Social Media Week is a global conference that gathers thought leaders and professionals to discuss how social media and technology are changing transforming business, society and culture around the globe. It’s my first first time to attend this event and in this blog, I’ll highlight a few things that stood out to me. Here’s my Social Media Week recap.
The COVID-19 pandemic has put a damper on social activities as well as corporate conferences that are usually held in person. Like other things since March, this year’s Social Media Week was held virtually. Put together independently by Pinch Social Inc. under the leadership of Social Media Strategist Michelle Pinchev, along with a dedicated team of staff, partners, advisors and volunteers. This year’s lineup featured 6 virtual, interactive sessions over 5 days led by experts, influencers, and brands active in social media marketing.
The sessions covered topics across various platforms like Snapchat, LinkedIn, and Race presenting social media strategies in the face of COVID-19, our current political climate and a look at trends in 2020 and beyond. As a digital marketer, it was important for me to take part in this year’s presentation to learn a few tools and listen to some industry experts as they give personal experiences and tactics that have worked and suggest the direction in which this ever-changing field is going.
From my attendance, the Social Media Week recap key points I would like to emphasize that stood out to me personally in relation to my work as a Marketing Manager here at VA Partners are the following:
The War on Brand
This point focused largely on the idea that any organization or company can gain and benefit more in the long-term (6 months+) by building a good and recognizable brand. The focus of this stems from the immediate need to gauge and quantify success by most businesses and companies. With brand building, success is often seen a few months down the line as opposed to short term lead generation. The speaker argued that “value comes from people who will buy your product, or engage with goods and services offered by a company down the line as a result of an effective and a strong brand identity.” 75% of future profits come from people who are not in the market today but may very well be in the future.
Brand building can address the issues of a positive short-term lead generation goal but not vice versa. This means that catering your goods and services to achieve lead generation goals does not work well in building a long-lasting brand identity. When you plan and build a long-term branding strategy, you establish over time brand loyalty. A strong established brand can never be successfully copied, all roads will lead back to you when you’ve built up a recognizable brand identity.
The Power of Reach
Reach is the dominant way a company grows, not through engagement. The theme here is that the more people you reach, the higher the potential for conversion. When planning out your marketing campaigns, most individuals have a preconceived notion of what category their target audience may fall into. As a result, they limit themselves to that small specific niche audience, missing out on the potential for conversion.
One of the speakers pointed out that we have no idea where any of this suggested third party data comes from and that targeting in itself is only right 50% of the time. Which is only just as accurate as flipping a coin.
Key take away here is to NOT try to predict the audience but reach out to everyone. It is also cost effective to target on a broad scale than to narrow down your target audience.
Lastly, like every other rule, there are exceptions. A key one being dependent on the specific industry you’re in i.e. Finance etc.
There were so many other good points, issues and tactics that were presented and discussed during the course of Social Media Week 2020. The above key points are some that stood out heavily to me as it relates to the work we do here at VA Partners.