By Curious Plot social media managers Liz Hillskotter and Rose Miller
Recently, we had the opportunity to attend Social Media Marketing World in San Diego. The industry’s largest social media marketing conference, Social Media Marketing World brings together thousands of attendees from around the globe to learn real business-building ideas from top social media experts. Session topics included social strategy, organic social marketing, content marketing and paid social.
Throughout the three-day event, we heard from some of the best in our industry, networked with others in the food and agriculture space and the broader social media marketing space and learned about new tools in the marketing world. What exactly did we learn?
DON’T sell your product. Instead, share valuable content.
Today, the number of fans and followers your page has is less important than ever.
Michael Stelzner, CEO and founder of Social Media Examiner, shared in his keynote that social media is less organized around who you follow and more around content. According to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, “Facebook and Instagram are shifting from being organized solely around people and accounts you follow to increasingly showing more relevant content recommended by our AI system.”
Marry this with the rise of short-form video. Instagram Reels are shared 1 billion times a day through DMs alone! It’s no wonder the creators of great content and the content itself is so powerful.
How do you create great content? Instagram expert Jade Beason drove home the importance of delivering value, which she defined as inspirational, entertainment, educational or relatable. One way to provide educational value? Instead of aiming to immediately convert, brands should strive for relatability. TikTok expert Keenya Kelly said, “Show the product and how it works. You don’t need to tell them to buy the product.”
DO respect your content creators.
With the shift toward video content, brands are working with content creators and influencers more than ever. Kelly outlined a few best practices for success in these relationships.
- Set expectations by outlining the content you want and what to avoid but remember to give them creative freedom.
- Show respect by ensuring you customize communications. Explain why you think they’re a good fit for your brand and ask for their opinion on your campaign or product.
- Don’t pay them in product. Their time is valuable so compensate them accordingly.
DO engage with your social media comment section.
It’s essential to be responsive and show your community that you’re listening.
Customers often turn to social media for customer service, and a whopping 90% of them expect quick responses from brands, according to HubSpot.
Social media conversations expert Brooke Sellas also highlighted the power of user-generated content like comments, reviews and images to boost social performance. Consumers tend to trust the opinions of others in their community more than the brand itself. If you want to dive deeper into the world of social engagement, be sure to check out this blog post written by our very own Director of Social Media Christina Milanowski.
Need another reason why? One study found a staggering 92% of shoppers actively seek out comments about brands and products on social media. Keeping up with these comments and providing top-notch customer service is absolutely vital.
DON’T sleep on AI
One of the most highly anticipated sessions at the conference revolved around the topic of artificial intelligence led by Paul Roetzer who highlighted AI’s rapid growth and transformative potential.
Roetzer forecasted that within the next 2-3 years, a staggering 80% of everyday marketing tasks would undergo intelligent automation to varying degrees. He emphasized that future marketers would use the power of AI to deliver the personalized experiences expected by modern consumers, unlock previously unimaginable creative possibilities and drive efficiency, revenue growth and client demands.
One of the most notable quotes was that “AI won’t replace marketers, but marketers who use AI will replace marketers who don’t.”
DO know what’s trending, especially on TikTok.
To create valuable video content, you first have to understand the people you are interacting with. What do they find inspirational, educational, relatable, etc.?
TikTok expert Maxwell Finn recommended several research tools in his TikTok ads session that companies can use with the goal of finding the exact TikTok videos customers engage with to help inform their own content, including:
- The keyword search within the TikTok app, which allows you to find the top liked videos within a keyword category.
- TokAudit allows you to discover the best performing content from any profile.
- TikTok Keyword Insights highlights the top keywords and phrases from TikTok ads.
Both on TikTok and across other social platforms, testing ad creative and messaging is an effective way to determine whether your audience research is correct.
DO ground your strategy in knowing your audience.
Okeke and Finn weren’t the only speakers who reminded attendees about the importance of understanding customers first and foremost. Presenting “Strategy Before Tactics,” John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing drove home the importance of knowing the voice of your customer before developing a marketing strategy for them. Having a strategy based on research, he said, will help attract ideal clients, deliver greater value and elevate and differentiate your brand.
He recommended developing personas based on the top customers. Ask yourself:
- Who are we attracting?
- What do we want them to do? See? Say? Hear?
- What do they think and feel?
Once personas are created, create a core message, a simple statement that defines how your company is different in a way that matters to your ideal client. But remember to solve your customers’ problems. Nobody wants to be sold to. They want their problems solved.
DO find ways to invest in social video. Video is more important than ever.
Video is now key for brands, but creating effective video isn’t as simple as it looks. Once you’ve done audience research, how do you transform that knowledge into content? We compiled advice from Finn, Okeke and Kelly into the four takeaways below:
- Start with a hook and keep your audience engaged throughout. The first 2-3 seconds tells the audience what the video is about or why it’s valuable to them. Continue engaging your audience with changes of scene and camera angle. Simply zooming in and out from one shot to another is one easy way to vary the perspective.
- Use familiar formats. How-to’s, product teasers, behind-the-scenes, product journeys, duets and reactions are just a few.
- Leverage SEO to be found in search. Using captions, hashtags, text on screen and dialogue are just a few ways.
- Participate in sounds, trends, hashtags, challenges. Hop on trends early, apply it to your niche, and leave your audience wanting more of your content such as leaving the video on a cliffhanger and following up with a second video. You know you’ve seen the comments where people say they’re “trusting the algorithm to bring them back.”
Social Media Marketing World was an extremely valuable experience to connect with fellow social media professionals as well as to hear from some of the brightest in our industry. We will keep these “Do’s and Don’ts” in our front pocket as we move through the rest of the year.
What social media marketing tactics have you found most effective in 2023? Share your tips with us on social media, and be sure to tag Curious Plot on LinkedIn, Instagram or Facebook by using the #CuriousPlot hashtag.
Let us know if we can help you by contacting us with any questions about the info above.