It may not be official, but summer is in full swing and everything feels fresh and new again. While some of the hotter social platforms are offering their fans cool new features, some of the classics are making a comeback, too. So, grab a cold drink, find a comfy spot under a shady tree and read up on the latest news in the world of social media.
It’s been just over a week since I returned from South by Southwest Interactive (SXSWi) where – in addition to learning about the latest in social media strategies – I had the opportunity to attend dozens of presentations in a variety of formats. I learned a few new presentation tips and enjoyed some effective presentations that inspired me to share some helpful pointers.
Stories Beat PowerPoints Every Time
The Science of Storytelling | Leo Widrich via Flickr
In a panel focused on the power of storytelling, neuroscientist Shonté Taylor noted that storytelling engages the right side (aka, the more creative side) of the brain. Specifically, she described how the body releases reward hormones such as dopamine when the right side of the brain is positively engaged, as can happen when a person is enjoying a great story. She went on to describe those reward hormones as “lighting up” the brain in a positive way, and left me with the point that if you light up the brains of your colleagues and customers, they’re going to remember you.
Reflecting on the various presentations I attended during SXSWi, the most memorable really did include great storytelling elements. Speakers from National Geographic and Outdoor Afro shared compelling stories and – often – images that took me beyond bullets on the screen. One week later and I can describe in detail the stories they told and the lessons they shared in a way that I cannot for other speakers who didn’t weave personal stories, images or testimonials into their presentations. Read more after the jump…
Believe it or not – we’ve reached the end of another amazing SXSW! We had a busy day of packing, automobiles and planes to begin our journey back home – but couldn’t help but squeeze in a few more sessions to take with us on the road.
SXSW may be over – but we worked hard on squeezing in a few more sessions and a final blog post!
I tried to work some variety into my schedule on the final day of SXSW, and in the session titled “Investing to Change the World,” a panel of bankers, investors and financial planners talked about how many individuals today are working to align their investments with their values. There are several individual stocks and mutual funds that fit the bill (humanitarian companies, environmental-friendly companies, etc.), and surprisingly, many are outperforming the market itself. The key is just like any other investment – look for companies who are investing in their own long-term success and are inherently resilient. Who wouldn’t want to invest in companies that produce returns AND are making a difference in our world?
We’re just wrapping up our third day of sessions at SXSWi and with the time change and cold weather it wasn’t easy to hop out of bed this morning. But – nothing gets you going like a strong, inspirational session and hearing from Dean Baquet, executive editor of The New York Times, fit the bill perfectly. He reinforced two themes we’ve heard throughout the conference: live your truth and do your best. With that – here’s our best at a recap on today’s sessions!
campaigns, I opted to check out a Smart Cities session to start the day. As Google’s second Fiber City, you’d think it would all be rainbows and roses in Austin. But when only 15% of residents who live in affordable housing have in-home internet, the challenges of truly becoming a Smart City – with a plethora of transportation and mobility options, well-connected to the internet and related devices, abundant affordable housing options, etc. – are multi-layered, and ever-changing.
In a panel that consisted of representatives from Vox Media, VICE, and The New York Times titled “Social Video and the Future of Consumption,” the focus (even for traditional media outlets) is swiftly turning to live video experiences. The challenge with live video, of course, is taking the live element and ensuring it’s adding value or more context to the story in some way – underscoring the extreme importance of being as creative as possible with videos, rather than just producing videos for video’s sake.
Summing a panel titled “Shopping and the Sacred Social Space” up in one line (with panelists from Facebook, Imagur, eBay and Flipboard), and one that’s been a common theme at SXSW 2017: Everything you do content-wise or digital-wise needs to have some kind of value for the end user – emphasize experience, and give more than you take.
At the end of the day I attended a session titled “Where we’re going, we don’t need cars” which featured the CEO of Car2Go, among others. Three important statistics for Denver as it grows:
By 2050, 70% of the world’s population will have moved back to urban centers
Personal vehicles sit idle 96 percent of the time, causing a huge issue with parking/space in already space-constrained urban centers
Every 1 Car2Go car (or other, related car sharing service) on the road removes 11 vehicles from our roads and parking structures
It’s hard to believe, but we’re only weeks away from the end of the first quarter of 2017! Now that we’re well on our way into the “New Year”, how are your social media plans going? Have you tried something new? If so, how are you measuring for success? We might be early in the year, but if you’re hoping to track trends now is the time to capture metrics from January and February before the details slip away from you. And if you need help, your friends at CenterTable are at the ready! In the meantime, we’ve pulled together some highlights in social media news this week. Read more after the jump…
Whether it’s dreaming up the perfect copy for a social media post, crafting a pitch for a key reporter, or strategizing how to report metrics to executives – the daily life of a communications professional requires a lot of widely-varied creative ideas and solutions!
Some days the creativity flows like a river and other days the creative process takes a little longer to get going, which is why I read two recent articles with great interest!
Only a few weeks into the New Year and we’re already seeing new design and features from Snapchat and LinkedIn. It’s been five years since LinkedIn’s desktop interface had a makeover, and we’re thrilled to see the focus on the user interface in this version. While Pinterest and Instagram aren’t making themselves over, they are looking to help your brand look its best and we’ve got a few articles to help you make the most of what they’ve got to offer. Read more after the jump…
Looking ahead to a new year can be exciting when you’re crafting PR plans to support new products, big events, major milestones or exciting announcements. But, if you’re going into 2017 with nothing new on the horizon, don’t lose heart. There are still ways to keep your brand in front of the media and in the news!
Monitor for trends and breaking news
It’s always a good idea to monitor for trends and breaking news items that relate to your brand. This is easily accomplished by establishing Google Alerts relevant to you and having a list of brand spokespeople who you can quickly position as experts as the trend or news emerges. Now is a great time to freshen your list of experts, including their areas of expertise, current contact information and preferred methods of contact so that in a time-sensitive situation you can reach them quickly. Read more after the jump…