers today brought new ideas and strategies to light. The following provides a recap of those new ideas and strategies:

Be Authentic

We all know that developing a sense of authenticity in social media is challenging. But with today’s savvy consumer base, it’s become table stakes in order to connect with your target audience. So, it’s no surprise that this theme, which emerged on Day 1 as well, would continue into Day 2.

Michael Roderick from Small Pond Enterprises

Michael Roderick from Small Pond Enterprises

Michael Roderick of Small Pond Enterprises talked about how to authentically connect your target audience with your message by employing the A-I-M framework. Instead of using formulas, brands should be their authentic selves. And how the A-I-M framework comes to life should be unique to your brand and your target. Accessibility is about finding a way to anchor the unfamiliar with the familiar to make it more relatable. Influence is about leveraging your network to achieve the broadest reach possible. And Memory is about employing a tactic like emotion or contrast to cement your brand in the target audiences’ minds.

One of the hottest tactics to employ to drive your target audience to your website today is a quiz funnel. Ryan Levesque of shared that over 80% of site traffic is coming from Facebook or Google, with a quiz easily being used on either platform. But to have a successful quiz, the content has to authentically appeal to your target, while accurately diagnosing their situation and ultimately and convincingly prescribing your brand’s product or service as the solution.

In a panel about developing authentic community both online and offline, we heard from Courtney Bianchi of Whisky & Pearls, Hayley Wakefield of The Refinery, Leslie Lozano of Planoly and BossBabesATX and Tareen Alam of Bumble. They each described developing authentic community in slightly different ways. Leslie Lozano talked about the importance of listening to ensure that any programming she develops is relevant and answers an existing question in the community. Hayley Wakefield discussed the need to always answer any outreach from the community whether in the form of a comment on social, an email or even a DM. And Tareen Alam emphasized being accountable and mission driven if you want to connect with Gen Z, which sometimes also requires remaining steadfast against any backlash.

Be Strategic

Although the last year brought limits to the power of targeting on Facebook, Jesse Jameson of Social Media Pro shared a number of ways that we can still strategically target our paid Facebook marketing. “One of the most underrated tools on Facebook,” according to Jesse, is the Audience Insights Tool. Using this tool, you can build a robust avatar or persona of your ideal target audience. And this audience can be directly loaded into the Ad Manager to use as a custom audience for a campaign. The ability to build other custom audiences (from a customer list or the Facebook tracking pixel, for example) and to develop lookalike audiences furthers your targeting power on the platform.

The essential elements of a professional social media strategy begin with outlining your objective. Your primary objective should align with where you expect to find your target audience within a traditional customer journey, according to Kate Buck Jr., also of Social Media Pro. For example, if your objective is to grow your awareness, you have to provide content that provides an introduction to your brand or that inspires them to learn more about your brand. Or if your objective is to drive consideration and preference, you have to build their trust with relevant content that has a clear call to action. Ultimately, the content calendar that you build needs to line up with your primary objective, include appropriate keywords, and feature trending topics. But above all, your corresponding content should be video-centric, while also being regular, consistent and episodic.

Be Relevant

“Let’s make the internet delightfully human.” — Austin Distel, Proof

“Let’s make the internet delightfully human.” — Austin Distel, Proof

Our ability to capture data and use it to be proactive, predictive and prescriptive in our customer relationship management is fast approaching. Austin Distel of Proof, suggested that capturing the right data is simply a matter of asking the right questions in order to deliver a personalized experience to your customers today. In fact, he believes that in the next 10 years all websites will offer an individualized experience. But doing so today will not only delight your customers, but it will help increase your conversions as your customers get what they want and need faster and with less friction. With that said, Austin was also quick to point out that marketers must remember that website visitors and customers are real humans and not numbers. His parting instruction–“Let’s make the internet delightfully human.” A worthy endeavor, indeed.

Over the weekend, we’ll share our final installment of insights from Social Media Week as it comes to a close.

Angie Yarbrough is a co-founder and Principal at Stratistry where she leads the Brand Strategy practice.

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