Three Things You Need to Know from Social Media Week L.A.

Take your social media strategy from good to great.

Marketing Strategy

Working in digital content, I spend a lot of my time on social media. Tweetdeck is perennially up on my second monitor; I speak in hashtags, and I could create a social content calendar in my sleep.

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So after spending 40 hours each week on social media for work (and a pretty significant amount of time spent on my personal accounts after hours), what more could I learn by attending a social media conference?

A lot, actually.

Last week, I had the chance to attend Social Media Week in Los Angeles and hear from industry experts, influencers, and brand leaders. The sessions covered every social media tactic, strategy, and trend you could imagine, with a particular focus on influencers.

Being the nerd that I am, I took countless pages of notes. But don’t worry, you don’t have to read through all of them. Here are the three things you should know from Social Media Week:

1. Be authentic and have fun

Simply put, authenticity means being consistent: know your brand and stick to it. Your followers know when you’re faking it. Focus on connecting with your audience and less about trying to convert them into customers with every post.

And most importantly – have fun. People are on social media to forget about the stress and monotony of their everyday lives, so don’t focus on making every post perfect. Get creative, take a few risks, and show your followers that you are more than just a brand.

Chubbies does authenticity better than any other brand I’ve seen on social. Take a look through their Instagram feed and you’ll see tons of fun memes and videos of men in their signature shorts and swim trunks. Instead of hiring supermodels to sell their product, they focus on being hyper-relatable.

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Customers don’t buy Chubbies because they want to be the men in their pictures, they purchase because they already are those men.

The bottom line: if your content is true to your brand, your audience will engage.

2. Don’t be afraid to get political

Does it seem like more consumer brands are wading into controversial issues these days? You aren’t imagining it. As more socially-conscious millennials and Gen-Z’ers become consumers, brands are seeing an opportunity to get political.

A recent poll from Sprout Social shows that more than half of consumers want brands to take a stance on political and social issues, and an Edelman report claims 65% of consumers would stop buying from a brand for staying silent about an issue.

The data doesn’t lie – brands can reap big rewards by speaking out on social issues.

That doesn’t mean you can slap your logo on some random cause, however. (Pepsi proved that is a VERY bad idea.) Try to pinpoint an issue that relates to your product, consumers, or brand mission and think of creative ways you can make a statement.

3. Choose influencers thoughtfully

If you’ve ever scrolled through Instagram, you’re probably familiar with influencers:  beautiful young people in perfect outfits traveling to different exotic places every day. You know, the ones with millions of followers?

Brands drop billions of dollars to work with these influencers, but it doesn’t always pay off. Why? Because having millions of followers doesn’t make you an influencer.

According to Social Chain, as much as 96% of influencer post engagements are fake. Influencers purchase followers, likes, comments, and shares so they can inflate their numbers and charge more for their brand partnerships.

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Don’t let this scare you away from influencer marketing altogether, just choose influencers thoughtfully. The people who will produce the biggest return on your investment are likely micro-influencers who have fewer, but more engaged followers.

Pro tip: Existing customers are often your best advocates. Utilize user generated content from them, too!

Social media isn’t just about beautiful pictures or funny tweets, it’s about relationships. Building and maintaining a strong relationship with your audience is key, and these three tactics will help you do just that.

Feel like you might need a hand improving your social strategy? We’ve got you covered.

Thanks for reading!

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